You’ve got some decent speakers on your smartphone. Your home’s sound system is second to none, too. With these great audio devices at your disposal, would there be a need for portable speakers? If you’re like us who can’t survive a day without filling your ears with high quality music, getting portable speakers is virtually a no-brainer. In fact, the only thing left for you to do is to decide what types and features to choose.
Wi-Fi VS Bluetooth Portable Speakers: The Great Debate
Two options immediately come to mind when it comes to portable speakers: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Which of these two is right for you?
Nowadays, you can buy Wi-Fi speakers that don’t come with wires. On the other hand, you can also get Bluetooth speakers whose sound quality competes with the best that their Wi-Fi counterparts can offer.
Wi-Fi speakers can be controlled via remote and can stream music directly from the Web. On the other hand, their Bluetooth cousins are capable of charging other devices.
Frankly, you can’t go wrong with either type of portable speakers, so we broke down the best in each category for you.
Top 5 Bluetooth Portable Speakers
Are you looking for a great wireless speaker to take with you on the road, at the park, or even by the pool? Well, we’re sure you’ll have few regrets getting one of these awesome Bluetooth portable speakers:
Who’d expect that something this small could perform superbly? A surprising piece of technology, the FUGOO Sport can play amazing sounds non-stop for as long as 40 hours even on high volume. It’s even built with an omnidirectional microphone that turns the portable speaker into an extension of your smartphone. You can ask it to call a friend, remind you of schedules, or even use Google Now and Siri. How cool is that?
It comes in a variety of jackets (Tough, Style, and Sport) that complements both your personality and your coffee table, too.
Creative Muvo Mini
You don’t get a Bluetooth speaker with full features at this price range these days. The Muvo Mini is the exception. With decent battery life (runs up to 10 hours), a weatherproof construction, and a loud, balanced sound, this device is surely a practical choice for everyday use. All of these goodies for a price that easily wipes out high-end competitors($49.99). Now that’s value for your money.
UE BOOM 2
One look is all you need to see that the UE Boom 2 is anything but boring. Beyond its vibrant color schemes, the device’s all-around performance is what sets it apart. Waterproof and shockproof, the UE Boom 2 is perfect for when you go for a dip in the pool or in the tub.
JBL Charge 3
Bigger than the others on this list, the JBL Charge 3 takes up a lot of room in your bag. What comes with that bulkiness, though, is excellent sound quality, no matter the volume, and a bass that packs a punch.
Made for anyone who likes their music loud and clear, the Charge 3 is made even more compelling with its IPX7 rating. That means it can survive a dunk in the pool for 30 minutes, though we doubt if anyone would be interested listening to music underwater.
Infinity One Premium Wireless Portable Speaker
Forget about this portable speaker if you’re trying to cut costs. If you’re willing to splurge on a stunning audio performance, a beautiful ceramic finish, and nifty additional features, it’s the perfect buy.
Besides delivering a stunningly rich sound, the Infinity One also takes pride in its awesome Bluetooth range. Even if you leave the connected device a good 20+ feet away, it’ll do just fine. On top of the range, it charges your devices via USB.
Top 5 Wi-Fi Portable Speakers
Wi-Fi portable speakers outclass their Bluetooth counterparts in three major departments: sound quality, range, and variety. Put simply, Wi-Fi speakers sound subtly better, have far better range, and lets you play more tunes off the internet. Unfortunately, with all these high-class features comes a high-class price tag.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for portable speakers that transform your home into an opera house you’ll want to get your hands on one of these:
With the Sonos app and the Play:5, you can virtually flood your favorite internet radio or playlist throughout your house. You can also combine the Play:5 with other Sonos speakers to create a surround sound system. Thanks to its powerful mobile app, you don’t need to be a techie to set up this complex system either.
However, those features are just icing on the cake. What makes this Wi-Fi speaker truly appealing is its ample volume and its terrific sound quality, which may be enough reason for some to buy this exceptional device. It gives you access to an exhaustive line-up of online streaming services (e.g. Rdio, Tidal, Spotify, Deezer, 7Digital, Amazon Music, Groove, SoundCloud, Google Play Music, Bandcamp, etc.), too.
Bose SoundTouch 10
The Bose SoundTouch 10 is a compact Wi-Fi speaker that delivers quite an impressive sound. You’ll definitely be surprised at how it sounds so much bigger than its actual size.
In addition, using its app (or tinkering with the device) is straightforward and easy. This makes it a great choice for anyone who isn’t tech-savvy. The Bose app integrates far fewer stream services (Deezer, Spotify, and internet radio) than Sonos, but still provides similar, high-level sound quality at half the cost.
LG Electronics Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer
A low-profile design that fits great into any setting, the LG Ssound Bar looks as cutting-edge as it sounds. In fact, the dialogs are clear and the bass is plentiful on these portable speakers. Plus, it features multiple sound modes that cater to watching the news, streaming movies, and listening to music.
Aside from these features, the LG Sound Bar provides other connectivity options e.g. HDMI and Bluetooth. This provides it with much-needed flexibility in case Wi-Fi isn’t readily available.
If you’re looking for a soundbar, check out our list of the best soundbars here.
Amazon Echo – Black
While the audio is not quite at the level of its competitors, the Echo surpasses the competition in practicality. Not only is this smart speaker voice-activated, it also gives you control over other smart appliances.
Now, if you’re really serious about audio quality, the Echo works around its vital flaw by letting you pair it with other better-sounding Bluetooth speakers. More than anything else, what makes this device such a hit nowadays is its growing list of voice-activated “skills”. Consequently, it gives you a taste of how it feels to live in a smart home. Not a bad bargain, at all.
With portable speakers in tow, you’re guaranteed to have an excellent auditory experience no matter where you are. Whether you’re watching a movie on your tablet, playing video games on your smartphone, or just hanging out with friends, portable speakers will make your life better.