Listen up: 5 of the best Bluetooth speakers for under £150

Take phat and party

It's great that garden BBQs and lazy park picnics are no longer forbidden, but conversations about lockdown Netflix binges and crowdless football will only get you so far. Eventually, you're going to want a bit of music. 

And that's where these Bluetooth speakers come in. All sub-£150, none of them are going to break the bank, but they're all comfortably big-sounding enough to do the job on one of the many sunny Saturday afternoons we're being afforded at the moment. And crucially, they're all compact enough to throw into a bag. 

But which one should you go for? Read on for our recommendations.

Marshall Emberton (£130)

What's the story?

The new Emberton is the smallest member of Marshall’s home audio family – by some stretch. While the rest of the range has a bit more heft to it, this is a grab-and-go speaker that fits in your palm.

The feature list has stayed suitably chunky, though: you can expect a whopping 20 hours of playtime, IPX7 waterproofing and an unshakeable Bluetooth 5.0 connection. 

Sony SRS-XB33 (£149)

What’s the story?

This Sony came to party, and it isn’t shy about it: the XB33 puts audiophile concerns to one side and delivers a big old bassy wallop.

It comes with its own built-in light show too, but if that’s all a bit too disco you can turn them off – and help conserve its 24-hour battery in the process.

Ultimate Ears Boom 3 (£100)

What’s the story?

UE has been delivering quality sound at reasonable price points for ages. The Boom 3 is the Goldilocks of the 2020 range, with a good balance of features and performance for just a ton.

The cylindrical design with its big volume controls is now synonymous with the brand, and this speaker is IP67-rated against water and dust. It offers 15 hours of music and can be paired with an almost unlimited number of other Boom speakers.

Bose SoundLink Micro (£90)

What’s the story?

Of all the speakers on test, the teeny Bose takes its dedication to portability the most seriously – this is a real take-anywhere job.

The rugged silicone rubber keeps it safe from bumps and scratches, and most handy of all is the tear-resistant silicone strap on the back, which can attach the Micro securely to your bike or backpack for hands-free tunes on the move.

JBL Flip 5 Eco (£120)

What’s the story?

JBL’s Flip range has long been a go-to for punchy portable sound, but the Flip 5 Eco is a good buy for the planet too: not only is its packaging entirely biodegradable, but the speaker is made from 90% recycled plastic.

It’s packing all the same tech benefits as the standard Flip 5, so you get 12 hours of music, IPX7 waterproofing and JBL’s PartyBoost tech, which allows you to team it up with other JBL speakers.