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I was a huge gushing fan of the Bose Soundlink Mini when I reviewed it this summer, calling it the “Best Sounding portable Bluetooth speaker ever”. For $199 you’d get bookshelf type of power and clarity with 6 hour battery in a portable package that you could throw in a coat pocket, bag, or purse.

This week, Bose started shipping a bigger version, the $299 Soundlink 3 which is officially the successor to the Soundlink 2 but it grabs a lot more technology, features and appearance from the very successful Mini.  The big bro ‘III’ boasts an impressive 14-hour battery, 6 Bluetooth device memory, and doubles the Mini with four drivers and two passive radiators. In the process it doubles in size to a 3-pound package that isn’t nearly as portable as the Mini at 5 inches high, 10 inches wide, and 2 inches deep.

But does that $100 and double size give you appreciably better sound?

The short answer is yes. This has a better sound and volume than the Soundlink Mini, giving it the title of ‘Best Sounding Portable Bluetooth Speaker’ in my book. How much better the sound is, however, is debatable. Bose tends to artificially boost the bass in music and doesn’t quite compensate in the midrange areas (highs are good). For most stuff this sounds great but people can argue forever on their respective tastes. I found it also sounded much better in front of the wall so that the bass bounced off the back of the speaker into the room.

The Soundlink Mini gets really loud and easily fills a normal room with deep, clean music and is plenty loud for a small group of people to listen to outside on a bike, at a park, or on the beach. The Soundlink III goes one step further, filling a large room and possibly annoying the neighbors in the process.

The buttons and lights work mostly the same as the Mini and are relatively straightforward. On one side, you have volume and mute buttons. On the other, you have power, Bluetooth and AUX buttons.  These are real buttons with a deep push, not capacitative like cheaper products.

The product overall is solid. The speaker feels substantial because of the heavy magnets in those speakers inside and it has a polished metal grill on the outside that will go well with aluminum and stainless steel Apple products.

On the back you get a proprietary AC power adapter, a micro USB service entrance, and an AUX-in port for non-Bluetooth connectivity, again, very similar to the Mini. On the bottom you’ll see two brass prongs which seem to indicate a future dock connector but as of this writing none has been announced.

As I said in the Mini review, charging via Micro USB would have been much preferred, as dragging around the power adapter can be a … drag. Luckily, you don’t really need to charge this one that often…

Bose says you can get 14 hours of playback from a single charge. To test this, I listened to the Soundlink III for a few hours each day for a full week during a 9-day ski vacation on which I didn’t bring the charger. True to form, the Soundlink died on the 7th day – well on its way through 14 hours. A battery indicator is on the front but it doesn’t convey much information – compare to the Logitech App that comes with its UE Boom line that tells you exactly how much battery you have left.

The pictures I took above are with the $35 accessory covers which are available separately for $34.95 each. They add some personality and protection, but not much else. You can probably pass on these.

This is what it looks like ‘naked’:

Bottom Line:

This is the best-sounding portable Bluetooth speaker I’ve heard but it isn’t appreciably better than the $100 cheaper Soundlink Mini and it is significantly less portable. Moreover, Bose didn’t fix any of the gripes I had with the Soundlink Mini:

It still has a proprietary AC charger to lug around rather than using micro-USB (or better yet, accepting both)

It still turns completely off after a few minutes of non-use and requires turning it back on rather than re-pairing automatically

Bluetooth 4/LE would improve distance, power usage and sound quality. Bose needs to get there.

There is no mic and you can’t use this as a speakerphone

No app to measure battery or pair multiple speakers like Ultimate Ears

For most people, I’d still recommend the $199 Soundlink Mini. It sounds as good 95% of the time and it is cheaper and smaller. For me, I almost never needed the extra volume or battery life that the Soundlink III included. Still, I know some will appreciate those features.

For those who don’t like the downsides above, check out the Ultimate Ears Boom and Mini Boom which offer sound almost as good as Bose but add Micro USB charging, the ability to use it as a speakerphone, and better pairing/app/experience. For a full review of the portable Bluetooth Speaker landscape check out our mega-review. 



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Tronsmart Mega Pro Portable Speaker Review

There are tons of Bluetooth speakers out there, making it difficult to review one and try to differentiate it from the rest. I had a chance to try out the Tronsmart Mega Pro portable speaker, and it didn’t disappoint.

Looks and Feel

When I took the speaker out of the box, the very first impression was that it is very heavy. Being a portable speaker, I would expect it to be something small and light. Weighing at 1780g and with a size of 250 x 82 x 104mm, it is not considered light, small and portable to me. I would think twice before I put it in my bag to bring it with me.

At the top of the speaker is the touch control. The buttons, ordered from left to right, are “Voice assistant,” “Mode,” “TWS stereo,” “Equalizer,” “Previous Track,” “Playing,” “Next Track” and “NFC.” Right below the buttons is a Volume slider.

At the back are the various ports and the Power button. There is an AUX input, USB-A, USB-C ports and a TF/SD card slot for playing music from a card.

What I really like is the rubberized bottom. You can just place it on the table with little chance of knocking it down or moving it accidentally.


ModelTronsmart Mega ProBluetooth5.0Bluetooth ProfileA2DP V1.3, ACRCP V1.4, HFP V1.6Bluetooth transmissionUp to 20m / 66ft (open area)Li-Battery Capability10400mAhWaterproofIPX5Power SupplyDC 5V/3A, via Type-C portFrequency Range20Hz – 20000HzBatteryBuilt-in lithium battery, 10400mAhPlaytimeUp to 10 hours (on a 50% volume)Talk timeUp to 20 hours (on a 70% volume)StandbyAbout 24 monthsCharging time4 hoursDimensions9.84 x 3.23 x 4.09 inches / 250 x 82 x 104mmWeight1780g / 62.78 oz


To say that this is just a normal Bluetooth speaker is an understatement. Despite how it looks, it packed more punches than any other Bluetooth speaker.

First of all, it packs a 60W woofer and 2 side tweeters with 1 passive bass radiator and 2 amplifiers in the speaker, which ensure that it can deliver good bass and output.

It also comes with three modes of Equalizer effects. The default is Deep Bass. Pressing the EQ button once will activate 3D bass (green light) and pressing it twice will activate the Vocal bass (blue light).

