8 Portable Speakers That Bring the Best Sound

 

With technological advancements in drivers, signal processing and Bluetooth audio quality, today’s portable speakers sound better than ever. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

On the go

Sonos is known for its wireless music systems for the home, and they’ve also got two great totally portable models. Just 6.61 x 2.44 x 2.36 inches and under 1 lb., the new Roam automatically connects to your home network when you’re at your house, and it pairs with your phone when you’re away — so all you have to think about is what to play. Solidly constructed and rated IP67, Roam is drop resistant, waterproof up to three feet for 30 minutes, impervious to dust, and ready for any adventure. The tweeter creates crisp high-frequency response, while the mid-woofer ensures faithful playback of mid-range frequencies and maximizes low-end output. Control with the Sonos app or via voice commands with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can snag the newest adventure speaker by Sonos for $169.

The larger Sonos Move is 9.44 x 6.29 x 4.96 inches and 6.61 lbs., with two Class-D digital amplifiers perfectly tuned to match the speaker drivers and acoustic architecture. It can be connected to the rest of your Sonos system to stream over WiFi at home, and switched to Bluetooth when you're offline. Set the speaker on the included indoor charging base for quick power while you listen, and you’ll enjoy up to 11 hours of battery life. Rated IP56 for protection from dust particles and liquid splashes, the Move also features control via the Sonos app or with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Enjoy deep, punchy sound wherever you like with EXTRA BASS™ Bluetooth speakers from Sony. Dustproof, waterproof and salt-water-resistant, these portable speakers all offer an IP67 rating, so you can take them to the mountains, the pool, the beach, or anywhere else you want. Unlike the circular diaphragm in conventional speakers, the newly developed X-Balanced Speaker Units feature non-circular diaphragms, which increases sound pressure for more punchy bass and also reduces driver excursion for less distortion. Rigid and lightweight Mica Reinforced Cellular (MRC) speaker cones and dust caps contribute to the sound quality, and dual passive radiators enhance low-end tones, giving bass a boost. Party Connect lets you connect up to 100 compatible wireless speakers via Bluetooth® and sync up so everyone can dance to the same beat.

At 8.6 x 3 inches and weighing in at just 1.3 lbs., the SRS-XB23 is the most compact of these models. Its heavy-duty construction ensures it can withstand the inevitable knocks, bumps and scrapes that come with everyday use, so even if you drop it the SRS-XB23 will keep on working. It offers up to 12 hours of battery life, or 10 in EXTRA BASS™ mode, and the speakerphone function offers a convenient way to talk hands-free all for only $98.

The slightly larger (9.7 x 3.8 inches, 2.4 lbs.) SRS-XB33 is seriously tough, giving you the freedom to bring your tunes wherever you like. Battery life bumps up to 24 hours, or 14 hours in EXTRA BASS™ mode. The unit's off-center design and optimized weight balance help to enhance clarity and widen the sound stage.

The largest of this series is the SRS-XB43, at 12.8 x 4.8 inches and 6.5 lbs. The XB43 is a 2-way speaker system combining a woofer for low to mid-range frequencies with a dedicated tweeter for the higher range frequencies, resulting in better vocal clarity. It also offers 24 hours of battery life, or 14 hours in EXTRA BASS™ mode.

Around the house

Here are several cool, compact speakers that can be moved around your home as needed.

The smallest model in the Formation Suite of wireless speakers, the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Flex offers a 1-inch tweeter and 4-inch mid-bass driver powered by 100 watts of Class D amplification for big, bold sound. It’s just 8.5 inches tall and 5 lbs., so you can easily bring it into areas where you want great sound. Set up and control is handled by the Bowers & Wilkins Home app.

The Sonos One SL features a compact design that fits just about any space. Put it on your kitchen countertop or tuck it away on your office bookshelf. It's humidity resistant so you can even put it in the bathroom.

And finally, the Sony LSPX-S2 is a unique glass sound speaker that creates a relaxing mood with sound and illumination. The entire organic glass tube vibrates and delivers exceptionally clear sound that spreads in a 360-degree direction, so you can listen to clear sound wherever you are. With 32 levels of brightness available, you can find the right illumination for your space and create the perfect mood. With built-in WiFi, Bluetooth connectivity and up to 8 hours battery time, the LSPX-S2 fits into your life effortlessly, and it’s portable, so you can take it into any room you want.