There are things that you don't really need, but they make everyday life much more comfortable: For our focus on "It sparked" we try out the best gadgets and apps for a more relaxed life - from nerds for normal people.

For this article, our author went out with five bluetooth speakers.

Private music in public space has had an astonishing march through institutions.

What was still reserved for punkers and breakdancers with their ghetto blazers (this name alone!) In the 1980s and was then mainly practiced for a short time by very cool pubescent people on the back rows of buses, has for some years now been considered good form even for the most well-adjusted business administration students: Portable speakers are always with you, whether in the park, on the beach or in the swimming pool. 

This has mainly to do with the fact that instead of bulky cassette recorders, there are now slim Bluetooth boxes that fit in every backpack and whose battery lasts for many hours.

In addition, the world's music is immediately available via smartphone and streaming service.

But which Bluetooth box is the right one for a trip outside?

And are there any major differences between the manufacturers? 

To answer that, I tested five models between 120 and 150 euros, i.e. in the middle price range.

All of the above (and other) manufacturers offer cheaper models, and of course there are also some really expensive devices.

I have chosen these five boxes:

  • JBL Charge 4 (current retail price around 120 euros)

  • Bose Soundlink Revolve (150 euros)

  • Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 (125 euros)

  • Teufel Rockster Go (145 euros)

  • Sony SRS-XB33 (130 euros)

First of all: In my test, I am more concerned with the overall package than with the tonal subtleties.

I like to listen to music a lot, but I'm neither a musician nor a speaker expert.

Since all tested boxes advertise more or less clearly that they are suitable for a day outdoors, I play through exactly such a day.

Here we go. 

First impression and setup

Before I can cycle into the park, of course, I have to unpack and set up the boxes.

Switching on and connecting to my smartphone works smoothly and very similarly for all boxes.

Either they are in pairing mode immediately after switching on or I still have to press a button.

At least anyone who knows the Bluetooth logo will find it immediately.

Only with the Ultimate Ears do I first press the wrong button because they are not labeled.

The whole thing is accompanied by beeps or, in the case of Bose and Sony, by a voice that informs me that the devices are now connected.

A first test - yes, they all play music.

The way

Bose Soundlink Revolve © Bose

A loudspeaker for outside must be transportable.

In my case in a backpack, weight is less of a game-changing factor than size.

The Sony SRS XB33 loudspeaker is comparatively heavy at 1,100 grams.

The Bose box, on the other hand, is the smallest (15 cm high) and lightest (660 grams) and, with its almost cylindrical shape, fits well in my pocket.

The Teufel device is hardly bigger and heavier, rather rectangular, which also fits well.

However, I have the feeling that I have to be more careful because a loudspeaker membrane is exposed.

This also applies to the boxes from Sony and JBL, on the sides of which membranes are visible. 

I feel safer with the Megaboom 3 from Ultimate Ears: It is completely closed, nothing protrudes, and because it is exactly cylindrical, it fits well in my backpack next to my other stuff.