As you go on upgrading yourself in terms of Music systems, the budget also gets on high. Obviously to get something unique and punchy one has to spend few dollars more and that the rule.
So coming to the main purpose of this post, I will be talking and comparing Portable Bluetooth speakers in the range of $200 (plus minus $20) (Please check actual prices on Amazon, what I am talking about are prices as on Jan 2018)
Selection of BEST Portable Bluetooth Speakers in range of $200:
My research took me to select the best sellers on Amazon in this budget range around $200, top three sellers which I found are –
- Bose SoundLink Revolve
- Harman Kardon GO+PLAY
- Marshall Stockwell Compare & Review
All of the above BT speakers are having very good user ratings (more than 4 star – as on Jan 2018) and companies are known since long long time for their Sound Quality. Of-course each of them have their proprietary sound signatures and being highly subjective matter its your personal choice and favorism about particular brand.
Best thing is to begin with comparing the technical specifications, where I have highlighted the strong and weak points of particular Bluetooth speaker. The colors like Green and Orange will quickly highlight your attention. Needless to say that this is done to first understand the hardware part of speaker, finally while it comes to delivery, as said earlier its purely subjective matter.
Bose SoundLink Revolve vs Harman Kardon GO+PLAY vs Marshall Stockwell Review
Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Bose SoundLink Revolve
Harman Kardon GO+PLAY Mini
|Best Buy||Best Buy||Best Buy|
|Color||Lux Gray, Triple Black||Black, White||Black|
|Transducer size (mm)||3″ Full-Range Driver||2x woofers (90mm), 2x tweeters (20mm)||two 2.25” (58 mm) woofers and two Class D amplifiers|
|Bluetooth version||Bluetooth v4.2||Bluetooth v4.1||Bluetooth v4.0|
|Wireless range||up to 9 m (30 ft)|
|Support protocol||Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)||A2DP 1.3, AVRCP 1.6, HFP 1.6||aptX|
|Frequency Response||Specs not available||50Hz-20kHz (-6dB)||50Hz-20kHz|
|Multi-connect||Connects two devices at a time||Connect up to 3 smart devices at the same time||Specs not available|
|Speaker phone||take calls right through the speaker||Duel microphone conferencing system with Herman noise and echo cancelling technology which delivers crystal clear conference calls.||Yes|
|Memory||Speaker remembers the eight most recently connected devices.||Specs not available||Specs not available|
|Voice input||Siri and Google Now||Specs not available||Specs not available|
|Shock resistant||Yes, Video on website shows drop down test||Specs not available||Specs not available|
|Water-resistant||yes, IPX4 rating|
speaker will long outlast an accidental showering of water.
|Specs not available||Specs not available|
|Input||3.5 mm auxiliary input||Specs not available||3.5 mm auxiliary input|
|Output||Micro-B USB port||Specs not available||Specs not available|
|Battery type||lithium-ion||lithium-ion||2200 mAh lithium-ion|
|Battery life||up to 12 hours||up to 8 hours (varies by volume level and audio content)||up to 25 hours|
|Battery charge time||Specs not available||3 hours||Specs not available|
|App||Bose connect App|
connect any two SoundLink Revolve speakers in Party Mode
|Connect upto two Herman Kardon wireless duel sound speakers||Specs not available|
|Charges your smartphones and tablets via USB.||No||Yes||Yes|
|Add-on facility||Optional charging cradle as an accessory||Retractable analogue control knobs located at the top of the speaker|
|Threaded universal mount Available|
Lets you attach SoundLink Revolve to just about any tripod.
|Dimensions||15.2 cm H x 8.2 cm W x 8.2 cm D||21.15 cm H x 41.75 cm W x 18.15 cm D||26 cm x 14 cm x 4.1 cm|
|Weight||0.66 kg||3.433 kg||1.2 kg|
|Portable Bluetooth Speaker||Bose SoundLink Revolve||Harman Kardon GO+PLAY Mini||Marshall Stockwell Portable Bluetooth Speaker|
- Bose Soundlnk revolve features single 3 inch driver with its extruded container, delivering Bose signature sound.
- Harman Kardon GO+PLAY Mini supersedes in all three with two 90 mm woofers (surely delivering best BASS) assisted with two 20 mm twitters, hence covering low and high tunes carefully. That is why it can handle 50Hz-20kHz frequency range easily.
- Marshall Stockwell holds two 2.25” (58 mm) woofers and two Class D amplifiers and also able to cover wide frequency range of 50Hz-20kHz. However surely HK Go Play has bigger drivers than Marshall, so hardware part naturally it delivers more sound.
So in terms of hardware recommendation Harman Kardon GO+PLAY Mini is clear winner.
Portability: Weight and Battery backup
- Portability is directly proportional to the weight and size of portable speaker, hence in this case Bose Soundlnk revolve is clear winner, with its lightweight 0.66 kg system and very small cylindrical size. Also it plays the music for 12 hours which is more than enough during trekking.
- Hence in case you are looking for a portable system for trekking or wondering on bicycle, you can select smallest and lightest system of all which is Bose Soundlink revolve
- However in case you are going for camping in your caravan, and weight is not an issue for you. Simply go for Harman Kardon GO+PLAY Mini which weighs 3.4 kg, but will deliver extra bass thump with its 90 mm drivers. Also it has descent playtime of 8 hours.
- Someone who wants to strike a golden mean of weight and battery backup can even go for Marshall Stockwell which provides extra long 25 hours of playtime and weight only 1.2 kg (this weight is precisely in between Bose SoundLink Revolve & Harman Kardon GO+PLAY Mini
- With Duel microphone conferencing system with Herman noise and echo cancelling technology which delivers crystal clear conference calls Harman Kardon GO+PLAY Mini scores pretty high.
Charging your smartphones on the go:
- One of the major requirement is to charge your smartphone on the go and as an emergency your bluetooth speaker phone can act as a power-bank. Hence this feature is prime important as per me.
- Bose SoundLink Revolve lacks this facility and can’t charge your mobile on the go !
- Harman Kardon GO+PLAY Mini as well as Marshall Stockwell Portable Bluetooth Speaker has got USB port output which can be used to charge your smartphone or tablet on the go. Both features long lasting battery which will act as a power-bank for you during emergency.
Overall recommendation for Bluetooth speaker in range of $200:
Looking at positive and negatives Harman Kardon GO+PLAY Mini (Best Buy) supersedes looks to be winner with its signature sound, extra large 90 mm woofers delivering extra bass thump, capability to recharge your mobile on the go, duel microphone for crystal clear conference calls. Only major hitch which I feel is the weight of system is around 3.5 kg which is too much if you intend to take it for a ride / trekking / camping.
Hence if your intention is mainly trekking / hiking / camping or cycle ride I would recommend going for Bose Soundlink revolve (Best Buy), with its lightweight and round shape it is best to be packaged in the backpack and provides 12 hours of playtime which is more than enough.