The huge battery pack (10400mAh) within ensures that it can last a long time (up to 10 hours) before you need a recharge. It can also be used as a power bank to charge your mobile phone.

Its IPX5 rating allows some water to be splashed on it, but don’t bring it into the pool.

The Tronsmart Mega Pro also supports Siri, Google Assistant and Cortana, though it only supports answer and end call function.


Getting it to work is very easy. Simply power it on and pair it with your device. The pairing is fast and effortless. If your phone comes with an NFC feature, you can easily pair the speaker with the phone and NFC, too.

When playing music on it, the volume slider doesn’t work as well as it should. There seems to be a maximum limit, and I can’t make it any louder beyond a certain level. On the other hand, if I control the volume from the device, the volume can get really loud. With a sound meter, it recorded a 86dB at its maximum volume, which is considered really loud. Even at 50 percent volume, it consistently hovered at 60 – 70db.

The bass effect of the speaker is really good. The Equalizer setting makes quite a big difference to the music being played. When playing Santorini by Yanni, I found that the 3D bass gives the best sound effect. For a movie, the Vocal bass gives the best sound effect.

The ability to charge your phone is a bonus. While there is no quick-charging option, I am still able to charge my phone from 30% to 100% in two hours.

If you have two of these speakers, you can pair them up with the TWS stereo mode and use them as a pair of stereo speakers. With both speakers in close proximity and powered on, press the TWS button on one of them, and it will pair with the other speaker. The active speaker will have a flashing light on the TWS button.

Wrapping Up

Other than it being a portable speaker, this is a really great speaker. Be it the specifications or performance, both are impressive. If you love heavy bass to your music, you will like this speaker.

The Tronsmart Mega Pro speaker is priced at $89.99 and is available for purchase from Aliexpress, Geekbuying, and Amazon.


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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The Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers Of 2023, Tested And Reviewed

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Written By Carsen Joenk

Updated Apr 23, 2023 8:09 AM

Let’s face it: Your phone’s built-in sound sucks, so you need a portable Bluetooth speaker. Sure, everything is relative, and those phone speakers are amazing compared to what, say, a 2005 flip phone sounded like. But do we really want to justify our tech based on when people published think-pieces on how texting was the new hotness? No, we do not. So while we can admit you can hear musical cues right out of your pocket, if you want to feel the actual emotional resonance that makes the music special, the speakers on even the best smartphone, the best tablet, the best laptop … ultimately suck. But the best portable Bluetooth speakers do not suck, so we’re ready to help you select the right speaker for any situation.

How we chose the best portable Bluetooth speakers

We test a lot of Bluetooth speakers throughout the year, giving us deep insight into what’s on the marketplace and what’s worth your money. Whether you’re looking for something budget or audiophile, chances are we’ve heard at least one model from whatever brand you’re considering. We combine these experiences with other users’ impressions, then top it all off with extensive research on what you should be looking for: IP rating, frequency range, battery life, Bluetooth range … we’re got you! This lets us find the perfect balance of specs and special features from a fairly dense pool of possibilities.

The best portable Bluetooth speakers: Reviews & Recommendations 

From extreme durability to supreme connectivity, we’ve got you covered when it comes to the best portable Bluetooth speakers. Whether you’re always on the go or simply need something to take to the front porch, these speakers will deliver quality sound without any cables or wires weighing you down. 

Best small: Tribit StormBox Micro 2

Why it made the cut: Doubling as a portable charger, this compact speaker is a budget-friendly way to listen to your favorite tunes wherever the water takes you. 


Battery Life: 12 hours 

Bluetooth Range: up to 120 feet 

IP Rating: IP67



Bluetooth 5.3


Integrated strap


Some distortion at loud volumes 

Limited onboard controls 

Best for outdoors: JBL Charge 5

Why it made the cut: If you’re looking for a lightweight, long-lasting, outdoor speaker with a straightforward setup, enhanced survivability, and a sound as bold as its looks, the JBL Charge 5 won’t disappoint.


Battery Life: 20 hours 

Bluetooth Range: up to 120 feet 

IP Rating: IP67


Great pump: portability ratio

PartyBoost pairing/expandability



More expensive

No auxiliary input

PartyBoost is not compatible with older JBL models

The JBL Charge 5 is the latest and greatest iteration of a mid-sized Bluetooth speaker from JBL, known for its impressive party speakers. It offers 20 hours of battery life at a reasonably compact size. This burrito-shaped JBL speaker weighs just over 2 pounds and measures 8.7 inches by 3.67 inches, which is small enough to stuff in a backpack. It delivers a rich, uncompromising mix with surprisingly impactful bass lines and clear vocals. Available in six colors, the Charge 5 has an IP67 rating, which means you don’t have to worry about sand or spillage ruining your weekend away. PartyBoost mode allows you to pair with another (compatible) JBL speaker to support stereo sound (or up to 100 speakers in mono), and the built-in Powerbank will let you keep your phone charged, so you never need to stop the music. If you don’t need the extra battery life of the JBL Charge 5 and wouldn’t mind spending a little less, check out the JBL Flip 6, which has many of the same features we love in a more compact, beer can-sized frame (check out our JBL Bluetooth party speakers guide for more recommendable options).  

Best waterproof: UE Wonderboom 3 

Why it made the cut: The UE Wonderboom 3 continues to top our charts when it comes to portable, affordable, waterproof sound. 


Battery Life: 14 hours 

Bluetooth Range: 131 feet 

IP Rating: IP67






Bass is a bit lacking

No microphone 

Since being introduced in 2023, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 has been a tried-and-true favorite, one of the best Bluetooth speakers under $100 in any situation, thanks to its durability and sound quality. And the Wonderboom 3 continues that tuneful tradition, offering you an audio orb you can easily take with you—into the woods or the waves, to the beach or the bathtub. It comes in fun two-tone colors with a flexible handle at the top that can easily be attached to a backpack, belt loop, bike basket, or boat. It weighs less than 1 pound and measures just 4-inches tall, so you won’t be slowed down by bulk. The battery lasts a full 14 hours and produces 360-degree sound coverage that can reach up to 87 dBs—pretty impressive for a speaker this size. With an IP67 rating, the UE Wonderboom 3 is waterproof and dust-resistant (making it one of our favorite shower speakers). It also floats, which is one of our favorite features—you won’t need to get out of the water just to skip a track or pause the music when your portable Bluetooth speaker is bobbing alongside you.

