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CNET Top 5: Portable Bluetooth speakers
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CNET Top 5: Portable Bluetooth speakers

3:37 /

Looking for a completely wireless speaker that sounds great and can go anywhere? Here are your five best options.

When you�re shopping for a great wireless speaker that can work with your phone or tablet, don�t forget about the most annoying wire of all -- the power cord. Rechargeable Bluetooth speakers can be a great, flexible option that you can take with you around your house, out in the yard, or bring on vacation. I�m Donald Bell, and on today�s Top 5, I�ll be counting down the best options in portable Bluetooth speakers, ranked by CNET Editors David Carnoy and Matt Moskovciak. Starting things off at #5: the JBL Flip. Very affordable at $99. It�s compact but delivers good sound. You can also use it as a speakerphone, which is a surprisingly rare feature. You have to recharge it with an AC adapter instead of a USB cable, which is a bummer. Also, the carrying case makes this thing look a little scandalous... Try not blushing during that baggage check. Or, you could man-up to #4: the JBL Charge. For just $50 more you get bigger speakers, bigger sound, double the battery life, and a USB port for using that battery life to charge other stuff. No speakerphone on this one, but do you really want a phone call interrupting your Motorhead marathon? Seriously, for $150, the JBL Charge packs a mean punch and is cheap enough to throw in the back of the truck without having a heart attack. Coming in at #3: the Logitech UE Boombox. The UE stands for Ultimate Ears, a company Logitech acquired a few years back and now serves as their Premium Audio brand. This guy takes you up another $50 to around $250, but once again we�ve doubled the number speakers. You get 8 drivers on this thing, and it is frickin� loud, with some respectable low end. 6 hour battery life, though no USB charging. Also, no speakerphone -- this one�s strictly for blasting jamz and looking cool, sorta. But the ultimate Bluetooth statement comes in at #2: the Jawbone Big Jambox. This one�s also $250, but you get a Jawbone quality speakerphone, and the pride in owning something crafted by design superstar Yves Behar. Of course, no amount of star power can make up for the fact that this thing is about as portable as a brick. It�s pretty, but not exactly the kind of thing you bring out to a bar-b-q. Speaking of which, before we get to our #1 portable Bluetooth speaker, let�s take a minute to acknowledge the kind of small, affordable, rugged speaker that would be perfect for a Bar-B-Q. Our top pick for under $50 is the Philips SoundShooter. Looks like a grenade because it�s sound is da� bomb! Actually, it�s just ok, but at $50 it�s a great value, works as a speakerphone, charges over USB, and doesn�t look like a dildo. You�re welcome. But if you want the absolute best when it comes to portable Bluetooth audio, look no further than #1: the Bose SoundLink Mobile Speaker II. The best sound quality of the bunch and I would argue the most portable design. It�s easy to grip, and it has a built in magnetic cover that folds back into a stand. The look is a little too buttoned up for my taste, but it�s an extremely practical design. What�s not practical is the price: $300, unless you can find it on sale -- which you won�t. It�s Bose. So there you go, 5 speakers, plus one to grow on -- all perfect for taking around the house or on your next vacation. But for even more Bluetooth speaker recommendations, head over to our complete listing of over 15 excellent options over on CNET.com Until next time, I�m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.
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