Best Portable Speakers 2019 – Review & Buyer’s Guide

A Portable Speaker is a fantastic way to enjoy your music on the go without sacrificing any sound quality or volume.

Ideally you want your Portable Speaker to provide hours of entertainment, be water resistant, while being compact and loud so you can truly enjoy your music on the go!

Best of all, easily share your tunes and the good time with your friend!

In this guide we will explore  these and other useful qualities that may not be apparent at first, to help you find the best speaker that fits with you.

5 Best Portable Speakers 2019

Aside from the obvious sound quality, a few other important factors to keep in mind when shopping for a portable speaker are, weight, size, battery life, portability, and price. 

You see, when it comes to portable speakers, you find yourself needing to make this trade-off. Generally speaking, bigger speakers will have a stronger bass, and overall volume. However this comes at the cost of portability. 

You must decide what you care about more. 

Do you want your speaker to go anywhere and hold up in even the toughest conditions, or do you want that will draw people’s eyes, ears, and attention? A speaker you can place in the middle of a room and have fill the entire space with booming sound.

Every speaker we recommend has great sound quality in it’s class. This guide will help  highlight the most prominent features and help you make your purchase decision. 

Now, the last thing we want to touch on is battery life. 

Since these are portable speakers, we believe it is vital that you get the most out of your battery.  No battery means no more music. Take this into consideration before making a purchase. 

DeviceDimensions
(in)
Weight
(oz)
Battery Life
(hrs)
Riva Concert Portable Speaker5 x 4.87 x 7 in4820
Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Portable Speaker3.2 x 3.2 x 8.75 in 46.420
Bose SoundLink Revolve+4.2 x 4.2 x 7.3 in3216
JBL Xtreme9 X 5 x 4.8 in75.215
Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker1.4 x 3.9 x 3.9 in10.246

The aptly named Riva Concert is our personal favourite. It is essentially a premium quality mains speaker with the option of adding a rechargeable battery (sold separately).

Don’t let it’s compact size fool you. The Riva Concert packs a punch, producing audio that sets it apart for others in its class.

Let’s take a listen and see what makes this speaker so great.

For a quick summary or this review, click here. 

 

Pros

The Stereophonic sound isn’t a feature available in every Portable Speaker, making the rather Riva Concert unique. It has sound coming out the front and both sides, simultaneously! If you decide to use it home, it even has a wall mount on the back to have sound filling the room from different locations.

Since the Riva Concert is a mains speaker, battery life is not an issue as you can connect it to a wall outlet. However, if you avail to use it as a Portable Speaker, you are still able to enjoy your favourite tunes for a whopping 15 hours on a single charge.

Not only does the Riva Concert support Amazon’s Alexa but it also offers you Airplay, Bluetooth and Spotify Connect. This means you and your loved ones can seamlessly control what to play on your Portable speaker. Whether your sharing music from an iOS device, an android product or a computer, you’re covered.

The speaker produces a crip full sound, and the app that comes along with it lets the music lovers optimize play with the sound settings till they get the perfect sounds performance they always dreamed of. 

Cons

Quite honestly, there is very little for us to gripe out when it comes to this speaker. 

There is a bit of an issue with its portability, but this issue is easily remedied with the 15 hour battery pack. We believe that the sound quality produced from this little speaker is well worth the few extra bucks.

Additionally, there is no real power button on the Riva Concert, so the only real way to turn it off is by removing the battery pack.

Is The Riva Concert Right For You?

If you are the type who loves to have backyard parties with your friends and family, the Riva concert is a great pick for you. 

You can easily take your music outside with you to liven up and set the atmosphere. This speaker is sure to liven up any party with it’s warm sound wafting through air.

PROS

  • Splash resistant
  • Rubber at the base protecting the body
  • Auxiliary cable supported
  • Air-plane mode to switch off Alexa
  • Omni Directional Sound

CONS

  • Additional battery must be bought for portability
  • There is no real power button

When talking the latest tech in the realm of portable speakers, the MEGABOOM is most certainly on the cutting edge.

Coupled with it’s sturdy design, it makes for a fantastic listening experience.

