The news that the new iPhone won’t have a headphone jack has caused waves, and many new iPhone buyers are preparing to buy wireless headphones. However, they might want to invest in Bluetooth wireless speakers as well. Since Bose released the SoundLink Wireless Mobile speaker in 2012, wireless speakers have proven to be — at times — as good as their wired counterparts. In a lot of ways, you can’t even tell the compression that takes place on a Bluetooth speaker since your ears aren’t right next to it. Let’s take a look at some of the best Bluetooth wireless speakers you can purchase now.
Bose SoundLink Bluetooth III
When Bose came out with its very first SoundLink Bluetooth speaker in 2011, a lot of heads turned; people couldn’t believe a Bluetooth speaker could have such great sound. The release of the Bose SoundLink III speaker has not only garnered outstanding reviews, but it makes regular wired portable speakers almost seem irrelevant. Some people complained that the first and second SoundLink Bluetooth speakers emphasized low ranges of audio too much and didn’t have enough of a balanced sound range. The Bose SoundLink III completely takes care of that. The sound it provides is warm, thumping, clear, and soothing. CNET gave Bose’s latest big speaker four stars.
“The Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III sounds great for a compact Bluetooth speaker, playing louder than its predecessor and offering much better battery life. It also has a sleek and sturdy design, an auxiliary input, and the option to swap out protective covers (sold separately).”
Bose’s speaker can be purchased for $299.
Bose SoundLink Mini II
While the sound of the more expensive SoundLink III can fill a living room, the SoundLink Mini II is perfect for filling a bedroom or a workspace. In some ways, people prefer the Mini to its larger brother, especially because it is a lot more portable. The Bose SoundLink Mini II takes everything that people loved about the first SoundLink Mini (released in 2013) and amps it up. The sound hasn’t changed (and that’s a good thing), but the speaker now has 10 hours of battery life and speakerphone capabilities. PC Magazine gave the SoundLink Mini II four stars, noting its powerful audio performance with a surprising bass response for its size. It can be purchased for $199.
Previous versions of the Pill had mediocre sound and broke apart easily, but Beats has finally perfected their Bluetooth speaker with the Pill+. Take the great sound of the Beats Studio Wireless headphones and put it to work with a speaker, and you get one of the best Bluetooth speakers available. 9to5 Mac likes the Beats Pill+ but thinks the $229 price tag is a little too much.
“While you can get a better sound for a similar or even lower cost, the convenience of Lightning charging and the fresh look of the Beats Pill+ overall is very appealing to me, especially at lower street prices than Apple’s asking price.”
Bowers & Wilkins T7
Bowers & Wilkins have made some of the best headphones of the past five years, and they have recently come out with one of the best Bluetooth wireless speakers. If you take the sound of the P5 Wireless and put it on a Bluetooth speaker, the T7 is what you get. The bass kicks you in the ears (in a good way) and the sculptured highs and mid-ranges make sure you enjoy other types of music. What Hi-Fi? gave these Bluetooth wireless speakers five stars.
“The B&W T7 is at the upper limits of what we’d expect most people would be prepared to pay for a compact portable wireless speaker. In fact, we’ve no doubt many people wouldn’t be prepared to pay £300. But if you value sound quality — as of course we do — and you’ve got the budget for it, this really is money well spent.”
Does this list miss any Bluetooth wireless speakers you like? Let us know in the comments section.
[Image via Daryl Deino]