Listening to audio when out and about used to be quite cumbersome because of the size of the equipment involved. Either that or it was a solitary experience if you opted for the more manageable headphones option. When MP3s freed music from the confines of cassette tapes and CDs it suddenly meant that it was possible to take way more audio with you wherever you went. Unfortunately, the devices to play these files such as phones and tablets are hardly known for the quality of their audio output. Recently there has been a surge in portable speakers that connect to your audio devices via Bluetooth and actually offer decent quality playback. These speakers allow you to listen to your music, along with friends without getting tangled up in wires or lugging around heavy equipment with you.
There are quite a few options to choose from when it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, but some factors have to be taken into consideration before making your purchase. The intended use of the speaker will obviously play a big role, for example, do you lead an active lifestyle and want to take the speaker with you on extreme sporting events or do you like chilling in the park with friends and just want something funky to provide some background tunes. You will also want to ensure that the speaker you buy has the right design, battery life, range, audio quality and durability that you desire if you want to avoid disappointment. Let’s take a look at these factors to aid you in your purchasing decisions.
Our Selection of the 20 Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers:
Taking the above-mentioned factors into consideration, we have comprised a list of the best portable speakers available on the market in 2017. We looked at all the most popular brands and some up-and-comers and selected one of the best of each. At times the competition was tough but we believe that our list of the best portable speakers is as accurate as it can be.
This triangular speaker has been the best portable speaker for quite some time now and it is not hard to see why. The OontZ Angle 3 provides you with pretty much everything you could possibly need. The first thing you will notice is that the speaker is pretty small and very light. It is about 5 inches long and no taller than 3 inches, with a weight of no more than 10 ounces, making its built perfect for portability. This allows you to easily carry it around or simply put it your backpack or handbag.
Don’t let the small size fool you though, the sound that is produced by the OontZ Angle 3 is absolutely remarkable for such a small speaker. The high-quality sound is more than loud enough to fill a room without any distortion and the accompanying bass is unbelievable. Cambridge SoundWorks claims that the OontZ Angle 3 forms part of the next generation of portable speakers and we have to agree because none of their competitors come close to what they have achieved with this portable speaker.
As for some of the other aspects of the speaker; it is water resistant with an IPX5 rating which basically means that it is splash proof, rainproof, dustproof, and sand proof. You can also connect to the speaker via Bluetooth from pretty much any suitable device, or you can use an AUX cable. Thanks to the built-in mic, you also get the convenient hands-free feature which will allow you to access your iPhone or Smartphone through voice commands.
It is hard to find anything bad to say about this particular portable speaker since it truly does look great, feel great and sound great – and best of all, it is totally affordable.
Available at: Amazon
Elegant. Sleek. Superior. Those are the three words that come to mind you see the DOSS Touch. It distinguishes itself from its competitors through its elegant and sleek design, complete with sensitive touch buttons that provide you with full control over your music. There is also a touch ring located at the top of the speaker that allows you to control the volume of the music.
While on the subject of volume, this portable speaker is quite impressive regarding this aspect, however, it is still a portable speaker. If you are looking to entertain a crowd then best look at our list of the best party speakers.
The connectivity options of the DOSS Touch is another convenient feature as you have three different connectivity options, including Bluetooth, Micro SD, and Aux-in.
The portable speaker consists of high-quality materials that add to the overall quality and elegance. The main attracting feature of the DOSS Touch is undeniably its sleek and elegant appearance that is sure to impress anybody who lays their eyes upon it. However, this does not mean that the sound is not impressive, as it is superior in its own right.
Available at: Amazon
JBL is known for making great speakers and headphones and they did not disappoint with the Flip 4. The Flip 3 which came before this model was incredibly impressive so when they announced the Flip 4 I was incredibly anxious to get my hands on it. It is hard to exceed a speaker that is still loved by so many people and still makes the list of the best portable Bluetooth speakers but we have to say that not only did the JBL Flip 4 meet our expectations for the upgrade but it actually exceeded our expectations. Let us take a more in depth look at this speaker.
First and foremost the JBL Flip 4 portable Bluetooth speaker consists of durable rugged rubber material that makes it the perfect speaker for your outdoor adventures. However, despite the rugged exterior, the speaker remains stylish thanks to the simple black design and of course the cylinder shape which is very popular with portable Bluetooth speakers at the moment.
