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UE Boom, Maqe Soundjump, and People People Transparent Speaker | © Ultimate Ears/Maqe/People People
UE Boom, Maqe Soundjump, and People People Transparent Speaker | © Ultimate Ears/Maqe/People People
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10 Best Speakers To Buy Your Friends And Family This Holiday Season

Picture of Ryan Kristobak
Music Editor
Updated: 22 November 2016
Speakers are one of the most common gifts on holiday wish lists, but there are so many different options out there and no one speaker fits all. Whether you’re after the highest sound quality, durability, tricks, or whatever feature, here are a few of our favorite speakers on the market right now.

Ultimate Ears Roll 2/Boom 2/Megaboom

All three iterations of the UE series are waterproof (immersion in water up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes) and shockproof, making them the ideal selection for those who are looking for a bluetooth speaker that can handle rougher terrains on the go. The smaller sizes of the Roll and Boom offer more portability, but the Megaboom, naturally, offers the best sound. The Roll allows you to sync two devices at the same time, and the Boom and Megaboom’s PartyUp feature allows you to connect more than 50 UE speakers at once.

Roll 2: $95.00
Boom 2: $154.99
Megaboom: $229.99

UE Roll and Boom | © Ultimate Ears
UE Roll and Boom | © Ultimate Ears

JBL Flip 3, Charge 3, Xtreme

The JBL lineup is similar to UE’s in a lot of ways, but there are a few key differences. The Charge 3 is waterproof like the UE team, but the rest of the JBL options are just splashproof. However, JBL provides a slightly clearer sound and definitely blasts louder. The Flip 3, Charge 3, and Xtreme each have the ability to connect multiple speakers together, and the Charge 3 boasts the longest battery life with 20 hours of playtime.

Flip 3: $82.77
Charge 3: $125.00
Xtreme: $229.95

JBL Flip 3 series and Xtreme | © Harman
JBL Flip 3 series and Xtreme | © Harman

Bose Soundlink III

As compared to the UE and JBL options, the Bose Soundlink III definitely offers the best sound performance at this size, but doesn’t have the durability of the rest. If you are looking for a portable bluetooth speaker that won’t be subjected to environments like hikes, beach visits, or pool parties, you can’t go wrong with Bose.

Price: $269.00

Bose Soundlink III | © Bose
Bose Soundlink III | © Bose

Maqe Soundjump

New to the speaker game, Maqe’s first product delivers a small size, durability, and premium sound, although things get a little distorted at maximum volume. The Soundjump’s coolest feature is definitely its magnetic removable battery, which allows you to take it on the go and charge your devices, a perk you won’t find anywhere else on the market.

Price: $129.99

Maqe Soundjump | © Amazon
Maqe Soundjump | © Amazon

Mars by Crazybaby

A number of levitating speakers have appeared over the past couple years, but Crazybaby’s Mars system is easily the best out there. The packaging and design are outstanding, and while it isn’t on the same level as Bose, UE, JBL, or many other systems on this list in terms of sound, Mars doesn’t fall too far short and it definitely makes up in style. The UFO speaker floats above a subwoofer tower — it has auto takeoff and landing — but can be taken anywhere, submerged in water, and its bottom magnet allows it to stick to all sorts of metallic surfaces. If you are looking for a novelty speaker and don’t mind a higher price, Mars is the way to go.

Price: $329.00

Mars by Crazybaby | © Amazon
Mars by Crazybaby | © Amazon

Vizio Smartcast Crave 360

The Vizio Smartcas Crave 360 is like a more upscale and smarter variation of the UE Megaboom. The Crave is a large-but-mobile 360-degree audio speaker that delivers great sound, but isn’t waterproof, so it’s better to keep it out of the elements. However, the Crave features plenty of luxury points, including a glass touch dial that is turned for volume and can be tapped and swiped for playback controls, and Google Cast integration, bringing relief to those sick of the all-too-frequent shortcomings of bluetooth (although, Bluetooth is still an option, unlike with Sonos).

Price: $149.99

Vizio Smartcast Crave 360 | © Vizio
Vizio Smartcast Crave 360 | © Vizio

Cork Speaker

You aren’t going to get the greatest sound from a micro Bluetooth speaker that “boosts sound depth and quality by upcycling a used bottle,” but it sure sounds fun. The world’s first of this style, Cork can fit in your pocket and provides different sounds depending on the bottle you choose. Even though Cork is still raising money on Kickstarter, they will be delivered by this Christmas.

Price: $48.00

Cork Speaker | © Cork Speaker
Cork Speaker | © Cork Speaker

SoundSOUL Bluetooth Dancing Water Speakers

Who doesn’t want to watch a technicolor LED light and water fountain display every time they put on music? Again, a definite loss in sound quality, but at such a low coast, it’s hard to resist these speakers.

Price: $29.99

SoundSOUL Bluetooth Dancing Water Speakers | © Amazon
SoundSOUL Bluetooth Dancing Water Speakers | © Amazon

Libratone Zipp/Zipp Mini

The Libratone Zipp and Zipp Mini combine a lot of the great qualities of the other speakers on this list: 360-degree projection that is top in class, pair up to six Zipps together, and both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Both of them also offer the ability to play from Spotify without any outside device, streaming of all audio and visual platforms, and the ability to personalize with interchangeable covers. Definitely not built for the outdoors, this is a speaker perfect for the home.

Zipp: $299.00
Zipp Mini: $199.00

Libratone Zipp | © Libratone
Libratone Zipp | © Libratone

People People Transparent Speaker

We wouldn’t say that the People People Transparent Speaker offers sound that blows away its competitors, but it does sound great, and its design is truly incomparable to anything else on this list. If you have lots of money to throw around and want a speaker that you know no one else will have, this is definitely one of the coolest.

Price: $849.00

People People Transparent Speaker | © People People
People People Transparent Speaker | © People People