In the history of audio, few products have evolved as quickly or dramatically as portable speakers. The quality of the Bluetooth signal has significantly improved sound quality. Today audiophiles and professionals – like me – can recommend Bluetooth speakers rather than a radio or stereo system, depending on how you consume your music.
And the way we all listen to music has changed a lot since the advent of smartphones: we are much more mobile, we listen to our music in streaming or on YouTube, from our smartphone, our iPods and who remembers the CDs I ask you?
With all these changes, the classic speaker is out of the way, and wireless is much better suited to our needs. Why buy a hi-fi system if you prefer to listen to music outdoors, with you in your room, or if you want to sound a small party at home without ruining yourself on speakers? In the first few prices, you can find speakers that will meet all your desires and requirements. And in the higher ranges, the audio quality takes on another dimension and will even impress any Hi-fi enthusiast.
How much power for my Bluetooth speaker?
Unfortunately this data is not always indicated by the manufacturers. Bose, for example, doesn’t indicate it… or the sound level, for that matter.
It should be taken into account that this type of speaker will not allow you to sound a great evening in a room of 80m2 for example. Bluetooth speakers obviously do not produce a sound as powerful as a column speaker or a home cinema. On the other hand, a few people in a 25m2 room for example will! (and a little more for the Harman Kardon model).
How much autonomy for my Bluetooth speaker?
The question of autonomy is a central issue, because this is precisely the purpose of this type of speaker, to be nomadic! The autonomy must be between 10 and 25 hours to avoid having to recharge it every day.
Accuracy: The volume has an impact on the duration of the battery. The more you choose a powerful Bluetooth speaker, the more it will reduce the autonomy.
NFC technology in addition to Bluetooth
NFC (Near Field Communication), is a technology that avoids having to manually pair 2 devices together (a smartphone and a speaker in our case). You just need to put your smartphone about 10cm from the speaker for the pairing to be done automatically.
PowerBank function to charge your smartphone
Some models, such as the JBL Charge 4, allow you to charge your smartphone directly on your Bluetooth speakerphone simply by connecting it via USB cable.
Be careful though, as the battery in your Bluetooth speaker will run out faster.
Pairing of several speakers
This function is increasingly present on Bluetooth speakers. In practice, you can pair several speakers on the same audio source (your smartphone or computer, for example).
The advantage is to be able to play stereo, to increase the overall volume of the place you are sounding, or to cover several rooms in your home at the same time if they are not too far apart. (Practical to sound the living room, the terrace and the kitchen for example with 3 speakers).
Waterproof and shockproof?
Standards nowadays make it possible to make speakers that are solid and durable over time, such as:
- The IPX 5 standard which allows them to resist water projections and to be more resistant to dust.
- The IPX 7 standard allows them to be totally immersed in water (like the JBL Charge 4 for example).
Others are shock resistant, so you can drop them several times without any impact.
Top 2 brands: Bose & JBL
The JBL and Bose brands are currently the two largest players in the portable speaker market. Let’s look at the differences between these two brands:
- Bose exists since 1964 and is based in the United States whose founder is named Amar G Bose. They specialize in high-end sound. Their products have the particularity of recreating a sound with powerful bass but also very balanced in the other frequencies (mid and high frequencies).
- JBL was founded in 1946 by James Bullough Nancing (originally JBL) in the United States. The brand makes mid and high-end speakers with deep bass and accurate sound reproduction. Less expensive than its main competitor, it is the flagship brand for those looking for the best value for money.