The powerful Bluetooth connection is definitely a plus, especially since the speaker allows you to pair up to three different Bluetooth music devices at a time so you can for instance conveniently use your Smartphone, tablet, or iPod to stream music without having to connect a new device every time. This saves you a ton of effort.
The 3000mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery will give you up to 10 hours of playtime and the sound is just awesome as it always is with JBL. Whether you are using the speaker to play music or using it to take hands free calls with the built-in speakerphone, the sound is always rich and crystal clear and when it comes to those bass tracks, you will not be disappointed with the lows produced by the Flip 4.
As an added bonus the Flip 4 portable Bluetooth speaker is splash proof so you can feel free to have it by the pool and if it happens to get dirty, you can even clean it with some running water. If you are unsure of which of our best portable Bluetooth speakers to buy – this is definitely a safe bet.
Available at: Amazon
Bose lived up to their reputation when they launched the SoundLink Mini II. It produces deep bass and has high volume capabilities. The bass is actually quite surprising as it is much deeper and more powerful than you would expect from such a small portable speaker.
As for the style of the SoundLink Mini II, it is stylish and modern, with the look of a small center speaker that you can expect to see in the living room of an audiophile. It is available in Carbon and Pearl colors – which are basically just black and white. However, we have to say that this speaker looks absolutely amazing wherever you choose to use it. Its sleek design makes it an attractive accessory for your home or office.
The SoundLink Mini II has a Lithium battery which gives you up to 10 hours of play-time. This is where we see another cool feature of this speaker which is the charging options. You can use a USB cable to charge it when you are on the road, using your laptop or car as a power source, or you can make use of the charging cradle at home which is like a wireless charger for your speaker.
Overall, the sound and build quality of the Bose SoundLink Mini II is just supreme and perfect for those who want a powerful speaker that can function as a portable speaker as well as a home or office speaker.
Available at: Amazon
The Anker Classic is a high-quality speaker that has managed to make itself a worthy competitor by giving users a feature that some of the other portable speakers lack, namely long battery life. The Anker Classic gives us almost twice as much battery life as some of the other portable speakers with up to 20 hours of playtime.
The quality of the speaker is also something to brag about as its metal built and sound quality makes it a high-quality device that seems grossly underpriced. We have to say that we also like the cube shape – it is so contemporary.
As for the sound, the speaker comprises a 4 Watt, 2-inch driver that emits powerful bass results with full sound. The clarity and volume are equally impressive even at its max Bluetooth connection range of 33ft.
For a small, high-quality contemporary speaker, with a long battery life, the Anker Classic is a perfect choice.
Available at: Amazon
6. Amazon Tap
The Amazon Tap is quite outstanding – to look at as well as to listen to. Now, if you are somewhat pessimistic about the idea of an Amazon speaker then I totally get it – I was too. But think about it this way, Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world and with a reputation and resources like that, you can easily create a speaker that qualifies as a competitor for the most well-known brands – and that is exactly wat they did.
The Amazon Tap is stylish but practical and it is available in 7 fun colors. This Alexa-enabled portable Bluetooth speaker can play music, read the news, provide weather reports, and even order a pizza whenever it is connected to wifi or a mobile hotspot – now you have to admit that that is pretty cool. This is however just the tip of the iceberg. With the tap feature, you can also ask for music from Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. If you want to use these features from a distance, you can simply enable the hands-free function.
If you do not want to stream music from one of the online music services, then you can simply connect your Bluetooth device to it and stream music from there.
As for the sound, the portable speaker is powered by Dolby which already makes it quite impressive. With dual stereo speakers, you have access to high-quality 360º omnidirectional sound. You can use your Amazon Tap for up to 9 hours, at which point you will have to plug it in. In total, the device takes a little over 2 hours to recharge.
The design of the Amazon Tap is just plain awesome as it is a futuristic little cylinder with some cool LED’s and some functional touch buttons at the top of the speaker to control your music with.
We have to add, that the Amazon Tap is quite pricey so if you are looking for a cheaper portable speaker then one of the others on this list might be more suitable. However, the Tap is definitely the money worth so if you can afford it then go for it.
Available at: Amazon
The Photive Hydra is one of the best portable waterproof speakers so it is not much of a surprise that it made this list as well. With its industrial look, high-quality built, and impressive features the Hydra is one remarkable portable speaker.
