people's choice

The Best Portable Speakers on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Courtesy of Retailer

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written before about audio accessories — including the best noise-canceling headphoneswireless headphones, and workout headphones — here, we’ve rounded up the best portable speakers, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated portable speaker

Anker SoundCore Mini

More than 75 percent of reviewers give this portable speaker five stars, and dozens appreciate how compact it is making it easy to travel with. One customer has used his for nine months now and calls it “compact and well built.” He thinks it “will travel easily,” but he’s not sacrificing great sound for space. “The sound will fill a room,” he says. Another writes, “This space-saving, compact Bluetooth speaker actually delivers surprisingly good sound.” He bought it to take to and from work and appreciates its compact size and stellar design. “The product design is superior too, minimalist design with nothing flashing, but stays functional all around. It even has a rubber footing that helps to keep the speaker in one place.” One shopper even says it’s “louder than anticipated.” He needed a shower speaker because he would “struggle to hear the music in the shower” when playing it on his phone. He thought this would just be a cheap speaker that would be fine for the time being, but he loves it. “One of the nicest features of this product is that it has an auto-off (about five minutes) when I leave the house,” he writes. “It is wireless, and the charge lasts quite a while (I have used it for multiple days without plugging it back in). It is loud and has good bass.”

Best-rated (less expensive) portable speaker

“Are you kidding me?” asks one reviewer. But they’re pleasantly surprised by the sound quality of this little speaker. “It’s tiny, fits in your hand, which is nice because I can discreetly place it around the house,” another writes. “I put it in the kitchen and you can hear it throughout the whole house.” Not only is it loud, but one reviewer says, “It comes through very clear and I can hear the details within the music.” Reviewers also praise the battery life. One reviewer who uses it “maybe 15 to 30 minutes every day” adds, “I charged this when I got it and a week later, I still haven’t had to charge it.” One thing users do warn is that the speaker moves on its own, so they advise keeping it on low surfaces, but according to one it’s durable enough to survive a drop: “It is durable because it didn’t harm it all to fall from counter height several times.”

Best portable speaker with long battery life

“Oh my god, it lasts forever,” says on reviewer, referring to the Anker Soundcore’s battery life. “I’ve charged it once since I got it (a week ago) and used it every day for at least a few hours.” Another purchaser seconds that point, writing, “The battery life is RIDICULOUS. I gave it a full charge and got over a week play time while playing via bluetooth at around five presses below max volume for about ten hours a day.” There are tons of enthusiastic endorsements of the battery life — almost 2,500 five-star reviews refer to the battery — but this one stands out: “After using the speaker multiple times a week for multiple hours each week I vowed to not write this review until the battery actually needed to be charged. Today is the day. I wholeheartedly recommend this speaker. If you are in the market, look no further.”

Best less expensive portable speaker with long battery life

Reviewers didn’t expect much from this AmazonBasics speaker because it’s not a name brand, but over 2,000 five-star reviewers were pleasantly surprised, especially with the battery life. “It will last over two days for eight hours each and at almost the highest volume,” writes one impressed customer, who calls it an “incredible speaker.” But another shopper says, in his experience, it lasts even longer: He uses it overnight because he likes to fall asleep to the radio or to podcasts. “These babies last several days of overnight and three to four hours during the day, every day,” he writes. Some reviewers don’t use it for long periods of time, and they say they can get weeks out of the battery. One, who bought it as an alternative to the busted radio in his truck, says, “This speaker hardly needs to be charged every couple of weeks.” Plus, “It has a great volume control and is small enough to fit where I need it to.”

Best portable speaker with enhanced bass

JBL Xtreme

“This is a bass cannon,” writes one reviewer. “It blew me away with the small form factor and the quality and quantity of sound it delivers.” One person compares it to popular competitors like the Bose SoundLink and the UE Megaboom, but says, “The JBL Xtreme speaker blows them all away. Sounds clean with perfect bass.” Another music lover calls out the bass output in particular — “The bass on this small speaker is unbelievable” — but adds, “I have listened to every spectrum of music on my Spotify account and it all sounds superb. You won’t be disappointed, whether you’re listening to Boyz to Men, or Audio Slave, or Santana, Miles Davis, or whatever your genre is. For the price, I feel like this JBL is at the top of the class.” Still, the bass is what gets the most attention, particularly the “exposed bass radiators” on either side of the speaker: reviewers say “the bass radiators are sexy” and “thump hard.”

Best (less expensive) portable speaker with enhanced bass

OontZ Angle 3 Ultra

“For around $40 you get a compact, tough speaker that pumps out some high volume and doesn’t lose clarity, which is important because that’s the first thing that happens to low-quality speakers: You crank ‘em and they crackle,” writes one reviewer, adding, “I’ve had speakers twice this size sound remarkably similar.” And for a speaker this size, about 15 percent of reviewers are most impressed with the bass quality. “Bass out the you know where, mids and highs are right there,” one says. “I had to adjust my EQ to allow for the extra bass. Clean and crisp at ALL volume levels.” One even says the sound is “louder than I need.” In fact, “Using power tools a couple rooms away from the speaker will allow me still hear it – anything louder and I would use ear muffs to protect my hearing.” The bluetooth range, which works up to 100 feet away, is also highlighted by reviewers. “What I really like is that I’m able to leave my device, usually my Kindle, as I listen to a lot of Audio books, in one place and move the Angle 3 Ultra with me as I do chores, even outside and in the garage for laundry,” one says. “There isn’t any static or broken connection, it’s as clear and strong as if I were inside.”

Best compact portable speaker

Vtin Q1 Shower Speaker

Reviewers can’t believe how loud this speaker is for something that comes in such a small package. “I gifted it to my nephew and when he synced up to it, I had to verify several times that his music was actually blasting from this little speaker,” one reviewer writes, adding, “I spent $120 on a Bluetooth speaker for myself that is supposed to have quality sound, but the volume levels don’t even compare!” This is labeled as a shower speaker, and a lot purchasers buy it specifically for that reason; over 100 five-star reviews mention the word “shower.” Some people had trouble with the optional suction cup, but they say the rope makes it easy to hang from a shower hook or loop around a towel rack. One reviewer admits to being “a little skeptical” about this speaker “because of the price,” but after trying it out they became a quick convert: “It works great. Fully waterproof and the sound is pretty darn good for a speaker this size.”

Best portable speaker for sports