How to Choose the Best Portable Speaker

How do you choose the best portable speaker in 2024? What properties and features should the best portable speaker have to suit your needs? Read our guide and make an informed choice.

How to Choose the Best Portable SpeakerMusic is a part of our lives and while we always enjoy the rhythms that we hum in our heads, we enjoy it even more when we can listen to our favourite music outright.

Certainly, you’re aware of the need for quality sound, whether you want to listen to music, or other audio materials, alone or with friends.

There are many occasions where you would like to enjoy powerful sound both at home and outdoors.

Perhaps this is the reason you are looking for the best portable speaker. So, how do you choose the best one?

From understanding the basics of Bluetooth connectivity and battery life to the importance of sound quality and additional features, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll also provide insights into some of the best-selling and highly rated portable speakers in the market.

So, whether you’re looking for a luxurious, high-end speaker or an affordable, compact one, this guide is your one-stop resource for choosing the best portable speaker.

Why Choose the Best Portable Speaker?

Evidently, technology makes everything easier to use today, but it also tends to allow you to take information with you wherever you are.

This was the principle through which laptops, tablets and smartphones appeared, and portable speakers were designed for the same purpose.

The best portable speakers can help you get a lot out of something very small. Being compact and functioning without a power cord, you can take them with you everywhere, and you can enjoy amplified sound whenever you need it.

How To Choose the Best Portable Speaker?

Before looking for a portable speaker, you need to determine for what purpose you want to use it.

Best wireless portable speaker bluetooth musicThere are many types of such speakers on the market, and the price varies based on several performance criteria. If you want such a speaker for personal use or occasional relaxation, there is no point in investing in an ultra-high-performance portable speaker, while you will need a very high-performance speaker if you want to use it frequently and for events more significant than your mere relaxation.

However, you can make the best choice if you are well informed. Therefore, we have prepared a shopping guide specially designed to provide all the information you need to make the best investment.

To choose the best portable speaker, consider the following important aspects:

Type of Connection

The type of connection of a portable speaker is an important differentiating criterion. Thus, there are the following types of speakers or types of connections:

Portable Speaker with Bluetooth

Most portable speakers operate on Bluetooth technology. It is one of the most appreciated variants, precisely because you do not need an internet connection to link a device and a speaker. It can quickly connect to most mobile devices, and it is a fantastic solution because it does not require cable connection.

However, there are some aspects you need to consider. The best portable speaker can connect via Bluetooth to any device, regardless of the version of Bluetooth it operates with.

Usually, you will find specified the versions of Bluetooth compatible with the speaker, as some speakers only work on one version. Also, the distance between devices will matter a lot.

The most efficient Bluetooth systems allow a maximum distance of 10 m between the speaker and the device. The moment this distance is exceeded, the connectivity will be lost.

Portable Speaker with NFC

NFC or Near Field Communication is a connectivity system similar to Bluetooth. It is a much faster variant than the one presented above because the devices will connect automatically at the simple touch.

However, for it to work, the two connected devices must be within a few centimetres. Also, the phone or tablet must have support for this type of connectivity.

Generally, electronic devices from Nokia, Samsung, Sony or Philips allow this type of connectivity through NFC.

Portable Speaker with WI-FI

A less common option, but it offers quality sound and extended operating autonomy. The disadvantage arises from the dependency of needing an internet connection.

Also, both devices need to be within the router’s coverage area. Therefore, it is not a good option if you plan to use it a lot outdoors, at picnics, trips, etc.

Portable Speaker with Jack or USB

A practical option when the device you use does not support wireless connectivity, for example, if you want to connect the portable speaker to a CD or mp3 player, but also to a tablet, laptop, etc.

The apparent disadvantage is the dependence on the cord, which greatly reduces the portability score and ease of use.

Sound Quality

Although a portable speaker will never surpass the performance of a traditional speaker, it is still natural to want our portable speaker to emit the highest quality sound. To ensure this is the case, you need to consider several factors that we will detail below.