First off let us start with the big one – its waterproof feature. The Hydra is equipt with IP 66 ingress protection which means that it is dustproof and waterproof. This makes it the perfect portable speaker for those of you who want something they can take anywhere – including the pool and even the beach. While on the subject of water, we should add that this speaker can float so if you feel like dropping it in the pool then do so, it will simply float around next to you and continue playing.
As for the sound of this speaker, it is simply jaw-dropping. Equipped with a passive subwoofer and two 40mm drivers this portable speaker will give you everything you need in terms of sound – clarity, volume, and deep bass.
Available at: Amazon
I like to think of the UE Boom as the hippest and most fun speaker on our list. While there are some other portable speakers that are available in some funky colors – none comes close to this. The UE Boom is available in 11 epic colors and themes wich can be as basic as black and white or as outrageous as crystal, superhero, and Skrillex. Now while I am not a Skrillex fan myself – I do love these options because let’s be honest, they look so very cool.
To make it even cooler, this is a 360-degree speaker that produces rich, full sound with surprisingly deep bass. And thanks to the 360-degree sound, you will feel the music all around the room.
The speaker is also water and stain resistant and with the rechargeable battery, you get up to 15 hours of playtime – which is quite a bit more than most other portable speakers on the market.
Overall this is a pretty great portable speaker and the only reason it is not higher on our list is that like the Amazon Tap, it is more expensive than some of the first speakers – but also as with the Amazon Tap, if you can afford it then it will be worth it.
Available at: Amazon
The first thing I thought when I saw the RoverBeats T3 is that it is one of those silly speakers that look like a camera lens for some crazy reason. It is however not. While it does resemble a lens, it would be demeaning to compare to those $5 speakers.
The RoverBeats T3 is first of all very small – about 3 by 3 inches, which makes it perfect if you are looking for something very small and ultra-portable. However, somehow despite the size, Etekcity has managed to create quite a powerful speaker that plays loud and clear music with deep, strong bass.
As for the built, it is comprised of high-quality materials and when you hold it in your hand, you can easily feel the sheer quality and it is amazing. Honestly, I could not believe that so much power and quality can be held in such a tiny little body, not to mention the great connectivity, hands-free calling, and long lasting battery.
This little speaker is just amazing and definitely gives some of the other speakers on this list a run for their money.
Available at: Amazon
Last but not least is the AYL Portable Outdoor and Shower speaker. We tried to add some variety to this list while still making sure to mention the best of the best – because what is the use of listing 10 speakers that are all pretty much the same. So here goes. This little speaker is almost twice as powerful as other similar portable Bluetooth speakers and it is perfect for outdoor adventures. You can go biking, fishing, climbing, hiking, or swimming with this portable speaker and it will work perfectly. We would not recommend swimming with the speaker attached to you but it can withstand splashes, heavy rain or perhaps even a quick drop in the water as long as you recover it quickly.
Surprisingly enough the sound is pretty great. With a 33ft Bluetooth range, the music produced by the speaker is clear, loud and satisfying at both lows and highs.
As for the size, this portable speaker is pretty much the same size as the RoverBeats T3 at around 3 by 3 inches – but of course, this speaker is much thinner at only two inches.
For anybody looking for a quality portable speaker that they can carry along on outdoor adventures – this is a perfect choice.
Available at: Amazon
The Photive M90 is a great rugged but still stylish portable Bluetooth speaker that will be the perfect audio device to take along on your outdoor adventures or to simply use when hanging out with some of your friends. Thanks to its many useful features, this speaker can be used pretty much anywhere – even in the water.
The M90 is well known for its waterproof and shock-absorbing design that makes it suitable for so many versatile events. When taking it along to a pool party, you definitely do not have to worry about the device getting wet and breaking as its IPX5 rating ensures that it is protected against splashes. As for the shock absorbing feature, the M90 is designed to withstand and bumps or accidental drops that might occur during your more active outings.
Unlike many of its competitors, the M90 has quite a bit more power than the ordinary portable Bluetooth speaker with a total of 20 watts. You will get surprisingly high volumes from this compact speaker – not to mention the super impressive bass. The speaker actively amplifies higher and lower bass frequencies with the use of the unique quality combination of powerful stereo sound and of course the great passive subwoofer that can be found in the speaker. These components will give you really impressive audio results with rich and bold sounds that are guaranteed to blow you away.
Even with all the advanced audio technology at our disposal these days, many portable Bluetooth speakers still seem to disappoint in that area. Luckily the M90 is not one of those speakers which is why it is featured on our list of the best portable Bluetooth speakers. Beyond the impressive and immersive bass, this speaker will produce crisp and clear sound at both mids and highs.
