Best Portable Speakers

A portable speaker should be lightweight, easy to transport, and reasonably durable and weatherproof - but there’s more to them than that. Now portable Bluetooth speakers have a host of features that make them more user-friendly and suitable to a wider range of settings - here’s a guide on what to look out for. Continue reading...

161 listings

Best Portable Speaker

Logitech UE BOOM 2
4.1 from 56 reviews
Battery Life15 hours

With a good amount of bass and a full, non-tinny sound suitable for listening to all genres of music, the Logitech UE BOOM 2 can be used for anything from easy home listening to rugged outdoor adventures and parties.

Price (RRP) $249.95

Quick and easy to pair
Lightweight and simple to carry
Great connectivity range
  • Connectivity Options3.5mm Jack (AUX), Bluetooth and MicroUSB
  • FeaturesApp Control, Multiple Speaker Pairing and Water Resistant
  • Voice ControlGoogle Assistant
  • Charging Time2.5 hours
  • Dimensions 180 x 67 x 67 mm
  • Weight548 grams
  • Colour / FinishBrainfreeze, Cherrybomb, Phantom, Tropical, Afterhours, Cashmere, Cityscape, Lilac, Stone

Was replaced by...
2nd Best Portable Speaker
JBL Charge 3
4.6 from 22 reviews
Battery Life20 hours

With an IPX7 waterproof rating and high sound quality that lets you hear and feel the bass, the JBL Charge 3 gives you a heightened listening experience, wherever you are.

Price (RRP) $169.00

Crisp, clear sound
Easy to connect to devices
Solid build quality
  • Connectivity Options3.5mm Jack (AUX) and Bluetooth
  • FeaturesMultiple Speaker Pairing, Speakerphone and Water Resistant
  • Charging Time4.5 hours
  • Battery Size6,000 mAh
  • Dimensions 88.5 x 213 x 87 mm
  • Weight800 grams
  • Colour / FinishBlack, Blue, Red, Green

Was replaced by...
3rd Best Portable Speaker
Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus
4.2 from 27 reviews
Battery Life16 hours

360° sound, up to 16 hours of battery life, and a water-resistant design make the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus a great addition to your backpack for quality music wherever you go.

Price (RRP) $439.95

Excellent battery life
High sound quality
Durable
  • Connectivity Options3.5mm Jack (AUX) and Bluetooth
  • FeaturesApp Control, Multiple Speaker Pairing, Speakerphone and Water Resistant
  • Voice ControlApple Siri / AirPlay and Google Assistant
  • Dimensions 184 x 105 x 105 mm
  • Weight900 grams
  • Colour / FinishBlack
JBL Flip 4
3.8 from 38 reviews
Battery Life12 hours

Used by reviewers for anything from conference calls to parties, the JBL Flip 4 has dual external passive radiators to give you strong bass and clear sound for whatever you need it for.

Price (RRP) $159.00

Was replaced by...
Logitech UE MEGABOOM
3.9 from 30 reviews
Battery Life20 hours

Set the mood you want on the Logitech UE MEGABOOM with a customisable equaliser, the ability to connect to over 150 other compatible UE speakers, and a 360° speaker that provides rich, clear sound.

Price (RRP) $349.95

Was replaced by...

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Logitech UE Wonderboom

Logitech UE Wonderboom

 · includes 6 listings
3.9 from 17 reviews
Battery Life10 hours

Price (RRP) $129.95

Was replaced by...
JBL BoomBox
4.2 from 12 reviews

Latest review: I purchased the JBL Boombox- I used it indoors and took care of it. The battery failed less than 6 months out of warranty. I spent over $500 on a speaker that lasted less than 18 months. JBL refused

Price (RRP) $549.00

Was replaced by...
Bose SoundLink Revolve
3.3 from 27 reviews
Battery Life12 hours

