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The Best Portable Speakers for Travel



Get this for...

Travelers who can't go a day without listening to music.

Don't get this for...

Travelers who don't mind sticking to headphones-only audio while they're on the road.

Bottom Line

Why are these the best portable speakers for travel? Because they can fill a room with sound, but they won’t fill up more than a corner of your suitcase.

Posted October 15, 2016 by

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Music lovers and frequent fliers unite: here’s a gift that will travel with you.  These are my votes for the best portable speakers for travel. Why? Because they’ll fill up a room with quality sound, but they won’t fill up more than a corner of your suitcase.

Give this gift to someone in your life who can’t go a day without listening to music.  Each of these speakers is small enough to fit in a suitcase, but that’s not even the main attraction.  What makes these the best portable speakers out there is their sound quality.  Reviewers say all four have jaw-dropping sound for their size.

Based on reviews around the internet, the Ultimate Ears BOOM tops this ranking, but the best portable speakers for your chosen traveler will be the ones that fit that traveler’s style.  Let’s take a closer look at these travel-sized bluetooth speakers.



Best Portable Speakers for Travel:

1. Ultimate Ears BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker


Ultimate Ears BOOM at

Dimensions: 2.6″ diameter
7.1″ tall
Weight: 19 oz
Battery life: 15 hrs

The Ultimate Ears BOOM ($118.69 at is widely considered one of the two best portable speakers for travel.  Its biggest competitor is the Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker (which earned the #2 spot below).

Given the number of reviewers who’ve compared the sound quality of these two speakers, with no clear consensus coming out across the board, it’s probably safe to say their sound quality is — well — comparable.  What sways me towards the UE Boom is that it seems like a truly convenient travel accessory. The UE Boom isn’t just portable — its compact “water bottle shape” is practically pocketable.  It comes in lots of different colors.  It also has a 15-hour battery life (much longer than any of the other speakers on this list) and charges from a generic micro USB charger.  While the charge method may seem like a small point, frequent travelers will be happy to cut down on the number of chargers they pack for each trip!

The UE Boom is also water and stain resistant, and it comes with a removable rubber cover for added protection. The Ultimate Ears BOOM is available in black, blue, green, and red.



2. Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II


Bose Soundlink Mini II at

Dimensions: 2.25″ x 7″ x 2″
Weight: 24 oz
Battery life: 10hrs

While reviews for the other “Best Portable Speakers for Travel” varied in focus, reviews of the Bose SoundLink Mini II ($179.00 at were all about the sound quality.  Reviewers said that the SoundLink produced better sound than many larger speakers.  That *might* make these the best portable speakers on this list for audiophiles.

The Bose SoundLink Mini offers Bose’s signature sound quality at a price that, for this brand, is unusually affordable.  While it’s the heaviest of the speakers on this list, the solid build and sleek design are definitely still packable.  Amazon reviewers suggest that these may be the best portable speakers for indoor use. The Soundlink Mini II also packs a few more features than the first version — for example, this speaker can multitask as a speakerphone.



3. Soundmatters foxL v2 Platinum Portable Bluetooth Speaker


Soundmatters foxLV2 at

Dimensions: 5.6 x 2.2 x 1.4 inches
Weight: 9.5 oz
Battery life: 6 hrs

The Soundmatters foxL v2 ($199.00 at is the smallest and lightest speaker on this list.  It’s also pretty expensive, which might explain why it’s not quite as popular as its Bose and Ultimate Ears competitors.

This speaker is durable and can act as a  speakerphone.  While a smaller percentage of reviewers described these as having the best sound quality for their price range (as compared to the Bose, for example), many (like these three Amazon reviewers) did mention their amazement that such “big” sound could come from such a tiny speaker.

With its truly pocket-sized dimensions, some travelers will definitely consider foxL v2 to be the best portable speakers out there.  In fact, at the time of writing, 1 out of 5 reviewers on Amazon talked about how handy this speaker was for traveling.


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The Best Portable Speakers for Travel
Why are these the best portable speakers for travel? Because they can fill a room with sound, but they won’t fill up more than a corner of your suitcase.


I'm a travel addict and shopping lover with six years abroad and seventeen countries under my belt. Now that I've settled down in Cambridge, MA for a couple years, TravelGiftList helps me keep up with the world of fun, quirky, and practical travel gifts!



    great ideas! i would love to take one of these camping, im stuck witg an am/fm radio that has no reception and no ipod hookup haha


    Hi Jill, brilliant list of high tech gifts. Thanks :)

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