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Discussion Starter #1
I'm contemplating picking up a portable, rechargeable bluetooth speaker mainly for outdoors and am wondering if anyone has any suggestions or thoughts on their experiences with any.
This would be for sitting around a campfire or on a picnic table for moderate background music.
Size and battery life really doesn't matter too much. If it has to be bulkier to sound good and have more than 5 hours of run time, than so be it. Element proof/resistant would be nice but not a requirement.
I'm not expecting awesome sound but I'd like decent SQ for outdoors.
I'd like to keep the budget around $200 at the most. If there's any gems for less, I'm all ears.

My only experience with a portable rechargeable is the Bose Soundlink. It sounds ok but many of the reviews for the Bose portables give them rave reviews. It gets fairly loud although too loud and it distorts. It has decent bass response for its size but the highs aren't exactly precise or clear and It seems a little bloated in the mids to me.
I suppose its possible that the Bose actually does have good SQ stacked against most of the competition but I'd like to hope that there's better for less.
I have listened to a few of the options in the big box stores and wasn't very impressed. Maybe my expectations are a little high for the budget. Or the budget doesn't really matter in this case?
 

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I was gifted a Bose sound link and my observations are similar to yours. On two separate occasions though, without any prompting, my wife and oldest son both commented on how bad it sounded. I concur. I don't like it much at all, except that it is portable.
To the other part of your post, my friend has 2 JBL BT speakers and likes them quite a lot. I haven't heard them personally, but based on past experiences I trust his ears.
 

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I'm afraid your expectations are way too high for something that small. I searched for a while and decided on a Soundlink Mini last year. None of the ones I've heard have been impressive by any means but I'm pleased with the Bose, all things considered. The price tag was a bit hard to swallow but it is super convenient and gets used around the house/yard/garage all the time. Don't compare it to standard speakers, compare it to phone speakers, and it will sound a lot better :)
 

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Hilarious Peter. That's what I told someone today. A soundbar to a TV, is as a sound link to my phone. I don't even push the volume on mine because it won't handle too much. I wish that it at least sounded good, but it is what it is. Convenient.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had a feeling my expectations may be a bit high but I figured maybe there was an ID company making a great product that isn't well known yet.
I'll give the JBL products a good listen and see if the SQ they produce suits me.
 

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Polk Omni S2R bluetooth speaker is on sale at polk for $100 off regularly $249...sale $149...it rates in reviews as 3.5 out of 5. I am considering getting one to use in the garage and back yard....
works with computers, laptops and cellphones.
 

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I spent a few hours one afternoon auditioning everything I could find at local store and BY FAR the best sounding and functional speaker was the UE Boom from Ultimate Ears. It's everything your expectation list is and more. The middle size one is $199. Trust me, buy it.
 

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Polk Omni S2R bluetooth speaker is on sale at polk for $100 off regularly $249...sale $149...it rates in reviews as 3.5 out of 5. I am considering getting one to use in the garage and back yard....
works with computers, laptops and cellphones.
On further review this speaker is wifi, does not indicate blutooth.
 

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I have the JBL charge 2 I think I got it on sale for $130. Its decent for what it is. Listened to a few others in the store but they were more $ for a similar sound.
 

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I got this as my 30 year service anniversary gift.
http://store.sony.com/powerful-portable-bluetooth-speaker-zid27-SRSX5//cat-27-catid-All-Bluetooth-Wireless-Speakers;pgid=ZB1Cu_jKmTdSRplu7VX100Kh0000sIii8HZR;sid=IjxdxRCYIVoWxUVB6306wSKSZP2m-FZZ2QFgw-XJ?vva_ColorCode=000000&_t=pfm=category
It is ok, not great, battery life is very good.
There was also a Yamaha Bluetooth speaker in the service anniversary catalog that I considered, it appeared to be more rugged than the Sony.
The Sony was selling for full retail at the time so I picked it simply because it was more expensive.
 
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