Everyone loves music, right? So it’s always nice to have access to it, no matter where you are. Obviously, you can get away with wearing a pair of wireless headphones to get your fix.
But that isn’t really in the spirit of sharing. If you want to be a bit more social, what you need is a portable Bluetooth speaker.
There are thousands of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market, so choosing the best one for your needs can prove a bit of a minefield. With so much to consider, our guide to the best portable speakers will give you a step up.
Anker really knows how to put together a good, solid speaker. Despite being a relatively new brand in audio terms, Anker hits the bullseye with the Soundcore Flare 2. It packs in plenty of features for a very reasonable price tag, so it won’t break the bank.
The overall size of the Flare 2 is 3.5 x 3.5 x 6.31 in; roughly that of a 16 fl oz can of Dew, to offer a real-world comparison. Quite the coincidence, as it doesn’t weigh much more, either. The speaker only tips 1.29 lbs on the scales. It’s compact size and weight means you can carry it around and barely notice that it is in your bag.
If you are heading out, the Flare 2 has got plenty of life in it. It packs 12 hours of playback into its 5,200 mAh Li-ion battery. You’re probably good for a full day at the beach with that amount of playtime.
Speaking of which, the Flare 2 is waterproof, too, carrying an IPX7 rating. This means you don’t have to worry about a sudden rain shower catching you out. You could completely submerge the speaker in water and it wouldn’t make a difference. This means it is great for bathroom use, too! Just don’t have it on too loud if you’re an early riser.
As well as this, the Flare 2 features dual radial lights at the top and the base of the unit. This makes it look good, but how is the sound? Well, it looks pretty great. This is down to the 20W it is capable of cranking out, at 360 degrees. This, combined with the Bass-Up technology makes for a great portable listen.
2. Sonos Move
If you have a little bit of cash to spend, then the Sonos Move offers plenty for your money. This is likely to be more of a “home and garden” speaker. Especially given the price tag. However, what you do get leaves very little to be desired.
The Sonos Move is a rotund little speaker, measuring 4.96 x 6.29 x 9.44 in. It is a little on the heavy side, too, as it weighs in at 6.61 lbs. Quite the chonk, then. This is why it is probably not best taken any further than the garden. It would be too bulky to heave any further.
You can take it into the garden without fearing the elements, though. At least, momentarily, as it’s IP56 rating means it can withstand plenty before giving up the ghost. Rain, salt spray, dust, and even snow are no match for this trooper. It isn’t completely waterproof, though, so don’t knock it into the pool if that’s where you’re using it.
You get a good ten hours from the Sonos Move before it needs charging. This makes it great for an afternoon-into-evening BBQ. Then you can impress your friends with your high-quality audio, into the bargain! The Sonos Move offers a truly balanced sonic experience and one which can deliver great sound irrespective of genre. This is via the Auto Trueplay function, which adjusts the EQ dependent on the surroundings.
With additional features like Alexa voice control, this is a brilliant, high-end portable Bluetooth speaker.
The Tribit Stormbox is by far the best budget option out there. It very capably outstrips some significantly more expensive speakers in a number of criteria. We’ll start with battery life. At 22 hours, it is more than likely that the Tribit Stormbox will be partying for longer than you. This makes it great for camping—you could listen to music for the whole day, between sleeping.
It is incredibly portable, too. The 1.1 lb speaker can be carried with zero discomforts, so you can take it pretty much anywhere. The IPX7 rating means you don’t have to worry about any moisture frazzling the circuit boards. A great all-weather speaker.
You can control the Stormbox using Alexa, which it has built-in. This is great for finding and playing music without having to use your smart device. So, you can take it around the pool and tell it what music to play while you take a dip.
In terms of sound, you get a whopping 24W of output. The Tribit, too, is a 360-degree speaker, so no matter where you sit the sound is just a great. This puts plenty of more expensive portable speakers to shame. As does the battery life and waterproof rating.
4. JBL Wind
A portable speaker round-up wouldn’t be so, without a nod to JBL. And the JBL Wind couldn’t really get much more portable. This pocket rocket is designed to attach to the handlebars of your bicycle. So, its portability really depends on your pedal power. They even include a handlebar mount in the box, so you can attach it easily.
The speaker connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. You will get a good sound out of it as it sits so close to the source. The option to load the JBL Wind with a 32GB microSD means you can conserve your phone’s battery life. This is great news for more leisurely bike rides as it manages a good 10 hours from one charge.
Unfortunately, the Wind isn’t waterproof, although it does come with IP45 rating. This mean’s it is good for low-powered jets of water. It can handle a splash from a puddle, for example. This isn’t too much of a problem, though. If it does suddenly rain, you can clip the speaker inside your bag using the provided carabiner.
Share the Sound: Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers
As we mentioned, portable Bluetooth speakers are a great choice for social events. They also make great listening devices for around the home. If you must keep the music for yourself, though, check out the best wired headphones available now .