Today portable speakers come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Most of them offer Bluetooth connectivity. Some are waterproof, some are splash proof and others are not waterproof at all. Some have built-in microphones and speakerphones, some don’t.
Because of this, you should first decide how and when you will be using your speaker or speakers. It’s one thing if you need a speaker for your car to be able to listen to the music and answer phone calls. You may also need a lightweight waterproof unit that you can attach to your backpack during your hiking trips so that you could listen to the music. It’s a different thing if you need a speaker that you plan to bring to big parties on the beach.
Below you will find a checklist of features that you want to consider when choosing a speaker that will be right for you.
Weight and size: Weight and size are self-explanatory.
Handles, bungee cords and suction cups: Next, decide if you need a speaker with a handle, suction cup or bungee cord.
Battery life: Pay attention to the battery life. Most speakers in this review have built-in lithium-ion batteries that offer hours of playtime on a single charge. If you can’t leave your speaker plugged for 5-10 hours at a time to charge, also pay attention to the charging time. Some speakers charge in 2-3 hours, others need 5-6 hours of charging time.
Power options: Most speakers in this guide have a Micro USB connection. iFox iF012 has uses a custom cable that you will need to buy separately if something happens to the cable that comes with the speaker.
Number of drivers: Speakers are somewhat simple devices. They consist of an enclosure and speaker drivers. Generally speaking, the more drivers and the bigger they are, the louder and better the sound. This is why the best-sounding speakers would have several precision acoustic drivers.
Ports and connectivity: Most speakers in this guide offer Bluetooth connectivity and seamlessly connect to Bluetooth-enabled phones and tablets.
The parameter that plays an important role here is the connectivity range. Some speakers connect from up to 30 feet, other can connect to devices that are located as far as 100 feet away.
Some speakers offer Siri integration and Amazon Echo integration. Others don’t. If you plan to use your speaker for more than just playing music, this may be a critical factor for you.
Phone calls: If you want to be able to use a speaker to answer and make phone calls, choose a speaker with a built-in microphone. Speakers with microphones typically have speakerphones that have noise and echo cancelling capabilities, which ensures great quality of sound during phone conversations.
Buttons: Pay attention to speaker buttons. If you plan on keeping your phone or tablet away while the speaker is playing music, you will want an item that has stop/skip/pause buttons. Not all speakers do.
The number of speakers and the number of devices
Finally, decide how many speakers you want to be connecting to how many devices. Some speakers can connect to multiple devices and alternate signal sources. Others connect only to one device at a time.
Typically, you would be able to connect a smartphone to just one speaker via Bluetooth, but a speaker like UE Boom 2 comes with an app that allows to connect up to 150 speakers to one device at a time.
|Product Name||Connectivity||Weight / Portable||Rating|
|Anker SoundCore||Bluetooth, micro USB, aux||0.79 lb/Yes||4.6|
|Big Blue Party||Bluetooth, micro USB, aux,NFC||14.7 pounds/Yes||4.6|
|Polk Audio Atrium 4||Wired||3.5 lbs/No||4.6|
|Bose SoundLink Mini||Bluetooth, USB||1.47 lbs/Yes||4.6|
|JBL Charge 2+||Bluetooth||2.1 lbs/Yes||4.6|
|OontZ Angle 3||Bluetooth, micro USB, USB, aux||0.56 lb/Yes||4.5|
|UE BOOM 2 Phantom||Bluetooth, micro USB||1.2 lbs/Yes||4.5|
|AYL SoundFit||Bluetooth, micro USB, USB||7.4 ounces/Yes||4.4|
|JBL Flip 3||Bluetooth||1 lb/Yes||4.4|
|iFox iF012||Bluetooth||1.92 ounces/Yes||4.4|
|UE ROLL 2||Bluetooth, micro USB||0.73 lb/Yes||4.4|
1. Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle 3 Next Generation Ultra
Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle 3 Next Generation Ultra is a speaker that has two precision acoustic drivers and a proprietary bass radiator design. These drivers allow the speaker to deliver high-quality crystal clear sound with great mids and highs.
