The sunny months are here! It’s the perfect a great time to dive in and check out some of the excellent Portable Bluetooth Speakers from Logitech UE, Sony, SkullCandy and Promate. All of the options we’ll be looking at (and listening to) today allow for wireless connection via Bluetooth which makes them perfect for BBQs, and with waterproof options in the lineup, they’re also perfect for taking to the beach - some can even dive into the water with you!
First up we’ve got the most popular range in NZ from Logitech UE, that U.E bit actually stands for Ultimate Ears and they live up to the name - these speakers systems sound fantastic! Available now in a range of shapes and sizes to suit just about any situation they’ve got a few neat tricks and features no-one can match, thoughtful design makes them extremely durable and with the ability to wirelessly combine multiple speakers into a single audio source, having more people turn up to the party with their Logitech UE Boom in hand just makes it even better!
The UE BOOM 3 is the latest version and it’s kept all the features that made it great while adding some new ones that make it even better.
Voice integration features allow you to use both Siri and Google to command the UE BOOM 3 - while keeping your phone in your pocket. To do this quickly press the Bluetooth button on your UE BOOM 3 and say what you want to song you want to hear next - brilliant!
When they say it’s waterproof, Logitech UE mean it. Not just a splash, you can actually dunk this one under the water and it’ll continue pumping out your sweet sounds (fun fact, the audio stream is buffered for around a minute and depending on your depth underwater the wireless signal might have a hard time getting through) It’s got the official IP67 certification which means the UE Boom 3 is certified to survive submersions in water for up to half an hour - make sure you’ve pushed down the little rubber port covers before you do this though! It floats too, so don’t worry about it slipping from your hands in the pool, and yet another good thing about this feature is that it allows you to easily clean it should you drop it in the mud, just rinse it off with warm, soapy water :)
The sound quality has been improved too, allowing you to push that volume up louder than ever without the speakers distorting, and so you can enjoy in longer, the rechargeable battery now gives you up to 15 hours of non-stop music.
As I briefly mentioned above, you can pair multiple UE Boom speakers together to create a very cool multiple speaker setups, adding more as people arrive with their own. You can have them play the same exact audio out of both speakers, or they can be configured in a stereo mode where one speaker is the left channel, the other right. The limit for adding speakers in this chain is apparently 100, you can do this in the UE Boom APP (available now for Android and iOS) and the option is aptly named “PARTY UP” :)
The UE Boom 3 is available now in a range colours and styles, the size is pretty close to that of a 500ml drink bottle (it even fits in drink holders on bikes) but if you’re looking for something smaller they’ve got that covered with the super cute UE Wonderboom series. If you’re looking for something bigger, check out the UE MEGA BOOM, this option will give your more powerful sound, longer battery life (20 hours) and even increased range.
You can check out all the UE Boom, UE Blast and more in all colours and sizes in the massive PB Tech UE Store.
Coming in at number two, and a true contender for that #1 spot, is this brilliant speaker from Sony. They call it the SRS-XB31 portable speaker, and it really does give your beats a boost with more bass and certainly brings the energy up with its flashy lights, I’m really not kidding here, hit the EXTRA BASS button to get things really going, this apparently makes the dual passive radiators work together with the stereo full-range speakers to enhance low-end tones, giving bass a noticeable boost :)
Sporting the largest battery of the bunch today (and rightly so, it’s got that bling after all) this little guy can dedicate this just to sound and keep your music going for a whopping 24 hours - though if you’re running at full flashy flashy it’s probably going to be closer to 12. Under a little flap on the back you'll also find a USB port that can be used for charging another device.
You can pair up to 10 of these portable Bluetooth speakers together and yet again we see it has got an IPX5 rating making it resistant to a splash to drop - nicely done Sony!
This is also a part of a larger range, with the smaller SRS-XB21B and larger SRS-XB41B also available!
If you're thinking to yourself "I want even more LED lights on my speaker" then this JBL Pulse 3 is just the ticket! Combining 360 surround sound with a pretty light show this speaker connects via Bluetooth with 12 hours of playtime and that wonderful IPX7 certification making it perfect for the beach or pool party as well.
You can actually pair these ones together like the UE Boom options above, allowing you to combine upto 100 together for some crazy sound and light action!
These are also pretty great on the desk in the office too, with access to Google Now or Siri with just the press of a button.
Another really nice little option we have is an extremely well-priced option from Skullcandy named the Barricade. As its name suggests this one is built to be durable, with a rugged look and an IPX5 rating, meaning it’s certified to take a knock and a splash but keep on going. It’s tough and tiny with a little strap that can be used to secure the portable speaker in onto your belt if needed. Although the smallest of the bunch it can still power out the sound with 6-hour battery life :)
If you thought that last one was well priced well you ain't seen nothing yet! These new Artisan Blizzard Bluetooth Speakers are the pinnacle of price/performance with some very cool features to boot! Large, rugged, grippy and loud the Blizzard series is currently available in black, red and a very nice blue. Each feature voice cues for easy menu navigation, 3.5mm connection for wired connectivity, Power bank external device charge via a USB port and even a MicroSD memory card slot that allows you to play your favourite MP4's without needing to connect!
This is just a small slice from what we’ve got available now in our Portable Bluetooth Speaker department at PB Tech, if you’re shopping with us in-store we have a bunch of different audio options setup and ready to try, so be sure to have a listen for yourself when you’re in next :)