Here are the top 20 best portable bluetooth speakers of 2018 that are simply outstanding in terms of audio performance, portability and overall design. They are amazing speakers that balance these defining qualities of portability, convenience, sound and appearance, and set a remarkably high benchmark for manufacturers of portable speakers. These top 20 portable bluetooth speakers represent a true breakthrough in portable audio technology – whether it’s for indoor use or for outdoor sports, we guarantee that these incredible portable bluetooth speakers will impress you with some serious beats and stellar music performance. Some of these portable speakers are also selling at great discounts at the time of writing, so don’t forget to check them out before they sell out!
We choose the best portable Bluetooth speakers based on a combination of factors such as sound performance, portability, and size. The very best portable speakers deliver exceptional sound with crisp highs, detailed midrange and booming bass, while maintaining a compact and lightweight design. Our experts have tested hundreds of speakers to determine which ones have the best portable design with excellent sound performance and feature high quality Bluetooth streaming – all at affordable and very good prices. We also make sure that the speaker has enough battery life to last for long periods of time while on the go, so you will never have to worry about having to constantly recharge the speaker. Be sure to check out our list of best portable Bluetooth speakers for 2018 below!
Be sure to also check out our top picks for the loudest bluetooth speakers and best outdoor bluetooth speakers that are now selling at amazing discounts and deliver stunning sound performance at a budget price.
The Anker SoundCore is hands down one of the best portable bluetooth speakers now selling at a very good price with outstanding sound quality, a whopping 24 hours of battery life and advanced Bluetooth 4.0 technology for high quality audio streaming. This portable bluetooth speaker is able to produce high quality, full-bodied stereo sound through its integrated dual high-performance drivers and a unique spiral bass port. The sound from these speakers is clear, detailed and natural without any distortion at high volumes. It also features advanced Bluetooth 4.0 technology which allows you to connect to virtually any bluetooth enabled device from up to 66 feet away. The overall combination of portability, high quality audio and battery life makes the Anker SoundCore one of the best portable bluetooth speakers you can find.
The sound performance of the Anker SoundCore was phenomenal. The speaker sounds hands down better than most portable speakers in its category – the music is clear, detailed and very balanced. The highs and midrange was crisp and clear, and the bass response was good without any muddiness. The sound coming from these portable speakers can go really loud without any distortion which is impressive considering the small size of the Anker Soundcore. Overall, the Anker Soundcore produced a rich, full sound that we found really enjoyable to listen to. It’s the perfect speaker to take around for small party gatherings and is loud enough to easily fill a room with music – the Anker Soundcore will be able to play at full volume while continuing consistent playback without any issues.
The design of the Anker SoundCore looks premium and well-constructed. Straight out of the box, we were impressed by the sleek and modern design of the SoundCore which gave it a visually appealing and minimalist appearance. The battery life on the Anker SoundCore can pump out a whopping 24 hours of continuous playtime one a single charge, which is almost 2X longer than most other portable bluetooth speakers in this category. The SoundCore is designed to be small, compact and extremely portable – it also features a unique spiral bass port design to ensure that you can a good clean bass response from the speaker, which is a nice added touch. It also features the latest Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity which ensures that you get high quality audio streaming from your bluetooth device, and automatically reconnects to the last device used.
The Anker SoundCore also comes with a built in mic for hands free calls which is very convenient. The entire package comes with the Anker SoundCore Bluetooth speaker, micro USB charging cable, and a 18 month worry free warranty from the manufacturer, which is a nice added touch. The speaker itself is very light and has a good feel when held in the hand.
The Verdict? The Anker SoundCore is hands down one of the best portable bluetooth speakers you can find now selling at a very good price point. We really enjoyed listening to the clean, clear and detailed music that came out from this speaker, with good midrange and crisp highs. The SoundCore’s dual performance drivers will enable this speaker to get really loud without any distortion – you will be able to easily fill a room with music just from this speaker alone. Furthermore, the speaker comes with an incredible 24 hour battery life and the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology, which enables you to get the most out of this portable speaker with high quality audio streaming. At this price point, we have no doubt that the Anker SoundCore ranks as one of the best portable bluetooth speakers in its category and we highly recommend them.
#2 Best Value: OontZ Angle 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Speaker is a vast improvement over the previous generations of OontZ speakers. It is one of the best portable bluetooth speakers in terms of portability and sound – the Angle 3 provides high quality crystal clear sound with distinct mids and highs from two precision acoustic drivers delivering 10 Watts of excellent stereo and enhanced bass. It also features a nice proprietary passive subwoofer design that adds a good punch in the bass department. The end result is louder volume and more bass which is distortion free at high-volumes, and provides room filling sound which is perfect for indoor or outdoor parties. We particularly liked the clean design of the play/pause buttons which can allow you to pause/play without having to touch your phone.
The passive radiator which produces the bass in the Angle 3 is located on the bottom of the unit. If you place it bottom down, the bass effect is more pronounced. If you want a little less bass, you can make it stand on its end. When its bottom down, the bass has a nice little thump. This design is truly an ingenious features which enhances the overall sound performance. The speaker has 10+ Watts of peak power, which is loud enough to fill up your backyard party with clear, great sounding music.
The styling of the Angle 3 is far superior to the earlier generation. The stick-on rubber knobs on the bottom of the earlier generation have been replaced by two inch rubber strips set into the recesses on the bottom of the speaker. This provides more resistance to moving forces and is perfect for long distance car rides. Furthermore, the Angle 3 features a built-in mic for handsfree speakerphone for use with smartphones and iPhones; you can easily connect this device with iPhone, iPad, iPod, Samsung, Kindle, Smartphones and other Tablet devices. This means that you can take phone calls with this device while driving or travelling, which is pretty neat.
The Angle 3 is also built to be water resistant up to IPX5, which means it is splashproof, rainproof, dustproof, sandproof and perfect for beach, poolside, or boat uses. The Bluetooth connectivity on this device is super easy. It connects from one device to another effortlessly. You don’t even need to press a button the speaker to pair it with a different device as it simply pairs intuitively. The battery life on this speaker is about 7 hours, which is less than the Plus unit, which does 12 – 15 hours of use. This is partially because the battery is driving much more sound and requires extra battery power. All that is required with this trade-off is to simply charge the device more frequently.
The Verdict? The OontZ Angle 3 is one of the best portable bluetooth speakers and has no real negatives to mention. Overall, it is a very solid speaker and now has outstanding volume and good bass. It produces great sound in a small compact package and weighs in at about 9 ounces. It’s a great looking speaker with a unique design, and Cambridge Soundworks has really demonstrate a vast improvement on the sound quality instead of loading up tonnes of other features. Overall, the Oontz Angle 3 are some of the best portable Bluetooth speakers you can find that is selling at a very good price at the time of writing and definitely worth checking out.
#3 Best Sound Quality: Bose SoundLink Mini II Portable Speaker
The Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker is one the most versatile and best portable bluetooth speakers which delivers big sound with deep bass for a full range listening experience. The SoundLink II is a vast improvement over the previous model, providing longer battery life, longer bluetooth range, multi-function button for changing songs including a micro USB charger. The voice prompt now tells you that battery life is at 10% rather than the green/yellow/red LED. It’s one of the best portable bluetooth speakers that excels in delivering crystal clear quality sound cranked up loud enough for outdoor use.
We were very impressed at the amazing sound quality of the Bose SoundLink Mini even at high volumes. This speaker is capable of outputting an excellent audio quality throughout the entire frequency spectrum. It doesn’t have the bass kick of dedicated subwoofer, but the bass is more than adequate for speaker of this size – the bass is among the best compared to all portable speakers we have heard so far. Highs are also extending pretty far and details of the songs can be heard well. Finally, also mid-range comes out without issues and vocals sound awesome. The build quality of this device is great, and is heavy and durable. It has a beautiful exterior, rock-solid functionality (connecting to a phone is fast and simple). If you are in the market for the best portable bluetooth speakers with an emphasis on sound quality, this is definitely the speaker for you.
This speaker is absolutely trumps in terms of functionality. It has an improved lithium-ion battery that allows up to 10 hours of usage from the original 7 hours (which is a 40% increase). It has an integrated phone compatibility, so if your paired phone has an incoming call while you are listening to something on the Mini II, the speaker will take over the audio and ring, and you can press a single button on the top of the speaker and use it as your speakerphone. The sound on a call is great, and any caller on the other end will be able to hear you very well. As soon as the call ends, the speaker picks up playing your music from where it left off.
