Portable Speakers Buyers Guide – Things to Consider When Choosing

Portable Speakers Buyers Guide - Things to Consider When Choosing

Portable speakers come in all shapes and sizes and in a wide range of spec and tech to cover an ever-increasing demand.  What was a niche market a few years ago is now very much mainstream.  From waterproof Bluetooth speakers to budget headphones to outdoor Bluetooth speakers and general portable Bluetooth speakers, Australia has them all and more.

With connectivity to smart gadgets such as:

  • Smartphones
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Anything Bluetooth
  • Internet / WiFi

The user gets to have wireless sound almost anywhere.

Hence, we have a pretty flooded market as manufacturers scramble to keep up with demand and have pilled millions into R&D.

So what we are looking to do is answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs) and cover some of the most important areas and factors that define what product will be on your shopping list while naming some brands that might fit the bill. Here we go…

  • Which are the best in this market segment?
  • Which ones have all the features I need?
  • What should be considered while buying a portable speaker?

In response to these questions, this guide will provide information through tips and considerations when searching for a portable speaker. Further, based on their features, rate of operation, and customer testimonials, we will recommend some of the best portable speakers to buy in Australia in 2024.

We begin with…

Size and Weight

Portability is one of the most advantageous advantages of portable speakers in that they are easy to move and keep.

Nevertheless, portable speakers are of different sizes and weights; some fit in certain situations more than others.

For instance, you need a compact speaker in your pocket or backpack. In such a case, you can get a small, light model, like:

The JLab Go Air Pop True Wireless Earbuds or the Anker Soundcore 3.

They are tiny enough to carry anywhere, providing good battery life and sound quality.

 If you need a portable speaker that can rock the house or a big outdoor space with a booming sound, you should opt for a bigger and heavier model, such as the JBL Boombox 3.

The large speakers are bulky and heavy but offer excellent sound and volume, a long battery life, and extras.

Sound Quality

Many attributes, such as the drivers, frequency range, output power, distortion level, and soundstage, influence portable or waterproof Bluetooth speaker’s sound quality.

A simple denominator to cut through any confusion or just as a rule of thumb follow this:

  • The bigger the drivers, = the wider your frequency range.
  • The higher your output power, = less distortion.
  • The bigger the soundstage, = the better the sound.

But of course, each variable affects numerous aspects of what you’ll end up deciding on and taking home.

Such things as the speakers:

  • Weight
  • Size / Dimensions
  • Cost

So you’ve got plenty to think about, but the good news is you’ve got plenty of options, so don’t panic!


Let’s throw an example out there: If you love your deep bass sounds, you’ll want a speaker with some kick to it. 

So, something like the Sony SRS-XE300 would be something to test out, as it has a sizeable woofer and a passive radiator.  What it does is utilise its low-frequency driver, which lets out really punchy but deep bass notes.

However, you can’t just have a speaker with booming bass; it needs to be accompanied by highs and mids, so your model must carry a tweeter or provide a balanced armature just like:

The 1MORE SonoFlow SE or the Harmon Kardon Onyx Studio 6.

High-frequency drivers in these speakers ensure that treble and vocal are clear and precise.

Battery Life

Another crucial aspect is  battery life of a mobile speaker, which to what extent one can enjoy music without connecting or charging a mobile speaker.

A portable speaker’s battery life is influenced by several characteristics, which include the following:

  • The capacity of power storage in the battery
  • The working level of volume
  • The manner of connection (via Bluetooth or through a wire)
  • And The number of used functions…

Plus, all of the above factors also influence the speaker’s size, weight, and price; therefore, you should accommodate them based on your taste and financial capability.

For instance, if you desire a speaker with a rechargeable battery that lasts a whole day or two days of continuous playback, then it goes without saying you need something that’ll pack some punch in the battery department here’s two prime examples:

The Anker Soundcore Life Q30 Wireless or the Lodge Solar Powered Speaker.

