Which bluetooth headset to choose in 2022? compare us

Even if the weather isn’t necessarily good right now, a Bluetooth speaker makes a lot of arguments for when you have to listen to music. You can take a portable speaker with you everywhere. Which is better? Here is our comparison.

Our pick of the best bluetooth speakers

  • Sonos Move (€ 379): the best in the home and garden
  • Sony XB13 (€47): compressed format, top bass
  • Bose SoundLink Micro (€80.74): the ultra-mobile speaker
  • JBL Charge 5 (165 euros): a model for autonomy
  • JBL Clip 4 (€57.95): standard for durability

Outside, the weather is not very pleasant (winter is coming). But should we avoid Bluetooth speakers, whose primary function is the ability to be carried everywhere? no. They have become fairly essential products for tech enthusiasts.

Sonos, Sony, JBL, Bose…almost all the big names in portable speakers in the audio market. It meets different needs. It should also be borne in mind that acoustic performance is not the only important criterion here, even if it seems contradictory for an audio device. The fact that it is practical to use is really strategic when it comes to mobile devices. Here is our full comparison of the best bluetooth speakers.

Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Sonos move

Sonos Move // ​​Source: Maxime Claudel for Numerama

Sonos is known for its high-end products, designed for the interior and centered around a closed ecosystem. In 2019, the company decided to step out of the house with the Sonos Move, the first portable speaker… and Bluetooth technology. This is definitely the best product in the range, with a high price. However, in terms of variety, you can hardly do a better job. Inside, the Move function acts like a regular speakerphone, relying on Wi-Fi to access streaming platforms. Outside, we switch to Bluetooth (thanks to a dedicated button) to continue enjoying our playlists.

Above all, the Move feature leverages Sonos’ expertise in terms of listening quality. For this, the headset can rely on Trueplay automatic technology to constantly adapt to the conditions of use. This technology won’t always work wonders outdoors, but it’s a real argument in the room. The sound is excellent, with generous bass and good fidelity in the rest of the spectrum.

Just a movement defect? It imposes three kilograms on the scale (there is an integrated handle for ease of transport) – the price to pay for good sound. Robust, the movement benefits from IP46 certification making it resistant to moisture, rain, snow, sand, UV rays and temperature extremes.

Who does Sonos move for? For those looking for a good speaker capable of performing in the garden.

Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Sony XB13

Sony XB13 // Source: Maxime Claudel by Numerama
Sony XB13 // Source: Maxime Claudel by Numerama

Don’t be fooled by appearances: Underneath its tiny dome air is easy to pouch and attach anywhere thanks to its firm strap, the Sony XB13 delivers a very convincing audio proposition. To deceive the audience, the multinational relies on generous bass with Extra Bass technology, powered by a processor responsible for better spreading the sound. And the illusion works great: the display is strong (by the way, the speaker vibrates a lot). For better reproduction, you can simply combine two of them and get a true stereo show.

Finally, note the hands-free functionality (for answering calls and/or using a voice assistant, more comfortable autonomy (16 hours of listening) or IP67 resistance (waterproof and dustproof).

Who is Sony XB13? For those looking for an ultra-compact speaker that can be hung anywhere. You can easily imagine it attached to a skater’s belt.

Bose SoundLink Micro

Bose SoundLink Micro // Source: Maxime Claudel by Numerama
Bose SoundLink Micro // Source: Maxime Claudel by Numerama

As its name suggests, the Bose SoundLink Micro is a… micro speaker. This headset is described as extremely durable and water-resistant thanks to its silicone rubber housing.

There is a strap to attach it easily (to a bike handlebar, for example). And we wouldn’t hesitate to install it in the bathroom to push the song without outside judgments. Bose’s sound is a little flat, but it’s the manufacturer’s signature that offers to customize settings in a dedicated app (there’s even a night mode). only problem? Autonomy, for a short six hours.

Who is SoundLink Micro? For those looking for an ultra-flat speaker.

Best bluetooth speaker for parties

JBL Charge 5

JBL Charge 5 // Source: Maxime Claudel by Numerama
JBL Charge 5 // Source: Maxime Claudel by Numerama

20 hours: This is the autonomy that JBL has declared for the Charge 5 portable speaker. It has a relatively cylindrical shape and is therefore able to hold several evenings without any problem. You no longer have a battery on your smartphone? Don’t panic: it can also function as a power bank thanks to its USB port. The Charge 5 is also equipped with a JBL Partyboost feature, which allows you to connect multiple speakers together to trigger, let’s say it, a rave party.

Far from being the most portable portable speaker, the Charge 5 commands its end level. The material breathes with high quality while the IP67 certification ensures appreciable tightness (30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter). The dimensions of the device (more than 20 cm in length) allow the compositions to express themselves better. JBL provides a professional signature, and we quickly realize we’re listening that the manufacturer is targeting wild evenings. As evidence, we can highlight the presence of two bass radiators, the vibrations of which can be estimated by looking at the edges of the case. As for the ear, the Charge 5 is very dynamic.

Who is JBL Charge 5? For those who travel a lot and do not always have the opportunity to recharge their devices regularly.

The bluetooth speaker that can take it all

JBL Clip 4

JBL Clip 4 // Source: Maxime Claudel by Numerama
JBL Clip 4 // Source: Maxime Claudel by Numerama

JBL Clip 4 is defined as a very portable speaker. You can almost put it in a pocket if its thickness (a little more than 4.5 cm) does not betray it. It takes the shape of a reinforced square, topped with a carabiner for easy hanging. JBL even thought of a non-slip surface on the back so that it wouldn’t move when laid flat.

We will never be afraid to drop this clip 4, or subject it to more extreme experiments. As a guide, it is waterproof (IP67). In the shower, in the pool, hanging from a hiking bag, over a sandcastle… Nothing is impossible with this clip 4. Given its shape, don’t expect sound quality, anyway.

Who is the JBL Clip 4 for? For those who dare to take perilous adventures and look for a speaker who will follow them everywhere without fading.

Criteria to consider before choosing a portable speaker

What is a portable speaker?

A portable speaker is a speaker that does not need constant operation to operate. So it can be carried everywhere thanks to the built-in battery (it is recharged when empty). Connects to the reading device using bluetooth.

Should we demand a voice?

It may seem paradoxical not to put listening quality first when buying a speaker. But that means neglecting the portable format, which imposes some concessions at this level. This is more true for small speakers, which may lack power. The practicality makes up for it. Especially since the sound will always be better than the sound produced by your phone’s speakers.

Why is an IP certificate important?

The main argument of a portable speaker is to be able to take it with you everywhere. That is why manufacturers often highlight the IP (Ingress Protection) certification, which provides information about resistance to water, dust and other external particles. Of course, the higher the value of the protective factor, the better.

Is the power supply adapter included with the bluetooth headset?

In general, no. But the person on your smartphone should do the trick. Just be sure to pay attention to the USB standard. Current amplifiers are USB-C but the cable provided is often classic USB-C to USB, which may not be compatible with some modern adapters.

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