I am looking for a compact Bluetooth speaker for my daughter for the holidays. I don’t want to spend a fortune, but I do want good quality. And she’s 6, so I’d like it to be something she can grow with. – Jennifer
It’s a definite cool mom move to think ahead when it comes to finding the best wireless speaker for kids. Looking for something durable that can stick with them as they get older makes good sense, though remember that tech is changing all the time. The likelihood is that in two years, she’ll be onto the next speaker with the next technology that’s compatible with the next generation of gadgets, so don’t be too too worried about longevity. That’s why price is a smart consideration- and I’m looking for ones under $75 or way less.
Before nabbing any of the solid speaker options below, we always recommend having a discussion with kids about tech ownership and caring for a gadget. One smart suggestion from our editor Kristen is to call all expensive gadgets and tech toys family gadgets, where kids ask to “borrow” them with the understanding that they need to show responsibility and respect for the device.
Once you’re on the same page about tech privileges, you’ll definitely have fun finding the right speaker for your audiophile-in-the-making. Here are five great options to consider:
More wise words from Kristen, this time in the form of high praise for the bēm (pronounced beam). She absolutely loves this little square number (above), especially for its fun colors and compact size. Plus, the price (on sale now at Target and Amazon) puts it firmly in the bargain category.
What to consider: The bēm comes with its own cord, which could be a tad annoying if you live in a house that already has 400 cords. It is marked well, though, so you can tell the difference easily.
Also keep in mind that when you’re rocking to your tunes at top volume — especially songs that are all about that bass, ’bout that bass, no treble — you can experience some distortion in the sound.
It’s compact and super durable — as in dirt, dust, water, and shock resistant. The PUNK can wirelessly transmit sound from up to 60 feet away. But the best part is the quality of that sound. It’s powerful and clear, even at maximum volume. An impressive feat from something so petite. The only tiny hiccup for a young user might be that there’s no strap or handle.
What to consider: Although it’s reasonably lightweight, kids would have to carry the speaker or set it down somewhere when holding it gets tiring. Also, right now the only colors available are black, blue and red. The others are due to hit the market in 2015.
It can fit in the palm of your hand, or thanks to its metal carabiner, Divoom’s Voombox Travel speaker can hang out on your backpack. It’s tiny, but rugged and splash resistant. It delivers quality sound, even at a high volume. On a flat surface like my desk, I could really feel the Voombox Travel booming. Plus, the built-in microphone lets you use the compact device as a hands-free speaker phone.
What to consider: It’s a little heavy and a tad clunky for younger users, but it’s not like they’re carrying a kettle bell. They’ll do fine.
Available on Amazon on sale for $34.99 (Updated price!)
The Pocket Kick is small — about the size of an iPhone 5 — and sleek. It can easily slide into your pocket (hence the name!), backpack or laptop bag. And the rechargeable battery promises to give you 10 hours of music play time. True, you are right at the $100 mark with this wireless speaker, but you’re also getting Soundfreaq‘s award-winning reputation. The Pocket Kick recently won iLounge’s Best Portable Speaker of the Year.
What to consider: The price. It’s on the high side, especially if you’re looking to hand this sleek, powerful speaker over to a little one under the age of 14.
The iFrogz Tadpole Bluetooth speaker is as compact as they come. It’s about the size of your average keyless entry remote and can be clipped to any bag strap, belt loop, or right on a keychain. This wireless speaker may be mini, but the sound isn’t. It’s relatively big and clear, especially for something this tiny. The rechargeable lithium-ion battery should give you a little over two hours of nonstop play, and it comes with a micro USB charging cord.
What to consider: Although the Tadpole is small and ultra-portable, it could feel too small for some, and end up getting lost between the seat cushions or at the bottom of a backpack’s many compartments.
We’re hoping you find the right fit. The good news is, you really can’t go wrong with any of these wireless speakers we’ve recommended. They’re all going to give you quality sound, durability and portability. All good things for under $100.
For more Reader Q&As, be sure to check out the Cool Mom Tech archives.