Are you looking for buying a wireless Bluetooth speaker? Which wireless speaker should you buy? Who are the best as you seek? In this article, we will discuss the best wireless Bluetooth speaker buying guide 2021 with tips to get it right and a selection of what we currently consider the best models on the market.
How to choose a wireless bluetooth speaker
Price, design, and what else should we look at when choosing the best speaker for our needs? We suggest some of the characteristics that you should take into account when deciding on one or another Bluetooth speaker.
Listening to music without cables is comfortable and the sound quality is higher every day. Although there are exclusively WiFi speakers, they have their natural habitat very limited to homes and offices. However, models with Bluetooth connectivity cover a wider market. Although it is the main connectivity that we are going to look for, we must not ignore that the speaker that we are going to choose has more ways of connection.
The main one would be a jack input, usually 3.5 mm, so if you want or need it, you can use the Bluetooth speakers as a cable with almost any sound source. The same happens with the USB port that some models include for direct playback of audio content or even in very specific cases, there is the option of playing directly from memory cards.
If you want to be able to play directly from a USB port, make sure that the one that includes the model you want to choose is not used exclusively for updates. In any case, if so, it is good news because it will be able to extend the useful life of our device by updating it with new codecs, for example.
Another type of connectivity highly appreciated in a Bluetooth speaker would be the NFC, a very useful technology due to its agile use: just one approach between the sound source and the speaker and voila, without having to search, enter menus, download setup apps or enter pairing codes.
Bluetooth type and profile of a speaker
You should also consider Bluetooth types and differences. What we are looking for is clear that it is a Bluetooth speaker, but if you look at the different models on the market, you will find different versions that are associated with certain profiles of use of said base connectivity.
The Bluetooth version directly affects the bandwidth, and in the market, we find models that do not fall as a general rule already from a 4.0 specification, although the ideal would be that they were at least 5.0 to take advantage of some of its advantages, such as being able to have multiple simultaneous connections. Also, the Bluetooth class (1, 2, 3, or 4) will determine the range. If you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker with maximum sound quality, the aptX codec is right now the one that offers the best performance
Regarding the profile, whether the one supported by our speaker is one or the other will determine from its functions to the quality of the sound that we can obtain. Although Bluetooth connectivity indicates the wireless connection, the profiles determine the functions capable of both source and receiver. Both one and the other must be compatible with the same profiles to be able to use them.
If we focus exclusively on things directly related to sound, the main Bluetooth profiles are:
- A2DP– The most widespread is the main one used to transmit audio through BT connectivity.
- AVRCP- Profile intended for remote control of different audio playback functions.
- HFP– This profile, as we will see later, is necessary to be able to use a speaker as a hands-free and make / receive calls from our smartphone.
- HSP- It is the most used to receive audio content in headphones.
The maximum sound quality that we can receive via Bluetooth is set by the profile and the supported codecs, which will usually compress the sound so as not to exceed the maximum bandwidth assigned to that profile.
The most widespread we have already said is the A2DP, which generally supports the SBC codec, although this profile supports others such as MP3 or AAC codec as long as both source and speaker support it. SBC leaves us an audio with 320 kbps bitrate in stereo, more than enough for streaming services.
But if the content that we are going to send to our Bluetooth speakers exceeds that quality and we want to keep it with the lowest possible losses, we should look at the aptX codec, already available in high-end Bluetooth speakers and equipment. With this codec we obtain CD quality without excessively sacrificing sound and latency is also improved (although in this case, the advantage is more for the audio that accompanies a video). Other solutions already enter the Hi-Res audio (such as LDAC) to which some brands are uploading.
In the connectivity of our future Bluetooth audio system, it is convenient to pay attention to how many devices it supports linked at the same time as well as the equipment from which it saves the link. At home, we can have several smartphones, tablets, or even laptops and desktops from which we want to send audio to a Bluetooth speaker. If we already have them paired, it is more direct to start sending audio whenever we want, without waiting.
Size and strength
In addition to connectivity and environment of use, one of the differences between a wireless WiFi speaker and one exclusively for Bluetooth is usually in its size. With a Bluetooth system, we are going to usually try to find that it is a small and portable device that we can move from one side of the house to another and also take us to other places where we want to listen to music without cables.
Reducing the size and weight of a speaker usually means that the performance is also lower due to the use of different materials in both the housing and the drivers. Finding the balance between those dimensions and the quality that we can obtain will be one of the difficult decisions when we talk about choosing a Bluetooth speaker.
In the design of a wireless speaker, we will find details that are usually appreciated such as handles or the possibility of having carrying cases or that we can carry it from one place to another in a backpack without difficulty or excessive inconvenience.
Another important and highly valued section in the portable Bluetooth speaker sector is resistance to water and dust. If we intend to use the equipment frequently outdoors, it is highly recommended that it have a resistant profile so that it can at least withstand splashes of water and dust or sand, although there are models that can even be submerged and that continue to work.
Technical specifications to consider
Something that we should never leave aside when choosing a Bluetooth speaker is to review its technical datasheet. There we will find a good part of the keys that will indicate the sound quality on paper. The main four would be:
- Power– It is indicated in W, and you have to be very careful to stay with the peak power that manufacturers usually give in order to confuse the consumer. The value that will really mark us and allow us to face two models directly is the nominal power or RMS, which reflects the maximum value that the speaker supports in optimal reproduction conditions, and is the one that you should certainly compare.
- Frequency range– It indicates the maximum and minimum frequency that the loudspeaker is capable of reproducing. It should be broad.
- Impedance– It is the resistance that the system opposes to the passage of current, and it should be as low as possible, as it will be a good sign of the general quality of the equipment.
- Number of channels and size of the drivers– In the world of loudspeakers, although the number of channels is not a direct sign of the quality that we will obtain, it does provide us with more options. The usual thing is that in the market we find 2.0 or 2.1 systems. Here the size of the drivers comes into play (and if they are passive or active), which are key when we talk about the subwoofer, for example. In small sizes there are not many possibilities to offer good bass reproduction and that is where we can find some important differences.
Although the power will help us to know the sound pressure level where we will move with our speaker, the maximum volume that we will obtain with it will depend on the combination of that power with other factors such as impedance, distance to the speaker …
Other details to compare when choosing a Bluetooth speaker is whether they include sound enhancement technologies. A valuable one is the DSP or digital processing of the audio signal and that, applied at high volumes, can reduce the possible distortions that we find in powerful models but of reduced dimensions.
Internal battery and hands-free
Most portable Bluetooth speakers offer us the possibility of expanding the places where we can use them thanks to the built-in batteries or the use of batteries. The autonomy of Bluetooth speakers is very varied, but it is a key aspect that you should consider if your priority is to use the speaker without depending on a plug, even at home. About 10 hours is a value that we should demand of our laptop, and it must be taken into account that this autonomy figure is usually indicated for use of the speaker at 50% of its maximum volume.
When evaluating the purchase of a speaker with an internal battery, do not forget the charging times and the system used by each device. If it has a proprietary charging system, we will always have to charge with the factory cable, while if it leaves us the possibility of charging via USB or micro USB, it will be easier to recharge the internal battery.
Some users especially value the use of a Bluetooth speaker at home in that it allows them to make both calls and receive them, and continue after that automatic interruption with the music where we left it. For that, make sure that the equipment you buy is hands-free, and much better if the microphones have some type of technology to reduce ambient noise.
Interested to buy the best wireless Bluetooth speaker? Here is the list of Top 10 Best Wireless Bluetooth Speaker on the Market 2021.
I hope you enjoyed reading the best wireless Bluetooth speaker buying guide. If you have questions on your mind, drop them in the comment section below.