The great thing about the Mini is that is has a micro-USB input so you can charge it the way you do with most other USB-charged devices, making it intuitively simple to use. This replaces the proprietary AC input plug they used to have that required you to use their AC adapter. Because there is now direct USB connectivity, Bose promises that you will be able to download software updates in the future, such as for new Bluetooth connectivity advances. An added feature is that you can now pair two devices at the same time instead of just one, and it memorizes the Bluetooth settings for the last 6 devices that you have paired. There are helpful voice prompts for Bluetooth pairing, identifying the device currently played and also prompting you through setup.
The Verdict? The Bose SoundLink Mini is possibly among the best portable bluetooth speakers, if not one of the best in the market right now. Apart from delivering amazing top quality audio, it has excellent solid build quality, and has plenty of features such as the ability to work on a speakerphone, charge through USB outlets or on its own cradle, remembering multiple bluetooth devices and pairing two devices at once. If you are looking for a solid, high performance best portable bluetooth speaker, the Bose SoundLink Mini is something that you should definitely consider and is now available at a very good price.
#4 Most Well-Balanced: DKnight Magic Box II Portable Speaker
The DKnight MagicBox II is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers you can find with an excellent combination of portability, sound performance, battery life and compact design. The speaker is fitted with two 40mm acoustic drivers that deliver a total of 10Ws of power with a wide audio spectrum. It also comes with a good passive bass radiator that provides excellent bass response without any distortion at maximum volume. The MagicBox II is a clear improvement over its predecessor and can provide an additional 30% volume with richer bass response. It also comes with a built-in 2000mAh rechargeable battery which delivers a good 10 hours of continuous music playtime, and a built-in microphone for hands-free calls. The speaker weighs a mere 11.5 ounces and has a dimension of 6” X 2” X 1.6”, which makes it one of the most compact and portable speakers you can find. The MagicBox II is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 technology and also comes with a 3.5mm audio input for non-wireless music sources.
The sound quality of the DKnight MagicBox II is a much better improvement over its predecessor, the original MagicBox. The sound quality is very good, clear and detailed, with decent bass response, midrange and crisp highs. We liked the fact that the sound quality is consistent throughout all music genres streamed through the speaker; it also has a good deal of stereo separation which accurately represents the music. Vocal performances sounded very clear and detailed through the speaker, with very accurate and well balance midrange. The speaker can easily fill up a room or small open space with music at maximum volume without or with very little distortion. While the MagicBox II certainly does not produce the best bass response we have heard in a portable speaker, it does come close to achieving very good sound in such a small and compact package and price range. Music separation was also decent, and you can distinguish between the subtle notes and instruments in the music with the MagicBox II. At such a budget price, the sound quality of the MagicBox II is really exceptional and as good as it gets.
In terms of design, the MagicBox II really does get a lot of things right. It comes in a minimalist and simplistic design which looks really compact, but has a weighty feel to it which demonstrates the quality of the drivers and internal components. There are five buttons on the top of the speaker which control the volume, pause/play, skip soundtracks and answer calls. The power switch, 3.5mm auxiliary connector and micro-USB charging port are located to the right side of the speaker. The Bluetooth connection on the MagicBox II is very easy to use and activate, and has a nice range of up to 30 feet long. The built-in 2000mAh rechargeable battery on the MagicBox II delivers an incredible 10 hours of continuous music playtime on a single charge, which is really good considering the small and compact size of this speaker.
The entire speaker is covered with soft touch rubber which prevents scratches or accidental slips while holding the speaker in hand. The buttons are also nice to press and are of decent size; they are covered with the same soft and rubbery material as the speaker. The drivers are covered by a nice metallic mesh with a stylistic wavy design which makes it look sleek and modern. The entire package comes with the speaker, a bass pad, a 3.5mm audio cable, micro USB charging cable and a quick start manual for easy reference.
The Verdict? The DKinght MagicBox II is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers that have an excellent combination of sound quality and compact design that surpasses expectations from a speaker of this size. The sound performance is really exceptional considering how small and compact this speaker is; the highs and midrange are crisp and clear, with well-defined lows and detailed vocals. While the bass response is not the strongest we have heard, it certainly does pack a punch and is pretty decent for a speaker of such a compact size. The battery life lasts an incredible 10 hours of continuous music playtime on a single charge, and can be recharged via the included micro USB cable. We also liked the fact that it comes with an integrated microphone for you to take hands free calls on the go, which is a nice added touch. It is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers we have come across that is extremely well balanced with virtually all the features you need and we highly recommend them.
#5 Most Durable: Bose SoundLink Color II Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Bose SoundLink Color II is easily one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers with an extremely durable design and great sound performance now selling at a very good price. The SoundLink Color II is a vast improvement over its predecessor, the SoundLink Color, and comes with improved battery life, better sound quality and a portable design. The entire speaker features a rugged, soft-touch silicone exterior which makes it easy to pick up on the go. It also comes with voice prompts that talk you through the Bluetooth pairing process, with NFC technology for the speaker to automatically pair with your mobile device. It also comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that delivers a good 8 hours of continuous music playtime and can be recharged via the included micro USB. The Color II also comes with a built-in microphone for speakerphone or accessing Siri or Google Now on your mobile device. You can also download the Bose Connect app to update the speaker firmware and adjust the Bluetooth connections. If you are looking for one the best portable Bluetooth speakers that have the most durability with great sound performance, the SoundLink Color II is a great choice.
The sound performance of the Bose SoundLink Color II is phenomenally good and matched only by the best portable speakers in the high end range. The sound quality is crisp and clear, with rich highs and booming lows. The bass response on the SoundLink Color II is much better than we expected from a speaker of this size; you can hear the tight, punchy bass which adds that extra kick to the music. The speaker does not distort when cranked up to maximum volume and music performances sounded smooth and very enjoyable to listen to. Vocal performances were rich and detailed, and you can feel a certain weight and authority to the music from this speaker. Instrumental separation was decent and you can really hear how well the speaker distinguishes between each note and instrument in the music. Rock and electronic dance music sounded very crisp and punchy on the SoundLink Color II, and the volume is good enough to power a medium sized party. That being said, while the bass response on the Color II is good, we found it somewhat lacking in outdoor open spaces due to the lack of bass resonance. We would recommend placing this speaker against the corner of a room for the best sound reproduction with good bass response.
The Color II has a very simple and premium design that makes it highly portable and lightweight. Compared to its predecessor, the Color II feels much lighter when held in the hand and easy to grip with its rubberized exterior. Setting up the Color II took a matter of seconds and you are able to connect two devices at the same time and switch between them to change the music. The Bluetooth connectivity on the Color II works like a charm and automatically remembers the last paired device, so it will pair with your mobile device instantly the moment it is switched on. The Bluetooth range can go up to 33 feet unobstructed without any static interruptions or dips in music quality. The battery life on this speaker lasts a good 8 hours of continuous music playtime on a single charge, which is great but not the best we have seen. The speaker is also designed to be splash resistant, which means that you can take it to the poolside or beach without any issues – just don’t submerge the speaker into water.
The SoundLink Color II comes with rounded corners and a one-piece top panel which are rubberized with some flexibility. The control buttons are printed on the surface of the top panel and are pressure sensitive, so there are no moving parts exposed. The buttons control the power, Bluetooth, auxiliary connection, pause/play and volume of the speaker. The narrow strips of rubber at the sides of the speaker give a very good grip when lifting or holding the speaker on your hand. The power supply charges via the included micro USB cable. On the whole, the Color II looks and feels sturdy and capable of withstanding daily use, and is rugged enough for outdoor use.
The Verdict? The SoundLink Color II is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers you can find that is highly durable and delivers incredibly good sound performance. The sound on the Color II is rich, clean and crisp, and can be cranked up to maximum volume without any distortion. Furthermore, the Color II has a lightweight and sturdy design, making it highly portable and easy to carry around with a firm grip in your hand. The Bluetooth connectivity on the Color II is excellent, with button controls at the top of the speaker which are easy and intuitive to use. The battery life lasts a good 8 hours on a single charge, which is plenty of time to keep the party going through the night. Overall, the Color II is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers you can find that delivers exceptional sound quality and we highly recommend them.
#6 Best for Home Listening: DOSS Touch Portable Speaker
The DOSS Touch is one of the best portable bluetooth speakers with high definition sound, Bluetooth 4.0 and excellent bass response. This portable bluetooth speaker is capable of producing 12W full-bodied stereo sound through its dual high performance drivers with enhanced bass response. It also comes equipped with a simple touch control system which allows you to play, pause, skip or adjust the volume of the music at your fingertips. Furthermore, the DOSS Touch comes equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 technology for high quality audio streaming and will connect automatically to the last Bluetooth device used. Overall, the portability, long-lasting battery life and sleek metallic design of the DOSS Touch makes it one of the most versatile and best portable bluetooth speakers you can find.
