Our vast research project encompassed all of the largest and loudest Bluetooth speakers that sound great but are still portable enough to be taken out for beach parties, boating, patio soirées, tailgating parties, etc.

Most of these speakers are quite durable and many are completely waterproof. All of the speakers we looked at are battery-powered so they can be used outside.

Our favorite among the loudest Bluetooth speakers: The Marshall Kilburn

The market is saturated, to say the least. Further down, we'll discuss good large alternatives that are waterproof, that have "smart speaker" tech to chat with, and some cheaper options. And we have other articles covering our top picks if you're looking for a more portable (beer-can sized) speaker, or a speaker that is tiny and completely pocketable. But for most people looking for volume+quality in a portable package, we're confident in recommending ...

Marshall Kilburn

The Marshall Kilburn is our favorite among the loudest, largest Bluetooth speakers that are battery-powered and portable. It can reach up to 94 dB in testing, and still sound great while thoroughly annoying the neighbors. It delivers satisfying thump on the bass end, whether at low or at top volumes, but does so within a balanced, even mix. It is warm and resonant, and voices sound rich and inviting.

The Kilburn is designed to replicate the look of classic Marshall guitar amps. It is a solidly constructed piece with enough battery life (20 hours) to last through the most serious all-day, all-night beach party. It does not have some of the extras of the also-good speakers we'll discuss later in this article (waterproofing, speakerphone, ability to pair a second unit), but it is the best at the thing it's really meant for: pumping out tunes loudly and beautifully. We found that it is the best-sounding of the loudest Bluetooth speakers that are still portable enough to be taken outside.

Update History of This Article

This article was published on Friday, November 24, 2017.

Critical Meta-Review of the Kilburn Marshall: Our Favorite of the Loudest Portable Speakers

We've listened to the Kilburn Marshall (as well as its competitors) for many joyful hours, but as usual at SelectoGuru that's hardly enough. We also read every study of large Bluetooth speakers out there from consumer testing organizations in Europe and the Americas, and poured over others' reviews on tech sites, audiophile blogs, and customers at Amazon.

There are tons of opinions out there, but a small handful of speakers always came to the top of critics' lists. And whether we're looking at the takes from the French or American consumer testing organizations or the reviews from the top audio critics and tech sites, the Marshall Kilburn was the most consistently loved of the larger Bluetooth speakers.

In fact, the Kilburn was one of the only portable speakers to deliver sound at a quality approaching good bookshelf speakers. At middle volumes, there is a richness in the bass end and the vocals sound full and resonant. The sound is detailed and there is a reasonable soundstage for a single speaker. The balance is even — no overwrought boomy bass here — and it stays this way even when blasting out at top volumes. There can be a bit of distortion only at its very loudest.

The Kilburn has analog control knobs instead of the buttons found on most other Bluetooth speakers. While we wouldn't consider this a breakthrough feature, it's a pleasant throwback. The knobs control volume, bass, and treble, making it easy and incredibly intuitive to adjust on the fly. Other speakers have dedicated apps that do much the same thing, but you're unlikely to actually open the app and use them much.

Battery life is advertised at 20 hours although results will vary depending on how loud you're playing your music and other factors. One tester found that the battery lasted for 16 hours. In any case, you've certainly got enough juice for an all-day, all-night outdoors party.

The downside of the Kilburn is that it doesn't have some of the bells and whistles of its competitors:

  • There is no speakerphone function, but consider that you're more likely to use the speakerphone function on your phone anyhow.
  • It is not waterproof. Sure, nobody usually intends to dunk a Bluetooth speaker, but it's nice to know that a speaker is rugged enough to survive that. See below for the best waterproof model.
  • You cannot pair two of these speakers for true stereo sound (great for creating a sense of placement, or for an even louder party — if you don't mind lugging along two speakers). Again, see below for an option that can do this.

All that said, we think the Marshall Kilburn is the best of the largest, loudest Bluetooth speakers — and it's been coming down in price recently on Amazon.