Let’s explore what makes this speaker, our number 2 pick.

For a quick summary of this review, click here. 

Pros

The MEGABOOM 3 is built like a tank. Unless you decide to drive a car over this speaker, you aren’t going to break this speaker. 

Wrapped in a cloth like exterior, the MEGABOOM 3 weighs in at 46.4 oz. It stands tall at 8.8″, having a length and height of 3.2″ each.

Now we know what you are thinking, this speaker is quite big for a portable speaker no? Well, honestly it is. However it is about the size of water bottle. Since most backpacks already make pockets to slip water bottles into, you will have have no trouble transporting the MEGABOOM 3.

Another feature that we absolutely love about this speaker is that it floats! Needless to say, this portable speaker is waterproof, making it great around pools and on boats. No more worrying about accidentally dropping your speaker in the pool and watching helplessly as it sinks away into the depths. 

The built in battery boasts an impressive 20 hours of life. Sadly, some tests have shown that the battery doesn’t quite hold up to this promise, you will still have plenty of juice for a full day of music.

Now for the feature that we are most excited to talk about. The MEGABOOM 3 can sync and play with up to 100 other speakers!

Let that sink in for a minute.

Yes, 100 other speakers! If you and your friends have ever wanted to completely take over a space with sound, now you can!

Since the MEGABOOM 3 has a bluetooth range of 150 linear feet, the space you can fill with sound is absolutely massive! Just the idea of this makes us want to try it out!

Turning a quick ear to sound quality, we find that this speaker can play music! Boasting a thundering bass, more on that later, and pushes the mid and high frequencies forward. Consequently, the speaker sounds louder and the sound carries further.

Cons

Now that we are done gushing about this beautiful portable speaker, we need to turn a critical ear to it.

Our first grip is with charging. The charging light is awkwardly placed below the charging port, which is quite hidden itself at the base of the speaker. Is can be quite annoying to lift up the speaker each time just to check on how the charging is coming along. 

Though the MEGABOOM 3 has a built in wireless charging port, he charging doc is not included with the speaker. The wireless dock is by far the most convenient way to juice up the speaker, so we have provided a link to it for you as well.

You can only forward on your songs! We found this feature to be particularly annoying actually, and it is the reason that the MEGABOOM 3 isn’t in our number one spot. 

Finally, for the “thundering bass” that the MEGABOOM 3 claims to have… well, we actually found it quite lacking. As stated earlier, the mid and high frequencies are pushed forward to help make the speaker sound louder and carry further. However, this stylistic choice leads to some sacrifices in the bass frequencies. Audio junkies will notice a slight lack of depth to their music, though the average consumer will hardly hear the difference. 

Is The MEGABOOM 3 Right For You?

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a fantastic speaker all around. We recommend this one especially to listeners who: 1) plan to frequently use their speaker around water or 2) Don’t listen to music that is heavily bass dependant. 

The MEGABOOM 3 will serve you well, outputting fantastic sound for years to come. 

PROS

  • Rugged Build
  • Dust Proof
  • IPx7 certified, water resistant
  • Floats
  • Drop proof from 3 feet
  • 20 hour battery life
  • Pairs with up to 100 other speakers
  • Pair with 2 devices
  • Sound travels far

CONS

  • Wireless charging dock sold separately
  • Charging indicator light is hidden away
  • Can only go forward on songs
  • Bass isn't the strongest
  • Missing a bit of audio depth

We absolutely love what this speaker has to offer. 

The only reason the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ is this far down in the list is because of price.

Though slightly big in the portable speaker class, 7.25″ H x 4.13″ W x 4.13″ L, it is still very portable. The added strap on top even makes it fun to swing around as you walk!

The added size allows this speaker to output stronger sound at higher quality. Read on to find out just what we like, and dislike about this portable speaker.

For a quick summary of this review, click here. 

Pros

Bose does many things right with the SoundLink Revolve+.

Despite it’s bigger size, it still remains lightweight weighing in at an even 32 oz.

Elegantly designed, this portable speaker will look great no matter were you place it. Since it has 360° audio, placing it into the center of your listening space is ideal. Do this to maximise your listening experience. 