The strength of the DOSS Soundbox is its ability to deliver exceptionally good sound performance with its 12W speaker drivers and deeper bass response. The speakers are specifically designed with enhanced sound clarity and fidelity, and have less than 1% total harmonic distortion even at maximum volume. We found that this little speaker pumps out big sound considering its size and driver constraints which can easily fill up a large room. The sound is crisp, clear and detailed, and music performances sounded smooth and natural. We found that the midrange and highs are crisp and clear and the bass does not muddy into the mids – the crisp mids that stay in the forefront of the soundstage. This portable bluetooth speaker also sounded very rich and detailed outdoors where the clarity and loud maximum volume of the speaker cut through the open air.
The DOSS Touch also shines in terms of convenience and portability. The touch controls are especially intuitive and easy to use, and have a very attractive LED design which makes the speaker visually stunning. You can also adjust the volume on this speaker by sliding on the top ring of the speaker which is pretty neat – a clockwise or counter-clockwise rotation will increase or decrease the volume respectively. The speaker has a very clean design and is solidly built; it’s designed specifically to be ultra-compact which means that you can easily slip it into your backpack or carry it around with any hassle. The speaker also has an in-built mic which allows you to hands free calls on the go.
The great thing about the DOSS Touch is that it comes with a built-in 2200 mAh rechargeable battery which provides a whopping 12 hours of playtime. The speaker is recharged by the included micro USB cable after 3 to 4 hours of charging. The Bluetooth 4.0 technology allows you to connect to virtually any Bluetooth enabled device up to 33 feet away – you can also use a micro SD card to play music or via the included audio cable. In terms of versatility, the DOSS Touch really shines in getting all the functionality included in such a small and compact speaker.
The Verdict? The DOSS Touch is one of the best portable bluetooth speakers in terms of versatility and sound performance, and is selling at a very good price at the time of writing. We particularly liked the fact that the speaker could produce crisp highs and mids, with decent bass response and can get very loud without any distortion in the sound. The touch sensitive controls were simple and intuitive to use, and compact design also makes this speaker extremely portable and easy to carry around. The 12 hour battery life is also an added touch, which means that you can use this speaker for an extended period of time without having to worry about charging it. If you are in the market for one of the best portable bluetooth speakers with great volume and portability, the DOSS Touch comes highly recommended.
#7 Speaker that Charges your Phone: JBL Charge 3
The JBL Charge 3 is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers in the JBL line and strikes the perfect balance between the sound performance, portability and battery life. The Charge 3 can go as loud as the JBL Xtreme with very good treble and bass response, and is a lot smaller which makes it far more portable. The acoustic drivers on the Charge 3 are capable of producing very well balanced sound with a good emphasis on the midrange and vocals. The Charge 3 has excellent Bluetooth connectivity and you can connect up to 3 smartphones or tablets to the speaker and switch between them at the same time. The built-in rechargeable li-ion battery supports up to an incredible 20 hours of continuous music playtime and doubles as a charging bank for your smartphones and tablets via the USB port. The entire speaker is also IPX7 waterproof which means that you can submerge this speaker underwater to a depth of 1m for 30 minutes without damaging the internal circuitry. It also has an integrated microphone for you to take crystal clear hands free calls at the touch of a button, and also gives you the option to connect multiple JBL Connect enabled speakers to create a much wider sound field and listening experience. It is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers you can find that actually charges your phone, and we highly recommend them.
The sound performance of the JBL Charge 3 is a vast improvement over its predecessor, the Charge 2+. It is also an improvement over the JBL Xtreme to a certain extent, with a much better portable design with a volume that can go just as loud. The sound quality on the Charge 3 is very well balanced with excellent midrange and vocal reproduction – listening to vocal performances on the Charge 3 sounded nearly lifelike with great detail, and sounded smooth and crisp throughout. The treble and bass on the Charge 3 are not artificially boosted and sound natural and smooth. If you stream music via the Spotify app, you can also adjust the EQ settings to boost up the treble and bass settings if you prefer a more solid thump in your music. Listening to rock and electronic dance music via the Charge 3 was total bliss – you get rock solid music performance with crisp highs, very good midrange and booming bass that sounds solid and powerful. It can even cause your table to vibrant when played at maximum volume, and does not distort when cranked up to the maximum volume setting. We wound say that the Charge 3 has a much fuller sound than the Charge 2+ without the need to boost the bass and treble, and has much improved sound quality over its predecessor models.
The JBL Charge 3 is designed like a tank and is built for portability. It is much more compact and lightweight than the JBL Xtreme, making it suitable to carry around in a backpack. The speaker features two passive subwoofers at both sides of the speaker which vibrate when streaming music – the bass response on the Charge 3 is very good, and can produce the deep-end low rumble that very few portable speakers get right. The buttons are nicely located at the top of the speaker and are fully rubberized for waterproof resistance. The buttons control the volume, pause/play, power, and Bluetooth connectivity; they are simple and intuitive to use. The speaker is made of a nice rubbery material at the sides which protect the speaker from sudden drops, and have a soft mesh-like encasing which gives the speaker a very unique texture.
We particularly liked the fact that the Charge 3 is rated IPX7 waterproof, which means that you can take this speaker for water sport activities and it will work just as well. The battery life delivers an incredible 20 hours of continuous music playtime on a single charge, which is probably the highest you can find in any portable speaker. The Charge 3 also doubles as a charging bank for your mobile devices via the USB port, which is great if you need to camp outdoors overnight or travel long distances. You can also connect multiple JBL Connect speakers with the app and play music from a single source to create a much wider sound field – this is an awesome feature if you need to play music for a large gathering or party.
The Verdict? The JBL Charge 3 is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers you can find that actually charges your mobile devices and doubles as a power bank. It delivers incredibly crisp and solid music performance, with crisp highs, detailed midrange and strong powerful bass. The sound performance on the Charge 3 is a much better improvement over its predecessor, the Charge 2+, and can get almost as loud as the JBL Xtreme. It also retains a very compact and portable design, making it easy to carry around in a backpack without feeling too heavy. The battery on the Charge 3 delivers a stunning 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is more than what we could expect given how powerful this speaker is. At the time of writing, the JBL Charge 3 is now selling at a very good price, so don’t forget to check it out!
#8 Best Design: Harmon Kardon Esquire Mini
The Harmon Kardon Esquite Mini is truly one of the best portable bluetooth speakers with a great design and decent sound. These speakers feature a great build quality with premium brushed aluminium and ceramics fuse strength and portable fidelity which you can take anywhere with you. This bluetooth speaker is fantastic and premium looking, and the Gold Grill is both thin and durable and built to go everywhere you go. The Harmon Kardon Esquire Mini sounds great too, with louder, clearer and deeper music. It definitely has a premium looking appearance with its slim, uni-body design and reliance on premium materials with real leather-backing, aluminium finish and scratch-resistant, ceramic-coated speaker grill. These are definitely luxurious add-ons which you rarely find in portable bluetooth speakers. All in all, this portable bluetooth speaker looks very sleek and professional.
The Esquire Mini has enough battery life to allow you to play your music wirelessly for 8 hours continuously or use the battery integrated in the Mini’s black slim chassis to charge another device with the side USB port. We were very impressed with how you can charge your phone with the remaining battery life using the USB port and will definitely come in handy if you ever need an emergency charge while you are at the beach or outdoors where there isn’t an electrical outlet.
In terms of size and portability, the Esquire Mini is about the size of a phone, so it is very portable but yet still loud enough for most uses. It syncs with multiple bluetooth devices so you can even have your ipad and iphone attached and can listen to your ipad and then answer an incoming call you’re your phone seamlessly. With the ability to connect to a wide range of smartphones, tablets and computers via enhanced bluetooth, the Esquire Mini Gold makes a very good on-the-go wireless audio experience. The noise cancellation works well, in our tests it blocked out all echos that normally occur elsewhere. It has a convenient way to mute a call and a button to quickly answer an incoming call without need to go to the phone.
Due to its size, the music performance is limited by its dimensions – don’t expect deep bass or booming music, but for podcast audio, speaker phone use, and basic music listening, it produces crisp clear sound which is great. When we tested this on instrumental pieces, you can really hear the clear and sharp notes of the piano, guitars and horns which come alive. We played different genres from Dance to Funk to Acoustic to Rock to Jazz and we liked the rich sound from these speakers, although it could do with more bass. To partially resolve this issue, you can change your iPhone/iPod settings to Bass Boost. Also, placing it on a solid surface, in a corner or against a wall helps to bounce and improve the acoustics. We did not find any distortions in the sound at high volumes.
