Looking For Portable Bluetooth Speakers With Bass?

As more and more people have started consuming their music through streaming services or files that they have either on a phone or a tablet, they often become dissatisfied by the sound quality of listening in that tiny little speaker that's built into their smartphone.

And that's totally understandable. So, people then will look for a wireless speaker or a Bluetooth capable speaker that they can connect their phone or their tablet to and play their music that they want to listen to over that speaker. It's going to be better, right?

Of course, it has to be. Well, I do get a lot of customers calling and asking me, "Why do none of these Bluetooth speakers sound very good?" There's no bass from them and they don't play very loud. And I'm just not really happy, I mean, I don't expect it to sound like my big full home stereo system. But is there something that plays bass? Is there something that's got quality?'"

And the question I'll ask back of them is, "What kind of Bluetooth speaker are looking at or Wi-Fi speaker?" And they'll give me some model number of some XYZ company thing. And I'll look it up and it'll be a tiny little thing the size of an old school clock radio maybe or even worse something that is in the shape of a little beer or a pop can.

Frankly, you're never going to get good performance out of that. Customers ask "Why?"

Well, we unfortunately can't cheat the laws of physics and there are a couple of things required if you want bass performance and you want output. So, you want it to be able to play very loud.

Basically, you need one of two things and it's better if you have both things. You need size, so you need volume, you need an air volume, cabinet volume that's big enough to support the bass frequencies and load the woofer drivers properly. And you also need power. You want it to play loud, you need amplifier power. Now, there's a lot of very detailed acoustic and electronic things that we have to worry about as loudspeaker engineers and electronics designers. But basically, the bigger the cabinet, the more bass that you're going to get up to a limit, but it's not something that's tiny and can fit in the palm of your hand.

And you also need power.

I've looked at some of these small, little Bluetooth speakers, some of which are very popular. And they may be okay at small levels if you've got them sitting on a table on your patio and you're listening real close up. They may be okay, but they don't provide any bass.

And when you look at the actual manufacturer specifications, often they'll not even tell you how much amplifier power is built into that speaker. Why? Because they either assume that nobody needs to know or wants to know, or they're ashamed to admit that that little speaker has only got one watt of power.

Now, one watt can generate a reasonable amount of sound if you have a fairly efficient speaker and it's in a big volume, a big cabinet, particularly at bass frequencies. So, the moral of the story, unfortunately, is that if you want bass and you want power output, i.e., you want to be able to have a party with your Bluetooth or wireless speaker. It needs to be something like this, our AxiomAir Force, which, yes is fairly big, much bigger than any of these little breadbox or clock radio-size Bluetooth speakers. But it also has a complement of speaker units, two 6 1/2-inch woofers, two 1-inch tweeters, that's common in many good quality bookshelf speakers, and there's a 150-watt amplifier in here. And that's more power than many home audio systems have.

portable bluetooth speakers with bass

So, if you want the performance, you need the amplifier power, you need something that's of big enough size to support bass. If you're just going to look at an inexpensive, very small, compact thing, you're never going to get that performance out of it. Unfortunately, it's just physics.

Andrew Welker

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