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10 Best Speakers That Are Clever, Portable and Stylish

10 Best Speakers That Are Clever, Portable and Stylish

These days, everything has to be fast and easy: news, books, food, and even music. While there are plenty of apps that provide high-quality music streaming, the modern audiophile also wants good sound quality.

Lifehack has handpicked the 10 best speakers that are portable and totally stylish.

1. UE WONDERBOOM Super Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

    Big, clear, crisp 360-degree sound and big bass. Its 10-hour playtime makes it possible to take this with you on whatever outing you want! The WONDERBOOM is also incredibly waterproof: you can enjoy your favorite tunes in the shower, at the pool, or just walking around on a drizzly day.

    Best for: The urbanite listening to music in all weather conditions.

    UE WONDERBOOM Super Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, $99.99

    2. Sony XB10 Portable Wireless Speaker with Bluetooth

      Feel the power of the EXTRA BASS with this affordable Sony portable speaker! The water-resistant Sony XB10 connects via both Bluetooth and one-touch NFC. It weighs in at only 0.71 pounds, but its impressive battery life will allow you to listen for up to 16 hours when fully charged.

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      Best for: Super portability and affordability.

      Sony XB10 Portable Wireless Speaker with Bluetooth, $48

      3. Drifter Portable Smart Action Speaker

        If you’re looking for a “smarter” speaker with more functionality (and just as much portability as the competition), you might love the beautifully-designed Drifter. This speaker is both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, has a touchscreen, and allows you to download songs right onto the device’s internal storage.

        The Drifter’s battery allows for 8 hours of playtime. It’s absolutely built for traveling: it’s 100% waterproof, can float, and you can clip it or mount it to stand alone.

        Best for: The nature-loving travel junkie

        Drifter Portable Smart Action Speaker, $250

        4. B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Built-In Microphone

          This ultra-portable speaker fits in the palm of your hand or your pocket for the easiest transportation ever. It’s splash and dust-resistant, and although it’s small it has a big sound!

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          You can personalize your audio with “smart” features like snooze and voice activation, and it’s equipped with a built-in microphone for clear calling and voice activation. You’ll get up to 10 hours of playtime per charge.

          Best for: Hanging out with your family or friends

          B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Built-In Microphone, $169

          5. Fender Bluetooth Battery-Operated Portable Speaker

            This Bluetooth speaker packs 30 watts of power, and – at 4.3 pounds – is on the larger side of the speakers on this list. At the same time, it’s got two woofers and one tweeter for maximally natural sound reproduction, and it has a built-in microphone if you need to use your phone hands-free.

            Best for: Outdoor parties where you need excellent sound quality

            Fender Bluetooth Battery-Operated Portable Speaker, $199.99

            6. Solar Speaker, Portable Wireless Bluetooth Bamboo Wood Speaker & Phone Charger by REVEAL

              Natural bamboo combined with energy efficient solar panels give this speaker an elegant and eco-friendly look. With excellent sound clarity, this solar speaker offers 8 hours of battery life when the sun isn’t out. You can even use this speaker as a charger for your smartphone, tablet or other devices while playing music on the go.

              Best for: The environmental-friendly audiophile

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              Solar Speaker, Portable Wireless Bluetooth Bamboo Wood Speaker & Phone Charger by REVEAL, $79.99

              7. Braven Stryde 360 Degree Sound [2500 mAh] Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

                The Braven Stryde looks super durable, and it is. This bluetooth-capable speaker is waterproof and dustproof: in fact, it can be fully submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Its cylinder shape means you can fits in almost any cup holder, whether you’re commuting to work or sitting in a lawn chair.

                Explosive sound is possible because of the dual passive radiator and opposing drivers for 360 degree sound. This speaker also has voice command control, like the Amazon Echo.

                Best for: Great sound on the road.

                Braven Stryde 360 Degree Sound [2500 mAh] Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, $99.99

                8. GGMM E5 Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Superior Sound Speaker

                  This award-winning portable speaker lets you connect directly to your Bluetooth. That means you can listen to internet radio or your favorite online streaming services even without connecting to your computer or phone. This speaker is also compatible with your Apple devices, so you can answer calls or forward them to voicemail at the press of a button.

                  With an impressive 15 hours of playtime, this super slim speaker is a mere 1.5 inches thick. It comes with a removable leather strap for convenient transportation.

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                  Best for: The listener who wants a long battery life.

                  GGMM E5 Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Superior Sound Speaker, $99.99

                  9. Native Union Switch Bluetooth Speaker – SWITCH

                    These Bluetooth speakers feature high quality audio, noise reduction technology, and a super-sleek and professional design. It’s mainly designed for conference call functions, as it’s fully compatible with Skype, Google Talk, and other VoIP applications. You can also use it to charge your mobile devices.

                    Best for: Using in the office.

                    Native Union Switch Bluetooth Speaker – SWITCH, $106.82

                    10. ECOXGEAR EcoSlate Rugged and Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

                      You can stream music up to 100ft. away using your smartphone or tablet. With up to 12 hours of playtime per charge, this speaker has waterproof tech and a built-in charger. It’s ideal for outdoor parties, driving, or more rugged activities at the beach, or while camping, hiking, rafting, etc.

                      The ECOXGEAR features speakerphone and microphone providing a hands free calls anywhere you might be.

                      Best for: The avid hiker or beachgoer

                      ECOXGEAR EcoSlate Rugged and Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, $119.20

                      More by this author

                      Brian Lee

                      Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                      Published on November 14, 2018

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                      For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                      In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                      Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                      Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                      It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                      For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                      Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                      Symptoms of Fatigue

                      Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                      • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                      • mental blocks
                      • lack of motivation
                      • headache
                      • dizziness
                      • muscle weakness
                      • slowed reflexes and responses
                      • impaired decision-making and judgement
                      • moodiness, such as irritability
                      • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                      • reduced immune system function
                      • blurry vision
                      • short-term memory problems
                      • poor concentration
                      • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                      Causes of Fatigue

                      The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                      • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                      • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                      • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                      • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                      Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                      Medical Causes of Fatigue

                      If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                      Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                      Anemia

                      Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                      Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                      There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                      This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                      Diabetes

                      Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                      Sleep Apnea

                      Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                      Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                      Thyroid disease

                      An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                      Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Lack of sleep
                      • Too much sleep 
                      • Alcohol and drugs 
                      • Sleep disturbances 
                      • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                      • Poor diet 

                      Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                      • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                      • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                      • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                      Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                      Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                      • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                      • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                      • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                      How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                      Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                      1. Tell The Truth

                      Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                      To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                      Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                      The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                      One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                      • How you feel
                      • What time of day it is
                      • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                      • How your mind and body reacts

                      This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                      2. Reduce Your Commitments

                      When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                      If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                      When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                      Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                      3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                      If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                      Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                      If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                      Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                      Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                      4. Express More Gratitude

                      Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                      It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                      Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                      5. Focus On Yourself

                      Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                      There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                      But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                      We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                      6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                      Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                      Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                      The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                      Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                      7. Take a Power Nap

                      When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                      Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                      This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                      8. Take More Exercise

                      The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                      Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                      The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                      You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                      9. Get More Quality Sleep

                      To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                      Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                      My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                      10. Improve Your Diet

                      Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                      Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                      On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                      To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                      Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                      Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                      11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                      Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                      When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                      Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                      My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                      12. Get Hydrated

                      Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                      Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                      If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                      The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                      The Bottom Line

                      These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                      If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                      Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                      [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                      [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                      [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                      [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                      [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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