The Verdict? The Harmon Kardon Esquire Mini is a true shirt-pocket bluetooth speaker and one of the best portable bluetooth speakers in terms of design, portability and build. It is a true masterpiece and fashion statement – the speaker sounds superb for its ultra-thin, sleek and incredibly eye-catchy design. It also takes phone calls and works as a speakerphone. It also has a USB charger output to help you charge your cellphone whenever you need it. The bottom line is, the Esquire Mini is one of the best portable bluetooth speakers which fits right in your shirt pocket and looks very classy, and pumps out decent sound performance. At the time of writing, this incredible bluetooth speaker is selling at a very good price point, so don’t forget to check it out while stocks last!
#9 Best Small Form Speaker: Anker Classic Portable Speaker
The Anker Classic is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers you can find with an extremely small form, compact design and incredible battery life. The speaker is capable of producing full spectrum audio through its 4W 2” driver and bass sport with high-definition sound performance. It features a 2100mAh li-ion battery which delivers a stunning 15 to 20 hours of continuous music playtime on a single charge. It also automatically connects to the last-connected device when turned on – it is compatible with virtually all Bluetooth enabled devices and has a 3.5mm audio port for non-Bluetooth music sources. The Bluetooth range on the Anker Classic is about 33 feet with a built-in microphone that allows you to take hands free calls at the same time. If you are looking for one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers in a small form factor that can deliver clear and full-bodied sound, the Anker Classic is definitely the one to get.
The Anker Classic delivers very good sound performance of its size – it delivers crisp highs, detailed midrange and a good deal of bass that really redefines on what you can expect from a small form speaker of this size. The speaker can fill up a whole room with music when cranked up to maximum volume, and does not distort or has very little distortion while playing music at the maximum volume settings. We were very impressed with how good the bass response was from a speaker that has no dedicated subwoofer; the 2” driver is really quite exceptional and can deliver sound performance that rivals that of larger portable speakers. Listening to country and folk music on the Anker Classic sounded really good and detailed, with crisp vocal reproductions and decent bass response. The playback quality on this speaker is much better than what we expected considering the miniature size of the Anker Classic. The call quality on this speaker was also decent, and we could converse with the person at the other end of the line using Skype while connected to the speaker microphone.
The Anker Classic is designed to be extremely portable and comes with a nice carrying case – it weighs a mere 0.62lbs and has a dimension of 3.15” X 3.15” X 2.36” which is really as compact as you can get. It is very durable and well made, and features a sleek and minimalist design which blends in easily with home interior décor. The entire speaker is wrapped in a nice rubber coating that protects it from sudden drops or accidents. It also features a metal grill at the top of the speaker to protect the acoustic driver. The front of the speaker has three buttons where you can adjust the volume and pause/play, and also comes with a Bluetooth indicator light which shows you when the speaker is connected. The bottom on the speaker has an anti-slip pad to keep the speaker in place to prevent it from vibrating when playing at high volumes. The Bluetooth connectivity works very well and will connect to virtually any Bluetooth enabled device without any issues; the Bluetooth range on this speaker is a good 33 feet unobstructed.
Where the Anker Classic really shines is its battery life. The speaker can deliver an incredible 15 to 20 hours of continuous music playtime on a single charge which is excellent considering how small the speaker is. This means that you can constantly use this speaker for a few hours at a go for a few days without having to recharge. The entire package comes with the Anker Classic speaker, a 3.5mm auxiliary cable, micro USB charging cable and anti-dust carrying bag which is well thought out.
The Verdict? The Anker Classic is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers we have ever come across that delivers superb sound quality from a small and compact design. It is a highly portable and compact speaker, weighing a mere 0.62lbs and can be held in the palm of your hand. The speaker is equipped with a single 2” 4W driver that delivers full range dynamic sound; we were highly impressed with the sound performance of this speaker and the amount of bass response that it produced. The battery life on the Anker Classic lasts a whopping 15 to 20 hours of continuous playtime which is pretty amazing considering how compact the speaker is. It also has a built-in microphone to take calls and comes with a nice travel pouch. The manufacturers have also provided an 18 month warranty on the speaker which shows just how much they stand behind their product. We have no doubt that the Anker Classic is definitely one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers you can find that is incredibly lightweight and delivers exceptional sound performance for such a compact speaker design.
#10 Best for Water Sports: ECOXGEAR Eco Stone Portable Speaker
The EXOGEAR ECOSTONE is one of the best portable bluetooth speakers for outdoor sports and outdoor activities in general. It is not just water resistant but actually 100% waterproof – you will never have to worry if it gets knocked in the pool, falls off the boat, drops in the river, lake or ocean. It’s designed to float, making retrieving this device pretty easy. The 100% waterproof acoustically engineered speaker provides a loud, full sound with crisp highs and clear vocals via the dual full range integrated speakers and rear mounted subwoofer. It also comes with a built-in LED flashlight and top mounted battery indicator. Adrenaline junkies who love to have their music outdoors will definitely love this awesome portable bluetooth speaker.
The ECOSTONE is well constructed and looks like it could take a lot of abuse. You can track forward/back, volume up/down, pause (doubles as a phone speaker which you can even take calls) all works easily and flawlessly. There is also a power button, Bluetooth button and the on/off button for the LED light which is on the top as well. There are indicator lights for power, Bluetooth and battery level which also works as they should and are easy to see. Overall the ergonomics and great and the rubber exterior is nice and solid. This speaker has a rugged and industrial quality package that is great for the mobile device user who loves their music or audio books. Furthermore, it’s easy to carry with two handles and the robust case is made of tough polycarbonate plastic covered with a rubber mould for waterproofing and shock resistance. The black speaker grill is even made of stainless steel.
In terms of audio performance, music such as acoustic blues, bluegrass and soul sound absolutely incredible for the size, weight and ruggedness of this thing. Pop, country and classic rock sound pretty good. We would mention that classical music sounds good, although some titles much better than others. The ECOSTONE also has fantastic apt-X bluetooth integration which streams crystal clear music in digital CD quality, which makes the sound coming from this thing rather unbelievable. We were super impressed with the audio performance of the speaker.
The unit is totally mobile with an internal Lithium-Ion battery that is rechargeable and will operate the speaker for up to 10 hours on a single charge. The battery is an 1800 mAh battery that will recharge in about 2 hours. The unit comes with an AC wall charger and a USB cable to charge the battery with. You can also charge the speaker with your computer or laptop or the AC wall charger from one of your other devices that uses a 5 VDC USB connector. The wall charger is rated at 5 VDC and 1 Amp output. The Bluetooth capability lets you steam music up to 33 feet away from the source device and you can use the speaker as a phone to talk into it and listen to the caller. The microphone is waterproof, and the unit comes with a carabineer to clip onto the speaker so you can use it on your backpack, tent or belt.
The Verdict? The ECOSTONE stands out as one of the best portable bluetooth speakers for anyone looking for a waterproof and rugged outdoor speaker. The speaker alone has up to twelve-hours of music via the powerful built in Lithium ion battery, and the ECONSTONE will even charge your smartphone or table for situations when you need backup power. It’s the perfect sound instrument that you can bring on an outdoor adventure, on your bike, tent or backpack. The sound is great and much better than many other comparably priced speakers at this price range. At the time of writing, the ECOSTONE is now selling at a very good price so be sure to check them out!
#11 Best Desk Side Speaker: Riva Turbo X
The Riva Turbo X is one of the coolest and best portable bluetooth speakers that money can buy. It’s really a premium bluetooth mobile speaker that delivers an unmatched personal entertainment system that compliments a listener’s modern lifestyle. The Turbo X delivers excellent in-class audio by combining proprietary ADX Trillium technology for a truly immerse sound, and features Trillium Surround for an enhanced movie and gaming experience, and even TURBO mode to boost music up to 100 dB. It’s also packed with an amazing 45 watts RMS of power, and a 26+ hour battery playing time. With the Turbo X, the prospect of finding a portable speaker incorporating a new engineering approach to sound was definitely very impressive.