The great sound and beautiful minimalist design with the rubberized finish and aluminum grill is certainly impressive but there are many more features that you need to look at before committing to any one portable Bluetooth speaker. Let us, for instance, take a look at the connections and battery life of the Photive NM90.
You can connect to the device using Bluetooth, Aux, USB or Micro USB which certainly does not leave you short of options. If you choose to use the Bluetooth connectivity as most people do, then you will be very impressed by the unfaltering connectivity offered by the M90 as well as the great Bluetooth range that allows you to walk around with your phone even though you are using it to stream music to the M90. The battery is equally impressive as the 5000mAh Li-ion battery will give you between 8 and 10 hours of playtime on a single charge so as long as your music library is fully stocked then you should not run out of music anytime soon.
Available at: Amazon
Bose has done it again. The SoundLink Color is an amazing compact portable Bluetooth speaker that gives you great sound with a simple minimalistic design. The Speaker is available in a variety of colors, namely black, blue, red, white, and mint – because, well, if you have not noticed – mint is everything these days. Way to go Bose! Furthermore, the portable Bluetooth speaker slim square-ish design that makes it easy to hold and just as easy to place on the floor while enjoying some great tunes. So wherever you are and whatever you are doing, the Bose SoundLink Color portable Bluetooth speaker is sure to be the perfect source for some tunes.
This portable Bluetooth speaker is the perfect device for you if you, like most people, enjoy listening to music while working out. Simply connect your phone or iPod to the SoundLink Color via Bluetooth and enjoy the advanced connectivity technology that will allow you to stream music from your Bluetooth device from up to 30 feet. You won’t have to worry about any faltering connections or poor quality sound as the speaker is designed to work perfectly with a Bluetooth connection. All you need to do is get some great tracks on your phone, connect and press play. As another little bonus feature, you can connect two Bluetooth devices to this portable Bluetooth Speaker at the same time and enjoy the convenience that this brings. This is not a huge feature but for some people, it can really make their lives a little bit easier.
This speaker might be small and while this might not be quite the right time to quote Shakespeare, I simply cannot resist as the famous phrase “thou she be but little, she is fierce”, has never seemed more appropriate. The SoundLink Color is guaranteed to give you’re a satisfying listening experience. With proprietary Bose technologies and an advanced unique design, the speaker is able to produce clear, well-balanced, full-range sound.
The sound that is produced by the SoundLink Color is absolutely fantastic and if it does not impress you then nothing will. When we look at the Best portable Bluetooth speakers on the market then we, of course, look at a specific set of criteria such as portability, sound quality, connectivity, battery life, usability, etc. Each type of speaker has their own set of criteria that it gets rated on so, we won’t judge each speaker based on the same criteria since you expect very different things from a portable Bluetooth speaker and, say a tower speaker. Having said that, I have to say the when it comes to the sound quality of portable Bluetooth speakers then the Bose Soundlink Color is absolutely sublime.
You will get up to 8 hours of playtime from this wonderful device so you will definitely have more than enough music streaming. I cannot think of any reason why somebody would not want to buy this truly awesome portable Bluetooth speaker.
Available at: Amazon
Anker is a rather popular brand when it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers and it is not hard to see why. They constantly release newer better speakers that are available at affordable prices. With these high-quality speakers you would almost expect there to be some kind of catch but that does not seem to be the case. As far as we can see Anker just somehow continue to design awesome speakers that they continue to sell at low prices and all the while the company keeps expanding.
The first thing you want to know about any speaker – including portable Bluetooth speakers is if the sound is good. Take it from me; the Anker SoundCore produced superior sound with little to no distortion at even the highest volumes. While on the subject of volume, the SoundCore can go pretty loud despite its small and compact size. When you first hear the speaker at full volume, you almost want to look around the room to see if there is a larger more powerful speaker hiding somewhere that is actually responsible for the sound – however, that is not the case (trust me, I looked). So in terms of sound quality and volume, this little portable Bluetooth speaker certainly does not fail to impress.
The majority of speaker brands take the contemporary, minimalistic route when designing their speakers. So, of course, Anker did the same. Give the people what they want, right? The SoundCore does, in fact, have a very simple design and I have to say I think that it looks great. The speaker is black with a rectangular shape and has the Anker brand name printed on the grill in a simple gray classic Anker font. So now that we have established that the speaker looks great, the only thing left to add is the fact that it is small and compact so it will easily fit into your purse or backpack which is essential for a portable Bluetooth speaker.
