what to look for when buying a portable speaker


Introduction

 

In this article, we discuss what to look for when buying a portable speaker. We will discuss portable speakers that have Bluetooth as these are the most modern types of portable speakers.

 

We will discuss what portable speakers are, what you should look out for when buying a portable speaker, the advantages and disadvantages of a portable speaker and the different types of portable speakers.

 

Portables speakers refers to speakers that you can carry with you, and often include Bluetooth and wifi speakers and can be charged to increase or preserve the battery life.

 

These speakers often sound very powerful and can get the party started.

 

The things to consider prior to purchasing a portable speaker will be discussed under the following

 

  • What is a portable speaker ?

  • What to look for when buying a Bluetooth speaker

  • The first consideration should be price

  • Once you have got the price down, the next consideration should be Sound Quality

  • Next is the battery life

  • Size of the speaker and design

  • What is a portable speaker used for?

  • What are the advantages of a portable speaker ?

  • Disadvantages of a portable speaker

  • Is it worth buying a Bluetooth speaker ?

  • Connectivity is also an important consideration

  • Hands free calling is also a useful feature

Without further ado, lets discuss what to look for when buying a blue tooth/portable speaker

 

 

What is a portable speaker

 

A portable speaker is a sort of wireless loud speaker.

 

What distinguishes a portable speaker from other types of speakers is the fact that whilst traditional speakers receive audio signals over audio cables,  portable/wireless speakers receive audio signals via radio frequency (RF).

 

There are 2 variations of loud portable speakers.

 

The first and arguably the least common kind is the “wifi” speaker. I place Wi-Fi in inverted commas because the Radio  frequencies that enable audio transmission to wireless is a variation of wi-fi called  IEEE 802.11.

 

So called Bluetooth speakers on the other hand depend on Bluetooth to transmit audio data to the receiving speaker.

 

 

What to look for when buying a Bluetooth speaker

 

As most wireless speakers will be Bluetooth, I will focus on explaining what to consider when buying Bluetooth speakers.

 

 

Lexon Design Mino Glossy Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Lexon Design Mino Glossy Portable Bluetooth Speaker

 

The first consideration should be price

 

There are many options that one can choose from when it comes to Bluetooth speakers.

 

However, you will be limited by price. Some Bluetooth Speakers can be under $50 and some of the most expensive ones can cost upwards of $3000. Fortunately, you can find anything in between as well.

 

Even speakers in the $200 range offer incredible sound quality and value for money, so there is no need to burn your savings on a Bluetooth speaker.

 

Also, if you are going to spend a fair amount for a Bluetooth speaker then make sure that you consider getting insurance for the speakers.

 

Once you have got the price down, the next consideration should be Sound Quality

 

Naturally you buy a speaker for the sound that it will produce. But different manufacturers will be known for different offerings.

 

Some will try and offer a balanced sound profile, whilst others will be heavily focused on bass.

 

You must decide what you want most and then go for the speaker that delivers what you want.

 

For the novice, it is likely that you will want stereo sound as a minimum, and the bass should be at least decent.

 

Next is the battery life.

 

There is probably nothing worse than playing your speakers and then realizing the fun must stop because there is no battery.

 

Battery life ranges from 6 -24 hours depending on the make and model. So make sure that you know how much battery life you want.

 

Size of the speaker and design.

 

Not all portable speakers are the same size.

 

I will speak more in depth about speaker size later in the article.

 

But Suffice to say, larger speakers will on average produce larger sound because they can pack larger drivers. But of course, nobody wants to be holding a big bulky portable speaker.

 

Some speakers are so small they can fit into your pockets. Therefore, you must decide on the size and the design of your speakers.

 

What is a portable speaker used for?

 

Bluetooth speaker outside
Bluetooth speaker outside

 

When you need to go to the beach and you want to listen to music, it makes sense to make use of a portable speaker.

 

Note that in this instance, you should look for one that is waterproof.

 

I have used it mostly in get togethers with friends, where it makes sense to sit outside and enjoy drinks whilst at the same time listening to music.

