Built-in speakers in smartphones or laptops are almost always far from an ideal. Buying unhandy speakers with a vast number of wires is not always profitable, but to buy a portable bluetooth speakers is still worth it. Such devices are universal; they can be used at home and taken with them to picnics or walks.
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How to Choose Portable bluetooth Speaker?
Let’s start with the basic information. If you are an expert in the field of speaker systems, you can skip this section. We have prepared a short educational program for those who first encountered the choice of a portable speaker and do not know how to find a really quality model.
When choosing, pay attention to the next parameters:
- The power of the system directly affects the sound volume. The most compact speakers have a power of about 3-5 watts, more sized models – 15-20 watts and more. It is worthwhile to understand that the closer the sound volume to the maximum, the more there will be distortions in it;
- A number of bands. Each band of the column is responsible for the reproduction of certain frequencies and their combinations. The more bands, the more clear and natural will be the sound. The cheapest and most common option is single-sideband speakers, equipped with only one universal speaker. Two-band speakers have two speakers: high- and low-frequency. These are also fairly common models. Less common are three-band speakers, which also include a mid-range speaker;
- A range of reproduced frequencies. Here everything is simple: the wider the range, the more believable will be the sound. The minimum frequency in portable acoustics is 20-500 Hz, the maximum frequency is 10000-50000 Hz;
- a sound format, or a number of channels. There are mono-systems (1.0); they reproduce music in one channel. The basses in them are not particularly pronounced, the format is a thing of the past, but they are still used in inexpensive compact speakers, even from the well-known manufacturers. Stereo systems (2.0) give a more spacious sound, differ in high power and loudness. Systems 2.1 differ from 2.0 one’s by having a separate low–frequency woofer (subwoofer); it gives a more saturated and dense sound. The power of such subwoofer ranges from 1 to 150 watts;
- A signal-to-noise ratio is another indicator of how good the sound from the speaker will be. The higher the value of this indicator, the better. In most speakers, it is 45-100 dB. Many little-known manufacturers often indicate not quite correct values, but the data that large companies declare can be trusted;
The wireless technology. The most common are Bluetooth-speakers. They are easily interfaced with the tablets and smartphones. It is advisable to take a column that works with the Bluetooth 4.0 standard: power consumption will be minimal in this case, and this is very important for the portable speakers on batteries. A data compression during the transfer via Bluetooth is carried out by the AptX-codec, it allows for producing CD-quality sound. Some players support the AptX HD-codec − quality sounding, clarity and volumetric will be several times higher, but it is important that the smartphone or tablet also support the work with these codecs. To simplify the connection via Bluetooth, the NFC-technology can be used in some speakers: it is clear that the smartphone should also support it too.
Music can be transmitted and over Wi-Fi, a distance of connection depends on the power capacity of network routers. Separately it is worth noting the AirPlay-technology, which is used in the devices from ‘Apple’. It allows transferring to the speaker an excellent surround sound, which is achieved through the use of branded codecs that transmit the music with almost no loss of quality. Several wireless options can be implemented in the expensive speakers;
- Other sources of music. The speaker can play music not only from the paired smartphone. There are memory slots in the most models, in the more advanced – USB-connectors for reading flash drives and external hard drives. Another option − to connect a smartphone to the speaker through the AUX-port, but thereby the wireless device cannot be named so in this case. There are some models of speakers can be connected to computers and TVs, but they are rarely used for such purposes;
- autonomy. Most portable speakers are powered by their own rechargeable batteries − traditional AA-powered batteries are becoming history. Manufacturers indicate the battery capacity and the duration of wireless productivity. The last is often not measured at the maximum sound volume, keep this in mind. A good result for wireless speakers is 10-15 hours of battery life and more. The speakers are recharged via micro USB from the outlet, laptop or external battery;
- the control is carried out by means of the paired smartphone or buttons on the column itself. Some models have a screen for convenience;
- the weight. Good acoustics cannot weigh a little, but you do not want to take a heavy speaker with you to nature, so choosing a portable speaker − always a compromise of compactness and sound quality. If you plan to take music with you on a run or bike tour, then pay attention to more miniature models. If the quality comes first, then take a column weighing from 500 g;
- additional functions. These include a radio, an equalizer for fine-tuning the sound, an alarm clock, a remote control unit, a backlight and also a speakerphone (this is a built-in microphone that allows you to make loud calls to the entire company of friends). Some speakers get protection from moisture and dust – this is important if you take the device with you on an active holiday. Some speakers also work as a power bank, charging other gadgets. There are models equipped with the wireless charging and even the solar panels;
- manufacturers. Among the very best: JBL, Sony, Beats, as well as Sven and Xiaomi.
It is also necessary to consider the purposes of use. For example, for noisy parties in the out-of-doors, a simple single-band mono or stereo system can be suitable: the purity of sound still cannot be assessed in full measure. Pay attention to the protected and fairly self-contained speakers. For travellers, there are the compact, palm-sized models. They receive the special fasteners, often have the protection from water, but the maximum volume level is very limited − however when the speaker is located next to the other, then that is not required. For the cyclists, there are the speakers with special fasteners. For use at home, you can take both a compact and a fairly large model with high sound quality; their design becomes here no less important.
