So you want music on the go but don’t want to spend a fortune? You want awesome quality with a decent level of bass too? I hear you. Loud and clear.
We’ve been on the hunt for five of the best portable speakers money can buy with change for $150. It wasn’t hard to find five, it was hard to narrow down to the final five as there is so many different brands in this crowded market.
We’ve given you a variety of different portable speakers to choose from including the high end Bose brand through to mid range, Sony and even cheaper alternatives such as Anker.
Each have their own pros and some cons so have a read and see what one tickles your fancy. All products are available through Amazon.com.au which offers fast delivery.
Best Portable Speakers
1. Bose SoundLink Micro
Get listening to your favourite songs on the go with the Bose SoundLink Micro portable speaker. This portable speaker is compact and small, yet very powerful.
The built-in custom mounted transducer and passive radiators in the SoundLink Micro give this portable speaker a loud and clear sound output, whether you take it inside or outside to listen to your tunes.
The rechargeable battery gives you up to 6 hours of play time of your favourite music.
The SoundLink is waterproof from the inside and has a soft, rigid silicone exterior to prevent any dents or scratches. This makes it the perfect portable speaker for me to take while I go camping as I don’t have to worry about breaking it.
Combined with the tear resistant strap, you can take this speaker anywhere with you, strapped to your backpack or handlebars of your bike.
With easy Bluetooth set up, no need to fiddle with any wires when you’re on the go. The built-in speakerphone allows you to take calls and access Siri, so you don’t even have to touch your phone.
If you’re having a party and need louder music, you can pair two compatible Bose Bluetooth speakers using the Connect app to play the same music on Party Mode.
On the other hand, Stereo Mode lets you listen to separate instruments and vocals, to hear the music as though it is playing live right in front of you.
Available in other colours: orange and navy.
2. Sony SRS-XB10B
Start dancing the night away from any place you want with the Sony SRS-XB10B Wireless Speaker. This wireless speaker brings your music to life with the extra bass function that enhances low–end tones and boosts the bass in music.
For a small compact device, it really does pack a loud sound! The design of the SRS-XB10B is made for taking the music with you, wherever you go so all you need to do is pop it into your bag and you’re good to go.
With up to 16 hour listening time and water-resistant surface, you are free to take the SRS-XB10B wherever you go without worrying about damage to the speaker.
This wireless speaker is easy to set up, either connect via Bluetooth or with NFC One–touch to get your music beating in an instant. No need to deal with pesky cords any more.
If you’re wanting to achieve stereo sound, simply connect two wireless speakers together to get the perfect sound output.
This Sony wireless speaker comes in 5 colours; red, black, green, white and blue so you can pick whichever you desire. The SRS-XB10B is charged via a micro USB so even if you lose the wire, it can be easily be replaced.
3. Anker SoundCore
Start listening to your favourite music with the Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker.
This portable speaker produces high-quality clear stereo sound with deep bass and zero distortion. This is through the two high-sensitivity drivers and patented bass port. So, you’ll be sure to hear every lyric just as the artist intended for it to be heard.
The Anker SoundCore has a play time of 24 hours due to the long-life battery technology so no need to constantly charge your portable speaker throughout the day.
You can instantly pair your smartphone with the SoundCore using Bluetooth 4.0 and maintain a connection of up to 66 ft. You can also link your Anker with voice-command software such as Alexa or Siri.
This portable speaker is small and compact yet very robust, so it is drop-proof to ensure you can take it anywhere on the go without worrying about damage.
4. Sony SRS-XB21W Speaker
Get the most out of your portable speaker with the Sony SRS-XB21W Speaker.
This compact Bluetooth speaker comes with built-in Extra Bass Technology to enhance your party experience.
This portable speaker is made for you to party with as it has a Party Booster function where all you need to do is simply tap your speaker in different places to produce different sounds such as a scratch drum and cowbell.
You can also control the volume of the speaker with gestures of force, such as a gentle tap changing the music to a soft or giving it a good hit for louder sound output.
You can experience your music in a whole different way with Live Sound mode that brings to life your music with unique 3D sound output, as though you are having a festival in your own backyard.
To make it even better festival experience in your own backyard, your portable speaker can connect up to 100 wireless speakers with the Wireless Party Chain function.
Enjoy up to 12-hours of play time and Smartphone charging, with USB-DC output. The SRS-XB21 is completely rustproof, waterproof, dust-proof and washable, so there’s no place that you can’t take your portable speaker to.
Comes in other colours: black, cyan and white.
5. Soundcore Flare
Start jamming to your favourite tunes with the Soundcore Flare portable speaker. This portable speaker delivers 360° sound as the dual drivers arranged back-to-back in combination with passive bass radiators deliver you intense all-around sound.
Double the intensity of your music by pairing two speakers simultaneously so that they are synchronised to give you a multidimensional experience of your music.
The built-in BassUp Technology in the Flare produces precise EQ adjustment. The digital signal processor enhances the bass frequencies of your music in real time.
A unique feature of this portable speaker is the halo of LEDs that react and phases with the rhythm of your music, giving you a whole new audio-visual experience.
