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The best portable speakers for the iPhone and iPod should enhance the rather lackluster sound you get from the device itself. While iPhone speakers might be pretty good for watching videos and listening to audio in a pinch, they’re not designed to fill a room with sound or entertain at a party. Luckily, there’s no shortage of portable speakers that can easily connect to your iPhone or iPod Touch, amplifying the sound and making it easy to bring your tunes anywhere.
What kind should you get, though? Some Bluetooth portable speakers pack in a battery and are designed for use anywhere, with perks including waterproof design and even LED lights. Others, meanwhile, require a power outlet but still are compact and lightweight enough to bring into just about any space. Those premium speakers tend to boast added features and richer sound, too.
For our money, the JBL Flip 5 at Amazon is the best overall portable speaker for iPhone and iPod Touch, delivering great sound, waterproofing, and even the ability to personalize the design when you order it. However, the Tribit MaxSound Plus at Amazon is a strong, budget-friendly option, while higher-end home options like Apple’s HomePod and the Bose Home Speaker 500 are also appealing.
And if you don’t know how to pair your device to a Bluetooth speaker, we can help you master that technique. Here’s a look at 10 of the best portable speakers you can buy today for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Great sound quality
No 3.5mm port
JBL continues to set the standard for portable Bluetooth speakers, and that’s true again with the JBL Flip 5. It delivers stellar sound quality including booming bass, offers IP7X waterproof protection that’s ideal for using the speaker at the beach or in adverse conditions, and it even lets you pair with another JBL Flip 5 speaker to enable stereo playback. And in a decidedly unique twist, you can even personalize the design from JBL’s website, choosing colors and text and even uploading designs as you please.
fIt ditches a couple of features from the previous model, including a 3.5mm wired audio port and a microphone for smart speaker functionality and hands-free calls. However, the higher-wattage output and larger, USB-C fast-charging battery make for a stronger core experience.
Lengthy battery life
Tribit’s speakers are known for packing a lot of quality sound into a portable package, and the company’s MaxSound Plus Portable Bluetooth Speaker is one of its best. The pill-like design is not unique in the portable speaker world, but this compact device will at least catch your ear. The sound quality is much better than the size or price suggests, with clear treble, warm mids, and sizzling bass when you tap the XBass button.
It also promises up to 20 hours of battery life per charge, so you don’t have to worry about it tapping out in the middle of the day—or a weekend trip, for that matter. Tribit’s speaker also has great wireless range, offering wireless playback for your iPhone or iPad touch up to 100 feet away. All told, it’s a well-rounded package for audiophiles and casual listeners alike.
Looks great anywhere
Excellent audio quality
Lots of connectivity options
No on/off button
Bose is known for seriously impressive audio gear, but it’s never cheap. That’s true again with the Bose Home Speaker 500, a stellar all-in-one home speaker unit that delivers full, booming sound that’s much larger than the compact design suggests. You’ll get wall-to-wall stereo sound from this single device, which seamlessly connects with your iPhone or iPod, as well as other smartphones and tablets.
It has plenty of other connectivity options, too, including the ability to stream directly from Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, TuneIn, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and others. It also has Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant built in for easy hands-free control, plus you can use the Bose Music app on your iOS device to sort and control your tunes.
“We’ve always found Bose speakers to have superior sound quality and the Bose Home Speaker 500 doesn’t disappoint. Regardless of what kind of audio you are listening to, this system covers all the bases.” — Benjamin Zeman, Product Tester
Stylish for budget device
Good sound quality
Modest battery life
The Soundance SDY019 Wireless FM Radio and Bluetooth Speaker has more design flair than you’d expect for the price, with a unique trapezoidal shape that stands apart from the simple pill-shaped or rectangular designs we usually see. It also has an LED display on the front that shows the time, while the control buttons are on the top. Soundance offers three color schemes, as well, so you can pick something that really suits your personal style.
It also sounds pretty good for such an affordable portable speaker, with two speakers providing clean sound with strong bass. In addition to Bluetooth pairing with your iPhone, iPod Touch, and other devices, you can also pull in FM radio stations or connect via a 3.5mm audio port. And the eight hours of battery life is solid at this price, although you’ll find much more in pricier speakers.
Stellar battery life
If you’re eager to snag a speaker that’s well suited for out-and-about usage, then the Tribit Stormbox 24W Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker should be at the top of your list. It excels on all fronts, starting with sound quality. The 360-degree output promises “crisp treble, detailed mids, and resonating bass,” with an XBass button ready and waiting to provide a bass boost.
The minimal design looks great in either black or blue, and the Tribit Stormbox really excels thanks to its portability. It’s waterproof with an IP7X rating, making it an ideal speaker for lounging by the pool or at the beach, plus the beefy 2,600mAh rechargeable battery is rated for up to 20 hours of continuous playback.
