The best 10 portable speakers in comparison

Which are the best portable speakers of 2019?

Best portable speakers of 2019 (1 - 5)
portable speaker comparison
Comparison winner
portable speaker comparison
Comparison winner
Libratone Zipp Mini 2
Comparison winner
Libratone Zipp 2
Comparison winner
Sony SRS-X88
Comparison winner
Bang & Olufsen Beosound 1
Comparison winner
Ultimate Ears Megablast
Comparison winner
Sony SRS-X77
Comparison winner
Jabra Solemate
Comparison winner
Bang & Olufsen Beosound 1 (2018)
Comparison winner
Sony SRS-X99
Comparison winner
JBL Xtreme 2
Image
100points
100points
96points
96points
94points
93points
92points
91points
90points
89points
Best price
Best price
Summary
Summary
  • Design (67)
  • Sound quality (95)
  • Power (44)
  • Connectivity (80)
  • Features (46)
  • Design (66)
  • Sound quality (100)
  • Power (44)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Features (46)
  • Design (65)
  • Sound quality (85)
  • Power (63)
  • Connectivity (91)
  • Features (31)
  • Design (54)
  • Sound quality (82)
  • Power (78)
  • Connectivity (66)
  • Features (62)
  • Design (79)
  • Sound quality (91)
  • Power (43)
  • Connectivity (45)
  • Features (77)
  • Design (56)
  • Sound quality (75)
  • Power (74)
  • Connectivity (87)
  • Features (31)
  • Design (90)
  • Sound quality (89)
  • Power (48)
  • Connectivity (48)
  • Features (46)
  • Design (53)
  • Sound quality (68)
  • Power (79)
  • Connectivity (66)
  • Features (93)
  • Design (58)
  • Sound quality (80)
  • Power (62)
  • Connectivity (74)
  • Features (31)
  • Design (70)
  • Sound quality (89)
  • Power (50)
  • Connectivity (38)
  • Features (77)
Pros
Pros
  • Bigger driver unit
  • Voice commands
  • Bigger driver unit
  • Voice commands
  • More audio output power
  • AUX input
  • More drivers
  • Lower low-frequency
  • Bigger driver unit
  • Shorter charge time
  • Mute function
  • Remote control via smartphone
  • Bigger driver unit
  • More drivers
  • Weather-sealed (splashproof)
  • Longer battery life
  • Dustproof and water-resistant
  • Mute function
  • More audio output power
  • Lower low-frequency
  • AUX input
  • Remote control via smartphone
  • Bigger driver unit
  • AUX input
  • Weather-sealed (splashproof)
  • Mute function
  • Lower low-frequency
  • Newer Bluetooth version
  • Shorter charge time
  • Longer battery life
  • Mute function
  • Remote control via smartphone
  • Lower low-frequency
  • Bigger driver unit
  • AUX input
  • More drivers
  • Newer Bluetooth version
  • More battery power
  • Bigger driver unit
  • AUX input
  • Weather-sealed (splashproof)
  • Dustproof and water-resistant
Cons
Cons
  • Battery life
  • Battery life
  • Voice prompts
  • Maximum Bluetooth range
  • Bluetooth version
  • Lowest frequency
  • Driver unit size
  • Drivers count
  • Battery life
  • Voice prompts
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection
  • Bluetooth version
  • Lowest frequency
  • Battery life
  • Drivers count
  • Maximum Bluetooth range
  • Bluetooth version
  • Voice prompts
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Subwoofer
  • Battery life
  • Lowest frequency
  • Bluetooth version
  • Maximum Bluetooth range
  • Drivers count
  • Subwoofer
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection
  • Maximum Bluetooth range
  • Bluetooth version
  • Voice prompts
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Charge time
  • Lowest frequency
  • Audio output power
  • Drivers count
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection
Design
Weather-sealed (splashproof)The device is protected with extra seals to prevent failures caused by dust, raindrops, and water splashes.
Weather-sealed (splashproof)The device is protected with extra seals to prevent failures caused by dust, raindrops, and water splashes.
Dustproof and water-resistantThe device is dustproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant devices can resist the penetration of water, such as powerful water jets, but not being submerged into water.
Dustproof and water-resistantThe device is dustproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant devices can resist the penetration of water, such as powerful water jets, but not being submerged into water.
Control panel on deviceThere is a control panel on the device body, so you can easily access the volume control or remote without having to interact with a cable or another device it's connected to.
Control panel on deviceThere is a control panel on the device body, so you can easily access the volume control or remote without having to interact with a cable or another device it's connected to.
Driver unit sizeThe driver unit is the component that produces sound in the device. Bigger drivers are more powerful and can produce better bass.
Driver unit sizeThe driver unit is the component that produces sound in the device. Bigger drivers are more powerful and can produce better bass.76.2mm101.6mm40mm101.6mm55mm46mm101.6mmN.A.50mm69.9mm
Drivers countA speaker driver is an individual transducer that converts electrical energy to sound waves. More drivers may result in better sound quality.
Drivers countA speaker driver is an individual transducer that converts electrical energy to sound waves. More drivers may result in better sound quality.3342423262
Total score for "Design"
