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Diwali is all about coming together and celebrating and what’s celebration without a little music? Speakers, both portable Bluetooth ones and smart ones always make for good gifting ideas. Amazon’s Alexa-enabled speakers can be used to entertain children, get information without having to look at your phone, and play music by just asking for it. Portable Bluetooth speakers are also quite useful in the sense that they allow you to take your music outside, or play from anywhere. We have compiled a list of the best portable Bluetooth speakers as well as smart speakers that you can gift or buy this Diwali. After all, what’s Diwali without a little entertainment?
Price: Rs 4,999
The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom, for the price of Rs 4,999 is a damn good portable speaker with a thumping sound output. It produces good audio clarity, and the slight bias for low frequencies adds a touch of depth to how it sounds. It is a bit heavy for its size, and there’s no microphone in it to take calls which is perhaps the only caveat we found in it. The new Wonderbooms also come in new colours and funky decals that can add to your flair.
The Amazon Echo 2nd Gen builds on top of the chimney-shaped older Echo Plus. It’s more plump and stout with a new fabric cover that looks aesthetically pleasing. It sounds much better than its predecessor. The new Echo Plus also doubles up as a smart home hub which you can use to control your smart devices like lights, music, etc. Alexa will always be on your beck and call and answer your queries and even entertain you.
The Amazon Echo Spot is a cute little speaker with a display and a webcam. It also doubles up as a funky alarm clock on your bedside table and can thanks to the display, it can show you news clips, videos from Prime Video, or Vimeo>YouTube yet though) and even let you video call other Echo Spot users. Amazon will also open up Skype support for the Echo Spot improving the usability. It’s just a cool device to have by your side> a little creepy because of the camera on it).
Google Home Mini
Price: Rs 4,449
Amazon is not the only smart speaker ecosystem to choose. You can also opt for Google’s version of it if you are invested in the Google ecosystem through your Android and Chromecast devices. The Google Home Mini, for Rs 4,449 has Google Assistant built-in which can be used to play music, control smart appliances and to ask general questions. It basically has Google Search built into a speaker which, while not as loud as the Echo Dot, is a good buy if you solely want to be in the Google ecosystem. You can also cast your music from your smartphone to the Home Mini which is much more hassle-free than pairing the phone via Bluetooth.
The JBL Go is your no-nonsense portable Bluetooth speaker that comes in multiple funky colours and is water and dust proof. It’s a pocketable speaker that’s quite loud for its size.
Bose Soundlink Micro
Price: Rs 8,090
The SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speaker is the company's rugged and waterproof portable speaker. It can be paired via Bluetooth using voice prompts and comes with an integrated speakerphone and a multi-purpose button for calling. The device can also be connected with the Bose Connect app and paired with other SoundLink speakers for Stereo or Party Mode>
Marshall Acton Portable Bluetooth speaker
Price: Rs 16,590
The vintage-looking Marshall Acton looks a lot like the company’s famous guitar amps and are known for their signature loud sound. It can be paired via Bluetooth 4.0 and also comes with AUX input. The speaker also has three analog knobs to control the volume, and change the treble and bass settings. This looks quite good in your book shelf and the best part is that it doesn’t have to be tethered to a plug point.
Price: Rs 9,499
The Sound Blaster Roar is easy to reccommend, and in our review, we noted that it performs neck to neck with the Bose SoundLink Mini. It also packs a lot of features and can even be used as a USB speaker for PC as well.
The Mass Fidelity Core is an elegant little bookshelf Bluetooth speaker that uses custom designed drivers to deliver what the company calls holographic sound. When placed right, it produces an intricately detailed, balanced sound. It’s perfect for someone looking for a minimal footprint to improve the home A/V setup.
The Sony XRS XB-41 is the Bluetooth speaker designed for the average bass-head. It’s also IP67-rated water and dust proof and the nylon mesh on the body feels quite premium. It’s capable of delivering good, party-grade sound with added lighting effects. You can also daisychain more of these speakers to create a surround sound effect.