The best new portable speakers are stylish, powerful, and easier than ever to stash in your carry-on. Tom Samiljan takes them for a road test.
1. If you’re looking for 360-degree sound, Bang & Olufsen’s BeoPlay A2 delivers, with speakers that face both front and back. It also has the longest battery life of the bunch: a full 24 hours. $399.
2. For true music wonks, the Philips FL3X offers the highest-quality audio in the smallest possible package. Pull out the rubberized top for punchier bass, or keep it collapsed for remarkably clear, warm sound. $35.
3. Clip the iFrogz Tadpole, which weighs less than one ounce, to a backpack, and you’ll barely notice it’s there. Its diminutive size is no match for big orchestrations; stick to movies or podcasts. $20.
4. The Cambridge Audio G2 has solid sound, with up- front vocals and well-defined bass. The extras—a USB port to charge your phone and a water-and sand-resistant exterior—give it a rugged edge. $150.