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Before we even start, the most powerful, yet not the loudest Bluetooth speaker, is the Devialet Phantom Gold. At 4500 Watts it is so in a league of its own though (with price as well!) that we’re not even going to discuss it with the rest of these speakers. We’ll tell you more about it at the end of this article. Or you can sell a kidney and jump there right now…
With that out of the way; if you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker with serious volume, that you can buy without having to part with an organ, then we’ve put together a list of the hottest, most powerful, and loudest Bluetooth speakers available today. Our recommendations include speakers big, small, cheap, and expensive.
This article is all about buying a loud Bluetooth speaker and because of that we’ve added a Safe Music Listening Guide at the end with tips on how to protect your hearing. This should help you understand loudness, how it’s measured, and what to be aware of so you can enjoy your music for years to come.
Editors Note: We constantly curate our content to keep it fresh and relevant. This list was updated on August 6th, 2020 to replace the JBL Xtreme with its newer model, the JBL Xtreme 2. Click here to see the full update history.
Meet Our Winners
Loudest Bluetooth Speaker
The New SOUNDBOKS is incredibly over-engineered and expensive, but we love it. At 126dB, the speaker is ridiculously loud with stomach-churning bass. The New SOUNDBOKS is splashproof, features 2x 40-hour swappable batteries, and provides 1/8-inch AUX and Bluetooth audio connections.
Best Sounding Speaker
The Naim Mu-So is an audiophile’s dream Bluetooth speaker. This incredible speaker will take you to another realm when it comes to sound quality and features. Naim is the brand used in Bentley automobiles, so you know it’s the best!
Best Value for Money
The AOMAIS GO can kick out a very respectable 97 dB. It is rugged and well designed with an IPX7 waterproof rating. 40 Hours of playtime, Alexa enabled, build-in microphone and a lot more. Yes, there are better sounding speakers on this list, and there are louder speakers, but at under $80 it’s hard to beat the AOMAIS GO for value.
Best Budget Option
The DOSS SoundBox Touch is a compact Bluetooth speaker with some serious power. If you only have $30 to spend on a Bluetooth speaker, then the DOSS Touch is the best value for money.
Best Waterproof Speaker
If you’re looking for a loud Bluetooth speaker to get wet around or in the pool or the shower, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Anker Soundcore Rave Mini. The speaker carries an IPX7 waterproof rating which is the highest rating you’ll get on a Bluetooth speaker.
Best Small But Loud
Sometimes dynamite comes in small packages. Or so they say, I don’t know much about dynamite. But I do know the Anker Soundcore 2 is our most compact Bluetooth speaker, but still packs some serious power. If you’re looking for a small, loud Bluetooth speaker, then Soundcore 2 is your best option. The speaker weighs just 12.64 ounces and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
The Loudness of Our Selection
So how do the speakers in our selection stack up when it comes to loudness? Well, we’ve literally done that for you in the graph below. This should give you a good idea of the relative volume output of each speaker on our list in relation to the others. You’ll see that, surprisingly, some of the smaller speakers here actually hold the candle pretty well to the big ones.
Comparing Apples to Apples
We see plenty of lists on the internet where people simply bundle every available loud Bluetooth speaker into a single list and pick the one that kicks out the most Watts. That’s not quite fair (or very useful!) though as you’re not really comparing apples to apples. Take a peek at the graph below comparing the weight – which is usually not a bad indication of the physical size – of the loudest Bluetooth speakers on our list:
I think it’s safe to say that comparing the New Soundboks to the Anker Soundcore 2 makes no sense. The amount and size of woofers, tweeters, passive bass radiators, and active drivers that you can fit into a 34 lbs vs a sub 1 lbs package is just not comparable. So, we’ve split our list into 3 groups:
Large and Loud – These are big Bluetooth speakers. They are large, bulky, and built for sound. They are, however, not made for portability. While most of our selection can be picked up and carried relatively easily, they are not the type of speakers you just throw in your backpack and head off to the beach. These are big speakers which have the potential to make enough noise for a house party.
Solid Mid-Size – These are the everyday speakers you’d have in and around your house. You can easily carry them from one room to another, or even outdoors. While they’re portable they are slightly larger than our petite speakers and therefor pack more of a punch and generally delivers a better sound. Chances are this is the speaker you want to be listening to every day.
Petite yet Powerful – These are small loud Bluetooth speakers. They are compact portable Bluetooth speakers you don’t expect to be very loud, and they end up surprising you with some serious sound. Toss them in your backpack, take them to the beach, camping, on your bike, wherever.
How Did We Pick These Speakers?
When you create a list of the “loudest speakers” you may be tempted to simply run down the decibel output of each speaker you can find, sort them from high to low, and pick the top 10. There would be some merit to that approach, but we are all about helping you make good purchase decisions, and we think that’s not the way to go. Speakers on this list not only has to be loud, but they also have to sound good at high volume.
One of the limitations or challenges of driver design is that most speakers notoriously start distorting their sound and loose quality as you crank up the volume. We’re selecting speakers that will deliver crisp undistorted lows, mids, and highs when performing at top volume.
Warning: Loud Noise Can Damage Your Hearing
According to the Department of Health, sounds at or below 70 dBA are generally considered safe. Any sound at or above 85 dBA is more likely to damage your hearing over time. Be careful, most of the speakers on this list deliver above that threshold.
Large and Loud
These first 3 speakers are the big boys. These big Bluetooth speakers are also some of the loudest on the market today. They all deliver upwards of 100 dB of sound. Even in this small group, there’s a rather large price difference between the speakers though. So what should you expect to pay?
These are serious speakers, so be prepared to spend up to $1150; however, we have included one option at under $300. Too rich for you? Jump to the Solid Mid-Size (and price!) options.
1. The New SOUNDBOKS
The New SOUNDBOKS is the loudest portable Bluetooth speaker money can buy. If you’re looking for the loudest most impactful speaker on the market so you can really shake your whole party, this is it. At a peak volume of 126dB, this monster will turn any place you go into the front row at a venue with the turn of a knob. The New SOUNDBOKS comes with 2 batteries that can keep the party going for 80 hours!
