Audiophiles, rejoice! Whether you want hardy durability, innovative design or multipurpose utility, there are great portable speakers out there for you
Justifiably lauded by droves of reviewers for its crisp sound quality, the Jambox is an accomplished all-rounder. Compatible with most Apple, Android and Blackberry devices, as well as Windows and Mac laptops, you’ll find it great for conference calls (thanks to its inbuilt microphone), boosting movie audio and blasting tunes. All in one solid, travel-friendly design.
X-MINI II Capsule Speaker
Practically pocket-sized and with a battery life of at least a dozen hours, the X-Mini scores full marks in the portability department. And with decent sound quality, they may surprise you with their performance. Niftiest of all, you can link several of them together to form a daisy chain of speakers, doubling or even tripling your sound output.
Designed to be wearable, these funky speakers will appeal to sporty types who want to clip it on and crank out tunes as they hike, bike or ski. While they might look simple, these wireless units come with speakerphone capability and can integrate with iPhone’s Siri. As you might expect, they are durable, water-resistant and built to take a pounding.
TDK WIRELESS WEATHERPROOF
As you can guess from the name, this speaker is perfect for the outdoors, from a barbecue to a pool party. While it is certainly the biggest of the speakers on this page, it also packs a subwoofer, so all the revellers can enjoy your bass-thumping tracks. And with a hardy, splash-proof design, you don’t have to worry about being rained out.
Take this term with a pinch of salt. Different companies define “weather-resistant” in their own way, so don’t automatically presume that your mobile speaker can survive playing The Beatles in a gale-force hurricane. Some light splashes and knocks are probably fine, but exercise common sense.
THE PORTABLE DRAWBACK
Keep in mind that most portable speakers become so by sacrificing some sound quality. If you’re an audiophile looking for crystal-clear hi-fi audio, or bass so booming it’ll register on the Richter Scale, you might be better off going for a less portable system.
CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON
There are several types of speakers, from those that utilise Bluetooth technology, to iPod docks, to USB chargers, and to rechargeable batteries. Each adaptation comes with its own set of advantages and limitations, so have a think about which suits you best.