Best Travel Speakers 2019: Rated & Reviewed

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Finding the best travel speaker for your needs can be a difficult task. There are thousands on the market and a lot of considerations to ponder.

If you’re heading away on a trip and want to be able to bang out some tunes, it’s an essential piece of kit. And they’re great for the beach, around the pool, or in your hotel room. 

We’ve put together this definitive list of the best travel speakers on the market right now to help making your choice a little simpler.

Quick Comparison of the Best Travel Speakers

*Our Choice for Best Travel Speaker*

  • Waterproof, dustproof and drop-proof

  • Awesome, balanced, 360° sound with rich, deep bass

  • Super stylish design

  • Pocket sized and lightweight

  • Balanced sound with good bass for such a small speaker

  • Waterproof and rugged silicone build

  • Seamless aluminium body for immersive, 360° sound

  • Take calls and access Siri or Google Assistant

  • Water resistant and knock-proof

  • Big bass and great balanced sound overall

  • USB-C quick charge capability

  • Waterproof, durable construction

  • Well balanced 360° sound

  • Cool LED lightshow options

  • Waterproof, durable construction

  • Distortion free at high volume

  • Handsfree speakerphone capability

  • Water resistant and dustproof

  • Long battery life

  • Waterproof and durable

  • Great overall sound

How to Choose the Best Travel Speaker

The best travel speakers all share a number of impressive elements. Here’s how we went about picking which ones made it onto our list:

Durability

If you’re buying a speaker to take travelling then it needs to be pretty hardwearing. 

It’s not going to be safely tucked away on a dresser in the corner of a room. So it has to be able to withstand the rigours of your trip, regardless of where your adventures take you. 

The last thing you want is for it to fall apart during a trip and be left carrying a useless lump of plastic. 

At the very least it should be water resistant, and ideally fully waterproof. Not only is this perfect for stress-free fun around the pool or on the beach, it’s also ideal for humid conditions.

It also needs to be generally travel-proof, i.e hard enough to be chucked in your bag and survive a few knocks.

Battery Life

Picture the scene. You’re chilling on the beach with your buds in the midday sun, enjoying some tunes and generally having a good time.

Then your travel speaker dies. Just cuts out. Mood killed.

Most good travel speakers have a battery life of a minimum of 6 hours with continuous playback. But the very best can last up to around 20.

If you anticipate using your travel speaker for long periods at a time, battery life will be an important consideration. One thing to note is that all of the listed battery playback duration here is the maximum for each device.

There are lots of factors that affect how much play you’ll get out of a single play. For example, blasting it at volume will drain it extremely quickly.

Portability

When you’re packing for a trip, the weight and bulk of your baggage is all important. No one wants to be lugging around unnecessary weight.

So when it comes to choosing the best travel speaker for you, one factor will be how much it weighs. 

There’s no ideal weight as such, instead you need to find the best compromise for you between weight and performance. This is because generally speaking, a larger speaker will have better specs.

That said, if weight or size are huge considerations for you, there are small travel speakers out there whose sound belies their size.

This is a very personal thing, and may even depend on how much baggage allowance you have. But think about what you’re willing to lug around in your daypack when you hit the beach when choosing your travel speaker.

Connectivity

The best travel speakers are obviously wireless, and therefore come with bluetooth connectivity. However, there may be times when some people may want or need to plug their device in.

While most travel bluetooth speakers receive solely via bluetooth, some do have an auxiliary port.

If you have no idea what I’m on about or why you might need that, then in truth you probably don’t. So don’t sweat it.

But it gives you another option for getting your sounds from whatever device they’re on to the speaker. So if that’s something you’ll potentially need, pick a speaker which provides that choice.

Sound Quality

For many people, sound quality will be the most important factor in choosing what the best travel speaker for them is. No one wants a tinny, barely audible embarrassment of a speaker which makes every song sound the same. 

Rest assured, every travel speaker on this list has got very good sound quality. Now that’s not to say that there may be some aspects missing, because the perfect travel speaker literally hasn’t been invented yet.

But we’ve gone for speakers that have a full, round sound overall. And we’ve pointed out their high points and low points as best we can. 

Whatever you choose from this list will allow you to happily get down to your jams.

The Best Travel Speakers

So without further ado, let’s rundown the best travel speakers on the market right now.

UE Boom 3

  • Weight: 608 g (1.34 lbs)
  • Battery Life: 15 hours
  • Wireless Range: 45 m (150 ft)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 

The UE Boom 3 is a beast of a speaker and tops our list of the best travel speakers on the market. 

UE have been consistently producing top of the line speakers for years now and it’s our preferred brand.  