Design and Features
The team at Soundboks hit a home run with this design, this speaker visually looks just as imposing as its technical specs prove it to be. Weighing in at 33 pounds, this speaker is considered portable, but I wouldn’t call it lightweight. The large gauge mesh on the front of the Soundboks openly displays the two 10″ woofers and 1″ tweeter that provide the top-quality music listening experience you will get with this Bluetooth speaker, and the side panels of this device each have an inlaid durable handle that will make handling this speaker more convenient.
Inside this speaker, there are 3 separate amps that drive the device with a whopping 216 watts, a lot of power for a lot of volume. In essence, the Soundboks is just that, a box of sound, and there’s a beauty in the simplicity of the product’s message.
The New Soundboks can be purchased with two ‘Batterybokses’ that will power the Sound Boks for 40 hours each. Yeah you read that correctly, 40 hours! Each battery will provide almost two days of thumping sound with a single charge. Just like the previous generations of the Soundboks, the battery life of the 3rd generation iteration is super impressive.
The Soundboks has quite a few connectivity options including Bluetooth, 3.5mm auxiliary, and XLR combo sockets, and you can even connect up to 5 Soundboks speakers using the built-in SKAA technology, TeamUp.
How does it sound?
The Soundboks is the loudest portable Bluetooth speaker out there, but how is the quality compared to the competition?
This Bluetooth beast has incredible volume, but thankfully, the Soundboks’ insane amplitude is accompanied by very high sound quality and a pleasant neutral sound signature. It’s common for giant speakers to have low bass that can muddy up a track, but the Soundboks’ low end is tight and clean with no clicks, pops, or distortion.
The new and improved 3rd generation Soundboks is not for everyone, but you’ll know if it’s for you. This behemoth of a Bluetooth speaker is quite expensive for this sort of product, but some of us just want the best money can buy. It could be determined that the Soundboks is an over-the-top piece of gear, but it sure is a whole lot of fun.
This truly is the loudest Bluetooth speaker you can get, but of course, if you want the best you need to pay the price. If you’re looking for a bargain you aren’t going to find it here, but for those of you looking for an incredible speaker with a great list of features and connectivity options you have found something special here.
Along with the SOUNDBOKS is an ethos around raw power and rugged fun. Just like the SOUNDBOKS’ durable design and adventurous attitude, the kind of music listening experience you will get with this speaker treads where no speaker has gone before!
The New SOUNDBOKS is an upgrade of the SOUNDBOKS 2 previously featured here. Still a great speaker at a slightly lower price.
2. Aiwa Exos-9
One of the loudest portable speakers on the market at the moment is the Aiwa Exos-9. The speaker is extremely popular with many 5-star reviews online. While the Exos-9 is fully portable, it’s not small enough to fit in a bag or backpack. The speaker has a handle on the rear and weighs just 13lbs making it easy to pick up and move around.
Design and Features
The Aiwa Exos-9 is a modern portable Bluetooth speaker but with classic HiFi/boombox characteristics. The speaker features a large grille with LCD display and large rotary volume control. On top of the Exos-9 is a backlit capacitive touch control panel.
The Exos-9 features a built-in battery offering up to 9 hours of continuous playing time. This is sufficient for a full day of partying, and you can also purchase additional battery packs from the Aiwa website allowing you to extend the battery life. There is also a USB charging output for mobile devices.
There is a built-in 5-band EQ allowing you to fine-tune your Exos-9 to get your ideal sound. Included, are also four pre-programmed EQ pre-sets customized for different genres of music.
Inputs on the Exos-9 include ⅛-inch AUX and Bluetooth. There is also an NFC sensor for enabled devices to quick pair. The fancy onboard capacitive touch control panel which allows you to switch between inputs, play/pause, and adjust audio settings.
The Exos-9 also has a speaker link feature allowing you to pair with an additional Exos-9 for double the power! The second speaker can be paired in stereo or mono depending on your preference.
What Does the Aiwa Exos-9 Sound Like?
The Exos-9 features a total of five speaker drivers delivering a whopping 200W of power output. More than enough to fill most living spaces with some seriously big sound. The Exos-9 is also going to sound great outdoors with enough power to throw the sound a fifty yards or so.
The speaker’s large 6½-inch low-frequency driver does an incredible job with the Exos-9 pumping out some serious bass. The Exos-9 also performs well in the mid-range and treble with vocals coming through crisp and clear.
The Aiwa Exos-9 is an absolute beast and will be the perfect loud portable Bluetooth speaker for any occasion. The only downside to the Exos-9 is that it isn’t waterproof. Having said that, the speaker is well built and will be good company for BBQs, garden parties, or even tailgating.
Even though this speaker isn’t waterproof, you can still use the Exos-9 for a pool party positioned a safe distance from the water. The Exos-9 will have no worries pumping your favorite beats across your backyard. Just make sure the neighbors aren’t home!
At just under $300, the Exos-9 offers excellent value for the money and some serious sound.
3. Bose S1 Pro Speaker System
So, you want a high-end party speaker that will blast music, but you don’t want to spend enough to pay for a month’s rent, introducing: the Bose S1! The Bose S1 isn’t the loudest Bluetooth speaker on the market, but it is very, very loud. On top of that, it’s not nearly as expensive as its even louder counterparts like the Soundboks.
Design and Features
The Bose S1 is big, 15 pounds to be exact. This is a Bluetooth PA speaker that will undoubtedly blow your and your friend’s socks off with its sheer volume at 109 dB peak. Like most Bose products, the S1’s visual design is practical and sleek with a no-frills sort of appeal to it. The speaker is quite sturdy, it is made of very durable plastic, so it will go wherever the party is without any issues and provide you with music for 11 hours on a single charge.
The S1’s built-in sensors and directional sound output features will ensure that no matter where you place this speaker the sound experience you have will be top-of-the-line. You can even pair two of these speakers together for a stereo PA setup, completely wireless!
