Best Bluetooth Speaker for a Garage Gym


JBL Flip 5 in my Garage Gym

I was in the market recently for a Bluetooth Speaker for my garage gym. I wanted something simple and easy to use that had good sound quality and the ability to get a little loud when it was time for that last squat set of the day. So I started doing what you’re doing right now, searching the internet for the best Bluetooth speaker for a Garage Gym.

Before I finally made my purchase I spent the better part of three days researching. I poured through reviews on 10 different websites including Mashable, PC Mag, C-Net, Wired and TechRadar to name a few. I read critic reviews, user reviews and asked friends who also have garage gyms.

Bluetooth Speaker Notes
Here is my first draft of notes before I started organizing info into a Word Doc.

I took all this information and compiled it into this list of the best of the best. I put every speaker in a category based on price, because no matter what anyone says I believe most people start with a budget first and then figure out what is the best option for their budget.

I ended up with three categories: High End (over $200), Mid Level ($100-$200) and Budget (under $100). Then I chose the top two for each price range.

For each speaker chosen, I’ll show the you the specs, including price, where you can buy each speaker along with the awards that each speaker was given by the various critics that I researched. Finally, I’ll also tell you which speaker I ended up buying after I finished this entire project.

You’re more than welcome to do all the same research I did. I even included all the links to the articles that I used researching Bluetooth Speakers at the bottom of this article. Or, you can use all my information and save yourself three days worth of reading and clicking.

Links on this page may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase I may, at no extra cost to you, earn a commission. All reviews are my honest opinion and I don’t review anything that I haven’t used personally. Ever. Learn More

Best High End Speakers (> $200)

Money not an option? Or maybe it is, but having a great sound system in your garage gym is something you’re willing to spend some money on. Here are the best two speakers I found that are priced over $200.

UE HyperBoom

Would you like for it sound like Metallica is playing a live show right inside your garage? If so, the Ultimate Ears HyperBoom is your choice. This is not exactly a “small, portable” speaker at over 14 inches tall and 13 pounds, but that’s not the reason you’re going to choose this speaker.

You choose this speaker because you want something that will pump out excellent sound quality  and pump it out LOUD. The HyperBoom showed up on five different lists of the best Bluetooth speakers for 2021 with every single one of those critics touting the big time sound that fits great for parties. If it’s great for playing over a loud party then it’s going to be great playing over some loud weights being banged around.

The only real downside is it is a bit expensive, but it’s still about $100 less than the closest comparable speaker I could find, the JBL Boombox 2Opens in a new tab.. This UE HyperBoom is the epitome “go BIG or go home”.

UE HyperBoom Specs
UE HyperBoom
Photo Courtesy HyperBoom
Dimensions 7.5 x 7.5 x 14.33 inches
Weight 13 pounds
Battery Life 24 hours
Wireless Range Approx. 150 feet
Frequency response 45 – 20,000Hz
NFC: Yes Aux-in: Yes
USB Charging (Charge out, yes)
Price $399
Available At AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Critic Awards

  • Powerful Sound for Parties Both Big and Small – TechRadar
  • Best Party Bluetooth Speaker – C-Net
  • Best for Booming Bass Outdoors – PC Mag
  • Porta Party – Wired
  • Best for Parties – SoundGuys

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move showed up on more critics’ award lists than any other speaker (6 out of the 8 critics’ lists). It didn’t just ‘show up’ on lists either, it took top honors on more than one.

If you want a speaker that can do more than just blast Guns N Roses in your garage, then the Sonos Move may be the best option for you. This speaker stands out not just with it’s great sound quality, but it’s ability to go from outside to in the home seamlessly.

Finally, the Sonos Move is not just a Bluetooth speaker, it also has WiFi capabilities as well which gives it even more versatility like multi-room functionality. This is especially true if you already have other Sonos speakers in your house.

Sonos Move Specs
Sonos Move
Photo Courtesy of Sonos
Dimensions 9.44 x 6.29 x 4.96 inches
Weight 6.61 pounds
Battery Life 10 hours
Connectivity Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2
Drivers One down-firing tweeter, one mid-woofer, two Class-D digital amplifiers
NFC: No Aux-in: No
USB Charging Yes (USB-C, and comes with charging dock)
Price $399
Available At AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Critic Awards

  • Best Bluetooth Speaker in the World – TechRadar
  • Best Speaker for Smart Homes – Mashable
  • Best for Home – Wired
  • Best Multiroom Capability – Digital Trends
  • Swanky Portable WiFi and Bluetooth – C-Net
  • Best Smart Speaker – SoundGuys

Best Mid Level Speakers ($100-$200)

This is probably the most popular price range for a garage gym speaker. While many of us aren’t able to drop three or four hundred dollars on a speaker, spending a hundred or so to get a high quality speaker is doable. It’s also totally worth it considering how often you actually end up using it.

The good news is there are a ton of great options in this price range. It was much harder to narrow this category down to just two choices than it was for the other two categories.

JBL Flip 5

I kept seeing the JBL Flip 5 on list after list from all the expert reviews. They all seemed to echo the same praise as well. A great rugged, no frills speaker. Isn’t that exactly what you should be looking for when it comes to a great gym speaker.

I don’t need any of the fancy extras. Just give me something that’s easy to use and is going to play great sounding tunes while I Clean and Squat. The Flip 5 comes in 12 different colors so you can get one that matches your gym or maybe just your personality.

If you need hands-free calling or voice control, go with something else, because this Bluetooth speaker doesn’t have those capabilities. But, for simple, great sound the JBL Flip 5 is hard to beat.

