Today we’re looking at the best portable speakers for vanlife because living in a van is all about having fun, and everything is better with music. I’ve seen vans with full surround sound systems, but in a space so small, a wireless speaker is just as good. These compact speakers will fill your tiny home with high-quality sound, perfect for that road trip feeling.
Why Choose A Portable Speaker?
One of the great things about portable speakers is that you don’t need to build them into the design of your van. As they are so small, you can put them anywhere in your camper depending on what space you have free. You can also chuck them in, or on, your bag whenever you head out for the day so you can have music with you wherever you go.
If you do want to use your speaker both inside and outside your van, then be sure to choose a robust speaker that can take a few bashes. If you spend a lot of time at the beach or the lake, then you might also want to go for something waterproof. There’s nothing better than paddling out to a quiet spot in your kayak or SUP and putting on a bit of good music, without having to worry about keeping your speaker dry.
One huge bonus of portable speakers when you’re travelling in a van is that they can hold a lot of charge. This means you can charge your speaker before your trip, and you may not have to recharge it until you get home. If you live full time in your van or are going on a long road trip then luckily, you can charge all of these speakers using a 12volt electricity system.
So, let’s take a look at the top seven portable speakers that would be perfect for your vanlife adventure.
Seven Best Portable Speakers
All prices correct as of July 2020.
The Urbanista Brisbane is the portable speaker that I currently have in my campervan, and it’s great. This speaker easily fills the whole van with music and has a high-quality sound. One feature that stands out is the ability to connect two speakers via bluetooth. You can use this function to create a fuller, surround sound effect in your camper, which could be useful if you have a larger RV.
This is one of the larger portable speakers on the list so while you could still easily chuck it in a bag for a day out it is going to take up more space than some other options. The speaker cover is also fabric, not plastic so it may get dirty easier, especially if you choose the white design.
The Urbanista Brisbane gives you ten hours of playtime from one single charge and up to 90 days stand by time. Even better is that it only takes three hours to charge, meaning you won’t drain your van’s battery if you need to charge it on your trip. This speaker comes in at $99.99.
2. JBL Pulse 3
The JBL Pulse 3 is perfect if you’re looking for a speaker to fuel outdoor van parties. Not only does it give you great sound but you also get a light show that you can coordinate you your music. Pretty cool right? This feature would also make a great nightlight in your camper in an evening.
As well as the lighting feature, the JBL Pulse 3 is also fully waterproof, making it great for a day at the beach. JBL is a well-known speaker brand and is a good go-to if you’re looking for excellent sound quality, they’re tried and tested and loved by many.
This speaker gives you 12 hours of playtime from one charge. The major downside to the JBL Pulse 3 is the price tag, at $220, I would say this is a pretty expensive speaker. But if you’re looking for a reliable speaker with some cool features, then it might be worth it for you.
Up next on our list of the best portable speakers for van life we have a budget-friendly option, the Altec Lansing Mini H2O. With almost 3000 reviews on Amazon and a rating of 4.5stars, this cheap speaker is hitting the spot for many people.
If you’re looking for something ultra-portable, waterproof and durable, then this could be the speaker for you. The Altec Lansing Mini H2O can clip onto your backpack, or your belt loops using the handy carabiner attachment. This waterproof speaker has been designed to float, a great feature that makes it difficult to lose.
This smaller, cheaper speaker has just six-hours of battery life, but it also charges quickly. Coming in at only $14.57, I think this is a great buy.
The Bose Sounlink Micro is one of of the adventure-ready portable speakers on this list. It’s compact size, IPx7 waterproof rating and silicone tear-proof strap mean that this speaker is good to go, where ever you’re going.
You can also pair this mini speaker to any other bose speaker you have in your van or around the house. You can use this to hear the same music in every room at your house party or to create that surround sound effect in your campervan. On top of this, a built-in microphone means you can take calls through the speaker and use Siri or google assistant while it is hooked up to your phone.
While the music quality is good on this portable speaker, it is not as good compared to larger Bose speakers. But, if you’re looking for something to take with you on all of your outdoor adventures, then it’s still a good choice. This speaker comes in at $94.95.
We know it’s not all about looks, but the Sony SRS-XB12 is a good look speaker. The stylish design stands out from the crowd, with smooth edges, a soft strap and a range of bold colours. But, not only does it look good, it sounds good too. This Sony speaker comes with extra base and high volume capabilities. For an even fuller sound, pair two or more together.
The Sony SRS-XB12 is one of the waterproof portable speakers on our list, which is excellent news for any watersport fanatics out there. As well as being fully waterproof, the speaker is also dustproof and will withstand any desert landscape or dusty trail.
With a 16-hour battery life, this speaker can last for an impressive amount of time considering its compact size. At just $38, the Sony SRS-XB12 is an affordable option.
At number six on our list of the best portable speakers, we have the Anker Soundcore. This is a speaker that I have used for years, and the thing I love most about it is the battery life, that seems to last forever. It actually lasts for 24hours, which is the longest of any of the speakers on this list.
For just $29.99, this extended battery life is impressive, and the sound quality is good too. I like the design of this speaker; it’s robust and compact but still pretty stylish. While you could chuck this in your rucksack to take out with you, it doesn’t have a clip to attach to the exterior of your bag.
Unlike most of the others, this speaker is not waterproof so wouldn’t be great for a day on the lake. However, with a staggering number of reviews on amazon (over 31,000) and an average rating of 4.6 stars, this is definitely a good choice.
7. JBL Clip 3
Last but not least of our list of the best portable speakers, we have another JBL product, the JBL Clip 3. This compact speaker is designed to be taken outside with you, and carrying it is made easy thanks to the clip that is integral to this speaker’s design.
With ten hours of playtime, this speaker will keep the music going for the duration of your adventure, be it on the trail or in the water. The JBL Clip 3 has an IPX7 waterproof rating, so is great for taking out with you on your paddleboard or boat.
I love the fun design of this product, and with plenty of colours to choose from, there is something for everyone. The JBL Clip 3 comes in at $69.95.
Hopefully, there’s a speaker for you on this list, whatever your budget. If you’re still not sure what to go for, then you might find it helpful to go to a shop, instead of ordering online so you can listen to the sound quality yourself. After all, it’s essential to enjoy your music with good quality sound.