What you need to know about mini Bluetooth speakers
Mini bluetooth speakers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
But they all share one thing in common they're small and some are really small.
Hi I'm David Carnoy for cnet.com and here are a few things to consider before buying one of these speakers.
Start by thinking about how portable you want the speaker to be versus how good you want it to sound.
People email me saying, hey David, I'm looking for the smallest, loudest playing speaker that has a lot of base.
The only problem is such a speaker doesn't exist.
Small speakers just can't output a ton of base, and most is stored at higher volumes.
So if you go really small, expect to sacrifice sound quality, though a lot of these little speakers play louder than you'd expect.
The idea is to get one that can play pretty loud, but doesn't distort, or at least doesn't distort badly and has fairly natural sound.
If you plan on using the speaker outdoors a lot, it's a good idea to get one that's water-resistant, or even water proof.
They tend to be more durable.
It's also nice if the speaker has an integrated accessory, like a clip, carabiner, or loop that lets you hang the speaker or attach it to your backpack or belt when you're not using it.
If you don't mind a more generic looking design, Amazon has got plenty of budget options from no name companies.
Some are perfectly good for the price, but others sound comparatively mediocre, and also may not hold up well over time.
Battery life is important in a tiny speaker.
You wanna get at least 6, and ideally 8, hours of playback time.
Anything that's rated at 15 hours or better is very good.
Standard range for Bluetooth is 33 feet or ten meters, but some speakers offer extended range of up to 30 meters or a hundred feet, which can come in handy, particularly outdoors.
Many of the latest wireless speakers are equipped with Bluetooth versions 4.1 or 4.2.
Bluetooth 3.0 speakers work fine, but each successive version of Bluetooth brings small upgrades.
Bluetooth 5.0, which is supposed to offer improved range and bandwidth, is not far off and we should see speakers that use it in early 2017.
Certain speakers allow you to wirelessly link two speakers together to make a stereo player or daisy chain several speakers together to cover a larger area with sound.
And I personally like a speaker that has a firmware upgrade option which allows its manufacturer to add features and sometimes improve the sound.
Some bluetooth speakers have a speaker phone function which simply means a microphone is built-in to the speakers.
You could take calls through the speaker It's a nice bonus feature but not necessarily a must have.
I personally wouldn't pay more than about $40 for a really tiny BlueTooth speaker and I think there's plenty of good stuff in the $50 to $100 range, particularly as products get discounted after being on the The market for awhile.
Premium miles cost around $200 which is a lot to pay for a little speaker, but if the design, sound and performance are clearly a step up it can be worth the investment.
And that's the mini BlueTooth speaker category Category in a nutshell.
To get the skinny on specific products, read our text reviews and go to our top products list to see what the highest rated products are.
I'm David Carnoy.
Thanks for watching.