The Anker SoundCore features advanced Bluetooth 4.0 technology that allows you to connect to easily the speaker using any suitable Bluetooth device such as your Smartphone, iPod, Laptop, tablet, etc. And once the speaker is connected to your phone, you won’t have to worry about it disconnecting while you are streaming as the Anker has proven to have an unwavering connection when it comes to Bluetooth.
One area where the SoundCore most definitely does not fail to disappoint is battery life. On one single charge, the portable Bluetooth speaker will give you up to 24 hours of playtime to ensure that you have non-stop access to music. This more than twice as long battery life as the majority of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market – and that is including some of the best models.
Available at: Amazon
The Sony XB10 is without a doubt one of the cutest portable Bluetooth speakers that I have ever seen. Now, do not let its adorable exterior fool you, this is one classy, epic and insanely durable speaker. If this speaker was a person, it would be Lara Croft – beautiful and classy on the outside but 100% awesome on the inside.
The body of the speaker is small, elegant and contemporary with its smooth short cylinder shape with the grill at the top and a cool textured stand that makes for an all the more awesome design. The portable Bluetooth speaker is available in black, white, red, or blue and each of them has the word ‘Sony’ printed on the side so that everybody can see that your little speaker is from one of the best audio names in the industry.
The Sony XB10 portable Bluetooth speaker is great if you are looking for a speaker that will give you the easy portability feature, with stylish looks and a ton of bass. I mention the bass this early in the review since it is a very noticeable feature in this little speaker. Thanks to a passive radiator that works with the internal speaker to enhance low-end response, you are able to get that awesome bass boost despite its compact size.
You can connect to the speaker via Bluetooth or NFC with ease. If you want to use the Bluetooth connectivity option, simply pair the speaker to your Smartphone or any other Bluetooth device that contains audio files. The Bluetooth connection I strong and should not get interrupted as long as you stay within the recommended distance of the speaker. You can also connect via NFC by simply touching your audio device to the speaker. If you want stereo sound, you can also wirelessly connect another Sony XB10 to the first one and enjoy awesome sound from more than one direction.
On a single charge, you will get 16 hours of playtime which is a lot for a portable speaker – especially one this small. As another convenient feature, the portable Bluetooth speaker water resistant with an IPX5 rating so no need to worry yourself about getting the XB10 wet with rain or pool splashes.
There is not much more to say about the device – it is a high quality portable Bluetooth device that has great sound and a great design – not to mention its small lightweight design that allows you to carry it around anywhere, anytime.
Available at: Amazon
This black cylinder shaped portable Bluetooth speaker has a somewhat similar design as the Amazon Tap and similar to that speaker which is featured in the Top 10 of this list, the Big MagicBox also works great with echo dot and other voice controlled apps. This is a good device for hands-free calling and thanks to the advanced Bluetooth version 4.0; you are guaranteed to get a powerful connection between your music streaming device and the Big MagicBox with a Bluetooth range of up to 33 feet. This allows you to conveniently walk around with your Smartphone or whatever Bluetooth device you are using without the fear of losing your connection to the portable Bluetooth speaker.
With over 20 watts of power, the Big MagicBox portable Bluetooth speaker will give you the loud and powerful sound that you want to hear from a high quality portable Bluetooth speaker. The crisp and clear sound that is produced by this speaker is bound to impress you and your friends and leave you amazed by the lack of distortion at maximum volume – which for the record is pretty loud.
Bass is another thing that the Big MagicBox brings to the table with advanced ultra bass technology that enables it to produce undeniably clear and thumping bass that will give your favorite music that extra bit of depth that it needs to fill the room. Unlike with the majority of portable Bluetooth speakers that contains a passive subwoofer, the Big MagicBox’s bass port design allows it to produce better and clearer bass.
The portable Bluetooth speaker contains a 4000mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will give you over 12 hours of playtime and over 100 hours of standby time. The volume at which you play your music will, of course, affect the playtime but if you listen at 2/3 volume then you should get about 12 hours which is quite impressive.
There is not much more left to say about this speaker. It performs well in all areas including sound quality, bass, battery life, and portability. The only thing I haven’t mentioned is the control buttons that can be found on the speaker. There are six buttons that allow you to answer calls and control various aspects of your music. Overall it is a quality speaker that should give you everything you need in a portable Bluetooth speaker.
