This Bluetooth Party Speaker Puts Bose and Sonos to Shame

Scouted/The Daily Beast/JBL.
Scouted/The Daily Beast/JBL.

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Spring has finally arrived, and if you’re anything like me, you’re spending as much time outside as humanly possible. As you put away your winter jackets and boots, you also need to gear up for warm-weather festivities. For young folks, that might mean festival season and all-night parties, but for an elder millennial like myself, it means afternoon barbecues and weekend getaways in the Catskills.

No matter how you like to spend your leisure time during the summer, there’s one party accessory that’s absolutely necessary to have on hand—a dependable Bluetooth party speaker. Top audio companies like Bose, Sonos, Marshall, and Bang & Olufsen have released new portable speakers recently, so a lot of people are upgrading to a new speaker right now. However, after trying out some of the top Bluetooth speakers, I’d actually recommend sticking with the JBL Flip 6, one of the newest speakers in the Flip lineup.

I’ve tested a lot of Bluetooth speakers in 2024 so far, but the Flip 6 is the one I packed when heading out to a recent bachelor party. The new JBL Flip 6 is a powerhouse of a party speaker, and in my testing, it outperformed similar speakers from Sonos and Bose in the overall design and sound quality—and it’s significantly cheaper than many of its peers.

To test out this speaker’s audio capabilities, I asked some friends to help me perform a sound test. Without telling them which speaker they were listening to, I had them listen to two very different songs—“Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine and “Stop Breathing” by Roddy Rich. The results were unanimous and a little surprising—the JBL Flip 6 won out in overall audio quality and bass levels.

JBL Flip 6 Party Bluetooth SpeakerDown from $130

This portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker lets you bring the party wherever you go this summer.

Buy JBL Flip 6 Party Bluetooth Speaker at Amazon, $129

Even if you already have a JBL Flip speaker, I still think it’s worth upgrading to the new model. The newly upgraded JBL Flip 6 features a slightly more powerful driver and has a tweeter speaker, which wasn’t available in the Flip 5. For a speaker of its size, the Flip 6 delivers deep bass, and on balance, it also offers high solid and mid-range frequencies. As you’d expect from a popular party speaker, the Flip 6 is IP67 waterproof and dustproof, but I submerged it in water for five minutes just to make sure it could really handle the elements. Even before it dried out, the Flip 6 was pumping out big sound like nothing had happened.

Another reason I prefer the JBL Fip 6 to the Sonos Roam or the new Bose Soundlink Flex is that no app is needed to start playing your tunes. The Flip 6 has a Bluetooth button for easy pairing with your phone, and that’s all that’s needed to get started. (You can also share controls, letting one of your friends take a turn as DJ.) Finally, I like that this speaker comes with a small lanyard to hang it up or carry it.

Whether you’re listening indoors or outdoors, I’ve found the JBL Flip 6 to be a powerful portable speaker. With a long 12-hour battery life and fast charging capabilities, it’s got everything I wanted in a speaker. After months of use, this speaker has proven that it’s small but mighty, and it comes with an impressive feature set for the price.

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