Best sounding: Sonos Roam

Why it made the cut: The Sonos Roam easily transfers from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth, it sounds great, and it’s actually easy to carry around.


Battery Life: 10 hours 

Bluetooth & Dual-Band Wi-Fi

IP Rating: IP67


Sonos users can “throw” music to their home system with the push of a button

Trueplay system analyzes space and sound for optimal performance

Small yet loud enough for a 75 x 50-foot backyard

Stereo pairing


Some of the cooler features only matter if you own multiple Sonos speakers 

Limited onboard controls 

The Sonos Roam lets you enjoy music at home or on the go. You can easily connect via Bluetooth anywhere outdoors or use your home Wi-Fi network to sync with additional Sonos speakers (like Roam’s big brother Move, another one of the best waterproof speakers we love). Then you can listen to music, check the weather, and send messages via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri (it’s even compatible with Apple AirPlay 2, so you can have a more robust connection if you have an iPhone). Once paired, this speaker will automatically connect to your phone and Wi-Fi when it’s in range, which means you won’t need to pause your playlist when you get home. It can last for 10 hours on a single charge, which you can replenish wirelessly by dropping it down on any Qi charger. The Roam also has an IP67 rating so you can take it just about anywhere; it changes audio directionality based on vertical versus horizontal placement; and Trueplay tuning means it automatically adapts its EQ whether you’re in the backroom, backyard, or the backwoods.

Best for Android: Sony SRS-XG300

Why it made the cut: Sony’s SRS-XG300 builds upon a strong foundation and delivers exceptional sound—especially if your device supports the LDAC codec.


Battery Life: 25 hours

Bluetooth Range: N/A

IP Rating: IP67


Advanced-resolution codec support

Portability for its size

Loud sound



Sony has never shied away from making high-end audio hardware, and the SRS-XG300 is its latest premium portable Bluetooth speaker. After years of refining internal components, Sony gave its portable speakers a much-needed top-to-bottom redesign. The SRS-XG300 is lot sleeker, with a mesh covering that’s pleasing to the eye, and a handle that makes the relatively big speaker easier to carry. Indeed, carrying it from room to room, or from the car to the beach never felt like a chore. Sony’s focus on building speakers with lights continues here, but they’re no longer a main focal point; LED strips surround the drivers on both sides of this speaker, but they never look garish, plus you can turn them off at the push of a button.

The SRS-XG300 is larger than most of our Bluetooth speaker recommendations, but the extra space comes with a couple of big benefits. This speaker lasts up to 25 hours per charge while delivering far better sound than smaller speakers. This was the best-sounding portable Bluetooth speaker I tested this year, with refined-sounding lows, mids, and treble without any distortion at high volumes. Sibilance and other audio abnormalities were also absent, though this will always come down to the way your music was recorded and mastered.

We can recommend the SRS-XG300 to anyone, but especially Android users whose devices support the LDAC codec. Without getting too into the weeds, devices that support this technology can play high-resolution audio at a bitrate of 990kbps (kilobytes per second), which is approaching full CD quality, which is 1,411kbps. For reference, aptX (a more commonly used audio codec) compresses audio down to a rate of 352kbps. This difference doesn’t matter when you’re streaming music from Spotify, but does if you’re using a device that supports LDAC and listening to high-resolution audio files. All of these features come with a steep price tag, and its most technically impressive feature is limited to folks with a handful of devices, which are reasons why we couldn’t definitively label this the best portable Bluetooth speaker overall. If you care about audio quality, though, there’s no other portable Bluetooth speaker that deserves your consideration.

Best for bass: UE Hyperboom

Why it made the cut: Doubling as a portable charger, this compact speaker is a budget-friendly way to listen to your favorite tunes wherever the water takes you. 


Battery Life: 24 hours 

Bluetooth Range: up to 150 feet 

IP Rating: IPX4


That bass

That range

That battery


13 pounds

You don’t want it to get too wet

On the opposite end of the spectrum from our previous picks, the Hyperboom from Ultimate Ears does the most when it comes to portable speakers meant for big events. While it may not be the smallest model out there, measuring 7.5 inches by 14.3 inches and weighing 13 pounds, it delivers booming bass and crisp playback at high volumes. It comes with multiple connectivity options, including two Bluetooth channels, each with a 150-foot range, one aux port, and one optical input. A full battery can last up to 24 hours, and you can easily switch between four different devices at one time, which means you can say goodbye to that awkward moment when the music stops as you switch to your friend’s party playlist. The adaptive EQ has a built-in microphone that picks up when the Hyperboom is being moved and adjusts the sound to whatever space it’s occupying. The Hyperboom does indeed bring the hype and the boom. But if less is still more, and our Wonderboom 3 pick is just too small, UE makes a range of recommendable portable Bluetooth speakers. (And if you really want to push the sound pressure, consider the JBL PartyBox 110 or even the JBL PartyBox 1000, which is “portable” in the same way a large rolling suitcase is.)

Best budget: Anker Soundcore 3

Why it made the cut: The Soundcore 3 is a well-rounded, budget-friendly Bluetooth speaker with an impressive 24 hours of battery life and the option to boost the bass without distortion. 


Battery Life: 24 hours 

Bluetooth Range: Up to 66 feet

IP Rating: IPX7

Size: 6.9 x 2.4 x 2.2 inches  


Excellent Battery Life 

Sound Quality 

Bass Up technology 

Customizable EQ 


Simplistic design

Voice assistant capability is lacking

The Anker Soundcore 3 comes at a friendly $50 price without sacrificing sound quality. Play up to 480 songs (roughly 24 hours) on one charge supported by dual passive radiators, BassUp technology, and dual drivers with 100-percent titanium diaphragms—delivering extended highs and distortion-free lows, in stereo, no less. Choose from four preset EQ modes and link to other Bluetooth 5.0 Soundcore speakers, using the Soundcore app, for an elevated experience. And, with IPX7 protection, your investment, while not substantial, will survive if you get caught in the rain, etc. Snag it on the Anker website.

Best for control freqs: Marshall Kilburn II

Why it made the cut: With powerful sound in a well-crafted, roadworthy package, this speaker lives up to the Marshall name. 


