Portable Speakers for Camping - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-23-2019, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Portable Speakers for Camping

Looking for a good portable speaker for camping/backyard use. Currently looking at Demerbox and a Marshall Kilburn II.

Any recommendations on those or others?

I'll be using my iPhone (7+) with downloaded playlists through Tidal. Prefer the option to hardwire as opposed to bluetooth. Think I'd need a DAC/Amp as well?

thanks!
gg
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-23-2019, 07:54 PM
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What is your budget and size requirements?
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post #3 of 26 Old 07-23-2019, 08:12 PM
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Portable Speakers for Camping

If you aren’t against an hour or two of assembly, the AIY Kit “The Blast Box” on Parts Express for $250 is a fricken steal!

Bluetooth (with option to be hardwired with aux), 200 watts, 5 driver design (with dedicated subwoofer!), battery lasts very long.

Paint it black or leave it wood, it will be weather resistant being completely sealed.

Highly recommend it!

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-23-2019, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Open to spending more if it’s worth it, but ideally < $500.

Size not as important, but the Demerbox & Marshall look about right to me.

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Originally Posted by MIX_MASTER_ICE View Post
What is your budget and size requirements?
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-23-2019, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
If you aren&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;t against an hour or two of assembly, the AIY Kit &#226;€œThe Blast Box&#226;€ on Parts Express for $250 is a fricken steal!

Bluetooth (with option to be hardwired with aux), 200 watts, 5 driver design (with dedicated subwoofer!), battery lasts very long.

Paint it black or leave it wood, it will be weather resistant being completely sealed.

Highly recommend it!
Sounds very cool! I’m not that savvy a maker, so I’m not sure it’s the right route for me, but I’ll check it out!
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-23-2019, 09:08 PM
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The Sony gtk-pg10 would be a great option. It's going for around $170 right now. I've come ever so close to buying one a few times and probably will get one eventually. It's a cool system tailor made for what you are looking for.
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-24-2019, 04:58 AM
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JBL Charge 4 is good.
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post #8 of 26 Old 07-24-2019, 08:39 AM
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-24-2019, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ggilman View Post
Looking for a good portable speaker for camping/backyard use. Currently looking at Demerbox and a Marshall Kilburn II.

Any recommendations on those or others?

I'll be using my iPhone (7+) with downloaded playlists through Tidal. Prefer the option to hardwire as opposed to bluetooth. Think I'd need a DAC/Amp as well?

thanks!
gg

I would go with the Kilburn. I have a Marshal Stanmore and it's outstanding. The units are very well built and sound great.
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-24-2019, 10:53 AM
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I know you said portable, but does it need to run on battery, or is AC ok?

Reason I ask is because I recently picked up a Riva Festival refurb for $150 at Monoprice.

It's not battery powered or weatherproof, but it is a versatile, good sounding speaker.

We used it last week at a vacation cottage (both inside and outside) and I was pleased with the sound quality. I took a smaller battery powered BT speaker when we went to the beach.

It can connect via wi-fi, BT, optical, or aux.

A cool feature I discovered is that its Away Mode (where it creates its own wi-fi network) allowed me to play music from the ~200 gb FLAC library on my phone using the Hi-Fi Cast app...streaming FLAC over wi-fi with no BT compression. I thought this was pretty cool, as it is a no-compromise way of streaming. Other times, we just used Spotify with BT, which also sounded good.

