Picking the right speaker can be tricky given the huge number of options available, but even in the reasonably affordable budget of under Rs. 5,000, we found some standout speakers. We've listed the rates we found online, but it varies from shop to shop, so compare prices in the local markets to get the best deal. Here are our five favourites.
Jabra Solemate Mini
This speaker is designed to be loud, and to have a solid bass thump. A rugged design and additional features like NFC make this speaker a good buy but some might find the bass a bit too much to take, as it overpowers the rest of the sound.
Design - The Jabra Solemate Mini has a rubbery exterior on offer, which is also splash and dust resistant. The speaker can be paired with NFC along with the Bluetooth. Top of the speaker has three buttons - one centre button to answer or end a call, one for volume up and one for volume down. With long press of either volume button mutes/unmutes the microphone and call button also tells the battery status. On the right side of the speaker there are power button, 3.5mm auxiliary input port and micro-USB charging. The bottom surface has tooth-like ridges and a reverse S-shaped channel that holds an included 3.5mm audio cable.
Performance - The Jabra Solemate Mini delivers big sound in an ultra-portable sized unit. There are two grilles on either side of the unit which cover the front and rear. Rear panel also emits some sound. It works well with about 80 percent volume but does distort a little with 100 percent. The rubberised exterior with the bottom tooth-like ridges helps keeping speaker stable with limiting vibrations. Overall the speaker sound quality is very impressive.
What we like - Ruggedness and powerful sound
Price - Rs. 3,999
The D100 is meant for people who want their speaker to be seen and not just heard. There's also the option of using AAA batteries, which can keep you going that little bit extra in a party, but it comes at the cost of some portability, so these probably aren't speakers you'd carry when you're packing for a flight.
Design - The Creative D100 is a good looking two-channel speaker with Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR wireless chip. On the front it has a Bluetooth pairing button and volume up down key, while the back has a 5-volts ac power inlet, a 3.5mm jack for auxiliary input and a power on/off button. The speaker also fits in four AAA size batteries at its base for DC power. Overall speaker is the biggest of the lot and weighs a little less than one kg (2.2 pounds).
Performance - The Creative D100 has got a very impressive sound quality with impressive low-end range. Also the speaker is loud enough and it can easily fill a room with sound from a corner.
What we like - Good Sound and stylish looks.
Price - Rs. 3,649
The Flip is highly portable, good looking, and sounds great too. The catch is that the battery life is very poor, so this one is for people who're not always on the move, and want something good looking and portable.
Design - The compact JBL Flip is cleverly design and it can be used either horizontally or vertically, resting on its rubber support. The speaker is cylindrical shaped. All the controls are on the top (when positioned vertically) - power button, volume up/down and phone answering button. The power cord plugs at the back and there is an auxiliary input right next to it. It also includes a rechargeable battery for playback upto five hours.
Performance - The JBL Flip is a powerful portable unit with clear sound. There will be no complaints over the loudness of it, as with 10W of peak output from its dual speakers. Keeping the speaker portability and microphone (can receive calls from the speaker) integration in mind it is great for the value.
What we like - Portability and Microphone integration.
Price - Rs. 4,399
Logitech UE Mobile Boombox
If portability is not your top concern, then this speaker is the one to buy. It isn't the most powerful or the most portable, but it's a highly competent jack of all trades that can also be used as a speakerphone for calls.
Design - Logitech UE Mobile Boombox sports a small, rectangular brick design that looks and feels premium. The speaker comes in attractive colour options, and is small and light enough to be carried around in your bag easily. The top has embossed Bluetooth and volume buttons. The power switch, battery indicator light, charging port, and 3.5mm audio-in jack are on the back of the unit.
Performance - The UE Mobile Boombox seems to hit the sweet spot between portability and performance, with the quality of sound surprising on almost all fronts. However, predictably given the size of the speakers one must add, the bass leaves a lot to be desired, but other than that the speakers hit all the right notes. You can pair it with your Bluetooth-enabled phone and enjoy voice calling thanks to the built-in mic.
What we like - Two device pairing and good battery life.
Price - Rs. 4,295
Amkette Trubeats Metal
If your concern is skewed towards money when talking about value for money, then the Amkette really delivers. It doesn't sound as good as some of the other speakers listed, and the battery life is relatively bad, but it's ferry competitively priced and has a durable seeming metal body.
Design - The Amkette Trubeats Metal speaker is built with cylindrical metal alloy drum and is very compact. This makes it an easy-fit for the backpacks or even pockets. At the bottom of the speaker drum there are buttons for pairing the device, changing the track and answering a call. Also there is a 3.5mm auxiliary input with a mini-USB charging port for charging the built-in battery. The speaker overall feels very thick and solid with the metal weight.
Performance - Amkette Trubeats Metal performs very well for its size. The metal alloy drum produces good bass and is loud enough for a 40mm driver. The additional features like changing the tracks from the speaker and answering a call with the inbuilt microphone makes it good value for money.
What we like - Metal body and additional track changing capabilities for the price.
Price - Rs. 2,149