No matter where you find yourself in the world, you should never be without music. Your travel headphones have you covered when you’re on an airplane, but what happens when you want to jam out in your hotel room or have a dance party on the beach? That’s when you bring out your Bluetooth speaker.
But with so many on the market, it can be challenging to figure out the best portable Bluetooth speaker. To help we have created this guide, so you know exactly what to be on the lookout for.
Comparison Table of the Best Bluetooth Speakers
Below is a list of the best portable Bluetooth speakers for travel. Click on the name to read reviews and check prices.
|JBL Flip 5||$$|
|UE Wonderboom 2||$$|
|JBL Clip 3||$|
|Bose Soundlink Micro||$$|
|UE Boom 3||$$|
|Tribit XSound Go||$|
|Bose SoundLink Revolve+||$$$|
What to Look for in a Good Bluetooth Speaker
The reviews for portable Bluetooth speakers can be all over the place and sometimes they include irrelevant information. Here are the most important things to consider when you’re looking at speaker descriptions and reviews.
1. Size and Weight
When traveling with luggage, lighter is almost always better. But not only do you want to consider the weight of the speakers, but also the measurements. The goal is for the speaker to be powerful, but take up as little space as possible.
Not only does your speaker need to survive the plane ride in your carry-on luggage, but also consider where you’ll be using it. Can it make it through your mountain biking excursion? How will it be affected by the sand at the beach? If it gets splashed at the pool, will it still work? Can it survive an accidental fall off a table? These are things to consider before purchasing your speakers, not after.
3. Sound Quality
You want a speaker that will offer a great all-around sound. Not only are the levels of sound important, but so are its ability to perform well without sounding distorted. Often we’re not able to test out a speaker before purchasing it. One of the best things you can do instead is to check the sound output and make sure it has a wide frequency HZ measurement. Usually around 20 watts of sound output indicates a good performance quality.
4. Battery Life
The type of travel you’re doing, and where you’ll be using the speakers, will determine the minimum amount of battery life you should consider. Most speakers will offer between 6 – 10 hours of playback. If you’ll be staying in hotels or hostels where you’ll be able to recharge the speaker regularly, then battery isn’t a super important thing. But if you’re bringing it on a camping trip then you want to make sure the battery won’t die mid-song without you having a way to recharge it.
5. Voice Control
This is a convenience many people appreciate. Not only can you control the tunes with your voice, but it can also offer additional benefits that are super helpful while traveling. Some speakers can act as your Alexa or Google Assistant if you need to do a quick internet search for things like restaurants or attractions.
6. Bluetooth Range
This is a personal preference depending on how far you think you’ll usually be away from your speaker.
7. Weatherproof / Waterproof
Speakers with an IPX7 rating are water, sand, dust, and snow resistant. IPX7-rated speakers are perfect for things like pool parties and hikes, because if they hang out with you in your pool float you won’t have to worry about them getting wet and you don’t have to worry if they get a little dirty on the hiking trails. These are usually the most durable speakers you’ll find as they’re rubberized and designed to follow you through countless trips.
8. Ability to Connect to Other Speakers
If your speaker will be used for parties or outdoors, then be on the lookout for the loudest portable Bluetooth speakers. While many travel speakers may not have head-banging sound, one of the best things you can do is make sure your speakers have the ability to be “daisy-chained”. This will allow them to be connected to other audio devices to create a bigger sound.
Best Travel Bluetooth Speaker Reviews
Now that you know what’s most important in a new speaker, here are the best speakers for travel on the market today.
JBL Flip 5
One of the best Bluetooth speakers under 100 dollars, the JBL Flip 5 gives you amazing sound quality without breaking your budget. The speaker has a 20W power output and the 4800mAh battery can give you up to 12 hours of playback. When it’s time to recharge you can do so quickly thanks to the USB-C port. The JBL is also IPX7 waterproof up to three-feet deep, and you can pair it with other speakers to increase the sound. It only weighs 1.19 pounds and measures 3.6” x 3.6” x 8.5” to fit snugly in your travel pack. There’s no question that the JBL Flip 5 is one of the best travel speakers you can buy.
UE Wonderboom 2
The UE Wonderboom 2 is praised for its impressive 360° sound and killer bass. It has an outdoor boost button that’s designed to increase the sound and clarity for improved outdoor listening. You can pair this speaker up to others in mono or stereo mode to up the party noise, and it has a 100-foot connectivity range. This is one of the best wireless Bluetooth speakers if you’re going to be outdoors all day because it has a 13-hour battery life. The convenient hanging loop is perfect for activities like hiking or biking, because you can hang it on your hiking backpack while you’re on the move. This speaker weighs less than a pound and measures 3.7” x 3.7” x 4”. Whether you want to party it up or take it on the trail, the UE Wonderboom 2 is the ideal speaker.