In terms of design, the Turbo X’s craftsmanship looks and feels stellar and classy. The look is amazing with a high gloss plastic top and bottom and a 360 degree metal grill wrapping around the unit sitting on the rubber pads to protect the bottom surface. The plastic used is best described by comparing to the look and feel of top tier LG phones. On the top are touch capacitive controls that illuminate in a soft blue glow triggered via a motion sensor with the wave of a hand over the top, which adds to its sophistication. It also has a very tacky “RIVA TURBO” branding on the front of the unit. The RIVA TURBO will certainly be found aesthetically pleasing by nearly all and even allows you to enjoy crystal clear hands-free calling through the speaker.
In terms of audio performance, the Turbo X is magnificent. The size and price of this speaker places it in the same category of the SoundLink III, Big Jambox, Phill XL and UE Boombox. The performance hands down exceeds these speakers – while the Turbo X does not provide the same low end output of the Soundlink III, it is certainly not lacking producing substantial bass for its size, which feels much cleaner and impactful. The mids delivered from the Riva while maintaining satisfactory low end bass clearly demonstrate the Turbo X’s balance throughout the frequency range. The stereo separation delivered from the Turbo X is very impressive, and probably defies logic given the limited separation of the drivers within the speaker. The addition of the “Trillium Surround” technology and phenomenal mid-range make this speaker far superior than the competition when using the speaker for audio watching media on the phone and tablet. The overall volume appears to reach a higher level than most with its “Turbo” mode on, but what is most impressive is its ability to maintain a consistent sound signature throughout the volume range unlike others kicking in the digital processor limiting the low end to avoid distortion.
The Verdict? The Turbo X is one of the best portable bluetooth speakers for a superb listening experience, with an incredibly balanced sound spectrum which articulates the lows and mids very well. The speaker also takes some of the best features of others such as the JBL Charge with its charge out feature to give your devices a boost of juice when needed. The performance and features easily lead this speaker into the top tier league of the best portable bluetooth speakers of 2018. RIVA states that they are setting a new standard in portable audio technology and we are happy to report that they have backed up that claim.
#12 Best Bass Response: Infinity One Premium Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Infinity One is one of the best portable bluetooth speaker which delivers an amazing sound spectrum and crystal clear stunning room filling sound. The high quality drivers provide no distortion at all at high volumes and easily outperform most contenders like the Bose SoundLink III, Big Jambox, etc. It also sounds much better than the Pill XL. The back drivers give an “ambience” feel to the overall sound, making the Infinity One sound a bit more open and spacious than comparable speakers. The Infinity One uses a premium, ceramic-coated aluminum chassis and the highest quality materials throughout. The design is even water resistant, although not waterproof.
The bass on the Infinity One is slightly stronger than the Bose Soundlink III in comparison and actually better, because the Infinity One’s bass seems to be richer and clearer, most likely due to the high excursion woofer on the sides (It actually moves a lot and looks kind of cool too with the logo.). the Infinity One has the best of both worlds the clearest highs and the deepest lows, including a long battery life that easily beats most portable bluetooth speakers in this range at a whopping 10 hours of playtime. The Infinite One comes equipped with NFC technology, and pairs to any Bluetooth device, reconnects automatically, and remembers previously connected devices. There’s also a 3.5mm jack for a wired connection if you prefer. There is even a USB port for charging any smart device.
The Infinity One wields an array of four 1.75 inch active drivers, tuned with a pair of custom passive bass radiators. The digital audio signal is shaped by custom acoustic software technology, and delivered to the drivers by a powerful 25 watt amplifier. The resulting sound is huge and breathtakingly lifelike. These are some really powerful specs for a speaker of this size. Do note that the drivers on the Infinite one are tilted upwards, so placing the Infinity One on a table in front of you, they should directly aim at the listener, while most other speakers aim at the belly when placed like this. The treble is a bit more focused than that from JBL Charge 2, but it is not as severe as on all Bose speakers for example. The Infinity can become a bit muffled when listened from a higher angle, but it will still sound good, just duller, while some other speakers may even become colored sounding different compared to on-axis.
The Verdict? The Infinite One is definitely one of the best portable bluetooth speakers in this class. It produces powerful bass and clear treble, charges via micro USB and has the ability to pair two devices with bluetooth. The Infinite One’s high quality drivers deliver clarity at breathtaking volumes, and its rechargeable battery provides a whopping 10 hours playtime and can even charge an external device. The industrial design provides an intuitive operation of the controls, and it’s ceramic-coated aluminium chassis makes it look really sleek and classy. All in all, the Infinite One is a truly outstanding and one of the best portable bluetooth speaker of 2018.
#13 Best for Parties: JBL Pulse Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The JBL Pulse is one of the best portable bluetooth speakers in terms of its rich, robust sound and programmable LED lights, which makes it one of the sleekest and coolest speakers ever made. The JBL Pulse is small enough to fit into a sidebag or backpack without taking up too much space, large enough to adequately provide music for a day in the park or an impromptu party in someone’s apartment, and it is as flashy as you can ever get. The sound that comes out of the JBL Pulse drivers are rich and crisp, and can go very loud with no to minimal distortion. It delivers full-range sound, and you can really hear the emphasis on the highs and the mids, which is very nice. The drivers provide a total RMS output power of 12W, with a frequency response of 100 Hz to 20 kHz. It is really the perfect party speaker or for a family barbeque outdoors.
We were very impressed with the JBL Pulse programmable LED lights with customizable brightness and color pulse with your music – which instantaneously creates a visually dazzling lightshow and looks incredible cool when in the dark. The battery life is awesome too (we tested up to 8 hours of playtime), and the speaker can provide hours of continuous playbook and recharges easily via the included USB cable. It also features advanced Bluetooth Connectivity technology which allows you to wirelessly stream music through any Bluetooth enabled device. When not using the bluetooth, it also features analog audio input. The bottom line is if you want a speaker for its looks and to show it off, the JBL Pulse is for you.
That said, we found that the bass on the JBL Pulse is a little weaker than on the JBL Charge. The treble is a little bright too, although we could fix these issues with good EQing. The maximum volume on the JBL Pulse can go very loud with minimum distortion, although battery life would suffer as a result. The price is a little high on this one too, but it’s definitely a good speaker and we would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fancy bluetooth speaker of excellent quality and design.
The Verdict? If you are looking for one of the fanciest best portable bluetooth speakers around, the JBL Pulse will not disappoint with its super eye-catchy LED programmable lights and decent sound performance. It’s really the perfect party speaker and conversation piece, although somewhat lacking in the bass department. Nevertheless, the speaker can get really loud, and the long lasting battery life and NFC Bluetooth technology compensates much for its downsides. At the time of writing, the JBL Pulse is selling at a very good price so don’t forget to check them out!
#14 Most Lightweight: Denon Envaya Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Denon Envaya Mini is an amazing bluetooth speaker that strikes the perfect balance between size, portability and sound. When the Denon Envaya Mini first arrived, we found that it was packaged very well; inside the box was a speaker, a cloth carrying case, and a USB cable for charging, which is simple and neat. The very first thing we noticed when we took it out of the box was its weight, which is pretty heavy for its size and felt very good in the hands. The enclosure is all metal, with the end caps being rubber and the feet being rubber. One end has 4 buttons; Play/Pause, Volume up, Volume down, and power, while the other side has the power level indicator, Aux input, and USB port. It’s one of the best portable bluetooth speaker for its small and compact size.
The Denon is superb in terms of audio performance. When we fired up some tunes via Spotify, the first thing we noticed was that the bass sounded fantastic – we were surprised at how very well this speaker handles low end frequencies. The low end starts to roll off at around 70 or 80 hz. The frequency response for this is very flat and even. The only frequencies we thought were a little off and could have been boosted a little more were the high end frequencies. The high end sounds great, but we thought it could have been boosted a little bit. You can just adjust this via EQ if needed.
We noticed the DSP kicking in and adding little bit of compression when your device is at 100% and the speaker is at 100%. We running the Denon speaker and smartphone at about 75%, it sounds fantastic. Compared to portable bluetooth speakers in this price range and size, nothing compares to this speaker. It outperforms speakers twice as expensive, and makes every other Bluetooth speaker almost irrelevant (in comparison to its mini size). We were super impressed by this little beast. In terms of audio performance, it’s comparable in sound to the $300 Bose SoundLink III with a slightly smaller soundstage and less stereo separation.
The battery life on the Denon Envaya is superb, with around 8-9 hours of continuous playback via bluetooth at 50% to 70% volume. The Envaya Mini has 100 volume steps, and at volume step 60/100 (with the iPhone maxed out), we had the Denon playing for up to 8 hours in a single charge. The Denon also features integrated NFC pairing which is incredibly fast and easy, and eve nhas a microphone with noise cancelling function for speaker phone use. Furthermore, the speaker has Bluetooth aptX technology which offers CD quality audio streaming over Bluetooth and minimising latency issues.
