Portable Speakers Buyers Guide

Portable Speakers: Our Guide to the Sounds of Summer


Take your phone out of that red solo cup. No party was ever started with a phone in a cup. If you want deep, robust sounds that kick through your eardrums like rich coffee on your tastebuds, you’ll need to invest in a portable speaker.

What to Look for in Portable Speakers

We’ve all been to that one party or beach day with the really cool portable speaker. Some guy in a snapback made a few offhand comments about the brand, the functionality, and how its waterproof or fire-resistant or literally magic or something like that. But when you’re scrolling the endless pages of google looking to invest in your own portable speaker, it’s easy to forget what you should actually be looking for in a speaker.

  • Battery Life: nothing kills the vibe like a dying portable speaker.

  • Waterproof/resistant: your speaker is your right-hand party wingman. It will face everything from splashes to spilled drinks.

  • Sound quality: don’t get caught up in gimmicks. It’s a speaker. You don’t need it to charge your phone or light up. If your speaker lights-up, you bought the Sketchers of portable speakers.

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Portable Speakers- on the cheap!

An Anker Soundcore is a great buy for under fifty-bucks. You won’t exactly be turning heads with the Anker if you take it to the beach, but then again, you’ll have enough money left over to buy gas to get to the beach. We don’t recommend going cheaper than the Anker Soundcore. Buying a $20 portable speaker can be really tempting in the moment, but it is rarely that much better than just playing music off your phone. And don’t play music off your phone.

As a surprising entry into the “cheap portable speakers” category, we wouldn’t sleep on the Beats Pill+. The beats pill will run you around $100, which is still cheaper than the next couple of entries. Does one-hundred sound like too much? You need a music pep talk. Music is one of the best parts of life. Whether it’s Tom Petty or Kendrick Lamar, you want them to sing their hearts out with the best hardware you can get. Music is the thing people never remember about a party but sure notice when it’s gone. Invest in a beats pill. Do your next adventure correctly.

Best Portable Speakers

The JBL Xtreme Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is so good that we used to put it on the dashboard of my friend’s CRV and use that to play music instead of his car speakers. On the way to tennis, headed to the beach, and on our cross country roadtrip, the JBL kept the tunes pumping and the vibes high. It’s waterproof and can be cleaned with running water. The only thing that will end your JBL-run is full submersion.

 While the JBL brings great sound quality, it lacks the wow-factor that occurs when you wheel in a speaker. Forget stuffing a portable speaker into your back. Pull up the handle and roll it into the party. The ION Block Rocker even comes with a microphone to do some MC’ing and announcing at your next party. A 100-watt amplifier and 50-hour battery life make sure that the walls start shaking, and honestly kind of keep shaking for two full days.


Buying a portable speaker can be daunting at first with hundreds out there on the market. Some claim to be better than the next, but all in all keep this in mind- you’re buying a portable speaker not your next dream home. So, find one that has good features (not gimmicks) and spend a few dollars on it. You will spend more than that on coffee in a week, so splurging on a decent speaker won’t break the bank.


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