If you haven’t been paying attention for the past decade or so, cords are rapidly going the way of the Dodo. Whether you’re hitting the beach, provoking an impromptu office dance party or rocking out in the shower, the disappearing wire act has made it easier than ever to take your tunes with you. But with so many portable audio options on the market it can be a bit dizzying to try and find the right fit. Do you need the best sound or the best battery-life? Do you need the best looking speaker or the most durable? Does size really matter?
Have no fear, Geek Insider is here to help with this potentially life-changing decision. So sit back, take a deep breath and have a look at these marvelous portable audio options…all beautifully enhanced with Bluetooth connectivity. Trust us, there’s something here for everyone.
Bose SoundLink Color
Bose has been making extraordinary sound-docking systems for years now. Since they’ve begun dabbling in Bluetooth systems, they’ve largely missed the mark with packaging that big Bose sound into a sexy portable package. Enter the SoundLink Color. Clocking in at 5.7″ tall and 1.25 lbs. there are few options on the market sleeker than this little beauty. Easily pairing with any Bluetooth device (there’s even a nifty voice-prompt option) the SoundLink Color offers a fully rechargeable lithium ion battery and a wireless range of up to 30ft. If these dandy options aren’t enough, you’re also getting that full, lifelike sound that you’ve come to expect from the folks at Bose. And you get it at the incredibly reasonable (by Bose standards) price of $130. But be warned, while the SoundLink Color is one of the better sounding speakers on the market, it is not the most durable and that battery life (eight hours) falls well short of many competitors. These shortcomings may make that price tag a bit steep for some.
Aud Mini by iLuv
Price-conscious consumers should take a long, hard look at the Aud Mini by iLuv. At the insanely reasonable price of $14.99, this pocket-sized device is smaller and lighter (.19lbs) than most of the smartphones it can pair with. You’re basically carrying an instant-party in your pocket. For such a little package, the Aud Mini still manages to pump out first-rate sound. Featuring a robust speaker and passive radiator, the Aud Mini manages to deliver a full range of balanced audio all wrapped in a durable, weather resistant shell. Of course, at such a low cost you are going to sacrifice somewhere. The Aud Mini does lose some of its clarity when played at higher volumes and its USB rechargeable battery-life (just north of 6 hours) leaves much to be desired. Still, if you are looking for a solid option to bring a little life to your cubicle, the Aud Mini may be the perfect fit.
Creative MUVO Mini
Looking to take your party pool-side? Look no further than the splash-zone friendly MUVO Mini. Weather-tested up to IP66 Standards¹, the MUVO Mini can take a splashing and keep on thrashing. Designed with subtlety in mind, the Mini is not much to look at, but there’s a lot going on inside this Lego-like brick. Full-range micro drivers and an oversized bass radiator pack a full, rich sound into this compact device. With a full 10 hours of playback, your party will never need to stop…not even when your phone rings. That’s right, coupling with both Bluetooth and NFC enabled devices (up to about 30ft), the MUVO Mini features a fully integrated microphone and an easy-to-use toggling feature that allows you to answer a call through the speaker itself. Clever design and durability make the MUVO Mini an essential entry into any portable audio conversation. At just $59, its also quite a steal.
For all of the shower-time songbirds, you’ll find a sturdy accompaniment in the SoundFit from AYL. Designed specifically for shower use, the SoundFit comes complete with handy rubber handle fit for hanging anywhere. The durable, fully waterproof device is just as fit for cycling, trail climbing, or even your favorite fishing hole. With Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities, a 33 foot range of connectivity and a 12 hour battery life, you can feel free to take the SoundFit with you anywhere you want to go. Packing an impressive 5-watt speaker to boot, you’ll even get high quality sound out of this tough little package…though it still may not be enough to make you sound as good as that pop-star you’re singing along with. But at $29.95, you really shouldn’t care. Find your favorite playlist, get all soaped up and hit those high notes without a care with the SoundFit from AYL.
Blaster by Nixon
Nixon has been manufacturing sexy, surf-inspired audio devices for years now. Though Nixon has tragically (for me at least) opted out of the headphone/earbud market of late, they have seriously upped their portable audio game with the minimalist beauty of the Blaster. Weather-resistant and dust-proof, its sturdy silicone construction makes the Blaster the most durable device on the market. Its USB rechargeable ion battery allows for 12 hours of playback time. Powerful Bluetooth connectivity gives you a 33ft wireless range. Fully integrated microphone lets you answer that all-important call with ease. Did I mention it only weighs about a pound and comes in 11 different colors? Ok, we’ve heard some of these options before. What sets the Blaster apart from the competition is sound. Powerful, precision tuned acoustics provide crystal clear full-range audio with no distortion, even when you crank that volume up to 11. Durability, sleek design and impeccable audio make the Blaster the most complete portable audio option around and worth every bit of its $125 price tag. Take it to the beach, take it to the skatepark, or take it to the office, the Blaster will bring the noise and start the party.
Anytime and anywhere you choose…there’s no excuse to be keep your favorite tunes all to yourself. Track these portable audio options down today and let the good times roll.