The Verdict? We would highly recommend the Envaya Mini as one of the best if not the best portable bluetooth speakers in the market of 2018. It has a very classy and sleek design and appeal, and the sound from these speakers is unbelievably good for a speaker this size, with a very good handling of the low-end. The battery life, NFC technology and noise cancelling microphone are added features too, all of which come in a single compact device. For a price of under $150, the Envaya Mini is truly in a class of its own and sets the benchmark very high for portable bluetooth speakers.
#15 Best High-End: SONOS Play Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The SONOS Play Compact Bluetooth Speaker is one of the most popular and undoubtedly one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers. The SONOS Play bears a rugged cylindrical shape with a contrasting smooth rounded edge. It is solid, compact and extremely very well built. In terms of size, it can only be placed vertically where its size stands about 6.5” and it weighs about 4-lbs.
The sound of the SONOS Play is what that distinguishes itself from the other speakers. Built in with custom-made high quality amplifiers, the audio performance is spectacular. To our surprise, despite its compact form, it delivers powerful and punchy sound that easily fills the room. The sound is clean, detailed at all volume levels and with no distortions at high volumes. We were very impressed at how good this speaker sounded for its price. We also tested on the tuning system on several occasions ranging from light music to techno and found that the music was good and true for our room. To our best surprise, this SONOS Play is designed to resist against humidity. It is highly portable for any outdoor activities through rain and shine. Whenever there is a chance of rain, a good tip is to secure them inside a Ziploc bag with handful packs of silica and you are ready to go!
The very reason that it qualifies as our best portable Bluetooth speakers is due to its extreme user-friendliness. The interface on SONOS Play is straight forward and friendly for beginners. Just choose “Add a Sonos Component” from the manage tab in the software. Press the “+” and “Play/Pause” buttons simultaneously on the top of the SONOS Play and the speaker will be recognized by the system. When SONOS play was being installed, it automatically searched our iTunes library file and automatically imported them to the controller menu.
We like playing different themes of song for the day so we find it highly appealing that this SONOS Play allows us to create a combined playlist by extracting music from many different sources. Setting up the speaker was simple. Using the WIFI connectivity and a single function interface, this SONOS play also saves us a lot of hassles from switching songs various sources. If you have other SONOS systems like us, you can basically send signals to every SONOS speaker in the house by merely pressing a button. We are pleasant that there was no dropout on the SONOS at all! The only quibble we have is that it does not offer software for a Window device. The availability of these Window devices would offer a lot more flexibility in terms of control.
The Verdict? The SONOS Play is without a doubt one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers at this price range. Until now, there is no SONOS solution that is less than $200. With its portability, compact and user-friendly design, you cannot go wrong in purchasing this SONOS Play. If you are looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker, we strongly recommend you to consider this SONOS play.
#16 Best Frequency Range: BeatBox by Dr. Dre Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The BeatBox Portable is probably one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers in terms of its design and portability. Straight out of the box, we were stunned by its red striking colour encasing at both sides of the speaker. Coupled with the Dr. Dre distinctive trademark at the centre of the speaker, this BeatBox’s sturdy design is sure to amaze and attract many people’s attention from far away. The Beatbox weighs about 9.2 pounds and it is about 17.5 inches long and 8.9 inches in height.
Where the Beatbox excels is its portable design – its versatility stands out the most. Although it is encased by plastic, its material is the highest quality of its kind and it does not feel cheap at all. The plastic surrounding the Beatbox in fact protects the Beatbox from falling or accidents. The two sides are crafted with handles that it is extremely easy to carry single-handedly or by both hands. It also comes with a pocket-sized remote that you can control your beats from across the room. In addition, it obviously comes in handy to pair it via Bluetooth to this device. We tested the Bluetooth system and we even went 50+ feet away and found no issues with the Bluetooh system. Overall, the Bluetooth was easy to use and connected immaculately with the Beatbox system.
If you enjoy rap, hip-hop, techno or rock music, this Beatbox should really be the top list of your consideration. We are taken by surprise by how good the sound fidelity is – the mids and highs are crisp and clear and the bass isn’t muddy at all. We experimented with Linkin Park songs and we were extremely satisfied by its bass –the earthy stomp and the loud bass was so amusing that it technically sounded like Linkin Park was right next to us! What really sealed the deal is that the quality of the sound was not compromised despite being so loud. The Beatbox’s incredibly powerful sound output brought blasting effect to every corner of our house. A slight downside is that this Beatbox does not come with rechargeable batteries. Whilst the idea of buying rechargeable battery is not modern, we were happy that a pack of 6 batteries would typically last us for about 10 hours.
The Verdict? The Beatbox definitely deserves a spot here as one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers. Its high quality, exceptional design and ease of use distinguish itself from the rest of the Bluetooth speakers. The fact that it supports SBC, APT-X and AAC Bluetooth renders this an excellent choice than other Bluetooth speakers. It’s very difficult to go wrong with the Beatbox Bluetooth speakers so be sure to check them out!
#17 Most Rugged: Outdoor Tech Big Turtle Shell Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Outdoor Tech Big Turtle Shell Portable Bluetooth Speaker is hands down one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers in terms of its durability. Despite its gigantic turtle shell look, it only weighs about 2.3 pounds and comes with a pack of lithium ion batteries. You have the option of choosing this speaker from three colors namely black, red and gray. We opted for the red one for its striking feature and were not disappointed at all!
This Big Turtle Shell stood out by its rugged design and its functionality. It is highly water-resistant. We have tested it under water and found that so long as you have the ports shut, it is safe to throw it in a pool as it floats on its own. Do note that you cannot submerge it in the water. This portable Bluetooth speaker is extremely well built that it is perfect for camping and canoeing trips. We didn’t have to worry about getting it ruined by the elements. The best is that it comes with strong handles which makes it easy to carry around. The dust resistance feature also comes as a plus!
The one feature that struck the deal is its internal powerful and rechargeable Lithium Ion battery that lasted us through more than 16 hours. Even better, we used the battery to charge our phone whenever we don’t have a power socket in sight. We brought this speaker for a hiking trip and it truly did not disappoint us! During the first night, we used it for about 8-9 hours; we even used it to recharge our phone and had it used for another 5-6 hours on the very next night. It still recorded “battery high” and we only had sparing use on subsequent nights that we had to recharge it after 2 days when we got back home.
Its full wireless audio connectivity delivers 110 decibels of auditory blisss. The sound of this Outdoor Tech Big Turtle Shell is excellent and mind-blowing. It produces clear loud sound at high volumes and packs a decent amount of bass into the beats. For outdoor use, there is no fuzz and sound distortion and it certainly gives a decent bass output. For indoor use, it produces a more directional sound and there is clear separation between instruments when it is conveniently laid flat on its base like a design of a turtle shell. The bass is however made more prominent with its back facing the corner. You can juxtapose the turtle shell in whichever way you like to fit your home!
The Verdict? The Outdoor Tech Big Turtle Shell really stands out as one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers for its full and enriching sound. It is amazing in that it gives you a sense of security on how durable and compact it feels. If you are looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker for camping/ hiking trip that requires exposure to outdoor element, this speaker is one that you must consider.
#18 Most Stylish: Karnotech Remax Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Karnotech Remax is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers below $100 and takes prides itself in its versatility and multifaceted functions. Out from box, we noticed that the speaker comes with a 21” microUSB cable and 41” USB DC cable. The size is quite huge, measuring at 4”x10”x3.5”. The speaker has a two 3 Watt drivers and a subwoofer. Connect it with your mobile device by selecting “REMAX RB-H1” in your device’s Bluetooh menu. We tested it out with classic rock, instrumental music and pop music and found that the bass was strong and punchy. It has good accuracy ranging between the mid and high ranges. The overall balance makes it stand out for a play of wide variety of music genres. We also find it to be cool to play music by inserting our SD card on the speaker.
This Karnotech Remax has an exquisite design which takes form as a super sleek, handbag alike modern looking outdoor Bluetooth speaker. The picture has an accurate rendition of the speaker. It is covered by thick aluminium alloy and has a rubberized texture due to the fine carving sound holes’ design. The strap attached to the Karnotech Remax feels smooth and leather-like made. The great thing about the strap is that it can be removed or reattached easily as the strap is riveted around a head machine screw. Its classy look is further accentuated by its 3.5mm gold-plating audio line and built in auxiliary cable that is secretly hidden at the bottom of the speaker. We find it interesting to have a choice of carrying this speaker as if it is a stylish case or leave it flat as it is at home. It is certainly a top choice for portable Bluetooth speakers if you are buying a present for your girlfriend/wife.