This is a high-end, fully-featured Bluetooth speaker with awesome extras like Auto-EQ technology and ToneMatch processing that will ensure any audio that this speaker plays will sound great. If you want more control over your sound, this speaker has two built-in 3-channel mixers and integrated EQ and reverb processing.
The connection capabilities with the Bose S1 Bluetooth PA are one of this speaker’s strengths, this speaker has two XLR/1/4-inch auxiliary jacks for instrument or microphone connections in addition to its Bluetooth connectivity. There is also a 3.5mm aux port in the rear of the speaker for easy wired mobile connections.
How does it sound?
The Bose S1 offers very high-quality audio at deafening volumes, and if you want your music any louder, you’ll need to pay quite a bit more for it. You can easily fill an entire home with music with this speaker and if you have two you will have access to one of the cleanest and most impactful music listening experiences within this size and price range.
There are similarly priced JBL speakers that can get you more bass than this speaker provides, but if you are looking for a loud, quality listening experience from a compact speaker than the Bose S1 may be just what you’re looking for.
In conclusion, the Bose S1 Bluetooth PA speaker is a fantastic audio solution for parties, gatherings, or home audio if you are looking for intense volume and great quality but don’t want to spend the extra money for the highest the high-end has to offer. This speaker could definitely be described as a mid-tier high-end speaker, but don’t let that fool you, this is a fully-featured speaker that can provide music for any gathering of fewer than 100 people.
The Solid Mid-Size
The next 4 speakers can best be described as the “workhorses” of Bluetooth speakers. They are substantially lighter than the speakers above, and as such, they are easier to use on a day-by-day basis. These are the speakers that you’re likely to park in a room and expect them to fill it with great sounding (and in this case loud!) beats. So what should you expect to pay?
There are some amazing speakers in this weight-class and we’ve picked a selection that ranges from about $70 to $160. You can get some amazing value for money from these.
The makers of the Turtlebox presents it as an “outdoor rugged Bluetooth speaker”, and you have to take but one look at the design to believe that they’re probably serious in this claim. The only feature they seem to be more proud of is the fact that it is LOUD! At 120 dB the Turtlebox is nothing to be sniffed at. It is hands-down the loudest Bluetooth speaker in its weight class. But is it worth investing in such a radically different approach in speaker design? Let’s take a look at what you get.
Design and Features
The design of the Turtlebox is different, though not completely unique, in that at a first glance you’ll be forgiven to think the makers took a hard-shell case, commonly used to protect and waterproof outdoor gear and camera equipment, and built a speaker in it. That “rugged” look is at the core of the Turtlebox concept though. It is very tough. The IP67 Turtlebox shell is waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant and is intended to handle anything the elements throw at it.
If you combine that with a long-life battery that will play for 24 hrs on full volume and up to 50 hrs on “normal volume” you have a very desirable Bluetooth speaker.
Besides Bluetooth connectivity, the speaker also comes with an AUX cord and 3.5 mm input for those who prefer a direct line from their music source to the speaker. It’s a pity the Turtlebox doesn’t support Bluetooth 5 yet, but the v4 connection still gives you a 100ft range to connect to your speaker. More than sufficient, especially outdoors.
How Does it Sound?
Now for the best part. For a package, this small, delivering these kinds of volumes the sound quality is actually quite outstanding. There are almost no distortion and no DSP that lowers sound level at max volume. The lows are rich and it does a great job at keeping the mids and highs balanced at the same time. It’s an all-round great speaker to listen to.
Your Turtlebox can be paired with a second Turtlebox to create a true stereo effect if that’s what you need, but we think one of these will suffice for most scenarios.
The Turtlebox is one of those products that seem to deliver on almost every claim it makes. It is loud (we actually regret not having added it to this list earlier) and it sounds great. The design concept may not be to everyone’s taste but we like that Turtlebox is unapologetically targeting a specific market, and not trying to be everything to everyone. We think they’re nailing it.
If you want something more “refined” for your living-room, consider the Aiwa Ecos-9, but if you’re looking for a speaker to take outdoors, this one should be top of your list. In fact, if you’re looking for a really loud small form-factor Bluetooth speaker you should consider the Turtelbox, whether you’ll be taking it outdoors or not.
5. Soundcore Trance
Whether you’re taking the party outside or dancing indoors, the Soundcore Trance is one of the loudest Bluetooth speakers in its affordable price range. Featuring an IPX7 rated waterproof case, BassUp technology, and an integrated app, the Soundcore Trance is a great party speaker that will get the whole crowd moving without breaking your budget.
Design and Features
The Soundcore Trance Bluetooth speaker is a party speaker through and through with its 5.25-inch woofer and 2-inch tweeter internal speakers thumping at a solid 101dB. Around the speakers, there are two circular LED lights that morph and dance along to your music and keep the party going strong.
Soundcore’s BassUp technology allows for both a balanced sound profile for indoor events and a Bass Boost mode for an improved outdoor listening experience. If you can’t decide who is in charge of the music, don’t worry, you can connect two devices to the Soundcore Trance at once!
The Soundcore Trance isn’t just a loud Bluetooth speaker, it’s also durable. Feel free to take your Soundcore Trance into the pool or out on the boat because its chassis is rated for IPX7 waterproofing, so you don’t have to worry about going without your favorite music even if it gets fully submerged! The Trance also has a convenient handle on top to take your speaker wherever you go.
On top of all of these fantastic features, you can also use the Soundcore Trance’s robust 18-hour battery to charge your devices, or pair two of these speakers together for a stereo music experience.
Among other medium-sized portable Bluetooth speakers, the Soundcore Trance is durable, fully-featured, loud, and it looks great, but one of its coolest features is its Soundcore App Integration.
With the Soundcore App, you can play party games, change between indoor and outdoor listening modes, and choose from 5 different LED visualizers that will sync with your music!
Audio Connections and Controls
The most common way to connect your device to this speaker is via Bluetooth, but in the rear of this speaker, there is a 3.5mm auxiliary jack for direct-wired connections, as well as a USB port and a DC power port for charging.
What Does the Soundcore Trance Sound Like?
