If you want to take your music with you wherever you go, but the quality of your phone speakers isn’t impressive enough, then a portable speaker is just what you need. Striking the perfect balance between practicality and sound quality, portable speakers allow you to enjoy your tunes whether you’re at home, in the car, at the beach or a barbecue.
There are hundreds of cool speakers on the market today, to the point where settling on one option can be a bit confusing, so here’s a guide to help you buy the perfect portable gadget for your needs.
Wi-Fi vs. Bluetooth Speakers
The first thing you’ll have to do is decide if you want Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. There is no clear winner here, it all depends on what you want from the device.
- Pros: These speakers can connect to any phone, tablet or laptop with Bluetooth technology. They are very affordable, versatile and easy to find, and they are compatible with many devices. In terms of design, they tend to be more compact, which makes them very travel-friendly. They take only a few seconds to set up and you can use them anywhere because they don’t require a power socket or network. Some say that Bluetooth has its limitations in terms of audio quality, but this is an issue of the past. Modern Bluetooth portable speakers deliver great quality sound so that you won’t be disappointed in this respect.
- Cons: Although practical, Bluetooth speakers have a limited range and the fact that they run on batteries counts as a disadvantage for some folks because the speaker can die when you use it for long periods of time or when you turn up the volume. Since the gadget is connected to a device via Bluetooth, your music may be interrupted by notifications or by people or walls blocking the signal.
- Pros: Wi-Fi technology can expand the speaker’s capability, offering features such as the option to access music from media servers. Wi-Fi portable speakers also have a wider range than Bluetooth ones (up to 200 feet as opposed to 35 feet). They are premium devices, so if you want to use them for professional purposes, the investment is worth it.
- Cons: Wi-Fi speakers are limited to a home network, so if you want to use them outdoors, you can’t do that. If you’re using a shared network and someone is streaming videos or downloading something, the playback can be affected, and there is also the issue of user friendliness. Unless your speaker uses Wi-Fi Protected Setup, setup will be more difficult because you’ll have to download an app and go through several security steps. Lastly, Wi-Fi portable speakers are more expensive than the ones using Bluetooth.
Design & Build Quality
The modern portable speaker doesn’t just need to be practical and feature-packed, it also needs to score some points in terms of style. Whether you want it to match your room or simply look cool, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of designs to choose from. Fact: speaker shape may also influence sound quality.
Here are just a few styles that are trending lately:
- Retro portable speakers that have an old-school look. They have familiar analog knobs and buttons.
- Cylindrical speakers or the famous “pill” shape. The most famous example is the Beats Pill from Beats By Dre.
- Minimal speakers such as the Edifier E30 Spinnaker, which to an outsider looks more like an item of interior design than a gadget
- Levitating speakers – these consist of a base and a speaker that is kept floating above it by magnetic technology
Surely, design, signal strength, and price aren’t the only criteria you should take into account while on the hunt for the best portable speaker. To make the most out of your purchase, consider these features too:
- Remote control: so you can easily change songs, turn the volume up or down
- Voice recognition: this option will raise the price tag quite a bit, but it’s great if you don’t want to leave the dancefloor.
- Online music services: these enable you to access songs not just from your local music library, but also from online streaming services (i.e. Pandora, Spotify)
Levitating Speakers – Cool & Futuristic Gadgets
If you’re all about design and you want a portable speaker that not just plays music, but also looks fantastic, then you’ll love levitating speakers. These cool toys consist or two parts: a large base and a smaller speaker that’s kept afloat, thanks to the power of magnets. They deliver quality 360 sound, but, most importantly, they are extremely fun to look at.
The OM/ONE was the first levitating speaker on the market and was shaped like a sphere, but the models that followed not only improved the performance but also introduced more interesting speaker shapes. So, you can have your very own floating disc, orb, planet, even Death Star!
Top 3 Portable Speakers
MUSIC ANGEL Levitating Speaker – an affordable levitating speaker
Feeling adventurous? Then why not try the MUSIC ANGEL Levitating Speaker? It looks gorgeous, and, for the low price tag, it’s one of the best floating speakers out there. Rocking 3D Surround Effects and Multi-color LED Visual Effects, it will make your parties more colorful. Read more about it in this review.
Bose SoundLink Mini II – performance in a small body
The Bose SoundLink Mini II is one of the smallest Bluetooth speakers out there, but make no mistake, it packs quite a punch. With an ultra-compact design and impressive sound quality, it is well worth the price tag and it’s a perfect option for music lovers who want a reliable portable speaker with good battery life.
If you are interested in this speaker, visit here to get one.
Sonos PLAY:1 – Wi-Fi Multi-Room Speaker
If you prefer Wi-Fi over Bluetooth, you might want to give the Sonos PLAY:1 a change. It doesn’t have a flashy design, but it compensates through its custom drivers with dedicated amplifiers. Although it streams music via Wi-Fi, it is surprisingly simple to set up.
Visit here to get the Sonos Play:1 speaker.