We also tested the additional feature of Karnotech Remax being used as a phone. We received a phone call from friends and tried answering the call using the speaker. We noticed that the speaker has a different ring tone from our phone. We answered the call by just pressing the phone button and spoke through a small microphone with your friends. We found that the transmission of message was accurate and the other side had no problems in understanding us.
There is also an additional USB power bank option which would come in handy whenever you need to charge your phone or other devices while streaming music. We think that the rubber feet built underneath the speaker is very useful to prevent the speaker from damaging. However, if you bring it for outdoor activities, these built in rubber feet decrease the beauty of this speaker. The downside of this Kanotech Remax is really that the speaker has two sides and that sound only releases out of one side. Without switching on the music, we find it difficult to determine the source of the sound.
Verdict? This Karnotech Remax really stands out as one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers for its user-friendly feature and sleek & stylish design. The fact that it can be used as a phone when you are listening to music stands as a great added feature that makes it value for money. The straps attached easily help in bringing this Bluetooth speaker for a relaxing vacation!
#19 Most Compact: NFC Waterproof Super Bass Portable Speaker
The NFC Waterproof Super Bass Portable Bluetooth Speaker is undeniably one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers due to its rugged and sleek design. It is fairly compact, measuring 2.8” x 2.7” by 7.1” (width by depth by height) and weighs just under 23 oz. There are two colors available for selection: black or olive green that would both make a sturdy selection. It comes with a micro USB charging 3.5mm cable and a quick start guide.
With its modern design, it is a highly versatile speaker with great quality for all genres of music. With an addition of the metal snap hook, we find it convenient to just clip it on our backpacks. We also tested it on our golf cart. Although not a boom blast effect, we were surprised by the decent bass it produced for a small speaker while maintaining clear mids and highs. It is extremely well built in that it is encased by thick black rubber that a drop on concrete floors would do no damage on it as the rubber practically absorbs and reduces the impact. We were also impressed by the fact that at this price, it is water resistant. We would not recommend putting it under the water. There were times that it was raining when we were doing outdoor activities; yet, this NFC Waterproof Super Bass did it job without fail!
The ease of use is the factor that really stood out as one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers. On top of the speaker, there is a silver circular button that controls “Volume Up”, “Volume Down”, “Phone calls”, “Play” and “Pause”. There is also a built-in noise reduction microphone that it can not only play the audio of your telephone conversations but you can speak or talk using the device as well. It also easily charges within 4 hours and lasts us for 15 hours. An extra feature that what other Bluetooth devices may not have is the feature of battery indicator. There are four (4) lights to show the remaining battery it has on the device. This allows us to gauge the battery that it’s left and lowers the risk of the portable Bluetooth speaker from dying at the wrong time.
The downside of this NFC Waterproof Super Bass is really that it requires a micro USB port to charge it. We are thankful that the cord is of bright orange color that we will not easily confuse it with other USB cords.
The Verdict? A fully versatile and cost-effective portable Bluetooth speakers under $60. If you are on a budget and looking for one of the best portable bluetooth speakers within this price range, look no further than this!
#20 Best Budget: SoundBlock Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The SoundBlock Portable Bluetooth Speaker is easily one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers that you will buy. At first by the look of the size and the price, you would probably dismiss this speaker but we were thoroughly surprised that its price does not compromise its quality. Priced only at $50, this speaker is absolutely incredible in both design and sound performance. The SoundBlock comes with two powerful 40mm drivers that deliver superb crips and clean sound with deep punch bass. It utilises the latest Bluetooth 3.0 Technology that allows us to seamlessly stream casual music from about 35 feet away. This speaker produces good clarity and volume that it can really make some noise especially for outdoor activities. Just toss it in your backpack and be ready to rock the world right away!
To begin, this speaker went beyond our expectation. It is extremely user-friendly; it can pair up with at least two devices. There is no code or pin needed to stream and share music with your friends or family members! For someone who does not have Bluetooth, it also comes with a 3.5mm audio line which allows you to connect directly to a headphone jack. It also comes with a built-in ion rechargeable battery that continuously plays music for 10 hours. We played music using our auxiliary cable and were immensely surprised that the speaker went on to play music for 12 hours. For light users, we are pleased to say that there is also an on/off switch that allows you to turn off the power to conserve the battery. What a relief and an added plus is that it even supports handsfree functionality – you can answer or hang up phone calls and finish Google Talk, Skype, LINE chat and any other video calls even if the device is not by your side.The SoundBlock Portable Bluetooth Speaker is easily one of the best and last portable Bluetooth speakers that you will buy. At first by the look of the size and the price, you would probably dismiss this speaker but we were thoroughly surprised that its price does not compromise its quality. Priced only at $50, this speaker is absolutely incredible in both design and sound performance. The SoundBlock comes with two powerful 40mm drivers that deliver superb crips and clean sound with deep punch bass. It utilises the latest Bluetooth 3.0 Technology that allows us to seamlessly stream casual music from about 35 feet away. This speaker produces good clarity and volume that it can really make some noise especially for outdoor activities. Just toss it in your backpack and be ready to rock the world right away!
The SoundBlock measures approximately 6 x 2 x 1.6 inches and weighs about 12.1 ounces. To our relief, it is extremely lightweight and totally fits our hand we are grabbing it. Available in 36 colour variations, you could choose a colour that best represents yourself or your friends! The swirl design of this speaker is stylish and it is also artistically designed with a textured metal grill cover. The only quibble that we have is that whenever low frequency instruments are sometimes fully suppressed. Also, whenever you turn on the Sound Block, it will automatically reach the maximum volume. A tip is to turn down the volume of your phone before using the SoundBlock to avoid startling yourself.
The Verdict? The SoundBlock Portable Bluetooth Speakers is easily one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers that is comparable with other high-end Bluetooth speakers. It’s very difficult to go wrong in choosing this outstanding portable Bluetooth speaker, with its stylish design and clear crisp sound, and superb portability.
Special Mention: Beats Pill 2.0 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
If you are looking for the top end best portable bluetooth speakers in terms of bass output, the Beats Pill 2.0 is the speaker to get. The Beats Pill produces powerful sound, and produces clear mids and highs, with an emphasis on the lows and bass impact. The Beats Pill is now powered by four premium drivers that produce crisp clear sound. On a whole, we found that the Beats Pill is lightweight, portable and wireless enabled, meaning you can change tracks from your phone or take a call with Bluetooth conferencing. It is small and compact enough to fit your hand, and allows you to enjoy hours of good quality music without being tied down.
The design of the Beats Pill is absolutely top notch and the portability is outstanding. When you pick the speaker up, there is a fair bit of weight to it which feels really good and not cheap. The weight screams quality, and makes the portable bluetooth speaker seem highly durable and well build. The optional holders for the speaker are really creative and fun, but they are optional and do cost extra.
The battery is definitely a huge improvement over the last model and lasts at 10 hours. The speaker features NFC for tap to pair which is a really cool feature especially with newer high end androids, but may not be as useful for the iPhone which does not have NFC function. The Beats Pill also has an auxiliary output, which essentially can be used to turn an older sound system into a Bluetooth sound system. The physical volume buttons are great; while a lot of cheaper bluetooth speakers rely on the device synced with the speakers for volume control, this can sometimes lead to software malfunctions, but you do not have to worry about that with the Pill. The beats button on the front is really convenient for play/pause and pairing new devices.
The Verdict? The Beats Pill is a really sleek looking speaker and definitely one of the best portable bluetooth speakers in terms of design and build. It also produces decent sound via Bluetooth for a speaker of this size. While it is true that the bass level for the Pill is relatively weak compared to a Jambox, the bass level is sufficient for everyday use and quite good for a speaker of this size. It is perfectly suitable for a private pool or patio party and indoor use. The great thing is that you can use the Pill mounted on a Pill Dude dock and take it along for road trips. Nothing beats the thrill of having a speaker system that occupies minimal space, looks great and produces awesome music in the background. It also has a really sleek design which is awesome for one of the best portable bluetooth speakers on the market.
Special Mention: The Jawbone Mini Jambox
The Jawbone Mini Jambox is hands down the premier truly pocket sized portable speaker. It’s amazing that a speaker of such quality and power is small enough to fit in your pocket and goes wherever you need to go. It’s truly one of the best portable bluetooth speakers of 2018 and it’s hard to beat the Mini Jambox’s combination of size, sound quality and cost. The Jambox Mini produces very good sound with clear highs, amazing breadth of sound which is clear and undistorted even at high volumes. It sounded far better than the larger, original Jambox. You can even activate the multi-play function to connect two mini Jambox speakers for twice the sound. There is even a nice Jawbone app which you can use to configure and personalise your mini Jambox.