JBL Flip 5 Specs
JBL Flip 5
Courtesy of JBL
Weight 1.2 pounds
Battery Life 12 hours
Wireless Range N/A
Frequency response 65Hz – 20kHz
Connectivity Bluetooth
Drivers 40mm
NFC: No Aux-in:
USB Charging No
Price $119
Available At AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Critic Awards

  • Fun, No Frills Portable Speaker – TechRadar
  • Best Design – C-Net
  • Best Bluetooth Speaker for Value – What Hi-Fi?
  • Best No Frills Speaker – Mashable
  • Best Rugged Bluetooth Speaker – Digital Trends

UE Boom 3

Honestly, after the JBL Flip 5, it was much harder selecting a second “best” speaker in this price range. There were many speakers that showed up on multiple lists. The JBL Charge 4Opens in a new tab. and Marshall EmbertonOpens in a new tab. were solid contenders here.

What separated the UE Boom 3 from the others wasn’t how many lists it appeared on (which was as many or more than the other 2), but how high the praise was from some of the experts. Wired calls the UE Boom 3 the Best Overall Bluetooth Speaker and TechRadar placed it just behind the Sonos Move, which is one of the best high end speakers. That’s pretty high praise from some very well respected tech reviewers.

Finally, a good friend of mine also raved about his UE Boom 3. That has to count for something, right?

UE Boom 3 Specs
UE Boom 3
Photo Courtesy Ultimate Ears
Dimensions 2.9 x 2.9 x 7.25 inches
Weight 1.2
Battery Life 15
Wireless Range 150 feet
Frequency response 90Hz-20kHz
Connectivity Bluetooth
Drivers Two 1.75″ drivers and two 1.75″ x 3″ passive radiators
NFC: Yes Aux-in: No
USB Charging Yes
Price $130 – $149
Available At AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Critic Awards

  • Former Best Bluetooth Speaker – TechRadar
  • Best Overall – Wired
  • Best for Pool Parties – Mashable

Best Budget Bluetooth Speakers (Under $100)

Need some tunes for your workout, but don’t want to spend a lot of money. I totally get it and this category is for you. There are some really good budget-friendly Bluetooth speakers out there for under $100 if you look hard enough. Luckily for you, that’s exactly what I did.

Tribit Stormbox

The Tribit looks suspiciously similar to the JBL Flip 5, is louder and has a longer battery life. So, if you were leaning toward the JBL Flip 5, but wasn’t keen on the price tag, the Tribit Stormbox is an excellent alternative.

Tribit has multiple other budget-friendly options in their line like the Tribit Maxsound PlusOpens in a new tab. (which by the way, almost won this spot) and the Stormbox is the best of the bunch.

Turns out you can get quality sound for less than a hundred bucks.

Tribit Stormbox Specs
Tribit Stormbox
Courtesy of Tribit
Dimensions 7.08 x 2.68 x 2.68 inches
Weight 1.1 pounds
Battery Life 20 hours
Wireless Range 66 ft
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.2
Price $57.99
Available At AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Critic Awards

  • Best Alternative to the JBL Flip 5 – C-Net
  • Best Budget Speaker – Wired

Anker Soundcore Flare

The other Bluetooth speaker under $100 that received a ton of praise from multiple experts was the Anker Soundcore Flare.

The Soundcore Flare is not going to sound as good as the more expensive speakers listed above, but is a good option for the price.

What you will get is a speaker that will work, have good sound and won’t leave you back in the market for a new speaker after a few months. You’ll also get an LED light that syncs up with the beat and bass of what you’re playing and will add a little, dare I say ‘flare’, to your gym.

(Note: For a few extra bucks you can pick up the Soundcore Flare 2Opens in a new tab. which is also very highly rated among critics and users alike. If you’re interested in the Soundcore Flare, it’s definitely worth checking out.)

Anker Soundcore Flare Specs
Anker Soundcore Flare
Courtesy of Anker
Dimensions 3.6 x 3.6 x 6 inches
Weight 1.2 pounds
Battery Life 12 Hours
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.2
Drivers Neodymium Drivers
NFC: Aux-in: Yes
Price $64.00
Available At AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Critic Awards

  • Best Budget Speaker – TechRadar
  • Good Budget Speaker – Wired

The Speaker I Chose

So, after doing all of this research, which speaker did I end up buying for my own garage gym?

The JBL Flip 5.

When I was going through all the critic reviews and everyone kept raving over the Flip 5 and how is was rugged, no frills and great sound quality. For me, that was check, check and check.

The Flip 5 does everything I want it to simply and easily. The sound quality is great, it has plenty of volume and it was super easy to setup and use.

I’m going to be honest though. I was really close to going for the UE HyperBoom. Once upon a time, that would have been the one I chose, but my now my wife constantly reminds me that “our neighbors don’t want to hear Ride The Lightning”. (Which, are we totally sure about that? Maybe they do?)

The Best Speaker That’s Not a Speaker

Before I closed this out, I wanted to mention another option for a garage gym speaker that is not really a speaker at all.

A TV.

If you don’t have a TV in your garage gym. You really should look into getting one (Why you should have a TV in your Garage Gym).

Armed with a Roku or Apple TV (or a Smart TV that already has WiFi functionality built in), a TV in your garage can easily be used to stream Pandora, Spotify or just a Youtube playlist. I know this isn’t an option for some, but if it is, it’s something definitely worth considering.

Final Thoughts

Few things accompany a great workout like some great tunes. Getting yourself a great Bluetooth speaker to handle all your workout playlists is a great investment for any home gym. Whether you go High End or Budget, the most important thing is being able to cue up that favorite song for that perfect moment.

I hope this list helped make your buying decision a little easier!

Stay Strong!

Resources:

Ryan H

My name is Ryan Horton and I've spent the last 18 years as a Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach and am currently the Director of Sports Science with Georgia Tech Football. I've always set up workout areas at home everywhere we've lived, but now I have a garage and I'm going all out.

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