Portable speakers (also known as Bluetooth speakers) are the most underrated speakers around, just because a few years ago this market had few great options with good sound and build quality.
Although they still cost more than most computer speakers they offer the same or even better quality and most of them are filled with cool features.
Bluetooth speakers these past few years have really improved in their sound and build quality, but still, they can`t compete with a dedicated Hi-Fi system, but they don`t have the convenience of a portable speaker.
And therefore, we will provide you a list of 10 best portable speakers available.
Tips on how to pick out the one that fits your needs the best
The most important thing is to set your budget and the features you would want your portable speaker to have, and then look within those restrictions. For a moment, let’s forget about the features because it does not matter so much because the most important thing is the battery life and the sound quality. And it is useless to have a speaker full of features if its battery drains quickly and it sounds quality like a 20-year-old phone.
Looking back at features the most commonly looked after is waterproof speakers and device charging – a feature which allows you to connect your phone or tablet to steal a bit of juice when it’s running low.
Another way to narrow your search is to select the speakers for your activities you will want to do with them.
Bose Soundlink Revolve+
Soundlink Revolve+ seems more like a lantern than a speaker, but instead of light, it emits sound and loudly considering its sizes. Omnidirectional speakers are a thing of the market, and most manufacturers have a product of this type, and Revolve+ is their take on the market, and they did it great.
Revolve+ is almost identical to its more compact brother Revolve, only setting them apart is it is bigger in size, having longer battery life, and being able to play music even louder. And they are probably the most attractive omnidirectional speakers on the market, plus the design is not only in the looks, as the handle makes it a lot easier to carry it around.
It has features like access to Siri or Google Now, an integrated mic, and ability to use Boss Connect app, and most crucial are its water-resistance capabilities, it’s not waterproof but it will survive accidental encounters with water making it possible to use it outside.
The sound of Revolve+ is why it is better than the smaller one, as it provides richer bass and can put out higher decibels. The quality of audio is just like any other Boss portable speaker, near perfection although audiophiles will find it faults compared to wired speakers this is a great pick considering its size.
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 4
Harman Kardon is mostly known for being a car audio manufacturer for those that are unfamiliar with HK. But they are building other devices too, just like this Onyx Studio 4 which is their flagship in portable speakers.
Onyx Studio 4 is one of my favorite higher-end speakers available, and it is the best bang for the buck, as it comes filled some unique and useful features and amazing sound quality. From the feature view, Onyx can connect with up to two smart devices. It also can connect with other HK products that support HK Connect+ making possible to blast the sound thru several speakers at the same time. It can work up to 8 hours without charging although mostly for us HK survived for 5 to 6 hours as it depends on volume and music type plus it allows to access Siri and Google Now.
Onyx Studio 4 does not have the best features available, it has great audio quality with balanced lows and highs and deep bass even at higher volume, making this speaker excellent for those that are looking for a great audio quality.
Bose Soundlink Mini II
Although Bose Soundlink Mini II is one of the older design models and lacks features that the newer competitions have, Bose, should not be regarded as a bad pick as it has few tricks up its sleeves. Yes, looking at the Soundlink it looks disappointing as it does not have features like NFC for quick pairing, it is not waterproof, and it does not have multipoint Bluetooth pairing.
But the reason why it made this list is because Soundlink Mini II is still the best sounding compact speaker we have heard. While looking at other compact speakers Soundlink provides the best audio quality and bass level of them all even at higher volumes.
And the other reason is that it is built to survive an apocalypse with its aluminum body, and when most compact speakers are built from plastic Soundlink stands out. So, if you are looking for a compact speaker with great audio quality and toughness of a tank for a great price Bose Soundlink Mini II is made for you.
JBL Charge 3
JBL Charge 3 is one of those portable speakers that will be at the top of any Bluetooth speaker list for a long time without any problems.
Charge 3 has one of the best waterproof features available on the market that did not have a big impact on its audio quality. It has good features built-in like mic, voice assistant which allows accessing Siri or Google Now, but the feature worth its name is its power bank providing you with the possibility to charge your phone or tablet.
But its most important feature is its waterproofed design, making this speaker ideal for trips near water as it can easily survive being submerged for a while up to a meter depth.
With balanced sound and deep bass, it offers a good audio quality although it does not handle high frequencies very well, we believe it is because the waterproofing as most waterproof speakers struggles with the same audio problem.
Even when played loud Charge 3 offers a great sound without distortion, and it is possible to lay it horizontally, it will provide the best quality when it is positioned vertically on a flat surface.
JBL Pulse 3 is a portable speaker that will surely entertain a lot of people by not only its good audio quality but by its look alone. In other cases that would not be a thing that makes it a great portable speaker, but when you add a light show with a balanced audio Pulse 3 has no competitors.
Pulse 3 is waterproof just like Charge 3, but it can only be used vertically, but from other features, it also offers 360-degree sound, inbuilt mic, JBL Connect+ which allows connecting with other speakers with the same feature and JBL Connect app which allows to customize the lights and adjust the settings.