UE Megaboom

The Best of the Loudest Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers

No, we're not suggesting that you listen to music underwater. But if you're the type of person who might put a portable speaker through a bit of abuse — maybe the odd splash from the pool, spilt beer, or abandonment in the rain — you should get the UE MegaBoom instead of our main pick above. Both speakers sound great, and we've released a full comparison of the UE MegaBoom vs. the Marshall Kilburn, but here are the main differences to be aware of:

  • The MegaBoom is fully waterproof (IPX7) and advertised as "shockproof" as well; reviewers and Amazon reviews do seem to show that people's MegaBooms have been able to survive a fair bit of abuse.
  • The MegaBoom does not go quite as loud (although its close) or sound quite as great as the Marshall Kilburn, which is not surprising since the Kilburn is bulkier and weighs three times as much. But the MegaBoom remains one of the most-loved speakers of its size in the ears of audio critics, tech sites, and consumer testing organizations around the world. It does 360-degree sound, meaning that it's designed to be placed in the middle of the action and sound the same from any side. It has the trademark UE evenness of mix and a fair amount of warmth and expansiveness. The bass end is excellent and satisfying.
  • If you buy two UE MegaBooms you can pair them for an even louder party and for true stereo sound.
  • The MegaBoom is advertised as having a 20-hour battery life but testers found that it usually died when used at normal levels a few hours before that.
  • The MegaBoom features integration with Siri, Alexa, and Google Now on your device. While it's not an independent "smart speaker" like those that we discuss below, this does mean that you can give it limited voice commands.
  • The MegaBoom also features a speakerphone function for calling.

As of this writing, the UE MegaBoom is slightly more expensive than the Marshall Kilburn. And if you can handle paying double that, we think that the ultimate loudest Bluetooth party-on-the-go comes from buying two MegaBooms and using them as a stereo pair.

The Best of the Loudest "Smart" Bluetooth Speakers

The Ultimate Ears (UE) MegaBlast

A number of speakers have recently come out integrating Amazon Alexa, Google Now, and even Siri functionality. This allows you to give the speakers voice commands to play certain types of music, check the weather, and even control smart devices in your home. We think that the technology is a bit of a gimmick, or at least not really functional enough at this time to be worth it (especially since you can get a much better experience out of giving voice commands directly to your phone or tablet, thanks to its screen, which helps you along).

That said, for those who do want to venture into the technology, it's nice to have alternatives to the Amazon Alexa Echo, Google Home, or the (apparently troubled) Apple HomePod. So far, critics have taken a dim view of the sound quality of these speakers. In fact, you're probably best off getting an Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home Mini for the voice assistant functions, and using our top pick above or your home speaker system for actually listening to music.

But, if you really want an integrated large but fully portable and very loud Bluetooth speaker with some smarts, the Ultimate Ears (UE) MegaBlast is the best option; it's quite a bit like the UE MegaBoom but with built-in Alexa (Amazon's voice assistant). Early reviews laud the MegaBlast's performance as a speaker, which is not surprising considering that UE speakers generally tend to be at the top of critics' lists (including ours). It can crank out up to 93 dB without distorting and like the UE MegaBoom it delivers 360-degree sound, so it's designed to be placed in the middle of the party and sound great no matter where you are standing. The sound is punchy and pleasant and the mix is relatively even across all frequencies.

The main complaints are that the MegaBlast costs about twice as much as our main pick above without sounding any better or going any louder, and its functionality as a smart speaker is still a bit buggy. While it has the same Alexa voice assistant that allows you to play your Amazon Unlimited Music (currently no support for Spotify, Google Music, etc.), ask questions, and control your smart home, there is a significant lag in its response and no visual indication when it is on and listening to you. It can fail to restart your music when it's done answering a question, and the Alexa functionality only works when you're on WiFi. Also, unlike the MegaBoom, you are currently unable to pair two UE MegaBlasts.