For its price, the Soundcore Trance delivers clear treble and great bass without distortion or popping. This speaker comes with two sound profiles, indoor and outdoor, and indoor mode is a more balanced sound whereas outdoor mode has louder bass. The Soundcore Trance sounds great and you can’t beat the quality for the price.
Overall, the Soundcore Trance is one of the loudest Bluetooth speakers in its price range and boasts great build and sound quality. The Soundcore app integration and front-facing LED light show makes this speaker a perfect audio solution for parties whether they’re indoors or outside, rain, or shine. It’s waterproof, loud, and durable, so no matter where the party takes you this Bluetooth speaker will have your back and provide you and your friends and family with all the music you love.
The Soundcore Trance is an upgrade of the Soundcore Rave Mini previously featured here. The Rave Mini has pretty similar specs and remains a worthy alternative.
6. AOMAIS GO
If you’re on a tight budget but still want the loudest Bluetooth speaker your money can buy, then you’ll want to have a look at the AOMAIS GO Portable Bluetooth Speaker. The AOMAIS GO is designed to be carried like a briefcase making it the perfect speaker to take… well, on the GO.
Design and Features
The speaker comes with an IPX7 waterproof rating which means it can be submerged to a depth of 1m (3.2 foot) for up to 30 minutes. AOMAIS also claim the GO can survive a mudbath and snow! The speaker’s somewhat compact design and handle means you can use the GO in the shower or while having a bath.
The AOMAIS GO features a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. Calls can be answered, rejected, or ended from the onboard controls. Call quality isn’t great, and you have to be really close to the speaker for the other person to hear you. But it is good enough for taking quick calls between songs.
The microphone is also compatible with voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant. You can also pair your AOMAIS GO to your Alexa enabled device.
The built-in battery offers up to 30 hours of playing time which means you can take the AOMAIS GO on extended trips, camping, tailgating, and more. There is also a USB power bank for charging mobile devices.
Audio Connections and Controls
You have the option of ⅛-inch AUX or Bluetooth as audio inputs. The speaker also features a 4-button onboard control panel, including functionality to play/pause, adjust the volume, skip tracks, and pair Bluetooth devices.
What Does the AOMAIS GO Sound Like?
The AOMAIS GO features two 15W full-range drivers coupled to two bass radiators delivering up to 30W of sound. More than enough to fill most small to medium-sized rooms, or for music around the pool or BBQ.
At $70, don’t expect overly impressive audio quality, but the AOMAIS GO is indeed loud. Although loud, the AOMAIS GO does lack a little bass, so if you’re a bass head, this one might not be for you. The mid-range and treble response is average sounding when compared to the more premium speakers on this list, but still clear enough to enjoy your music.
If you’re looking for the loudest Bluetooth speaker under 100 dollars, then the AOMAIS GO is definitely worth checking out. The speaker offers simple features with a big sound to keep the party going no matter where you are. If you’re the type of person who puts a speaker through its paces by getting it dirty and knocking it about, the AOMAIS GO might be the speaker for you. At around $70, it won’t hurt when you invariably have to replace it.
7. JBL Xtreme 2
JBL is a firm favorite in the portable speaker market. The mega pro-audio brand has a product for just about every application but definitely leads the way when it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers. The JBL Xtreme 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker was released a few years ago but continues to be a firm favorite with consumers.
At 11.5 inches long and weighing just 5.27 lbs, the Xtreme 2 is portable enough to throw in a large backpack to take on any adventures. There are also two hooks that allow you to attach a shoulder strap for music on-the-go.
Design and Features
The JBL Xtreme 2 is a somewhat chunky, a bit bigger than the average portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s just small enough to be portable, but large enough to deliver some serious sound!
The speaker is covered in JBL’s signature rubberized mesh, offering protection from the odd bump and drop.
The Xtreme 2 has an IPX7 rating, which means you can take it to the pool or beach without worrying about it getting wet (or even falling in!).
The built-in battery will give you up to 15 hours of playing time, depending of course how loud you choose to play your Xtreme 2. There is also a built-in power bank for charging mobile devices.
The JBL Xtreme 2 features a built-in speakerphone with a mic so you can make and receive calls while your mobile is paired with the speaker. Call quality is decent, but you need to be close to the speaker for the caller to hear you properly.
Audio Connections and Controls
The Xtreme 2 offers a ⅛-inch AUX input and Bluetooth version 4.2 for wireless connectivity. You can pair up to 3 Bluetooth devices at the same time, making it easy to take turns playing music with your friends.
There is a 6-button control panel on top of the Xtreme, allowing you to play/pause, adjust volume, skip tracks, pair Bluetooth devices, and enable JBL Connect+.
What Does The JBL Xtreme 2 Sound Like?
The Xtreme 2 features two 70mm full-range drivers coupled with two 20mm tweeters, delivering up to 40W of sound. As to be expected from JBL, the Xtreme 2 is rock solid when it comes to sound quality.
The Xtreme 2 is surprisingly warm and bassy for such a small speaker with a clear and upfront mid-range. The highs are crisp, giving the Xtreme 2 a fun sound profile. The Xtreme 2 is easily one of the loudest portable Bluetooth speakers on the market today.
If you’re a JBL fan, then you’ll love the Xtreme 2. The speaker offers premium features and the incredible JBL sound we know and love. If you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker for use at home, around the pool, and perhaps even on the odd outdoor adventure, then the JBL Xtreme 2 will be an excellent choice.
8. Riva Audio TURBO X
If you’re looking for a sleek and stylish portable Bluetooth speaker, then you may want to take a peek at the RIVA TURBO X. The speaker is packed full of premium features, which is why the price tag is just short of $200. Is the RIVA TURBO X worth the money? Let’s take a look.
Design and Features
One thing that has to be said about the TURBO X is it’s a good looking Bluetooth speaker. The minimalist design, capacitive touch buttons, and high-gloss top give the TURBO X a sophisticated, premium look. While the gloss top does look great, it is a fingerprint magnet, so have a rag ready to polish her up from time to time :).
The TURBO X features an impressive 26-hour built-in battery placing it above many of the premium competitors in this department. In TURBO MODE or max volume, you can expect to get around 6 hours of playing time. You’ll also find USB charge outputs for topping up your mobile devices.
