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Let's hear it for these portable mini Bluetooth speakers

The compact JBL Pulse 2 portable mini Bluetooth

The compact JBL Pulse 2 portable mini Bluetooth speakers is also splashproof. Credit: CBS Interactive

The market for Bluetooth speakers has exploded in the past few years, and with good reason: quality has increased and prices have dropped. Every model can stream music from nearly any smartphone or tablet, and many of them double as speakerphones. CNET's editors have been reviewing them at a steady clip, and we've rounded up four of our favorite models, focusing on small and lightweight units that are best suited to travel.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD The sleek Bose SoundLink Plus Bluetooth speaker sounds excellent for its compact size, has a built-in handle for easy transport and is water-resistant. Battery life is good at 16 hours, and there's a threaded tripod mount on the bottom of the speaker and an integrated microphone for speakerphone calls.

THE BAD It's expensive, and the cradle that makes charging easier is an optional $30 accessory.

THE COST  $299

BOTTOM LINE Arguably the best-sounding Bluetooth speaker for its size.

JBL Pulse 2

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD This compact, splashproof wireless Bluetooth speaker delivers strong sound for its size and distinguishes itself with an integrated light show that's far improved from the original model. The built-in rechargeable battery lasts for 10 hours for sound only and five hours with the light show in effect.

THE BAD There's no carrying case included.

THE COST $148.99 to $169

BOTTOM LINE JBL has improved both the LED light show and sound in the Pulse 2, making it a standout in a crowded market.

Bose SoundLink Micro

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD This pocket-size Bluetooth speaker produces richer and louder sound than competing micro wireless speakers. It's fully waterproof and has a built-in microphone for speakerphone calls, plus an integrated strap for clipping the speaker onto a bag or other objects.

THE BAD Battery life is only average, and bigger portable speakers deliver similar or better sound for the same money or less.


BOTTOM LINE The well-built and travel-friendly speaker is exceptional for its tiny size class.

UE Wonderboom

CNET rating (out of 5)

4 stars (excellent)

THE GOOD The Wonderboom is compact, fully waterproof and plays very loud with a good amount of bass for its small size. It also floats in water, is shock-resistant and has decent battery life. You can pair two Wonderbooms together to augment the sound.

THE BAD It has no speakerphone capabilities and is slightly bulky for travel use.

THE COST $68 to $99

BOTTOM LINE It's affordable, durable for its size and is one of the fullest-sounding mini Bluetooth speakers you can buy.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: executive editor David Carnoy and senior editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit

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