This speaker also delivers louder volume and more bass at maximum volume, which is perfect for situations when you want to fill a room with sound, be in playing music from your collection or Internet streaming radio services such as Spotify or Pandora.
Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle 3 is splash proof, waterproof and sand proof. You can use it as an outdoor shower speaker, take it with you to the beach or you it by the pool. The speaker has IPX5 rating, which means that is can handle splashes of water, but can’t be submerged into water fully or partially.
The speaker is ultra-portable and weighs only 10 ounces. It is 5 inches long and 2.8 inches tall. It has a 2200mAh rechargeable battery that delivers up to 12 hours of playtime at 65% of volume.
Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle 3 connects to virtually any device with a Bluetooth connection available on the market today, including iPhones, iPads, Android tablets and Windows units. It also works with Chromebooks, TVs and non-Bluetooth devices. It comes with a 3.5 audio jack that you can connect to AUX ports on a range of devices.
Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle 3 is echo dot compatible. It connects to echo dot in seconds and can play the music from echo dot.
If you want to connect several speakers to the same device, you will not be able to do so using Bluetooth. You best approach in this case would be to use the 3.5mm cord and a splitter.
This speaker also comes with a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and a Micro-USB charging cable.
The speaker does not have a forward or back feature. If you are running low on battery, you can play the speaker while recharging it at the same time. If you want to use it with your desktop computer, you can leave it plugged into an outlet permanently.
The speaker does not come with a carrying case and if you want to get one, you will have to buy it separately.
- Small size
- Great bass
- Long playtime
- Loud clear sound
- No forward/back button
- Flimsy charging connectors
- Takes a long time to charge
- Inconvenient on/off and volume buttons
Great portable speaker with clear sound
2. Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker by AYL3 Portable Outdoor and Shower
Most Bluetooth speakers designed for use in the shower and outdoors have audio drivers with 3 watts of power. This speaker from AYL has 5 watts of power for high-quality sound and stronger bass. It is great for small and mid-size rooms.
The speaker is small and lightweight. It weighs only 4.8 ounces and its dimensions are 3.6 inches by 2 inches by 3.9 inches. This also makes it a perfect speaker for outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, camping and fishing. The speaker has a slot for screw at the bottom of the device for bike mounting. You can get a bicycle bracket separately. The unit is compatible with most standard bike mounts.
This AYL speaker uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology, which allows it to pair up with devices quicker and easier. This speaker can be removed from the device you pair it with for up to 33 feet, meaning that you can listen to the music even when you are relatively far away from the connected device.
This unit works up to 12 hours, even at 80% of the maximum volume. When using the included Micro-USB cable, you can recharge the device as quickly as in three hours.
Just like other speakers in this review, AYL speaker is compatible with most Apple and Android devices, including the iPhone and iPad, desktop computers and laptops.
The waterproof level for this speaker is IPX5, meaning that it can withstand drops of water, but can’t be submerged.
The unit has a 3.5 audio jack located next to the charging port behind the waterproof cover. It also has a built-in microphone, so you can use it to listen to the music and answer the phone calls. You can also skip music tracks by pressing the volume buttons for a second or so.
This unit comes with a 3-year warranty.
- 3 year warranty
- IPX5 waterproof level
- 12 hours of runtime on a fully charged battery
- Recharge time of just 3 hours via a Micro-USB port
- Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity with the connectivity range of up to 33 feet
- Can’t leave the speaker plugged into an outlet
- The speaker will unpair when the battery charges
- Can’t leave the speaker on standby
- It will automatically turn off
- Not good for listening to audio books or talk shows
- The sound will clip and cut during pauses in the speech.
Small waterproof speaker that’s great for music and not-so-great for audio books or talk shows
3. Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker with Loud Stereo Sound
However, being bigger in size Anker A3102011 also comes with some great features.