One thing RIVA has touted as being the best in its class is the TURBO X’s built-in speakerphone. And rightfully so. This is one of those Bluetooth speakers where the speakerphone actually works as you expect it to. Call quality is better than most of the leading competitors.
Audio Connections and Controls
The TURBO X offers Bluetooth for wireless and ⅛-inch AUX for cable inputs. There is a USB port, but this is for charging mobile devices only.
The TURBO X has an adjustable EQ and even offers a PHONO MODE for when you connect a turntable via the ⅛-inch AUX input.
The 7-button onboard capacitive touch controls allow controlling both the speaker and your paired Bluetooth device. Buttons include power, Trillium™ Surround, input selection/Bluetooth pairing, mute, volume, and TURBO MODE.
- What is Trillium Surround?
Trillium Surround is RIVA Audio’s virtual surround sound mode. When engaged, the speaker acts like a soundbar creating a virtual left/right/center array. If you’re watching movies or playing games on your mobile, Trillium Surround will enhance the audio experience.
- What is TURBO Mode?
TURBO Mode is essentially a bass boost feature. When engaged, the TURBO X will enhance specific frequencies, particularly the low-end, for a louder, more immersive audio experience.
What Does the RIVA TURBO X Sound Like?
The TURBO X features 3 x 2.3″ full-range speaker drivers coupled to four passive bass radiators. The speaker kicks out an impressive 45W which is crazy given the TURBO X’s compact size. The speaker is seriously loud, and the bass response is exceptional for a small Bluetooth speaker.
The bass is big and punchy while the mids offer excellent clarity. The treble is surprisingly detailed for a speaker this size. This is great for playing music but also means playing games and watching movies will sound good too.
Overall, the TURBO X is a fun Bluetooth speaker to listen to, especially for urban and dance music genres.
RIVA Audio is relatively new to the market but has already released several incredible Bluetooth speakers. The focus is on a premium build, and the best sound, which RIVA has successfully achieved with the TURBO X. What we really love about the TURBO X is that every feature actually works as advertised!
Petite Yet Powerful
In the last part of this article we’ve included a list of 5 small loud Bluetooth speakers. Although small, these speakers still pack a punch! The small Bluetooth speaker market segment is quite saturated and very competitive. You can check out our list of the best portable Bluetooth speakers here.
In this small selection, you’ll find speakers as cheap as $28 while some of the premium brands will cost between $100 to $150.
9. Bose SoundLink Mini II
Bose is one of the most popular consumer audio brands. The SoundLink range includes speakers of all shapes and sizes which means you can create a fully integrated multi-room, wireless Bose speaker system. The SoundLink Mini II is one of the smallest speakers in the range but still delivers some serious sound.
This awesome little speaker is great for use around the home but is compact enough to fit inside a backpack or even a small handbag. The SoundLink II is a premium speaker, which means it costs $100 or more than many similar budget Bluetooth speakers of the same size. But, is the SoundLink II worth the extra cash?
Design and Features
The SoundLink Mini II is encased in a solid aluminum cover with a sturdy grille covering the speakers. This all-metal design offers durability but also gives the SoundLink Mini II a premium look and feel. Something you don’t get from a cheap plastic Bluetooth speaker.
Worried about the aluminum getting scratched? Bose has thought of this too. As an optional extra, you can purchase Bose soft covers to dress your SoundLink Mini II stylishly and prevent the speaker from getting scratched. The covers come in gray, black, blue, green, and red. Make sure to add a cover to your basket when checking out.
One of the coolest features on the SoundLink Mini II is the battery cradle. No more reaching behind the cabinet to find a charging cable. Just set the cradle up next to your bed, in the kitchen or where ever you plan to use it most, and when you need to charge the speaker, place it on top to charge. Easy!
The SoundLink Mini II will give you 10 hours of playing time from a fully charged battery.
The cradle is also great for acoustics as it prevents the speaker from vibrating and moving on the surface it’s playing from.
Another cool feature is the SoundLink Mini II voice instructions and feedback. The computerized voice tells you the remaining battery life, Bluetooth pairing instructions and even says who’s on the other end of the line for an incoming call.
The SoundLink Mini II also has a built-in microphone so you can use voice assistants like Siri and Google. The speaker is also compatible with Alexa devices, and you can even pick up a SoundLink Mini II with an Echo Dot as a bundle offer on Amazon.
Audio Connections and Controls
You have the option of Bluetooth or ⅛-inch AUX for audio inputs on the SoundLink Mini II. Bluetooth connectivity is fast, and the SoundLink Mini II will save up to 8 Bluetooth devices for automatic pairing.
There is a simple 5-button onboard control panel giving you quick access to any paired device. These include power, Bluetooth, volume up, volume down, and multi-function. The multi-function button controls play/pause and manages incoming calls.
What Does The Bose SoundLink Mini II Sound Like?
Bose doesn’t specify the power output of the SoundLink Mini II; however, we can confirm it’s seriously loud for its size. The speaker also delivers a surprisingly warm bass response, far better than any other Bluetooth speaker of this size.
Where most competitors tune the low-end of their Bluetooth speakers for dance and urban music, the SoundLink Mini II sounds incredible for all genres.
The mid-range is forward with the SoundLink Mini II delivering excellent vocal clarity, especially given the speaker’s size!
Bose is renowned for the quality in both sound and aesthetics, and the SoundLink Mini II is no different. This small Bluetooth speaker is well built and packs a serious punch for its size. If you’re looking for a premium compact Bluetooth speaker, there aren’t many speakers in the SoundLink Mini II’s class.
10. Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM
When it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, Ultimate Ears is always up there just behind or often on par with big brands like JBL, Sony, and Bose. With its 9-inch tall cylindrical design, stylish design features, and 360-degree sound, the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM is an incredibly popular speaker. What’s more, the UE MEGABOOM typically retails for under $100!
