Even though many manufacturers have removed the 3.5 mm aux input from new Bluetooth speakers, it is still possible to find the best portable speakers with aux input. Our favorite models are the latest ones with a calculated decision to keep the aux input. In addition to these older-model speakers, some newer models do not have an aux port.
The speaker of 2023 should offer excellent sound quality, Bluetooth compatibility, adjustable equalizers, app compatibility, wireless pairing, and party mode, among other features. Sadly, many feature-rich speakers do not have 3.5 mm auxiliary inputs.
What to consider
A product’s IP rating (Ingress Protection) describes the product’s resistance to both solid objects (dirt, dust, fingers?) and water. Two numbers are usually combined, the first indicating solid object ingress and the second indicating water ingress. The former ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (dust-tight). The water protection level ranges from 0 (no protection) to 9 (protected against immersion and high-pressure jets). A product with an X instead of a number has not been tested for resistance. Waterproof equipment may have inherent resistance, but this cannot be guaranteed.
IP67 is commonly rated for highly resistant and potentially rugged speakers. These are safe for dunks in the pool or tub, as well as rain and showers. Besides the beach, playgrounds, and other rough environments, they’re also good options.
In addition, top-quality speakers often include a tight-fitting cover over the charging or auxiliary ports. The product’s rated ability to withstand the elements may be limited if you plan to use the ports.
When choosing a Bluetooth speaker, consider the IP rating and how you intend to use it. For example, if you’ll mostly use it indoors, you may be able to get away with a better-sounding model with a lower IP rating.
In this guide, we’ll focus on portable Bluetooth speakers. The term “portable” may be relative, but these devices are generally intended for people without electricity access. Today, 12 hours of battery life seems to be the norm, but obviously, the longer a speaker can last, the better.
It would help if you were careful when looking at battery specs, as they often list a maximum runtime (“up to” x number of hours). The volume was usually low to medium when they tested. Loud music is for you if you like it. It can often cut your expected usage time in half or more. In addition to listing the estimated battery life at total volume, some manufacturers also provide that information.
Furthermore, Bluetooth speakers with WiFi are usually designed for always-on functionality if they have WiFi connectivity. In contrast to regular Bluetooth speakers, which put themselves to sleep after a short period without use, these will stay awake (to listen for your commands) and slowly drain the battery. Remember to turn the speakers off manually when not in service when out and about for maximum battery life.
It’s not easy to get a reliable Bluetooth range. Most companies list their product’s maximum capacity outdoors and in an unobstructed line-of-sight test environment. Some companies stick a 30-foot span on the spec sheet, even if they use Bluetooth 4. x or 5. x. That may underestimate the speaker’s potential, but unpredictable environments may affect range, so promising the moon is pointless.
I have experienced signal drops while crouching down, holding my phone in the pocket of my jeans, and barely 30 feet from a speaker inside my apartment. Despite their listed ranges, I encountered this issue across several devices.
If you plan on hosting a patio party and duck inside, make sure the source device is close by just in case. Bluetooth signals are susceptible to interference from many factors in any environment. Consider a range of about 100 feet or more as a perfect-world scenario.
There are those out there who use speakers as a computer output or as a mini soundbar solution for setups like a monitor and streaming box. It isn’t enjoyable when your speaker’s latency isn’t low enough to avoid lip sync problems. The majority of speakers today don’t seem to have these problems. Among the dozen speakers I tried, only a handful had persistent lip-sync problems. Our picks worked well in this regard, aside from occasional blips.
When choosing a speaker for video playback, select one with the latest Bluetooth version (4. x or 5. x) and a low latency codec, such as aptX. The speaker should also be close to the source device since distance can play a role. Getting one with a wired auxiliary input can avoid the issue altogether.
6 Best Portable Speakers with aux Input
|JBL Xtreme 2
|JBL Charge 4
|JBL Flip 4
|Bose SoundLink Revolve II
|Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II
|Anker Soundcore Motion+
JBL Xtreme 2
The Xtreme 2 also has an aux input and is usually less expensive. This might be a good choice if you need a more budget-friendly option.
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Our favorite Bluetooth speaker is the JBL Xtreme 2. Although it doesn’t cost the least on our list, it isn’t the cheapest either. Although Xtreme 2 provides more bass and volume than most portable speakers, the sound quality is exceptional.
