Having good music can make any trip, big or small, infinitely better. Whether you’re road tripping across the country, flying overseas, or just commuting to work, a portable Bluetooth speaker allows you to bring your favorite songs and podcasts with you anywhere. But with so many Bluetooth speakers on the market, how do you choose the right one for your travel needs? Here are some key things to consider when selecting a Bluetooth speaker for travel, along with reviews of some top picks.

Portability

For travel, you’ll want a speaker that’s compact and lightweight enough to easily fit in your bag or suitcase. Look for ones that are palm-sized or a bit larger, with dimensions under 8 inches wide. Though smaller speakers will compromise some sound, their portability makes them ideal for tossing in your daypack or purse. Weight should be under 1 pound for maximum portability. Some speakers designed specifically for travel also include carabiner clips, straps or suction cups so you can attach them to your backpack or hang them in your hotel room.

Battery Life

Long battery life is crucial for travelers who may not have consistent access to power outlets while on the go. The best portable Bluetooth speakers will give you 15 hours of playtime or more per charge. Features like built-in rechargeable batteries and USB charging make it easy to juice up your speaker between uses. For extended trips, consider a speaker with 20+ hours of battery life.

Durability

Travel often means taking your tech into less-than-ideal environments, from the pool to the beach to the camping ground. Look for a speaker with an IPX waterproof and dustproof rating to withstand splashes, rain, sand and more. Rugged, rubberized exteriors help absorb shock from drops or bumps in transit.

Sound Quality

You’ll have to balance sound quality with portability when choosing a travel speaker. While you’ll sacrifice booming bass and max volume in a smaller speaker, many deliver very good audio for their size. Clear mids and highs allow you to enjoy podcasts and audiobooks. Look for a speaker with at least 3 watts of power and 360-degree sound projection so you can place it in the center of a group and all gather around to listen.

Top Picks

JBL Flip 5: With punchy, stereo sound in a slender cylindrical design, the Flip 5 offers 12 hours of playtime and IPX7 waterproofing.

Bose SoundLink Micro: Extremely compact and durable, this speaker produces surprisingly full sound for its 3.5 inch size. The strap is perfect for hanging in hotel rooms.

Anker Soundcore Flare Mini: This cute, spherical speaker provides 360-degree sound, an IPX7 rating, and customizable LED lights – perfect for setting the mood in your hotel, tent or rental.

JBL Clip 4: The carabiner clip attaches securely to any bag or strap, while this tiny speaker pumps out shockingly good audio for up to 10 hours on a charge.

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2: With bright colors and a squishy design, this speaker is ready for adventuring anywhere with 13 hours of battery life, waterproofing and a 100-foot range.

Finding the right Bluetooth speaker for your next trip can help make even long flights or drives more enjoyable. Focus on compact, lightweight models with robust batteries, durability and decent sound quality. Any of these top rated options will let you bring the soundtrack wherever your travels take you.