PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – More and more people are using their tablets and smartphones to watch videos and listen to music.

Until now, the sound hasn’t been very good unless you use headphones.

Consumer Reports has tested nearly 20 portable wireless speakers with rechargeable batteries.

They use Bluetooth, so you can play audio from a smartphone or tablet without having to plug it in.

First, testers evaluated sound quality in a specially-designed lab. Some sounded pretty good.

“Some speakers didn’t perform as well, with the worst delivering distorted audio,” Jim Willcox from Consumer Reports said.

The Jambox from Jawbone was the lowest-rated speaker. Beats by Dr. Dre fell somewhere in the middle.

Testers also looked at how easy the speakers are to use and the features each one offers.

“You want to be able to set up the speakers without too much of a problem, and you want controls that work well. Features we like include a USB port that you can use to charge your devices,” Wilcox said.

In the end, the TDK Life on Record Wireless Weatherproof Speaker topped the ratings with top-quality sound.

It comes with a USB port and can also be used as a speakerphone for phone calls, all for about $150.

Consumer Reports said its tests show sound quality is improving on mobile devices such as tablets and phones as well.

However, none has reached a level that can compete with what you’ll get from also using a set of speakers.


More Local News
More Consumer Reports Stories
More Reports From Susan Koeppen
Koeppen’s Corner

Watch & Listen LIVE