The Best Speakers

By Amanda Lasater

Many people find soothing sounds like music, podcasts, or meditation tracks relaxing to listen to while trying to fall asleep, but doing so with earphones can be both uncomfortable and hazardous. Rather than risking getting tangled up in cords or waking up with sore ears, why not try a bedside speaker?

Check out our top picks for the best speakers so you can soothe yourself to sleep comfortably each night.

The 4 Best Speakers

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Alexa speaker

Best Smart Speaker

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – Smart speaker with Alexa

We all know Amazon is a leader in e-commerce but they have also excelled in the market of smart devices with their line of Echo smart speakers. The Echo Dot is an affordable option for anyone looking for a Bluetooth speaker with a voice-controlled assistant. The Echo Dot takes the skills and capabilities of Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa and shrinks it into a compact, yet powerful, speaker. While the Dot is the most compact smart speaker in the Echo line, it is the perfect addition to any room – big or small – as it packs quite a punch in that small package.

With tens of thousands of skills, the smart speaker can help you out in almost every aspect of your day-to-day life. You can control your music by streaming songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify and pretty much every other music streaming service. In addition, you can ask Alexa to check the weather, read the news, set alarms, play music, answer questions, and more. You can even control your smart home with you voice thanks to the Alexa assistant on the Echo Dot – simply sync your Alexa with your smart devices and you’ll be able to tell Alexa to turn off the lights, adjust the thermostat, lock the doors, and control any other smart devices within your home. The Echo Dot also works as an intercom with other Echo devices in your home and can be used to make calls. Also, the newest generation of this speaker has upgraded the stereo sound for a richer and louder sound quality. 

OontZ Angle 3 speaker black

Best Range

OontZ Angle 3 (3rd Gen) – Bluetooth Portable Speaker

The OontZ Angle 3 is made by Cambridge Sound Works, a company that was founded specifically to design the highest quality speakers that are also affordable for consumers. The company utilizes dual precision acoustic stereo drivers to create a high quality, crystal clear sound. Their proprietary passive bass radiator gives this speaker a leg up on the competition, along with the speaker’s unique triangular design and downward facing bass radiator which further enhances the sound quality.

This portable speaker also packs a 10+ watt AMP so it can pump out music at a maximum volume without distorting the sound. The advanced antenna also offers a 100-foot Bluetooth range. The long-lasting battery will play up to 14 hours and is rechargeable so you don’t have to worry about replacing the batteries. Weighing just 10 ounces, this speaker is super lightweight and it is splash proof and rainproof, so it is the perfect speaker to bring with you to the pool or use in your bathroom. 

black anker speaker

Best Overall

Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker

Anker is a huge name in electronics and for good reason – their products are consistently high quality, long lasting, durable, and affordable.  This Bluetooth speaker utilizes Bluetooth 4.2 to ensure that your devices maintain a stable and strong connection up to 66 feet away. It was designed with dual full-range drivers, Anker’s patented bass port, and a fine-tuned Digital Signal Processor, all of which comes together in a sleek, aesthetically pleasing package. The unibody design features curved edges, sleek controls, and a choice of either red, blue, or black.

Anker’s advanced Soundcore technologies and dual drivers produce music with deep lows and rousing highs. Even at a high volume, the speaker produces far less harmonic distortion than its competitors, resulting in a clarity that is remarkable. Anker’s Soundcore Bluetooth speaker is extremely simple to set up with its quick and easy pairing and it even offers the capability to connect with Alexa-enabled devices. The speaker also has a built-in mic which allows you to connect to your phone and make calls or interact with your Alexa-enabled devices. And, just when we thought this speaker couldn’t get any better, it comes with an impressive 24 hours of playtime thanks to Anker’s power management technology and the high-efficiency Li-ion battery. 

xleader speaker silver and black

Best Budget

XLEADER SoundAngel (2 Gen)

The 2nd generation of XLEADER’s SoundAngel will shock you when you hear how much volume this little speaker can pump out. The shape and look of this Bluetooth speaker was designed to look like Amazon’s Echo Dot but the SoundAngel comes with a much smaller price tag than the Dot. Its sleek, minimal body is topped with touch screen buttons that react when you slide your finger over them. Since the SoundAngel’s speaker is located under the unit, the sound is balanced by a 3D digital audio processor and high fidelity speakers.

This design leads to the sound being reflected off the surface underneath the speaker, which results in clear and voluminous music. In addition, the 5-watt driver and proprietary bass radiator combine with the 3D digital audio processor to enhance the clarity of the mids and the highs while delivering louder and higher sound and bass. The speaker features Bluetooth 5.0 and can be paired simply to any Bluetooth device in seconds. It is equipped with a 1200mah Li-ion battery which will allow you to listen to music for up to 15 hours and can be fully recharged in just 2 to 3 hours. Finally, the speaker comes in either rose gold, gold, black, or silver, and includes a matching carrying case.  


What to Look for in Speakers

When shopping for speakers, make sure you assess the following features and check that they match what you are looking for:

  • Portability: If you plan to use the speaker on-the-go then it needs to be lightweight, but remember a smaller speaker typically results in a lower volume.
  • Durability: Not all speakers are made to be used outdoors or by the pool. If you are going to use it at places like the beach, the pool, or while camping, look for an outdoor speaker.
  • Voice Assistants: Some Bluetooth speakers come equipped with a voice assistant, decide whether this is an important feature for you.
  • Bluetooth Audio Quality: Clarity is key in speakers. Bluetooth 4.0 and higher will provide your devices with a strong connection; but, as for power and bass remember that size matters. 

FAQs

Q: What is an “outdoor” speaker?

A: These are speakers that have been designed with outdoor and rugged use in mind. If you think your speaker will likely take a beating, get splashed, or be exposed to the elements, it is best to get an outdoor speaker as they are the most durable.

Q: Why are some Bluetooth speakers called waterproof and others are called water-resistant?

A: In general, waterproof speakers can be completely submerged in water or withstand very heavy rains, while water-resistant speakers can only stand up to splashing or light rain. 

Q: How much do portable, Bluetooth speakers cost?

A: The price of speakers can vary drastically. Overall, it typically comes down to the technology within the speaker which controls the sound quality and bass. Portable Bluetooth speakers can cost anywhere from $15 to $300+. 

Conclusion

Whether you are looking to play music by the pool, set up a wireless streaming system in your home, or you just want the ability to pump out some tunes no matter where you are, a Bluetooth speaker is your best bet. Use this guide to the best Bluetooth speakers to ensure that your next speaker exceeds your expectations!


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