Best Bluetooth Speakers in India

by | Jul 26, 2018

Wireless Bluetooth speakers serve two main purpose – indoor listening as well as outdoor usage. With the speaker technology gaining rapid improvement in terms of the quality of sound output and a simultaneous decrease in prices, the market is facing a boom right now.

To cope with the stressful decision of making an apt Bluetooth speaker purchase, we’re delivering a curated list of the best five Bluetooth speakers available in India with a budget cap of Rs.20,000 in mind.

The legendary Marshall Kilburn tops this list with its exemplary design and build quality accompanied by its stellar sound output. The Harman Kardon Go+ Play is our second best model that redefines the boombox nostalgia on to a whole new level.

Without wasting your precious time anymore, let’s see the products that we felt will be a great buy in terms of overall sound quality.

1. Marshall Kilburn

Overall Best Pick
Overall Best Pick
  • Suitable for all genres of music listening
  • Vintage design that feels nostalgic
  • Impressive battery life
Marshall is a one of a kind UK based audio equipment manufacturer in the world. Their products with a retro look that delivers exceptional sound quality is a dream come true for audiophiles around the globe.

The Kilburn from Marshall is a boxy shaped wireless Bluetooth speaker that features a fully replaceable battery inside.

Vintage design that brings back old memories..

At the first glance of the Marshall Kilburn wireless Bluetooth speaker, you’ll definitely feel at home with the design. The same design that adored our old style radio which had a prominent grill up front.

We can’t emphasise how cute and retro does it look in person rather than in the photos. This speaker is sure to be a priceless item on your home decor for sure.

The leather fabric coated interior chassis looks plush and premium. The detachable leather handle too adds charm to the overall build of this product.

What we liked more about this design is the rotating knobs for volume and bass/treble controls. The ON/OFF button is a toggle switch that works flawlessly.

Even the supplied Aux-in cable has gold plated connectors and is coiled. The company has polished the finer details which normally most of the companies prefer to leave untouched if not broken.

Priceless audio quality..

Behind the huge grill up front, is a 3-speaker set up constituting a large 80mm driver subwoofer coupled with two 20mm driver tweeters.

The woofer lets out deep bass that is punchy and natural at the same time. The tweeters produce clean and crisp highs and pronounced vocals that doesn’t fade with the onset of bass.

This wireless speaker unit gets sufficiently loud. It can be used for parties or during outdoor camping.

Beware that since this product isn’t water resistant, make utmost care not to let water get inside.

The really rich bass and crisp treble makes this device suitable for listening to any type of music.

Battery monster?

Yes it is. The Marshall Kilburn can last up to 20 hours on a single charge. In our tests, we found that the device lasted for about 18 hours with 60% volume from the beginning.

The one peculiar thing about this wireless Bluetooth speaker is that it uses a full size AC charger to juice up the battery and not the traditional micro USB.

What it means is that, while you’re outdoors, you can’t charge this beast with your powerbank.

However, the battery life is so impressive that this lack of micro USB charging isn’t a dealbreaker.

A very audible YES!

If you are inclined to have the best possible sound output from a portable Bluetooth speaker priced under Rs.20,000, the Marshall Kilburn is the way to go.

With its deep, punchy bass and crystal clear vocals with tingling highs, this wireless speaker is suitable for listening to almost all genre of music in its full glory.

R
Excellent sound output
R
Retro design
R
Exceptional Build quality
Q
Feels a bit heavy and bulky

Specifications

Frequency Response62Hz – 20,000Hz
Bluetoothv4.0
Battery Life 18-20 Hours
Driver Size1 x 80 mm, 2 x 20 mm

2. Harman Kardon Go+ Play

Runner-Up Pick
 Runner-Up Pick
  • Suited for use in large parties
  • Excellent punchy bass
  • Separate amplifier for speakers
Harman Kardon is a world renowned speaker and acoustic related equipments manufacturer which is a subsidiary of Samsung electronics Ltd.

The Go+ Play from Harman is a Bluetooth speaker with a rather unique design which stands out from the rest of the speakers available in the market.