Battery Life: 20 hours 

Bluetooth Range: up to 30 feet 

IP Rating: IPX2


Kicks out 36 watts of crunchy, punchy sound

Physical treble/bass controls

Classic, stylish look

Auxiliary 3.5mm input

Multi-host functionality for device switching


Transportable, but not the most compact

“Multidimensional” sound means a backward-facing port, not wide stereo

Definitely shouldn’t be out in the rain

Best for party-goers and party-throwers: JBL PartyBox Encore Essential

Why it made the cut: If you’re looking for a compact kick you can transport quick, the JBL PartyBox line of speakers is a lot of flashy fun you can take on the run.


Battery Life: 6 hours

Bluetooth Range: up to 110 feet

IP Rating: IPX4

Size: 10.87 x 12.87 x 11.54 inches, 13 pounds


Punchy sound

LED light ring

Multisource (Bluetooth 5.1, aux cable, mic input)


Bass can muddy mid-range a bit

Not waterproof

While JBL’s Flip and Charge series are perfect for lounging by the pool or enjoying more intimate get-togethers, the PartyBox line offers heftier, but still handy speakers with powerful audio and an entertaining light show for larger gatherings. The newest addition to this trove of celebration-supporting speakers is the PartyBox Encore Essential. Visually an obvious little sibling of the $399 PartyBox 110, this little box with a big personality is the smallest and most affordable option in this bass-reinforced lineup, retailing for $299.95, making it an excellent choice for folks who want low-end they can take on the go. While it’s not the speaker to reach for on a relaxed, jazz-filled evening, the Encore Essential offers a 100W, 100dB, 50Hz-20kHz frequency response—which translates to plenty of bounce to the ounce, making it a crowd favorite during a party. Adding to the fun are a mic input for karaoke (microphone sold separately), as well as six selectable patterns that dictate how the built-in LED light ring and/or strobe move or pulse in time to the music. And if your get-togethers grow, so can your sound—you can pair two Encore Essentials into True Wireless Stereo.

Why it made the cut: A wide, rich sound that’s surprising for a speaker this size delivers a powerful listening experience at a reasonable price. 


Battery Life: 16 hours 

Bluetooth Range: up to 50 feet

IP Rating: IP67

Size: 8.27 x 3.07 x 2.83 inches 


Video mode 

Aux connection available 

Stereo Pairing


Short charging cable 

Only available in black

The UBOOM L from EarFun is a budget-friendly Bluetooth speaker that delivers surprisingly impressive sound. While the texturized black grill, rubber trim, and raised buttons resemble its predecessors and contemporaries (like the Treblab HD77 or JBL Flip 5), its price:performance helps this under-$100 speaker stand out in the crowd. 

Out of the box, the UBOOM L feels durable and intuitively designed. A demure EarFun logo is located at the center, flagged by two rubber cylinders housing passive bass radiators measuring slightly over 2 inches. Tucked behind the grille are two front-facing, 14-watt 55mm drivers; at the back, under a thick rubber flap, is a USB-C charging port and an aux input; then, to top it all off, literally, are six rubber buttons—power, Bluetooth pairing, volume down, play/pause, volume up, and Sound Mode. An LED light above the final button lets you know which mode has been activated: Indoor or Outdoor. Next to the Sound Mode button is a tiny hole that houses a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. At the top of the control panel, you’ll see four white LED lights that indicate battery life, a simple yet often overlooked design feature for many Bluetooth speakers. Four lights mean the battery (which is rated at 16 hours) is more than 75% full, three mean between 75% and 50%, two mean between 50% and 25%, one means there is less than 25% left, and a single flashing light means there is less than 10% of battery life left, so it’s time to charge. 

Like most new speakers, the UBOOM L uses a Bluetooth 5.0 connection, which increases stability and range (up to 30m/100 feet). Pairing is easy and instinctual: simply turn the speaker on, press the Bluetooth button once, and select the speaker on your device’s settings. Pressing and holding the Bluetooth button will allow you to pair two UBOOM L speakers in a True Wireless Stereo pair, creating dedicated left/right channels that can expand the soundfield (and volume) and better serve larger parties. You can also hold down the Sound Mode button for two seconds, once the speakers are connected, to restore each UBOOM L as an individual stereo speaker but keep them connected and synchronized to one streaming device in case you want to share all you’re hearing with someone in another room. 

Pressing the Bluetooth button three times will toggle Video Mode on or off. Video mode supports lower-latency playback with lag reduced to 150ms and is an improved solution for sound when watching movies and TV shows from a laptop or smaller device. When Video Mode is on, a white LED indicator will pop on above the Bluetooth button. We should note that when Video mode is on, the Bluetooth connection range does get shorter, and you cannot use Video Mode during True Wireless Stereo connection. Though using the UBOOM L is generally very easy and efficient, it can be tricky to switch quickly between different Bluetooth settings and Sound modes; we found ourselves referring to the user manual more often than we would like.  

Some users say they wish for more bass, which has some truth to it. The passive radiators don’t support frequencies lower than 65Hz, but we weren’t disappointed with a speaker this size. This low end on this speaker is undoubtedly present and well-defined, just not overwhelming thanks to the tuning and DSP involved. The only way to get truly vibrant sub-bass is with a larger unit; many small speakers disproportionately boost the lows and highs to pack a punch, which can end up distorting the mix. If anything, we appreciate that the UBOOM L knows its limits. Volume-wise, we heard up to 101 decibels, which is certainly enough to keep folks entertained and wake up your neighbors. While we mostly listened inside using Indoor Mode, triggering Outdoor mode boosts volume and bass to help lift your music above environmental noises. The UBOOM L is also rated IP67, which means if you use Outdoor mode in an appropriate al fresco setting, it is protected from dust, dirt, and liquids—it will even float if dropped in water, though we don’t recommend that if you want to preserve the sound quality.

Things to consider when searching for the best portable Bluetooth speakers

Choosing the best Bluetooth speaker for you can be a bit of a challenge; with all the options out there, it’s easy to spend hours scrolling. So, whether you want to blast a soundtrack for motivation or relaxation, we want to help jumpstart your journey. Before diving headfirst into the ever-expanding speaker market, consider size, durability, connectivity, battery life, volume, and cost. A truly great portable Bluetooth speaker will be able to fit your lifestyle and budget without sacrificing audio quality. 

How much weight do you want to carry around?