The speakers offer superior sound with full-body stereo that is possible because of dual high-performance drivers and a patented bass port. There is less than 1% of total distortion, which is why the sound is clear and has enhanced fidelity. The wattage power of this speaker is 3W x 2.
The battery life offers 24 hours of playtime. The speaker has a built-in high-capacity li-ion battery and Anker power management technology. You can use the speaker while charging it, too.
The device has Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and connects to Bluetooth-enabled devices from as far as 66 feet away.
SoundCore feature automatically connects the speaker to the last device used.
The unit comes with a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and a 3.5 mm jack. There is no microphone muting feature on the speaker, but you can mute the microphone using your phone.
This speaker is not waterproof or drop resistant. However, it is loud enough that you can use it in the shower by placing it in a dry spot.
In the package you will find a speaker, a micro-USB charging cabs, a welcome guide and a 18-months warranty.
- 24 hour playtime
- Connects from 66 feet away
- Not waterproof
- Button lag time
A bigger, more powerful speaker with a long-lasting battery
4. Big Blue Party Indoor-Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker
The unit has 4 2.5-inch drivers inside. They are mounted at 45-degree angles under the top cap. There is one round 5.5-inch subwoofer above the bottom cap. One 5-inch by 7-inch passive radiator box is located on the right.
Big Blue Party Speaker has 72 watts of power, 18 Watts per channel and 36 Watts of subwoofer power. The item delivers omnidirectional full-range stereo sound. You can control this speaker from your device or from the top-mounted controls for bass, treble and volume.
Similarly to other Bluetooth-enabled units, this speaker connects to the devices wirelessly from up to 33 feet away.
It comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts more than 4 hours on a single charge. To charge the battery fully, you need to keep it plugged in for about 4 hours.The battery is built-in and is not removable.
The dimensions of this speaker are 6.3 inches wide, 6.3 inches deep and 15.8 inches tall. It is somewhat heavy at 14.7 pounds. However, the speaker has a handle on top that allows you to take the speaker anywhere, including pools, decks, boats and the beach.
Big Blue Party comes with an Ac adapter that works with any regular outlet. The speaker does not have a USB port, but there is an AUX jack. Big Blue Party speaker does not a built-in microphone, so you won’t be able to use it to make phone calls.
It also does not shut down automatically. You can shut it down by using the blue button located on the front side of the speaker.
- Easy to use
- AC Adapter
- Clear trebles
- 72 Watts of power
- Great sub-woofer bass
- Loud and clear sound
- No USB port
- No built-in microphone
- Heavy weight at 14.7 pounds
- Somewhat short battery life at 4 hours of playtime
This is a speaker for you if you are looking for a large and loud, yet portable speaker with great Bluetooth sound.
5. Polk Audio Atrium 4 Outdoor Speakers (Pair, Black)
These outdoor speakers have tweeter domes made out of anodized aluminum with rubber surrounds. The speakers are completely immune to corrosion and damage from the elements, offering great handling and response.
They also meet or exceed military specifications when it comes to environmental endurance, including ASTM D5894-UV Salt Fog, Mil-Standard 883 Method 1009.8 Salt and Corrosion, and Mil Standard 810 Immersion.
The dimensions of these speakers are 6.25 inches by 7.5 inches by 9.5 inches per speaker. Each speaker weighs 3.60 pounds. Their relatively small size makes them perfect for tight outdoor installations next to the deck, by the pool or by the outside den. Thanks to their endurance, the speakers will deliver exceptional performance all year round and be able to withstand any kind of weather conditions, from extreme heat to ultra-heavy rain and snow.
The speakers have a speed-lock mounting system for simple installation in hard-to-reach locations. The grills and brackets are made of aluminum and stainless steel, which means that they will never rust. The binding posts have gold plates for the most secure surface connection.