Anyway, since you're talking about Tidal and a separate DAC, I'm thinking that sound quality is a key factor for you, perhaps over portability and weather resistance. If so, the Riva Festival might be worth checking out, especially at the $150 refurb price.
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post #11 of 26 Old 07-24-2019, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I would go with the Kilburn. I have a Marshal Stanmore and it's outstanding. The units are very well built and sound great.
Thanks for the rec! I was leaning towards a Marshall. I trust the name, but curious if anyone had one. Thanks!
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-24-2019, 02:59 PM
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I wish you didn't create this thread. You just cost me some $$...lol. Got this baby unboxed and set up earlier today. Sounds good with solid bass. Uses the Sony Music center app where you can also use a custom 7 band eq or one of the presets. I give this a thumbs up for being a very solid system.
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post #13 of 26 Old 07-24-2019, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I wish you didn't create this thread. You just cost me some $$...lol. Got this baby unboxed and set up earlier today. Sounds good with solid bass. Uses the Sony Music center app where you can also use a custom 7 band eq or one of the presets. I give this a thumbs up for being a very solid system.
Sorry!
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post #14 of 26 Old 07-24-2019, 05:31 PM
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Sorry!

No worries. The PG10 is a great little system, but in the "truly" portable systems I still give the advantage to the LG RK8 and like it better. I believe that is still available for under $300. Really slick boom-box that does about everything.




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Costco always has a few large outdoor camping BT speakers that I eyeball everytime a walk the cart past them.
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post #16 of 26 Old 07-24-2019, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
If you aren’t against an hour or two of assembly, the AIY Kit “The Blast Box” on Parts Express for $250 is a fricken steal!

Bluetooth (with option to be hardwired with aux), 200 watts, 5 driver design (with dedicated subwoofer!), battery lasts very long.

Paint it black or leave it wood, it will be weather resistant being completely sealed.

Highly recommend it!
That kit looks amazing. I'm tempted to grab it, but I'm not convinced it will go well. Love all the mods!
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post #17 of 26 Old 07-25-2019, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone know of any portable speakers that will pair for stereo? If the Marshall's would I'd buy two right now.
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-25-2019, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ggilman View Post
Does anyone know of any portable speakers that will pair for stereo? If the Marshall's would I'd buy two right now.
The UE "Boom" series of portable speakers can be paired through their phone app to produce stereo sound. They are quite affordable and have pretty good sound quality, especially for their size.
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post #19 of 26 Old 07-25-2019, 08:30 AM
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Kilburn II does not have multi-speaker wireless connectivity. For connecting two or more speakers, the JBL speakers have the easiest and quickest set up for multiple speakers. I like the Sony speakers better than the JBL, XB32 over the Charge 4 for example, but it's more cumbersome to set it up compared to the simple one touch button on each JBL speaker.
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post #20 of 26 Old 07-25-2019, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by MIX_MASTER_ICE View Post
I wish you didn't create this thread. You just cost me some $$...lol. Got this baby unboxed and set up earlier today. Sounds good with solid bass. Uses the Sony Music center app where you can also use a custom 7 band eq or one of the presets. I give this a thumbs up for being a very solid system.
That Sony sounds pretty good, you say?

Pretty balanced across highs, mids, and bass?

Decent bass punch?


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post #21 of 26 Old 07-25-2019, 04:03 PM
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That Sony sounds pretty good, you say? Pretty balanced across highs, mids, and bass? Decent bass punch?-


Yeah, the PG10 is a very cool little system. Nice bass and overall solid sound quality. Sounds better with the table-top speakers folded out.



I have the Sony XB32 and XB31 and they have very solid bass for their size. I also have the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 and LG PK5 and those don't quite match up to the bass of the Sony speakers. The Sony XB41 is available and is a bit bigger and will play a bit louder, basically just being the bigger version of the same thing. The Sony has three different sound modes you can use and further adjust/tweak the sound with a custom EQ used in conjunction with those modes.



One thing to note is I don't think Sony, Ultimate Ears or JBL speakers allow you to connect two speakers together using the 3.5mm line in connection as your audio source. In fact, UE speakers don't even have a 3.5mm jack, at least not the latest models.
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post #22 of 26 Old 07-26-2019, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by MIX_MASTER_ICE View Post
Yeah, the PG10 is a very cool little system. Nice bass and overall solid sound quality. Sounds better with the table-top speakers folded out.
Cool, thanks. Might have to check one out.