The power, frequency, number of speakers, and even the size of the speakers are all important. Even so, it is quite challenging to test the quality and accuracy of sound propagation if you purchase the speaker online.

Therefore, do not neglect the opinions of other buyers and make sure to read each one carefully.

Power

Power is an important factor that will indicate how strong the speaker volume will be when we listen to music, but it is not an index for sound clarity.

Colorful lights portable speaker for doing yoga listening to musicA speaker capable of emitting a strong sound at a very high volume is not also a speaker that guarantees the emission of a clear, noise-free sound. Speaker power expressed in W (Watts) varies depending on the number of speakers.

For example, for a portable speaker with two speakers, an ideal power would be 12 W, 6 W per speaker. For a smaller speaker, however, a power of 3-4 W is sufficient to play clear sound at high volume.

Otherwise, the volume will be high, but the sound clarity will be severely affected.

Number of Speakers

The number of speakers in a portable speaker will greatly influence the sound quality.

A portable speaker with a single speaker will be more affordable, but will emit a weaker sound because both channels (right-left) will operate through a single speaker.

However, they have the advantage of a reduced size, perfect for any kind of room. Capable of reproducing a stronger and higher quality sound, portable speakers with two speakers are somewhat more expensive and evidently larger.

The sound quality compensates for both possible disadvantages.

Frequency Bands

The sound frequencies that humans can perceive are divided into channels, and speakers are capable of reproducing different frequency channels.

The human ear can perceive audio frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hz. These channels are: Subwoofer (below 50 Hz), Woofer (50-500 Hz), Midrange (0.5-8 KHz), Tweeter (8-18 KHz) and Supertweeter (above 18 KHz).

Most speakers equipped with a portable speaker fall into the Tweeter, Woofer, or Midrange categories.

Power Supply and Autonomy

A crucial aspect in the portability of a portable speaker is battery life. A portable speaker must allow you to use it anywhere, and for that you need the battery to allow you to use it at optimum capacities for as long as possible.

Portable speakers currently available on the market have batteries of different types: NiMH, Ly-Ion or with classic AA batteries. However, the best portable speaker has a rechargeable battery, not a classic one, with a battery life of 6-12 hours.

The autonomy will vary depending on what and how you listen. For example, if you listen to music at a high volume, the battery will discharge much faster than if you were listening to a speech at a low volume.

No matter what you listen to, the best portable speaker must guarantee you an autonomy of at least 5-6 hours even when listening to music at a high volume. Also, it should be very easy to charge.

Charging is done through a USB cable that can be connected to a charger, laptop, or even on-board the car if you have this option in your car.

Range

Refers to the distance allowed by a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection between the speaker and the connected device. Most systems allow a range of between 1 and 10 meters.

However, the best portable speaker allows even a distance of 20 m between the device and amplifier.

Size of the Portable Speaker

One of the problems with portable speakers in general is the fact that portability will always be inversely proportional to sound quality.

In other words, the lighter and smaller a device of this kind is, the easier it is to transport, the weaker the sound it will emit. From this point of view, you will always have to make a compromise, and you need to figure out what is more important to you, portability or sound quality.

You will be able to find speakers small enough to be carried even in your pocket, while others will be large enough to be used even at events.

With this information at hand and considering personal needs, you will be able to choose the right size for you.

Durability

Although very practical, portable speakers are not indestructible.

Powerful, durable and waterproof portable speakerLike other mobile devices and not only, portable speakers are subject to quite severe wear, and unforeseen accidents can occur at any time, and can damage or even destroy the speaker.

Therefore, in addition to sound quality, you should be concerned about the material from which the speaker is made.

The best portable speaker is made from a mix of materials such as: plastic, rubber, and metal, which provide the strongest speaker shell, and withstand the best long-term wear and possible shocks.

Also, since a speaker will be used both indoors and outdoors, it is important for the shell to be able to protect the circuits from strong sunlight, dust particles, moisture, etc.

Compatibility

The best portable speaker should be able to connect seamlessly to any mobile device you want to use, whether it’s a laptop, tablet or phone.

