The best Bluetooth speakers around right now

best new Bluetooth speakers for 2021
Samantha Simmonds,-Digital Writer

Meet the stylish new Bluetooth speakers that look just as good as they sound

From palm-sized pocket rockets that pack a high-wattage audio punch to voice-activated, design-led sound systems that let you control your smart home without lifting a finger, Bluetooth speakers have come a long way since they were invented in the 1990s. 

‘The latest generation of Bluetooth speakers boasts all day – and night – battery life, aptX HD Bluetooth that can stream in high resolution, and voice control for complete hands-free convenience,’ says Chris Haslam, consumer journalist and co-founder of lifestyle website Brogue.

Below you’ll find a round-up of the best Bluetooth speakers to suit you and your living room. From sleek do-it-all sound systems to waterproof warriors, whether you’re looking for a home cinema upgrade or a kid-proof all-rounder ready for warmer weather outings, we’ve got you covered.

The most stylish speakers

The latest Bluetooth speakers look as good as they sound, with aesthetics to match their superior audio quality. From bold brass to retro classic, choose a speaker that harmonises with your interior decor.

‘The modernist form of the BeoSound makes it a stylish addition to any interior,’ says Sarah O’Sullivan, Partner & Designer. ‘This is premium design and technology at its finest.’

And there’s no need to sacrifice smarts for style – the BeoSound 2 combines 360° sound dispersal with Google Voice Assistant, Chromecast and AirPlay 2 technology, making it easier than ever to control your smart home and stream your favourite tunes.

The best for powerful sound

‘Look for a speaker that will sound good in the space you need it to,’ Chris advises. ‘A small battery-powered speaker will look great on the mantelpiece, but won’t fill your living room with sound. If you don’t intend to move it around, look for a mains-powered option with Wi-Fi and multi-room compatibility, so you can link it to other speakers in the house.’

The Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo is compatible with Apple Airplay 2, Roon, and you can stream via built-in Spotify Connect, while the Devialet range uses ADH (Analogue Digital Hybrid) technology to amplify rich, subtle details with exceptional precision. Film fan? Add a wireless subwoofer and Bluetooth soundbar to take your home cinema experience to the next level.

The speakers with smart tech

Get help around the home 24/7 with Alexa and/or Google Assistant. The latest smart speakers combine voice control with 360° sound and Bluetooth connectivity, so you can play music, set timers and alarms, get those burning questions answered and even control the thermostat and lighting in your home.

Get the best bits of a smartphone and smart speaker in one with the Amazon Echo Show. You can easily view shopping lists, reminders and more on its 10.1” HD screen, with the screen even automatically turning to face you as you move around the room. Short on space? Opt for a compact speaker such as the Google Nest Mini

The full-on sound systems

Upgrading your trusty analogue hi-fi? Opt for an all-in-one Bluetooth sound system. The Ruark R7 might look old-school, but it’s packed with cutting-edge technology, combining an enhanced multi-format CD player with aptX Bluetooth receiver, USB playback port and DAB/DAB+/FM tuners. 

Want to stream straight to your speaker? Naim’s award-winning sound systems are compatible with Spotify, Apple Music and TIDAL, as well as internet radio, so you can cut out the middleman. The compact Naim Mu-so Qb packs 300 watts to fill your living room with sound, while the Mu-so Wireless Bluetooth Music System uses six 75-watt digital amplifiers to deliver 450 watts of audio power. Translation: a serious bass kick.

The best to take with you

Choosing a portable speaker needn’t mean compromising on quality. ‘The new Sonos Roam is a great all-round speaker,’ says Chris. ‘It uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, has multi-room functionality and sounds fantastic for its size, whether you’re using it in the garden, kitchen or bedroom.’

And if you’re looking to bring the party look with you as well as the sound, give the LG XBOOM Go PL7 Bluetooth Portable Speaker with Lighting a go. The ring-shaped lights at either end of the speaker pulsate to the rhythm of the beat, guaranteeing a fun atmosphere.

The waterproof speakers

Waterproof, dustproof and shockproof, Ultimate Ears Bluetooth speakers are also child-friendly. 

Sony’s new SRS-XB33 packs a punch with its synchronised strobe lighting and Live Sound Mode for a ‘3D’ audio experience. You can even tap the speaker to add sound effects, from scratching to drums.

And if you need a speaker that seriously means business? The Bose Soundlink Revolve+ II brings hands-free calling, Siri and Google Now to the table with true 360° sound.

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