HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2014: Editor's Choice - Part 1


Best Wireless Portable Speakers

Best Portable Wireless Speakers

Portable wireless speakers have been around for a few years and it looks like they are here to stay. But over the last year, we have seen them evolve to become more user-friendly and even more convenient to transport. Besides the Bluetooth capabilities, one of the major additions is NFC compatibility and AAC / Apt-X codecs. The former helps with the pairing process while the latter helps mitigate the loss of quality when data is transmitted over Bluetooth. For this year's consideration, we're considering portable wireless speakers that weigh below 1kg, have NFC support, must be battery-powered and is priced in the upper tier segment of around S$300.

Nominees: 

 

  • Beats Pill
  • Creative Airwave HD
  • IUI Design Mirror Boombox (Union Jack)
  • Logitech UE Boom
  • Yamaha NX-P100
     

 

And the Winner Is...

No, this is not an oversized Toblerone bar, this is the Creative Airwave HD. This portable wireless speaker comes with a built-in lithium-ion battery that allows it to function without the need for it to be plugged into a power source. The Creative Airwave HD comes with both Bluetooth and NFC compatibility, which gives it an edge over the standard Bluetooth speaker. Pairing your smartphone with the Airwave HD is as simple as tapping your phone on the NFC tag. The audio from the Creative Airwave HD is also bereft of the common flaws associated with Bluetooth speakers. Bass is defined and does not lack impact, while mids are properly represented in the mix. The overall tone of the speakers is good and the Creative Airwave HD is great value for money.

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model Beats Pill Creative Airwave HD IUI Design Mirror Boombox (Union Jack)
Logitech UE Boom
Yamaha NX-P100
Design 7.5 7.0 6.5 8.0 8.0
Features 7.5 7.5 7.0 8.5 8.5
User-Friendliness 7.5  8.0 7.0 8.0 8.5
Performance  7.0 8.5 6.5 7.5 8.0
Value 7.0 8.5 6.5 8.0 7.5
Overall 7.5 8.0 6.5 8.0 8.0
Price S$310 S$199 S$259 S$299 S$399

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.