My Complete Guide to Buying a Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Features to Look Out For

bluetooth speaker

Music lovers know the transformative power of a great speaker. Whether it’s the soundtrack for a beach getaway, a background boost for focused work, or the lifeblood of a lively party, having a portable Bluetooth speaker that delivers is a game-changer. But with so many options on the market, finding the ideal fit requires some careful consideration.

To help you navigate through the sea of choices, I have compiled a comprehensive guide outlining the key factors that I consider when shopping for a portable Bluetooth speaker.

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These are the features that I look out for and I appreciate that many people might have different preferences and priorities, or constraints so this is a subjective list.

Sound Quality

Let’s start with the most critical aspect – sound quality. After all, what good is a speaker if it doesn’t deliver great sound? When evaluating sound quality, pay attention to factors such as clarity, balance, and bass response.

In this department, here are some of the things that I look out for.

  • Power: A speaker’s wattage hints at its potential volume. More watts generally indicate a louder speaker, but it’s a starting point, not a guarantee. A 15W speaker is adequate to fill a room without being obnoxiously loud.
  • Frequency Response: Think of this as the range of tones your speaker can handle. A wider range (like 20Hz-20kHz) means better representation of everything from rumbling bass to crisp highs.
  • Drivers Matter: Speakers use drivers to generate sound, and their size matters. A larger woofer usually delivers more satisfying bass, while multiple drivers can help create a spacious stereo experience.

Look for speakers with a wide frequency response range and large drivers to ensure rich, immersive sound that fills the room. Anything from 15W and above is adequate but if you want to use it for a rave, you need at least 30W.


One of the main advantages of portable Bluetooth speakers is their ability to go wherever you go. Consider the size, weight, and design of the speaker to ensure it fits your lifestyle. If you plan to take it on outdoor adventures or travels, opt for a compact and lightweight model that won’t weigh you down.

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Some speakers even come with convenient carrying handles or straps for easy transport. In my opinion, carry handles or straps transform a speaker from a countertop companion to a true travel partner. More speakers need to come with these.

Battery Life

There’s nothing worse than your speaker dying in the middle of a jam session. To avoid such frustrations, I want to look into the battery life of the speaker before making a purchase. I look for models with long-lasting batteries that can provide hours of playback on a single charge.

  • Battery Capacity (mAh): The higher the number, the longer potential playtime you’ll get. Aim to match your estimated usage to battery capacity.
  • Charging Time: Fast charging means less time tethered to an outlet and more time where the music matters most.

This is especially important if you’ll be using the speaker away from power sources for extended periods. As such, look at these factors.

Connectivity Options

While Bluetooth connectivity is standard for portable speakers, it’s worth considering other connectivity options as well. Look for speakers that support auxiliary input or NFC pairing for added versatility. Additionally, features like multipoint pairing or voice assistant integration can enhance the user experience and make connectivity seamless.

Water Resistance

If you plan to use your speaker outdoors or near water, opt for a model with water-resistant or waterproof features. This ensures that your speaker can withstand splashes, spills, or even brief submersion without being damaged. Whether you’re by the pool, at the beach, or caught in a sudden rain shower, a water-resistant speaker will keep the music playing.

A portable speaker should be able to handle the rigors of daily use, whether you’re tossing it into your backpack or setting it up at a campsite. Look for models with rugged construction and shockproof casing to withstand bumps, drops, and other accidents. A durable speaker not only lasts longer but also gives you peace of mind during your adventures.

Brand Reputation and Reviews

Before making a purchase, do some research on the brand and read reviews from other users. A reputable brand with a history of quality products is more likely to deliver a reliable and satisfying speaker. Pay attention to user feedback regarding sound quality, durability, battery life, and customer support to make an informed decision.


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Additional Features

While sound quality and durability are paramount, don’t overlook additional features that can enhance your listening experience. Some speakers come with built-in microphones for hands-free calling, customizable EQ settings for personalized sound, or even built-in power banks to charge your devices on the go. Consider which features are important to you and choose a speaker that meets your needs.

  • Seamless Connectivity: Newer Bluetooth versions (5.0 and up) deliver wider range and greater connection stability. Some speakers even have an AUX input for wired connection flexibility.
  • Speakerphone Functionality: Take those calls hands-free! A built-in microphone keeps the conversation flowing.
  • Voice Assistant Integration: Control your tunes with just your voice when your speaker plays nice with Siri or Google Assistant.
  • Party Mode: Some speakers feature light shows that sync with the music or the ability to link up with multiple compatible speakers for a true surround-sound experience.


Last but not least, consider your budget when shopping for a portable Bluetooth speaker. While it’s tempting to splurge on the latest and greatest model, remember that higher price doesn’t always equate to better quality.

Consider these factors:

  • Value, Not Just Price: Remember, features and sound quality play a huge role in value. It might be worth spending a little more for a speaker that ticks all your boxes.
  • Set Your Limit: Before you start browsing, have a price range in mind to focus your search.

Compare prices across different brands and models to find the best value for your money. Ultimately, choose a speaker that offers the features and performance you need at a price you can afford. However, in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to spend anything over $100 on a Bluetooth speaker. there are tons of good options below this price.


Before you splurge, do your homework. Reviews are Your Friend. Tap into the experience of others! Read expert and user reviews to uncover hidden gems and avoid potential duds.

Where possible, Ensure you test out a product first. If you can, try before you buy. Pop into an electronics store to get a real feel for the sound of different speakers.


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