Marley Bluetooth Speaker
Portable Bluetooth speakers, like House of Marley.

Back to school time is upon us and that means a fresh start for students, whether they’re studying onsite somewhere or learning remotely. While you build the list of technology that you may need for your fall and winter study sessions, you may also want to consider adding a new Bluetooth wireless speaker to that gear list.

Important considerations for Bluetooth speakers

As you start shopping for Bluetooth speakers, there are four main factors outside of price you’ll want to consider. These factors are battery life, size, protection against the elements and additional features.

Battery life in portable wireless speakers

Back to School JBL CLIP 3

Many speakers come with an already long battery life, which is further improved with the release of Bluetooth Low Energy. Many Bluetooth speakers now can now be used for the entirety of your marathon study sessions and beyond. When looking at a few examples from the JBL, you can see that the highly rated JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (rated over 2,000 times at a average rating of 4.8) has an approximate battery life of 20 hours where even the smaller and less costly JBL Clip 3 Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker has a ten hour battery life.

Size of your Bluetooth speakers matters

The size of your portable Bluetooth speaker is another very important consideration. When you select the perfect back to school speaker, you should consider the space and use cases that your new device with be used in. JAM Audio recently launched a brand new line of Bluetooth speakers and offers many different shapes and sizes for every lifestyle and situation. If your device will be placed a shelf, you may opt for a pill shaped speaker like JBL’s Flip or Charge. A speaker than can hang on a hook can also be a space saver (Ultimate Ears makes a bunch of these.)

Waterproof Bluetooth speakers for students

Another consideration for a back to school Bluetooth speaker purchase? Protection against the elements. Best Buy offers a broad range of speakers with water resistance and also offer fully waterproof speakers. A device’s protection against dust and liquids are measured using ingress protection and a very simple notation; this is known as an IP Rating.

The first digit in an IP rating represents a device’s protection Back to School underwateragainst solids (a number from 0-6) and the second digit measures the protection against liquids (a number from 0-9 or 9K). If one of the digits contains an X, it means that that metric was not tested. IPX7 speakers, for instance, have not been tested for protection against solids but can be submersed in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

Ultra rugged portable Bluetooth speakers

If you’re going to back to school in a rugged environment, Best Buy also offers the cheekily-named ‘everything-proof’ Bluetooth speakers. This gear offers protection against water but also mud, snow, dust, and even impact. These can be good if you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors, doing sports or ativities.

Additional features for your Bluetooth speaker

The final big consideration for a Bluetooth speaker is the additional features under the hood. This is the “bonus” or “tilt” column in your decision making that may push one speaker over the edge compared to others. Take the iHome iBT297 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker as an example. In addition to playing your favourite tunes, this speaker also acts as an alarm clock, changes colours, works well with your smartphone’s personal voice assistant and also connects to your other iHome smart devices.

Other examples of value-added features include the JBL Clip 3 Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker‘s integrated carabiner and the eco-friendly materials that make up the construction of most House of Marley Bluetooth Wireless Speakers. House of Marley even makes a speaker in a bag—talk about special features!

Sony Bluetooth speakers & Party Speakers

Sony is well known for its Extra Bass line of speakers. These Bluetooth speakers are all waterproof, are built with Sony’s EXTRA BASS technology and come with a neat Party Booster feature. The bass-boosting tech built into the speaker helps punch up the bass on the device and the Party Booster lets you tap on specific sections of the speaker to activate sound and light effects that will be played alongside your audio. These speakers can even be linked together in order to play the same music on multiple speakers so you an cover a wide outdoor area or the whole house—now that’s a party!

Bose Bluetooth speakers

Bose builds products that tout a great build and sound quality. The Soundlink Revolve Splashproof Bluetooth NFC Wireless Speaker and SoundLink Revolve+ Splashproof Bluetooth NFC Wireless Speaker are no different. Starting with the Soundlink Revolve, this Bluetooth wireless speaker offers 12 hours of battery life, NFC pairing and IPX4 water resistance (protection from splashes) with 360 degrees of full sound. The Soundlink Revolve+ ratchets up your dorm room speaker game by adding an extended battery life (16 hours instead of 12) and a fabric handle.

Crush back to school blues with Bluetooth

A new Bluetooth speaker can help set the perfect audio ambiance for your new study space, whether that’s a room, apartment, or just a space in your home—or your parents’. See more about some of the great Bluetooth speakers on the market on the Best Buy Canada Blog or by checking out this list of our best-selling Bluetooth speakers.

A closing reminder: It’s safe to shop at Best Buy: our staff put the safety of the public first and as events change we are adjusting too to be ensure whenever possible customers can shop in the manner most useful for them. Bottom line: you have options—shop online or in-store. Read more about them here.

Check out more Back to School products and ideas at Best Buy.

Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog


  1. Great article , great info to share, joining your existing line of wireless speakers, truly complements audio lifestyle with state of the art audio research to your living room. With a compact, convenient and lightweight build, your new speakers are a perfect fit for any indoor environs.

  2. Listening to music while you’re studying or when hanging with new friends in college will be key to motivating or inspiring you through your educational journey.
    Great article!

Comments are closed.