A home without music is unfathomable. Ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, wrote, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” He was on the money.

The days of having to invest heavily in a quality sound system are, thankfully, long gone. Portable speakers are an affordable option that work well within the home, or outside. Better performing battery life means longer playtime and with many now offering a ‘smart’ component, you can get a weather check or cue up the next track simply with your voice. The good news is you can kick off your first house party with change from 100 bucks!

What should I look for?
Think about where the speaker will be used. Will it be solely deployed in the home or outside, too? If it’s the latter, you’ll want to opt for a speaker that is at the very least splash-proof (preferably water-proof) and dust-proof. However, the most important factor, just like our phones, is battery life – no one wants a flat speaker just as the party in the park is kicking up a gear, so aim for one with the longest battery life possible.

Should I opt for a smart speaker?
There are many reasons why it’s worth paying a little more for a smart speaker. Not only do you have a voice assistant on hand to tell you what is the best Beatles’ album (and then playing it) or who won the Battle of Hastings, you’re essentially future-proofing your home if you intend to invest in smart lighting or security down the track.

Ultimate Ears Boom 3
It’s hard to fault Ultimate Ears speakers – the company consistently produces excellent portable speakers, and that’s the case with Boom 3. Great sound for the price point, the speaker is fully waterproof – you can even lob it in the pool.

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

JBL Link Music Smart Bluetooth Speaker
Another small speaker with considerable bass clout for its size; the bonus here is you get smart functionality, too, with Google Voice Assistant on hand to respond to your questions or music requests.

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

STACK’s guide to the best speakers for gaming.

Sony SRS-XB12 Extra Bass
Don’t let its diminutive dimensions fool you – the pint-sized SRS-XB12 packs a powerful punch with deep pounding lows that will keep bass heads happy. A generous 16 hours of battery life is long enough for any get together, with the added bonus of waterproofing.

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

 

Google Nest Audio
Another little stunner, the Google Nest Audio combines the functionality of a quality speaker (even better when you pair two of them together) with that of Google Assistant. If you already have Nest speakers you can chain them all together.

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi