How to Choose the Best Portable Speaker

Portable speakers are extremely convenient and make for a great music-listening experience. This Buzzle article brings to you a complete guidebook on how to choose the best portable speaker.
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Tips for buying portable speaker
A portable powerhouse
One of the main problems with portable speakers is their battery life. An Oregon-based company, Blueshift, has come up with the world's first wireless speaker powered by supercapacitors. The Helium, as it is called, can play for 5 hours on a charging of just 3 minutes.
The famous German philosopher, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche once said, "Without music, life would be a mistake." It is a good thing that of all the wrongs in the world, most of us seem to have gotten this thing right. In our fast-paced lives, music is the one thing that seems to make time stop. With the advancement in technology, we can now carry our entire music library with us. Smartphones and portable music players are great when you simply want to plug in a pair of earphones, and let the music take over. However, when you want to hear the music out loud, or want to play your favorite track for a loved one, the speakers on these devices are found wanting.

This is where a portable speaker comes in and saves the day. These nifty devices are fairly easy to use and can pack quite a punch. If you too have been waiting to get your hands on one of these, but weren't sure how to go about choosing a portable speaker, never fret, 'cos we are here to help. Given below are some simple points to help you make an informed choice.

Size
These days, portable speakers are available in every imaginable size. Probably the first thing you need to consider before setting off to buy one of these is, how are you gonna use it? For basic use on the go, a small speaker should serve you well. If, however, you are looking for a speaker that you can place in your living room, then you would be better served by a large speaker.

Connectivity
Portable speakers can either be wired or wireless. The wired speakers usually have a better sound output than the wireless ones, and are best suited for home use. Wired speakers can either have a 3.5 mm audio connector or a dock for Apple devices. Wireless speakers are ideal for people who love to live tangle-free while grooving to music on the go. These can connect over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or NFC. The main advantage that wireless portable speakers have over their wired counterparts is the fact that they offer more flexibility as the music player need not be within line of sight of the speaker.

Battery life
Battery life is another factor that needs to be considered, especially for people who intend to use the speakers outdoors. Portable speakers are usually powered by alkaline batteries. Opt for speakers which use rechargeable batteries, as this would save you the trouble of carrying an extra load of batteries. This especially holds true for larger speakers, which are bound to be used more often at home. On the other hand, alkaline batteries, as they are easily available, would be great if you intend to use the speakers outdoors without a power source nearby.

Sound quality
This parameter figures low down on our list as most branded portable speakers in the market today offer good sound quality. Theoretically, a speaker with a frequency range between 40 Hz to 20,000 Hz would be about perfect for even the most demanding audiophiles. For regular users, a frequency range of 50 Hz to 10,000 Hz should be just fine. Another factor worth considering is the RMS wattage. The higher the RMS value, the better the sound reproduction, although this does not hold true every time. A speaker with about 15-30 watts (RMS) should be good enough for most people.

Price
Needless to say, the perfect portable speaker is ultimately the one that fits your pocket without burning a hole through it. For the regular music lover, a decent pair of portable speakers would set him/her back by about USD 50 - 150. For the more demanding music enthusiast, there's a much higher price to pay for unadulterated distortion free music, usually more than USD 250. You might, however, want to keep in mind that a higher price doesn't necessarily mean a better product.

For people who want to buy their speakers online, Amazon, eBay, Best Buy, Newegg, etc. offer some great deals. Remember, at the end of the day, numbers can be misleading, and the best way to pick the perfect music companion for you would be to keep your ears open, and let the music do the talking. Cheers.
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Published: January 31, 2014
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