Pick up a sleek Bluetooth speaker to blast tunes in your dorm room

Julianne Ross, CNN Underscored
Updated Wed July 24, 2019

Story highlights

  • JBL's Flip 4 speaker combines quality sound with sleek looks and durability
  • It weighs less than 2 pounds, making it easy to bring along with you

Apart from a microwave and a minifridge, one of the best dorm room accessories you can buy is a portable Bluetooth speaker. Whether you use it for soothing study playlists or blasting tunes on a Friday night, a Bluetooth speaker will definitely come in handy over the school year.

JBL's Flip 4 waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker ($99; walmart.com) is an extremely popular option and a fantastic value. The Flip 4 gets great reviews across the internet for its combination of quality sound (especially its excellent bass), sleek looks and smart extras. Of course, one of the most important portable speaker considerations is playtime. The Flip 4 boasts 12 hours of high-quality audio, which should be enough to last through any party or all-night cram session.

But perhaps the best thing about this little speaker is how rugged it is. College students aren't known for being the gentlest of creatures, but the Flip 4 should hold up to any shenanigans. This speaker is fully waterproof, meaning you don't have to worry about getting caught in the rain or late-night Solo cup spills. In fact, it'll even survive being submerged up to 3 feet — so bring it along to the beach without fear.

Despite its durability, the Flip 4 weighs less than 2 pounds, meaning it won't bog down your backpack when you want to take it somewhere. Because it can stand upright or horizontally (that's why it's called the "Flip"), it should be pretty easy to find a spot for it wherever you end up. It even features a little loop so you can attach a lanyard, if you want to hang it in the shower or from a hook of some sort. An LED indicator lets you know how much battery time you've got left, and the Flip 4 also recharges pretty quickly (plan on about 3.5 hours to regain full battery power).

Finally, the Flip 4 comes in seven colors to match your dorm decor, and you can connect two phones at once if you ever want to share DJ duties. You can also wirelessly connect to other JBL speakers for even more sound (though, given the size of most dorm rooms, you'll likely be fine with just the one).

If you're willing to spend a little more, JBL's Charge 4 ($149.95; walmart.com) is another excellent choice. The Charge 4 lasts up to 20 hours and, as its name would suggest, doubles as a portable charger. You really can't go wrong with either option.