Pulse 3 offers a good audio quality, with balanced sound, deep and not too heavy bass, and a better high-frequency performance than Charge 3 even at higher volumes making Pulse 3 a pleasant surprise to your ears.
And with 12 hours playtime, it has an average battery time, but this is measured with the lights on and can be extended by turning them off, but whom are we kidding because the lights are the party trick that made us purchase it.
Harman Kardon Go + Play
Harman Kardon Go + Play at first glance may not seem like a portable type of speakers due to its size, it more resembles the era of iPod dock. It’s more like a boombox that has a battery which allows you to carry it outside your room. But Harman Kardon again proved that they could make great portable speakers which has great audio quality and deep bass, and for this price range Go + Play has the most bass depth and quality I have heard, it’s almost as good as a wired speaker.
But, because it is more fixed on audio, it has very few features, and those are a mic, 3.5mm jack, Bluetooth and USB port so you can charge your phone or update your speaker. And these are features that will be used mostly by such a speaker, and it’s not a big setback compared to others.
Go + Play excels at audio, as it has one of the clearest sounds out there, and with great bass depth that I have not witnessed in any other portable speaker near this price range, it shows what it is capable of.
Harman Kardon Go + Play is worth any penny it is priced for, and could easily replace your main Hi-Fi speakers.
UE Megaboom is Unlimited Ears biggest portable speaker from their Boom series bringing bigger design with more features and even louder audio. UE Megaboom was one of the best speakers for its price range even when it was built back in 2015 it can make lists of newer speakers.
With IPX7 certified waterproof capabilities Megaboom can survive even in the harshest of environments, and Megaboom design is remade for more security and easier usage. Smart Bluetooth feature allows you to control the speaker even to turn it on or off up to 100 feet without any problem.
And audio capabilities for it is amazing delivering clear and balanced sound, over the original Boom it plays even louder and with deep bass, minimal distortion and good quality. It rarely suffers any distortion, the only time it had any problem was when few tracks pushed it to its edge while playing loudly as it toned down few frequencies to prevent distortion.
And the price dropping these past few years Megaboom is even more pleasing and brings the best bang for such a price.
Creative Muvo 2c is one of the best compact budget speakers available, and this little beast has more bit than you might expect from such a small speaker. And that is because this is the smallest speaker that has its bass radiator we have ever seen, and this makes the Muvo 2c have better dynamic range than any other speaker at this price.
For such a small speaker you would think that it lacks something very important feature, but it does not it’s still waterproof, it can play music thru Bluetooth, a 3,5mm jack or even microSD. And yes, it has a slot for microSD, so you can play your mp3 files directly, but the most beautiful feature is the ability to connect it to your computer and customize audio preferences to your liking thru USB.
Although for more money you can get much better sound quality and deeper bass, and somewhat better battery life. But if you are looking for a budget speaker which could be used for up to 6 hours and has enjoyable sound quality Creative Muvo 2c is your best option, as no other speaker close to this price range will be able to perform as good as Muvo.
Bose has made their name into portable speaker industries as one of the best manufacturers who truly bring out the best audio and build quality in their products, and Bose Soundlink Speaker III is no exclusion. Although Speaker III is designed for indoor usage and would probably be most comfortable in your living room, it offers cases that allow you to use it outdoors safely. But because it can’t be charged with USB it requires dedicated AC adapter it makes a list purely by its design quality and audio performance.
Audio performance once again proves that Bose can bring out the best from any speaker size and Speaker III is nothing but spectacular. With clear audio on all ranges, deeper bass than its predecessors Speaker III will handle most tracks even when played loudly, the only time it suffered any distortion playing loudly was when the track had a lot of instruments played at the same time.
So, if you are not planning to listen to an orchestra Soundlink Speaker III is a great choice for a portable speaker, as it has good audio capabilities for its size, simple design that will fit into any living room and build quality of a tank it’s a speaker worth Bose name.
For those that are a bit less focused on sound quality and needs something ultracompact speaker that can be taken anywhere and survive any adventure JBL Clip 2. This little speaker was made more for outdoor adventures in ruthless conditions, and it will survive, plus with IPX7 waterproof rating this speaker will survive underwater for some time, and when tossed into the water it managed to float for few seconds making it easier to save it.
Even for its size Clip 2 has a decent number of features like speakerphone capabilities, Bluetooth, integrated 3.5mm audio cable and even built-in carabiner for easy transporting and carrying.
Clip 2 has impressive audio quality and capabilities considering its size, as it has some bass just not a lot. The speakers will have distortion when playing loudly with some tracks, especially bass-heavy ones.
But it performs great in midrange and best with speech and acoustic music making it more ideal for movies and videos.
So, if you are looking for an ultra-compact speaker with decent audio quality and capabilities to survive adventures Clip 2 is the best for you.
Portable speakers, although has lower quality audio than wired speakers are still a necessity for few people who mostly spend their time traveling or going outside and having a decent quality music player by their side, is something that is unthinkable.
So, these speakers are better in their own way and will fit any possible scenario you might think of. With a variety of size, quality and price it is hard to know which one will fit you the best, but it should cover almost any scenario.
Last update on 2020-08-20 at 15:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API