While most wireless speakers are designed to be used on the go, that doesn’t mean they’re all ultraportable. There are many shapes, sizes, and weight options to choose from, so take some time to consider where and when you’ll want to jam out the most. If you’re merely traveling to the backyard or nearby park to listen, you can probably stand to stuff a larger speaker in a bag, or sling it over your shoulder. The same goes for road trips, car-camping, full-on van life, or beach vacations. You can get great sound, long-lasting batteries, and thumping bass from a speaker that starts at roughly the same size and weight as a water bottle. 

However, if you need something to help you push through that last mile on a bike path or hiking trail, you’ll want a smaller speaker that can easily attach to handlebars or a backpack. Luckily, several portable speakers weigh under 1 pound, the lightest of which comes in at 0.019 pounds. 

You don’t need to settle for boxy sound when you crave aural ecstasy 

One common criticism of portable Bluetooth speakers is a lack of low-end support and distortion at high volumes (if you want some science as to the why, here are our primers on what makes up a speaker and how soundwaves work). While it’s true that portable systems can have trouble with handling sub-bass and high-decibel demands, there are a few models out there that are a cut above the rest.

Do you always forget your USB cables? 

Few things are more annoying than getting to your destination, cueing up your favorite playlist, only to see the dreaded low-battery LED flash demandingly. Luckily, the best portable Bluetooth speakers have long-lasting batteries. Speakers that boast batteries that can last between 10 and 20 hours are now more the norm than the exception. If you are going on a remote trip where charging isn’t an option and music is a necessity (I mean, when isn’t it), extended battery life is more important. We’re happy to report that these long-lasting batteries don’t mean large, bulky speakers—you can find reliable units at just about any size.

Safely take your Bluetooth speaker to the beach 

We have all been subjected to the terror that takes over when you accidentally spill your drink on a device, sending you scurrying for a bowl of rice and praying to the tech gods that your electronics survive. Luckily you can avoid all that fear and even embrace a little liquid with the best waterproof speakers. These durable units are particularly great for beach vacations, pool parties, or karaoke in the shower. To make sure your speaker can withstand a little splash, look for an IPX rating in its specs. 

IP stands for “Ingress Protection,” which tells you just how fortified an electronic device is against dirt, dust, and water. The first digit describes particle protection, and the second liquid. For example, if a speaker has a rating of IP57, the “5” indicates it can keep out most dust and dirt particles, especially those over 1 millimeter in size, but it might be susceptible to large quantities of dust if exposed at one time. The “7” means you can submerge the device in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes before any damage occurs. If you see a rating that looks like IPX7, the “X” means no data is available for that substance. The higher the number, the more protected your speakers will be from whatever it indicates (dust or water), so you can listen to your preferred podcasts in the tub or bring your favorite sea shanties aboard a boat without worry. 

Connectivity options will keep you tuned in at all times 

Alongside portability, we crave easy connectivity when it comes to the best portable Bluetooth speakers. You want to be able to quickly link your device without fretting over interference if you happen to walk a few feet away. Reliable portable speakers are equipped with Bluetooth versions from 4.2 to 5.2, designed to bolster the consistent connection between smartphones and computers with fitness trackers, headphones, speakers, and more. They rely on Bluetooth’s efficient power usage and data transmission options for improved battery life and fewer streaming glitches. When selecting a speaker, make sure to pick a model that is Bluetooth compatible with your music-streaming device (for more on the different versions of Bluetooth and how it works, check out our primer). From there, you can think about additional connectivity features that would complete your ideal listening experience. Do you need a speaker that can stay connected to your phone from over 75 feet away? Do you want to be able to pair with another speaker for stereo sound? Are you looking to connect two devices at once so you can easily hand over DJ responsibilities? 

You might also want to consider a speaker that has additional options for creating a connection. Some of us still have a few old-school devices that need an analog aux cord, which some speakers can support though this feature is starting to fade with the release of newer models. Others might want to pair their portable speakers with a home system, whether for high-fidelity audio or voice-activated commands. If this sounds like you, consider a model that is also equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity.   

How much do you want to spend on the best portable Bluetooth speakers? 

Portable Bluetooth speakers run the gamut when it comes to price. Some of the high-end models top out at close to $300 to $450, though there are plenty of great picks out there in the more reasonable $100 to $200 range. You can even find quality speakers for closer to $50. As you start to go down in price, you might miss out on a few features like extra battery life, clear audio at high volumes, or truly booming bass. However, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly speaker, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice too much to find something that satisfies your needs. Just pay attention to all the information you can find about a particular model, including user reviews and product descriptions. 

FAQs Q: What is the loudest portable Bluetooth speaker? 

The loudest portable Bluetooth speaker currently available is the SOUNDBOKS 3, which can reach up to 126 decibels. However, it does weigh 34 pounds, so one could call its portability into question. At $999, this is one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers designed to provide literal concert-quality sound for various venues. 

Q: What is the best portable Bluetooth speaker? 

The best portable Bluetooth speaker is relatively subjective, given each individual’s priorities. Still, we stand by the Tribit StormBox Micro 2, Soundcore 3 by Anker, and UE Wonderboom 3 as three of the best Bluetooth speakers under $100; for more budget-friendly models, take a look at a JBL speaker like the palm-sized JBL Go 3. 

Q: How many watts is a good speaker? 

While there isn’t a set amount of wattage that determines a good speaker, you can use this measurement to help assess volume output. Wattage typically determines how loud a speaker can get, but not the quality of the sound. Larger speakers with higher wattage can typically generate more volume, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be free of distortion. For more information regarding your speaker’s sound quality, investigate its frequency range and sound pressure levels, notated as SPL.

Final thoughts on finding the best portable Bluetooth speakers

While there may not be one portable Bluetooth speaker to rule them all, there are several excellent options out there, so long as you know where your priorities lie. The key to finding the best portable Bluetooth speakers for you is location, location, location—consider where you want to listen to music the most and you can identify the perfect wireless speaker to soundtrack your favorite activities.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.