Havit Bluetooth speaker inputs (and charging output)

The Havit 20W Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

The Cheapest, Loudest Bluetooth Speaker that Still Sounds Great

Under-$100 Bluetooth speakers are generally not given enough consideration by critics, but we've been pleasantly surprised with the Havit 20W Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker. As of this writing it goes for about $60, sounds great to any average listener, and goes more than loud enough to rock a small outdoor party. The bass has oomph, the vocals have warmth, and there's decent detail for picking through the different instruments in the mix. Other features to be aware of:

  • It's IPX5 waterproof, meaning that it can survive being sprayed with water, but shouldn't be dunked.
  • The unit's rubberized coating protects from the elements and in the case of the odd drop.
  • There is a speakerphone function and calls are clear on both ends.
  • The detachable handle is very convenient for transport or just carrying it around the house.
  • There are ports for aux line in, a micro-SD card, USB-B (to charge the unit), and a standard USB-A out port so that you can charge your phone off of the speaker's battery. We particularly like the later and wish it was a standard feature on the other speakers that we recommend.

The speaker also comes with a cheap-feeling case for transport, which we don't think most people will end up using since the unit itself has a convenient handle and the speaker is durable enough that it hardly needs to be boxed. The Havit speaker is currently available with a 10% discount on Amazon.com with the coupon code "PEF3DPPC", or may also be cheaper for some (especially outside the USA) if purchased directly from Havit.

Spec Comparison of the Largest, Loudest Bluetooth Speakers

In the table features the 60-some speakers that we considered for this review. It can be searched, sorted, and filtered according to specific criteria with the options at the top of the columns. Price comparisons are easy to make by clicking through the various merchant links in the last two columns.

SpeakerWeight (oz.)NotesConnectivityBattery life (advertised)SpeakerphoneVoice ControlPair multiple units for stereoWaterproof?Can recharge phoneWarrantyHeight (in.)Width (in.)Length (in.)Also Available AtAmazon Pricing
Braven BRV-XXL315.414YesYes?Yes (IPX5)Yes1 year20.258.259.5eBay
BestBuy
Marshall Woburn Bluetooth278.71 year15.7511.47.87Marshall
eBay
BestBuy
B&H Photo Video
Marshall Woburn Multi-Room278.7Yes1 year15.7511.47.87Marshall
MONSTER Superstar Monster Blaster268.812NoWaterproof
Splashproof
YesLifetime - when purchased from manufacturer directly
1 year - when purchased from authorized dealers
8188.1Monster
eBay
BestBuy
newegg
B&H Photo Video
Marshall Stanmore Bluetooth179.9• One woofer and two tweeters
• Frequency range: 50-20,000HZ
• Bluetooth 4.0 with AptX
• 3.5 mm input with included coiled cable
No batteryNo1 year13.777.287.28Marshall
eBay
BestBuy
newegg
B&H Photo Video
Marshall Stanmore Multi-Room165.8Yes1 year13.777.287.28Marshall
Soundcast Melody144.620NoWeather resistantYes1 year109.259.5eBay
newegg
Kicker Bullfrog Jump137.620NoYesIP66Yes1 year10.57.755.9eBay
BestBuy
newegg
NYNE Multimedia Bass106.410YesNoYes1 year13.576.25eBay
newegg