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post #23 of 26 Old 07-26-2019, 06:18 AM
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Does anyone know of any portable speakers that will pair for stereo? If the Marshall's would I'd buy two right now.
Check out Minirigs (https://minirigs.co.uk/)

I went through the same selection process two months ago, looking for wireless portable speakers primarily for camping. I wanted something with good stereo sound, that was easy to pack, with enough battery life to last the whole trip, and it had to be at least somewhat rugged and weatherproof so it could survive being dropped in the dirt or left out in the rain. After a lot of searching, I ended up buying a pair of Minirig 3s + subwoofer:



They are compact, about 4" diameter and 3" high. They can be paired for stereo. They can play loud and they have good clean sound. Their sound quality and maximum loudness is a step up from any portable speaker I've heard in the same size range. They are splash proof and can survive a drop. And they have outstanding battery life.

There is an optional subwoofer that's about 4" diameter and 9" long which is nice for outdoor use where other small portable speakers tend to sound weak in the bass. You can use a single sub with a single speaker (1.1), a single sub with a stereo pair (2.1), or two subs with two speakers (2.2) if you really need to max out the volume.

They come in zippered protective sleeves with wire pockets for easy packing. Inputs are Bluetooth and a headphone jack. There is a phone app which offers an equalizer and subwoofer level control.

I'm super happy with how they turned out. They may be my favorite piece of camping kit, up there with my Cobb BBQ. I love the versatility. I can set them on a picnic table across from me about 4' apart and enjoy a nice near field stereo setup while I'm working on dinner prep. Or place them on the ground about 10-15' apart on the other side of the camp fire so the family can enjoy a stereo listening experience while basking in the fire. Or put them on opposite sides of the camp site, facing in, configured in mono, and have sound everywhere as you're setting up or breaking camp. A single Minirig 3 can fit into the pocket of most of my athletic shorts, or a cargo pocket, so I'd throw one in there when taking my kids to a playground, or for a walk down to the lake shore so we can listen to a little music while the sun sets.

There is also a smaller Minirig Mini, which is more comfortably pocketable, and better for backpacking. But it has a lot less battery life and not much bass unless you add a sub.

There are two downsides. The first is cost:
£269.95 for a pair of the Minirig 3
£389.95 for a pair of the Minirig 3 + subwoofer

The second is that the treble response is directional, especially the top octave. If I point them directly at me, they sound bright on axis and I want to reduce the treble using the EQ. If I place them on their back facing up, and then listen from the side, the top octave is rolled off and I want to increase it using the EQ. The treble balance is most neutral when listening about 45 degrees off-axis, which leads me to believe that Minirig tried to find a compromise between what's best for different orientations.

I discovered the Minirigs from an Austrian YouTuber named Oluv. He has reviewed tons of portable speakers and records them in binaural sound. You should definitely check out his channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7D...jBd5ZtLQU3Z1dQ

He also has a site where you can A/B compare his recordings of different portable speakers:
http://switcher.oluvsgadgets.net/

He has posted a number of videos with the Minirigs. Here are two. In the first one, he compares a Minirig 3 2.1 setup vs. the very good Aiwa EXOS-9 boom box. The second features Minirig Minis.



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post #24 of 26 Old 07-26-2019, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ggilman View Post
Does anyone know of any portable speakers that will pair for stereo? If the Marshall's would I'd buy two right now.
JBL Xtreme can be paired for stereo and is a pretty good sounding speaker for outdoors, and not gigantic. Currently on sale for about $160 each:
https://www.harmanaudio.com/sale/XTR...urrent#start=1

EDIT: Oops, looks like they're backordered from the link above. Amazon has them in stock for a bit more.
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post #25 of 26 Old 07-27-2019, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Check out Minirigs (https://minirigs.co.uk/)

I went through the same selection process two months ago, looking for wireless portable speakers primarily for camping. I wanted something with good stereo sound, that was easy to pack, with enough battery life to last the whole trip, and it had to be at least somewhat rugged and weatherproof so it could survive being dropped in the dirt or left out in the rain. After a lot of searching, I ended up buying a pair of Minirig 3s + subwoofer:



They are compact, about 4" diameter and 3" high. They can be paired for stereo. They can play loud and they have good clean sound. Their sound quality and maximum loudness is a step up from any portable speaker I've heard in the same size range. They are splash proof and can survive a drop. And they have outstanding battery life.