Best Portable Audio Recording? Zoom H1 Review

Before actually owning the zoom h1, I did do my own research on the product. Everyone’s conclusion was that it felt like a cheap toy. However, I feel as though, while it is all plastic, it still feels sturdy.  I have dropped this mic before and it has yet to crack. (I hope it doesn’t of course!)  And upside to it being all plastic is that it is very light. The build itself is a very small mic intended for on the go usage. It might just be me, but there is something satisfying when you can buy an a product for use, and not have to worry about it getting scuffed up. Coming in an all plastic and cheap form actually makes me want to bring it around more. I toss it into my bag and go. And I think that’s a very important factor when considering this type of product to buy. Just don’t expect a tank when your buying this product. Keep in mind the satisfying buying price of it and you won’t have any complaints.

To be blunt the sound is fantastic.  With an onboard mic that you get with your typical DSLR, you’ll notice the sound levels are not equal. Every now and then I would record a conversation with two people, and while they are at the same exact distance from the camera, every now and then one voice would be extremely high while the other would be low.– Not with the zoom h1. If I aim the mic correctly, the audio is not only equal, but it is also accurate.Another problem that I had before using the Zoom h1 was the fact that my onboard mic picked up a certain humming noise in the background. The h1, as im sure many if not all external mics, fix this problem.  The Zoom h1 mic also removed the audio echo that I received with many other cameras. (Especially webcams)

I do not have a wind filter, as it does not come with one, but I have noticed, to no surprised, that in semi-windy condition, without a wind filter, it does pick up a lot of wind noise.  A LOT. Not a negative thing, that’s typical, but don’t be put off by it and buy a wind filter. (If you intend to work in windy conditions)

The Zoom H1 does cannot be directly connected into your camera. You must manually sync you audio. It could be a major pain, and it is something you definitely want to consider. I believe in the new Final Cut Pro X there is a way to automatically sync the audio, but even then, I would of course rather just have the audio recorded right into our DSLR. If this is a problem, you might want to consider the Zoom H1′s big brother: the Zoom H4n.

The zoom consumes only one AA battery, but I still wish it had a charging feature.  It also does have  tripod screw in so if you have an extra tripod you can mount it equally to your camera.

For a budget mic, I think it is a great product.  I do envy the Zoom H4n, but considering the price this product it is going for, I can’t complain much. It’s a mic, that I use to supplement everything, my DSLR, my webcam, and sometimes even my phone. The only downside I would have to say is, again, you have to manually sync the audio in post production. So do I recommend this mic? Yes, yes I do!

The Zoom H1, your portable audio recorder now the perfect supplement to any DSLR or video recording device. Small and affordable, but what does all of that sacrifice?

Homepod Mini Review: Small Speaker, Big Sound


Incredible sound

Small and inconspicuous

Siri is getting smarter


Not as smart as other speakers

Only compatible with Apple devices

No Bluetooth connectivity

Our Verdict

The HomePod Mini excels in the audio department despite its small stature, but it falls over in terms of connectivity – not just the smart devices it can control, but the smartphones and services it’s compatible with. 

Best Prices Today: Apple HomePod mini

Apple is in the midst of a mini revolution, launching not only the iPhone 12 Mini but the HomePod Mini at its ‘Hi, Speed’ event in October 2023. Though the HomePod Mini is spectacularly small at just 84mm tall, it’s just as smart as its bigger sibling, and the sound quality is incredible considering its small form factor.

But, as we all know, Siri isn’t quite up to competing with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so is the HomePod Mini really worth investing in? I’ve spent a few weeks using the HomePod Mini, and although it’s not the perfect option for everyone, there’s certainly a lot to love if you’re already heavily embedded in the Apple ecosystem.

Design and build

The HomePod Mini certainly lives up to the Mini moniker, standing at just 84.3mm tall with a diameter of 97.9mm. It’s a dramatic difference to recent smart speakers we’ve seen from the likes of Amazon, with the similarly priced and similarly shaped fourth-gen Amazon Echo measuring in at 133mm tall with a diameter of 144mm.

Apple’s option, then, is much more conspicuous than the competition, allowing it to disappear into the environment it’s sat in until it’s needed.

But even with all that being said, it’s still a shock just how small the speaker is when you see it in real life – especially when you consider the impressive audio chops, but I’ll get to that a little later.

Size aside, the HomePod Mini is a largely circular smart speaker with the same textured covering found on the regular HomePod, bringing a nice level of synchronicity to the system if you’ve already invested in a HomePod or two.

One area where the two speakers differ is on top; while the standard HomePod features a small display for displaying colours and media controls, the HomePod Mini features a plastic top surface with an embedded pulsing white LED to indicate music playback and Siri functionality.

It’s technically a downgrade, but one that I haven’t found to be bothersome in day-to-day use – even though the materials used are different, it functions in the same way, using touch input to pause or play music and adjust the volume.

The HomePod Mini was initially available in black and white, but the company expanded the collection and announced three new colours – yellow, orange and blue – at its October 2023 event. 

Although it looks like it’d be a great portable speaker, it requires a power supply to function. At least there’s a power brick in the box, something that can’t be said of much of Apple’s current offering!

Smart features and connectivity

It’s no secret that Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, isn’t quite as capable as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on the smart speaker front, but the tide is changing – albeit slower than some Apple fans might like.

Siri is now better equipped to handle general knowledge requests as well as the ability to control any Apple Home-enabled smart accessories. It’ll be able to answer those random burning questions at 2am, send texts from your iPhone, handle music requests and if you ask Siri to show you a photo of something (a bit of an odd request given the HomePod Mini doesn’t have a display), it’ll send it to your iPhone.

Like with most smart home tech, it doesn’t always work, but it was fairly consistent with its smart functionality.

The Home compatibility isn’t quite as wide-reaching as Google and Amazon’s options, but if you’ve got a bunch of accessories that you already use with the Home app on your iPhone, chances are you’ll enjoy being able to control your smart accessories with your voice.

It offers support for user-created Shortcuts too, making it easier to control entire groups of smart devices at once. The ability to say “Hey Siri, goodnight” and have my TV and lights turn off and the sound of rain come through my speaker is a novelty I won’t be getting over, that’s for sure.

Whether summoning Siri or making an announcement, the beamforming microphone technology is reliable, always triggering at the correct time – even with music playing. There’s no need to pause between saying the wake word and your request either, you can simply say “Hey Siri turn on the lights” at once and it’ll wake and run the command simultaneously.

The voice recognition tech seems to be accurate for my voice/accent, but as with all voice recognition tech, that’ll vary from person to person.