Design and Features
The UE MEGABOOM is similar in size to the JBL Xtreme. Where the MEGABOOM has the edge over the Xtreme is with its IPX7 waterproof rating (unless, of course, you choose to purchase the Xtreme 2). Also, the MEGABOOM offers a 20-hour battery life versus the Xtreme’s 15 hours.
If you’re into collecting UE MEGABOOM speakers, you’ll be pleased to know you can connect up to 50 UE MEGABOOM speakers simultaneously.
The speaker features a built-in speakerphone with a microphone allowing you to receive calls and use voice assistants. The MEGABOOM is also compatible with Alexa devices like the Echo or Echo Dot.
Audio Connections and Controls
You have ⅛-inch AUX and Bluetooth (with NFC) available for audio inputs. You can pair up to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously for back to back music sessions with a friend. Also, the MEGABOOM will save up to 8 Bluetooth devices for automatic pairing.
There are two buttons to control the volume, which are the large UE signature volume up (+) and volume down (-). On top of the speaker, is a power switch and Bluetooth pairing button.
In addition to physical buttons, the MEGABOOM also incorporates a tap technology. A single tap to the top of the speaker will play or pause songs, while a quick double-tap with skip to the next track. Unfortunately, there is no tap for the previous track.
You can access even more features and controls through the Ultimate Ears app. Using the app, you can adjust the EQ, pair additional MEGABOOM speakers, set up Alexa, and even set up an alarm with your favorite music to wake you up.
What Does the UE MEGABOOM Sound Like?
The MEGABOOM features 2 x 2″ full-range drivers paired with 2 x 2″ passive bass radiators for improved low-end performance. The speakers are located on opposite sides which allows the MEGABOOM to deliver 360° of sound.
The MEGABOOM is seriously loud, easily one of the loudest waterproof Bluetooth speakers around. You can also add up to 50 MEGABOOM speakers together to great a giant Bluetooth speaker sound system for even more room-filling audio.
The UE MEGABOOM is one of the more trendy looking Bluetooth speakers on the market. Not only does it look cool, but the MEGABOOM delivers in terms of audio and sound quality.
Although the speaker has minimal onboard controls, the MEGABOOM app allows you to access many more functions and settings. More than you would find on most portable Bluetooth speakers.
The speaker is available in several colors so you can choose a style to suit your party vibe.
11. DOSS Touch
If you’re looking for the loudest Bluetooth speaker at the most affordable price, then you might want to consider the DOSS SoundBox Touch Bluetooth Speaker. At under $30, there isn’t a better portable Bluetooth speaker on the market. This incredible speaker offers many of the features you’ll find in premium brand Bluetooth speakers.
Design and Features
The DOSS SoundBox Touch shares a similar design to the RIVA TURBO X but half the size and weight. The top of the speaker features a high-gloss finish which attracts fingerprints and grime. A minor, but still an annoying flaw.
The SoundBox Touch features a 12-hour built-in battery which will fully recharge from flat in under 4 hours. Not the quickest recharge time, but for under $30, who’s complaining?
The speaker carries an IPX4 waterproof rating which essentially makes the SoundBox Touch splashproof. Technically, you could use the SoundBox Touch around the pool or in the shower, but you might want to keep this one away from water. The odd spill or splash will be fine.
With its built-in microphone, the SoundBox Touch can be used as a speakerphone for hands-free calling. The call quality isn’t great, so I wouldn’t base my purchase of the SoundBox Touch on its speakerphone!
Audio Connections and Controls
The SoundBox Touch gets its name from the 5-button capacitive touch control panel. Buttons include play/pause/call management, skip left and right, volume control, and input selection.
You have three ways to connect your audio with the DOSS SoundBox Touch. You can connect via micro SD, ⅛-inch AUX, and Bluetooth. The speaker features Bluetooth version 4, which is a little outdated but works just fine. Both Bluetooth range and connectivity are solid with no issues.
What Does The DOSS SoundBox Touch Sound Like?
The DOSS SoundBox Touch delivers just 12W of sound; however, it’s surprisingly loud for its size. The speaker will easily fill a small room which is great for dorms, home offices, the bedroom or kitchen.
The bass has a nice punch, but it’s by no means a powerful bass speaker. Mid-range and treble response is undoubtedly better than most Bluetooth speakers under $30, but nowhere near the quality of premium brands.
If you’re looking for a cheap Bluetooth speaker that still has a premium sound and finish, then the DOSS SoundBox Touch is one to consider. The Touch comes in at the same price point as the Anker Soundcore, and both speakers have a similar sound profile. The Touch is slightly louder while the Anker Soundcore offers better durability.
12. Anker Soundcore 2
A longtime favorite at the budget end of Bluetooth speakers is the Anker Soundcore 2 Bluetooth Speaker. Why is this speaker so popular? Firstly, at under $40, the Soundcore 2 is affordable. It also delivers decent sound, and for its compact size, the Soundcore 2 is surprisingly loud. When it comes to value for money, the Soundcore 2 ticks all the boxes.
Design and Features
The Soundcore 2 features Anker’s signature shape with rubberized top, belly, and sides. Speaker grilles cover the front and back for the speaker drivers and passive bass radiators respectively.
The rubberized sides don’t just protect the Soundcore 2 from bumps and scratches, but also prevent the speaker from moving around when turned up to max volume.
Adventure seekers will be pleased to know the Soundcore 2 features an IPX7 waterproof rating protecting the speaker against complete submersion to a depth of 1 meter (3.2 foot) for up to 30 minutes.
The Anker Soundcore 2 features an impressive 24-hour built-in battery. Given that the Soundcore 2 only weighs less than a pound, 24 hours is a lot!
If you have two Anker Soundcore 2 speakers, you can pair them together in stereo. This is especially useful if you’re playing games or watching movies on your mobile. With Bluetooth version 5.0, you can experience video playback without any lipsync or latency issues.
Audio Connections and Controls
You have the option of cable or wireless with a ⅛-inch input and Bluetooth. With the latest version of Bluetooth onboard, you can expect stable connectivity and range from the Soundcore 2.
On top of the speaker is a 5-button control for power, play/pause, volume up & down, and Bluetooth pairing. The large buttons are raised, adding to the speaker’s trendy aesthetic.
