Should I get a bluetooth speaker?

Listening to music on Bluetooth speakers
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Walk into any dressing room and more often than not, you’ll find a Bluetooth speaker cranking out some sweet jams to get a touring band into the mindspace to deliver a crushing set.

But that’s not to say that Bluetooth speakers are solely for the use of grizzled road dogs. On the contrary. They can be a great asset to any music lover’s tech arsenal, whether it’s for home use or beyond the front door.

So what are the pros and cons? Let’s break it down for you in a way will have you logging into your Amazon account in a matter of moments. Yes, we’re persuasive like that. Get your debit card ready.

What are the pros of Bluetooth speakers?

1. They’re portable. Extremely portable. Yes, gone are the days of wheeling heavy expensive stereo speakers everywhere. There are many portable speakers which can fit into a backpack, or clip to your bike if you fancy a cycle ride but don't feel right on the roads with headphones in. There’s even some great waterproof models, too: good news if you want to take them in the shower, have one poolside or are simply careless when it comes to holding drinks.

There are many different types to suit all budgets and needs. You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a great Bluetooth speaker. 

2. They’re so easy to use. You don’t have to carefully wire them up like a bomb disposal expert. You simply pair them with your device and you’re set. Pick your playlist wisely. Or not. It’s your speaker. A chimp could figure out how to get the party started. It’s that easy.

3. They're surprisingly powerful. Bluetooth speakers, on the whole, are small but pack a punch. If you’re having a get together in a room that lacks a stereo or your garden BBQ needs a soundtrack, a Bluetooth speaker will satisfy your audio needs without any hassle. No more lugging the stereo onto the patio.

This sounds too good to be true. Surely there must be some downsides to using Bluetooth speakers? 

What are the cons of Bluetooth speakers?

1. Connectivity is top of our list, because if you’re reliant on the magic of Bluetooth technology, it can just take one stubborn device to ruin everything. Plus, you’ll need to keep your device within range of your speaker. We’re not saying they have to sit side by side for the entire evening, but the further away you are, then the chances of the connection dropping increases. And who wants to be the person responsible for making your party judder to an agonising halt? Not us.

2. The sound quality can be a big sticking point for keen-eared audiophiles. But while your average Bluetooth speaker might not measure up if you were to put them head-to-head with a set of stereo speakers, there’s plenty to get excited about. And if you grew up listening to portable cassette players, ghetto blasters or mini-hi-fis, then prepare to have your mind blown. 

3. They pick up everything your device does. Using phone-to-Bluetooth at a party can mean that everyone hears every text and email notification you get. And that'll annoy the shit of everyone, trust us.

But these are niggles. In summary, they're affordable, portable and surprisingly powerful. Combine them with any streaming service and you have the history of recorded music at your fingertips, with no cables or the limits of your CD collection to hold you back. If you're a hi-fi snob, or serious about DJing at a party, they're probably not for you - but you knew that anyway.