You can choose from 5 colour themes to create the right ambience for your occasion, and then 5 adjustable illumination patterns that give you the freedom to choose the perfect light to suit the mood of your music
The Flare can be controlled with the new Soundcore app that allows you to customise your device with ease. You can adjust the sound profiles, lighting and much more all with the tap of your finger.
How To Choose Best Portable Speakers
When it comes to choosing the best portable speakers, do you really know what to look for?
While some might choose the best brand or the one that looks the nicest, there's a range of different factors you could consider before purchase.
Consider: Sound Quality
When it comes to choosing a suitable portable speaker the first thing most people want to know is how good the sound quality will be.
If you've heard the expression, you get what you pay for, it couldn't be more true when it comes to buying a speaker. Cheap speakers use cheap components so your sound quality will be inferior and probably disappointing.
If you really want to test the sound quality you'll need to find a physical retail store or a product with lots of positive reviews online. Another option is to look for Youtube sound test videos or 'unboxing' style videos.
Brands that specialise in purely audio only hardware such as Bose often cost more but use high quality sound components, offering better bass and sound quality. Other brands that dabble in audio may not have the same experience or exposure to putting high quality parts inside speakers.
Consider: Build Quality
Build quality is something that is very similar to sound quality. Generally a brand that focuses purely on creating audio products will have mastered the production process of their speakers, after all that's what they do all day everyday. However don't be fooled into thinking other brands have inferior products, they can offer just as good if not better build qualities.
Be sure to check the reviews of each product and see what others are saying. Does the product break frequently?
Things to consider when checking the build quality include things such as, is it waterpoof? is it shockproof and is it robust? Some brands use 'military grade protection' to describe their products. A strong robust product might be better for outdoor use than a lightweight fragile one designed for in the house only.
Consider: Battery Life & Charging
You might not think about battery life and charging until you're about to kick off a party and find out your portable speaker is out of battery. That's so annoying.
So you should look at how fast your speaker charges, does it offer USB-C super fast charging? If so your device will be ready to go in under 30 minutes. If not, how long does it take to charge the battery?
And once you're partying, how long will it last for? Does the speaker drain battery faster if you're using heavy bass or listening to loud music?
Most speakers generally last for up to 12 hours, it's a good starting point.
Most smartphones come with Bluetooth and most of the speakers we've mentioned today come with Bluetooth connectivity however it pays to check before purchase.
Some newer models only offer wireless connectivity which can be problematic if you're on the road with no wireless for your speaker to connect to. Others use WiFi between your phone and speaker, creating a virtual wireless network. Again this can be frustrating if you want to connect to public WiFi to stream music as your phone can only use one network at a time.
The best option for modern day smartphones is a bluetooth connection to your portable speaker so ensure bluetooth is a feature on your speaker.
Check to ensure there's no issues using Bluetooth in your desired location. While rare, some other local interference can cause Blueooth to fail.
Consider: Daisy Chaining
Another option to consider is daisy chaining. This allows you to connect two or more portable speakers together to create a wider area of sound. Imagine having a party in your backyard, you could connect two of the same speaker into a network, both playing the same music at the same time from one smartphone.
It's a cool feature especially if your friends (or yourself) buy the same speakers. You can check the speaker description to see if dual play or daisy chaining is possible.
Getting a daisy chain setup can be hard so be sure to read the instructions carefully.
Ultimately most consumers will consider the cost of the portable speaker before purchasing however as mentioned earlier, you get what you pay for. If you buy the cheapest market offer, you probably can't expect too much.
Brands such as Bose, Sonos, JBL, Sennheiser generally cost more but they offer better components and newer technology compared with cheaper local or Chinese brands.
What Is The Best Portable Speaker?
In my opinion the best portable speaker you can buy comes from Bose, the SoundLink Micro packs deep crisp bass into a waterproof, robust and tiny casing that can be daisy chained together with another speaker for party friendly sound.
While the play time is much shorter than it's competitors, it comes with a Micro-USBC charger ensuring your device is fully recharged within 30 minutes.
The built-in microphone is a nice addition allowing you to communicate with Siri or Google Assistant without actually using your smartphone or tablet.
For the powerhouse version with a larger battery and deeper bass you should consider checking out the SoundLink II.
Where Can I Buy A Portable Speaker?
You can buy a portable speaker from many different retailers such as Harvey Norman, JB HiFi and Kogan.
If you want to buy a cheap speaker you can checkout BigW or Target.
We found all ours on Amazon.com.au which offers fast free shipping nationwide and an easy to use returns and warranty process.
Most speakers come with 1 year retail warranty with some manufacturers offering additional warranties so check before you buy to see what you’re covered for.
How Do You Play Music On Portable Speakers?
Most portable speakers use wireless or Bluetooth to connect a smartphone or other bluetooth enabled device to the speaker allowing for playback up to 5 or even 10 metres away from the device.
This makes a portable speaker perfect for parties, gatherings or simply using at home on a table away from where you might be sitting.
Rhys is a successful entrepreneur with a PHD from University Colleague London with a strong interest in product reviews, blogging and traveling. Based in Melbourne, he loves to write about electronics, tech and travel.