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A good portable speaker is an essential item in any traveller’s suitcase. Whether it’s for chilled-out tunes by the pool in St Tropez or for kick-starting a hotel room party in Las Vegas, it’s an item that should always be packed.
In the past we’ve highlighted the Wowee One as a superb speaker for its size and price. However, wires and cables seem very dated these days – it’s all about having a wireless connection from your music player to the speaker.

So today we turn our attention to the best portable Bluetooth speakers on the market.

When judging portable speakers, our main criteria were:
– Size
– Sound Quality
– Battery life
– Price
– Looks
For a speaker to get the RLB stamp of approval, it needed to be truly mobile – i.e. easily packed in a suitcase or hand luggage, put out rich sound with deep bass, have a decent battery life of at least six hours, look sharp and not cost the earth. Easy, right?
Originally we intended to write this piece as a ‘Top 5 Portable Bluetooth Speakers’ type article. So we got to work testing a variety of speakers.

We looked at speakers by Jambox (right). Their line has been around for a few years now, but their products still look cool and and put out decent sound. They’re also offer better value now since they can be found discounted at several retailers.

We looked at options like the Logitech UE Mobile Boombox which puts out similar sound to the Jambox for a much lower price – a good all-round speaker.
We also tested speakers from JBL, Beats, Sony, and Samsung.
However in testing all these speakers, we realised one particular speaker was well and truly head and shoulders above the competition, so much so that it made every other portable speaker redundant. In terms of sound quality, it blew every other speaker in its class out of the water.
If you’re looking for the best travel speaker on the market – the speaker you need to get your hands on is the Bose SoundLink Mini.
This speaker is BOSS.
From the moment we heard the sound that the Bose produces, we were hooked. Bose have truly set a new standard for portable speakers with the SoundLink Mini. And the public agrees – the reviews of this product on Amazon are universally positive.
Let’s start with the sound quality. Simply put – it’s phenomenal. Most portable speakers struggle to find a good mix between high / mid notes and bass. Bose walks this line beautifully. Not only does it produce amazing sound clarity, but the bass can literally rock the room. For a speaker that fits in the palm of your hand, it’s a work of genius.
Measuring  7.1” x 2.3”  x 2.0”, the SoundLink Mini is compact and will easily fit into your luggage. And weighing 1.5 pounds, it feels extremely solid and well made – exactly what you want from a travel speaker. It also looks sharp – the brushed aluminium casing giving it a sleek look which is half retro, half contemporary.
Battery life is around seven hours with a charge time of three hours. However the Bose can also easily be plugged into mains power.
The SoundLink Mini will connect to any Bluetooth compatible device and the connection process is extremely straightforward. Once connected the device should automatically reconnect in future when it’s turned on and you have your Bluetooth activated. Furthermore, the speaker can remember up to six devices. Bluetooth range is approximately 30 feet. The speaker also has an auxiliary option for devices with no Bluetooth capability.
The only slight drawbacks with the SoundLink Mini are that it doesn’t charge via USB, and it doesn’t have a speakerphone function. However given the difference in sound quality over its rivals, we can turn a blind eye to both these omissions.
While it’s not the cheapest portable speaker on the market at USD $199 / GBP £169, in this case you get more than your money’s worth. Bose rarely disappoint when it comes to the quality of their products and in this case they have created a true powerhouse portable Bluetooth speaker with the SoundLink Mini.
We urge you to test one today. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
With Christmas coming up, get the Bose SoundLink Mini on your wish-list ASAP!



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