TOP 7 of the Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers
By the price/quality ratio, this is one of the best portable speakers at the moment. JBL Flip 4 replaced JBL Flip 3, the real hit of sales. The manufacturer claims that he was able to make an even more perfect device and, learning the dry technical characteristic properties, you start to believe him. When you listen to the sound of the speaker in ‘live’, there is no doubt that everything is done perfectly. The company says that the new model sounds 20% better than the previous one: we do not know exactly how exactly they measured this percentage, but the sound is good in every sense, and the basses are juicy.
Among other things, the model received the higher autonomy and increased protection level of IPX7 − now the device is not afraid to even of immersion in water − now the device is not afraid to even of immersion in water. The speaker is interfaced with gadgets via Bluetooth, has a mini jack for wired connection and several control buttons. Among bonuses − there are the built-in microphone and the ability, thanks to JBL Connect+, to connect about a hundred of speakers to one system. The variety of colours is the widest. The disadvantages are difficult to find.#2
It is one of the best portable speakers of the present times. This device is powerful, with enough autonomy and waterproof enclosure. The manufacturer thought through design and ergonomics to the smallest detail. There is a built-in microphone to answer the call; it is also possible to combine the speaker with others in one coherent system. The model was protected against water by the standard IPX7, it withstands temporary immersion in the water, and rain and splashes do not care it in general. 6000 mAh batteries are enough for a record of 20 hours of music playback − this is an amazing result for the portable acoustics. At such characteristics it is not surprising that the speaker can charge the other gadgets, acting in the role of an external battery. Another nice opportunity is the presence of a speakerphone.
As to the main thing − the quality of sound, then everything is expected to be perfect: the powerful speakers with a good range of reproducible frequencies, two secondary radiators; and finally sound is clean in every sense. There is nothing to complain about. Naturally, all this set of advantages is more expensive than other compact ‘road’ speakers.#3
This device is for those who can appreciate the purity of sound and prefers only the best quality acoustics, even in its portable performance. However, with such weight, you can take it with you except only in the trunk of the car. It is suitable for home use. We will not enumerate a bunch of epithets – just simply say that this speaker gives an ideal sound, which is not difficult to understand even from the dry technical characteristics. The user can adjust low and high frequencies himself and connect the music source via Bluetooth and a mini jack. The design is also excellent.
It’s expensive, heavy, but it sounds great. The range of volume here is almost the widest in the class of portable speakers, but the fully opened sound remains clean and high-quality. The design, the management, the assembly − all are excellent. Autonomy, however, disappointed a little, but with such characteristics, it is difficult to expect another, but there is the possibility to power from the electrical grid.#5
Clip 2 – a typical budget version, which will perfectly suit the role of the original gift. The body of the speaker has a round shape with a metal clip. The system is protected from the water splashes and can withstand short immersion in water.
Clip 2 can connect to the smartphone via Bluetooth, the distance of the communication – up to 6 meters. The device can be combined with another similar one from LBL. The speaker sound quality is quite consistent with its price. There is no supernatural here, but there were no significant flaws during the music playback.
The built-in 730 mAh battery is barely enough for seven hours of trouble-free operation.
Conclusion: it is a good choice and with the rather suitable price; pleases the presence of moisture protection and the possibility of synchronization with the other audio systems of the same manufacturer.#6
The flagship audio system from JBL is not so portable, given its large overall dimensions and a weight of more than two kilograms. However, this even plays to the benefit of such a device. The manufacturer even included a durable belt for transporting the JBL Extreme. The audio system housing is covered with a rubberized cloth with rigid inserts on the end faces. These contents are completely protected from moisture.
Huge dimensions are justified by a large and high-quality subwoofer. Of all the JBL-devices, this one is the loudest, with deep basses. At the same time, the Extreme is quite universal, almost any genre sounds equally well. Strong basses give the body frame a noticeable vibration, so it is better to place the speaker on a stable horizontal surface.
The built-in 10,000 mAh battery lasts about 15 hours from a single charging. While playing music, you can charge up to two portable devices via USB of the speaker.
Conclusion: JBL Extreme will not only perform the role of the main speaker at a noisy party but also perfectly suited for regular home or office use.#7
The designation “Pill” in the trade name of loudspeaker very apropos emphasizes its form factor. Audio systems are made in the form of a tablet. It is packed in a transparent blister, which is in the delivery box. The kit also includes a travel case with a carbine for transportation. The main part of the device body is made of plastic with rubber inserts. Four speakers are symmetrically arranged under the protecting grid; behind there is an NFC chip.
The power margin of “pills” is enough to comfortably listen to music in the street. It is not recommended twisting the sound level to maximum, as the sound becomes unpleasant and slightly cuts the ears. The speaker is specially designed for a heavy bass; it’s all right with this thing. Symphonic music and rock are given away with resounding distortions; the audio system is better used for electronic music.
For a quick connection to Pill, you just need to bring the smartphone up against the NFC-label on the case. After synchronization, the device can work for about seven hours, which is not so much.
Conclusion: no doubt about it, it is recommended exactly for fans to buy such devices from Dr.Dre. As to the shortcomings, it can be identified small distortions at the maximum sound volume and a relatively weak battery.