Also, the sound quality should not be influenced by the type of device, or by the type of operating system running on the device. In fact, an ideal portable speaker in which you will invest money, should work perfectly on Android, IOS or Windows and should not take into account the brand of the device.

What Functions and Accessories Should the Best Portable Speaker Have?

  • AM/FM – the best portable speakers will give you the opportunity to access radio stations when other types of device connectivity is not possible. You will be able to use them as a standalone entertainment device.
  • Micro SD/USB – although they are more expensive, models that allow you to attach a USB stick or an SD card, save you from dependence on a second device, being able to play content from these practical storage units.
  • Water resistance – allows you to use the device even in water-prone environments such as the shower stall, next to the bathtub or at the pool.
  • Phone button – a useful feature that allows you to accept calls and have a conversation using the speaker. Music stops, and the call can be made because such a speaker is also equipped with a microphone.
  • Auto-off function – if the speaker will stand idle for more than 30 minutes, it will automatically turn off, thus saving the battery.
  • Display – a screen on which you have the possibility to view the clock or the name of the song played.
  • Lights – some speakers have a special function that allows them to emit a play of lights depending on the music played.
  • Case – a special storage case will help you maintain it as well as possible.
  • Shell – the best portable speakers come packaged with a shell that helps to further amplify the sound.

Conclusion

Choosing the best portable speaker doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By understanding the key components and considering the factors we’ve discussed, you can find a speaker that perfectly fits your needs and budget.

Whether it’s the unbeatable blend of sound quality and portability of the JBL Flip 6 or the premium sound of the B&O Beosound A1, there’s a portable speaker out there for everyone.

Remember, the best portable speaker is not necessarily the most expensive one, but the one that offers the best value for your money and meets your specific needs.

So, take your time, do your research, and make an informed decision. With the right portable speaker, every location can be your personal concert hall. Happy listening!

Recommended Portable Speakers

Taking into account the advice above, analysing buyer opinions, and the available offerings, we recommend the following models of portable speakers that offer excellent value for money.

