I’ve discovered that there are plenty of options for the average customer when it comes to portable bluetooth speakers today. But that doesn’t make it much simpler to sort through the numerous options. So I decided to put some of the most well-liked devices to the test across a variety of price points.
On first listen, most of the speakers I tried sounded good; it wasn’t until I made side-by-side comparisons that I started to pick up on subtle differences. Reading the specifications only gets you so far. As a result, we’re giving a little more attention to audio quality and dynamic range while still taking other aspects like usefulness and cost into account. In the end, there isn’t just one top Bluetooth speaker, but we’ve uncovered a ton of excellent options that will work for a variety of situations and budgets.
What to consider
The alphanumeric signs known as IP ratings (Ingress Protection), which are frequently seen in product spec sheets, describe the verified resistance of a device to both solid items (such as dirt, dust, or fingers) and water. The combination often consists of two integers, the first of which denotes the entry of solid objects and the second, water. In the former, there is no protection from 0 to 6. (dust tight). The range of water protection is 0 (no protection) to 9. (protected against immersion and high-pressure jets). When an X is used in place of a number, it implies that the product’s resistance was not evaluated. There is no assurance that if it is waterproof, it will have some intrinsic resistance to solids.
These days, the grade IP67 is frequently used to describe very resilient and potentially robust speakers. These should be more than OK in the rain or the shower and are safe for quick dips in the tub or pool. They make excellent choices for the beach, a playground, and other unforgiving settings.
Although the term “portable” can be interpreted differently, the focus of this guide is on handheld Bluetooth speakers, which are often designed for users who frequently find themselves away from a power source. Currently, a speaker’s runtime of about 12 hours seems to be the standard, although, the longer battery live a speaker can provide, the better.
However, while examining battery specifications, be cautious as they frequently state a maximum runtime (“up to” x number of hours). This often denotes modest to medium volume testing. It frequently results in decreasing the anticipated usage duration in half or more if you want your music loud. It’s a good thing that some manufacturers additionally include information on the anticipated battery life when the device is being utilized at maximum volume.
The bluetooth range might be challenging. Some businesses mention the maximum range that their product can cover, usually outside in a clear line-of-sight testing scenario. Others may be using Bluetooth 4. x or 5. x, continue to list a 30-foot range here on the spec sheet and leave it at that. Although the speaker’s capability is probably being understated, unpredictable circumstances can have an impact on range, and there is little use in making extravagant promises if complaints are the only results.
When squatting down, with my phone in the front pocket of my trousers, and just 30 feet away from a speaker inside my apartment, I’ve experienced signal drop problems. Regardless of their advertised range, I experienced this problem with some devices.