Portable speakers come at virtually all shapes, sizes, and prices these days. You may think that it’s easy to find a good speaker model to buy, but the reality is anything but.
With so many options out there, most people find it challenging to find the best portable speaker brands to entrust their hard-earned money. After all, there’s no shortage of no-name brands that sell sub-par quality products for an arm and a leg online.
Worry not! We’ve figured that out for you. Here are some of the best portable speaker brands to keep an eye out for while you’re shopping.
- Top 10 Best Portable Speaker Brands to Keep on Your Radar
- Final Words
Top 10 Best Portable Speaker Brands to Keep on Your Radar
1. JBL – Most high-quality Bluetooth speakers
- Founded: 1946
JBL is synonymous with affordable and rugged high-quality Bluetooth speakers on the market. Most of the speakers you’ll find in their portfolio come with a shock-resistant outer casing and excellent waterproofing ability (for example, the JBL Flip 6 or the JBL Xtreme 3). As such, they’re super popular among travelers and young people.
The company was founded in 1946 by James Bullough Lansing – an audio engineer and loudspeaker designer. “JBL” is an initialism of the founder’s name. Lansing and his partner built their home base in Los Angeles, California. JBL’s headquarters remains there to this day.
In 1969, JBL was purchased by Harman International. Under new ownership, the brand prospered and became the global audio giant that it is today.
- Founded: 1964
Among audiophiles, Bose is often associated with high-fidelity sounds and premium audio products. The company is among the first on the market to see the potential in Bluetooth technology and implemented it into its products. They were also among the pioneers of surround sound.
Needless to say, the combination of these experiences has made Bose a hugely popular name on the audio market.
Despite not being very well-known for their Bluetooth speakers (the company’s headphones are far better), Bose Bluetooth speakers are still rated well among pundits and customers.
Bose’s story as a company began in 1964 when Amar Bose kickstarted the audio electronic business using an angel investor’s funding.
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3. Sonos – best Bluetooth smart speaker brand
- Founded: 2002
Sonos is the brand to look to if you’re interested in owning a Bluetooth smart speaker. Products like the Sonos Move are compatible with a wide range of virtual assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.
Notably, Sonos products have adaptable audio. They can survey the surrounding environment and fine-tune the audio quality so that you’ll be able to enjoy the most optimal listening experience.
Sonos was founded in 2002 by John McFarlane, Craig Shelburne, Tom Cullen, and Trung Mai. It placed its headquarters in Santa Barbara, California. The company is still situated there to this day.
4. Sony – best-sounding Bluetooth speaker brand
- Founded: 1946
Sony is, without a doubt, one of the largest manufacturers of audio products in the world. The company’s portfolio consists of both professional and consumer-grade level products.
When you come to Sony, what you’re going to get in return is sound quality. The company benefits greatly from all of the research and patented technologies on sound mixing. Its audio branch also enjoys a sizable budget to spend on research and development.
So, some of the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers in the world have a Sony brand at the front.
Sony was founded in 1946 by Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita in Tokyo, Japan. Its current headquarters (called “Sony City”) is located in Minato, Tokyo, Japan.
- Founded: 2002
In the late 2000s and early 2010s, everyone – including those who aren’t interested in audio tech – knew about Beats.
Thanks to Dr. Dre, a Hip-Hop legend, Beats’ products evolved to become a status symbol. Their speakers and headphones are known for their high volume and wide dynamic range. The attractive, vibrant designs bolster their attractiveness greatly, too.
In 2014, Beats was acquired by Apple for $3 billion – one of the largest deals ever made by Apple in its entire history.
These days, the company mostly focuses on its earphones and headphones lines. However, you can still get the Beats Pill+ if you know where to look.
Beats was founded in 2002 as a collaboration between Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. It’s headquartered in Culver City, California.
6. Anker – Best budget portable speaker brand
- Founded: 2011
Anker is fairly new to the audio market compared to all the other veterans on this list. Nevertheless, their SoundCore speakers are still highly impressive considering their price. If you’re looking for budget-friendly, small portable speakers, it’s hard to find any system that’s better than Anker.
All of their Bluetooth speakers are sold under the SoundCore umbrella. Despite most being sold for fairly cheap, they have excellent sound quality.
Anker was founded in 2011 by Steven Yang in the city of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. Its headquarters has moved to Changsha, Hunan.
The company isn’t exactly a specialized audio manufacturer. They’re better known for being the producers of high-quality batteries and phone chargers.
For a company that makes phone chargers, they make great speakers.
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7. Ultimate Ears
- Founded: 1995
Ultimate Ears (UE) origin story is a bit amusing and started with the rock band – Van Halen. The guitarist, Eddie Van Halen, played so loud on stage to the point that his brother and drummer, Alex Van Halen, wasn’t able to hear the rest of the band.
So, Jerry Harvey – the band’s monitor engineer – came up with a custom earpiece to fix the problem.
That custom earpiece laid the foundation for UE later on. Harvey took the knowledge he learned and started UE in 1995 along with Mindy Harvey. The company leveraged Jerry’s expertise to create speakers and audio equipment with tremendous sound quality and volume.
If you like your music loud, UE won’t disappoint their speakers.
- Founded: 1976
If you’re an Apple fan who’s deep within the iOS ecosystem, I reckon that you’re going to be quite happy with Apple’s Bluetooth speaker boxes.
Right now, the company only “officially” offers you one option in the speaker department: the HomePod Mini. However, if you go digging for long enough, you’ll be able to find the original HomePod in the inventories of resellers and retailers.
Now, I know this is a bit like cheating: the HomePod Mini, while it’s Bluetooth, isn’t exactly “portable” since it has a power cord. But its small size means you can easily bring it along with you anywhere … you’ll just need an outlet.
For work or home music listening, it’s not a shabby speaker.
Apple has been spending a lot of money in their audio department, so you can expect great sound quality from the HomePod. It’s also integrated with Siri.
Apple was founded on April 1st, 1976 in Palo Alto, California by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. From a humble garage, the company has now moved to one of the largest corporate campuses in the world: Apple Park in Cupertino, California.
9. Bang & Olufsen – Best portable Bluetooth speaker brand
- Founded: 1925
From Denmark came Bang & Olufsen. B&O is famed for the great attention to detail and the high level of polishing in their products. The audio quality that their speakers offer is nothing to scoff at, either. Some consider their sound systems to be the best in the world.
Most notably, B&O’s audio system is built into the Audi R8 sports car.
Their Bluetooth speakers are probably the most expensive on this list. But, in return, they offer great build quality and excellent sound quality. If you consider yourself an audiophile and only want the best quality portable speaker that money can buy, B&O is where it’s at.
The company was founded in 1925 by Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen in Denmark. It’s currently headquartered in Struer, Denmark.
- Founded: 2017
Tribit is a very new player on the audio market. It was just founded recently in 2017. That doesn’t stop them from being one of the great brands to buy from in the Bluetooth speaker market, though.
Take the Tribit Stormbox Pro, for example. It is one of the very few Bluetooth speakers on the market that can offer 2.1 audio with just a single speaker unit.
In terms of sound quality, the company’s patented X-Bass technology boosted the low, while still keeping the mid and high clarity. All-day battery, IP67 water resistance, QCC Bluetooth chip. It checked all of the boxes for a great travel portable speaker.
These are the 10 best brands of portable speakers on the market. Each brand has its strengths and weaknesses. Their products are also priced differently and aimed at different audiences. So, go through each brand and take your pick depending on what your listening taste is as well as your budget.
Which brand is your favorite? What was the model that you got? How was your experience with it?
Tell us in the comment section below!