As Black Friday approaches, deals will start swinging at you left and right, especially Bluetooth speakers. More and more people now own smartphones and other gadgets that no longer feature the 3.5mm audio jack, and that means one of two things: they need a dongle or gear upgrades to Bluetooth.
Before you go out and blindly purchase a Bluetooth speaker this holiday season, make sure you inform yourself, so you don't regret your purchase down the road.
Check the model number and price
One common practice technology vendors use for Black Friday is to create special variations for their products during the shopping season. Typically, these models are a blend of the vendor's various other products. It may sound like a good deal, but vendors usually don't offer support or warranty replacements on Black Friday models because they're built specifically for the holiday season. These models will typically state on the box in super small text that there is no warranty support on them. This doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a bad product in the end, but it's worth noting that if something goes wrong, you're on your own.
After you've verified the model number actually exists, and it isn't a specialty model, go ahead and check the speaker's price. Some speakers may look like they're on a steep discount, but in reality, the price was recently reduced and could potentially be the new price going forward. While rare, some vendors choose to hike the price a few months before to make it look like you're getting a discount. CamelCamelCamel is a fantastic resource to check whether or not an item has recently hiked in price or has seen an even greater price reduction.
Is it waterproof?
A portable speaker isn't so portable if you can't bring it with you, would it? While it's not a requirement and highly depends on what you plan on doing with your speaker, water resistance is something you should be looking for.
Electronic devices typically get IP ratings, so you'll want to do your research on the specific speaker you're looking for. If you want to take your speaker on the beach, for example, you'll want IPX7, IPX8, or IP67/IP68. If your speaker has an IPX8 or IPX68 rating, you'll have the highest level of protection. Your speaker could get splashed by an ocean wave, and it should survive it no problem. Surprisingly, some speakers take it a step further and offer full water protection, even enticing you to let the speaker float on the water.
If your speaker is rated anything less like IPX4, you'll want to be super careful when using it out and about. It should survive rain, sweat, and things of that nature, but beyond that, you'll need to be extra careful.
Also, be aware that most vendors will have an IP rating but won't actually cover you under warranty if your speaker gets water damaged.
Are there additional features?
Lastly, you'll want to look at whether or not the speaker provides any extra value. For example, some will come with a USB port that allows you to plug your phone in for charging if you're in a pinch. This is super useful, especially if you're going somewhere remote like the beach or camping where outlets might be limited. Some speakers may even come with Qi wireless charging as well. While it may be slower than some other forms of charging, it comes in handy if your friends have an assortment of devices with varying charging connectors.
Speaking of camping, some speakers will have an AM/FM tuner. Not only will that allow you to tune into the radio, but it's helpful if any bad weather is brewing or if any potential threats are in your area.
Some speakers may even come with party lights — yep, you read that right. If you're planning to use your Bluetooth speaker at a party, it can really liven up the room. Light-enabled speakers come in various shapes and sizes, with some offering strobe lights, multicolored lights. Some may even sync up the lights to the music.
Whether you're going to the beach, camping, hiking, or a party, a Bluetooth speaker is essential. Don't be that person that plays music from your phone's speaker at max volume. Take a Bluetooth speaker with you and impress your friends, family, or coworkers.
Now that you're prepared to brave Black Friday Bluetooth speaker deals be sure to follow along with all our latest updates and deals on Android Central. Good luck!
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