Design – rounded? No. Cylindrical? No.

The Harman Kardon Go+ Play has a cylindrical dome shaped design with a metallic handle up top.

The whole front and back of this wireless Bluetooth speaker is covered with a strong fabric material which looks and feels nice.

When viewed from certain angles, this product has its share of resemblance with the old age boombox.

The build quality to speak about is top notch. Being a premium luxury Bluetooth speaker, the components used in the construction is of high quality.

The front grill of this Bluetooth speaker is removable. With the grill removed, the raw look of this speaker gives it a more masculine look.

Speakers – left and right!!

The Harman KArdon Go Play+ comes with a 90mm woofer driver and two 20mm tweeters in the same configuration that we saw earlier on the Marshall Kilburn.

The clean mids and crisp highs compensates the punch rich bass in a perfect ratio that provides a soothing yet thumping audio output from of this speaker.

This wireless Bluetooth speaker gets so loud that you might never want to listen to the songs with this if you live an apartment, unless you want your neighbours to knock at your door.

At high volumes, there’s no distortions for the sounds from either the woofer or the tweeters.

Harman has provided a 25W amplifier for each of the speaker to squeeze even the last bit of acoustic richness.

The Plus and the Minus..

Harman has put so much effort in designing this product in to perfection.
Even the welcome tones that the speakers let out during the startup and the pairing tones seems a right step towards the enhanced user experience.

The metallic handle that arches above the speaker chassis, although feels a bit slippery, add to the flair of a luxury wireless Bluetooth speaker.

If you want even more sound (no way!), Harman allows you to pair two of its speakers together for better spatial sound separation and an immersive listening experience.

What we did not liked about this Bluetooth speaker was its weight. The Harman Kardon Go + weighs about 3.43Kg.

While it’s still perfectly portable, some users may not have the liking towards carrying a heavy speaker around.

Battery life – Average to say the best!

Nothing in this world is perfect. So does the battery life of Harman Kardon Go+ Play.

This wireless Bluetooth speaker lasted for a good eight hours of continuous music playback on our tests.

Although eight hours for the quality of sound this beast produced is adequate, we feel that the battery life is just average as all the competitor products in this list exhibits double digit battery life.

Final verdict!!

What defines the Harman Kardon Go+ Play wireless Bluetooth speaker can be summarized in three words – precise, punchy and distortion free sound.

If you don’t mind the heft, this device is one of the best Bluetooth speaker in the market right now which delivers excellent sound quality without compromising on either the build quality or battery life.

R
Loud sound output
R
Premium build quality
R
1-year warranty
Q
Heavy and Bulky
Q
Average battery life

Specifications

Frequency Response50Hz – 20,000Hz
Bluetoothv4.1
Battery Life Up to 8 Hours
Driver Size1 x 90 mm, 2 x 20 mm

3. Ultimate Ears Mega Boom

Best Value For Money Pick
Best Value for Money Pick
  • Suited for pool/beach parties
  • IPX7 certified speaker
  • Lightweight and portable
Ultimate Ears is a subsidiary brand of popular computer peripherals manufacturer Logitech. The UE Bluetooth speakers has its presence in budget segment priced under Rs.3000 and is really popular as well.

The UE Megaboom is a premium grade Bluetooth speaker that comes with a coveted IPX7 certification which makes it one of the best outdoor wireless speakers on this list.

Familiar yet refreshing design..

The UE megaboom Bluetooth speaker has a rounder cylindrical design. Yes – the same form factor we have seen on the JBL Flip 4 wireless speaker priced under Rs.10,000.

The UE Megaboom has a height of about 22 cm which is still very portable considering the cylindrical shape which can be easily tucked in to the bags.

The entire chassis of this wireless speaker is covered with braided nylon fabric which feels very much tough at the same time easy to hold on to.

There no flex whatsoever on the body. The control buttons are located on the sides and are tactile and responsive.

Quad speaker setup!!

It’s not a typo – this Bluetooth speaker from Ultimate Ears does feature four distinct speakers, two 90mm driver size woofers and two 20mm driver size tweeters.

