Let's be real, Bluetooth speakers are up there with Deliveroo, plug sockets with built-in USB ports and Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists as one of humanity’s best recent inventions. But if you don’t know what you’re looking for you could end up buying a real dud.
That’s where we come in. Thanks to the unrivalled know-how of our friends at What Hi-Fi and TechRadar, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best Bluetooth speakers for rock music – the ones that go nice and loud, sound great and don’t scrimp on the low end.
They vary in price from cheap n' cheerful to wallet-busting, with some waterproof and fully portable, while others need a nice comfortable environment and a plug attached to the wall. But they all have one thing in common: they sound stonking.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
It might look like some sort of nu-rave grenade but UE’s Wonderboom is one of the best-value Bluetooth speakers you can buy. Its punchy, energetic performance belies its size and it sounds good from all angles, while full waterproofing and a rugged build mean that, a bit like Keith Richards, it probably can’t be killed by conventional weapons.
Because what could be more rock ‘n’ roll than a speaker shaped like an iconic Marshall amp? The Kilburn sounds bigger than it looks, with knobs to adjust bass and treble so it sounds exactly how you like it. It’s not the most portable Bluetooth speaker you can buy, but a 20-hour battery life means it’ll play for plenty of time without needing a recharge.
Andiamo means ‘let’s go’ in Italian and this battery powered speaker comes in an none-more-black finish, making it perfect for fans of Lacuna Coil. With stacks of detail and enough bass that it’ll make anything around it rumble if it’s not tied down, this oversized musical puck is one of the best-sounding speakers of its size, even if it does lack some of the new-fashioned features of its rivals.
Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2
Unlike everything else on this list, Ruark’s MR1 MKII speakers come as a mains-powered pair. That means you can hook up your phone to stream over Bluetooth and attach them to a turntable or TV as well. They sound brilliant, look great, and with the optional battery pack you can even take them on the road.
JBL Charge 3
This louder-than-you’d-expect Bluetooth speaker might double as a portable phone charger (although you’ll have to supply your own cable) but JBL’s Charge 3 by no means neglects its day job. It’s got a fun, bassy sound, and despite being able to see the woofers on each end physically moving, it still manages to be fully waterproof.
B&W Zeppelin Wireless
How could we leave out a speaker that shares part of its name with one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands in history? We could if it was rubbish, but the eye-catching B&W Zeppelin Wireless well and truly deserves its name. Beautifully designed with a refined and authoritative sound, this is the Bluetooth speaker to buy if looks are just as important as sound.
Ultimate Ears Megablast
Take the aforementioned UE Wonderboom, feed it nothing but protein shakes and energy drinks and you’ve got the Megablast. This thing goes insanely loud and with Wi-Fi onboard as well as Bluetooth, you can use its built-in Amazon Alexa voice assistant to control your music. What’s more, despite being much bigger, it’s still just as waterproof as the Wonderboom.
Audio Pro Addon T5
It might not be a household name in the UK but if there’s any justice, Audio Pro is on everybody’s lips in its native Sweden. The mains-powered Addon T5 isn’t as big as it looks but certainly sounds larger than you’d expect, with excellent dynamism, great balance and weighty bass. Still not convinced? It also looks a bit like the head of a robotic koala bear.
Jam Heavy Metal
With a name like Heavy Metal you might expect this battery powered speaker to be all devil horns and unintelligible fonts but it doesn’t actually look much different to Bose’s SoundLink Mini. At nearly a third of the price, though, Jam’s offering will surprise you with its room-filling sound and big, bold bass performance. The Heavy Metal could cost far more than it does and nobody would complain.
Naim Mu-so Qb
Naim normally makes really boring-looking high-end hi-fi separates for audiophiles, but its Mu-so Qb bucks the trend (although it does have a stupid name). This mains-powered musical cuboid is incredibly well made and infused with hidden power, which you’d expect considering the hefty price tag. The Mu-so Qb isn’t just a Bluetooth speaker, it’s a whole hi-fi in a box.