10 Portable Speakers That Will Sound Great Anywhere
With days getting longer and, most importantly, warmer, we’ll soon be spending a lot more time out in nature. And whether you can’t wait to bury your feet in the hot sand at the nearest beach or set up a tent in the wilderness of one of the country’s National Parks, entertainment is essential — especially if you’re traveling with a group.
This is where a good portable speaker comes in handy. They usually connect to your iPhone or another device via Bluetooth so you can stream your favorite Spotify playlist. No phone? No problem. Some speakers also come with SD memory cards where you can download thousands of songs and play them via a built-in MP3 player. Yes, that’s very 15 years ago, but when your phone battery dies from streaming, the party doesn’t have to die, too.
Now let’s talk specifics: what should you look for in a travel-friendly speaker? First of all, size does matter. While you can afford to have bulkier and heavier speakers at home, when your carry-on space is limited, those are not really an option. There are some that weigh less than a pound and the speaker itself can fit in the palm of your hand. But don’t worry, that doesn’t come at the expense of quality. Brands like Bose, Bang & Olufsen, and Ultimate Ears have created compact products that still deliver an extraordinary audio experience.
Another thing to look for is durability. You'll want speakers that are water-, dust-, and sand-proof if you're going to be using them outdoors. Battery life is also important — most speakers offer between five and 24 hours of playtime on a single charge.
Now, peruse 10 portable wireless speakers that will bring the perfect soundtrack to your summer travels.
Oontz Angle 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
This speaker has over 27,000 reviews on Amazon and is the No. 1 bestselling portable Bluetooth speaker on the site. And it’s pretty easy to see why: it delivers rich stereo sound that remains distortion-free at maximum volume for a fantastic price. The IPX5 rating means it’s splash-, rain-, dust-, and sand-proof so it’s an excellent companion for the beach. The battery has an impressive 12 hours of play-time potential.
To buy: amazon.com, $28
JBL Clip 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
This durable speaker is easy to clip to your backpack for a day of hiking using the attached carabiner; and it's got an IXP7 waterproof rating, which it will keep playing even if it’s raining outside. You can also wirelessly connect two speakers together for a surround sound–like effect.
To buy: amazon.com, $39 (originally $72)
Ultimate Ears Boom 2 Wireless Mobile Bluetooth Speaker
Take the party wherever you go with this compact wireless speaker that delivers a powerful 360-degree listening experience. It has a 100-foot wireless range and a 15-hour rechargeable battery. The speaker is IPX7 rated which means that even if you drop it in water that’s up to three-feet deep, it would still work.
To buy: amazon.com, $129
Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II
Powerful sound can come in small packages. This speaker has a silicone, water-resistant exterior and a built-in speakerphone that enables you to access your digital assistant like Siri or Google Now.
To buy: amazon.com, $129
Beats Pill+ Speaker
This sleek speaker offers the same powerful audio quality as your favorite pair of Beats headphones. Keep track of how much battery you have left with the help of a fuel gauge and if need be, get a quick charge in just three hours. The multifunctional “b” button serves to play, pause, and skip tracks, and can take phone calls.
To buy: amazon.com, $129 (originally $230)
Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Bang & Olufsen’s name has become synonymous with impeccable audio quality and this compact speaker is no exception. It is small enough to fit in your hand but offers a powerful ambient experience. It’s crafted from lightweight aluminum that’s dust- and splash-resistant and will play your favorite tunes for up to 24 hours.
To buy: amazon.com, $250
Sony XB10 Portable Wireless Speaker With Bluetooth
This speaker may be small, but you’ll be impressed with the punchy sound and powerful bass that come out of it. The battery lasts up to 16 hours and pairing your device is as easy as the touch of a button. The water-resistant design lets you listen to your favorite tunes regardless of what the elements throw at you.
To buy: amazon.com, $58
Creative Muvo 2c Speaker
This dust- and water-resistant speaker is palm-sized, but packed with great features. You can either connect a device to it via Bluetooth or download all your favorite tracks onto a micro SD card and listen to them via the built-in MP3 player. There's even a sound control panel to customize your audio experience.
To buy: amazon.com, $41
Harman Kardon HK Traveler Black Portable Bluetooth Speaker
This all-in-one travel speaker is equipped with a dual microphone system with echo- and noise-cancellation. It has a compact aluminum exterior and offers a well-balanced audio quality.
To buy: amazon.com, $180
Soundcast VG1 Premium Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
This speaker delivers an impressive studio-like audio quality wherever you happen to be. It is shock-resistant and waterproof so it’s perfect for camping or hiking trips. It also works with Siri for hands-free control and has a built-in microphone for taking calls. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 15 hours.
To buy: amazon.com, $150