Several years ago, one could expect portable speakers to come standard with small, tinny speakers, poor battery life, and clumsy 30-pin docking ports. Thankfully, a lot more can be expected of today’s portable speakers.
Most speakers on the market pack a surprising punch for their small size, have a minimum six-hour battery life, and come equipped with both robust Bluetooth connectivity and an Auxiliary 3.5 mm jack to connect older devices.
You can also expect built-in track controls and speakerphone calling on most current Bluetooth speakers. While it’s now a heck of a lot easier to share and enjoy music on the go, it’s become a lot more difficult to find the right portable speakers for the right price.
That’s why Heavy has compiled a list of the top 10 portable Bluetooth speakers across all price ranges. Those looking for a speaker set with a louder sound and stronger battery life will also want to check the suggested upgrades listed.
1. Bose SoundLink Mini 2
Bose is a name best known for its high-fidelity sound, which is a feature they manage to deliver in the successor of their wildly popular Bose SoundLink Mini, the Bose SoundLink Mini 2. The SoundLink Mini 2 is the new golden standard for audio quality in portable speakers, as its compact audio drivers deliver a surprisingly full range of sound.
It has the same iconic look with the same sturdy metal enclosure as its predecessor, albeit a new micro-perforated steel grille. It is a hefty 1.5 pounds, which gives it a nice weight to resist vibration. Size-wise, it comes in at about the middle of the list at 2.3 x 7.1 x 2 inches. As for sound, it carries an incredible frequency response, offering rich bass tones and crisp high ends that must truly be experienced in person.
You might not believe the quality and volume that these speakers otherwise pack, especially when it comes to delivering booming lows. While Bose has obviously chosen to maintain its proprietary audio technology from the previous model, it does offer some much-needed improvements to general usability.
For instance, the speaker now supports speakerphone calling, where it previously did not. It now charges with a much-preferred Micro USB charger, plus you still have the option to use the included charging cradle. And though the battery life has been improved from 7 to 10 hours of play time, it could still be better on this speaker.
Voice prompts are also now available on the speaker to walk you through the pairing process, but this was a questionable addition because instructions weren’t necessarily needed for pairing to begin with. So while some improvements can be distracting, the SoundLink Mini 2 only further cements Bose as the #1 name for portable speakers. If you’re looking for a less portable model with higher volume and almost double the battery life, you might also consider the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker III.
Price: $179.00 (10 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 here.
Durable aluminum enclosure
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