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by Andrew Lisa
Analysts at SpecOut found the 10 best portable bluetooth speakers. These portable bluetooth speakers weigh less than 5 pounds, have rechargeable batteries, wireless capabilities and portability.
From camping trips to backyard cookouts, summer brings friends and families together -- in many cases, it brings them together outdoors. A new generation of wireless speakers can bring summer pool parties or family vacations to life, no matter where the fun takes place. As their popularity soars, however, so does the number of different wireless speakers flooding the market.
The analysts at SpecOut, a consumer tech research firm, narrowed down the overwhelming options to a list of the 10 Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers. The list consists only of portable speakers -- not multi-room -- that weigh less than five pounds. To be considered, all speakers need Bluetooth wireless capabilities and a rechargeable battery. The list is ranked in descending order according to their Smart Rating -- a weighted average combining expert reviews, features and connectivity and sound quality considerations.
Top 10 Portable Bluetooth Speakers
10. TDK A33 Bluetooth Weatherproof Speaker
Speaker Rating: 93.68, Wireless Inputs: Bluetooth, Playback Time: 6 hours, Speaker Weight: 2.6 pounds
The A33 portable bluetooth speaker produces powerful sound at a good price, has a waterproof design and doubles as a speakerphone. It is impossible to ignore, however, that the battery only lasts for six hours and must be charged with an AC adapter -- it is not USB compatible.
9. Jawbone BIG Jambox Portable Speaker
Speaker Rating: 93.79, Wireless Inputs: Bluetooth, Playback Time: 15 hours, Speaker Weight: 2.7 pounds
It is possible to find better sound quality from other portable bluetooth speakers in this price range, but the BIG Jambox portable bluetooth speaker does make a case for its price tag. It has a 15-hour battery life, it produces good sound quality and it doubles as a speakerphone.
8. Ultimate Ears Roll Portable Speaker
Speaker Rating: 93.85, Wireless Inputs: Bluetooth, Playback Time: 9 hours, Speaker Weight: 0.7 pounds
A lack of a speakerphone feature is among the only drawbacks to this otherwise complete portable bluetooth speaker. It has an acceptable nine-hour battery life, it is fully waterproof and it is packaged in a unique, circular shape.
7. Fugoo Style Portable Speaker
Speaker Rating: 93.96, Wireless Inputs: Bluetooth, Playback Time: 40 hours, Speaker Weight: 1 pounds
With 40 hours of battery life, the Fugoo Style portable bluetooth speaker dominates its class in endurance as much as it does in sound quality. Fully waterproof and small enough to carry in one hand, it excels in richness and clarity for both bass and treble.
6. Bang & Olufsen Beolit 17 Portable Speaker
Speaker Rating: 94.01, Wireless Inputs: Bluetooth, Playback Time: 24 hours, Speaker Weight: 5 pounds
Rich bass and a huge spread of sound are the hallmarks of this attractive portable bluetooth speaker, which could easily be mistaken for a picnic basket. The tradeoff is a price tag around the $600 mark.
Amazon: Bang & Olufsen Beolit 17
5. Philips ShoqBox Mini BT2200 Portable Speaker
Speaker Rating: 94.04, Wireless Inputs: Bluetooth, Playback Time: 5 hours, Speaker Weight: 0.4 pounds
For less than $50, it's difficult to find a better portable bluetooth speaker in this price category. Although it can play at loud volumes with virtually no distortion, its 5-hour battery life underwhelms. It is splashproof, but not truly watertight.
Amazon: Philips ShoqBox Mini BT220
4. ECOXGEAR EcoPebble Portable Speaker
Speaker Rating: 94.43, Wireless Inputs: Bluetooth, Playback Time: 7 hours, Speaker Weight: 0.5 pounds
The "pebble" portion of this speaker's name does not mislead -- it is truly tiny. The wireless portable bluetooth speaker is limited to a single driver and mono sound -- a tradeoff for lightweight portability. Don't be fooled, though, the ECOXGEAR EcoPebble projects nicely for its modest size and due to its watertight engineering, it also can float.
3. Creative Muvo Mini Portable Speaker
Speaker Rating: 94.70, Wireless Inputs: Bluetooth, NFC, Playback Time: 10 hours, Speaker Weight: 0.63 pounds
Considering it can be picked up for less than $60, the Creative Muvo mini portable bluetooth speaker is truly one of the best deals on the market. Although the speaker can't charge external devices, it boasts 10 hours of battery life, it is fully weatherproof and its sound is more than satisfactory.
2. Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 Portable Speaker
Speaker Rating: 95.38, Wireless Inputs: Bluetooth, NFC, Playback Time: 20 hours, Speaker Weight: 2 pounds
This tough outdoor portable bluetooth speaker features a rugged and waterproof design -- one reviewer reported submerging it in a sink full of water with no effect on performance. Even better, it offers more than just brawn: It comes with a nice menu of features and puts out big, balanced sound.
1. Bowers & Wilkins T7 Portable Speaker
Speaker Rating: 97.11,Wireless Inputs: Bluetooth, Playback Time: 18 hours, Speaker Weight: 2.1 pounds
Powerful for its size, this portable bluetooth speaker pumps out rich bass and mid-highs and highs that are clear and well defined. Although its transparent-housing design is truly stunning, purists might be turned off by the fact that its sound is sculpted at high volumes.