The bottoms of the speakers have four little nubs per speaker. The speakers will be able to stand up on the nubs, but they won’t be as sturdy as when you use the brackets to secure the speakers.
Each speaker comes with a 4.5-inch polypropylene cone driver and .75 inch anodized aluminum dome tweeter for great bass response and power handling. The peak power of these speakers is 80 Watts each. The frequency response is 75 – 25,000 Hz.
The speakers are designed for a broad coverage of large open outdoor spaces with full-range sound. Baffle design with sleep angles significantly improves the dispersion of mid-frequency and high-frequency sound over a big area of outdoor space.
Polk engineers have created these speakers after analyzing the behavior of the microscopic parts employing laser technology. They later used this information to select the right materials, geometric angles and construction methods to get rid of unwanted speaker resonance. Polk Audio Atrium 4 Outdoor Speakers are a result of this work. They deliver pure sound and distortion-free bass.
Both speakers must be wired individually in order to function properly. There is no wireless connection or a built-in battery. You will need a receiver to use these speakers. They are not “self-powered speakers.”
The warranty is 5 years for parts and labor. In the box with the speakers you will find the speakers, speed-lock mounting brackets, an owner’s manual and a product registration card.
- Excellent and loud sound
- Can handle extreme weather conditions
- Can stand on the floor and have brackets for wall mounting
- No wireless connectivity
- Each speaker needs to be wired individually
- Need a receiver or an amplifier to power the speakers
6. UE BOOM 2 Wireless Mobile Bluetooth Speaker (Multiple Colors Available)
UE BOOM 2 is waterproof and shockproof. It is a 360-degree speaker with great sound and deep bass.
Its waterproof rating is IPX7. This means that this speaker can be submerged in water up to 1 meter and last submerged for up to 30 minutes. The speaker is very well made and sturdy. The exterior is made of high-quality rubber and porous metallic mesh.
The speaker comes in a number of colors, including BrainFreeze, Cherrybomb, Green Machine, Meteor, Phantom, Tropical and Yeti.
UE BOOM 2 is fully compatible with most Bluetooth-enabled devices and second generation Amazon Echo Dot. This means that you’ll be able to use Alexa and use Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify and more. UE BOOM 2 is also compatible with Siri and Google Now.
With most other speakers in this guide, you can only connect one speaker per device via Bluetooth. If you want to connect more than one speaker, you will have to use the 3.5mm analog jack and splitters. This is not the case with UE BOOM 2 Phantom.
Make your Party great with this World Record Feature
Ultimate Ears App from PartyApp allows you to easily connect up to 150 UE Boom 2 speakers to one device. The app even got into the Guinness World Book of Records as “Most Bluetooth Speakers Playing From a Single Source.” If you want to have a party and your friends have UE Boom speakers, they can bring their speakers to the party and you can connect all of them to one device and play music simultaneously from all the speakers.
The devices that you can use with the app include UE BOOM 2 Phantom, UE Boom and UE Megaboom. The app is not compatible with UE Roll and UE Roll 2.
The app will detect the speakers using Bluetooth LE even when the speakers are off. Once the speakers are connected to the app, the colors of the icons of the speakers in the app will match the colors of the actual speakers. This makes it much easier to see which devices you are controlling with the app. All you have to do to enable a speaker in the app is drag it into the main area and add it to your “party.” To disconnect a speaker, drag it down.
The manufacturer of the speaker constantly adds new features to the speaker and the app via updates. For example, you can tap the top of the speaker to play or pause songs and tap the top twice to skip a song.
The range of play and connectivity is up to 100 feet.
The maximum sound level of the device is 90dBA. Frequency range is 90Hz – 20kHz.
UE BOOM 2 Phantom has two 1.75-inch active drivers and two passive radiators.
The speaker comes with a rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery that lasts up to 15 hours. The charge time via a Micro USB port is 2.75 hours.
In addition to wireless connectivity the speaker has a 3.5mm analog jack.