Price (RRP) $299.95

Logitech UE BOOM 3

Logitech UE BOOM 3

 · includes 4 listings
3.6 from 17 reviews
Battery Life15 hours

Price (RRP) $199.95

Price from $199.95 Bing Lee

JBL Charge 4
3.8 from 12 reviews
Battery Life20 hours

Price (RRP) $199.95

Price from $229.90 Bing Lee

Logitech UE Megaboom 3
3.0 from 23 reviews
Battery Life18 hours

Price (RRP) $299.95

Price from $299.95 Bing Lee

JBL Charge 2
4.7 from 7 reviews
Battery Life12 hours

Price (RRP) $249.95

Was replaced by...
Yamaha PDX-B11
4.7 from 6 reviews

Latest review: I recieved this as a gift. Ohh boy! Can't believe how good this thing is. Great sound quality and amazing bass. Absolutely love it. Bulletproof design and great connectivity. Hats off to Yamaha for

Price (RRP) $169.00

Logitech UE Wonderboom 2
4.1 from 7 reviews
Battery Life13 hours

Price (RRP) $129.95

Price from $129.95 Bing Lee

Logitech X50
4.7 from 6 reviews
Battery Life5 hours

Price (RRP) $49.95

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Sonos Move
3.4 from 7 reviews
Battery Life10 hours

Price (RRP) $649.00

JBL PartyBox 100
4.0 from 5 reviews
Battery Life12 hours

Price (RRP) $499.95

Logitech UE Roll 2
4.5 from 4 reviews

Latest review: Received UE roll as a present. It has a great sound for a such a small device. Easy bluetooth connection to my iPhone. Excellent for travelling - picnic at a park, beach

Price (RRP) $99.95

Philips BT4080B/98
3.8 from 5 reviews
Battery Life5 hours

Price (RRP) $199.00

Bose Soundlink Colour II
3.3 from 6 reviews
Battery Life8 hours

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Page 1 of 8

Should I get a portable speaker?

A woman turning on a black portable speaker sitting on her desk. There's a laptop and a glass of water in the background.

Portable speakers are used for everything from easy listening at home over a glass of wine to intense trail rides and camping trips. That’s why it’s important to think about what you want to use your speaker for and what you’ll need out of it.

Of course, a speaker’s features will vary depending on the model, but here are some general benefits and disadvantages to using a portable speaker.

Pros

As their name suggests, they’re extremely portable, so you can fit them in your backpack or clip them to your bike if you want some music while you cycle.
Simple to use, in that they usually have minimal, intuitive controls and can start playing music as soon as you’ve connected your device.
Usually quite powerful for their small size.
Generally have quite high waterproof and dust-resistant ratings (it’s quite common to find waterproof Bluetooth speakers), so you can take them to the shower, beach, or adventures in wet conditions.

Cons

Connectivity can be a bit unreliable, as you need to be within range - it also just takes a stubborn device to spoil all the fun.
Sound quality may not be up to scratch for audiophiles.
They often pick up everything that your paired device does, so everyone may hear your text and email notifications.
Often not very customisable, however some portable speakers can be connected to mobile apps which let you adjust sound settings.

If you only really want to play music at home and storage space isn't an issue, then you may want to consider investing in regular speakers, a soundbar, subwoofer, or a home theatre system instead.

What to look for in a portable speaker

Connectivity options

Most portable speakers use Bluetooth connection. These are probably suited to you, as long as your phone and speaker remain relatively close to each other.

Some devices have other connectivity options instead of or as well as Bluetooth, including:

Sound quality

A lot of people overlook sound quality because it can be difficult to wrap your head around sound quality lingo - after all, we can’t all be audiophiles. Sound quality can however make or break your listening experience, and can even make you think your favourite tunes aren’t all that satisfying to listen to.

Decent portable speakers should be able to give you good quality audio at low and medium volumes, but unless you opt for a premium model, they may not deliver much when you crank the volume.

A portable speaker with a passive radiator system, like the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus or the JBL Charge 4, will produce deep, rich tones. You can also find 360° speakers that emit sound in all directions, making for a more immersive listening experience.

Looking at the specs advertised by a manufacturer can give a bit of an idea about how a speaker will sound, but the best way to find out if you like how a speaker sounds is to try it out in store.

How many watts is a good Bluetooth speaker?

The wattage you need depends on how loud you want your music to play. For easy listening, most people will find that 20 watts is enough. Those holding events and parties at home may need a high wattage speaker of up to 100 watts so that you can play music loudly without distortion.

Features

Portable speakers now have a host of features that can make them more suitable for all kinds of uses.

  • Speakerphone: A speaker with a speakerphone lets you receive calls. Some speakerphones have a noise and echo-cancelling feature for better sound clarity.
  • Multiple speaker pairing: Some speakers, such as the Logitech UE BOOM 2 and the JBL Charge 3, let you wirelessly connect to other compatible speakers so that you can amplify the sound - and the party.
  • App control: Some speakers have apps that you can use to access features like connecting to other speakers and customising the equaliser.
  • LED lights: LED lights let you easily locate your speaker in the dark, as well as create ambiance when you’re throwing a party or trying to set a mood.
  • FM radio: You can find a Bluetooth speaker with radio that lets you tune into FM, so you can cut out the middleman and not have to stream from a radio app on your smartphone.
  • Digital radio (DAB): Offering great sound quality and more choice in stations, DAB+ can also be a handy feature to have on your portable speaker.
  • Alarm: If you need a bit of help waking up in the morning, or prefer to wake up to an alarm with a better sound quality than your phone, then look for a portable speaker that has an alarm feature.

Battery life and charging time

Portable speakers are generally designed with a long battery life as their main point is that they can be taken with you wherever you go. Most will be able to continuously play music anywhere from 8 to 13 hours, with an overall battery life of around 15 to 24 hours.

Charging time is also an important consideration that you should have, particularly if you plan on using your speaker frequently. It can be handy to give your speaker a quick charge in the car on the way to the beach or a camping trip. Portable speakers often have a charging time of somewhere between 2.5 and 4 hours - generally, the shorter the better.

Size and weight

A portable speaker should be easy to carry around. Think about the bag you usually carry around - will your speaker fit into your backpack, handbag, or jacket pocket? Is it lightweight enough to not be burdensome to carry around?

To make them easier to carry around and to also protect them from the contents of your bag (water bottles seem to leak regardless of how tightly you screw their cap on), some portable speakers also come with a carry case.

Dust and water resistance

Chances are, you’ll be taking your speakers out on beach outings, camping trips, and park picnics, which means you’ll need it to withstand the elements - you may even only be looking at completely waterproof speakers to take on more rugged adventures (or just pool parties).

A speaker will usually have an IP rating that refers to its level of dust and water resistance. The higher the number, the more resistant it is. While the first ‘x’ refers to its dust resistance, the second ‘x’ refers to its water resistance. That means that an IPX5 rating means that a product hasn’t been rated for dust resistance, while an IP66 rating means that a product is completely protected against dust and is extremely water-resistant.

A red Logitech UE Wonderboom 2 waterproof Bluetooth speaker floating in a blue outdoor swimming pool.

The Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 has an IP67 rating, so it can be submerged in 1m of water for up to 30 minutes at a time.

Voice control

Some Bluetooth-only speakers also have a voice assistance feature, letting you use Google Assistant, Apple Siri or AirPlay, or Amazon Alexa. It can be difficult finding portable speakers with these features, as most ‘smart’ speakers are designed to be used as part of your smart home.

Price

There’s a portable speaker out there for every kind of budget, with some cheap Bluetooth speakers being as little as $30 and some very premium picks costing well over $1000. You’ll find plenty of speaker options from popular brands between $80 and $250. Remember that the more special features you want, the more you’ll have to fork out.