You might not be heading to the coast or the pool this summer, but a good speaker is a must – even if it is just for socially distanced barbecues. These hardy, noisy little lives and souls of the party will keep you grilling to any playlist or podcast of your choice.
But not all wireless speakers are created equal, so we’ve rounded up a handy list to ensure your hardware does the job this summer — whether you want something drink-splashingly waterproof or extra, pina colada-shakingly bassy.
For impromptu parties: Bowers & Wilkins T7
We’d be the first to admit that Bowers & Wilkins’ dog in the wireless speaker race is lacking in the looks department. Seriously, which dull-minded designer cooked this up? It looks like something boring, functional and industrial rather than a crystal-clear, high-quality, party-pumping agent of fun.
And yet that is exactly what it is. With up to 18 hours of playback on a single charge, enhanced connectivity and ‘Micro Matrix’ braces to reduce speaker vibration, your music is preserved in tact — clean and balanced even at high volumes. It’s still ugly, though.
Bowers & Wilkins T7
For the tough stuff: Sony SRS-XB32
Now someone got the party memo. Sony’s extra-bassy offering may have a mouthful of a name, but those lines and strobe lights are guaranteed to get everyone around the barbecue in the party mood.
And you’ll be safe leaving this Bluetooth speaker right at the heart of the action. Tough and durable enough to be used in the park or by the beach, it can be immersed in water up to one metre — and also boasts a ‘Live Sound Mode’ for a 3D audio festival vibe.
To stay connected: Bose Soundlink Colour II
In a series of bright colours and crafted from bouncy silicone, Bose’s Bluetooth speaker may look like it has fun — and only fun — on its mind. But, thanks to an in-built microphone, this is the best speaker on our list if you need to maintain a direct line to the office from your lilo.
Again, it’s both rugged and waterproof, but offers slightly less in terms of playtime — with just eight hours. But, with the ability to control multiple functions with the push of a button, like answering calls on speakerphone, skipping tracks, and switching between connected devices, none of that time will be wasted.
Bose Soundlink Colour II
For stylish innovation: Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1
We’re big BeoPlay fans across here at Gentleman’s Journal — and we’re confident that this nifty little speaker will convert you, too. Not only is it crafted from a striking army-green aluminium, Bang & Olufsen’s A1 also has a baffling 24 hours of battery life. That’s one long party.
And it’ll sound brilliant from start to finish. An aluminium sub-woofer affords this Bluetooth speaker more powerful bass, and the innovative design pumps out crisp 360-degree music, streamed directly from your Apple AirPlay.
Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A1
For all of the above: Ultimate Ears BLAST
Super-styled, tough, great-sounding and portable? This BLAST speaker from Ultimate Ears might have it all. No, it actually might. It’s waterproof, shockproof and dustproof. There’s an Amazon Alexa hiding in there, Bluetooth capability and even in-built WiFi that allows you to stream music directly from online services. And all this controlled using your voice.
And that’s before we even get to the sound. Immersive and bold, this blazing red offering packs a serious ear-drumming punch for its size, cranking up to a maximum 90 decibel volume. That’s loud.
Ultimate Ears BLAST
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