If you’re heading off to college soon, you’re probably feeling very excited about the freedom you’re about to experience, studying an interesting and exciting subject (hopefully) and making lots of new friends and starting relationships (again, hopefully!).
There will be lots of things you will need to buy for your new dorm, but whether you are a self-confessed audiophile or just want to make sure you can enjoy the music you love while you are studying, hanging with your new roommates, or hosting wild Project-X style house parties etc., one of the most important purchases you will want to make is getting equipped with the best dorm speakers.
Who wants to rely on the tinny, rubbish onboard speakers of their laptop when you’ve got a few kegs in and are doing shots?
What you want are the best dorm room speakers and we’re here to help you. Rather than just give you five of the best speakers for dorm room use that all sound similar, we have put together a solid list of dorm room speakers that are the best in different ways.
Before we talk about the woofers and the tweeters, though, we have something important to get out of the way.
- The Top 3 Features You Need to Look Out For
- Best Overall – JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Bundle with Portable Hard Case – Black
- Best Looking – JBL Pulse 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 360 Degrees LED Lights
- Best Budget – OontZ Angle 3 Pro Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
- Best For Parties – Marshall Kilburn II Portable Bluetooth Speaker – Black
The Top 3 Features You Need to Look Out For
For the audiophiles, this is probably going to seem pretty tame and basic. For those of you that don’t give a damn, however, about anything too technical and just want to know the important features of the best speakers for college life, we’ve got your back.
The top 3 features you need to consider more than any others when choosing dorm room speakers are:
Even if you’re not into thumping dubstep and drum and bass with pulsating ear-shattering basslines or Motorhead, the bass is important. It helps to give sound depth and power. As important as it is, though, you need to remember where you will be using your dorm room speakers. The walls are generally wafer-thin. Even if you have really cool and laidback roommates and dorm room neighbors, you might want to avoid getting on the wrong side of the powers that be.
Portability is an important factor to take into consideration when choosing the best dorm speakers. But even more important than that is connectivity. You will want to be able to connect your speakers to all your devices, even if that is only a laptop, TV, and smartphone, or tablet. Key connectivity options dorm speakers ideally should offer includes Wi-Fi, HDMI, USB, and Bluetooth)
Last but not least, when it comes to crucial features, you need to obviously consider the size. When deciding what size, the best dorm speakers are for you, remember that dorm rooms are small. While it may have been your dream when you were a kid to have wall-to-wall stacks of speakers, in a small dorm room that is just not practical, and again, it may annoy your roommates and neighbors. At best, you will probably want a set of dorm room speakers that will fit neatly onto your desk or a space on the floor (if possible).
Now for the fun part.
Best Overall – JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Bundle with Portable Hard Case – Black
To kick things off, we thought we would go big, and by big, we mean, not THAT big, but in terms of the best dorm speakers overall, we have the JBL Charge 4. This is an extremely popular portable speaker, and it’s not hard to see why. Powered by an onboard 7800mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery, you get the benefit of a whopping 20 hours of play, which is more than enough for the average party or study session. You can also charge devices using the built-in USB port.
In terms of sound, it has a JBL bass dual passive radiator that helps to produce a clear and loud sound that doesn’t distort easily. You can connect 1 or 2 devices, such as tablets, cellphones, or laptops and everything can be controlled by the app.
Got a tailgate or freshers party to attend or some other event and want to supply the sounds? This is waterproof with a rugged design that makes it ideal for outside use too.
As an extra feature, it can be wirelessly connected with up to 100 more JBL Connect+ enabled speakers just like it, for an intense and euphoric musical experience.
It is not the cheapest, but if you want something that is versatile and can be used in just about any setting or scenario, this is the best all-rounder of the dorm room speakers we have outlined.
Best Looking – JBL Pulse 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 360 Degrees LED Lights
Looks are everything when you are young, wild, and free aren’t they (okay, we know they aren’t for everyone, but you want to make the right first impressions). If you are trying to avoid the scuzzy-looking dorm room aesthetic that so many generations before you have managed along with (good luck with that one, buddy!), and consider every element and piece of furniture and equipment in your room to be part of the overall ambiance, you will want a good looking speaker.
Again, from JBL, we have the Pulse 4. Just look at it! It looks like some kind of futuristic psychedelic air lamp.
And…well…it kind of is. But more on that in a moment. It offers the renowned JBL signature Sound pumped out in 360-degrees so that every inch of your little piece of paradise (your dorm) can benefit from your favorite tracks.
Back to the lamp design, it’s not just 360-degree sound that the JBL Pulse 4 provides, as it also can help light up the dark of the night with a high-res enthralling and dazzling light show with 360-degree illumination.
It doesn’t quite offer the same playtime as the Charge, but that may be a trade-off because of the light show. It does still offer a solid 12 hours on a single charge though and with connectivity via Bluetooth-devices and a superb 40ft range, the trade-off may be worth it.
Just like the Charge, if you are heading outdoors for a pool party or street party, it is IPX7 waterproof rated.
Best Budget – OontZ Angle 3 Pro Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
We know, we know, you may not be living the kind of life like Cher in Clueless (is that too old a reference? As if!) Being a student can be quite an expensive experience. Have no fear, we have the best speakers for dorm room use at a budget price.
The great thing is, the oddly-named brand OontZ started from the inside out, focusing on the audio performance. And boy does it pack a lot into the small, budget-friendly package that is the Angle 3 Ultra. It has 40% larger fully customized Neodymium drivers to deliver exceptional sound quality and for all, you bass heads out there, the 30% bigger passive bass radiator pumps out those low register sounds, but thanks to the expanded acoustic air space and balanced sound design, it won’t feel like you’re stuck underwater.
All that clever design is powered by a 21-watt digital amp.
If you thought that budget meant it was less-feature-packed than the alternatives, think again. Because OontZ has made sure it is compatible with all Bluetooth devices with an outstanding 100-ft range and IPX7 rated for waterproofing.
You can play at 2/3 volume for up to 15 hours, which again is less than many of the others on this list, but considering it is not much over 50 bucks, we don’t see this as a massive compromise.
Best For Parties – Marshall Kilburn II Portable Bluetooth Speaker – Black
Remember when we alluded to the dream you may have had of the wall to wall, ceiling to floor stacks – similar to the huge speaker Marty McFly played and got blown away by in Back to the Future or Macaulay Calkin in the Michael Jackson Black or White video? Well, now you can have a similar experience.
Well, kind of…but not quite.
Basically, the last on our list that’s one of the best speakers for college parties is the Marshall Kilburn II portable speaker. Just look at how retro, cool, and ROCKSTAR it is!
It connects via Bluetooth 5.0, which is the most up-to-date version, and although it works from just 30-feet away and is not quite as generous as others, for a party, you may not need that, especially if your dorm room is hardly a cavernous warehouse.
It’s not just all about those slick looks, however, because it offers multi-directional sound designed by Bluefin and offers more than 20 hours’ worth of playtime…perfect for those dorm raves you’re likely to have.
If you don’t want to be the DJ all night because you have some dancing to do, you don’t have to as it has multi-host functionality and can be controlled by and connected to a maximum of two devices.
Well guys and gals, we would like to say don’t do anything we wouldn’t (or would, or yanno anything at all) but we are not here to lecture you. What we did come here to do for you was provide you with a foolproof guide to the best dorm speakers for any college experience.
Our work here is done.