Recommended Product No. 1
Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 12W Stereo Sound, BassUp, IPX7 Waterproof, 24-Hour...
  • Unbelievable Sound: 12W of pure audio power with enhanced bass thunders from dual neodymium drivers. An advanced Digital Signal Processor ensures pounding bass and zero distortion at any volume.
  • Bluetooth Speaker with Intense Bass: Exclusive BassUp technology and a patented spiral bass port boost low-end frequencies to make the beats hit even harder.
  • Outdoor-Proof: IPX7 protection safeguards the Bluetooth speaker against rain, dust, snow, and spills. Get incredible sound at home, in the yard, or anywhere else imaginable.
SaleRecommended Product No. 2
Anker Soundcore mini, Super-Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 15-Hour Playtime, 66-Foot Bluetooth...
100,848 Reviews
Anker Soundcore mini, Super-Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 15-Hour Playtime, 66-Foot Bluetooth...
  • Compact And Powerful: Super-portable Bluetooth speaker delivers powerful sound and robust bass through an advanced 5W driver and passive subwoofer.
  • Unstoppable Music: Micro SD support and AUX capability provide endless audio options.
  • Extended Playtime: Anker battery technology supplies 15 hours of continuous playtime on a single charge; more than double that of comparable speakers.
SaleRecommended Product No. 3
RIENOK Bluetooth Speaker Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with 30W Enhanced Bass IPX7 Waterproof...
20,124 Reviews
RIENOK Bluetooth Speaker Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with 30W Enhanced Bass IPX7 Waterproof...
  • HD Stereo Extra Bass: The wireless bluetooth speaker equips with 30W high power full frequency drivers speaker and an advanced digital signal processor to ensure a high-fidelity sound system. Extra bass button to enhance the bass effect
  • All Day on Battery Life: With a built-in 3600 mAh rechargeable lithium battery, the portable bluetooth speaker provides you for over 20 hours per charge(The battery life depends on Led light, volume, and music types). Built-in microphone for hands-free calls
  • Bluetooth 5.3 and Wide Compatibility: The outdoor wireless speaker adopted advanced Bluetooth 5.3 technology. Providing fast, powerful and stable connection with wide compatibility. Easy to pair with most Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as Phones, MP3, TV, Laptop. Support sd card. Not compatible with Amazon Echo series products and Alexa devices
SaleRecommended Product No. 4
Bluetooth Speaker, Anker Soundcore Upgraded Version with 24H Playtime, IPX5 Waterproof, Stereo...
30,839 Reviews
Bluetooth Speaker, Anker Soundcore Upgraded Version with 24H Playtime, IPX5 Waterproof, Stereo...
  • ASTONISHING SOUND: Breathtaking stereo sound with deep bass is delivered with exceptional clarity and zero distortion by two high-sensitivity drivers and a patented bass port.
  • 24H WORRY-FREE BATTERY LIFE: Anker's exclusive, long-life battery technology provides the Bluetooth speaker 24 hours of sublime music.
  • WATERPROOF BUILD: IPX5-rated casing offers complete protection against liquids.
SaleRecommended Product No. 5
Sony SRS-XB13 - Compact and Portable Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth speaker with EXTRA BASS - Black
7,153 Reviews
Sony SRS-XB13 - Compact and Portable Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth speaker with EXTRA BASS - Black
  • Enjoy powerful surround sound, deep punchy bass and clear vocals, thanks to the Sound Diffusion Processor with EXTRA BASS, a full-range speaker and passive radiator.
  • Take it anywhere without worries! This portable speaker is waterproof and dustproof (IP67), with up to 16 hours' battery life.
  • The SRS-XB13 is compact, lightweight and easy to carry, featuring a convenient multiway, detachable strap to carry or hang your wireless speaker from wherever you like. It is available in 6 fun colours.
SaleRecommended Product No. 6
JBL GO 3 - Wireless Bluetooth portable speaker, 5 Hours of Playtime, integrated loop for travel with...
64,982 Reviews
JBL GO 3 - Wireless Bluetooth portable speaker, 5 Hours of Playtime, integrated loop for travel with...
  • The JBL Go 3 is a portable wireless speaker for the pool, park or on-the-go listening thanks to its durable, waterproof construction and compact design
  • This mini Bluetooth speaker boasts JBL Pro Sound, packing a loud punch and impressive bass, enabling you to carry the party in the palm of your hand
  • This bold and stylish mobile speaker comes in a waterproof and dustproof design, complete with an integrated loop that makes travelling with tunes easy and fun, no matter where you are
SaleRecommended Product No. 7
JBL Charge 5 - Portable Bluetooth Speaker with deep bass, IP67 waterproof and dustproof, 20 hours of...
25,041 Reviews
JBL Charge 5 - Portable Bluetooth Speaker with deep bass, IP67 waterproof and dustproof, 20 hours of...
  • Take the amazing power of JBL Pro Sound with you both in and outdoors with an optimised racetrack-shaped driver, a separate tweeter, and dual JBL bass radiators delivering rich and clear audio
  • The wireless speaker's portable design means the fun doesn't have to stop, packed with an incredible 20-hour battery life, JBL Charge 5 lets you party all day and into the night
  • Wirelessly stream music from your phone, tablet or any other Bluetooth-enabled device while simultaneously charging your devices with a built-in powerbank so you never have to pause the party
Recommended Product No. 8
JBL Flip 6 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 2-way speaker system and powerful JBL Original Pro Sound,...
10,625 Reviews
JBL Flip 6 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 2-way speaker system and powerful JBL Original Pro Sound,...
  • Louder, more powerful sound: The beat goes on with a 2-way speaker system engineered to deliver powerful sound with low frequencies while a separate tweeter produces crisp, clear high-frequencies
  • 12 Hours of playtime: Don’t sweat the small stuff like charging your battery because the JBL Flip 6 gives you up to 12 hours of playtime on a single charge, so you can keep the party going longer
  • IP67 waterproof design: Whether you're hanging out at the park, relaxing on the beach or lounging by the pool, the IP67 waterproof and dustproof design means you can bring your speaker anywhere

Last update on 2024-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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