Summer is on the horizon and if you want to make the best of being outside, a portable speaker is a handy addition worth investing in.
The audio on your phone might have come a long way but it pales in comparison to the best portable bluetooth speakers on the market. Whether you’re in need of some tunes on a beach picnic or you’re looking to boost this season’s biggest sporting events on the radio, there are options out there for all budgets.
JBL Flip 5
Our value pick, the JBL Flip 5 is a robust, rich-sounding piece of kit with a build quality that makes it a reliable performer outside. Waterproof to an IPX7 rating, which means it’ll take an accidental dunk, the bass is solid and audio well-balanced.
It’s easy to carry round thanks to its handy wrist strap and the 12-hour battery life is perfect for long days in the great outdoors. There’s no mic or aux jack but if you’re after something that sounds great and you’re on a budget then it’s a solid bet.
Tribit Stormbox Micro
If you’re looking for something truly compact that packs a big audio punch, the Tribit Stormbox Micro is a handy speaker to keep in your bag for when you’re out and about.
No bigger than a roll of Sellotape, its meaty bass and well-balanced, lively sound belies its size. Two can be paired in stereo mode for added punch at impromptu garden parties and it’s waterproof up to IPX7 too.
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Generation)
Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound speaker has long been the portable go-to for those who value aesthetics as much as audio, and its recent 2nd Gen upgrade only cements it as the audiophile’s choice.
The funny thing about the Beosound A1 2nd Gen is despite it’s size, it’s so small and so expansive that we’d happily use it in our homes as a smart speaker. It’s Alexa compatible, it’s beautifully designed, it’s excellent value for money even at its premium price point, and it sounds incredible.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
The Wonderboom is well-built, waterproof, dust-proof, sand-proof and you get the impression Ultimate Ears is even encouraging its use poolside because it’s also designed to float.
The second generation Wonderboom has ironed out the minor niggles experienced with the original design and the sound that can be produced from such a compact unit is always surprising. Combine that with great battery life, numerous pairing options and a boost function for when you need a little more oomph and you can quickly see why this has won so many industry awards.
For many the Sonos Roam will be the only Sonos within their price range. After years creating some of the best home systems money can buy, the audio giant’s first genuinely portable wireless speaker (the Sonos Move is still a bit of a beast to lug around at 3kg) is a much-needed addition to the range.
Key features include wireless charging, waterproofing, app integration as well as the option to link it up to the Sonos home ecosystem, while 10 hours battery life will see you through the day and the sound is as good as anything sub £200 on the market.