NFC Bluetooth pairing is enabled on the Soundlink Revolve+, meaning that you can pair with any Bluetooth devices simply by tapping the two together. As an added bonus, you can sync two SoudLink Revolve+ speakers together for Left Right audio.

Since this is a smart speaker, Google assistant and Siri enabled. When connected to your smartphone, the speaker can act as a speaker phone as well.

To wrap up, let’s turn to audio quality.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ boasts a strong bass. The sound is thumping, crisp and carries well allowing for easy listening. 

Though the bass is what really shines through in this portable speaker’s sound profile, they don’t skimp on the other frequency ranges. 

The middle and high ranges sound well balanced, and are free of any sharp noises or crackling. 

Cons

The Bose SounLink Revolve+ is only IPx4 certified. While this serves to protect it if you accidentally spill something on it or leave it out in that sudden rain shower, this speaker still doesn’t like water much. 

The speaker is bump proof, meaning if you drop it, it will still function. However, it isn’t meant to be go anywhere and take large amounts of abuse. 

Finally, the batter life is only 16 hours. This is somewhat low by today’s industry standards.

Is The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ Right For You?

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ is a very sleek, elegant, and good sounding speaker. It is designed to look great. This is the type of speaker you want around if you are hosting a barbecue party, or want ta take your music on to go with you on the golf course. 

What this speaker is NOT designed for is abuse.  It you want a speaker that will withstand knocks. or want to use it around the pool, or need a super long battery life, then this isn’t the speaker for you.

PROS

  • Small for the large portable speaker class
  • Bump Resistant
  • IPx4 certified, Splash and rainproof
  • NFC Bluetooth pairing for fast easy pairing
  • Has a speaker phone option
  • 360° audio
  • Strong bass and ballanced mid and high frequencies
  • Sync with another Revolve+ for L R audio

CONS

  • Not water proof, can't be dropped into water
  • Bit pricey
  • Battery may not last full 16 hours and takes 4 hours to recharge
  • Not very rugged, handle with care

Slotting in at number 4, we have the JBL Xtreme portable speaker. 

We had a tough time with this one. We knew we wanted either the JBL Xtreme or the JBL Xtreme 2 in this spot. Ultimatly, the older JBL won out because of price.

The JBL Xtreme 2 offers a slightly better sound, and a few extra hours of battery life. In our eyes, these upgrades were not worth the extra $40 you need to shell out.

Let’s take an in depth look at this hefty speaker.

For a quick summary of this review, click here.

Pros

The JBL Xtreme speaker is nothing if not rugged. It is built to be big, and turn heads and ears wherever it is.

The frame is 9in X 5 in x 4.8in. Thankfully it comes with a carrying strap making it easy to transport.  Nobody will be able to ignore you when you walk in with the JBL Xtreme slung over your shoulder and booming!

As is standard with many portable speakers, this one is also splash and rain proof. Don’t worry, the speaker will survive even rainy weather. 

The added size allowed it’s creators to build in a big battery pack. For your convenience, the speaker come equipped with 2 usb charging ports. Additionally, this speaker will output 15 hours of sound before reluctantly grinding to a stop. 

Sound wise, the bass stands out. Rich, deep, full; if you like bass, you will love this speaker.

The mid and upper ranges are still clear and enjoyable to listen to. A soundstage presence is also noticeable. 

Cons

There is a price to pay for the added size and volume output. 

Weighing in at 75.2 oz, this is the heaviest speaker in this review. Mind you, the sound output and punchy bass are well worth the added weight, but do keep this in mind when planning that trip.

The build in speaker phone microphone isn’t the best either. You will often come across as muffled, or perhaps echoey, depending on how far you are from the JBL Xtreme. 

Finally, though the audio quality is great, the soundstage could be better.

Its fairly common to get lost in the soundstage, since it lacks location clarity. 

Is The JBL Extreme Portable Speaker Right For You?

The speaker is visually impressive. If you want to bring something along to your parties that will turn everyone’s heads and send smiles all around, this portable speaker is perfect.