 

Around the house when one is washing dishes or studying, Bluetooth speakers come in handy.

 

Sometimes you do not want earphones in your ear and that is where Bluetooth speakers come in especially handy.

 

When you want to listen to a song and your phones volume does not capture the sound of the vocals and instruments well, then a Bluetooth speaker will do you wonders.

 

 

What are the advantages of a portable speaker

 

The most obvious advantage of a Bluetooth speaker is that it is portable. You can enjoy high quality sound no matter where you are.

 

You can even travel with it and it should work in most parts of the world

 

They are versatile in that they can be used in doors and outdoors.

 

There is no risk of cables getting tangled and messing with your listening experience.

 

They are easy to use. They do not require any extensive or complicated set up. In fact all you do is switch them on and make sure that you can find them using your phone.

 

They work especially well with phones and tablets and other mobile telephone devices.

 

Disadvantages of a portable speaker

 

The range of most Bluetooth speakers is the standard Bluetooth range of 10m/30ft.

 

Therefore you have to be close to the speaker in order for it to work well.

 

Battery life can be short. Most speakers are probably going to give you roughly 10 hours of battery ife.

 

Now this is sufficient for most parties or get together. But if you plan to spend the day on the beach then you may be out of luck.

 

Volume is limited. You are not going to get the highest output from most Bluetooth speakers. So although the volume is decent, you will not be able to use them for large get together.

 

Is it worth buying a Bluetooth speaker

 

Bluetooth speaker swimming
Bluetooth speaker swimming

 

 

If you want to listen to a decent level of sound quality, but want to be able to be mobile with your music, then definitely go for it.

 

The whole point of a Bluetooth speaker is the flexibility that it offers.

 

So if you are someone who travels a lot or are away from your home and can not do without your music then a Bluetooth speaker is just the right accessory for you.

 

Other consideration

Connectivity is also an important consideration:

 

In addition to Bluetooth speakers, NFC technology is also available. NFC for those who do not know refers to near field communication.

 

This allows your device to pair to a Bluetooth device by rubbing the devices together. Both devices must be NFC compatible of course.

 

 

 

Consider the compatibility of the Bluetooth

 

Make sure as much as possible that your devices version of Bluetooth and the Bluetooth version of your speaker are the same because if they are different they may face pairing and connectivity issues.

Make sure that the portable speaker is durable.

 

Read up on how durable the speaker is. Also make sure that you go to a store and have a look at the speaker of this is possible. The other alternative is to try and find a protective device for your Bluetooth speaker.

 

Also make sure that you also do not leave your speaker on the edge of surfaces as this could increase the risk of it falling.

 

Hands free calling is also a useful feature.

 

This is most useful for when you receive a call whilst your music is playing. Most Bluetooth speakers have this feature.

 

One word of warning is that the call quality is usually not so great when speaking through a Bluetooth speaker.

 

JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker - Pink
JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker – Pink

 

Summary

 

From the above discussion you can clearly see that there are many factors to consider before purchasing a wireless speaker.

 

Which factors are most important will depend on your personal set of circumstances.

 

In this article we have covered the following points.

 

  • A portable speaker is a wireless speaker that receives audio signals via radio frequency

 

  • There are 2 types of wireless speakers Wi-fi and Bluetooth speakers

 

  • Wireless speakers can range from under $50 to $3000

 

  • Decide weather you want a balanced sound or you want a speaker that emphasizes bass

 

  • Decide on the balance between sound and size of the speaker. Also consider the type of design that you want

 

  • Portable speakers can be used at the beach, at get togethers, around the house and when your phone volume wont do a song justice

 

Portable speakers have the following advantages

  • Portable
  • Travel friendly
  • Indoor and outdoor use
  • No cables
  • Easy to use

 

Portable speakers have the following disadvantages

  • Limited Bluetooth range
  • Limited battery life
  • Limitations on volume (sometimes)

 

Wireless speakers can also be paired with NFC compatible devices and most include hands free calling.

 

Lastly make sure that your phone/device and speaker are Bluetooth compatible, and ensure that your speaker is durable

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