In terms of design, the Mini Jambox is small and about the width as an iPhone, but about an inch longer. It’s not thin – the case is about an inch thick, but that’s a good thing especially when it comes to sound. The case is very solid, like it was machined from a single block of aluminum. That solid feel contributes to the superior sound. It also makes it a little more expensive than its plastic-y competition. The solid case construction is crucial to both sound quality and long-term endurance.
The controls are pretty basic – volume up/down and a multi-function button on top. Note that rather than actually change the speaker’s volume, the up/down buttons actually lower the volume from the connected sending device via Bluetooth (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.). On the side are the power and pairing buttons, along with a micro USB charging port, an audio out (for standard wired use), and a microphone for use as a speakerphone (only when connected to a cell phone).The controls have virtually no labeling. The volume controls are distinctive by their + and – shapes but overall the controls are relatively intuitive.
Jawbone designed the Jambox Mini to be able to remember two different pairings, so you can move it between devices. You can even run two devices concurrently through the same Jambox if you like. Pairing is very easy, with spoken voice menus substituting for LEDs and readouts. If you’ve ever paired any Bluetooth device, this should be easy for you – in fact, it is much easier than earlier Bluetooth versions where you were required to enter a confirmation code before pairing was complete.
The Jawbone Mini has an amazing 10-hour battery life and crystal-clear wireless sound with Bluetooth 4.0. It also features a built in speakerphone that lets you take calls on the go. Essentially, he Mini Jambox comes with everything you need, including an audio cable and a USB charging cable. It also has an auxiliary port, which allows you to use this as a great speaker for your computer, PC or tablet.
The Verdict? The Jawbone Mini is hands down one of the best portable bluetooth speakers in the market. It produces excellent sound at a low cost, and comes in a ultra-portable build and durable construction which will last for a long time. You will be spoiled once you get this speaker – you can take it anywhere or hold it on your hand while running or walking. The 10 hour battery life is superb too. At the time of writing, the Jawbone Mini comes highly recommended so be sure to check them out before they sell out!
Special Mention: Soundmatters FoxL Dash 7
The FoxL Dash 7 by Soundmatters is designed to be one of the best portable bluetooth speakers around, with a unique combination of high-resolution fidelity and pocket-sized portability. Although the design factor does not really ‘wow’ you like the Flip and Jambox, it feels solid and has a good build. The FoxL has virtual CD-Quality Bluetooth music with CSR apt-X technology built into it, which will give you CD quality music with apt-x compatible devices. The FoxL also has around 10 hours of battery life which is pretty decent of a speaker this size. It also features a bluetooth speakerphone capability with built-in noise-cancelling microphone.
In terms of sound performance, we found that the FoxL has better mids, highs and lows as compared to the Jambox. There was very little distortion in the music at high volumes, and the FoxL may start to vibrate with bass heavy sounds – the inclusion of a non-slip mat on FoxL’s part works at keeping it at bay. The bass is more defined and tight, and the high frequencies are more extended. Where it all comes down to sound quality, the FoxL sounds very much better than the Jambox – it’s richer, fuller and deeper. If you are looking for great bass on one of the best portable bluetooth speakers, the FoxL is definitely one you should seriously consider. It’s also featured as one of the top ten gadget of the year in TIME magazine.
The Soundmatters FoxL 2 is the flagship model from Soundmatters which improves upon the previous FoxL model, and no doubt comes with great promise. In addition to a svelte “platinum” finish, the new flagship model comes with upgraded electronics and cabling, with enhanced wireless capabilities and longer battery life. The FoxL’s incorporated CSR’s apt-X circuitry streams audio via Bluetooth from apt-X equipped devices to deliver virtual CD quality sound. It is the only speaker near its size and portability engineered to fully take advantage of apt-X’s resolution enhancing capabilities. The package also comes with an Audioquest Mini audio cable to ensure optimum sonic preservation between connected components. The pocket-size design of the FoxL is also a definite added plus.
The Verdict? The FoxL 2 is definitely a miraculous improvement over the model FoxL model. The bass is more defined and light, and the highs and mids are crisp and clear. Although we were initially sceptical at first, we were utterly blown away by the amazing audio performance by undoubtedly one of the best portable bluetooth speakers of all time. This little speaker is incredible in sound and the “candy bar” size means you can take it wherever and whenever. Overall, this is a very solid product and you can tell that the quality is there indeed. At the time of writing, the FoxL 2 comes highly recommended so be sure to check it out!
What we look out for – Check out our top picks for 2018
When choosing the best portable Bluetooth speakers, we decide based on a number of key factors including portability and design, battery life, sound quality, durability and price. The very best speakers also feature NFC pairing and aptX streaming for a consistent and stable connection with your Bluetooth music source for high quality music transmission. Our experts have tested over a hundred speakers to determine the best portable Bluetooth speakers you can find at great bargain prices, so that you really get value for what you are paying for.
The number one factor in a portable speaker is, of course, the portability and design. Some speakers are designed purely for home use and are not suitable for travelling or listening while in an outdoor environment. We choose speakers that are compact, small and lightweight enough to be carried in a backpack or on your hand, and are capable of delivering very high quality sound performance with their acoustic drivers. This means that you will be able to take the portable Bluetooth speaker virtually anywhere and be assured that you will be receiving the same quality and excellent sound performance that you can expect as a home speaker. As a general rule, the smaller the speaker, the less volume and bass you can expect to get due to the size constraints on bass reproduction. That being said, we have encountered a few exceptional speakers that are able to reproduce tight punchy bass even from a small compact enclosure with powerful acoustic drivers that can be cranked up to maximum volume without much distortion. The very best speakers in this category are listed at the very top of this list, so be sure to check them out.
The battery life is one of the key considerations that we take into account when choosing the best portable Bluetooth speakers. Generally, we would want to go for a portable speaker with a battery life of between 8 to 12 hours on a single charge to give you plenty of time to stream music and keep the party going through the night without having to recharge. Some speakers such as the JBL Charge 3 have so much battery capacity that they are capable of charging your mobile devices on the go which is really incredible. A longer battery life also means that you will be able to take the speaker with you while travelling without having to consistent recharge before playing music.
We look for speakers that deliver very good sound performance with crisp and clean vocal reproduction and bass response. The very best speakers in this category can produce plenty of volume without any distortion at maximum volume, and are powerful enough to fill the whole room with rich and clean sound. Our experts have tested each speaker to ensure that they produce the best sound quality and have a wide frequency range so that you can listen to a wide variety of music genres and have the best possible sound experience. Although portable speakers generally produce less bass due to the compact speaker enclosure, we have listed the best portable speakers that are capable of producing very decent bass response through the enhanced bass ports and acoustic drivers.
One of the key factors that we take into consideration is the durability of the speaker – you would generally want a speaker that you can take around and resist accidental drops or exposure to rain. We have selected speakers that deliver an excellent combination of sound, durability and a rugged design which means that you would be able to take them while travelling without having to worry about damaging them. Other factors to consider include whether the speaker is dust-proof, shock-proof and waterproof depending on what you intend to use the speaker for.
We select speakers based on a price to value ratio based primarily on the above selection criteria. While many speakers can be costly (largely in part due to the speaker brand), our primarily focus is on how much value the speaker can provide at its price point. We have listed the best portable Bluetooth speakers on this list that deliver the best value for the price, some of which are now selling at very good bargain prices at the time of writing.
NFC Pairing and aptX streaming
Near-field communication or NFC pairing is a method by which the speaker automatically connects to the last paired device the moment it detects the device the second time. This can be especially useful if you intend to use the speaker on a regular basis because you will not need to go through the regular pairing process – simply switch on the Bluetooth speaker and it will automatically pair. This will also save you a lot of time for constantly having to search for the speaker on your Bluetooth device before pairing.
AptX streaming is a form of music transmission using the aptX codec technology which improves the overall music quality. AptX streams music “lossly” which means that only data that directly impacts sound quality is streamed while the other data is discarded. This means that you will get better quality sound performance and you will start to notice the difference especially with high quality audio files (such as audio files in FLAC format). However, the aptX streaming only works where both the speaker and the Bluetooth device have the aptX codec enabled. From our experience, aptX streaming only makes a real difference if you are using a high quality speaker that can pick out the difference in music transmission. The high-end speakers on this list will generally have aptX codec capabilities for better sound performance when paired with another aptX-enabled Bluetooth device.