What Does The Anker Soundcore 2 Sound Like?
The Anker Soundcore 2 delivers a total of 12W of power from two compact 6W speaker drivers. While this might not be as loud as many of the speakers on our list, it’s still impressive for a speaker of this size and price point.
The Soundcore 2 delivers a decent amount of low-end; however, I wouldn’t call it a bass speaker by any means. The mid-range and treble response is surprisingly good for the price. There isn’t much break-up and distortion on the Soundcore 2, which is impressive for such a small cheap speaker.
If you don’t like the gloss finish on the DOSS SoundBox Touch, then the Anker Soundcore 2 is a good alternative. Both speakers are very close in terms of sound and feature, but the Soundcore 2 comes in at about $11 more.
The best thing about the Soundcore 2 is its size and durability. This is the kind of speaker you can pop in your backpack to take on holiday or a trip to the beach. While the speaker is loud, it’s not loud enough to bother people around you or annoy the neighbors.
Safe Music Listening Guide – Understanding Loudness
- What Makes a Speaker Loud
- What is the Relationship Between Power (W) and Volume (dB)?
- What are A-Weighted Decibels? (dBa)
- What Influences How Loud a Speaker Sounds?
- Relative Loudness Compared
- How Can I Test How Loud my Speakers Are?
- How Can I Prevent Hearing Damage?
What Makes a Speaker Loud?
The intensity of a given sound is measured in decibels (dB), but there are various ways to drive up the volume of a speaker within the speaker’s design. By the time a signal has made it to your speaker, the signal has been converted from a digital signal to an analog electrical signal. Afterward, the electrical signal is translated into mechanical energy (i.e. the woofers and tweeters moving) and then into acoustical energy once the air starts moving. The magic happens when that wiggling air vibrates our eardrums and we hear that as sound!
So how do speakers make more air vibrate? Well, there’s a reason you probably assume that the biggest speakers are the loudest. Increasing the size of a speaker is the simplest way to make it louder because a larger speaker can move more air and thus create more volume. (See our graph about Comparing Apples to Apples above)
Another way to increase the perceived volume of speakers is by getting a speaker with a better frequency response. Frequency response is a measure of a speaker’s accuracy, it measures how accurate the sound waves the speaker produces are compared to the electrical signal the speaker received. This is why a small Bluetooth speaker sounds better than laptop speakers because it is slightly bigger and has a better frequency response than the speakers on your laptop!
What is the Relationship Between Power (W) and Volume (dB)?
In the speaker world, power (measured in watts) is electrical power provided by an amplifier, which is usually a separate piece of equipment than the speakers. Decibels (dB) are units used to measure a sound’s intensity on a logarithmic scale. Volume is subjective, loud noise to one person may be quiet to another, so the decibel scale compares sounds relative to other sounds. Decibels show the ratio between different signal levels whereas watts are an exact measurement of an electrical circuit’s rate of energy transference.
The relationship between watts and decibels is confusing at first because watts are an exact unit and decibels are a relative unit.
A rule of thumb is that doubling your power will get you an increase of 3 dB and increasing the power 10 times will increase your dB by +10 and only double perceived loudness. This means that simply adding power is a very inefficient way to increase volume due to the dynamic driver speaker’s inherent design flaws. This relationship is a great way to illustrate the fact that speakers are some of the most inefficient products we commonly use today since only 1% of power actually turns into sound and most of the power sent to speakers actually turns into heat!
What are A-Weighted Decibels? (dBa)
A-weighted decibels (dBa) are units measuring sound pressure level just like regular decibels but adjusted to account for relative loudness factors as perceived by human ears. The relationship between dB and dBa is illustrated by a specific graph where a curve called the ‘equal-loudness contour’ is projected on top of a typical logarithmic dB scale. Essentially, A-weighting is like leveling the playing field for decibels.
The human ear hears different frequencies differently because our ears evolved to accentuate and ignore different sounds as necessary for our survival. This means that in order to hear a very low-pitched frequency, like 20Hz, at the same perceived loudness as a noise of 1kHz (1000Hz) you would need to increase the dB by +50. Again, this is all due to the natural way our ears perceive sounds.
If that was confusing to you, try to think of it like this. Very high and low-pitched noises sound quieter to us, but they aren’t actually quieter. A-weighting is simply the process of accounting for that relative change in perceived volume. A-weighted decibels (dBa) are just decibels (dB) adjusted to reflect perceived loudness.
What Influences How Loud a Speaker Sounds?
Ignoring the acoustic properties of the room where your speakers are located can pretty much ignore all the great (and expensive) features that made your speakers appeal to you when you first picked them out. If your speakers have a great frequency response but your room is filled with hard surfaces that reflect noise, your sound quality may still be muddy. There are, however, quite a few ways you can improve your speaker’s sound quality right now.
The most obvious change you can make to your speaker setup to try to enhance your sound quality and perceived loudness is to tweak your speaker arrangement. Sit in the same spot and play the same song or clip from a film and make small, measured adjustments to the location of your speakers, be sure to get creative! All rooms are different so take notes on increases and decreases in quality; you will be surprised how much a small adjustment can change your audio experience.
Another way to change up how your sound system sound is to try to soften your room’s décor. Place throw rugs where sounds tend to bounce off of hard floors or add a few canvas paintings to your walls. Both of these things will dampen sounds, meaning the sound from your speakers won’t bounce off of hard surfaces and clash with the priority signals playing from your speakers.
Relative Loudness Compared
The easiest way to explain decibels is to explain how sounds compare to other sounds. Human beings can hear very weak sounds at ~10 dB all the way up to the threshold of pain at ~140 dB.
Starting at the low end, let’s list a few quiet noises you may hear in your day to day life:
- 0-5 dB – Recording studio
- 10 dB – Computer running in a quiet bedroom
- 30 dB – Whispering
- 40 dB – Refrigerator
- 60 dB – Living room with the TV on
Next, some reasonable volumes you have probably encountered recently:
- 70 dB – Shower
- 80 dB – City traffic
- 90 dB – Helicopter overhead
Finally, common sounds that can damage your ears if you aren’t careful:
- 120 dB – Sirens
- 130 dB – Plane taking off
- 140 dB – Fireworks (Warning: Threshold of pain!)
