Best Bluetooth Accessories for Your Summertime Travels

Best Bluetooth Accessories for Your Summertime Travels

Going wireless is all the rage these days. As Bluetooth technology has advanced to the point of rivaling CD-quality sound, picking Bluetooth over a wired audio connection no longer comes with the same stigma it used to. In fact, in many instances Bluetooth outshines wired audio thanks to its higher level of portability and ease of connection to our ever-present smartphones and tablets. And for the time being, we won't even delve into the persistent rumors that Apple will do away with the old standard 3.5 mm headphone jack in the very near future. With all this in mind, the following gear roundup features some of the best of the best Bluetooth wireless headphones, speakers, and keyboards on the market—accessories well-suited for summer travel and adventures.

Best Bluetooth Speakers

Monster Rockin' Roller 2 ($145.99)

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This speaker is the one you want if you a) need to fill a large area with sound, whether that area is indoors or out; b) if you are looking for a speaker that can handle constant travel and being exposed to the elements on a regular basis; or c) want a multi-functional speaker with a massive battery that can deliver power to a wide range of DC and AC devices and has built-in LED lights for nighttime vision. Oh yeah, the icing on the cake? It has a built-in FM receiver and the ability to store six preset FM channels, so you can enjoy your music or news independently of any supporting phone or tablet. Did I mention it was loud? Like disturb-your-neighbors loud? It should come with a warning, or at least a disclaimer. Use with caution and consideration!

Fugoo XL (Starting at $279.99)

On the larger size of the midsize Bluetooth speakers is the hefty Fugoo XL, which, in addition to being completely waterproof, can also float. The XL also allows you to charge your iPhone or iPad  off of its internal battery. If you don't use the speaker for charging purposes, you can expect to get close to 35 hours of continuous use out of this bread-loaf-sized speaker. You can pick your choice of jacket for this phone based on your anticipated use, or style preference, and you can also get several add-on accessories such as shoulder straps and other mounting adapters. Most importantly, the Fugoo XL belts out a powerful and crisp sound, perfect for those beach, creek, pool, or forest moments.

Hercules WAE Rush Oceanproof Bluetooth Speaker ($129.99)

This highly portable speaker is about the size of a can of soda, so it's easy to throw in a pack or a purse and carry with you on the go. It's lightweight and completely waterproof, and designed to give many years of reliable service. Geared towards the active and outdoorsy lifestyle, the Hercules has a lanyard attachment point and a ¼ screw thread port compatible with any standard attachment system. As a special perk, the WAE Rush also incorporates an FM radio, so you can use it to enjoy your music, even without an iPhone or iPad present.

EcoPebble Lite ($39.99)

This is my favorite of the micro-sized Bluetooth speaker options. Roughly the dimensions of a tin Altoid box, the EcoXGear is super light and offers the ultimate in portability. Put it in your pocket or loop it to your belt buckle and you're good to go with a day's worth of music. This speaker floats so there's no risk of dropping it in the water and having it sink irretrievably. If you are looking for the best deal, or the most portable solution, the EcoPebble Lite is the way to go.

Best Bluetooth iPad Keyboard

Brydge Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard (Starting at $99.99)

Brydge is the maker of one of my favorite aluminum Bluetooth keyboard solutions for iOS devices, with each size matched perfectly with a corresponding size and color iPad. The Brydge keyboard, in effect, transforms your iPad into the spitting image of a MacBook, both in terms of appearance as well as in terms of functionality. It's the perfect solution for those times when you want to travel light, but still want the convenience of you laptop keyboard to making typing easier and faster. Two discreet hinges allow the keyboard to attach or detach to the iPad in seconds, and of course, this stylish aluminum shelled keyboard functions with any Bluetooth device so you can optionally use it in conjunction with your iPhone, or even your Mac desktop or laptop.

Best Wiresless Headphones

Parrot Zik 3.0 ($399.99)

The Zik are a premium pair of Bluetooth headphones that employ some of the most advanced technology available in a pair of headphones. These luxury, audiophile-quality headphones have all of the bells and whistles a music lover could want in a top of the line audio accessory. From tiny sensors embedded in the earcup, that tell the headphones when you remove the headphones and power off, and then back on when you put them back on your ears, to their rich, plush leather over the headband and ear cushions, the Zik 3 are like the Porsche of Bluetooth headphones. They also offer a touch sensitive earcup that allows you to control playback with simple swipes and taps, no buttons to have to try and locate here. One of the most valuable aspects of the Zik 3 have lies in their free, accompanying app, which lets you effortlessly adjust everything from noise-cancellation levels, to equalization settings, to orientation in 3D acoustic space.

HiFi Elite Super 66 ($66.00)

The HiFi Elite are a super value. Comfortable and intuitive, these over-ear headphones deliver one of the best overall user experiences of a pair of headphones three times this price, much less for under $70. They fold up for ease of travel, have incredibly soft, over-ear cushions and a simple click control system on the right earcup for controlling all aspects of playback. I consider these to be quite the steal of a deal and I'd highly recommend them for anyone looking for a high-end pair of headphones, without the high-end price.

Air-Fi Touch ($99.99)

These collapsible on-ear headphones deliver a premium user experience at a very affordable price. The Air-Fi Touch feature a touch sensitive control panel on the Air-Fi Touch ear piece, which allows you to do things like adjust volume, answer calls, skip songs and pause and start music playback, all with simple touch swipes and taps. They also boast an impressive 24 hours of use on a single charge. The Air-Fi Touch is a lightweight and elegant looking pair of headphones, perfect for frequent fliers, or for anyone who wants a top-quality listening experience, without the bulk or noise cancellation of a larger, over-ear pair of headphones.

Urbanears Hellas ($119.00)

This isn't just a comfortable pair of headphones, it's one of the best on-ear solutions for the active lifestyle. The headphones feature an incredibly lightweight design, a totally flexible wire headband, a removable and washable headband cushion and ear cushions, and reflective details for heightened nighttime visibility. The Hellas also offer the standard inclusion of a built-in microphone for Bluetooth calls and the added benefit of a convenient, built-in, touch-sensitive control panel on one of the earcups, allowing you to control your listening experience with intuitive swipes and taps.

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Dig Om's picture

As Senior Gear Editor at iPhone Life, Dig reports on the latest and greatest accessories built for the iOS ecosystem. From rugged gear and Bluetooth speakers, to headphones, unique iDevice cases, and iOS remote controlled vehicles, Dig's articles cover a wide range of great gear for the iPhone and iPad. A core gamer for over three decades, Dig also writes iPhone Life's Game Centered column, which focuses on the best iOS games and game related news. Additionally, Dig's company, iDoc Tech Support, offers web design and administration services as well as iPhone and iPad repairs. When not at his work desk, Dig loves spending time with family and enjoying the wonders of nature. You can follow him on Twitter @idoctech