As the name suggests, portable Bluetooth speakers are designed for taking on the go. Sometimes, they’re compact enough to squeeze inside a backpack’s pockets or clip to a belt loop. Other times, they’re bigger but have handles, grips, and, in the case of the biggest ones, even wheels for easily moving around. Because they’re going to be exposed to the elements to some degree, many Bluetooth speakers have some amount of water resistance, with some speakers even being fully-waterproof. Some are even built for rugged use, so they can shrug off rough handling.
Nowadays, even smaller Bluetooth speakers can pack some serious audio chops. They bring clear sound, rich details, and even loud volume, making them suitable for playing in open spaces. Many of them are also packed with the same features you can find in home Bluetooth speakers, so they can be just as convenient to use. Of course, even the best-sounding portable speakers won’t be so beloved if you can only play them a couple of hours at a time, which is why good battery life is a common denominator among the best offerings out there, allowing you to enjoy your music for many hours between charges.
These are the best portable Bluetooth speakers to let you bring your music everywhere you go.
Tribit StormBox Micro 2
If you want a small Bluetooth speaker for hassle-free transport with as much sound as you can get, few speakers offer anything better than this model. Small enough to fit in most pockets, this speaker brings immense volume for its size with an impressive deep bass. Sure, it’s not the best-sounding portable speaker out there, but its clear and balanced enough that audio quality won’t be an issue. It has a strap in the rear that you can use to mount it nearly anywhere, from backpacks and belt loops to armbands and bike handlebars, making it very convenient to bring along. Despite its small size, the onboard battery is rated for 12 hours of playback, while an IP67 rating makes it perfect for outdoor adventure.
Like other JBL speakers, this portable Bluetooth model has excellent dynamic range, delivering excellent sound across low and high frequencies without any distortion, even with the volume turned up. It sounds equally good when set upright or down on its side, so you can use this any way you like. This is a two-way speaker system, by the way, complete with a separate tweeter and dual passive radiators, which does a lot to enable that dynamic performance. Do note, the two-way setup doesn’t allow it to play in stereo. Instead, you’ll need to pair it with a second Flip 6 to get that fuller stereo sound. It has an IP67 rating, so you can use it worry-free around water, while a rugged rubber housing ensures it can hold up to the rigors of outdoor use. The battery is rated at 13 hours of playtime.
This compact speaker measures just 3.7 x 4 inches (height x diameter), making it a good speaker to strap to a pack when venturing outdoors. What makes it special, though, is the rugged housing that can withstand five-foot drops and IP67 waterproof build that lets you safely keep it around the pool. Even better, you can put it right in the pool, as it’s designed to float and continue playing the whole time it’s there. Sound quality is stellar for the size, with a clear sound and wider soundstage than its compact dimensions will suggest. While it is portable enough, the chunky design makes it impossible to put in a backpack pocket, requiring you to either strap it somewhere, carry it by hand, or squeeze it inside the bag’s main compartment. It’s affordable, too, giving you a whole lot of value for the price.
A grip-friendly rectangular shape makes this speaker easy to carry in hand, while its iconic Marshall Amp aesthetics give it affable looks that can genuinely bring smiles. It reproduces sound using a pair of 10-watt drivers, so this delivers a pretty full 360-degree sound. Do note, the dual-driver configuration isn’t for delivering stereo sound, instead producing Marshall’s signature 360-degree True Stereophonic audio. It doesn’t have the same max volume as other speakers of the same size, as it seems to be more focused on balance output, so it’s not the speaker you want to bring out for bigger parties. Battery life is an impressive 30 hours, allowing you to keep it playing the whole day without having to plug in, while an IP67 rating ensures it can shrug off whatever the elements can throw its way.
This slightly bigger version of the UE Boom brings the same excellent sound quality and portable proportions, albeit with a more balanced sound profile, louder volume, and a beefier bass that makes it a lot more fun to play at small gatherings. It also delivers a wide and open soundstage that lends itself well to playing at parties as it sounds the same from every angle. We love its grip-friendly cylindrical shape, along with the IP67 rating for dust- and water-resistance, allowing you to use it around the water without any worries, while a 20-hour battery rating allows you to keep it playing throughout the day. It has plenty of volume, too, although there’s occasionally some compression present when you max the volume. Just keep it a rung lower on max cleans up the sound, though, so it’s still great.
We love the look of this speaker, which, honestly, makes it as great for use on a shelf at home as it is on the go. At 7.5 inches tall, it’s just the right size to straddle that line between being a home speaker and a trusty outdoor companion, too. Sound is loud, rich, and exceptionally clear, with a wide soundstage and enough volume to really fill a mid-size room. It also has one of the best-sounding bass among the speakers we’ve tried. It’s not waterproof, but it does have IPX4 water-resistance, so while it’s safe to take outdoors, it will be wise to keep away from water and inclement weather. When connected to your Wi-Fi, you can use it with Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, as well as stream audio directly from various services, including Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast and Spotify Connect, making it just as convenient as any modern home speaker. Suffice to say, this is a great pick if you want a portable Bluetooth speaker that can handle the occasional outing in a pinch, but live primarily at home.
If you want a proper party speaker with the volume to satisfy a crowd, this portable Bluetooth speaker lives up to its boombox name by pumping out a whopping 160 watts of sound. The latest iteration of the Boombox model, it boasts a three-way speaker system with two mid-range drivers, two tweeters, and a subwoofer, each contributing to deliver an expansive dynamic range that produces both thumping bass and dynamic highs alike, with a clarity that some boombox-style speakers we’ve seen find hard to achieve. The rugged rubber housing and an IP67 rating makes this very safe to use around rowdy merrymakers, ensuring it can keep a party raging without any trouble, all while promising up to 20 hours of playtime. Its proportions, by the way, are similar to portable boomboxes of old, so this thing is big and probably won’t even fit in most daypacks.