People would expect something great from this setup and to be honest UE has successfully delivered the same.

The loud, clear sound output with distinct notes from instruments without being overshadowed by the rich bass is a speciality of this speaker.

The bass response hits deeper when listening to certain genres such as EDM and hip-hop which bass heads are going to like a lot.

IPX7 certified, take it outside!!

This wireless speaker from UE comes with IPX7 certification. This means that you can use this device outdoors no matter what the climate is.

The UE Megaboom also can be submerged under water up to 1m without any issues in playback.

Remember that after a few minutes of floating on the surface, the Megaboom does sink. So take care of your speaker if you want to retain it in its full glory.

The Extras…

The UE Megaboom comes with speakerphone feature which lets you attend the calls handsfree from the speaker itself.

The voice call clarity is good but when used from a distance less than 5m, echoing happens intermittently.

When the volume rocker buttons in the front are pressed simultaneously for a few seconds, the speaker gives voice prompt about the exact battery level which is a very useful addition.

Battery life – Excellent!

The UE Megaboom despite having to power the four speakers, has one of the best battery life in this list.

UE claims that the Lithium-ion battery inside lasts for about 20 hours on a single charge.

Expecting this as a market gimmick, we tested the claims and was pleasantly surprised to get about 18 hours of continuous music playback on a single charge.

Should you buy this?

If you’re a fan of punchy bass with clear vocals, the UE Megaboom won’t disappoint you.

Adding to the excellent sound output quality, this Bluetooth speaker being IPX7 certified, can be used indoors as well as outdoors during pool/beach parties with no fear of damage.

R
Build quality
R
Quad speakers
R
Stellar battery life
Q
Charging port is recessed

Specifications

Frequency Response65Hz – 20,000Hz
Bluetooth  v4.0
Battery Life Up to 20 Hours
Driver Size2 x 90 mm, 2 x 20 mm

4. Sony SRS-XB41

Best Bass Pick
Best Bass Pick
  • Suited best for EDMs and hip hop
  • Detailed bass with crisp vocals
  • Brand reliability
Sony is popular for its consumer electronics products all over the world. The Xtra Bass lineup of audio equipment from Sony is spread across earphones, headphones and Bluetooth speakers.

With the SRS XB41, Sony has a premium Bluetooth speaker in the market that offer some of the best in class features which we think might satisfy a lot of audiophiles out there.

Build quality – Check!

The rounded box design is a breath of fresh air into a space dominated by boxy and cylindrical design Bluetooth speakers. The rubberised texture on the chassis blends well with the metallic grill in the front.

Around the grill is a thin strip of multi colored LED illumination that flashes and strobes according to the beats in the music played. The pattern of this illumination can be adjusted using Sony’s application.

This lighting effect does add to the overall immersive experience of music listening while in a party. For those who prefer a less flashy wireless speaker, there is the option to turn this off completely.

XB for Xtra Bass

Sony’s XB lineup is famed for providing that extra punch to the already rich in bass music playback.

The SRS XB41 comes with a dedicated Xtra Bass button that can be turned on according to your preference.

The bass output from this Bluetooth speaker feels punchy and non-distorted. If you’re a bass head and love listening to bass-heavy tunes, this speaker won’t disappoint you.

The mids and lows sound accurate and the vocals are loud as well. The overall quality of sound output from this wireless speaker is definitely on the positive side.

Miscellaneous bits and pieces

For those who wish to take this Sony Bluetooth speaker outside in their trips – yes this an IP67 certified product.

It is splash as well as spill resistant and can work effortlessly in light drizzles.

The control buttons up top are tactile and offer good responsiveness. The call button can be used to activate Google assistant on an Android phone or Siri on iOS devices.

One other thing to praise about this wireless speaker is the handsfree call quality. It sounds crystal clear and picks up our voice neatly.

The Add feature from Sony lets you add another Sony Bluetooth speaker to this device to give a more immersive stereo listening experience.

Xtra Battery??

Certainly not. However, the battery life isn’t bad either. The Sony SRS XB41 lasted around 12 hours at 65% volume on our tests.

