If you’re looking for a way to blast music without creating a swarm of wires, Bluetooth speakers are the way to go. As speakers continue to get smaller and smarter, one thing will never change, and that’s the reliability of Bluetooth.
Whether hosting a garden party or upgrading your speaker system, there are many things to consider before buying a Bluetooth speaker. To keep stress at a minimum, we’ve put together eight of the most important things to look out for.
Trust us – we promise that this research will make it all worth it. You’re just eight steps away from having a phenomenal sound system!
1. Is It Smart?
Let’s be real here – with technology being as clever as it is, very few speakers now just play music. The rise of smart speakers means that you can talk to them and access a whole range of features, including:
- Weather reports
- News updates
- Music suggestions
- Light changes
- Various virtual assistant jobs
With all the different types of speakers bluetooth speakers available, there’s plenty to choose from. Did you know, there are now 2.2 million homes in the UK utilising smart systems, with the majority being controlled via a speaker. Smart features are something you’ll have to consider when buying a Bluetooth speaker, as although they increase the price tag, their assistance may come in handy.
2. Is It Waterproof?
If you’re hunting for a Bluetooth speaker, chances are you plan on taking it outside at some point. Whether attending a pool party or having it near drinks, making sure it’s waterproof before purchasing is a wise move.
It’s no secret that water and electronics create a recipe for disaster. To prevent damage to your speaker or a nasty accident, assess how waterproof the speaker is by checking the IP rating:
- IPX4: Splash proof and spill-friendly
- IPX7: Torrential weather-friendly
- IP68: Will last in 1.5m of water for 30 minutes
There are many other IP ratings to be aware of, but the above three are the most common among Bluetooth speakers. As you can see, the type of IP rating you choose will entirely depend on where you plan to use the speaker.
3. What Inputs Does It Have?
A great Bluetooth speaker is one that you can use, without fail, in any type of situation. This is why it’s worth getting one with an AUX input.
Having extra inputs makes it easy to hook up non-wireless devices. This means that you can access older music files without added hassle. Simply put, having a Bluetooth speaker with extra inputs increases its reliability and usability. While modern-day technologies are straying away from wires, there’s no harm in using them for backup.
4. Can It Pair With Multiple Speakers?
If you’re passionate about building the best sound system possible, multi-room compatibility is a must. This multi-room feature allows you to sync with speakers in other rooms, blasting your favourite music for all to hear. You can then usually control each speaker from an app, tailoring the volume to the room’s ambience.
Although quite an expensive upgrade (you’ll have to buy multiple speakers!), the results make it all worth it. Just remember to check that each speaker is compatible. We recommend sticking to the same brand for reassurance.
Popular multi-room speaker systems include:
- Apple HomePod
- JBL Flip 5
- B&W Formation Edge
All of the above systems range in price and quality, so be sure to do your research before making a final decision. And, don’t forget to take all of the other points from this guide into consideration!
5. What Version Of Bluetooth?
While the general gist of Bluetooth has remained the same over the years, there are now different versions to be aware of. Most devices these days use Bluetooth 4 or 5, as these are the newest and most effective. As you may have guessed, Bluetooth 5 is faster than 4 and also has a greater wireless range.
With the above in mind, we highly recommend getting a Bluetooth speaker with Bluetooth 5. This is what most new devices have.
6. How Does It Charge?
Although wireless speakers are super convenient, the fun soon stops when they have to charge. However, if your Bluetooth speaker has a USB charging input, you can continue to listen to music while it charges. This also means that you can hook up to any electronic device to charge, meaning you don’t have to be near a plug socket at all times.
7. Can You Move It Around?
This might seem like an obvious thing to look out for, but unfortunately, many people forget. The loudest Bluetooth speakers are often too bulky to move around, making them impractical for travelling. With this in mind, check the weight and dimensions of a Bluetooth speaker before purchasing. If portability is important to you, then the smaller, the better.
Don’t worry – buying a small speaker won’t sacrifice the quality. The majority of Bluetooth speakers are designed with portability in mind; you’ll still get the same top-class listening experience.
8. What Size Is The Driver?
Following on from the previous point, checking the driver’s size will help you understand how big the speaker is. The driver is essentially the ‘heart’ of the speaker – it dictates how the sound is distributed, affecting the overall quality of what you hear.
Due to being compact in size, most Bluetooth speakers will have a full-range driver. However, it’s not uncommon for speakers to have a twin-driver, which allows for louder music.
For reference, 40mm drivers are a good size for most standard Bluetooth speakers. If you want something bigger and bolder, however, consider looking at 58mm drivers.
Buy Your Bluetooth Speaker With Confidence
With these eight tips in mind, you now have everything you need to buy a Bluetooth speaker with confidence. Remember that what you look for will entirely depend on how you’ll be using the speaker, so keep this in mind when purchasing.