www.makeuseof.com Top 7 Specs to Check Before Buying a Bluetooth Speaker

Bluetooth speakers are hugely popular, not just for their portability but also for their ever-improving sound quality. But these speakers can be pricey, so it pays to know what to look for before making a purchase. So, what specifications should you check before buying a Bluetooth speaker?

1. Battery Life

Given that your Bluetooth speaker will probably always be operating wirelessly, its battery life is a hugely important factor to consider. If your speaker's battery life is lacking, then you may have to deal with frustrating re-charge periods at inconvenient times, so you should check your prospective speaker's battery life before deciding to buy.

It's hard to know exactly what length of battery life you should be looking for when buying a Bluetooth speaker, as this depends on how often you're planning on taking it out of the house. However, if you think you'll be regularly using your speaker without access to an outlet, try aiming for the highest battery life you can find. JBL's line of portable speakers have particularly impressive battery lives, with its newest model, the Flip 6, boasting up to 12 hours of playtime.

On the other hand, if you're going to be mostly using your Bluetooth speaker at home, you shouldn't need to break the bank for longer battery life. There are many affordable models that can offer five or six hours of playtime, which is perfect for long study periods or parties.


2. Size

Because Bluetooth speakers are designed to be taken out of the house, they're often pretty lightweight. However, there are a number of models that pack the pounds, which can make the whole portability element a little more tricky. Some Bluetooth speakers aren't even strictly portable and are designed for home use.

This is why you should check the dimensions and weight of your chosen Bluetooth speaker before clicking that "Buy" button. This way, you won't end up buying a non-portable model or lugging around a heavy speaker whenever you're away from home.

3. Audio Quality

Audio quality is a crucially important element of your Bluetooth speaker. While it may seem tempting to go for the most aesthetically pleasing or affordable speaker you can find, it pays to take the audio quality into consideration if you want a pleasurable listening experience.

However, there's another factor that plays into audio quality. In general, larger speakers have a fuller sound, but you don't want to carry around a heavy speaker when you're on the go, as this can become irritating very quickly. So there's a balance you'll need to find between size and audio quality if you want to take your Bluetooth speaker elsewhere.

But what audio quality should you be looking for if you want high-quality sound? If you're not familiar with how speakers produce sound, and the hardware used, this can all be very confusing. A number of factors play into a speaker's audio quality, including frequency response, sensitivity, and impedance.

www.makeuseof.com Top 7 Specs to Check Before Buying a Bluetooth Speaker

A premium speaker will generally have a sensitivity of over 90Db, an impedance between six and eight Ohms, and a frequency response ranging between 20Hz and 20kHz. But these factors can be hard to navigate, so we recommend looking at which speakers are currently being rated as the best in terms of sound quality. We've got a handy buyer's guide for Bluetooth speakers that you can check out in this case.

4. Available Ports

A Bluetooth speaker will always have one port for wired charging, which usually supports micro USB cables. You can check out what kind of charging cable your chosen speaker supports in the specifications section of whatever site you're using.

However, a charging cable alone may not always be enough. If your Bluetooth is ever acting up and won't connect to your speaker, the availability of an AUX or 3.5mm jack port can be a big help. This allows for a hardwire connection between your phone, laptop, or tablet and your speaker, so you can still listen to audio through your speaker without the need for Bluetooth.

5. Water and Dust Resistance

If you're taking your Bluetooth speaker out of the house, it'll likely be more susceptible to dust and water damage than it would be at home. This is why it's important to have a speaker that is fitted with some level of resistance to these hazards.

A lot of Bluetooth speakers are not waterproof, so you must check on this in the specifications section before buying. Many waterproof speakers use the Ingress Protection Code classification known as "IP67". This means that the speaker can be dropped into a body of water up to a meter deep for half an hour without being damaged. The IP67 classification also relates to dust resistance, meaning that any product designed with IP67-level protection won't be damaged due to dust build-up.

You will also see other kinds of protection classifications in the specifications of any given speaker, such as IP68 or IPX7, but a quick internet search will define whichever classification you want to know more about.

6. Smart Capabilities

Smart technology can make your domestic life a lot more convenient, so it's worth knowing whether your chosen Bluetooth speaker has smart capabilities if your home is fitted with other smart tech.

With smart capabilities, a speaker can listen to voice commands, which is incredibly convenient if you're listening to audio while cleaning, working out, cooking, or performing another kind of task that makes it more difficult to manually control your speaker using your connected device.

On the other hand, if you're not interested in extra smart capabilities, you can most likely find a great speaker for a lower price. So, before spending extra cash on features you won't need, check whether your prospective speaker is designed with smart capabilities, as this usually pushes the price up slightly.

7. Bluetooth Version

Like Wi-Fi, mobile data, and other wireless technologies, Bluetooth has not always been the same. New versions of Bluetooth have been developed and released over the years, with each new version sporting longer connection ranges, faster transfer speeds, and a stronger signal.

Because Bluetooth is continuously being improved, it's worth checking what version is supported by your chosen speaker. A lot of newer speakers support Bluetooth 5, the successor to Bluetooth 4, which is definitely an added perk.

But this is not to say that Bluetooth 4-supported speakers are by any means low quality. You can still achieve a great listening experience using Bluetooth 4, but Bluetooth 5 outdoes its predecessor in a few ways, most notably with its increased connection range.

Check the Specs Before Buying a Bluetooth Speaker

Bluetooth speakers can make our audio and entertainment experiences that much more convenient, but they can make a pretty deep cut into your wallet. It's crucial to know what you want in your Bluetooth speaker and whether the speakers you're looking at make the cut. This will ensure that the speaker you end up choosing will live up to your standards and keep you happy in the long run.

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The 4 Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorKatie Rees(206 Articles Published)

Katie is a Staff Writer at MUO with experience in content writing in travel and mental health. She as a specific interest in Samsung, and so has chosen to focus on Android in her position at MUO. She has written pieces for IMNOTABARISTA, Tourmeric and Vocal in the past, including one of her favourite pieces on remaining positive and strong through trying times, which can be found at the link above. Outside of her working life, Katie loves growing plants, cooking, and practicing yoga.

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