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Last Updated on September 19, 2017

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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                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                      How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                      Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                      I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                      You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                      Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                      When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                      I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                      Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                      Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                      Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                      1. The Inner Critic

                      This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                      • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                      • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                      • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                      • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                      He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                      Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                      2. The Worrier

                      This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                      He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                      Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                      3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                      He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                      He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                      He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                      4. The Sleep Depriver

                      This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                      His motivation can be:

                      • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                      • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                      • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                      • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                      How can you control these squatters?

                      How to Master Your Mind

                      You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                      Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                      There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                      • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                      • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                      This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                      The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                      Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                      For the Inner Critic

                      When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                      You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                      For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                      You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                      “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                      If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                      • He riles up the Worrier.
                      • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                      • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                      • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                      • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                      Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                      Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                      For the Worrier

                      Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                      Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                      You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                      • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tense

                      Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                      If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                      Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                      “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                      Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                      If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                      Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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                      Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                      For example:

                      If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                      “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                      Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                      “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                      Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                      For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                      Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                      The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                      • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                      • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                      • Muscles tension

                      I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                      Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                      Breathe in through your nose:

                      • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                      • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                      • Focus on your belly rising.

                      Breathe out through your nose:

                      • Feel your lungs emptying.
                      • Focus on your belly falling.
                      • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                      Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                      Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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                      One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                      Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                      For the Sleep Depriver

                      (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                      I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                      Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                      1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                      2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                      When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                      From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                      For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                      If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                      You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                      • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                      • Shut down your thinking.
                      • Calm your feelings.
                      • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                      Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                      Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                      You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                      Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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