Fuel Summer Fun with a Portable Speaker


With temperatures rising and restrictions lifting, this summer looks to be one where we can get back together with friends and family. If there is anything more essential to summer parties than people, it's good food, and even better music. To help you get back into the swing of things, we'll look at some of this season's portable water-resistant speaker options and highlight what makes them special. Whether you're staying small or living large, there's a speaker to fit your party planning.

Marshall Emberton

Even a party of one should have the ability to enjoy music on the go. If you're looking for a compact personal audio solution that screams rock and roll, look no further than the palm-size Emberton from Marshall. This portable speaker's design mimics that of the iconic Marshall amp, with the same textured black surface, silver grill, and white “Marshall” emblem. Your audio is streamed via Bluetooth through two 2" drivers for 10W of sound. Its small size means it can easily slip into a backpack for use at the park, pool, friend’s backyard, or anywhere you want to enjoy some tunes.

Marshall Emberton Portable Waterproof Wireless Speaker
Marshall Emberton Portable Waterproof Wireless Speaker

Sonos Roam

An ideal option for those with a Sonos home sound system, the Sonos Roam will sync up with the other speakers via the Sonos app. As the name implies, you can take the Roam around your home or outside to enjoy music where you need it most. Thanks to Sonos's Automatic Trueplay, your audio is optimized based on the Roam's location and the type of audio you're playing.

Sonos Roam
Sonos Roam

Supporting a wide variety of devices, you can stream via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, or access more than 60,000 live stations with Sonos Radio. Control that playback from mobile devices or with your voice. The Roam supports Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. Everything you play should sound great out of the Roam's mid-woofer, tweeter, and two Class-H amps. Ready for all-day listening, the Roam can stream for up to 10 hours on a full charge.

Bose® SoundLink Revolve+™

Nothing says portability quite like a built-in handle. Grab the flexible fabric handle of the SoundLink Revolve+™ and place it anywhere inside or out in the yard. The 360-degree speaker design makes placement a non-issue, filling the area with music from its 3.6" driver.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ Bluetooth Speaker
Bose® SoundLink Revolve+™ Bluetooth Speaker

In larger gatherings, you can link two Revolve+ speakers in stereo mode, or use the threaded mount to elevate and project music farther with an optional tripod. Bose makes setup and operation a breeze with NFC support, voice prompts, and voice control via Siri or Google Assistant. Once it’s setup, you can enjoy it for up to 16 hours.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6

Speaking of handles, Harman Kardon adds a bit of sophisticated flair to the Onyx Studio 6 by seamlessly integrating an aluminum handle into the speaker body. The round, handbag shape of the Onyx Studio 6 sports a fabric covering, three colorways, and a dynamic soundstage with a 4.7" woofer and 1" tweeter that can produce 50W of power. With the addition of a second Onyx Studio 6, you can link them for stereo sound and run them for up to 8 hours on a full charge.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Portable Wireless Speaker
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Portable Wireless Speaker

JBL PartyBox 310

If you're lucky enough to have a raging party in the backyard this summer, then the PartyBox 310 is ready to provide your guests with multiple entertainment options. Sure, it can stream music via Bluetooth like any other portable wireless speaker, but it stands out with two 1/4" inputs and an LED light show. Hook up a pair of optional mics for a karaoke duet, or use one port to connect a guitar and show off in front of your friends.

JBL PartyBox 310 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Party Lights
JBL PartyBox 310 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Party Lights

With up to 18 hours of power and a backlit control panel, you can take the party well into the night. Whatever you play, you'll hear it loud and clear through two 6.5" light-up woofers and two 2.5" tweeters that can deliver a massive 240W of sound. Yes, something this massive is technically portable thanks to its telescoping handle and dual built-in wheels.

This year's summer parties and outdoor fun are likely going to take on a lot of different looks. Will you continue to enjoy solo adventures? Perhaps a small get-together in the AC or out by the barbeque? If you're lucky enough to enjoy flexible guidelines, a big backyard bash may be in order. Regardless, there’s no excuse to not have your favorite sounds of summer by your side.

Do you have a favorite portable speaker from our roundup? Let us know which you like best or what you're surprised we left out in the Comments section, below.


I like the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 speakers which will work with Bluetooth and their smartphone app to link multiple—up to 150–speakers to a single system.  They are easily portable, hold a long-lasting charge, and the app works with multiple models of Ultimate Ears speakers—so your friends can bring theirs and you can have all the decibels you need!

Thanks for taking the time to share your live-sound tips, Kelly! When you find a formula that works for you, we say stick with it. And in the immortal words of the late Jerry Garcia, "In this world, louder is better."