Sony's latest speaker is one of a number of new models that use NFC for easy pairing with compatible smartphones. That eliminates one of the more frustrating aspects of using a Bluetooth speaker -- having to constantly dig in to your phone's settings to pair and re-pair whenever you want to use the speaker.
Take the music anywhere with Braven's rugged BRV-1
Speakers for home, work and everywhere else
iLuv's MobiRock adds Qi wireless charging to Bluetooth audio, letting you charge compatible devices simply by leaning them against the speaker. iLuv also has an NFC-capable model (the MobiAria), though the company hasn't seen fit to combine both Qi and NFC in a single product.
Monster's latest Bluetooth speaker comes at a monster of a price: $699. According to Monster, the speaker's price is justified by its use of AAC and apt-X codecs to stream music at higher quality than lower-priced Bluetooth speakers. The Katana can also be configured to stream to multiple rooms, a la Sonos, though that requires the addition of a $170 transmitter and receiver kit.
If $699 -- or even $99 -- is too rich for your blood, you may want to take a look at the $60 HMDX Jam Plus. Available this Spring, the updated version of HMDX's earlier Jam Bluetooth speaker lets you pair two speakers at once for stereo output. Of course, that means you'll have to buy two speakers, though $120 for stereo Bluetooth still sounds like a bargain.
The golf-ball sized Qube fits in spots where other speakers won't (like a corner of your cluttered desk), and claims to be the world's smallest 3-watt speaker. A wired version will be out later this month for $50, with a Bluetooth model due out in March. The wired version is rechargeable, and can run for up to 12 hours on a charge. But you're going to hold out for the Bluetooth version, right?
Okay, this isn't a Bluetooth speaker. But what better way to follow up the world's smallest 3-watt speaker than with a 300-watt boombox with mock turntables, dual iPod docs (for, you know, mixing), and a ambient lighting effects. At $350, its per-watt price seems pretty reasonable.
This one may not be very portable, but at least you'll never have to worry about a battery dying. The Bem Outlet Speaker is designed to plug in to a spare electrical outlet, giving you an easy wall-mounted Bluetooth speaker. If you actually have a spare outlet, that is.
While the Bem Outlet Speaker is clearly a homebody, the Eton Rukus XL is the one you take to away games. Its 72-square-inch solar panel can give you a day of streaming audio after just 5 hours in the sun, and an AC adapter will spell you on those cloudy days. Of course, at 7 pounds, this isn't the most portable speaker around, but with a 5000 mAh battery and eight full-range drivers delivering 22 watts, at least you know where that weight comes from.
In addition to Bluetooth, the T640B can stream over WiFi, using Pure's Android or iOS app. Connect multiple Pure speakers via WiFi, and you can listen to the same music throughout your home (or at least as far as your WiFi network carries you).
The OD-11 packs a 100W amp, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and up to four can be chained together for optimum sound quality. Of course, that will set you back, since each speaker is $800.
Relive those glorious boombox days with the iHome iBT44, which includes Bluetooth and a rechargeable battery, but can also be juiced using six D batteries if you like your nostalgia pure.
Speaking of nostalgia, the Ion Audio Party Rocker includes a light-up disco ball that can pulse in sync with your music, as well as guitar and mic inputs, so you can jam -- or have Bluetooth-enabled karaoke parties. Your move.