- Portable Bluetooth speakers are a convenient way to play music while on the go.
- The volume limits are much lower than in a wired surround sound system.
- Connectivity problems make it hard to link up from a distance.
- They have limited customizability compared to a wired sound system.
On the hunt for a new portable Bluetooth speaker? You might want to hold off on checking out for a second. Before you make your purchase, you need to consider all the potential drawbacks of a new potable Bluetooth speaker first. While these products offer convenient wireless music playback on the go, there are five major reasons to avoid a new portable Bluetooth speaker today. Let’s explore each one of these reasons below.
5 Must-Know Facts About Portable Bluetooth Speakers
- Portable speakers use Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly to your audio devices, such as smartphones or laptops. The technology works similarly to radio, operating between 2.402GHz and 2.48GHz. Alternatively, some use Wi-Fi to connect to devices.
- Modern portable Bluetooth speakers come in a variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from compact and pocket-sized to larger, heavier models carried by a handle.
- Most portable Bluetooth speakers have built-in rechargeable batteries, eliminating the need to rely on power outlets. Users can charge them up via USB and enjoy hours of music playback on the go.
- Bluetooth speakers are designed to be lightweight and easy to carry, making them perfect companions for outdoor activities, picnics, beach trips, or even just moving around your home.
- Modern portable Bluetooth speakers often come with waterproof or water-resistant designs, built-in microphones for hands-free calling, and compatibility with voice assistants like Siri or Google Assistant. Some models even allow you to pair multiple speakers together for a surround sound experience.
Most Popular Portable Bluetooth Speakers
- $134.00Buy Now on Amazon
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Compatible with Apple AirPlay 2, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant
- Waterproof, lightweight, and durable
- Automatic Trueplay tuning
- Up to 10 hours of playtime
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- $309.99Buy on Amazon
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
- Up to 11 hours of battery life
- Automatic Trueplay balances sound depending on the environment and content
- IP56 rated for resistance to humidity, rain, snow, dust, salt spray, UV rays, and extreme temperatures
- Built-in Alexa
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- $119.95Buy Now on Amazon
- Features a long excursion driver, separate tweeter, and dual JBL bass radiators
- Up to 20 hours of playtime
- IP67 waterproof and dust-proof rating
- PartyBoost feature
- Built-in power bank
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The History of Portable Bluetooth Speakers
What would a pool party, a family barbecue, or a backyard hangout be without a portable Bluetooth speaker? We depend on these devices as a convenient way to enjoy music on the go. But, of course, these portable Bluetooth speakers wouldn’t be here without the invention of Bluetooth technology more than 30 years ago.
At its core, Bluetooth technology is essentially communication via short-link radio. It originated in 1989, enabling devices to exchange information over short distances. At the time, this was limited to hands-free headsets. But, it didn’t take long for researchers and developers to learn just how many other possible uses there were for the technology.
One of the most significant inventions to come out of the Bluetooth boom? Wireless portable speakers that could connect to laptops and MP3 players without cords. The first models started hitting shelves in the mid-2000s. A company named Soundmatters led the charge, with their product foxL holding the distinction of being the first portable Bluetooth speaker on the market.
These early models were relatively small and relied on battery power. However, they faced some serious limitations. They were often quite bulky, had extremely limited battery life, and only offered average sound quality. But, as technology progressed into the ‘10s, so did portable Bluetooth speaker technology. Companies such as JBL, Bose, and Sony started focusing on improving designs.
By the mid-2010s, portable Bluetooth speakers had become more compact, more lightweight, and more aesthetically pleasing than ever before. Today, portable Bluetooth speakers come in various shapes, sizes, and styles with improved battery life and sound quality. Yet, there are still many reasons to avoid a new portable Bluetooth speaker today.
Why Avoid a New Portable Bluetooth Speaker?
There’s no denying Bluetooth speakers make it easy to play your music loudly and proudly. But, despite their obvious appeal, you might want to think twice before investing in a new portable Bluetooth speaker. From sound issues to battery life, volume levels to connection limits, these five reasons make a strong argument to avoid a new portable Bluetooth speaker today. Let’s examine these five reasons one at a time below.
Poor Sound Quality
Sure, portable Bluetooth speakers are more convenient than a full-fledged surround sound system. And yes, the sound quality of these wireless speakers has come a long way over the years too. Unfortunately, the quality of sound from a portable Bluetooth speaker will always pale in comparison to the sound from a wired speaker. This is because Bluetooth is inherently less strong than speaker cables or HDMI cords. Simply put, portable Bluetooth speakers lack the richness and clarity found in wired speakers.
Short Battery Life
There’s no denying some high-end portable Bluetooth speakers offer great battery life. Some models provide up to 20 hours or more on a single charge, ensuring a fully charged speaker won’t quit in the middle of the party. (Unless you forgot to charge it the night before, that is.) No matter how long the battery life on your portable Bluetooth speaker may be, it’s always going to seem short compared to the limitless power of a wired speaker. This issue of battery life remains one of the most glaring reasons to avoid a new portable Bluetooth speaker.
Limited Volume Levels
Some portable Bluetooth speakers can get pretty loud, especially for their size. Plus, those with the ability to link multiple Bluetooth speakers together can enjoy even louder sound output. However, no portable Bluetooth speaker setup can match the true volume output of larger, more powerful wired speakers or sound systems. If you want that booming, room-filling sound that rattles your windows and doors, you might want to avoid a new portable Bluetooth speaker. Even the best, most expensive ones can’t deliver such volumes.
Although Bluetooth technology is widely used and highly trusted by all the major tech brands, its connectivity does have some serious limitations. Typically, Bluetooth speakers offer a range of just 30 feet or less. Certain obstacles, such as walls or furniture, can reduce that range to an even shorter limit. Not to mention, multiple devices competing for the same Bluetooth connections can lead to even greater interference. These limitations are enough to consider avoiding a new portable Bluetooth speaker today.
Lack of Customization
To stay lightweight and portable, Bluetooth speakers have to sacrifice a lot of advanced features you’d otherwise find with a wired speaker setup. This includes even the most basic equalization and sound customization features. Portable Bluetooth speakers tend to come with a basic range of pre-set sound options, but most forbid you from customizing your sound beyond that. If you like to fine-tune your audio output with precise equalizer settings and adjustments, then you might want to avoid a new portable Bluetooth speaker today.
In Review: Reasons to Avoid a New Portable Bluetooth Speaker
At the end of the day, these five reasons to avoid a new portable Bluetooth speaker may outweigh the reasons to buy one in the first place. Inferior sound, limited battery life, low volumes, short range, lack of customization… the list goes on. Considering these factors, it’s clear you need to weigh your decision carefully before investing in a new portable Bluetooth speaker today. Let’s review these downsides below.
- Portable Bluetooth speakers have worse sound than a wired speaker system
- Battery must be charged for portable Bluetooth speaker to work
- Volume limits are much lower than in a wired surround sound system
- Connectivity problems make it hard to link up from a distance
- Limited customizability compared to a wired sound system
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