Available at: Amazon
Here we have another speaker that is a bit more on the rugged side. When it comes to the best portable Bluetooth speakers, you will notice that many of them have some additional durability features and this is simply because many people like to take these speakers along on their outdoor adventures. Of course, some people are just looking for something that they can carry in their purse or backpack but even then it is nice to know that you have durability on your side in case you drop it or it gets damaged in your bag. The only thing about this portable Bluetooth speaker that might be a bit off putting to some people is the fact that it has a very outdoorsy design – I mean just look at that green body with the touch of orange. However, that exact feature that could be off putting some is exactly what might attract others to it. If you are going hiking in the woods or kayaking then you probably want to take a speaker along that fits the scene and this Apie speaker definitely looks ready to tackle the great outdoors.
So, now that we have established that the body is suited for the more adventurous folk, we can move on to what is going on under the hood. First of all this 10-watt speaker is able to produce some pretty insane sound. It contains two 5 watt speakers that effectively streams quality stereo sound with full range output that delivers high-quality sound. Just because you are experiencing the rugged outdoors does not mean that you should not get to experience amazing sound. The highs and mids are clean and clear at full volume and for those songs with some bass, you will get rich vibrations that are bound to impress.
The 2200mAh battery is more than powerful enough to power this little guy as you will get up to 10 hours of music playtime to give you a little spring in your step while you are exploring the wilderness. As far as connectivity goes, the speaker has great Bluetooth connectivity that will easily pair with any suitable Bluetooth device. It is also equipped with a built in microphone for easy and convenient hands-free calling. As a little extra perk, the portable Bluetooth speaker has a handy hook attached to it that you can clip onto your backpack or wherever you would like. To top it all off the speaker is shock proof and it has an IPX6 rating making it water resistant.
Available at: Amazon
You cannot judge me for adding another Bose speaker to this list – after all, it is a list of the best portable Bluetooth speakers and Bose has just produced so many great portable Bluetooth speakers and here we have another one. The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ is actually one of my personal favorite speakers in this category and the only reason why it got knocked down a couple of spots is that it will cost you just over $300 which is quite expensive. However, like with most things in life, you get what you pay for so let us take a look at what exactly you get when you buy the Bose SoundLink Revolve+.
I almost want to say that you won’t find a portable Bluetooth speaker that sounds as good as this one right here but I try to refrain from such statements since I have not listened to every single portable Bluetooth speaker on earth so I will just say that this thing is the bomb! Bose sound engineers have spent countless hours perfecting the audio performance of the Revolve+ and my, oh my, are we thankful. The speaker produces accurate 360-degree sound that is absolutely jaw dropping. As this is a Bose speaker, you will get that amazing signature Bose sound which as we all know is incredible. On top of that Boss once again delivers with deep booming bass. Listening to music on a portable Bluetooth speaker will never sound flat again as the Revolve+ will give you more depth and power than you ever imagined was possible from such a tiny speaker.
The size is great though as it makes the speaker very easily portable and since it also includes a handle (that let’s face it, makes us all think about a bucket) you can easily carry it around without the need of a backpack. In addition, the speaker has a built-in speakerphone for hands-free calling as well as a Bose connect app that you can download on your Smartphone. The app features a drag and drop interface for maximum convenience where you can control various aspects of your Revolve+. The portable Bluetooth speaker is also water resistant with an IPX4 rating so no worries when this speaker is standing by the pool.
Available at: Amazon
The Anker Premium Stereo looks a lot like a center speaker that you will see in a home theatre system – just smaller. It looks very sleek and elegant with a shiny polished body with 4 buttons on top and a simple grill on the front. The speaker is available in both black and white and while the white looks nice, the black one just looks so much better.
The color of the speaker only matters so much, since the internals are exactly the same in both versions and let me just say that it is pretty impressive. The speaker produces a huge stereo sound that is undeniably crisp and clear. The volume of the speaker is also pretty impressive. We often have the “not loud enough” problem with portable Bluetooth speakers so it is hard to find one that does not disappoint – let alone 20. However, the dual 10-watt drivers that are found in this Anker portable Bluetooth speaker more than suffices.
With MaxxBass technology and a total of two passive subwoofers, this speaker delivers enhanced bass performance that is bound to impress you. Is it just me or does ‘MaxxBass’ sound like some rave DJ’s stage name? I would have to look it up… Anyways, the speaker effectively produces deep lows and roaring highs that would be like music to your ears – pun intended.
