The range of portable Bluetooth speakers now available is impressive and catering for all budgets stretching from $50 to $500. They have a selection of features, offer top-quality sound and often have benefits such as waterproof casing. So how do you pick one from the many to fulfill your needs?
Basics of Bluetooth speakers
Most of us will be familiar with Bluetooth from its setting on our cell phones – often deactivated! Bluetooth speakers use much the same technology to connect to your device in order to broadcast the music that you play. These speakers connect to devices such as cell phones, tablets, desktops, and smart TVs and can be used to play anything from the audio on a YouTube video, music from Spotify or the vocals on a Netflix show.
A good Bluetooth speaker is easy to use and has a good battery life as well as working with rechargeable batteries that makes it easy to restore power. Ideally, look for speakers that offer 12-15 hours playtime between charges so there’s no worry that it runs out of juice halfway through your party. New speakers also have facilities to be voice-activated through one or more of the latest voice assistants such as Siri or Cortana.
JBL Flip 4
A great example of an affordable Bluetooth speaker with a range of handy features is the JBL Flip 4. Available in an impressive six different colors, this is a waterproof speaker that puts out a high quality and surprisingly powerful sound. The speaker can connect to two smartphones or tablets at one time, allowing you to alternate between music from one and audio from another and the rechargeable Li-ion battery offers up to 12 hours playtime per charge.
Another useful benefit of the speaker is that it is IPX7 waterproof. This means you don’t need to worry about it being left out in the rain or being splashed when around the pool and it can even be submerged in water and continue to work. This makes it an ideal outdoor speaker.
The speaker also uses the JBL Connect+ technology that makes it easy to combine it with other speakers to create a home audio system. There are currently over 100 devices that can connect together under this system, allowing you to place speakers around a room or even around the house and coordinate them to work together. A single press from a button also means the system can be voice-activated through Google Now or Siri.
Practical and fun
Great Bluetooth speakers are both practical and fun. They offer the convenience of playing your music or listening to audio wherever you are and have a good battery life so you aren’t constantly recharging them.
Benefits like the waterproofing on the JBL Flip 4 adds an extra benefit in that the speakers can be used outside without concern about them being splashed or caught in a sudden rain shower. And the fun, colorful casing options means you can personalize the speaker and coordinate it with your room – or simply with your favorite color.
The JBL Flip4 was provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.