There so much talk about wearables, about going completely wireless, we’ve lost site of alternative ways to wear sound. This class of wearables is less about taking your tunes with you, but more about forcing everyone else to listen to what you like. It’s like your own private thumpy-car, but on your body, so it’s better.
Aside from driving other people nuts, you can also scare all the wildlife from your hike. The possibilities with Bluetooth speakers are endless. With some of these portable speakers, you can link together two speakers to bring twice as much bass to the world around you.
Kidding aside, these simple Bluetooth speakers offer something no earbud can offer. They fit everyone’s ear. They’ll never pop out when you run.
While some of these are better suited for the living room than the trail, they could all go with you on a hike. This list has something for every budget. Enjoy.
It’s water resistant. The sound is premium. At $14.99, you’ll find no cheaper option on this list. That said, the Rex is not as portable as say, the Boom Bit, but that may not matter to you.
Rex comes in a number of different overlays, from Grateful Dead or Wu-Tang Clan to straight colors.
If you’re willing to drop another $10, you can upgrade to the pro version, which comes with 2GB of flash storage and dual drivers [Read: sweet!].
Only the pro version has a mic so you can connect with your phone’s virtual assistant as well as broadcast your calls. The Pro is also waterproof.
In a nutshell, it’s small. In fact, it may be the only one on this list that could fit in an actual nutshell. It would have to be a big nut, though.
The Boom Bit is the smallest of this bunch, but you won’t notice that. For around 30-smackers, you get Polk audio in a waterproof, clip-on speaker.
That’s 2.2 Watts of output. It won’t blow you away, but with an onboard mic, it will give you ambient sound and hands-free talk.
You get two hours of usage on one charge.
You could kick the Jam XT down the hiking trail in the rain, then pick it up and keep rocking. It’s that tough.
A bit bigger than the Boom Bit, the XT comes in three colors and lasts four times as long on a charge. You get eight hours of play time.
You can take calls from the Jam XT. If you need to, you can port in via the standard aux-in line.
The XT comes equipped with a carabiner-like clip so you can attach it where you’d like.
$149.95 ($65 on Amazon)
At almost $150 you’ll want to shop around for the best price on the Roll. That said, for a more premium Bluetooth speaker experience, the UE Roll is no slouch.
The sound in most portable speakers is mono-directional, meaning it doesn’t sound very nice unless you’re in front of the speaker cone. With the UE Roll, sharing is caring. The sound is poly-directional.
It will take more than just a little rain or puddle. You can take the Roll swimming. As UE says, it’s party-proof.
The companion app for the Roll offers expandable features so your experience upgrades over time.
$272.00 ($250 on Amazon)
You can pick up your jaw up from the ground now. Don’t confuse this with the delicious steak sauce by the same name. The A1 is classic BEO.
Bang & Olufsen (BEO parent company) maintains a reputation for premium audio in classic packaging. The A1 fits the company profile like a glove.
It may be the most expensive on this list, but it’s also the least waterproof. Hey, you can’t have everything you want.
What you can have, with the A1, is premium portable sound. The A1 will pair with other BEO speakers, so you may enjoy your music in stereo.
The single A1 houses two 30W speakers, a woofer, and tweeter. It even has a mic, so you can take calls.
Our money is on the Boombotix Rex for the music fanatic who wants big sound in an affordable package, but for the player on the move, it’s all about the Boom Bit.
The party-hound will want the pro-version of the Rex or may consider the UE Roll, but like we said, shop around. Also, don’t plan on jogging with the bigger options. They are portable, but not something you want banging around on your hips.