The days of blasting music out of a portable boombox are behind us, and while some companies still offer retro jambox wannabes for iPods, the best way to free your music from the aural confines of an MP3 player is through a portable Bluetooth speaker.
We've rounded up several Bluetooth speakers for your consideration. All of these wireless speakers benefit from limited loss in audio quality while still maintaining a small footprint and extended range. Functionality varies according to model, and they differ in regard to rechargeable versus alkaline batteries, size versus sound, and the capability to be used as a Bluetooth speakerphone, but all of them have an external 3.5mm line-in port for a hardwired connection.
We loved using the Soundmatters FoxL v2, a candy-bar shaped speaker that blew us away with its tiny size and huge soundstage, but it's $200 price tag limits its appeal to hardcore audiophiles. With value in mind, our favorite in the bunch is the $80 Creative D100, an acceptable compromise between price and output quality. If you're on the hunt for a portable speaker to pair with your smartphone, the D100 is an excellent option that earns our recommendation.