NEW YORK — Portable wireless speakers is one of the fastest-growing accessories categories out there, and the latest batch of introductions boasts a strong bend toward color and fashion. While functionality and size remain important to consumers, vendors are stressing the aesthetics in an effort to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. Pictured here are some of the latest beauties consumers have to choose from.
The IPX44 weather-proof Airbeat-10 from Divoom is a portable, multifunctional Bluetooth speaker that mounts on a bike handlebar, can be used in the shower with an included suction cup, and doubles as a speakerphone when paired with a smartphone. It has a line-in option for added compatibility with other devices and delivers up to six hours of playback time off a single charge. It comes in Sky Blue, Passion Red, Pearl White or Smart Black and retails for $29.90.
The Thump from 808 Audio stands under 3 inches tall but packs a substantial sound punch into its lightweight footprint. Designed for ultimate portability it delivers six hours of listening time and retails for $19.99. Lowe’s and Walmart are stocking it for the holiday season.
The Riptide, from Nuu, is a 2.7-inch cube speaker with a built-in carabiner and universal mounting capabilities. It can be completely submerged in up to 3 feet of water and is buoyant so it will never be lost at sea. The speaker features a 3-watt neodymium driver combined with a passive bass radiator. Riptide also has a speakerphone feature and a built-in, waterproof and noise-canceling microphone. It retails for $49.99.
Beacon Audio’s Blazar projects 360 degrees of sound and can be paired with another Blazar for true stereo sound. Additional Blazar. It is finished in a single-piece polished aluminum casing in either Deep Graphite or silver for a sophisticated look.
Stellé Audio’s Go-Go Speaker, part of the company’s Audio Couture line, boasts sleek curves, a white and gold finish, and a lightweight frame. It comes with a removable hanging strap that attaches to any pole or can be used as a wristlet, and an adjustable pivoting speaker mount for bicycle or stroller handlebars. The mount screws onto a ball pivot and features an easy-to-use two-push button release for added security. It retails for $129.
Rapoo has released two new portable speakers, the A500 and A300, both with NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, integrated mic and speakerphone capability. The A500 features a spherical shape and Multipoint Connection technology, which allows several users to sync their devices with the speaker. Dual-Mode allows users to use it in both wired and wireless modes. The A500 is available in black, white, yellow, blue and green. The compact, cube-shaped A300 includes Radiation Airflow Invert technology, which uses the backward pressure energy of the active speaker and runs it through the passive speakers to clarify the sound. It is currently available in red and teal and will soon be available in white, blue and yellow.
Pyle Audio’s Street Blaster is a 1,000-watt Bluetooth- and NFC-compatible boombox with a water-resistant casing, four-hour rechargeable battery and built-in mic and guitar inputs to act as a portable amp. Blinking/strobing Illuminating LED lights pulse to the music being played. It retails for $249.