Excellent sound quality
Designed for iPhone
Limited non-iOS compatibility
If you demand the real, official deal when it comes to an iPhone or iPod touch speaker, then you’ll want Apple’s HomePod speaker. This compact, plug-in smart speaker is like an Amazon Echo or Google Home device, but with Apple’s trademark style, quality, and performance onboard. It delivers excellent audio performance in a speaker that’s just seven inches tall, making this a device that you can easily cart around. And thanks to spatial awareness smarts, it’ll sense the kind of space it’s placed in and adjust the playback to best fill your room.
It’s best suited for Apple Music, naturally, and has Siri functionality built in. However, it also works with other services on your iPhone or iPod touch, such as Spotify and iHeartRadio. It’s pricier than some other smart speakers and doesn’t easily work with Android devices, however. But if you want a proper Apple speaker and don’t mind paying a premium, it sounds great.
Heavy focus on bass
LED lighting effects
Bass focus won’t be for all
If you’re looking for a small, compact speaker that can deliver an intense bass boost, then Sony’s SRS-XB33 Extra Bass Portable Speaker might be just what you need. It’s right there in the name: Sony’s waterproof speaker puts low frequencies high on its list of priorities, giving boost-heavy bangers the spotlight they deserve. Yes, that’s perfect for parties.
The SRS-XB33 boasts IP67 dust and water resistance and can be submerged in shallow water for up to 30 minutes—so don’t worry about keeping it safe at the beach or a pool party. There are LED lights too, to add to the party effect, and the device comes in several different colors to pair to your style. You can also link up to 100 speakers together to share the sound and sync up the lighting effects.
Wirelessly charges phones
Built-in Bluetooth speaker
Probably not the best speaker
Unlike most of the other Bluetooth speakers on this list, Belkin’s Wireless Charging Speaker can pull double duty with all recent iPhones (iPhone 8 or newer): it can wirelessly charge the phone at up to 10W while it’s resting on the platform. Place it in either orientation, even with a case (up to 3mm thick) still on, and the phone will gradually top up while you’re listening to music or even watching video via the phone’s screen.
This is purely a plug-in model, so it’s not well suited for out-and-about usage, but it’s compact and easy to bring to another destination. Sound quality doesn’t look to be the highlight of this device, at least compared to some of the stellar speakers on this list, but the multifunctionality of the device and reasonable price could make it a handy addition for home or office.
Alarm clock functionality
Just 5W charging
Modest speaker output
Not keen on the pill or cylinder-shaped speakers that mostly rule this list? Emerson’s ER0X300 Docking Station provides a unique alternative that does a few different things at once. Like the Belkin option above, it serves as a wireless charger for recent iPhones, plus it’s an alarm clock with a built-in LED display. You can also adjust the angle of the stand for ideal viewing.
Of course, it’s also a Bluetooth wireless speaker on top of that, although the 10W output is much lower than some of the alternatives on this list. Additionally, the 5W wireless charging peak is half that of the Belkin device above. Still, Emerson’s speaker offers a distinctive design that could prove to be a better fit for your home.
Dolby Atmos tech
Smart home hub
You can use an iPhone or iPod Touch with any of Amazon’s Echo smart speakers, but the Echo Studio is the best of the bunch. This robust, high-fidelity smart speaker has support for 3D audio (via the Amazon Music service) and uses Dolby Atmos technology, with five built-in speakers delivering hearty aural output. And like Apple’s HomePod, it automatically senses the acoustics of the space it’s placed in.
It’s also a smart home hub that works with loads of Zigbee-compatible devices, letting you speak out commands to the Alexa voice assistant to control smart tech like lights and locks. You can even use it with your TV as an all-in-one virtual surround sound device, and link with another Echo Studio and/or an Echo Sub to amplify the effect.
The JBL Flip 5 (view at Amazon) is the gold standard for a well-rounded, waterproof, portable Bluetooth speaker, and has the added perk of design personalization. However, the Tribit MaxSound Plus (view at Amazon) is a strong and much more affordable alternative if you care more about budget than style.
Sean Ludwig is a full-time freelance writer who has contributed to such publications such as Gizmodo, VentureBeat, PCMag.com, and Fast Company
Andrew Hayward is a freelance writer and editor who has covered gadgets and games across more than 100 publications and previously was an editor at Mac|Life magazine.
Benjamin Zeman has over 20 years of experience in the tech industry covering products. With a background in music, he liked the Bose Home Speaker 500 for its excellent audio quality and great design.
Portability - All of the speakers on this list are compact and easy to move around, but some must be plugged into a power source while others have a built-in battery. Do you just want something plug-and-play for home or a speaker that you can bring outdoors too? Some of these speakers also have waterproofing, as well.
Sound Quality - You might expect small sound from a small speaker, but some of these portable speakers deliver booming, crystal-clear output. You’ll typically pay more for higher-end results, but think about the amount of space you’re looking to fill with sound.
Battery Life - If you’re keen on a portable speaker that can easily be used outdoors, then you might want to take note of battery life. Some speakers have extensive battery life of up to 20 hours, while others offer much less. Consider your likely needs compared to the expense.