Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers 2021 | JBL vs Anker vs Bose
JBL Charge 5 and Soundcore Motion Boom

Table Of Contents

The year 2021 started a new era in portable Bluetooth speakers. With JBL, Anker Soundcore, and Bose each releasing a new addition to their respective flagship speaker series, the Beats Pill+ has been easily pushed out of our top 3 portable Bluetooth speakers. Whether your going into your backyard or across the country, one of these top 3 picks should satisfy your mobile-music needs:

#1 JBL Charge 5

#1 Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers: JBL Charge 5 Review - Superior Digital News
JBL Charge 5

Specs

  • Bluetooth v5.1
  • USB Type-C charge port
  • USB-A Out power port
  • 40 Watts (RMS)
  • 20-hour battery life (7,500mAh Battery)
  • IP67 water and dust resistance rating
  • 60Hz – 20kHz frequency response
  • 52mm – 90mm woofer (30W), 20mm tweeter (10W)
  • Color options: red, gray, navy, teal, black, and camouflage
  • Dimensions: 8.7 L x 3.76 W x 3.67 H inches
  • Weight: 2.11 lbs (0.96 kg)
JBL Charge 5 Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Charging iPhone XS Max
JBL Charge 5 charging an iPhone XS Max

Pros

  • 40 Watts of total output power
  • 20 Hours of playback from the HUGE 27Wh (7,500 mAh) Li-Po battery
  • Well over 80-meter wireless range thanks to the new Bluetooth v5.1 integration
  • The new separate woofer and tweeter setup produces impressive clarity and loudness
  • JBL’s signature passive radiators provide a nice bass boost
  • USB Out port for charging phones, watches, earbuds, and other mobile devices
  • Pair 2 for stereo mode multiple PartyBoost-enabled JBL speakers for multi-room/indoor/outdoor parties
  • IP67 rating and it floats for extra security and durability when outdoors and around open water

Cons

Conclusion

     The JBL Charge 5 keeps the Charge series in the #1 spot in the world of portable Bluetooth speakers. Its combination of compact size, premium sound, rugged durability, and luxury features (like the built-in power bank for charging mobile devices), make it essential for ALL music lovers on-the-go.

JBL Charge 5 Portable Bluetooth Speakers (Red)
JBL Charge 5

#2 Anker Soundcore Motion Boom

Soundcore-Motion-Boom-Best-Portable-Bluetooth-Speakers
Soundcore Motion Boom

Specs

  • Bluetooth v5.0
  • USB Type-C charge port
  • USB-A Out port
  • 30 Watts (RMS)
  • 24-Hour battery life (10,000mAh Battery)
  • IPX7 Water and dust resistance rating
  • 60Hz – 40kHz frequency response
  • 2.5″ (63.5mm) Titanium Drivers (x2)
  • Color options: black
  • Dimensions: ≈ 12″ x 4.5″ x 6.5″ inches
  • Weight: ≈ 3.7 lbs (1.68 kg)
Anker Soundcore Motion Boom Portable Bluetooth Speakers - Titanium Drivers
Titanium Drivers

Pros

  • 30 Watts of total output power
  • Best-in-class 24-hour battery life (10,000mAh)
  • The Dual-Titanium drivers produce crystal clear sound, even at higher levels
  • The large passive radiators at each end add A LOT more bass
  • PowerIQ USB Out port for charging phones, watches, earbuds, and other mobile devices
  • IPX7 rating makes this one of their most durable speakers yet (it also floats for extra security)
  • Built-in handle for easy carrying or attaching (rope, hooks, etc.)

Cons

  • Only comes in black and the overall design is dull and basic
  • Even without the built-in handle, it’s the bulkiest of our top 3 picks
  • Not OFFICIALLY tested for dustproof rating
Anker-Soundcore-Motion-Boom-USB-Charge-Port
USB-A Charge Port

Conclusion

     No other brand has been able to match the overall functionality of the JBL Charge series, but this year, Anker Soundcore came close. The Anker Soundcore Motion Boom features a USB-A charging port with Anker’s smart-charging PowerIQ technology. In a nutshell, it has intelligent device-detection that ensures that any Apple, Samsung, or other mobile device is charged fast AND safe.

     I really wish Anker would get it together and at least offer some more color options. Especially with their new Q30 headphones getting a nice makeover! For now, they’re going by the old Henry Ford line, “You can have any color as long as it’s black.”

     I go back and forth on the built-in handle but it’s come in handy WAY more times than it’s gotten in the way. Other than that, there’s not much else to complain about. To put it simply, the Motion Boom has Soundcore’s signature audio quality and battery life stuffed into their toughest shell ever!

Anker Soundcore Motion Boom Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker Under $100
Anker Soundcore Motion Boom

#3 Bose Soundlink Revolve+ II

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ (Series II) Portable Bluetooth Speakers
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II

Specs

  • Bluetooth v4.1
  • MicroUSB charge port
  • (Total Watts not listed)
  • 17-Hour battery life
  • IP55 Water and dust resistance rating
  • 50Hz – 20kHz frequency response
  • Full-range downward-facing transducer (Exact driver size(s) unknown)
  • Color options: Triple Black and Luxe Silver
  • Dimensions: 4.13″ L x 4.13″ W x 7.25″ H inches
  • Weight: 2 lbs (0.9 kg)

Pros

  • EXCELLENT 360° audio quality
  • 17-Hour battery life is well above-average
  • Most compact and easy to travel with
  • The unique full-range transducer produces BIG audio in a much smaller package than traditional drivers (speakers)
  • Connect multiple Soundlink-enabled speakers for multi-room listening
  • Built-in microphone for speaker calling, Zoom, Facetime, Skype, and other communication platforms
  • Built-in handle for easy carrying or attaching (rope, hooks, etc.)
  • 1/4″ Threaded hole for tripod, GoPro, and other threaded camera mounts

Cons

  • No USB output to charge phones and other mobile devices
  • Only 2 colors to choose from
  • Lowest water and dust resistance of our top 3 picks (IP55)
  • Outdated Bluetooth v4.1 technology
  • Bass and low frequencies get pretty distorted at mid to high volume
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ (Series II) - Full-Range Transducer
Full-Range Transducer

Conclusion

     The Bose Soundlink Revolve+ (Series II) got nice upgraded to its battery and waterproof rating, and remains among our top 3 portable Bluetooth speakers. Bose’s unique downward-facing full-spectrum transducer produces 360° of clarity that’s unmatched by any other of the portable Bluetooth speaker in its class. The dual-passive radiators give a nice boost to the bass and other low-to-midrange frequencies, yet it doesn’t “bump” like Charge 5 and Motion Boom.

     Perfect for the casual listener, the first model was best enjoyed indoors, but not anymore! The new IP55 water and dust resistance rating provides a lot more durability in wet, dirty, and other outdoor situations.

     The Revolve+ Series II is the most compact out our top 3 portable Bluetooth speakers. Plus, it lives up to the Bose name when it comes to audio quality. The Bose Soundlink Revovle+ II should easily be the #1 choice for music lovers who want to pack light. 

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ (Series II) Portable Bluetooth Speakers - Controls
Control Buttons

Runners-Up

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