The 3 is the latest incarnation of their best selling Boom range. It’s got absolutely everything that you need in a portable travel speaker, starting with its mind-blowing overall sound.

The cylindrical shape means it pumps out 360° sound creating an immersive experience. What it produces is well balanced with a nice, warm tone and deep base. 

You can customise your settings using the adjustable EQ on the app, or alternatively pick from the available presets.

This portable travel speaker sounds great whether your inside your hotel room or out chilling on the beach. And trust us when we say it gets LOUD!

The UE Boom 3 is built to last, with lots of features that make it super durable. 

It’s completely waterproof for a start. And not only that, but it actually floats meaning you’ll never lose it at the bottom of the pool or ocean.

It’s also made from durable material that’s resistant to knocks and scrapes, helped by the rubber end caps. It can survive a pretty hefty drop, and is certainly fine with being roughed up in your daypack.

One of the only complaints about the UE Boom 3 is that it doesn’t feature an auxiliary port. However, as a travel bluetooth speaker I’d argue that’s really not an issue.

The whole idea is to use it wirelessly. So it’s unlikely you’d need a line in anyway and is in no way a deal breaker.

Another potential downside is that, while it’s definitely small and portable, there are smaller, lighter travel speakers. 

If you’re on the lookout for a mini travel speaker, bear in mind that this is slightly larger than a standard water bottle. To give you an idea, it fits anywhere a water bottle does i.e backpack side-pocket or bicycle drinks holder.

Bose Soundlink Micro

  • Weight: 290 g (0.63 lbs)
  • Battery Life: 6 hours
  • Wireless Range: 9 m (30 ft)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 

The Bose name is one that’s synonymous with fantastic quality in the audio equipment market. As a company it’s known for concentrating on great sound, and the Bose Soundlink Micro is no different.

Despite being pocket-sized, it’s crisp and balanced and has a decidedly decent bass. In fact, considering just how small this travel speaker is, you’ll be amazed at the sound it pumps out.

It’s also perfect for all and any travel adventures and was designed to be both portable and durable. 

The Soundlink Micro’s exterior is made entirely from silicone rubber. It’s soft yet rugged, and built to withstand dents, cracks and scratches.

It’s also completely waterproof making it perfect for outdoor use, particularly around the pool or on the beach.

A clever and unique travel feature is the tear-proof silicone strap on its back. This allows you to strap it to virtually anything it will fit around.

The handlebars of a bike, a bag strap, your wrist, your belt loop, nothing’s off limits. The strap makes it even easier to transport.

Perhaps surprisingly for a mini travel speaker, it has speakerphone capabilities. Perfect if you’re doing something active like hiking or cycling so you don’t need to physically pick your smartphone up.

The main drawback of the Bose Soundlink Micro is that its battery life is not amazing. If you’re after something that will keep the tunes banging all day, this isn’t it. But unfortunately it’s a necessary trade off for such a small device.

Bose Soundlink Revolve

  • Weight: 680 g (1.5 lbs)
  • Battery Life: 12 hours
  • Wireless Range: 9 m (30 ft)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and 3.5 mm auxiliary input

Next up is another from the wireless Bose range, the Soundlink Revolve. This one’s for Bose fans after a travel speaker with longer battery life and bigger sound than the Soundlink Micro.

It takes all of the great stuff that you get from the Micro and dials it up a notch.

The aesthetic design is completely different. It’s a gorgeous-looking piece of kit made from durable aluminium and with a seamless body for true 360° sound.

The slightly conical shape provides you with deep, immersive sound from all angles. It also makes it easy to grab from the top of the speaker.

The Revolve can go astonishingly loud for its relatively small size and has a beautiful overall tone. However, at the very top volumes you may experience some distortion, depending on what you’re playing.

Like the Micro it has speakerphone capabilities. Additionally there’s a special button to access Siri or Google Assistant.

Another cool feature is its universal threaded mount. This allows you to connect it to a tripod and create an elevated speaker to really get the party started.

While it’s not fully water-submersible, the Revolve is water-resistant so still protected against splashes and spills. This means it’s still great to take to the pool or beach and there’s no problem if it gets rained on.

It’s not as rugged as some of the other travel speakers on this list, but it sounds and looks delicious. 

JBL Flip 5

  • Weight: 540 g (1.19 lbs)
  • Battery Life: 12 hours
  • Wireless Range: 30 m (100 ft)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and 3.5 mm auxiliary input

JBL has developed a reputation for building awesome bluetooth speakers that far outperform their price point. The JBL Flip 5 continues that tradition, packing a huge punch for the price.