The main focus for the HomePod Mini, much like the regular HomePod, is music playback. That’s best experienced with an Apple Music subscription, with you able to request specific playlists or tracks from your library using Siri and keep them ‘loaded’ for playback later on.

If you’ve got a compatible iPhone, you can even hold an iPhone playing music via Apple Music next to the HomePod Mini to pass playback to the speaker, and it works vice-versa too. It’s a bit gimmicky, for sure, but there are times in the past few weeks when I’ve done exactly that when entering the room while listening to music on my iPhone.

The Apple Music integration does make it much easier to listen to music on the fly, and the integration with iOS is as tight as you might imagine, but that makes it all the worse that it isn’t compatible with other popular streaming services like Spotify and YouTube Music.

It does look like times are changing though; Apple announced integrated Pandora support for the HomePod range and the door is open for other developers to add support, so that could change soon. I really hope it does, because although I can still play music from Spotify using AirPlay, it’s nowhere near as convenient as built-in integration.

It’s at this point that I should point out that Wi-Fi-connected AirPlay is the only way to connect to the HomePod Mini if you’re not planning on listening to music via Apple Music – there’s no 3.5mm input or Bluetooth connectivity on offer. For those unfamiliar, AirPlay is technology only supported by Apple products.

Compound that with the fact you need an iPhone or iPad to set up the HomePod Mini, it’s safe to say that the HomePod Mini is a bad choice for Android users. That’s a bit of a shame considering the great audio quality and design on offer, but it’s not exactly a new concept from Apple is it?

Sound quality

There’s a level of clarity on offer that is unmatched by similar-sized speakers, and that’s evident in just about every track played. Whether I’m listening to classic tracks like The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun or classical tracks like Jessica Curry’s All the Earth, the mids and high-end are crisp and clean, producing detail easily lost with cheaper speakers.

There is a noticeable level of bass to go along with those rich, warm vocals, but it’s not the same thundering bass presence that you’ll find on the regular HomePod. The rounded bass tones are prominent enough for casual listening, but it’s only when you switch back to a regular HomePod that you realise just how much more bassy playback could’ve been.

That’s not to say the HomePod Mini sounds flat or tinny though – quite the opposite. It does the most it can with the bass presence available, it’s just that it wouldn’t be my first choice of a speaker to use to play Dubstep at a house party for example – whenever those become a thing again, anyway…

The HomePod Mini generates an impressively wide soundscape, throwing audio in every direction, although it doesn’t have the ability to automatically adjust the EQ depending on where it’s placed – that’s exclusive to the more expensive HomePod for now.

Still, even without the smart tech, the wide soundscape and impressive overall volume mean that it’s more than enough for a casual listening experience when working, playing games or reading a book.

That experience is elevated even further when pairing two HomePod Minis for stereo playback.

Doubling up not only allows the pair to handle left and right channels independently, creating a more immersive experience when properly placed, but it provides true room-filling audio too. I’d go as far as to argue that the stereo performance is reason enough to ditch your existing Mac speaker setup and using two HomePod Minis in its place – as long as you’re happy to use AirPlay, anyway.

If you’re looking for a small, good-looking speaker setup that produces much better sounding audio than it should be able to, the HomePod Mini is a solid option.

Pricing and availability

The HomePod Mini originally cost £99/$99, but it saw a £10 price drop in the UK in late 2023, bringing the price down to £89. That’s in line with the fourth-gen Amazon Echo, and I don’t think I’m alone in admitting that I expected it to cost a little more when it was first revealed in October 2023. Apple does tend to add a premium onto its products after all, but it’s clear with the HomePod Mini that Apple simply wants to get this into the homes of as many Apple users as possible.

The HomePod Mini is worth the price if you’ve got an iPhone, an Apple Music subscription and plenty of Homekit-supported accessories, but it does lose a bit of its magic if you primarily use Spotify and use smart home tech that isn’t compatible with Apple Home, of which there is admittedly a lot.

If it is up your street, you can grab the HomePod Mini directly from Apple alongside retailers like John Lewis in the UK and Best Buy in the US. For more smart speaker inspiration, take a look at our pick of the best smart speakers. 


The HomePod Mini may be small in stature, but it’s big in sound. Despite its small dimensions, the HomePod Mini has impressive audio chops that easily beat similarly priced speakers from Google and Amazon with crisp, clear mids and highs and decent bass presence, albeit not quite as powerful as its larger, premium sibling. That effect is only improved by pairing two HomePod Minis together, producing room-filling audio with no hint of distortion at any volume.

There’s an obvious focus on audio performance with the HomePod Mini because, like the regular HomePod, Siri isn’t quite as capable as Google Assistant and Alexa. Apple has made strides with wider support for smart home accessories, better general knowledge query handling and the introduction of an announcement feature to send a message to all HomePods and Apple devices in the home, but it’s still lacking in some areas.

The most limiting factor of the HomePod Mini, aside from the fact you need an Apple Music or Pandora subscription to get the easiest listening experience possible, is that it only offers AirPlay connectivity – a feature exclusive to Apple devices.

This makes the HomePod Mini essentially useless if you’ve got an Android, as you’ll need an iPhone or iPad to complete the initial setup at the bare minimum. It’s great for Apple fans, then, but Android users should probably consider something from Amazon or Google for a better smart speaker experience.  

Specs Apple HomePod mini: Specs

84.3mm (H) x 97.9mm (W), 345g, full-range driver and dual passive radiators, Four-microphone design for far-field Siri, Multiroom audio with AirPlay 2, Stereo pair capable, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Direct guest access4, Bluetooth 5.0, Ultra Wideband chip for device proximity, Siri control, Touch Control panel

The Best Portable Wifi Of 2023

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Written By Eric Alt

Updated May 5, 2023 6:05 PM

We are living in the age of the “Internet of Things.” Nearly every device—from your phones to your lamps to your toothbrush—has WiFi capabilities, and the interconnected IoT network almost requires you to be always on all the time. This reality is one of the reasons we recommend everyone pick up one of the best WiFi boosters for their home, as there’s a lot more competition for bandwidth in the age of work/school/game/stream from home than there used to be. But what if you’re on the go and the work can’t wait? What if you’re out and about and really need to be connected? Don’t worry, you don’t need to go over your data cap as you’re going over wide-ranging terrain with the best portable WiFi options.

