We all need to bring our music with us when we travel. The best travel speaker needs to blast out some anthems for an impromptu mini-beach party and provide some volume when you review a YouTube clip on your mobile.
In recent years electronics manufacturers have really upped their game when it comes to portable speakers, and now the market is saturated with top quality devices. While that is great news for choice, it's now harder to choose a pair.
Having great travel speakers can make a big difference to small group holidaysas they help provide the party. But of course everyone’s needs are different, so let’s get some reviewed and look at all of the options that are available.
Probably the first thing that everyone thinks of when it comes to speakers is the actual sound quality. And if you’re looking for a portable device to provide an exceptional listening experience you can’t go wrong with the SoundScience QSB. They certainly aren’t the smallest or the cheapest, but if you don’t want to compromise on sound quality they are they choice for you.
The SoundScience QSB’s are USB-powered, so they have to be plugged into a laptop to work. It’s a bit of a pain that here is no option to switch to batteries and plug them into an mp3 player or iPhone.
This isn’t a problem with the Soundtraveller, which is compatible with music-playing devices and can provide you with up to twelve hours of battery life. As such, Soundtraveller speakers are the perfect option if you’re looking for hours of music running on batteries.
With more and more travellers using iPhones, iPods and even iPads as their primary source of music, it’s not surprising that a large chunk of the market has opened up for speakers specially equipped to work with Apple products.
The Apple website now features a range of wireless speakers suited to the task, still our pick of the bunch is probably the iHome Ip57.
The iHome offers an all-in-one case that can store your iPhone or iPod and even charge it while it’s playing. Obviously it isn’t too versatile, but the sound quality is definitely very good.
Another great option for iPhones and iPods is the Horn Stand. The major difference here is that the Horn Stand doesn’t offer anything in the way of electronic amplification – it increases the volume by magnifying the speaker itself with its clever horn-style design.
Once again, this is limited only to be used with Apple devices, but it’s an excellent option either way.
X-Mini II Capsule
Another key factor that is important in a lot of people’s decisions is the size – after all portable speakers really need to be as portable as possible.
If you’re looking for a tiny speaker but don’t want to give up too much sound quality, you can choose the X-Mini II Capsule or the Altec Lansing speakers. Both are small enough to fit very easily into your luggage, and both supply great sound quality for their size.
One feature that is very important for a travel speaker is the sturdiness.
If you’re going to be carrying it around on in your backpack or bag, it’s probably going to take a bit of knocking around.
So good build quality can make a real difference to you.
The Jawbone Jambox is just about as sturdy as they come, so you can cart it around without ever having to worry that it might get damaged. As a bonus, it has a bold eye-catching design in a number of bright colours.
For travelling it can often help for things to be as simple as possible. With that in mind, wires can be a bit of a nuisance and a great option could be a wireless speaker. If that’s the way you want to go then the Veho 360 could be perfect.
The 360 connects to your device with Bluetooth and plays songs with a decent 2.2watt output. The battery life is four hours from a two-hour charge, and with Bluetooth Class 2 it's got a range of 15 metres.
Ultimately, while all of these speakers are excellent in their own right, they all have pros and cons which you’ll need to decide between. Great portable speakers can turn a good travel experience into an unforgettable one, with a booming soundtrack that you’ll never forget.