If you want to listen to your favorite tunes while traveling, a portable Bluetooth speaker could be just the thing for you.
Your headphones have you covered on public transportation, and your laptop will do the job at work — but what about everywhere else?
When you want to share your sounds with new friends on the beach, around the pool, or even just in the great outdoors, a portable speaker can deliver powerful bass lines and crystal clear mid-tones if you invest in a good one.
Table of contents
- What to Look for in a Portable Speaker
- The Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers for Travel
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- What to Look for in a Portable Speaker
- The Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers for Travel
- Final Thoughts
What to Look for in a Portable Speaker
If you want your tunes to sound awesome wherever you are, consider the following when choosing a portable Bluetooth speaker:
Size and Weight
The idea of investing in a portable Bluetooth speaker is that you will be able to listen to your music everywhere you go. If the speaker is too big and bulky to fit in your carry-on luggage easily, then that defeats the purpose.
Keep your new speaker as lightweight as possible and as compact as you can get away with. Speakers measuring between 4-6 inches have enough space to produce a decent sound, but are still small enough to keep with you on the move.
You don’t want to get caught short with a speaker that cuts out in the middle of nowhere, so be sure to buy one that offers a decent battery life paired with reasonably short charging times.
Many modern Bluetooth speakers will provide between 6-10 hours of continuous playback from a single charge. Of course, taking your charger with you is a no-brainer, and remember to charge the speaker overnight when possible.
Waterproof and Dust-Proof
While you probably have no intention of dropping your speaker in the pool anytime soon, accidents can happen. Avoid total destruction by investing in a speaker with an IPX7 rating, which will protect it against sudden soakings and really bad weather.
Rubberized and built to last, these types of speakers also offer useful protection against dust, sand, and even snow.
Some Bluetooth speakers have the technology to become your personal voice-activated DJ wherever you are.
While these types of speakers are more expensive than a simple audio-only setup, they can offer you much more than just top tunes while you travel. They can also act as your internet search engine using other AI apps like Google Assistant or Siri, and can even connect with Amazon’s Alexa.
Performance Quality and Volume
The very best way to decipher how well a speaker will perform is to test it. If you can’t, other key indicators of good all-around sound include an output of between 15 and 20 watts, a wide frequency Hz measurement for a fuller sound, and low impedance for strong bass.
Daisy Chain or Connect Multiple Speakers
Many portable speakers can be “daisy-chained” or connected to each other to create a big, more rounded sound. This simply means that by using the appropriate cable, you can plug your speaker into other speakers or audio devices to create a richer and louder sound.
Others will come with an app that allows you to connect multiple devices to share your sound and make it even louder.
The Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers for Travel
Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker [Over $100]
A Small Speaker With Plenty of Punch
Bose SoundLink Revolve Portable Bluetooth 360 Speaker
Made by the powerhouse of noise that is Bose, it should come as no surprise that this little speaker packs a massive punch. With a loud and fully immersive sound and true 360-degree coverage, you can enjoy up to 12 hours of playback from a single charge.
Measuring just 3.3 x 3.3 x 6 inches and weighing only 1.46 pounds, this is a compact speaker that has an IPX4 water resistance, voice prompt commands, and Siri/Google Assistant. It also has a rather cool party mode with a drag-and-drop interface, and it comes with the clever Bose SoundLink Revolve pairing capability that remembers your other devices for instant playback.
A Virtually Indestructible Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Ultimate Ears Boom 3 Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
The Boom 3 speaker delivers a punchy, loud, and immersive 360-sound, paired with a carefully balanced bass and mid-range that allows you to capture every note. Virtually indestructible, this little speaker is waterproof and can be submerged up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes without breaking.
With intuitive controls and a rechargeable battery that offers up to 15 hours of perfect playback, you can also use the Ultimate Ears to pair up with other Boom speakers and create an unforgettable sound experience.
Cool, Capable, and Always Well-Protected
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Bundle With Portable Hard Case
With a hard case to protect it from the elements, this speaker bundle from JBL offers world-class sounds and up to 20 hours of playback time. Intense bass, intuitive controls, and a rugged IPX7 waterproof rating mean you can experience fully immersive audio anywhere in the world.
JBL makes great speakers, and this one is no exception. With a USB output to charge other devices (like your phone) and the ability to seamlessly link a range of other JBL Connect+ enabled speakers, this is a great Bluetooth speaker for travelers with an ear for perfection.
Custom-Engineered Sound System Housed in a Miniature Speaker
Bose Soundlink Mini II Limited Edition Bluetooth Speaker
With the big sound you would expect from Bose, the Soundlink Mini II Bluetooth speaker comes with custom-engineered drivers, hands-free voice control, and access to your phone’s Siri or Google Assistant. Compact and portable, you can enjoy up to 10 hours of listening on a single charge, and the auxiliary input allows you to connect to other sound devices for more music on the go.
Measuring just 2.1 x 7.1 x 2.3 inches and weighing a mere 1.5 pounds, this little speaker has a sleek anodized aluminum shell, impressive sound reproduction, and a name you can trust.
Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers [Under $100]
Surf to Your Favorite Sounds With This Waterproof Speaker
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Portable Stereo Speaker
As the most recent edition of the renowned Flip series from JBL, this is a portable speaker that delivers a surprisingly powerful sound. Offering seamless Bluetooth streaming and up to 12 hours of continuous, high-quality audio playback, this little speaker is an excellent addition for anyone who wants to listen to their music on the go.
Made from durable waterproof material with IPX7 waterproofing, you can use this speaker in all weather conditions, and the JBL bass radiator will make sure you can feel the thump wherever you may be. Complete with JBL Connect+ technology, you can connect to up to 100 enabled devices to ramp up the party when you need to.
The Perfect Portable Party Speaker
The Soundcore Flare Wireless Speaker by Anker
Previously voted the “best budget wireless speaker of 2018” by Puma, this is a superb little speaker that combines dual drivers and passive bass radiators for a full surround sound. Small in stature but big on quality, this is a total party package with excellent audio and pulsing LED lights that dance along to the music.
With IP67 waterproof protection, this is also an excellent choice for parties on the beach or chilling around the pool. A customizable EQ helps you find the perfect sound, while the 5 color themes and adjustable illumination patterns help you set the perfect mood for your next get together.
Funky and Affordable With Impressive Audio
WONDERBOOM Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Cute, cool, and seriously loud, this fashionable little Bluetooth speaker comes in a range of colors and has enough punch to keep you dancing. It delivers crisp, clear 360-degree sound with a 100-foot (30M) Bluetooth range.
With up to 10 hours of playback time on a full charge, 86 dBC, and a frequency range of 80 Hz – 20 kHz, this affordable speaker rivals some of the much more expensive models on the market. Connect with other Boom and Wonderboom models in an instant for an even bigger sound, or enjoy chill sessions around the pool knowing the IPX7 waterproofing will protect it.
Big Sounds, Small Speaker
Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth Speakers
State of the art bass radiators and dual power drivers deliver crystal clear highs, crisp mid-tones, and big sounds with the Tribit XSound Go speaker — all wrapped in super cool looks. With no distortion (even at high volume), this waterproof speaker can bring your soundtrack to the shower, the pool, the beach, or anywhere else you can think of.
The powerful lithium battery offers a whopping 24 hours of continuous playback, and the Bluetooth 4.2 technology seamlessly connects to any Bluetooth-enabled devices up to a 66-foot range. You can also use your speaker to access your voice input for Siri and Google, as well as amplify your favorite playlists on Amazon Echo.
Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers [Under $30]
A Compact Speaker That Offers Plenty of Bass for Your Buck
Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker
Offering impressive sound quality and exceptional clarity, this little speaker gives you plenty of bass for your buck. A patented bass port and 2 high-sensitivity drivers provide thumping sound, and the Bluetooth 4.0 ensures instant pairing connections up to 66 feet.
Drop-proof and durable, this speaker can easily fit in your carry-on bag, backpack, or purse. The high-efficiency Li-ion battery gives you 24-hour battery life to listen all day long, with a fast recharge capability when it finally gets low.
A Unique Little Speaker That Really Packs a Punch
OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speaker
Designed and engineered by Cambridge Sound Works, this portable speaker delivers precise sound from its passive bass radiator, while the unique triangular design and downward facing bass radiator enhance that excellent sound quality even further.
With advanced Bluetooth 4.2 and an incredible 100-foot range, you should never lose your connection. IPX5 water resistance makes it splash-proof, shower safe, and an excellent choice for partying around the pool. The 2500mAh rechargeable battery offers up to 14 hours of play time at moderate volume, and the built-in microphone allows you to receive hands-free calls on the move.
12-Hour Playback for Camping Trips and Other Outdoor Activities
DOSS Touch Wireless Bluetooth
With easy-to-use touch controls and high-definition stereo sound, this is an impressive little speaker for partying, camping, hiking, or any other outdoor activity. Using Bluetooth 4.0 technology and compatible with all Bluetooth devices, this smart little speaker can remember your last device and reconnect effortlessly.
This 12W stereo speaker has dual high-performance drivers and enhanced bass to provide banging sounds, while the sleek, compact design makes it easy to take anywhere. It has a 12-hour playback time and a short recharge time of 3-4 hours.
A Dot Design With Incredible Playback
XLEADER Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speakers
This cool little dot of a speaker has impressive audio capabilities and a super subwoofer all wrapped up in an incredibly portable package. With Bluetooth 4.1 technology, the speaker will automatically reconnect to the last device used.
You can enjoy up to 12-15 hours of music on 1 charge, and the battery will be ready to roll again after just a couple of hours. Pair your smartphone, tablet, or laptop via your Bluetooth to enjoy hours of music on this super compact speaker.
Portable speakers need to be just that: portable. They also need to be high-tech enough to produce crisp, clear audio that won’t distort at high volume or lose connection when the wind blows.
Every one of the speakers in the list will impress, but as with most things in life, you do get what you pay for. Premium labels and expensive price tags should offer superior sound quality and extra features — but if you just want great music on the go, even our selection of $30 or under speakers will do the job brilliantly.
Lastly, if you’re interested in some additional travel tech to up your game, check out the following reviews: