JBL vs Bose vs Beats | Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers 2020
#1 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker - JBL Charge 4

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When it comes to the Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers and Headphones, JBL has always had one of the most consistent reputations.  The JBL Charge 4 was released back in the summer of 2019, and JBL has easily retained command of the portable audio industry.   The previous JBL Charge models have been so good that they only get knocked out of 1st place by the next Charge model and this year is no different. 

     While we wait for Beats and Bose to answer with comparable models, we have the 2 best alternatives to the JBL Charge 4.   The Beats Pill+ and the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ give JBL a run-for-their-money, and in more than one way.  Before we get to that, let’s take a quick look at what’s new with the JBL Charge 4 first.

1. JBL Charge 4

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

#1 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: JBL Charge 4 Review - Superior Digital News
#1 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: JBL Charge 4 Review

20 Hours of playback

PROS:

  • WHAT’S NEW! Improved bass response and more power (30 Watts)
  • 20 Hours of playback (huge battery – 7,800mAh) 
  • 10+ Colors to choose from: Black, Blue, Grey, Green, Pink, Red, Mustard, White, Teal, Gold, and Camouflage
  • Pair 2 Charge 4’s for stereo playback or…
  • Connect up to 100 other JBL connect+ compatible speakers for multi-room and indoor-outdoor playback
  • USB Charge Port Power Output; Charges your phone, vape, ecig, or other small electronic devices
  • IPX7 Waterproof and floats so you don’t lose it if it goes overboard
  • Super-durable fabric and rubber housing

CONS:

  • JBL Companion app needs expanded EQ functionality. For a portable speaker that’s used in many different settings, it would be nice to have more BUILT-IN adjustments.
  • No mic for speaker calls

Conclusion

     If you want the all-around best portable Bluetooth speaker, then the JBL Charge 4 is it.  It’s big sound and a big battery, but packed in a compact and durable waterproof shell.  With the 10+ color options being merely icing on the cake, there are endless ways to accessorize the Charge 4 Bluetooth Speaker Series too.

#1 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: JBL Charge 4 Review - Superior Digital News
Charge your Phone, vape, ecig, or other portable electronic devices
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2. Beats Pill+

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

#2 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Beats Pill+ Review - Superior Digital News
#2 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Beats Pill+

12 Hours of playback

PROS:

  • 12 Hours of playback (slightly longer than average)
  • 3 Colors to choose from: Black, Red, White
  • USB Charge Port Power Output; Charge your phone, vape, ecig, or other small electronic devices
  • Low profile design and fairly durable chassis
  • Lighting Cable charging connection (iPhone user-friendly)

CONS:

  • Not Waterproof (Get with the program Dre!)
  • Extended bass frequency is good for pop and hip hop music but can make other genres sound “muddy”
  • Battery life is so-so, especially if you use it to charge your phone and other devices

Conclusion

     What the Beats Pill+ lacks in battery life and sound quality, it makes up in portability and compatibility.   Since Apple bought Beats over 5 years ago, they’ve done a great job of only aligning specific features to the Apple environment.   

     Before the merger, Apple and Beats already had 2 things in common.  Their products were some of the best in their industry, but they’re also a little overpriced.  In the end, their minimalist design style and dedication to high quality products are two reasons it’s a match made in heaven.  With the switch to an Apple Lightning charger connection, the Beats Pill+ fits right into the Apple users environment.  

     Now that the price is below $125 on Amazon, in our opinion, it’s the best option for Apple-lovers on-the-go.  No, it’s not as tough as the Charge 4 and it doesn’t sound as good as the Bose SoundLink Revolve+.  It’s the compact size, compared to the BIG sound that makes it the perfect travel buddy.

#2 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Beats Pill+ Review - Superior Digital News
#2 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Beats Pill+
Superior Digital News | News, Reviews, and Deals on the best technology for health, fitness, and fun
Superior Digital News | News, Reviews, and Deals on the best technology for health, fitness, and fun

3. Bose SoundLink Revolve+

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

#3 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Bose Soundlink Revolve+ Review - Superior Digital News
#3 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Bose SoundLink Revolve+

16 Hours of playback

PROS:

  • 16 Hours of playback
  • Best all-around sound quality; 360° immersive sound
  • IPX Water-resistant
  • Pair 2 for stereo playback or mono for multi-room playback
  • Simple, elegant and tough design
  • Comes with Revolve Charging Cradle so it always stays “topped off” and ready to go

CONS:

  • No USB port to charge your phone, vape, ecig, or other small electronic devices
  • Most expensive, but is well worth the investment in sound-quality alone
  • Only 2 colors to choose!

Conclusion

     We all know Bose is king when it comes to studio and home audio products. When it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, in particular, they haven’t been as consistent though. From weird color options to durability issues, they’ve dropped the ball a few times over the years.  We find it funny that instead of finding better colors options for their latest SoundLink models, they just avoided offering colors altogether. #SMH

     The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ was instantly one of our top 3 choices back in 2017 when it was released. Now it remains mainly because there’s still no MID-SIZE portable Bluetooth speaker that sounds better. Even though you only have a choice between Triple Black and Lux Gray, the jaw-dropping sound quality is what really makes them stand out.

#3 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Bose Soundlink Revolve+ Review - Superior Digital News
#3 Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Bose SoundLink Revolve+
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Wildcard: Soundcore Motion+

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Anker Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth Speaker
Anker Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth Speaker

12 Hours of playback

PROS:

  • 12-Hour battery life (6,700 mAh battery)
  • IPX7 Dust and water resistance
  • 30 Watts of power
  • 2 Neodymium woofers and 2 high-frequency tweeters
  • Passive radiators to step up the bass
  • 50hz-40khz frequency response
  • USB-C connectivity for fast charging
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Qualcomm aptX HD 24-bit audio
  • Wireless stereo pairing with 2 Soundcore Motion+ speakers
  • Premium Soundcore App

CONS:

  • No USB port for charging your phone and other devices
  • Only 12 hours of battery life
Anker Soundcore Motion+ Blue - Driver Setup
Anker Soundcore Motion+ Blue - Driver Setup

Conclusion

     JBL has always dominated the portable Bluetooth speaker market, but Anker’s Soundcore brand has been gaining momentum. The Soundcore Motion+ is their flagship speaker, but they have plenty of other impressive additions to the family.  The one main thing we wish Anker included on this model was a charge port, like the JBL Charge and Beats Pill+. 

     That aside, the combination of price, portability, and premium sound quality is what makes this one of the best values in Bluetooth speakers.  The 12-hour battery life was the main feature to drop it out of the top 3, though.  We suspect that housing 2 neodymium woofers and 2 ultra-high-frequency tweeters caused them to have to cut weight on another feature.  Not to mention the juice it sucks up powering the 30W amp. 

     The resulting audio setup is perfect for any style of music and the IPX7 waterproof ratings lets you take this speaker ANYWHERE!  Available in black, blue, or red, you can pick up this premium portable Bluetooth speaker for ONLY around $100.  

Anker Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth Speaker - IPX7 Dust and Water Resistant
Anker Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth Speaker - IPX7 Dust and Water Resistant

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BONUS PICKS: Runner Ups

     Getting down to the Top 3 Portable Bluetooth Speakers was difficult and we had to leave out some really cool options.  These are the ones that gave us the hardest time:

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Superior Digital News | News, Reviews, and Deals on the best technology for health, fitness, and fun