The powerful Bluetooth 4.0 technology featured in this Anker speaker will instantly pair with your Smartphone, iPod or whichever Bluetooth device you decide to use within a range of 33 feet. This distance allows you both mobility and the convenience of pairing your speaker with a device that is not in the same room. If the speaker is switched on again, it will automatically pair with the device it was last paired with. Thus, you would not need to repair your device every single time.
With a 5200mAh lithium0-ion battery, you will get about 6 hours of playtime on a single charge. The time that the battery lasts will, however, be determined by the volume at which you choose to play your music.
Available at: Amazon
The JBL Flip 3 is the perfect purchase for anybody that is looking for a hip portable speaker that has some impressive features. First off, the small cylinder-shaped speaker with its tough rubber exterior can be shoved into any backpack and easily survive some of your outdoorsy adventures – all the while looking absolutely fantastic. The JBL Flip 3 is available in 7 great colors that range from your basic black and white to some more funky colors, including pink and blue.
Its splash-proof feature allows you to have it out in the rain or set it by the pool. Just be careful not to submerge it in the water. If that is what you are looking for then you should rather take a look at some of our pool speakers.
You can connect to the Flip 3 using Bluetooth and for extra fun, you can connect up to 3 devices to it. So, feel free to use it as your default speaker for your Smartphone, tablet, and laptop without having to disconnect and connect a new device every time.
Thanks to the built-in mic, you can take calls using this portable speaker and enjoy the crisp and clear sound as you chat away – just as you would when listening to music.
The sound is definitely something that JBL can brag about since the Flip 3 is impressing buyers all over the world with its crystal-clear sound, deep bass, and high-volume capability.
Available at: Amazon
This funky portable Bluetooth speaker looks a lot like the UE Boom and in many ways, it is the same but not all. The UE roll is of course, a great looking speaker with its own range of colorful designs with their own unique names. You can buy the round shaped speaker in either atmosphere (which is basically blue with a bit of red), grey-black, volcano (orange and mint), sugarplum (sort of magenta), etc. The fun colors have definitely become a trademark of UE as they never fail to bring some life to their products with bright colors or fun prints.
The speaker is perfect for your outdoor trips as it has an IPX7 rating which means that it can be immersed in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes – that is awesome! With a powerful Bluetooth connection of up to 65 feet, this portable Bluetooth speaker keeps getting better. It can also connect to up to 8 Bluetooth devices at the same time, making it easy to switch between devices. As impressive as this might be, I have no idea why anybody would need to connect 8 Bluetooth devices to a speaker. Perhaps all your friends can connect their Smartphones to it as well. However, I do not even have that many friends so this is not the most useful feature for me – nonetheless, it is pretty cool.
The UE Roll 2 contains a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that will give you about 9 hours of playtime on a single charge. The speaker is also easily portable thanks to the great design. You can simply drop it into your purse or backpack or even clip it onto something to listen to music on the go. Overall this is a great little portable Bluetooth speaker.
Available at: Amazon
What to look for in a Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The design of you portable speaker says a lot about you and what you like. In 2017 we are seeing a lot of more contemporary speakers on the market – most looking like a miniature version of an actual regular sized speaker. Many brands are also choosing to go with cylinder shapes for their portable Bluetooth speakers since they often produce 360-degree sound and it makes them easier to hold in your hands. For the hipsters out there, there are some popular brands that have released some funkier designs, but they mostly still maintain the minimalist shape. For instance, look at the hip UE Boom, in comparison to the contemporary Harman Kardon Esquire Mini.
With competition mounting, many brands seek to distinguish themselves through the designs of their speakers which is why design plays such a large role. If you are young at heart or love to draw attention then some of the more funky designs should suit your needs. Anyone that is professional or a little bit more conservative or who would feel simply uncomfortable when using something that looks like a toy in public can opt for some of the more modern and sleek designs. It all comes down to a matter of personal taste and with so many options to choose from this is one category where you probably won’t have to compromise.
No matter how careful you are when using your portable Bluetooth speaker outdoors accidents will inevitably happen. Durability should be an important consideration for all portable speakers, but the more active your lifestyle the biggest the influence this factor will be for you.