These monster batteries deliver 5,500mAh and 10,000mAh, respectively, which will hit you with playback capability of 40 hours and 100 hours.

Nonetheless, one needs portable or outdoor Bluetooth speakers that can charge fast or wirelessly. For that consideration, you should choose a model with fast or wireless charging support, like:

The JBL Charge 5 or the Sonos Move 2.

These speakers can be charged completely in 4 and 3 hours, accordingly. They can also be used to recharge other devices through either a USB port or a wireless pad.

Durability and Water Resistance

The mobility of a speaker is an important factor to consider. Simultaneously, other significant factors to be taken into account are the stability and water resistance of the speaker, which determines its ability to withstand weather and also day to day stress.

The attenuation of water and the robustness of a portable speaker depends on the materials, the construction quality, and the IP rating of the speaker.

Normally, the quality of the building and the durability of the materials are high, and the water resistance is better when there is a higher IP rating.

Take into consideration with portable Bluetooth speakers, Australia can be unforgiving, as you need waterproofing but remember, they need to be able to withstand serious heat too. 

However, these factors also influence the speaker’s size, weight, and cost, so you must combine them to meet your needs and budget. For instance, if you want a portable speaker capable of surviving falls, knocks, and scratches. In that case, you should opt for a robust and tough construction model, for example:

The Altec Lansing LifeJacket 2 or the JBL Clip 4.

They have a shock and scratch-resistive body that can save them from damage. But you need a portable speaker that is water, dust, and sand resistant. If so, consider a model with a high IP rating, such as the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3.

The IP ratings of these speakers are IP67 and IP65, consecutively, making them waterproof for 30 minutes and dust and sand-resistant.

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Extra Features

The extras of a portable speaker are other services and functions that the speaker can do apart from playing music. With these attributes, you can have a better user experience and convenience.

Still, they can also affect the size, weight, price, and battery life of the speaker, so you need to set them according to your requirements and resources.

Some of the common extra features of portable speakers are:

• Bluetooth: This feature enables you to connect your speaker and device using a wireless connection but with no cables or Wi-Fi network. Almost all Bluetooth speaker kits are portable. Indeed, while others are improved, like Bluetooth 5.0, which offers faster and more dependable connections, longer reach, and higher energy efficiency, some of them might not be up to scratch and might need upgrades.

Wi-Fi: Hence, through this feature, you would be able to use the network of your phone together with Wi-Fi to get top sound quality, gain access to endless streaming services, and endless flexibility. The only drawback of speakers is that they demand a power source and a Wi-Fi network to operate. As a result, they are less portable and do not have the appeal that Bluetooth speakers have.

• Voice Assistant: The voice-control feature of the speaker allows you to control your speaker as well as any enabled/compatible smart devices that come with or work with a built-in/compatible voice assistant such as Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant for example.

This makes your speaker. It is convenient and versatile but also consumes your battery and needs a Wi-Fi network or smartphone.

• Speakerphone: This feature function uses your speaker as a speakerphone where you can have hands-free calling, make and receive calls and access your voice assistant. This may make your speaker more practical and versatile but can also negatively impact your sound quality and privacy.

• Stereo Pairing: This option allows you to link two speakers of the same model or brand, resulting in a stereo effect with left and right channels. This can create a more spacious and immersive sound but needs more space and power.

• Party Mode: This function lets you pair several speakers of the same type or brand, producing stronger, richer sound with increased coverage and power. It can make your speaker ideal for social events and large groups but also requires more space and power.


From outdoor Bluetooth speakers to budget headphones to waterproof Bluetooth speakers, the market has an abundance. With so many to choose from and huge famous name manufacturers like JBL and Bose scrapping it out every year to bring some extra specifications to get their noses in front, you are spoiled for choice.  But you need to understand your requirements before you go jumping in. As for outdoors, events can be pricey. So be careful and good luck!


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