Your smartphone is the one device to rule them all. Part communications device, all entertainment centre. It's even a phone. But if you're anything like me you use your phone for listening to music and the radio, and watching movies. When you are out and about on your own headphones are the perfect partner for such activities. But involve other people, or listen and watch at home, and you would benefit from one of our 13 best portable speakers for iPhone, Galaxy, Nexus and other smartphones.
So long as your phone is Bluetooth enabled, all of these devices will add depth and volume to the audio experience. However, these are not audiophile speakers. Channeling audio over Bluetooth requires compression, so a Bluetooth speaker will never match the best wired audio kit for audio fidelity - especially when you consider that the source of your music is a smartphone playing compressed digital music files or a compressed digital radio station.
A good Bluetooth speaker will hugely enhance your smartphone's audio, however, and it will add other great benefits. The best speakers here are truly portable: small, robust and with excellent battery life. They are convenient - I have a Bluetooth speaker in every room of my house which means I can amble around with the radio playing from the phone in my pocket. And these speakers are also stylish, for the most part.
Some things to consider, however - you do tend to get what you pay for in terms of Bluetooth and portable speakers. The Maxell MXSP-BT03 we review here is a great deal for the price, but it can't match the audio depth of the Jabra Solemate, and the Scosche BoomBOTTLE blows both out of the water. A product such as the Minx Air 100 is twice as good as them all, but costs twice as much as the Scosche.
So although we have listed these 13 great Bluetooth speakers in order, you shouldn't presume number 1 will be best for you. All of these devices are great, and each offers something unique. If you are looking for a speaker for your smartphone at your budget, we're confident you will find it in this list.
13 best speakers for iPhone, Nexus, Galaxy and other smartphones
Wireless speakers are being launched at a rate of knots currently, and new British manufacturer i-box is no exception. Here's our review of the i-box Twist.
It's hard to fault the i-box Twist given how cheaply it can be picked up online. It sounds great and works well as a speakerphone. Battery life isn't the best, but it's probably enough for most people.
£70 inc VAT
Wireless speakers tend to favour AirPlay or Bluetooth, but the Minx Air 100 caters for both. It has plenty of other tricks besides as well as sounding great.
Although it isn't a truly portable speaker, the Minx Air 100 is one of the most versatile wireless speakers around. Its ho-hum looks matter not when you consider it has apt-X Bluetooth and AirPlay support, and it sounds great to boot. You can get better sound if you spend an extra £100, but it's good value at this price.
£330 inc VAT
The Scosche BoomBOTTLE is a uniquely shaped and rugged portable speaker built for use in the great outdoors. Here's PC Advisor's Scosche BoomBOTTLE review.
Reasonably priced and well built. If you don't expect awesome audio this portable speaker set will serve you well. The Scosche BoomBOTTLE is ideal for active types who like to make noise when out and about in the great outdoors.
£119 inc VAT
The updated Jabra Solemate is a striking and portable Bluetooth speaker that produces decent sound. If you are looking for a portable speaker for your smartphone, you could do a lot worse.
The Jabra Solemate offers a big sound in a small packet (for a reasonably large price). The Bluetooth speaker is small enough to fit in a laptop bag, but can easily fill a room with sound. And it is built to last.
£149 inc VAT
The Bose SoundLink Mini is one of the best sounding portable Bluetooth speakers on the market. Read our Bose Soundlink Mini review to find out more.
The Bose SoundLink Mini may not be the loudest portable Bluetooth speaker on the market, but it's one of the best sounding and really packs a punch considering its compact size.
£169 inc VAT
The Maxell MXSP-BT03 is an inexpensive and portable Bluetooth speaker set with a certain style. Read our Maxell MXSP-BT03 Bluetooth speaker review.
A good value, very portable Bluetooth speaker. At this price it's hard not to recommend the Maxell MXSP-BT03. Just don't expect the greatest audio quality.
£45 inc VAT
Most portable speakers trade off sound quality for size and weight. Not the SoundLink II. It may be on the expensive side, but if you want big-speaker sound, take a look at this speaker.
The SoundLink II isn't cheap, but it delivers well above average quality. We like the built-in cover and stand, but it's a shame it there are no speakerphone capabilities.
£249 inc VAT
The X-Mini Max Duo portable speakers are a decent-sounding portable option for pumping up your iPhone's audio output. Read our X-Mini Max Duo portable speakers review.
At £49.90, the X-Mini Max Duo speakers aren't exactly an impulse purchase, but they remain solidly affordable. While not illegal-rave-spec, the X-Minis sound great for such portable units (alternatively, you could say they're wonderfully portable for such decent-sounding speakers) and look pretty good too. A great buy for summer holidays and outdoor loafing.
£49 inc VAT
If you're happy to be limited to AirPlay, B&W's A5 is a great-quality compact wireless speaker. Here's our Bowers & Wilkins A5 review.
B&W speakers are never cheap, but the A5 seems a little overpriced. Sound quality is good but not excellent, and it's strictly for Apple devices since there's no Bluetooth. For £70 less, the Minx Air 100 is much more versatile, yet sounds just as good.
£399 inc VAT
This lightweight Bluetooth speaker also doubles as a speakerphone and is designed to live in its carry case. Here's our House of Marley Chant review.
The Chant Bluetooth is cheaper than some portable wireless speakers and its eco credentials mark it out, but sound quality isn't the best. If you're prepared to carry something a little larger, i-box's Twist sounds better and is £10 cheaper.
£80 inc VAT
The Denon Cocoon Home is a versatile one-box music centre that can play music from a variety of modern sources. Read our Denon Cocoon Home review to find out more.
The Denon Cocoon Home is a versatile one-box music centre that can play music from a variety of modern sources – plugged-in USB sticks, iPhones, anything else through a mini-jack – as well as play from internet radio, network music servers and AirPlay-capable devices. It's easy to operate through a well-designed smartphone app, and timer control makes it a good choice as a bedroom alarm clock radio. Sound quality was a letdown, a little gritty, and carrying an overall mechanical manner that let down any real musicality, leaving it particularly short of recommendation for its audio presentation.
£399 inc VAT
The Soundship Micro is an Android compatible Bluetooth speaker dock that produces impressively clear, but not very powerful audio. Read our Otone Soundship Micro review to find out more.
The Otone Soundship Micro is reasonable portable Bluetooth speaker for £99. It provides very clear 3D audio and is very easy to use, the major downsides to this Bluetooth speaker are the docking design and lack of audio oomph.
£99 inc VAT
The Beats Pill is compact and well designed, but lacks bass and distorts at high volume levels. Read our Beats by Dr. Dre Pill review top find out more.
The Beats Pill is a compact, well designed and easy to use portable Bluetooth speaker. However, it lacks bass, distorts at high volume levels and is overpriced. Spend your money elsewhere.
£169 inc VAT