Its slick, cylindrical design is relatively similar to the UE Boom 3 with rubber end caps and a similarly tough material cover.

And like the UE Boom3, it’s extremely durable. Fully waterproof, and resistant to knocks and bangs, it’s perfect for standing up to the day-to-day challenges of travelling.

The JBL Flip 5 also sounds fantastic, particularly if you’re into bass-heavy music. The bass is bone-rattlingly booming, without compromising the overall sound.

It uses USB-C quick charge capability meaning it takes less time to fill the battery. You can charge up and get back on the road even faster.

This is a great all-round travel speaker at a very fair price. 

Anker Soundcore Flare

  • Weight: 530 g (1.17 lbs)
  • Battery Life: 12 hours
  • Wireless Range: 9 m (30 ft)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and 3.5 mm auxiliary input

If you’re looking for a low-cost travel speaker that still combines many of the features of the top-range models in this category, consider the Anker Soundcore Flare.

It looks a bit like the Bose Soundcore Revolve with its conical shape. But rather than being made from aluminium, it’s got the durable fabric covering of the UE Boom 3. 

Like the best travel speakers, the Soundcore Flare is also completely waterproof and extremely durable.

Anker have also added an LED lightshow feature. While for some this might seem a bit unnecessary from a speaker, there’s no denying it’s great in a party setting.

The lights have various different modes to suit your mood, but can also be turned off completely. This saves battery and will obviously be more appropriate for certain settings.

The Souncore Flare makes a surprisingly impressive noise for the price point, providing well balanced 360° overall.

While it doesn’t quite compare to the more expensive models in this department, you can’t complain for the price. And unless you’re a stickler, you probably won’t be disappointed.

That is unless you plan on really banging out the beats. Because while this small travel speaker is good at lower volumes, it’s a different matter when you crank it up.

It can start to sound a bit harsh when you dial it up. And even with Anker’s advertised Bass Up tech, it lacks real resonance and bite in the lower ranges.

For your average user, this is going to be a perfectly decent travel bluetooth speaker. 

OontZ Angle 3

  • Weight: 283 g (0.62 lbs)
  • Battery Life: 14 hours
  • Wireless Range: 30 m (100 ft)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and 3.5 mm auxiliary input

For a pretty premium travel speaker on a pauper’s budget, take a look at the OontZ Angle 3. While it’s not mind-blowing, it ticks a lot of the boxes without breaking the bank. 

I’ll say right off the bat, for this price, you can’t expect it to perform like the very best travel speakers on this list.

Despite that, if you’re searching for a cheap and cheerful small travel speaker, this won’t be far off.

So first the good stuff. It’s a small travel speaker. I mean, really small and far more portable than most on this list.

It weighs hardly anything and could fit in your back pocket making it super-easy to carry around anywhere.

It’s hard-wearing, water resistant and dustproof, perfect for taking on trips. The materials are solid and it’s protected by rubber end caps.

It’s also got hands free capability, a rarity in a bluetooth speaker of this size and price.

So the bad? Well while it’s reasonably loud for its size, it doesn’t project amazingly in outside spaces. If you’re down at the beach, for example, you’re gonna need to crank it up.

On the plus side, unlike most cheaper speakers, there’s no distortion at top volumes. 

On the face of it this should solve the issue. But bear in mind playing at high volume reduces the battery faster.

Having said that, the battery life is excellent, so the negatives are counteracted overall by the positives!

The OontZ Angle 3 probably isn’t suitable if you’re partying and blasting the tunes. But if you’re looking for a low-priced speaker that’s suitable to take on your travels, you could do far worse.

Tribit StormBox

  • Weight: 498.9 g (1.1 lbs)
  • Battery Life: 20 hours
  • Wireless Range: 20.1 m (66 ft)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and 3.5 mm auxiliary input

I don’t think it would be unfair to say that the Tribit StormBox looks like it’s been directly modeled on the JBL Flip 5.

Its shape and design is strikingly similar, down to the little wave in the rubber end plates. But let’s not pretend that’s a bad thing, because the Flip 5 is a sweet piece of kit.

Unlike the Flip 5, this travel speaker isn’t equipped with a big booming bass. In fact, that lack of deep resonance is probably the most disappointing thing about the StormBox. Especially when they specifically emphasise its XBass Technology.

Despite this, the overall sound is actually really crisp and balanced. So unless you’re a bass freak, you shouldn’t be too worried.

The StormBox is also waterproof and highly durable, perfect for taking on your travels. 

One of this travel speaker’s best features is the extremely long battery life. Lasting up to 20 hours, it will make the party last all day and all night.

Given its relatively low price point, it’s a remarkably well put together piece of kit. 

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