The best portable WiFi: Reviews & Recommendations

The TP-Link is compact, simple, looks great, and can fit in a pocket or the pouch of a knapsack. It can deliver 300Mbps WiFi speed on a 2.4G hertz band, which makes it great for streaming and online gaming. it’s compatible with Chromecast, and powers via a Micro USB port. We like it because it’s sleek, secure, and efficient.

Best battery life: RoamWiFi R10

The RoamWiFi R10 supports 4G LTE high-speed network, with a maximum upload speed of 50Mbps and a maximum download speed of 433Mbps. But its main selling point is that it provides a solid 18 hours of battery life after a full charge (which is about 3 hours). It’s small, as easy to carry around as a smartphone, and provides strong, secure connections.

Most user-friendly: GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE Mobile HotSpot

The GlocalMe G4 allows you to connect up to 10 devices at once—but the best part is how easily it allows you to manage those connections. With its smartphone-like user interface, it makes managing device usage, tracking battery life, and connecting to available signals as easy as using an app. It has its own data plan and package rates, so those not looking to deal with SIM cards will find this an added convenience.

Best for connection speed: NetGear Mobile WiFi Hotspot

To be honest, NetGear’s 400 Mbps of download speed might even be better than what you get on your home desktop. Designed to be portable and convenient, the NetGear offers 11 hours of battery life, a color LCD display, and the ability to connect to up to 15 devices at once.

Best budget: KuWFi 4G LTE

The KuWFi comes in at just under $50, but offers 4G LTE connectivity, low power consumption, and the ability to share up to 10 devices. It has a clear, colorful LED screen showing battery life, connection strength, and other pieces of information, and is compatible with a number of SIM cards and data storage cards.

Things to consider when shopping for the best portable WiFi

When you’re on the lookout for devices designed to help you be more product and more connected—which is exactly what the best portable WiFi devices are meant to do—it’s easy to fall into the trap of something big and complex and seemingly all-powerful, only to discover that you only actually need a fraction of its capabilities for your everyday use. Knowing exactly how you work, and where your own personal trouble spots are, will help you narrow your focus and get a device that does exactly what you need it to do. With the right research (which we’ve happily done for you), you can narrow down the copious options and identify the perfect portable companion for all your on-the-go network needs.

Do you want something you won’t mind carrying around with you?

It’s not shallow to say that how a device looks goes a long way towards how willing you’ll be to carrying it around with you. A clunky, brick-like device is going to become a burden, and you’ll end up not getting as much use out of it as you should. It goes beyond aesthetics, too, as a well-designed device will be user-friendly and convenient in addition to being a cool part of your portable communications system.

Your search should consider the overall size of the device, its functionality, and how easily it will mesh with your other devices. Honing in on these key factors will ensure you get a portable WiFi router you’ll use again and again.

Can it give you enough battery life if a power source isn’t available?

It’s mankind’s biggest collective struggle in the modern age—the constant raging against the dying of the battery. From phones to laptops, tiny battery icons taunt us from their top corner perches, slowly bleeding down until their red bars inform you that you’d better wrap it up, save your data, and hurry to an outlet before all of your work is lost.

Although a lot of portable WiFi devices can be powered via USB, you may find yourself in a situation where WiFi is needed but a USB-compatible device may not be available. Here’s where to find a mobile hotspot that will cover you even if you have to rely on battery power.

Are you looking for portable WiFi you can use immediately without fuss?

The main selling point of portable WiFi is convenience. Whether you want portable WiFi for travel, or you’re looking for a strong connection when you happen to be away from your home base unit, you need something you can rely on that won’t be overly complicated or difficult to manage.

Finding a mobile WiFi router that puts user interface first and foremost will ensure you feel comfortable using it again and again, and that you get the most out of it every single time. Look for devices that have easily-readable screens, simple navigating, and convenient information accessibility.

How fast do you need your WiFi connection to be?

Perhaps the biggest reason to invest in a portable WiFi router is that you intend to download or upload files on a regular basis, and need both the speed and convenience of a strong WiFi signal to do it. A smartphone alone is fine for emails and texts, but for anything bigger or more complex, you need a fast Internet connection without question.

It used to be you’d need to be hard-wired to process anything bigger than a few megabytes, but there are options available now that can deliver fast upload and download speeds even if you are on the go.

Are you a Verizon customer looking for portable WiFi?

Depending on where in the world you live, you may have a lot of public WiFi hotspots available for your use. While they allow you to access WiFi without an Internet provider, they do come with some security risks. If you have a specific cell or internet provider, you can access private WiFi hotspots that offer premium prepaid internet access that’s much cheaper than using mobile data, and more secure.

There are some mobile WiFi devices that are geared specifically for one provider—say, for example, if you are a Verizon customer. Being able to connect to a service you already use can save a lot of hassle, and help you avoid having to use insecure, public networks that could expose your data.

Best portable WiFi device on a budget: What you can get for under $50

Portable WiFi devices aren’t, generally speaking, among the most expensive pieces of technology. Even the higher-end devices usually sit under $200, so finding the best portable WiFi option on a budget isn’t too difficult.

FAQs Q: Can portable WiFi replace my home internet?

The short answer is: Yes, it can. Doing so could save you money on internet provider packages and contracts, but keep in mind that if you live in a household that tends to go heavy on internet usage (say, a family where it’s not uncommon for a TV to be streaming in one room, someone Internet surfing on another, and people playing online games in yet another), it’ll be tough to find a mobile router up to handle it all.

Q: Do I need a new data plan for portable WiFi?

Not necessarily. Most portable WiFi devices operate with SIM cards, which allow you to get internet access even if you don’t have an internet provider at all.

Q: Does portable WiFi work without service?

Yes, the purpose of a mobile router is to be the source of connection to the Internet, without having to rely on your phone’s service connection.

A final word on shopping for the best portable WiFi

The ease and convenience of a mobile WiFi router really can’t be overstated. Having the ability to connect to the internet with home computer speeds anywhere in the world opens you up to all new possibilities—whether you need it for remote work or for frequent traveling. Knowing your own usage tendencies as well as what kind of work assets you need (are you sharing simple Word Docs or do you need to traffic in heavier images or video?) will go a long way towards narrowing down your selection. Once you find the perfect mix of portable and reliable, the world is your oyster.

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