How to Choose a Quality Portable Speaker – Explanation Guide

There are now portable acoustics that may fit in a backpack or even a pocket, eliminating the need to wear full-fledged acoustics as in the past. This external speaker connects to mobile devices through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and has a built-in battery. Such a column produces a sound that is much louder and of higher quality than that of a smartphone speaker.


Top 3 Portable Speaker

  1.     JBL Boombox 3 / Harman (Readme: JBL Boombox 3 Review)
  2. Ultimate Ears Hyperboom 2
  3. JBL PartyBox Encore Essential

How to Choose Portable Acoustics

  1. You should decide in advance for what purposes you need a column: to listen to music from your smartphone in the kitchen or at work, in the gym, on the street or at a picnic, during trips, hikes, and walks. This determines the size, power, and degree of protection of the housing.
  2. There is no universal column for all cases – each model has its possibilities and limitations. The miniature column will never be a complete substitute for the subwoofer music center.
  3. Before buying it is better to select two-three models and listen to their sound live, rather than just navigate by the number of good reviews. Each man perceives sound in his way, and what one praises will annoy the other.

Choose the Speaker Type

Portable speakers are divided into three types.

Mono – the simplest column with one speaker, is characterized by compact dimensions and low weight. There will be no volumetric sound of musical compositions at the output, but the volume of such models is in complete order.

  1. Stereo – a column with two speakers and high power. Gives surround sound: even at a low volume will be heard all shades and nuances of the melody. To get the effect of 360°music, you have to experiment with the placement of the column relative to the listener.
  2. Type 2.1 – a column with two speakers and a subwoofer. Gives expressive basses and a clear rhythm, so it is suitable for those who like not only to listen to music but also to dance. The tracks will be so loud that they will easily drown out the cheerful company.


Each type of speaker is equipped with one-, two- or three-lane speakers. Unlike universal single-band speakers, multi-lane speakers produce a sound that is balanced across the entire frequency range – with a clearly visible top, a bright middle, and a saturated bottom.

Understand what Power and Range are Needed

The higher the power output, the higher the volume. A speaker with a capacity of 3-5 W already plays louder than a smartphone, but will not be heard by everyone around – you can hang it on a bike. Speakers up to 10W are suitable for a small party indoors, and up to 20W will be heard on a picnic or porch. The option directly affects the size of the device: the powerful column will be larger.

You need to know that if you listen to music at maximum volume, the battery of the column will go down faster. Many manufacturers are cunning and indicate the working time, which is measured when listening to tracks at average volume.

The range also affects sound quality: the wider it is, the richer and more detailed the sound reproduces the speakers. True, the average person hears sounds ranging from 16 to 20,000 Hz, so it makes no sense to take a column with a large range. For example, the range of normal columns starts from 20 Hz.

Determine the Speaker’s Duration

Manufacturers indicate the box and battery capacity, and battery life. To charge the device, it is necessary to choose models, the battery life of which is 10 to 15 hours.


Basically, all speakers can be charged via micro-USB port from any power source with USB connector: network charging, external battery, computer. The charging cable must be included.

Decide Which Music Sources to Attach the Speaker

Most models connect to a smartphone, tablet, or laptop on Bluetooth. Some portable speakers also support other, more reliable ways to connect to music media – for this purpose AUX, USB and microSD memory card slot are made on the column case.

This is convenient if the smartphone battery dies down: you can insert a flash drive or a memory card into the corresponding slot. It is easy to connect the column to the 3.5 mm gadget via an audio cable, which should be included.

Choose Control Method, Size and Weight

To turn on and off the speaker, change the playback modes, on its body, there are functional buttons. In some models, when synchronized by Bluetooth, you can control the media player with both a conjugate smartphone and additional buttons on the speaker itself.

The optimal weight and size of the speaker depending on the conditions in which it will be used. It makes no sense for a cyclist to buy a two-pound device. The tiny speaker that fits in the palm of your hand will look funny at a party. If you need a universal option, it is better to choose a speaker of average size and weight – 15 20 cm in length and 0.5 1 kg.

Assess Dust and Water Resistance

If the housing of the portable column is well protected from dust and moisture, it can be used in extreme weather conditions – the electronic components will not suffer. These models are suitable for travelers and outdoor lovers.

In portable acoustics for outings to nature, the IPXX index in technical parameters is important – it will show how it is protected. For example, IP64: the first digit means that the device is dust-proof, and «4» indicates protection from water drops and spray. This column will not withstand immersion in water, but with it you can not be afraid to get under a little rain or sit near the pool.

The bigger the digits, the higher the corresponding protection: the IPX7 index means that you can swim with the column.

Know why You Need TWS Mode and Light Effects

The name of the True Wireless Stereo mode means «real wireless stereo». To activate it you need two columns of the same model at the same time, which can be combined into a pair. Together they will play music in stereo mode – they will divide streams into «right» and «left» sources, and will make the sound more voluminous.

For spectacular playback of tracks, the speaker can be built-in LEDs. They have no influence on the playing of music but are able to cheer up and make the audition even more enjoyable.

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