The Xtreme 2 is the best budget speaker available today.
The speaker has all the features you’d expect from a quality Bluetooth speaker, including USB-C charging, long battery life, and IP67 waterproofing. There are also some unique features on the Xtreme 3, such as built-in clips and a carrying strap, as well as a power bank feature that allows you to charge a cell phone or other device from the Xtreme 2.
A quality portable speaker like the JBL Xtreme 2 is worth a few hundred dollars.
JBL Charge 4
A brand-new version of this speaker, the Charge 5, is now available. The Charge 5 does not have an aux port, however. Therefore, Charge 4 meets the requirements for inclusion on this list. The Charge 4 has excellent sound quality comparable to the Xtreme 3 listed above. Compared side-by-side, the Xtreme 3 provides a bit more volume and clarity. However, regarding the value, Charge 4 outperforms Xtreme 3.
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Charge 4 offers an exceptional combination of sound quality and affordability. It is more expensive than the Flip 4 (discussed below), but it makes up for its better sound quality and performance. While it doesn’t seem as good as the Xtreme 3 (above), the retail price is much more affordable.
JBL Flip 4
The Flip also has newer, updated versions similar to the JBL Charge series above. The JBL Flip 5 and 6 have been released, but JBL decided to eliminate the aux port from both models. We recommend the Flip 4 since it includes an aux port as well.
Flip 4 is now dated (by multiple generations), so you may have to look for a used model. If you buy a used speaker, you may save some money, or if you buy a new model at closeout prices, you may save even more.
If you buy a used speaker, remember that you can’t tell how often the battery has been charged and drained. A speaker used for a few years may have minimal battery life.
Bose SoundLink Revolve II
The Bose SoundLink series has produced some excellent Bluetooth speakers, including the newest addition (SoundLink Flex), which many tech reviewers rated as the top speaker of 2021. There is no 3.5 mm aux input on the SoundLink Flex. On the list of our favorite Bluetooth speakers with aux input, we still have two Bose SoundLink products.
There is no doubt that the Revolve II performs well, providing excellent sound quality, battery life, and a solid design. Although the speaker has Bluetooth 4.1, it is powered by micro USB (instead of USB-C).
Featuring the Bose signature sound and access to Bose Connect, the Revolve II costs less than $250. You can also use the speaker in party mode and stereo mode if you own multiple speakers. Here is a complete review of the SoundLink Revolve II and SoundLink Revolve+ II.
Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II
It can provide more power and volume, with less distortion at high volumes, than the SoundLink Revolve II. Revolve+ II costs *$100 more, however.
A round design produces 360-degree sound, as does the Revolve+ II. In addition to being more extensive, the Revolve II has a longer battery life of 17 hours, compared to the Revolve II’s 13 hours.
Bluetooth 4.1 and micro USB charging make the device feel dated. However, it still offers excellent features like Bose Connect access, party mode and stereo mode, and Bose signature sound.
Regarding quality Bluetooth speakers, the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II is an intelligent choice for those willing to spend upwards of $300.
Anker Soundcore Motion+
For a full review of the Soundcore Motion+ and a comparison with the Soundcore Motion Boom. These speakers have become cult classics with premium quality at a budget-friendly price. If you haven’t heard of Anker Soundcore Motion series speakers, you should add them to your list. Even though we love the Soundcore Motion Boom, it lacks an aux input despite its 24-hour battery life. The Motion+ is the only device eligible for this list.
Consider the Motion+ if your maximum budget is less than $300. Furthermore, Motion+ is IPX7 waterproof, supports wireless stereo pairing, and provides aptX-compliant “hi-fi on a budget” sound quality.
The Bluetooth 5.0 technology and customizable EQ make this speaker more modern than some other products on our list. Anker Soundcore gives you a current high-performance product with an aux port instead of searching for an old speaker that still has an aux port.
There are still quality Bluetooth speakers with aux inputs available in 2023. best portable speakers with aux input. In addition to the 3.5 mm aux port, the speakers mentioned above are high-quality devices from reputable manufacturers. We have reviewed many speakers throughout the years, and these products were selected from those.