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Recommend me a bluetooth speaker!
September 1, 2014 3:07 PM   Subscribe

I just want a simple to use bluetooth speaker that I can plug-in in whichever room I'm in throughout the house and have my i-Device play music through. I listen to a lot of 80s and 90s, and would like good sound, but my budget is about $100. I just need to keep my toddlers entertained/danced out to tunes, and feel overwhelmed by the choices, so what would you recommend? Thanks!
posted by cestmoi15 to Technology (12 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have the UE Mini Boom, as recommended by The Wirecutter. The range it gives from my iPhone 5 maxes out at about 15ft, which is ok. But overall mix of sound quality / size / charge is pretty good.

If I were gonna buy again, I'd definitely look for something that had track fwd/back on the unit itself, as I often want to skip songs without pulling out the phone and the feature lets other people nearby easily skip tracks too.
posted by homesickness at 3:36 PM on September 1


2nd the UE Mini Boom. I got one of these speakers back in June and love it.
posted by cwarmy at 3:55 PM on September 1


My husband says that JBL makes one that isn't bad. Also, there's apparently a Bluetooth receiver device you can buy to make any speaker Bluetooth-compatible.
posted by Madamina at 4:36 PM on September 1


I'm really happy with our Philips SB365/37. Bass response is good for its size and it gets decently loud. If you can, I suggest stopping by Target, Best Buy, and any other nearby stores and listening to the ones they have on display.
posted by puritycontrol at 4:57 PM on September 1


I have a G-Project G-GO that I really like. When I bought it on a whim from Target, I didn't expect much. To my surprise, it's been a really good speaker- I use mine in the bathroom so I can listen to music while I shower, and it's dealt with the humidity like a champ. I'm a musician, and usually have higher-than-average expectations for sound quality and was pretty impressed (considering the size and $60 cost) on that front as well. It also has track forward/back buttons built in.
posted by EKStickland at 6:23 PM on September 1


I have a Soundfreaq which is also a clock radio, it has a USB outlet to charge your phone , sleep timer, alarm, and AM/FM in addition to Bluetooth (with forward/back/play/pause buttons on the device). It's pretty sweet.
posted by matildaben at 7:16 PM on September 1


N-thing the UE Mini Boom. I've had one for nine months and it's absolutely fantastic. (My experience has been that the range is much longer than 15 feet with both an iPhone and an iPad.)
posted by rensar at 8:28 PM on September 1


these are the two I have -

1. supertooth disco - the model-1, although the later versions are s'posed to be not-bad. stereo+subwoofer, truly amazing sound. and, look, having an analog volume knob is just so much fun. (hm maybe not so good for toddlers?!)
~99 but goes on sale now and then.

2. BEM cube - the thing is tiny but unbelievable stereo quality and super-unbelievable wonderful bumbly-bee bass. "buttons" are like, reactive or whatever, a bit tricky to get used to - maybe better for vs toddlers. and is just a lot of fun to carry this miniature rumbly thing around with you.
~70 but spamazon has coupons for it quite often, I got a couple of these for about usd40 each.
posted by dorian at 9:05 PM on September 1


We bought the UE Boom, and I really like it. It's more than your budget, but it's easy to use, it's sturdy---if your toddler drops it, no worries , and she could carry it around with her even! And I like its looks, and of course, its sound.
posted by leahwrenn at 11:22 PM on September 1


I got a big jambox on amazon marketplace used for ~$120. There's none that cheap right now, but just watch it like a hawk. Piles of them seem to show up randomly. It hit that price on sale at target fairly recently too(and sold out like instantly)

I've tried most of other speakers out there. The small ones that are typically in the $100 range brand new are just disappointing, and don't get loud enough for anything but indoor use in a silent room, and always annoyed me with perpetually just not getting loud enough. This includes the g-go mentioned above, which was depressingly inadequate on a recent road trip in a vehicle with no stereo. I then fired up my big jambox, which promptly dealt with the problem.

The only exception in the that-price-new category i ever liked at all was the g boom. It sounds pretty good, gets loud, and is very unbreakable. It's better in every way than the UE boom besides size. It's kinda chunky, but hey, it's sturdy.

The big jambox is pretty sturdy too, but not as much. Still, it's survived the beach, night time trips to the lake, grass at various levels of wetness, being bungeed to my bike handlebars and jackhammered down seattle streets, burning man, a bajillion drops, and a whole lot of other abuse.

If i had to go out and buy something new today i'd get the g-boom. But overall i like the big jambox more for the design, size, general portability, and most importantly(to me) the ability to trickle charge over USB unlike basically... any other actually decently loud bluetooth speaker. Also it can pair more than one phone/ipod at once, which can get REALLY annoying on most of the other ones i've tried. Nothing really beats the bang/buck of the gboom though for a new thing on a store shelf(target sells it).
posted by emptythought at 4:46 AM on September 2


On mobile, but google:Amazon anker wireless Bluetooth speaker. Anker usually does batteries and does it well, and this speaker is simply outstanding.
posted by bbqturtle at 5:31 PM on September 2


Thanks! Went for the mini boom on strength of recommendations, also the orange one will look good everywhere I need it to be.

Will post follow up if there's anything note-worthy.
posted by cestmoi15 at 2:41 PM on September 3


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