Total score for "Design"
Sound quality
Active speakerAn amplifier is integrated into the device. An audio amplifier takes a small signal and makes it bigger without making any other changes in it which results in better sound, so any sound source can be connected to speakers.
Active speakerAn amplifier is integrated into the device. An audio amplifier takes a small signal and makes it bigger without making any other changes in it which results in better sound, so any sound source can be connected to speakers.
Audio output powerAudio output power is based on the number of speakers and their power in watts. High audio output power results in loud, clear sounds.
Audio output powerAudio output power is based on the number of speakers and their power in watts. High audio output power results in loud, clear sounds.N.A.N.A.1 x 30W & 2 x 15W & 2 x 15W1 x 40W & 1 x 20WN.A.2 x 40WN.A.1 x 40W & 1 x 20WN.A.2 x 20W
Lowest frequencyThe lowest frequency at which the device produces audio. The lower the low-frequency response, the stronger and juicier the bass.
Lowest frequencyThe lowest frequency at which the device produces audio. The lower the low-frequency response, the stronger and juicier the bass.50Hz50Hz55Hz35Hz60Hz20Hz120Hz35Hz45Hz55Hz
Stereo speakersDevices with stereo speakers deliver sound from independent channels on both left and right sides, creating a richer sound and a better experience.
Stereo speakersDevices with stereo speakers deliver sound from independent channels on both left and right sides, creating a richer sound and a better experience.
SubwooferDevices with a subwoofer have a higher quality, deeper bass.
SubwooferDevices with a subwoofer have a higher quality, deeper bass.
Total score for "Sound quality"
Total score for "Sound quality"
Power
Rechargeable batteryThe battery can be recharged and used over again.
Rechargeable batteryThe battery can be recharged and used over again.
Battery power
Battery powerN.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.3130mAhN.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.10000mAh
Battery level indicatorAn indicator shows you when the device has low battery.
Battery level indicatorAn indicator shows you when the device has low battery.
Battery lifeThe device's battery life (when in use) as given by the manufacturer. With a longer battery life you have to charge the device less often.
Battery lifeThe device's battery life (when in use) as given by the manufacturer. With a longer battery life you have to charge the device less often.12h12hN.A.12h16h10h8h16hN.A.15h
Charge timeThe time it takes to fully charge the battery.
Charge timeThe time it takes to fully charge the battery.N.A.N.A.N.A.2hN.A.N.A.2.5h2hN.A.3.5h
Total score for "Power"
Total score for "Power"
Connectivity
AUX inputAn auxiliary input allows you to play other audio sources by connecting them through a simple audio connection like a 3.5mm jack, i.e for MP3 or portable DVD/CD player.
AUX inputAn auxiliary input allows you to play other audio sources by connecting them through a simple audio connection like a 3.5mm jack, i.e for MP3 or portable DVD/CD player.
Bluetooth version
Bluetooth version4.14.134.14334.234.2
Maximum Bluetooth rangeThe device can connect at a greater distance via Bluetooth or infrared to another device.
Maximum Bluetooth rangeThe device can connect at a greater distance via Bluetooth or infrared to another device.N.A.N.A.9.1mN.A.45m10m10mN.A.9.1mN.A.
802.11ac Wi-Fi connection802.11ac wireless works on the 5GHz frequency range. It offers higher transfer rates, improved reliability and improved power consumption. It provides advantages for gaming and HD video streaming.
802.11ac Wi-Fi connection802.11ac wireless works on the 5GHz frequency range. It offers higher transfer rates, improved reliability and improved power consumption. It provides advantages for gaming and HD video streaming.
Wi-Fi connectivityThe device can connect to Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi connectivityThe device can connect to Wi-Fi.
Total score for "Connectivity"
Total score for "Connectivity"
Features
Mute functionThe device has an option to mute/unmute a conversation directly from the device.
Mute functionThe device has an option to mute/unmute a conversation directly from the device.
Remote control via smartphoneThis technology allows the users to use their smartphone as a remote control for the device.
Remote control via smartphoneThis technology allows the users to use their smartphone as a remote control for the device.
Voice commandsYou can use your voice to control key functions of the device and you can easily access your device without pushing any button.
Voice commandsYou can use your voice to control key functions of the device and you can easily access your device without pushing any button.
Voice promptsWith voice prompts, you will automatically receive information via audio messages – for instance, you may find out that the battery is running low, and it's time to recharge the device.
Voice promptsWith voice prompts, you will automatically receive information via audio messages – for instance, you may find out that the battery is running low, and it's time to recharge the device.
WirelessWireless devices allow users more freedom of movement.
WirelessWireless devices allow users more freedom of movement.
Total score for "Features"
Total score for "Features"

