Speaker tech has changed a surprising amount over the past few years, with improvements in batteries, Bluetooth, and the internet of things making speakers portable, wireless, and internet-connected almost by default now. All that means this is a great time to think about an upgrade, which could net you a wealth of new functionality alongside improvements to actual audio.
Best speaker deals right now
What to look for in a speaker?
When buying a speaker online, it’s hard to know what to expect without having first heard the speaker, but here are a few things to look out for.
Power rating and sound
The volume of a speaker depends on the output power, which is the watts rating. The higher the watts, the higher the sound. On portable speakers, usually 15 to 20W should offer sufficient power for 80dB of sound, which is loud enough for indoor and outdoor use.
Smaller speakers have a lower wattage due to the size, but some can pack power too. One of our favourites is the Aukey Eclipse Bluetooth speaker, which ranked first place in our our round up of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers and offers 20W of power despite its small frame.
Keep in mind, listening at full volume can also cause distortions.
Bluetooth 4.0 vs Bluetooth 5.0
Some speakers may offer Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. The benefit of Bluetooth 5.0 is that it has greater range, uses less power to broadcast, and can even allow you to stream to two devices at the same time. Most of the latest phones, from the Galaxy S8 or iPhone 8 onwards for example, come with Bluetooth 5.0, so it’s worth checking if your phone does as well.
However, while a speaker that offers the latest version of Bluetooth may seem like an upgrade from one that doesn’t, you won’t see the difference unless both your phone and the speaker have Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility.
Battery life becomes an important feature when buying a portable speaker. On average, portable speakers offer about 7 to 10 hours per charge, so anything that offers less isn’t worth it.
Ultimate Ears’s Megablast Bluetooth speakers, which is also Alexa-enabled, is one of the best with a strong bass sound and a 12 hour battery life – rather, 16 hours in practice as we found in our review. It retails at £269.99/US249, but we've seen discounts as low as £140 off, so deals in this range are worth pouncing on.
Where to find speaker deals
Amazon has some of the biggest bargains, but if you find that you’re missing out on Amazon’s Lightning deals, which run for just a few hours and offer limited stock, we'd recommend signing up for Amazon's 30 day free trial of Prime, which will get you access to deals 30 minutes before everyone else. Plus, you'll get free next-day delivery with the Prime trial, as well as access to Prime Instant Video and more.
Sign up for Prime now.
Beyond Amazon, here are a few of the best places to check for great bargains:
Best speaker deals
1. Sony SRS-XB21
Now: £56.99 (£43.01 off)
This Sony Bluetooth speaker is waterproof and can be connected to up to 100 others for a huge party. It's available in various colours.
2. Sonos One (2nd Gen)
Now: £149 (£50 off)
This is the cheapest deal right now on the Sonos One, which works with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
3. Marshall Stockwell II
From: Currys PC World
Now: £99 (£120.99 off)
Save a crazy amount on this stunning Marshall speaker with long battery life, aux input and guitar amp style controls.
4. Anker SoundCore
Now: £21.99 (27% off)
If you need something cheap but long lasting, this Anker is under £25 but lasts 24 hours.
5. Amazon Echo Dot (3rd-gen)
Now: £19.99 (£20 off)
With the release of the 4th Gen Echo Dot, you can now get the Dot 3 for just £19.99. It won't dispatch until early February, however.
6. Bose Soundlink Revolve
Now: £169 (£30.95 off)
Get this excellent Bose speaker with 360 degree sound, 12 hours battery life and IPX4 water resistance.
7. Jam Chill Out Bluetooth Speaker
Now: £24.99 (£5 off)
Grab a great deal on this Jam speaker which features an 8 hour playtime, 30m range and is waterproof.
When is Black Friday 2020 - should you wait for a better deal?
Black Friday will take place on Friday 27 November, immediately followed by Cyber Monday on 30 November. Traditionally the biggest sales event of the year, it may yet throw up some even greater tech deals - but with so much uncertainty around finance and retail, and no guarantees regarding what discounts we will see, we advise you not to wait: if you see a deal you like, on a product you need, and you can afford the outlay, buy it today.