Marshall Acton Bluetooth105.8No batteryNo1 year10.456.35.9Marshall
eBay
newegg
Marshall Kilburn105.8• One 4" woofer and two 0.75" dome tweeters
• Class D amplifiers: one 15W for woofer and two 5W for tweeters
• Frequency range: 62-20,000HZ
• Analogue knobs for volume, bass, and treble
• Bluetooth 4.0 with AptX
• 3.5 mm input with included coiled cable
20NoNoNo1 year9.535.55.5eBay
Marshall
BestBuy
newegg
B&H Photo Video
Wren V5BT105.6YesNoYes3 year6.0616.755eBay
B&H Photo Video
Marshall Acton Multi-room98.8Yes (Google Assistant)Yes1 year10.456.35.9Marshall
The House of Marley Get Together95.98Yes2 years515.753.25eBay
BestBuy
newegg
SONOS Play 391.7NoYesNo1 year5.210.66.3SONOS
eBay
BestBuy
newegg
B&H Photo Video
NORDSTROM
Vizio Crave 360 (SP50-D5)808NoYes (Google Home)Yes1 year10.555.25VIZIO
eBay
BestBuy
newegg
B&H Photo Video
Sam's Club
The Home Depot
FUGOO Tough XL7935YesYes (Apple iOS Siri and Android Google Now)Mudproof
Snowproof
Shockproof
Waterproof
Yes1 year4.644.3713.18eBay
newegg
JBL Xtreme74.515YesYes?Splashproof1 year54.811.1eBay
newegg
B&H Photo Video
BestBuy
JBL
Sony SRS-X776710NoYes (Google Home)YesYes1 year5.211.82.4eBay
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAEFP66T1261&cm_re=sony_srs_x77-_-9SIAEFP66T1261-_-Product
FUGOO Sport XL6635YesYes (Apple iOS Siri and Android Google Now)Mudproof
Snowproof
Shockproof
Waterproof
Yes1 year4.724.2112.04eBay
BestBuy
newegg
Braven BRV HD65.628?YesYes(2)IPX31 year?3104.3eBay
SONOS Play 165.25NoYesHumidity resistant1 year6.364.694.69SONOS
eBay
BestBuy
newegg
B&H Photo Video
NORDSTROM
FUGOO Style XL6235YesYes (Apple iOS Siri and Android Google Now)Mudproof
Snowproof
Shockproof
Waterproof
Yes1 year4.523.8111.33eBay
newegg
B&H Photo Video
UE Megablast60.816Yes, AlexaIP672 years9.33.53.5eBay
BestBuy
Edifier MP70056.48NoIP54?
Water and dust resistant to withstand harsh outdoor conditions (not for underwater use)
Yes2 years6.75132.75eBay
newegg
Mass Fidelity Core56.412YesYesYes6 months + 12 if registered?
EU - 24 months + 6 if registered?
664eBay
BestBuy
B&H Photo Video
ECOXGEAR EcoStone5612Yes?YesYes3 years53.710.1eBay
BestBuy
newegg
Libratone Zipp52.910YesYes (6)1 year10.34.8eBay
newegg
Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III48.314Yes?1 year (2 years EU)?5.19.61.8eBay
NORDSTROM
Stellé Audio Pillar4815YesYes1 year
EU - 2 years
12.254.55.5eBay
newegg
Riva Turbo X4826YesNoNoYes2 years4.13.59.1eBay
newegg
IK Multimedia iLoud46.9101 year6.39.82.4IK Multimedia
eBay
BestBuy
newegg
B&H Photo Video
Infinity One45.8510Yes1 year3.99.53.9eBay
Harman
Denon Envaya45.110NoYesNo?Yes2 years5.5101.9
Braven 80544.818YesYes(2)1 year?49.52.8eBay
BestBuy
newegg
Altec Lansing Super Life Jacket44• Wireless Range
100 feet
• It floats!
• Dual 2" Neodymium woofers and dual 1.2 tweeters deliver dynamic sound

