Today’s smartphones are portable music powerhouses – there are services such as the MUVE music service that’s bundled with RadioShack No Contract phones, or Spotify for other phones, that allow you to enjoy unlimited access to millions of songs, right from your phone, no computer needed. However, when it comes to sharing all that music, the built-in speakers in most of today’s smartphones leaves much to be desired. Thus, we’ve seen a big trend towards small, portable speakers that connect to your phone via Bluetooth, without needing any cumbersome wires. There are a several different Bluetooth speakers out there, and it can be tough to determine which one is best for you.
At RadioShack, we want to help you get the right Bluetooth speaker, so below you’ll find some of the top Bluetooth portable speakers, along with the differences, to help you make the right choice when it comes to your portable party.
Full Size Portable Speakers
One of the most popular styles of Bluetooth portable speakers is the ‘block’ style, named for its form factor. These speakers typically contain multiple stereo speakers for maximum output and are great for a small outdoor get together, such as a pickup basketball game or pool party. These block-style speakers obviously connect to your phone via Bluetooth, but can typically also connect with a 3.5mm auxiliary cable, for things like an iPod or other MP3 player that may not have Bluetooth built-in.
This speaker contains two speakers and with a total output of 4W total (2W per speaker), with a frequency response of 100MHz-16KHz. It also has a built-in microphone, so you can use it as a speakerphone, and there are music playback buttons on the top, so you can easily pause your music, adjust the volume, or skip to the next track. These buttons also allow you to answer and end phone calls, if you’ve got it to connected to your phone. The internal battery should provide up to 6 hours of continuous music and it recharges with the included USB cable.
The Soundfreaq Sound Kick has a boxy style, and includes some extra audio features, including their UQ3 spatial enhancement and XKICK chamber, which collapses for easy travel, but pops open to provide more full sound quality (and also serves as a stand). This speaker has gotten rave reviews from various tech blogs, and has a built-in speaker for up to 7 hours of continuous music, as well.
The Beats by Dr. Dre Pill is unique in that it looks like…well….a pill. The Pill features four speakers, capable of outputting incredible of sound. It also features heavy bass support, as most Beats by Dr. Dre audio products do. You can use the Pill as a speakerphone, but note that there are only volume buttons on this speaker – all other controls, including answering and ending phone calls, must be done from your phone. The Pill also has a built-in battery, which should offer up to 7 hours of continuous jams.
The JBL Flip is shaped like a big soda can, and has two drivers capable of outputting 5W each, for 10W of total sound. It also has a built-in bass port, so it should sound great no matter what type of music you’re enjoying. Like the AUVIO and the Pill, the JBL Flip can also function as a speakerphone, with a built-in microphone. It does have a volume rocker and call answer/end button, as well, which is handy. The Flip’s internal battery is rated for 5 hours of continuous music, as well.
Smaller pop-up speakers
The only downside to the larger ‘block’ style speakers can be their size – they don’t really fit well in a small bag and can get cumbersome to carry around with you. That’s where these smaller ‘pocket-sized’ portable speakers come in. These speakers are typically a similar size to a hockey puck, and are extremely easy to carry around. With this smaller size, though, comes a small sacrifice in volume – these speakers are better suited for a quiet room or other small area. They do typically offer better sound than your phone’s built-in speaker, which is why they’re really popular.
These smaller speakers, such as the AUVIO Expandable Bluetooth Speaker, typically have a single speaker, which is part of the reason for the lower volume output. This particular speaker has a functional design – expanding the speaker turns it on and activates the Bluetooth connection. It has a built-in rechargeable battery as well, but with a shorter play time at only 3 hours. The AUVIO Expandable Bluetooth Speaker connects to your phone via Bluetooth, but also has an auxiliary input port, for devices that don’t have Bluetooth, such as an iPod.
This little speaker is shaped like a coaster, with a convenient handle at the top. You can use this to attach the speaker to your belt or a backpack, for easy portability. Like it’s big brother, the JBL Flip, this little speaker has a built-in bass port, and it can be daisy-chained, or connected to other JBL Micro Wireless speakers, to help amplify the sound. The JBL Micro Wireless Bluetooth-Enabled Speaker connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and it also comes with a cable to connect it to other devices that may not have Bluetooth available. The built-in battery should provide up to 5 hours of continuous music before needing to be recharged.
When you need to share your music, RadioShack is here to help, and we’ve got a selection of different options, based on where you’ll be using your speaker and the things you expect to do with it.
Leave a comment below and tell us which one would work best for YOU!
We’ll pick 5 random commenters to get the speaker of their choosing!
One comment/entry per person. To enter, leave a comment below, telling us which speaker would work best for you. Contest begins at 8:00 am CT on March 4th, 2013 and ends at 11:59 pm CT on March 30th, 2013. Winner will be chosen randomly by RadioShack and announced after 12:00 pm CT on April 5th, 2013. Winners will be contacted via email and will each receive 1 speaker of their choosing from the list above. No substitutions for prizes.
No payment or purchase necessary to win. Neither a purchase nor payment will improve your chances of winning. While you’re pretty cool in our book, you are not a winner of this contest yet. Void where prohibited. Must be a resident of the 50 United States to win. Employees of RadioShack and their families are ineligible.