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14 Best Portable Speakers We Tested in 2020

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The tall cylinder shape of the Megaboom 3 is a bit more traditional than the squat globule of the Wonderboom 2. The Megaboom 3 is still a bit too large to fit into a cup holder or into the bottle pocket of most backpacks, but we’ve found it’s pretty easy to stuff into any main compartment or tote. And just like the Wonderboom 2, the Megaboom 3 is completely enclosed and waterproof. The most fun feature of the Megaboom 3 though, is “PartyUp,” which allows you to sync your speaker with anyone else’s Megaboom or Boom speakers and play the same thing through all of them at once. The only downside of this feature is that is was not, in fact, developed in collaboration with DMX.

JBL Charge 4: A Big Speaker for Solo Listening

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JBL “Charge 4” Bluetooth speaker

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If you want something with the power of the Megaboom 3, but don’t really entertain much, the JBL Charge 4might be a speaker to your liking. It has a slightly bigger bass response, but we found its overall sound to be a little underwhelming. And, where the Megaboom projects sound in every direction, you only hear the Charge 4 at its most clear when you’re right in front of it. If you’re just planning to bump your tunes from the comfort of your couch, that’s fine. But at a party where everyone is mingling in all directions, it’s less than ideal.

We liked the JBL Charge 4’s bass response, which is a bit more full than that on the Megaboom. We also didn’t hear any sibilance in the high end that would make listening to the speaker over a long period of time unpleasant. But we found that anything in the mid-range, like male vocals and most instruments, sounded just a little dull—especially when compared to the same ones played from the Megaboom.

If you do choose the Charge 4, you’ll get a lot of the same functionality as the Megaboom. It’s also certified to be waterproof even if fully immersed. JBL also support JBL Connect+, which allows you to pair the speakers with other JBL speakers you or your friends bring to a party. And, as you might have guessed from the name, the speaker has a USB output that allows it to charge your phone, which can come in handy in a pinch.

Beoplay P6: The Best Speaker for Aesthetes

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Bang and Olufsen “Beoplay P6” Bluetooth speaker

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Most Bluetooth speakers have little to offer aesthetically. You’re basically stuck with a bunch of differently colored tubes or boxes. Speakers from Bang and Olufesen are still more or less boxes, but they feature a lot of lovely design touches that make them look as much like art as any wonderful track you’re playing sounds. The Beoplay P6 is a perfect example of it. A quick sketch of it would reveal nothing more than a slightly wonky rectangle, but the beauty is in the details. The aluminum finish sparkles slightly when hit by light. The handle is a loop of soft-leather. The edges are curved off avoiding any aggressive angles. Thankfully, it also sounds great.

You’re not buying the Beoplay P6 for it’s sound quality, but rest assured that it’s really good. Anything in the lower end sounds full, without being echo-y or muddy. And anything in the middle and treble range sounds clean and crisp, without being too bright. That’ll ensure the thumping, slightly distorted pulse of an EDM track like Calvin Harris’s “CP-1” will sound just as good in your bedroom as it would from the crowd at Coachella. Honestly, better.

The Beoplay does come with some caveats. It’s a bit less powerful than you might expect for a speaker at its price. It’s certainly loud enough to underscore a dinner party with a few friends, but I wouldn’t expect it to rise over the din of a house party. It’s also not water or dust proof at all, which makes it fairly impractical for a lot of day-to-day use. But you don’t get a Ferrari for its gas mileage, do you?

Urbanears Rålis: An Alternative for Aesthetes

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Urbanears “Rålis” Bluetooth speaker

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If you want something that’s a bit more practical than the Beoplay P6, but still has its refined aesthetics, consider the Urbanears Rålis. Like the P6, the Rålis sounds excellent across the frequency spectrum. Regardless of whether your listening consists of bass-heavy hip hop and pop, or more delicate classical and folk, it’ll sound great coming out of the grill of the Rålis. Plus, it’s cubic design and bright colorways make it look stolen off a shelf in the Bauhaus.

Sonos Move: The Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Multiroom Wireless Capabilities

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Sonos “Move” Bluetooth speaker

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Our favorite portable Bluetooth speaker with multi-room speakers is the Sonos Move. As we write in our review:



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6 Fashion Tastemakers Share the Small Fashion and Beauty Brands They’re Supporting Right Now

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The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on pretty much every aspect of the fashion industry, and it will continue to affect it long after it (hopefully) becomes contained. Small businesses around the world have been hit particularly hard because of retail closures, canceled orders and an expected economic slowdown. Many have rallied behind a message: It’s important to support these enterprises if and when you can, now more than ever. 

Kellie Brown, the blogger behind And I Get Dressed and a small-business owner herself, says: “Supporting small businesses is incredibly important because we want and need them to survive this chaos! I’m already feeling the effects [of the pandemic] so anything I can do to help brands I love is important.” 

Maria Alia, a freelance creative based in New York, described the past two weeks as “a trying time,” with her work flow “a bit uncertain for the next few months” — something other influencers, many of whom are independent contractors, have spoken about. However, she says: “I’m thankful to still have the luxury and privilege to be able to support the brands and businesses that are being hit even harder at this time.” 





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Boohoo, Asos shares leap on anecdotal evidence about sales spikes

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Boohoo is one of the few big-name UK fashion retailers not to have updated the market on how its trading is doing. And in the absence of solid guidance, this week it seems that some negative reports about inadequate social distancing in its warehouses have actually sent its share price much higher.

Boohoo and Asos have seen their share prices rising this week

This rise has also boosted its overall market valuation with the shares on Tuesday morning up almost 13% compared to Monday, giving the company a valuation of £2.66 billion.

The rise has come after reports at the weekend focusing on online fashion retailers spoke to workers who were concerned that a rush of orders has meant they can’t keep enough of a distance from each other. But investors looking to pick up bargain shares focused on comments such as one warehouse worker saying Boohoo had processed 400,000 orders last week compared to 120,000 in a usual week.

While that comment wasn’t an official statement from the company, investors are looking to pounce on any information and any shares at the moment whose prices have fallen and that look like they could generate a big profit on the recovery. 

The same effect has been seen with Asos shares. It was up almost 30% on Tuesday morning giving the company a market value of £1.26 billion. 

Both shares had also risen on Monday, helped not only by those weekend news stories, but also by a level of cautious optimism that the downturn may not last as long as some had feared.

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The 4 Summer Skirt Trends That I’m Backing For 2020

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Full disclosure: I do own several skirts but they are never my go-to choice. I favour a dress or a loose-fitting pair of trousers come the summer. Don’t ask me why, I couldn’t give you a coherent answer (especially right now—what day is it again?) Despite my irrational approach to skirts, I’ve spotted four trends that I’m genuinely looking forward to trying out—and they’re comfortable enough to wear for working from home or a weekend cleaning the house.

First up is the ’90s-style midi denim skirt. I’ve never been a fan of the denim mini, especially as I look to pieces that are more polished, so this is a great balance between casual and smart. But I can’t discount the mini as there are chic versions that are ripe for being paired with minimalist sandals and a white T-shirt. Next is the floral midi skirt that I love whether buttoned down the front, pleated or A-line. Finally, the knitted skirt is still an option for the colder summer evenings.

The best bit is all these trends can be worn right into next autumn with your favourite knee-highs. So, skirts, here’s my apology: I will no longer place you as my least favourite item in my wardrobe. Keep scrolling for how to wear the four trends and shop the key pieces…



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