If you’re on the hunt for the best sounding Bluetooth speaker, don’t miss the Sonos Move. To make sure you’re wowed by the sound, this speaker has automatic trueplay tuning that balances the sound, an impressive bass, and a wide soundscape. The battery lasts up to 10 hours and is recharged via the included base or the USB-C port. Not only does it have voice control, but Alexa is built-in so when you have Wi-Fi you can do everything from play your music to check the news. The Sonos has an IP56 rating making it resistant to rain, snow, and dust, and it’s protected by a shock-resistant case so you don’t have to worry about accidental drops. While it’s one of the larger travel speakers at 5” x 6.3” x 9.4” and 6.61 pounds, the Sonos Move offers an amazing listening experience.
JBL Clip 3
The JBL Clip 3 is one of the smallest portable Bluetooth speaker options you’ll find and it has a convenient carabiner clip to secure it to your belt loop or daypack. It’s IPX7 waterproof rated and has a 1000mAh battery that offers up to 10 hours of playback. The speaker includes a speakerphone with built-in noise and echo-cancelling features to promote clear calls. It’s a great lightweight speaker weighing only 7.8 ounces and taking up nearly no space when stored. For an ultraportable but still high-quality Bluetooth travel speaker, consider the JBL Clip 3.
Anker prides itself on offering superior sound quality, so it comes as no surprise that the Soundcore is one of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market. It has dual-range drivers, a fine-tuned Digital Signal Processor, and a patented bass port that produces premium sound. This speaker has impressive clarity with less than 1% harmonic distortion. It has a 66-foot connectivity range and a battery life of up to 24 hours. The speaker has a built-in microphone and can connect with Alexa-enabled devices. Weighing less than a pound and measuring 6.5” x 2.1” x 1.9”, the Anker Soundcore will be a welcome travel accessory anywhere your travels take you.
Bose Soundlink Micro
The sound quality, durability, and portability put the Bose Soundlink Micro among the best travel Bluetooth speakers. These speakers will give you a crisp sound whether you’re vacationing on an island in your hotel, or hiking a trail. It’s IPX7 rated which makes it waterproof and resistant to scratches and cracks. The speaker has a range of up to 30 feet and offers six hours of playback. It can be paired with other speakers and has a built-in speakerphone that gives you access to your Google Assistant or Siri. All of this comes in a package that weighs only about a half pound and measures 1.4” x 3.9” x 3.9”. The Bose Soundlink Micro is a high-quality speaker at a budget-friendly price.
UE Boom 3
The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 speaker has everything you could need in the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers. This speaker has an impressive and immersive sound maxing out at 90dBA with a deep bass and balanced output. The battery offers up to 15 hours of music before needing to be recharged. You can pair any number of speakers you want to crank the tunes loud. This speaker has the ability to float and be submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes, and can stand up to being tossed around. The Bluetooth connectivity range stretches up to 150 feet. You’ll love having the two-pound UE Boom 3 with you whether you’re jamming out in your Vienna hotel or hiking the Great Ocean Walk.
The quality of its bass is what makes the Sony SRS-XB12 stand out from the rest. It has a deep, punchy sound that gives you a better feel for the music. The compact (3.4” x 3.4” x 4.2”) design includes a detachable strap for convenient carrying or hanging. It has an IP67 rating which means it can withstand dust and water, and it offers up to 16 hours of playback. For a better stereo sound you can connect it to another speaker. The Sony SRS-XB12 weighs about half a pound and is a perfect addition to your travel gear collection.
Tribit XSound Go
This sleek and sophisticated speaker presents a balanced sound that creates an immersive listening experience. It has dual 6W power drivers and state-of-the-art bass radiators to deliver an impressive sound without distortion. You’ll get up to 24 hours of battery life and a connectivity range up to 66 feet. It’s IPX7 waterproof rated so you can rest easy knowing that it’s durable enough to survive even your most action-packed adventures. Even though it has a smaller size at 6.7” x 2.2” x 2.3”, it has a great sound. Keep the party going all night long with the Tribit XSound Go.
Bose SoundLink Revolve+
The Soundlink Revolve+ is Bose’s best performing portable speaker. Be prepared for jaw-dropping sound with 360° coverage. The speaker weighs two pounds and measures 4.2” x 4.2” x 7.3”. It has a voice control feature so you can chat with Siri and your Google Assistant, and it not only connects to other speakers but also keeps track of the last eight paired devices. It boasts up to 16 hours of playback and has a wireless range of up to 30 feet. It’s IPX4 waterproof rated and has a flexible, fabric handle that makes it easy to carry or hang. Whether at home or on the go, the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ is ready to blast your tunes.
It’s inevitable that you’ll meet new friends when you travel, and since nothing brings people together like food and music, it’s always a great idea to have your Bluetooth speaker with you so you’re ready to create a great time.