For the occasional hike or hanging out with friends at the beach you might still be able to get away with a speaker that is only water and maybe dust resistant, but for the more adventurous souls, it’s a different matter. Advantages such as being weather proof and shock resistant become essential if you spend a lot of time outdoors in bad weather or wet conditions. Sometimes the extra durability comes with an inflated price tag, but you also get products like the Photive Hydra that can take a few knocks without your wallet having to get involved in the beating as well.
Size & Weight
Even in the portable Bluetooth speaker market, you will find that there are marketable size differences between different brands. Obviously, you want something that is small enough to carry around and ideally fit in your pocket, but not at the cost of inferior audio quality.
If you absolutely cannot live without thumping bass then you had better be prepared to lug around a bit more weight with you as the smaller speakers tend to be a bit lacking when it comes to the low-end of the audio spectrum. Lightweight speakers can offer good sound quality as the Pocket Sized Anker Wireless Bluetooth Speaker have demonstrated, but compare it to something like the Amazon Tap and you will hear the difference. If you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of audio quality for the convenience of carrying a lighter load you’ll find plenty of speakers, like those from Anker to choose from.
About the only thing worse than carrying around a heavy portable speaker that doesn’t sound that great is carrying around a heavy portable speaker with a flat battery. If all you ever do is go for a walk in the park or lounge around in the backyard by the pool you can still get away with a portable speaker that has a shorter battery life. Anything that takes you further from home, and more importantly the battery charger is going to require a portable speaker that can keep going for a while.
The companies that try and sell you these speakers often have very optimistic estimates in their product descriptions and these don’t always match what you will get in real-life. Be prepared to get a much shorter battery life than the product description if you are prone to using your portable speaker at the top volume all of the time. If extended camping trips in the wilderness are your thing something like the Eton Rugged Rukus All-Terrain Portable Solar Wireless Sound System which can be recharged with solar power might be the only solution for you. Just bear in mind portable speakers are not of much use if your actual audio playback device, be it a smartphone, tablet or laptop runs out of juice so make sure you have something that can keep up with your speaker.
Depending on how much of an audiophile you are, sound quality should be at the top of your list when it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers. Let’s face it; you are going to find speakers that sound like an AM radio station playing in mono. This is why it is so important to test the speakers yourself or listen to the good advice from reputable websites. Product reviews from other consumers should also give you a good pretty good indication about the audio quality, but bear in mind that tastes differ and something that sounds horrible to one person might sound like a heavenly symphony to someone else. Many portable speakers inevitable sacrifice some audio quality in order to pack all those components into a portable casing, but this doesn’t mean you have to settle for something that sounds like a pay phone during playback. For the best sound quality, especially when it comes to bass you might have to dig a little deeper into your wallet and prepare yourself for some extra weight, but in the end, it is worth it.
If all you want is a piece of plastic that plays music and don’t really care for much else you can probably overlook the extras. More discerning buyers, on the other hand, will want to get as much value for money when it comes to their portable Bluetooth speakers. If you are the outdoors type that prefers to move around by means other than your own two legs you might want a speaker that can be clipped to the handlebars of your bike or backpack. Some speakers offer this feature as standard while others require a separate purchase for accessories. For example, the Pyle PWPBT60 Sound Box Splash has an integrated metal loop to hang it off anything, while if customization is your thing, you might like the Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II with their soft covers or something from Jawbone that can be upgraded with new features or apps. The types of ports and jacks included on the speaker are also quite important unless you plan on sticking exclusively to Bluetooth usage. Some portable speakers include microphones so you can answer your phone via the speaker while others forego this option. Don’t pay through your nose for extras that you will never use, but don’t compromise on a speaker that can’t offer you everything you want either.
The final thing to consider when it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers is the range. Obviously, you are not going to leave your expensive speaker in the middle of nowhere and go wandering around, but neither do you want something that has to be tethered to your phone in order to work correctly. The ideal portable speaker will give you some breathing room to move about without losing the connection. The further the range of the speaker the better, but there’s no need to go overboard and pay extra for a speaker that can continue playing even when you are too far away to hear it.
Consumers really are spoiled for choice when it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers so you can afford to be picky when it comes to picking yours. Remember it is something that you will be using in public so the more comfortable you are with what you by the better. It is easy to be swayed by some of the funky designs that are available, but remember that there is more to a good speaker than just a pretty box so take the time to examine all the factors that I mentioned in this guide and then make your decision. Making a list of features and factors that are important to you when it comes to portable audio will allow you to narrow down your list and make an informed purchasing decision.