How to choose the best portable speaker?

Almost everybody gets disappointed with the built-in speakers on their smartphones, tablets, and pretty much any gadget they buy, and rightfully so. But no one is to blame: manufacturers are forced to include these minuscule speaker drivers on these devices because there simply isn't enough space for a great sounding and bass-pounding driver. If carrying another device isn’t too much of a hassle for you, then there’s a simple solution to the problem: portable bluetooth speakers.

A portable speaker connects to your device via a wire (AUX or USB) or wirelessly (Wi-Fi or Bluetooth). It has a much better sound quality than a smartphone, thanks to its bigger and better sounding speaker drivers. Suddenly, watching movies on-the-go with friends becomes a much more enticing idea.

With lots of portable speakers to choose from, as well as a wide array of features and differences in specifications, buying the right one isn’t quite straightforward. So before you decide, check out the most important specifications and features of the best portable speakers of 2017.

Connectivity

Even though most portable speakers use bluetooth as the main way to connect to your gadget, some manufacturers also add more connectivity options in addition to bluetooth for flexibility, while others do away with bluetooth completely in favor of other connectivity options. The types of connectivity options are:

Wireless

  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi (WLAN)

Wired

  • AUX (3.5 mm jack)
  • USB
  • Ethernet

To make pairing easier, some models also support Near Field Communication (NFC). This makes it possible for the user to pair the speaker with his gadget by simply hovering his gadget near the speaker. Aside from pairing with a mobile device, some speakers also have the ability to decode digital audio files from a storage drive, essentially acting as a standalone media player with respectable speaker drivers. Speakers of this type have etiher USB ports and/or micro-SD slots.

Portability

Size

Considering that a portable speaker would just be thrown in your bag whenever you decide to take it with you, the smaller the size of the speaker, the easier it is carry it around. But, of course, a bigger speaker also has bigger drivers, which means a louder sound and heavier bass. You should take into account the dimensions and make sure that you’re satisfied with how good it sounds for its miniature size. There are also different form factors. Most speakers would come in the form of a cuboid, like the LG Music Flow H4, some are cylindrical, like Ultimate Ears Boom 2, and some are semi-spherical or round, the Ultimate Ears Roll 360 for example.