Here’s a more visual comparison of these decibel levels on a graph:
Now that you’ve seen some examples of sounds that range from barely audible to pain-inducing, it’s important to note that as a rule of thumb you should wear protection for your ears when around any sounds above 85 dB, especially if it’s for an extended period of time. If you want to spend your whole life listening to great speakers, the best approach is to be sure you protect your hearing.
How Can I Test How Loud my Speakers Are?
Manufacturers measure the loudness of their speakers by measuring the SPL (sound pressure level) and dB of their speaker with a microphone one meter away. This is usually represented as ‘dBs @ 1W/1m’ or ‘dBs @ 2.83V/m’ respectively.
The best way to measure the loudness of your speakers at home is to place a microphone with a dB meter connected to it 1 meter in front of the speakers just like the manufacturer did before the speakers were sent out to stores. This time, however, you can feel free to change volume settings on your amp and take note on your phone or notepad of what dB level is achieved at the amplitude levels on your amplifier. This will be the easiest way to test the loudness of your sound system at home.
If you don’t have access to high-quality audio equipment like dB meters, don’t fret, you can get an app on the app store for a dB meter, check review in the app’s description before downloading to see each dB meter app’s reliability and accuracy. Standalone hardware dB meters usually cost anywhere from $50 to $300, so the app can get you a lot of functionality at a much lower price point.
How Can I Prevent Hearing Damage?
Always be aware of the irreversible damage that can be done to your ears when listening to loud (100+ dB) noises, especially for extended periods of time. When using headphones, it is common knowledge to never listen at max volume, but with speakers’ people have differing opinions about what levels are comfortable for them.
Many speaker systems have great frequency response and don’t require extreme volumes to hear details in the audio signals you are listening to. When listening at louder than normal volumes in the cases of concerts, festivals, and parties it is always wise to wear earplugs to protect your ears. The best policy for protecting your hearing when listening to loud music is to be aware and conscious of the dangers of listening at extreme volumes.
In the case of audio, you can have too much of a good thing, so protect your hearing now to enjoy more time with your favorite music before your ears are too damaged to hear those timeless favorites you once enjoyed.
Wear earplugs in loud public settings like concerts or construction sites, and at home, don’t crank that knob all the way!
6 Current Bluetooth Speaker Trends
The Move to Bluetooth 5
It feels like Bluetooth speakers have come along way in such a short space of time. The most significant improvement for Bluetooth speakers is the release of Bluetooth version 5.0. While the technology has been around for some time, we’re now seeing more Bluetooth speakers adopt the new wireless technology en masse.
While Bluetooth 5.1 has been announced, it doesn’t seem to have any significant improvements for audio. Jump here for a rundown of some of the key features on Bluetooth version 5.0.
WiFi and Bluetooth Connectivity
Bluetooth still remains the wireless technology of choice for brands, but we are seeing some Bluetooth speakers include WiFi connectivity too. The proliferation of smart speakers has made it more desirable to be able to connect your speaker to your home network and pair it with the likes of Alexa and Siri.
Improved Battery Life
One feature which continues to improve is battery life. It wasn’t long ago that 10 hours of battery life was the best you could get. Now speakers are getting upwards of 20 hours with some Bluetooth speakers managing 40 hours plus.
Another spin-off feature of improving battery technology is that many Bluetooth speakers no also double as a power bank to charge your other devices.
Better Sound Quality
Sound quality continues to improve. Brands like JBL, SOUNDBOKS, Bose, and Sony continue to deliver on sound quality. These brands do charge a premium, but the quality is far superior to the budget end of the Bluetooth speaker market. Having said that, even budget Bluetooth speakers are sounding better with every release. For example, the Soundcore Trance is undoubtedly Anker’s best sounding speaker to date.
There’s An APP For It
More and more brands are releasing apps for their speakers. Even at the budget end of the spectrum. Through these apps, you can often access settings and features which cannot be accessed using the speaker’s onboard controls.
Speakerphone technology is improving, and in some cases, getting worse. Even the premium brands battle to get this right. We have noticed several products have chosen to drop the speakerphone feature altogether. I think this is a wise option. I would rather have that money go into features we actually use.
Having said that, the built-in microphone is useful for accessing voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Bixby, and others. More and more Bluetooth speakers are also including Alexa integration with the ability to connect with Echo devices. It won’t be long until many of these speakers have Amazon Alexa built-in.
What is Bluetooth Version 5 all About?
Throughout this article, we have mentioned Bluetooth version 5. But what is Bluetooth version 5, and why should you care?
The most significant difference between version 5 and version 4 is improved speed and higher data transfer. You might not notice this difference when listening to music, but you’ll definitely notice when watching video playback.
Previous versions of Bluetooth were not kind to video. You often experienced latency issues which meant the sound and video didn’t match up.
With more wireless power, comes better connectivity and stability. We saw this with version 4.2, but Bluetooth 5 is vastly better. The range hasn’t increased, but the stability over distance is definitely improved.
Bluetooth 5.1 has been released, but brands are only now starting to adopt this version in their new products. There were only minor changes on this upgrade so I don’t think manufacturers feel pressure to upgrade just yet.
Meet the Devialet Gold Phantom
Positively the most powerful Bluetooth speaker aka “What can I get for the silly money?”
At the start of this article, we mentioned the Devialet Gold Phantom and promised that we’d get back to it. Here it is!
This speaker is positively insane, not only in power output and “loudness” but also in the quality of sound. While not the loudest Bluetooth speaker we’ve come across, just listen to this: the 4500 peak watts are enabled by 108 patents. A titanium tweeter offers a frequency range of 14Hz to 27kHz and 108 dB of sheer madness. And of course, it comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Web Radio, and all the trappings you’d expect in a high-end modern-day Bluetooth speaker.
All of that awesomeness comes at a price though. Find out how much exactly for yourself.
But before you do, check out the video below and just love it with us.