What Are Portable USB Speakers?

K. K. Lowen

Portable Universal Serial Bus (USB) speakers are devices designed to amplify sound, usually originating from a computer, through a cable connected to a USB port. Almost all modern computers and many other modern electronic devices have USB capability. Portable USB speakers are designed to easily connect to a computer, smart phone, or other device to emit amplified sound.

A USB cable connects USB speakers to a computer.
A USB cable connects USB speakers to a computer.

USB speakers are available in a wide range of sizes. Excessively large speakers are not portable because they cannot be transported with ease. Mini portable speakers are particularly small and designed for maximum portability.

Some manufacturers now offer speakers that rely on USB 3.0 technology.
Some manufacturers now offer speakers that rely on USB 3.0 technology.

Most large-size, traditional speakers have one cord that connects to a computer or a device and another cord for power, typically plugged in to a wall socket. One of the advantages of many portable USB speakers is that both the sound and power comes through the same USB cable. Fewer cables take up less space, which is desirable for any portable electronic device.

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Wireless portable USB speakers are ones that have no wire, cord, or cable attaching the speaker physically to the USB port. Instead, an adapter plugs into the USB port and transmits the information wirelessly to the speakers. There is generally a limit to the distance between the speakers and the USB adapter. When using this method, the speakers must have some sort of power supply, either batteries or a power cord that plugs into a wall socket.

Some types of portable USB speakers have two separate speakers. Other kinds of USB speakers are a standalone piece of sound equipment. Some people find it helpful to have just one speaker so that they do not have to worry about losing one of the speakers when traveling. A solitary speaker may provide maximum portability and take up the least amount of space as well.

The price range of portable USB speakers is vast. Inexpensive models are available, but these items typically do not offer the same quality of sound reproduction as more costly models. High-end portable USB speakers are also manufactured and may provide sound quality that is comparable to other traditional speaker of the same size.

Portable USB speakers are commonly used in conjunction with laptop computers. Laptops are intrinsically designed to be portable and often do not have very powerful built-in speakers. Small speakers that plug into the laptop’s USB port is a quick solution. Many people use portable USB speakers so they can have greater sound capacity wherever they go.

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