Portable audio: how to take your music with you

With music always and everywhere – is this about you? Then get a quick overview of all portable audio options – from classic headphones to monstrous party devices. Let us even recall something forgotten to the delight of the conservatives.

Let’s start with the classics. Headphones are the choice of every music lover. In-ear, overhead, covering, earbuds – there are many modifications, and the choice depends only on personal preferences. Contrary to popular belief, among the earbuds and in-ear there are models with high-quality sound and good noise isolation. Plus, both are lightweight, compact and mobile – a pleasure to walk and travel light with. They are quite subtle and will not affect your style or hairstyle in any way. True, there are also disadvantages – both earbuds and in-ear headphones can fall out of the ear, so you need to choose them especially carefully.

HyperX Cloud Earbuds HX-HSCEB-RD Wired Headset Red
2499 *
Bluetooth headset MARSHALL Minor II BT black
5,099 *
For true audiophiles looking for powerful bass, high noise cancellation and great sound, this full-size, over-ear headphones with large ear cups and soft ear cushions. Note that there are wired headsets among them, equipped with a large, flexible microphone and a long, powerful cord. It is convenient to hack to death with such a network in Doom, but walking down the street is not very good.

Bluetooth headset Sony WH-1000XM4 blue 25 199 *
Among all types of headphones, there are both wired and wireless (and among the covering ones too). Among the in-ear and earbuds between the fully wireless TWS headphones and the classics, there is also a transitional format – headphones that connect to the device via Bluetooth, but are connected to each other by a wire-rim that is worn around the neck. The option is especially convenient for those who want modern wireless communication, but are afraid that the earphone will fall out and get lost.

Which is better – wired or wireless? And there, and there are both minuses and pluses. Wireless models provide maximum mobility – there are no extra wires that cling to everything, and because of this, the phone or player strives to fall out of your pocket and break. With wireless headphones, you can generally throw your device to the bottom of the bag – usually these “ears” have controls: switching tracks, controlling the volume, answering a call.

But a significant disadvantage of wireless is the battery-limited operating time. They need to be recharged in a timely manner, otherwise at the most inopportune moment you will be left without music.

To understand in more detail the audio characteristics and distinguish really cool headphones from mediocre ones, a complete guide on choosing will help .

TWS earphones
The most modern type of headphone that instantly gained popularity among those who are used to being on the move, but not parting with their favorite music, audiobooks or podcasts.

True Wireless Stereo translates to “truly wireless stereo” and means no wires at all. The headphones are paired with a phone, laptop or other equipment using a Bluetooth module.

They are great as a headset thanks to the built-in microphones, they slide quickly into your ears and are stored in a compact carrying case that doubles as a charging dock. Since the headphones are not directly connected to the device, the built-in batteries are responsible for the battery life. Most TWS earbuds can play up to 7 hours on a single charge, more expensive models up to 10-12 hours. In this case, an additional charge will also hold the case battery.

TWS headphones JBL TUNE 125TWS black 3 499 *
The main disadvantage of TWS headphones is not always a snug fit. And, since they do not have a single wire, an accidentally dropped earphone risks being irretrievably lost. This is especially true for in-ear headphones, which, unlike in-ear headphones, are fixed only outside the ear. For a reinforced fit, there are special holders that help the earphone not fall out, but it is better to carefully read the reviews and, if possible, try on or test your favorite models.

Portable speakers
Portable speakers are good for cases when you want to listen to music not only for you: for example, for a walk or relaxing with a company. It is also suitable for a car if you do not have a radio or it is temporarily out of order. A big plus of portable speakers is that you stay “in touch” with the outside world, continue to hear the surrounding noises and will be able to react in a timely manner to any situation. But there is also a minus here – the music will be heard not only by your company, but also by every passer-by. So, when using portable speakers, do not forget to respect others.

The compact portable speaker is a good companion in almost any situation. Due to its small size, it can be attached to a bicycle, backpack or even jeans. Suitable for pedestrians who are demanding on the weight of their belongings and even a hiker with a heavy backpack will not add much weight. Small speakers often come with a bike rack and suspension hook.

JBL WIND 2 portable audio system black 2 999 *
At the same time, the functionality and power of portable speakers are very diverse. These can be either modest, budget models with a quiet sound and a small charge, or quite vociferous devices with good sound quality, volume and additional chips like a built-in card reader. However, it is important to understand that the more powerful the speaker, the larger it is and, accordingly, heavier. The tiny palm-sized speakers weighing 250-350 grams can deliver about 5 watts of sound, while 30-40-watt speakers weigh up to 900 grams.

Portable speaker JBL Flip 5 turquoise 7 499 *
By the way, portable speakers with the ability to independently play music (using card readers or flash drives) are the best option for relaxing in the wild. When there is no connection around and the usual music streaming resources are not available to you; when you don’t want to drain your phone again. You just upload your favorite tracks to the memory card, connect them to the speaker and you’re done.

Portable audio system
The same portable speaker, only large, with karaoke, light music and other chips. This device is hefty, heavy, and unlikely to take with you on a mountain hike or bike track. But with a portable audio system, you can turn ordinary gatherings in the country into a real outdoor-party.


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The portable audio system has assembled an entire music center under one body. Some models have mixing options, smooth transitions between tracks. To create an absolute wow effect and a lot more fun than just dancing to the music, portable audio systems have many interesting features. The simplest ones are several connectors for karaoke microphones. The advanced models have a variety of musical and sound effects, the ability to connect a guitar. You can experiment, fool around or create new songs and tracks, and then even record them using the same audio system. By the way, regarding karaoke – some audio systems have a “vocal” feature, which mutes the vocals in any track, turning it into a phonogram.

Sony Portable Audio SRS-XG500 black 29 999 *
Bright illumination with a choice of different color modes and a response to sound (light music) gives a special effect to portable audio systems. Such a device becomes not only a musical companion of any get-together, but literally the center of attraction for the company.

Unlike a portable speaker, the audio system is much more powerful, so it is suitable for a very large room or open space. It is ideal for large companies and noisy parties, as it can drown out other noises. Unlike portable compact speakers, whose power is from 3 to 30 W, the acoustics can produce sound up to 80 W.

This is not the most mobile device – audio systems can weigh up to 5-6 kilograms, including due to very capacious batteries up to 10800 mAh.

A detailed guide will help you figure out what suits you better – a speaker or an audio system .

Radio tape recorders
The conservatives on the Russian land have not yet been extinct. And therefore, radio tape recorders still exist, although there are few of them. Comparing a radio tape recorder with a portable speaker is a pointless undertaking, since these devices seem to come from different worlds. But if you still have your favorite collection of music stored on disks, or you are looking for the simplest and most budgetary option for a garage / summer cottage, you are picking up a sincere gift for your grandfather in the end – you can take a closer look at the radio tape recorders.

Radio BBK BS09BT
They can still play CDs, catch radio waves. Most modern radio tape recorders can accept memory cards or flash drives, but, as a rule, they cannot play any audio format other than standard MP3 and WMA. Many radios have evolved to be connected via Bluetooth. But they never learned to be completely wireless and work either from the mains or from four batteries.