50YesYes (2)waterproof, shockproof, snowproof (IP68?)Yes?1 year4.54.58.5eBay
BestBuy
Jawbone BIG Jambox43.415YesYes?1 year3.73.110.1eBay
newegg
Marshall Stockwell42.3• Two 2.25" woofers and two 2.25" dome tweeters
• Class D amplifiers: two 10W for the woofers
• Frequency range: 50-20,000HZ
• Analogue knobs for volume, bass, and treble
• Bluetooth 4.0 with AptX
• 3.5 mm input
25YesNoNoYes1 year10.25.51.5Marshall
eBay
newegg
B&H Photo Video
BenQ treVolo42.3• Unique collapsible wing design for high portability
• Quad-Amplified electronics with 2.1 channel DSP + precision-tuned duo woofer
• High standard transmission (CD quality aptX Bluetooth + USB digital line in + Analog line in and line out)
12Yes6.95.33.1eBay
newegg
B&H Photo Video
Sony SRS-X5542.310Yes?Yes?Yes1 year4.68.72eBay
newegg
B&H Photo Video
Creative Sound Blaster Roar Pro38.810YesYes?Yes1 year2.27.94.5eBay
newegg
B&H Photo Video
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A238.8• Includes two short canvas straps, UsB-C cable and quick start guide
24Yes (2)Dustproof, splashproof24 months?5.61.710.1eBay
B&H Photo Video
BestBuy
Creative Sound Blaster Roar38.88YesYesNo?Yes1 year2.27.94.5eBay
newegg
Havit M2233.620Yes, with Echo Dot & AlexaIPX5Yes1 year4.52.69HAVIT
Bowers & Wilkins T733.218No2 years4.50.82.1BestBuy
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA17P5YY2505&cm_re=bowers_and_wilkins_t7-_-9SIA17P5YY2505-_-Product
Bose SoundLink Revolve Plus3216YesYes, Siri and Google voice commandsYesSplashproof (IPX4)1 year?7.254.134.13eBay
newegg
B&H Photo Video
NORDSTROM
BestBuy
Libratone ONE Click3212YesSplashproof (IPX4)1 year84.71.6eBay
UE Megaboom31• Hook and tripod mount
• Maximum Sound Level: 90dBA
• Frequency Range: 65Hz - 20kHz
• Drivers: Two 2” drivers and two 2” x 4” Passive Radiators
• 3.5 mm input
• "Smart" Bluetooth (speaker can be turned on and off via the app)
• NFC pairing
20YesYes, with Siri, Alexa, and Google Now integrationYes (2)Yes (IPX7)2 years8.93.33.3eBay
newegg
BestBuy
Cambridge Oontz XL29.610YesYesNo90 days3.53.410.2
Creative iRoar Go28.512YesYes?Yes (IPX6)Yes1 year2.17.53.8eBay
newegg
JBL Charge 328.220YesYesYes (IPX7)Yes?1 year3.58.43.4eBay
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAEJR66M5385&cm_re=jbl_charge_3-_-0MJ-0026-00018-_-Product
B&H Photo Video
BestBuy
JBL
KEF MUO28.212NoYes (2)1 year3.18.32.3eBay
newegg
JBL Pulse 227.310YesYes (Siri and Google Now)YesSplashproof1 year3.37.63.3eBay
Best Buy
newegg
Klipsch Groove27.28NoNo?Splashproof (IPX4)1 year4.565.512.65eBay
newegg
B&H Photo Video
BestBuy
Beats By Dr. Dre Beats Pill+26.3• 30 feet range
• 3.5mm Stereo Jack
12YesYes1 year2.52.78.2eBay
B&H Photo Video
BestBuy
Harman Kardon Onyx Mini20.710YesYesNo1 year5.76.23.7Harman/Kardon
eBay
newegg
B&H Photo Video
Polk Audio Omni S219.0410No1 year3.969.063.92eBay
BestBuy
newegg
JBL Flip 315.910YesYesSplashproof1 year2.56.652.5JBL
eBay
newegg
Harman Kardon Esquire Mini8.48Yes1 year35.50.9eBay
newegg
B&H Photo Video
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio5Yes10.26.311Harman/Kardon
eBay
newegg

Wrap-Up: Our Loudest Bluetooth Speaker Recommendations

We think the Marshall Kilburn is the best of the largest and loudest portable speakers out there for most people. It doesn't have a lot of frivolous bells and whistles; it simply delivers great balance, solid bass, and warm, resonant mids, whether you're listening quietly in a room or blasting at top volumes on the beach.

The UE MegaBoom is the speaker to get if you want something loud but a bit smaller, or more rugged, or with the ability to pair two or more units. It's not quite as loud and beautiful as the Kilburn, but it's got more features.

We recommend the Ultimate Ears MegaBlast but with some reservations, as we're not all that wild about smart speaker technology as it currently stands. But this is the loudest, greatest sounding speaker that you can treat as a bit of a personal assistant.

If you want a loud and durable speaker that sounds great and costs much less, the Havit 20W Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker is an excellent choice. Its sound quality doesn't disappoint.