Memorial Day weekend signals the start of summer fun, and that means you'll probably be spending more time outdoors. No warm-weather fun would be complete without music, and wireless speakers make it easy to bring your soundtrack anywhere.
We review dozens of models, and while you can certainly pay a lot for a speaker, a high sticker price isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be buying a high-quality model. These wireless speakers perform well but won’t break your budget.
Bose SoundLink Color, $130
This wireless speaker lets you play your tunes almost anywhere—relaxing by the pool, on the deck, in the family room—without needing to search for a power outlet or struggle with cords and connections. The Bluetooth-enabled SoundLink can play music from a smart phone or tablet as long as it’s within 30 feet or so. It can remember eight devices, so it’s easy to switch from music stored on one device to another. Weighing only 1.25 pounds, the speaker is easy to carry around, and the rechargeable battery is rated for 8 hours of play. And you can buy one in your favorite hue: The speaker comes in a choice of blue, mint, red, black, and white.
Sonos Play:1, $200
This CR Best Buy is a stylish, solidly constructed mono Wi-Fi speaker. You can use several of the Wi-Fi speakers (which require AC power) to play the same music, or mix it up with soft jazz where people are eating, and rock on the dance floor. Either way it's a good choice for the more critical listener looking for a wireless stereo speaker. Music and other audio content can be streamed wirelessly from your computer or mobile devices, and the Play: 1 has direct access to several online music services, including Pandora, TuneIn Radio, and Spotify.
Jabra Solemate Max, $300
If you’re worried that a sudden cloudburst will damage your speaker, consider a weather-resistant model such as this Jabra Solemate Max, which has a ruggedized, weatherproof design and an integrated carrying handle. The speaker has a two-tone blue/gray color scheme with a few yellow accents, including on the underside of the handle. For connecting to devices without Bluetooth, it comes with a yellow audio cable, which is neatly packed into a cutout on the bottom of the speaker.
This portable, easy-to-use, weatherized Bluetooth wireless speaker from TDK is a decent choice for non-critical listeners looking for a portable wireless stereo speaker for playing music and movie/TV soundtracks. It could also double as a home system in a medium-sized room. It has NFC for touch pairing with phones and tablets, and it includes an analog audio input for use with non-Bluetooth devices. TDK claims that this speaker is weather resistant.
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