Weight

Having a heavy portable speaker can be a hassle. But then again, a bigger and better driver would mean more weight, so you need to find the right balance. Some of the smallest and lightest bluetooth speakers are JBL Clip 2 and UE Roll 2.

Power

There are three possible sources of power for a portable speaker: 

Passive Speaker Systems

A passive speaker system uses the amplifier of the connected gadget. Such speakers connect to the device via the 3.5mm headphone jack, relying on the amplifying power of the source. Speakers of this kind are smaller and less powerful, and also shorten the battery life of the source, though they are usually the most portable because of their reduced size and weight.

Active Speaker Systems

Active speakers have their own amplifier, so they get the power from an electrical outlet. This of course is a huge drawback when it comes to portability. However, there are also advantages: active speakers are usually very powerful and loud and sometimes they happen to be even lighter than battery-equipped speakers.

Battery-equipped speakers

With battery-powered speakers, you don't have to worry about finding an outlet or making sure that the device you pair with your speaker has enough battery. Speakers with batteries don't use power from the source, which implies a longer battery life for your mobile device. On the other hand, battery-equipped speakers tend to be heavier and larger. Most battery-equipped speakers have rechargeable batteries.

Drivers

A driver is a cone-shaped transducer, usually at the front or sides of a speaker system, protected by a mesh. The driver is the part of the speaker that produces the vibrations, converting the electrical energy sent by the source to sound energy, making it audible to human ears. Basically, the drivers determine how good the speaker will sound. It consists of a diaphragm, voice coil, and a permanent magnet. The permanent magnet could be a ferrite magnet or a neodymium magnet. The latter is superior in that it could be much lighter than the former, while having the same amount of magnetic force.

A portable speaker system usually consists of 1 to 4 drivers but there can be more. If the speaker consists of more than 1 driver, the drivers usually differ from each other. There are three different kinds of speaker drivers:

  • Tweeter: produces sounds in the higher end of the audio frequency range
  • Mid-range: produces sounds in the middle part of the audio frequency range
  • Subwoofer: produces sounds in the lower end of the audio frequency range.

Manufacturers combine these drivers in one speaker system in order to have a wide frequency range. The lowest frequency is the lowest sound (bass) a speaker driver can produce. The Samsung WAM750, for example, can produce sound vibrations as low as 8 Hz. The highest frequency is the highest sound (treble) the driver can attain; currently, the speaker with the highest frequency is Bose SoundLink Air, able to produce sounds as high as 60,000 Hz. An average human can hear sound vibrations from a minimum of 20 Hz  to a maximum of 20,000 Hz. While they can’t be heard, sound vibrations at frequencies below 20 Hz can still be felt due to the vibrations produced. Speakers which can produce sounds at way more than 20,000 Hz excel in producing the audible high notes. A stereo speaker system can have two or more types of speaker drivers. A stereo speaker uses two channels of audio, left and right, in order to create a multi-directional sound effect. This technique is particularly beneficial when watching movies or playing games. Some speakers also have passive radiators in addition to the active drivers. A passive radiator looks a lot like a regular driver from the outside, but it doesn’t have the necessary internal workings to produce sound, such as the voice coil and the permanent magnet. The purpose of a passive radiator is to increase the low frequency response of a speaker, while retaining the same driver.

Aside from the frequency range, it is also equally important to look at the audio output power of the drivers. The output power is calculated by adding up all the maximum output wattages of each driver. A speaker with a higher total power output could produce sounds at higher volume levels without too much distortion. Even though you don't usually listen to music at loud volumes, speakers with high power output could theoretically sound better in normal listening volume levels, thanks to their high resistance to distortions due to volume levels.

Other Features

For added convenience, some speakers include additional features, such as a wide range controls. It can be in the form of a built-in control panel, a remote control, an application which can be installed on your mobile device, or a combination of these. Bluetooth speakers may also have voice commands, a built-in radio, a microphone taking calls, and other features. If you plan on using your portable speaker outise, it is very important to check if it's water resistant or even waterproof.

This page is currently only available in English.