There is an optional subwoofer that's about 4" diameter and 9" long which is nice for outdoor use where other small portable speakers tend to sound weak in the bass. You can use a single sub with a single speaker (1.1), a single sub with a stereo pair (2.1), or two subs with two speakers (2.2) if you really need to max out the volume.

They come in zippered protective sleeves with wire pockets for easy packing. Inputs are Bluetooth and a headphone jack. There is a phone app which offers an equalizer and subwoofer level control.

I'm super happy with how they turned out. They may be my favorite piece of camping kit, up there with my Cobb BBQ. I love the versatility. I can set them on a picnic table across from me about 4' apart and enjoy a nice near field stereo setup while I'm working on dinner prep. Or place them on the ground about 10-15' apart on the other side of the camp fire so the family can enjoy a stereo listening experience while basking in the fire. Or put them on opposite sides of the camp site, facing in, configured in mono, and have sound everywhere as you're setting up or breaking camp. A single Minirig 3 can fit into the pocket of most of my athletic shorts, or a cargo pocket, so I'd throw one in there when taking my kids to a playground, or for a walk down to the lake shore so we can listen to a little music while the sun sets.

There is also a smaller Minirig Mini, which is more comfortably pocketable, and better for backpacking. But it has a lot less battery life and not much bass unless you add a sub.

There are two downsides. The first is cost:
£269.95 for a pair of the Minirig 3
£389.95 for a pair of the Minirig 3 + subwoofer

The second is that the treble response is directional, especially the top octave. If I point them directly at me, they sound bright on axis and I want to reduce the treble using the EQ. If I place them on their back facing up, and then listen from the side, the top octave is rolled off and I want to increase it using the EQ. The treble balance is most neutral when listening about 45 degrees off-axis, which leads me to believe that Minirig tried to find a compromise between what's best for different orientations.

I discovered the Minirigs from an Austrian YouTuber named Oluv. He has reviewed tons of portable speakers and records them in binaural sound. You should definitely check out his channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7D...jBd5ZtLQU3Z1dQ

He also has a site where you can A/B compare his recordings of different portable speakers:
http://switcher.oluvsgadgets.net/

He has posted a number of videos with the Minirigs. Here are two. In the first one, he compares a Minirig 3 2.1 setup vs. the very good Aiwa EXOS-9 boom box. The second features Minirig Minis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NRl5ME2_AU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIvd97fQCqI
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll check them out. You sure you don't work for the company?
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post #26 of 26 Old 07-29-2019, 01:30 PM
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LOL. Yeah, I'm enthusiastic. I've made some good choices in camping gear and some wrong ones. The Minirigs were definitely a good one.


FWIW, my original first choice was the Denon Envaya DSB-250. The Denon sounds really good for its size, and it's small enough to carry in one hand. I probably would have bought two of them, but even a single one gives you some sense of stereo separation. I didn't buy it because I read a lot of reports of early battery failures and trouble with stereo pairing.


Another decent choice is the JBL Xtreme 2. It's got a noticeable bass thump when used indoors, but outside it should do well. A pair of them would be good for stereo, albeit bulky to pack and carry two of them.

HT: Dynaudio C2, Contour S CX, 2x BM14S, Aperion surrounds, Simaudio Titan, Marantz AV8801, Oppo 103, Linn Majik DS, and a Pioneer Kuro
Stereo: Dynaudio Focus 160, Simaudio W-5 LE or Luxman M-600A, Linn Akurate DSM, 2x Rythmik F12G
Other interests: motorcycling, skiing, being active
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