 As long as you don’t mind a bit of extra size and weight, this speaker comes with our strong recommendation. 

PROS

  • Carrying strap for easy transportation
  • Built to be tough and rugged
  • IPx4 certified, splash and rain proof
  • 15 hours battery life
  • 2 built in usb ports to charge your devices
  • Well rounded sound with deep bass
  • Soundstage is noticable

CONS

  • 75.2 oz
  • Speaker phone sounds muffled or echos
  • Soundstage direction isn't the most clear.

5) Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker - Budget Yet Superb

Even though we chose the Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker for our budget pick, it performs far above its allotted price. 

Due to it’s design, if is ultra lightweight and ultra portable.

It performs so well that we can’t understand why they sell this speaker so cheap!

Read on to find out what makes this speaker so great.

For a quick summary of this review, click here.

 

Pros

The Bose SoundLink Micro, surpasses portable and falls into the ultra portable class.  Weighing in at only 10.24 oz, you will barely feel its weight while carrying it around. 

Keep in mind that this ultra portable speaker is only 3.87″ x 3.87″ x 1.37″ small enough to fit into most pockets. How is that for portable?

Yet don’t lets its small frame fool you. Bose has managed to pack this little speaker with functionality, features, and the stellar sound quality we have all come to know love and expect from the brand.

The outer shell is made of tear resistant silicone rubber, ensuring that the speaker remains undamaged even in the most rugged terrain. The strap on the back of the speaker allows it to attach snugly to your backpack, or handlebars. and holds securely in place.

The portable speaker is IPx7 certified, meaning that it can remain submerged under 3 feet or water for up to half an hour before suffering any damage. Furthermore, the speaker can withstand pressurised water, and is safe to use even in the shower or stormy weather.

As an added bonus, the Bose Soundlink Mini can pair with up to 8 devices simultaneously. This speaker really takes go anywhere and take your music with you to a whole new level.

As far as sound quality goes, among ultra portable speakers the Soundlink Mini packs a serious punch. It’s audio is crisp through but where it truly shines is in the bass frequencies. This speaker has the best, strongest, and most crisp bass compared to any other ultra portable speakers available.

Cons

As much as we love the Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker, it dose have its own drawbacks. 

Firstly, even though the speaker is water resistant, it doesn’t float. If you want to take this speaker out onto the water with you, keep this in mind lest it sinks away from you not the watery depths.

Secondly, this speaker only has a 6 hour battery life at maximum volume output. If you are a bit conservative with the volume however, and run it at 50%, tests have shown that the speaker can last upwards of 14 hours!

As a result of its small size and limited battery life, Bose was not able to make their maximum volume super loud. If you want to blast your music, this may not be the speaker for you. 

Finally, Bose has rounded off the higher frequency notes on the Soundlink mini, causing some of the instrumentals in the upper range to be jumbled. Most casual listeners will not even notice this however, and it can be argued that this is a benefit rather than a drawback. By rounding off the high frequencies, Bose ensured that the high notes don’t sound shrill or piercing. 

Is The Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker Right For You?

We absolutely love the Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker, and believe it will an amazing speaker for anyone to own.

If portability is your number one concern, then this speaker is most definitely the speaker you want. You don’t loose out on much in terms audio either because hey, it is a Bose after all. 

Small, durable, go anywhere with great sound. What is there not to love?

PROS

  • Ultra portable
  • Built to be sturdy
  • IPx7 certified- water resistant
  • Strong strap that attaches almost anywhere
  • Pairs with up to 8 devices simultaniously
  • Most powerful bass among ultra portable speakers

CONS

  • Does not float
  • 6 hours battery
  • Not super loud
  • High frequency instrumentals get jumbled

Conclusion

Each of the portable speakers reviewed here are great in their own right.  Each has their own strength, and place where it stands out from the rest of the competition out there.

We hope that our review helped you make your purchase decision today.

Perhaps a portable speaker isn’t the way for you to go. Why not read our review on the 5 Best Noise Cancelling Headphones. 

You may prefer those instead!

If you found this review helpful, please share this with your friends and family using the social media share buttons below.

Thank you for reading.

Till we meet again!

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