UE BOOM 2 weighs 1.2 pounds and its dimensions are 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches by 7 inches. The speaker does not come with a carrying case. You will need to purchase one separately if you want to get one.
- Connectivity range of up to 100 feet
- Siri and Google Now voice integration
- Can connect up to 150 speakers to one device via Bluetooth
- IPX7 Waterproof, meaning that it can be fully submerged in water up to 30 minutes
- Bluetooth connectivity issues
- Short battery life when playing loud music
- Potential software compatibility issues with the device app
A great speaker if you want a fully waterproof device and need to connect multiple speakers via Bluetooth at once
7. JBL Flip 3 Top rated Portable Stereo Speaker
It comes in black, blue, orange, pink, yellow, gray and turquoise colors.
The speaker has a 3000mAH built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that offers up to 10 hours of play time.
You can connect multiple speakers to the same device. You can also connect one speaker to up to three Bluetooth-enabled tablets or phones.
It has a built-in microphone, a noise and echo cancelling speakerphone, and a special button that you can use to accept phone calls. It is compatible with Apple and Android devices and is certified by Amazon Echo.
The unit is splash proof, meaning that it can withstand drops of water, but you can’t submerge it.
JBL Flip 3 has dual external passive radiators.
The speaker weighs 1 pound and its dimensions are 7.5 inches by 4.5 inches by 3.9 inches. It comes with a USB charger. You can’t plug this speaker directly into an electric outlet without a special adapter.
The speaker will only play in mono unless you download the JBL Connect app and change the speaker setting from mono to stereo in the app.
The speaker comes with an attached cord. There is no case included in the package.
- Great sound
- Durable splash-proof construction
- Connects up to 3 smartphones or tablets at the same time
- Poor long-term battery reliability
A mid-level splash proof speaker with Bluetooth connectivity and excellent sound that comes in a variety of colors.
8. Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II
Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II is small in size. It weighs only 1.5 pounds and its dimensions are 7.1 inches by 2.3 inches by 2 inches, yet it delivers full stereo sounds with dramatic lows. Because of its small size, you can take it with you everywhere. The speaker will fit into a coat pocket, bag or backpack.
The unit has a built-in speakerphone, meaning that you can take calls while having a perfectly clear sound. This is a feature that did not exist in the first version of Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker. Other differences include a party connection, meaning that you can connect multiple speakers to one device at one and a bigger battery. The second version of the speaker holds up to 25% more charge compared to the first version.
Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II comes with voice prompts that make Bluetooth pairing really simple and easy. If you want to disable the voice prompt feature, you’ll need to hold + and – buttons at the same time until you hear the confirmation that the voice prompts have been disabled.
The unit remembers the last 8 devices it connected to and reconnects to one of them automatically.
The unit comes with a built-in 2300 mAh Lithium-Ion battery that plays up to 10 hours on a full charge.
Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II has an analog 3.5mm jack, so that you can connect it even to the devices that do not offer Bluetooth connectivity.
In the package you will find a Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II, a charging cradle, a wall charger and a cable. When using the speaker at home, you can keep it plugged indefinitely.
The speaker turns itself off after 30 minutes of inactivity, meaning no incoming audio or system interaction. After it turns off, you would need to turn it on manually.
An optional soft cover is available separately and lets you protect the exterior of the speaker while customizing it at the same time. The cover is available in gray, black, blue, green and red colors.
- Small size
- Built-in microphone
- Loud and clear sound
- Optional protective cover
- Remembers 8 devices it connected to
- High price
If you love Bose sounds and Bose products, you will love this small but powerful speaker
9. iFox iF012 Bluetooth Shower Speaker
iFox iF012 is a premium quality fully waterproof and fully submersible shower speaker. You can fully submerge it in the water up to three feet deep. It has a hard case and the manufacturer claims that you can even drop it on a hard floor and the speaker will still function.
In 2016 iFox listened to its customers and added white logos to the buttons of the speaker so that the buttons are easier to see in the shower.
