- Bluetooth speakers offer the convenience of wireless music playback without the need for heavy equipment or power.
- Unfortunately, Bluetooth speakers have some drawbacks, including lower audio clarity, compatibility issues, and limited battery life.
- Alternative options to consider include outdoor speakers for backyard gatherings, headphones or earbuds for personal use, and soundbars for superior home audio.
Football season is well underway, and it’s time to break out the tailgate equipment. If you’re looking for a way to bring the tunes to the cookout, new Bluetooth speakers are the way to go. They offer enough sound quality to play your jams without needing to haul in heavy equipment or power.
However, is that enough to convince you of the purchase? While Bluetooth speakers are a nice addition to a camping trip, they struggle to offer much else. From poor performance to low battery life and more, you really have to decide if these devices are worth it. This article breaks down all their weaknesses and offers some alternative solutions. Keep reading to learn more.
What Are Bluetooth Speakers Used For?
Imagine you’re hosting a barbecue for your friends at the local park. You want to enhance the gathering with a few of your favorite jams, but you don’t want to carry heavy equipment, cables, and power supplies. New Bluetooth speakers allow you to connect right to your phone without the wires, so you can listen to music anywhere you go.
Whether it’s a tailgate for your favorite football team, a quiet camping trip down by the lake, or even just a study session with ambient noise, a Bluetooth speaker makes it easy to bring your music anywhere. They’re also lightweight and durable, so you can throw them in a backpack and bring them along. And because they connect seamlessly to your phone, you can use them to stream more than just music; you can enhance phone calls, movies, and digital assistants with the touch of a button.
However, the latest technology in audio comes with several disadvantages. So unless you truly need sound anywhere you go, it might be wise to avoid new Bluetooth speakers. Let’s take a look at why.
5 Reasons to Avoid New Bluetooth Speakers
Your wireless device might have the capacity to go with you anywhere you want to listen, but it definitely has its flaws. All that portability comes at the cost of audio clarity, compatibility, and durability. And for the speakers to work at a suitable quality, you can expect an investment. Here are five of the top reasons to avoid new Bluetooth speakers this season.
Lower Audio Clarity
There’s no debate here: wired audio systems have better sound quality than wireless ones. As soon as you remove the cable, you limit the bandwidth at which your music data travels. To transfer your audio, Bluetooth needs to compress the file, which can flatten sound in some cases.
However, some files transfer more smoothly than others. For example, if you’re playing an MP3 and your phone and Bluetooth speaker are both designed for that file type, it won’t come through compressed. Of course, checking that both devices work with every audio piece you want to play can prove tedious, so be prepared for diminished sound from time to time.
As technology develops, older models become obsolete. This isn’t an issue if you’re buying a Bluetooth speaker for the first time, but if you’re hoping to sync multiple devices, you may run into compatibility issues.
On the same line, if you purchase new Bluetooth speakers, you may need to check if your phone works with it. For example, some audio devices that run on Bluetooth 5.0 won’t connect with phones running on 4.0. So if you still have the Samsung Galaxy S7 or iPhone 9, it’s time to upgrade.
When it comes to new Bluetooth speakers, you’re inevitably finding yourself at a compromise: cost or quality. You can spend as little as $50 for Sony’s SRS-XB100, but you’ll find the company showcasing its size, durability, and fun colors before its music propensity.
- Battery: 16hrs
- Rated IP67
- Features a processor for sound diffusion
- Includes a free strap for versatility
And sure, you may find one for $100, but these models aren’t doing anything spectacular. If you want a new Bluetooth speaker that can keep up with what music can do in 2023, prepare to spend no less than $250 for something like the Sonos Era 100.
- Supports Sons' Trueplay app
- Features a fast processor, next-gen tweeter architecture, and a large midwoofer for amazing sound
- Elegant speaker design fits your space
- Easy setup
Whenever anything comes off the cord, you can only expect to use it for a limited time before it needs charging. Everyone is familiar with a nearly dead phone when they forgot to put it on the charger overnight. And the same can be said for Bluetooth speakers.
For example, the JBL Charge 5 boasts a massive, 20-hour battery life. However, that actually markets the capacity when played at low volumes. Well, what if you want to bump to Griz with your friends and you expect your device to last all night? That’s a sure way to kill the vibe.
Not Totally Waterproof
Many new Bluetooth speakers feature an IP rating that labels them as waterproof. You may think you could set your device in the rain and keep the party going, but that’s not totally true.
Generally speaking, an IP67 rating (the rating that many top-tier speakers feature) protects them from immersion in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. However, if the device goes any deeper or for longer, it could get damaged. So if your speaker gets wet, it’s probably a good idea to let it dry off.
Alternatives to Bluetooth Speakers
Bluetooth speakers are great when you need audio on the go, but if quality or reliability are your main objectives, you might consider a different type of device. Let’s take a look at your options.
Are you trying to host get-togethers in your backyard and want an audio system that can enhance the party? Outdoor speakers make a great alternative for providing enough quality to cut through outside noise while being built enough to withstand extreme weather. While they’re typically much bigger and require a wire, they’re worth the investment if you’re looking for something a little more permanent.
- True 360 sound
- IP67 rating (dustproof and waterproof)
- The anodized aluminum shell is built for adventure
- Up to 27 hours of playtime
- Stereo pairing
Headphones or Earbuds
If you’re bringing music into public spaces such as the library or the coffee shop, a Bluetooth speaker isn’t appropriate. Consider looking at the latest earbuds, such as the Beats Studio Buds. With a long-lasting battery, USB-C capability, and noise cancellation, you’ll have surround sound quality in a package that fits in your pocket.
For superior audio at home, soundbars offer an untouchable experience. They have several drivers that boost the performance, bringing you immersion that you won’t get out of a Bluetooth speaker. And with a simple, single wire, audio transfer is a breeze. Not to mention, you can add a soundbar to your home entertainment system for an affordable price.
- Features Dolby Atmos
- Enhanced Trueplay tuning technology
- Support for AirPlay 2 as well as many favorite music streaming services
- Blends in beautiful underneath a TV
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Nor Gal/Shutterstock.com.