In the summer it is nice to listen to your music on the balcony or on the beach. But then that music must sound good. That is why we look at five more expensive bluetooth speakers in this file, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. The important thing is that your music sounds good. The prices in brackets are the suggested retail prices.
The best bluetooth speakers of about 400 euros
In the summer months it is useful to take a bluetooth speaker with you when you go out. Listening to your own music on the beach or in the park (without bothering other visitors) is just great. But such a speaker can also serve well in the garden or – if it is large enough – in the living room. Although smart speakers are getting better nowadays and multiroom audio has now also been moved to the garden (for example with the Sonos Move ), Bluetooth speakers can still play an excellent role.
The biggest advantage of such A bluetooth speaker is still the portability. That is an important factor that we look at in this overview of Bluetooth speakers around 400 euros. The audio quality is of course very important. Because if the device doesn't sound like anything, why bother? We also pay attention to design and of course ease of use. The latter is especially important, so you don't have to mess with the hardware. Finally, we also include any additional options, such as Google Assistant support.
Dali Katch (399 euros)
The Dali Katch is a relatively compact Bluetooth speaker with a battery that lasts up to 24 hours. long lasting. The device has bluetooth 4.0 and accepts aptX connections (if the source supports it). In addition, there is a mini-jack input to which you can connect devices without Bluetooth. The system automatically recognizes the selected connection, no manual switching is required. You can, using the buttons on top. The USB port can be used for charging a smartphone or connecting a Chromecast Audio .
We have to say that the Dali Katch sounds better outside than inside. If you place it on the balcony or in the garden, which is simply possible with the built-in battery, the speaker will look its best. The high tones float along your ears, while the low tones provide a pleasant resonance. The mids are equally beautiful to listen to. There are two sound profiles: one emphasizing treble and one emphasizing bass, for outdoors and indoors, respectively. Do not turn it too hard, because then you will soon encounter the limitation of the speaker.
Dali Katch is one of the sleekest Bluetooth speakers we have seen. The device is slim and solid and the buttons on top are easily accessible. There is a carrying strap on the side, so you can easily take it with you or hang it up. But the speaker benefits most from a solid surface. The connections are easily accessible. The speaker grill will not be equally beautiful by everyone. In fact, it feels a little cheap. Fortunately, Katch makes up for a lot with its design and sound quality.
Using the speaker is no challenge at all. On top are the buttons that all make clear what you can do with it. Fans of the Xbox 360 are undoubtedly charmed by the four LED lights around the power button, which communicates well how high the volume is and which soundstage is chosen. The buttons provide sufficient feedback for a blind operation (provided you know which button does what of course) or else you can simply control everything via your smartphone. Loosening the strap is unnecessarily difficult the first time.
Klipsch The Three II (449 euros)
Klipsch 'speaker The Three II is the largest model we have in take this overview with you. The monster is equipped with support for bluetooth 4.0, a 3.5mm port and a phono connection. There is also a USB port, but it is used for any updates. You can use the USB audio port for music playback. In addition, this model has 24-bit / 192kHz decoding so you can play hi-res music. Unfortunately, this speaker does not have a battery, so you cannot just take it with you or move it.
Klipsch The Three II has a fairly wide sound field. The speaker is especially beautiful in depth and reproduces soft, beautiful sounds. The mids sound clear and refined. Where the bluetooth speakers have considerably difficult are the higher tones. These are measured, so you miss elements from your music. With busy music, such as pop, dance and further on the electronic side, that can make the whole sound almost cacophonic and you just don't want to hear that if your speaker costs about 400 euros.
We are very much to speak about the design of the Klipsch The Three II. The speaker has got an old school look with its hard frame and robust appearance. It is not out of place in a room with an emphasis on industrial design. We particularly like the knobs on top, which control the source and volume. In addition, the on-off button is very cool. The speaker stands on short legs, so that the bass sound does not sag when you put it on a solid surface.
Vifa Helsinki (399 euros)  The Vifa Helsinki is a bluetooth speaker with support for bluetooth 4.0 and aptX (if available). The connection can be done via Bluetooth, but also via NFC. On the back we find a mini-jack to which you can also connect a wired product. The battery on board lasts about eight hours, which in itself is great for a day at the beach. Furthermore, this bluetooth speaker has no connection options or special features. The Helsinki contains two full-range drivers of 50 millimeters, as well as two woofer drivers of 60 millimeters.
So the functions are good, but in terms of sound quality, the Vifa Helsinki scores least well so far. . In itself there is little wrong with the speaker, but compared to what we have heard so far, it is somewhat disappointing. Although the music is not measured at the top, we do notice that there is a bit of shaving. In addition, we hear a bass layer, but we also hear that it does not go very deep. It does not provide an unpleasant listening experience, but for this amount we have simply already looked at better speakers.
In addition, the design does not appeal to us. The olive green color makes the device easy to combine with a modern interior and also outside – in the garden or on the balcony – the Vifa Helsinki is not out of place. As far as we are concerned, the case looks just too simple and cheap, while that is not at all the case with the speaker. The leather strap at the back is fine, because you can take it with you. You could even hang the speaker on something, although the sound is better when you place it on a table or cupboard.
What the Vifa Helsinki also delivers is the ease of use. The simplistic appearance is partly due to the use of buttons. There is an on / off button on the side, with which you also operate the bluetooth mode. At the front we find the volume buttons. You can easily operate it from the side while holding the Helsinki. But there is nothing more. Fortunately, the two ports on the back are easily accessible; you do not have to pull up on this. All in all, we think it is just a little too little in this price range.
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P6 (339 euros)
De Beoplay P6 from Bang & Olufsen is one of the few bluetooth speakers that works with its own app. Within that app you get access to an equalizer, with which you can adjust the sound yourself. The device supports Bluetooth 4.2 and has a USB-C port on the bottom for charging. The built-in battery is charged with about three hours, but then lasts for sixteen hours. There is a microphone, so you can also make calls and use it to speak to a voice assistant (but you need the app for that.)
Make no mistake in the format of the Beoplay P6 . The relatively compact speaker, the smallest in this comparison, easily fills a complete room with sound. The same applies to a garden or balcony, if you place it on a solid surface. The bass is the best part of the P6 (you can adjust the sound with presets in the app), but in general the speaker can present a somewhat hollow sound. If you put the P6 too hard, distortion can occur. Furthermore, many types of music sound quite natural on this bluetooth speaker.
The Beoplay P6 has a retro appearance, which makes it more difficult to integrate it into your daily setup. If that is not a problem, then you have a sleek, compact speaker. The shell feels high-quality and the leather strap on the side provides some extra class. The speaker is sturdy thanks to its wide base, so you do not have to quickly realize that it falls over when you put it on a table outside. The bottom is also provided with rubber, so that it does not shift quickly.
On top of the Beoplay P6 are some buttons, which we are in favor of. So you are not dependent on your smartphone for operation. You control the volume and whether the music is on or off. There is also a special OneTouch button that allows you to select a preset or address the Google Assistant or Siri. You have to download the accompanying application for this, which probably not everyone is waiting for. Without that OneTouch button, you will also be fine with this solid speaker by Bang & Olufsen.
Marshall Stanmore II (399 euros)  Taking the Marshall Stanmore II in this article is a bit like comparing apples to oranges, because it's actually a smart speaker with bluetooth (5.0). You can also connect devices via old-fashioned RCA plugs (red and white) and a 3.5mm cable. There is no battery in this device, so you should always keep it near an electrical outlet. That also detracts from what a bluetooth speaker is or can be, but otherwise that is not a negative aspect at all. Yes, it was less portable and mobile, but that's it.
The sound quality on the Marshall Stanmore II is of a high level. It's what we expected from The Three II, just better. Admittedly, the bass doesn't go as deep, but the higher tones are much better here. In addition, the sound is crystal clear and incredibly soft to the ears. There is no creaking and hassle. After connecting your music player (via WiFi, Bluetooth or a cable) you can immediately enjoy a large part of the musical spectrum. Bands with a garage-like sound sound really cool on this thing.
Marshall is a brand that immediately stands out thanks to its unique design. That design language is also very evident on the Marshall Stanmore II. You have to love it, that fake leather shell, but in combination with the speaker grill and the wood that emerges elsewhere, the bluetooth speaker does radiate Marshall. In addition, we find it convenient that the 3.5 mm connection is positioned on top, so that you can always access it. The logo in the middle of that speaker grill is the icing on the cake: this speaker really shines.
The Marshall Stanmore II can be used in various ways and is therefore the most accessible speaker in this list. You have the buttons on top, with which you adjust the volume, bass and treble. In addition, there is a Bluetooth application (which you have to download separately), you can control the device with your voice and via Google Home (there is also a version without voice control) and it works with any music streaming service. Switching between the sources and switching the microphone on and off is nice and quick with the easily accessible buttons.
Conclusion – what is the best bluetooth speaker now?
As far as we are concerned, it really is a game between the Marshall Stanmore II and the Dali Katch. Both speakers stand out in terms of sound quality compared to the rest. In terms of operation, these two speakers and the Klipsch The Three II score very well and the same can be said about the design. If we look at functions and other possibilities, the Katch unfortunately falls short: there are several options, but the Stanmore II and The Three II have a bit more to offer for the average user.
These are small differences, but they also count. Admittedly, these are differences that have little to do with a general Bluetooth speaker, because then we mainly look at other connections on the device. And the Marshall offers just a little more than the Dali. The Three II too. That is not surprising: the Dali Katch is much more compact and is also portable. So if you really want a portable bluetooth speaker for in the park or on the beach, you will get the best out of it with the Katch.
Of the speakers viewed above, we are most pleased with the Marshall Stanmore II. This speaker may not score best on all points, but it is clear that you can use this speaker in many situations. And yes, then we count the Wi-Fi possibilities. However, these are not decisive. The Stanmore II has an impressively good reproduction of music and as a listener you also have the possibility to adjust that reproduction to your own hearing with rotary knobs. Accessibility does have a decisive factor.
Then of course we have the FWD Awards for this file. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the Marshall Stanmore II receives the Best Tested award. That model has a nice audio quality, which can be adjusted to your own liking, and more than enough functions. The Dali Klipsch receives the Best Buy award from us. Not necessarily because the price is low, but because the speaker sounds very good, is nice and portable and has a battery that lasts a long time. Plus: there is an extra connection, namely the 3.5mm.
Also check out our archive of reviews which also contains a large number of reviews of speakers. In addition, we recommend that you read our tips and advice for even more background articles on loudspeakers, televisions and other home cinema products.