The company manufactures the speaker at its own factory and takes enormous pride in quality control.
The speaker has CE, FCC and ROHS certifications. It has a speakerphone and is compatible with Apple devices, Siri and Androids. When a phone call comes in, the music automatically stops playing. iFox iF012 remembers the last device it connected to and will pair up with it once you turn the speaker on. You can also have the speaker on while charging it.
iFox iF012 shower speaker connects to Bluetooth devices up to 33 feet away. It has a 3 Watt output.
The speaker fully charges in three hours and lasts up to 10 hours on a single battery charge. It comes with a 600mAH Lithium-Ion battery.
iFox iF012 Bluetooth Shower Speaker comes with a suction cup that attaches to a number of materials, including glass, ceramic and other smooth surfaces. For this reason this speaker is also a great choice for your car. You can attach it to the windshield and use it to play music and accept phone calls.
This unit has an unconditional money back guarantee from iFox. If for any reason you don’t like your speaker within the first 12 months of usage, the company will either replace the speaker or refund you the money.
The speaker weighs 1.9 ounces and its dimensions are 3.4 inches by 3.4 inches by 2.6 inches.
- Easy to see buttons
- Waterproof and fully submersible
- Unconditional money-back guarantee
- The speaker uses a custom cable
- It is a 5V USB cable with a 3.5mm pin
A great speaker for the shower
9. JBL Charge 2+ Splashproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The speaker has splash proof design and wireless Bluetooth connectivity. It also has an AUX 3.5mm audio input jack.
JBL Charge 2+ comes with a built-in rechargeable 600mAH lithium-ion battery that offers up to 12 hours of playtime.
The unit has a built-in speakerphone that allows you to take calls with a touch of a button. The speakerphone has noise and echo cancelling features and offers great sound quality.
JBL Charge 2+ has a social mode. In this mode once speaker can connect up to three music sources at the same time and alternate the music that it is playing.
Frequency response of this speaker is 75Hz – 20kHz.
JBL Charge 2+ weighs 2.1 ounces and its dimensions are 8.5 inches by 4 inches by 6.8 inches.
In the box with the speaker you will find a micro USB cable, a USB adapter, a safety sheet, a quick start guide and a warranty card.
The product comes with 1-year warranty.
- Battery indicator
- The ability to play, pause and skip songs using the buttons on the speaker
- Not as loud as some other competing speakers
- Charging port and the USB port do not have covers
A not too loud splash proof little speaker with excellent battery life
10. UE ROLL 2 Wireless Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The speaker weighs only 11.7 ounces. Its dimensions are 5.3 inches by 1.6 inches by 5.3 inches. UE Roll 2 has a stretchable bungee cord. This means that you can strap the speaker to a bike, a backpack or even a kayak.
UE Roll 2 has IPX-7 waterproof rating. You can submerge UE ROLL 2 in water up to 1 meter deep up to half an hour.
UE ROLL 2 has wireless Bluetooth functionality and is compatible with Apple and Android devices. You can pair it up with up to 8 devices that have Bluetooth functionality. The speaker also has a 3.5mm analog audio output jack.
The connectivity range for this speaker is 65 feet.
UE ROLL 2 comes with a Lithium-Ion battery that offers up to 9 hours of playtime. The charge time for the battery is 5.5 hours.
The manufacturer also has a dedicated app for the speaker that allows you to better control your unit. UE Roll 2 can connect to up to three devices simultaneously.
- 65 ft connectivity range
- IPX-7 Waterproof rating
- Can connect up to two speakers to one source
- Somewhat long battery charge time at 5.5 hours
- No play/pause/skip buttons on the speaker itself
Great small waterproof speaker for outdoor trips.
This guide has all kinds of speakers, small and large, speakers that can be submerged in water for prolonged periods of time and speakers that are not waterproof at all. Today there are so many different speakers available on the market that you don’t have to choose between sound quality, convenience or battery life. You often can have it all.