Saturday , February 16th 2019
    The Best Sounds

Top Bluetooth Portable Speakers

When we’re talking about Bluetooth portable speakers, smaller is sexier. That’s why several audio companies have made every effort in making their wireless speaker as compact and portable as possible. With impressive sound performance, rechargeable battery and other innovative features like speakerphone and power bank capabilities; these speakers have become the item of choice in the electronic audio market.

People are just amazed at tiny gadgets that it captured their wildest imagination. Compact wireless speakers that can connect/pair with their other mobile devices like tablet, smartphone or laptop is not only cool but truly useful in our modern setting. We all know that people are always on the go, and they want a speaker system that is convenient and reliable, especially when it comes to entertainment and diverse functions.

However, some folks have a hard time shelling out $150- $200 on Bluetooth portable speakers. They want something more affordable, but would still provide value for their money. For this particular purpose, I’ve put together a list of portable speakers that have good quality but less expensive than other top-end brands. I’ll be stating briefly the selling point of each speaker regarding audio performance and features.

Here are our selections of the top moderately priced Bluetooth portable speakers:

Creative D200

This model weighs 18.8 x 5.1 x 4.9 inches without battery, and its whole body is plastic molded. It measures 18.8 x 5.1 x 4.9 inches, and it looks like a center-channel speaker which we commonly see in home theater systems. The plastic matt finish makes it anti-smudge, and it also keeps fingerprints at bay. This speaker has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz and compatible with any mobile device that supports Bluetooth 2.1.

Creative D200 can easily pair with popular devices such as iPhone, iPod Touch, Samsung, Nokia, iPad, and other major laptop brands. Pairing is relatively fast, and there was no signal drop even if there’s a wall between the speaker and the streaming device. When it comes to sound quality, the D200 can produce above average highs and mids but as expected – it lacks bass performance. Although highs and mids are quite clear, but still a bit dull for me. So, if you want something handy, reliable with above average sound performance, then this speaker is for you.

Selling Point:

  • Above average sound performance
  • Can pair easily with other mobile devices
  • Good and simple design that prevents fingerprints and smudge
  • Portable and can run with four AA batteries
  • 40mm Neodymium drivers

iHOME IDM11B Rechargeable Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Speakerphone (iPad, iPhone)

The first impression I have with the iHome IDM11B is its odd shape. It resembles a Borg ship in a StarTrek movie. You would think it to be a cube but when you set it down on a flat surface. The speaker has actually a flat side on its opposite corner, so this results in a sleek and sexy design that is completely out of this world. When it comes to connectivity, it pairs just like any other Bluetooth speaker out there. I haven’t encountered any problem pairing it with other mobile devices.

While ultra-compact Bluetooth speakers are not normally popular when it comes to sound quality, the iHOME IDM11B does try to keep up with more larger and much expensive speaker systems on the market. Although I have to admit that it does put out quality sound, but not as rich as other top-end models. For its price and audio performance, I would have to say that it gives value to your money.

Selling Point:

  • Stylish and sexy design
  • Can pair easily with other mobile devices
  • The built-in battery can go as long as 5 hours of non-stop audio play
  • Very handy and portable
  • Speakerphone capability

Logitech UE Mobile Boombox

The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox is a newer and much-updated version of the Mini Boombox. It’s a much refined and upgraded model with better accessory and audio hardware. It measures at 4.3” by 2.3” by 2.6” and has a colored metallic body with rubberized surfaces. The body is enclosed with thick rubber and has painted rear and metal front grilles. You will also find a tiny blue light on its center, indicating pairing and power status.

It also features two 1” drivers inside its 4.3” width body and pumps up decent audio. Although for its small size there’s not a lot of room for much wider and better stereo separation. You can, however, expect a clear and detailed midrange with deep lows and crisp highs. Compared to its top competitors, the Mobile Boombox does hold its own and has acceptable audio performance for its size. It also has built-in speakerphone capability and a 10-hour rechargeable battery. This speaker can also remember up to 8 devices and can pair with two mobile devices simultaneously at a maximum range of 50 feet – much longer than any wireless speaker systems on the market.

Selling Point:

  • Above average sound performance
  • Portable and easy to carry around
  • Battery life up to 10 hours of audio playback
  • Can pair with two devices at a maximum range of 50 feet
  • Speakerphone Capability

Soundfreq SFQ-04 Sound Kick Bluetooth speaker

Soundfreq SFQ-04 is a surprisingly great Bluetooth speaker for such an affordable price. It offers a clean and simple design with multi-device compatibility. This speaker is made up of hard plastic and black metal that resembles a solid brick – more like Jambox but is more rectangular. It’s also lightweight at 1.6 pounds with dimensions of 1.6 x 10.5 x 4.2 inches. The Sound Kick also uses the UQ3 spatial enhancement technology which enhances stereo separation – giving you a much fuller and deeper sound.

It also pairs well with popular mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Its built-in battery is a 2200mAh and provides 5 to 7 hours of non-stop music. The sound performance of Soundfreq SFQ-04 is at par or at least within the level of its top-end competitors which are normally priced at $200-$300. Other notable features include a USB port on the back used for charging other devices. It also has an aux-in port which is used for connecting wired and non-Bluetooth devices. This wireless speaker is one of those models that you need to have.

Selling Point:

  • Great audio performance
  • Simple and stylish design
  • Can charge other mobile devices (backup power bank)
  • Capable of charging other devices
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around

Braven BZ600GBA 600 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker/PowerBank

The Braven 600 portable wireless speaker has two custom audio drivers that offer stereo amplified audio on both the right and left channel. It also offers a 3watt speaker output that can produce enough sound to fill a small room. This portable speaker can easily pair with other Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices at the maximum range of 33 feet. Although, it has a 3.5mm audio cable for non-Bluetooth devices.

It has a built-in battery (1400 mAh) that can power other devices via USB. If fully charged, it can go for as long as 10 hours of non-stop audio playback. The exterior is built from anodized aluminum and comes with two color variants – Moab Red and Mountain Ash. The Braven 600 doubles as a speakerphone, and you can easily switch from music to receiving and making calls. So, when it comes to usability and audio performance – Braven 600 is worth buying.

Selling Point:

  • Above average sound performance
  • Excellent battery life at 10 hours of non-stop music
  • Easy to pair with other mobile devices
  • Speakerphone capabilities
  • Can also be used as a backup power source

JBL Micro Wireless Ultra-Portable Speaker with Built-in Bass Port

This particular model from JBL is one of the best ultra-portable Bluetooth speakers on the market. It’s affordable and insanely lightweight at 8 ounces. You can bring it along with you anywhere, and it can be the perfect wireless speaker for your smartphone or tablet. It also features a Li-ion rechargeable battery which can run up to 5 hours. The JBL Micro is also fitted with a built-in bass port for added bass performance, 40mm driver that can produce an acoustic volume of up to 100cc.

Just like any other Bluetooth speaker, pairing is easy, and I have no problem connecting it with other mobile devices. You can also use the typical audio cable for non-Bluetooth devices. Another essential feature is its smart cable, which is a design on the bottom part of the speaker to prevent tangling.

For its audio performance, I have to say that it can produce quality audio for its size. It may not be that loud, but the sound is clear, and the details are there. Overall, this is a decent model from JBL and worthy of your time and money.

Selling Point:

  • Great audio performance for its size
  • Super lightweight at 8 ounce
  • Easy to pair with other Bluetooth-enabled devices
  • Has Li-on Batteries that can run up to 5 hours of non-stop music
  • Has Built-in bass port for added bass performance