We’ve lengthy held that the additional value of excessive finish Bluetooth speakers from Bose, Ultimate Ears, JBL and Cambridge Audio Minx (all pictured above prime row) have been properly value the additional cash even at costs up close to $200 and past. But the very fact is that not everybody needs to spend some huge cash on a Bluetooth speaker, and portability and ruggedness are sometimes priorities over pure sound. For these individuals, we went on a search for prime quality Bluetooth speakers that value a lot much less.
5: Koss BTS1
($one hundred retail/$59 at Amazon) – Koss is a Milwaukee, WI-based mostly firm that has been producing worth electronics for over 50 years. The BTS1 might be the thinnest and lightest of the bunch right here but it has excellent high quality sound on the excessive finish in addition to 5 hour battery (confirmed in testing). It comes with each aspect mounted in and out AUX ports/cable and MicroUSB charging cable. In the again you’ll discover a flip out stand which I didn’t discover terribly helpful as a result of the speaker stands by itself pretty nicely. I often laid it on its again in “Omni directional” mode nevertheless.
Bluetooth pairing is straightforward and simple, however this video helps. The draw back of this speaker is its bass, which is a bit missing as you’d in all probability anticipate from this skinny/mild of a type issue. It continues to be considerably higher than the speakers constructed right into a 15-inch MacBook Pro and it seems nice, although at $fifty nine it's on the excessive finish of the units we're reviewing right here. It additionally lacks mic enter for speakerphone calls if that's necessary to you.
The BTS1 might be probably the most pocketable of the bunch nevertheless and I haven't any drawback recommending it.
($one hundred retail/$56 Amazon): This is the second era of this speaker (I reviewed the 1st version favorably last year). This years provides louder bass and a lot improved battery life. The Boombot’s declare to fame is its heavy-obligation clip and rugged enclosure which fell off my bike at velocity a number of occasions final yr and not using a blip. It additionally claims IP53 waterproof which suggests it's OK out within the rain or good for a couple of splashes within the rest room however don’t drop it within the pool.
While I don’t assume it seems as good because the Koss above and it isn’t as pocketable, the Rex allows you to make speakerphone calls, the battery claims an additional few hours (8 complete and 1 to cost) and it's wearable in lots of colours, making it good for outside use.
3: Omaker M3
($70 retail $30 Amazon) The Omaker M3 could be very comparable in measurement and perform to the Boombotix Rex above. It is rain and snow proof and ruggedized and has comparable sound and speakerphone functionality and similar 8 hour battery. It lacks the clip on the again however has simpler to entry buttons and is lighter than the Rex weighing simply barely greater than the Koss above. The value on the M3 is its breakaway function at $30, making this one onerous to move up.
2: Omaker M2
($one hundred retail. $50 Amazon) The Omaker M2 is greatest sounding speaker on this group, on par with costlier speakers just like the Jawbone Jambox and even UE Boom Mini with wealthy bass that fills up a room. It additionally has Bluetooth low power, which, mixed with an enormous 2000mAh battery, provides it 8 hours of loud enjoying. The M2 can also be the most important, heaviest and comes with a questionable the wrong way up leather-based deal with that didn’t attraction to me aesthetically. It additionally doesn’t have a devoted AUX-in port, as an alternative choosing a mixed MicroUSB/AUX cable which I misplaced virtually instantly and needed to go solely Bluetooth. This, at $50, is a superb speaker to have in your desktop to make speakerphone calls.
1: Mpow MBOX moveable
($one hundred retail/ $49.99 Amazon) My favourite speaker of this bunch is the Mpow Mbox as a result of it's sturdy, trendy, pocketable and sounds good. The chamfered aluminum edges look nice with Apple merchandise. It is smaller than the Omaker M2 and is perhaps eighty five% the dimensions of a Jambox. You can throw it in a pocket or a handbag with out breaking stride. It additionally has Bluetooth 4.zero, which permits for environment friendly power utilization yielding a gaggle-main 10 hours from a 1500mAh battery. The buttons on the prime are straightforward to make use of and nicely designed as are the ports on the again. The speakerphone labored nice as properly. The downfalls have been that the MBOX isn’t fairly as rugged as others, as small because the Koss, nor did it sound nearly as good because the M2.
You aren’t going to go incorrect with any of the speakers on this lineup. At $50 or much less, every has qualities of far more costly Bluetooth speakers.
Though typically you will discover a number of the larger finish speakers at 9to5toys for $50 – hold an eye fixed out.
If you want rugged/waterproof, seize the $30 Omaker M3 or Boombot Rex. If you need extraordinarily moveable, the Koss is for you. If you need nice sound, you're after the Omaker M2. Otherwise, do what I did and seize a few Mpow MBOXs.
Filed beneath: Reviews Tagged: Bluetooth, Computer speaker, Jawbone, JBL, koss, mbox, mpow, omaker, Ultimate Ears