If you’re listening to music inside a small area, this is sufficient enough to fill up the room with sound beats

Yay or Nay?

The Sony SRS XB41 is a wireless party speaker that delivers rich bass and immersive vocals. The fancy LED illumination effects adds to the party flair as well. A portable Bluetooth speaker that checks most of the right boxes? Definitely, Yes!

R
Voice call quality
R
LED illumination
R
Rich bass
Q
No distinct spatial left and right separation

Specifications

Frequency Response20Hz – 20,000Hz
Bluetoothv4.2
 Battery Life Up to 16Hours
Driver Size2 x 40 mm

5. JBL Pulse 3

Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention
  • LED illuminations adds to the flair
  • Loud sound output
  • IPX7 waterproof
JBL is a familiar brand for those who have brought an earphone or headphone at least once. The Pulse 3 from JBL is a wireless Bluetooth speaker that features a unique hourglass style LED illumination system.

Party single!!

With the Pulse 3, you need not have to go to a pub or party to experience the ambience.

The large LED illumination system that covers the quarter of the cylindrical body makes you feel right at home with its fancy lighting effects.

The JBL Pulse 3 has a cylindrical design with the passive radiators facing the top and bottom.

The single 40mm driver size speaker is located on the bottom side covered by a nylon fabric to ensure 360 degree sound propagation.

Since the glass material up front displaying the illumination is prone to breakage, be sure to keep the speaker away from kids.

One steep fall on to the floor, you might damage the glass.

Also, the glass being a fingerprint magnet, you would have to clean it regularly to preserve the pristine look.

Sound quality – JBL style!

The dual passive radiators does release some of the cleanest bass we’ve listened to in any of the Bluetooth speakers.

The level of bass is slightly above the neutral point but not as overpowering as some other models.

The vocals sound crisp and clean, and with the speaker situated on the lower half such that a 360 degree sound propagation is possible, the music feels much more lively.

Mids and highs are balanced and doesn’t case any ear fatigue or ringing when listened to longer durations.

The JBL Pulse 3 also features a speakerphone. The calls we made was of good quality and there isn’t any noticeable echo even when used from the immediate vicinity.

 

Star of the show – The LED illumination!!

The hour glass style LED illumination is the main USP of this wireless Bluetooth speaker.

The lava lamp looking display adds a party flair to your music listening session indoors.

The light can be set to illuminate in different preset styles from JBL or you can edit the way you want it to light up, right from the JBL connect app.

The glass cleverly hides the individual LEDs from plain sight and the user will only see a continuous layer of colour change without any separation.

You can also take a picture of a product or fabric and let the JBL Pulse 3 identify the color and display it on the glass.

The Nays!

The soft touch controls on the JBL Pulse 3 wireless Bluetooth speaker isn’t backlit. This means you will have a tough time to locate these buttons in the dark.

Being cylindrical in shape and the bass radiators being placed in the top and bottom, there is a chance for this speaker to tumble down and drop from the heights when music with bass is placed out very loud.

Battery life – the good and the bad!

JBL claims that the battery life of the Pulse 3 is about 12 hours.

We tested this promise and found that the battery with the flashing LED illumination turned on lasted for about 7.30 hours.

This is not at all a bad number as the battery has to drive the speakers and the LED illumination simultaneously.

What made us really disappointed was the charging time. The JBL Pulse 3 takes 4.5 hours to charge from empty to 100%.

Head or tails?

Whatever be the outcome, if you love the fancy LED illumination and the loud and clear sound output without any compromise on the details, JBL Pulse 3 is perhaps the only one with these two features combined.

R
Voice call quality
R
LED illumination
R
Rich bass
Q
No distinct spatial left and right separation

Specifications

Frequency Response65Hz – 20,000Hz
Bluetoothv4.2
Battery Life Up to 12 Hours
Driver Size3 x 40 mm
This marks the conclusion of our articles on best Bluetooth speakers in India series. We have added almost 25-30 products under different price segments that might grab your attention to become a purchase prospect.

If you have any suggestions or queries about these products or if you wish to see a product to get reviewed, do let us know in the comment section below.

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