Sometimes it just feels good to get out of the house. But it isn’t always easy to peel yourself away from your home media center. Why not grab some projector accessories and take the home cinema on the go?
Just stop and think for a minute. Everybody in the cul-de-sac’s excited because they found out that you have a super cool mini projector. But you’ve got a few things to consider before schlepping your precious projector to neighbor’s backyard for a movie night. How’s everybody going to hear the sound without a speaker? Just what surface will you project the picture on? And are you really going to set your projector on a table next to some abandoned drinks and an overflowing ashtray? Oh no, you’re not falling for that again. That’s why it’s imperative for you to get organized before volunteering your ultra cool mini projector for any kind of work.
Now, imagine that your pesky neighbor wants you to bring your mini projector for a camping trip in the damp dark woods. You’ll want to find a way to keep the battery alive, for sure. And you may have to get creative with a screen and a tripod… Honestly, you should have prepared for everything sooner instead of waiting until the last minute! Lucky for you, we’ve researched the best mini projector accessories for taking your mini projector on the go. We’ve kept versatility in mind, so you can rest assured knowing that these accessories are useful in any context, from a camping trip to a late night barbecue.
Blina 120” Portable Projector Screen ($76)
If you’re going to be projecting a video, then you ought to bring a screen along. The quality difference between a real projector screen and the side of a building is genuinely staggering, and the last thing that you want to see your favorite movie projected on is a textured wall (or worse, a bunch of trees). The Blina 120″ is a safe, good-looking, and portable screen. It only weighs 13 pounds and can break down into a polyester sleeve, so you can carry it around or leave it in your car. You don’t have to worry about it falling down into some mud, because the Blina’s frame is beveled in a way that distributes weight and balances the screen.
Few will see the 120″ screen size as a disappointment. A 120″ screen is big enough to give a large group of people a great cinema experience, and it’s honestly amazing that the Blina is so portable despite its size. Take note that the screen has no lining on the back, but that’s only ever an issue if there’s a light source coming from behind the screen.
Camp Chef Outdoor Movie Screen 144” ($198)
If the Blina is too small for you, then you should simply consider a bigger screen. The giant Camp Chef is incredibly self-indulgent, which means that it’s a perfect fit for anybody who’s trying to take their mini projector on the go. The Camp Chef is built with a steel frame that stakes deep into the ground, so you know that it’s not going to float away in the breeze. If you’re afraid that staking such a big screen into the ground isn’t enough, the Camp Chef can also be tied down with some included ropes.
Unlike the Blinda, the Camp Chef has a covered back to prevent light leakage. So if you’re the kind of person who’s always wanted to watch Star Wars in a parking lot (or anywhere with a lot of light pollution) then you may want to consider this screen. If you want to project onto the Camp Chef from behind, you can simply remove the back screen.
Now, this projector screen may not work perfectly on a woodland camping trip. I mean, it really just depends on where you’re trying to use your projector, but a giant screen like this is just going to fall if you can’t find a reliable piece of earth to stick it into. And even if you do find a spot where the Camp Chef will stay, it may be cockeyed or tilted. Besides, this screen isn’t nearly as portable as the Blinda. It weighs 35 pounds (more than twice as much), and breaks down into individual pieces. This is a great option for a nice, flat piece of land.
Anker Soundcore 2 ($40)
You’ve convinced all your old friends to meet in your mosquito infested backyard for movie night, so they better be able to hear the movie that you put on. Don’t make everybody crowd around the projector just to hear its wimpy little speaker. Invest in a durable Bluetooth speaker, like the Anker Soundcore 2. The Soundcore 2 is a clear, loud, waterproof speaker that boasts a 24-hour battery life. Oh, and your projector doesn’t need to have Bluetooth compatibility, because the Anker Soundcore 2 has an aux input.
This is a great travel companion for your projector because it can get pretty loud and isn’t unreasonably large. Not to mention, you can get a lot of non-projector use out of a good Bluetooth speaker.
JBL Xtreme Portable Bluetooth Speaker ($198)
If you’re looking for a speaker that’s louder and more durable than the Soundcore 2, then you should take a peek at the JBL Xtreme. It may seem cumbersome a for Bluetooth speaker, but you’re trading portability for quality. The Xtreme has a lot of volume, a great bass and treble response, a waterproof casing, and the ability to pair with other speakers. Oh, and it has an aux input, so you can still use it with your Bluetooth-less projector.
That’s right. If you need more volume, you can always pair the Xtreme with another JBL speaker. But you probably won’t find yourself in a movie-watching situation where the Xtreme is too quiet. It’s powered by a 10,000mAh battery, and can operate for 15 hours without a charge. It can also be used as a mobile battery if you need to charge your projector or cell phone in a pinch.
But there are plenty of reasons not to buy this speaker. For one, there are speakers like the Anker Soundcore 2 that can get the job done at an incrementally lower price point. And a lot of those cheaper Bluetooth speakers can fit in a pocket or a purse. The JBL Xtreme is about the size of a skateboard, and can be a hassle to get around. But the price and size of the Xtreme doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great piece of audio equipment. Whether you’re hosting a party for a large group or a movie-night with a handful of friends, the Xtreme will enhance the experience.
TaoTronics Bluetooth 4.2 Transmitter ($30)
Not all mini projectors are created equal. Some are heavy, some are light. Some look nice, others are butt ugly. And only a handful of mini projectors are Bluetooth compatible. Thankfully, the TaoTronics Bluetooth transmitter is a reasonably priced way to add Bluetooth capabilities to your beloved projector. Yes, most portable speakers have aux inputs. But an aux cable physically tethers your speaker and projector together, and limits your speaker placement options. There’s also the slim chance that you’ll lose your trusty aux cable (“friends” tend to “borrow” mine), and you know that there’s never an aux cable around when you need it most. Nobody’s ever going to borrow your TaoTronic Bluetooth transmitter, and it’s so small that you can just leave it plugged into your projector for all of eternity.
The Taotronics Bluetooth transmitter can transmit one stereo signal or two mono signals, so if you happen to have two Bluetooth speakers then you may as well use them. It can last for 10 hours without a charge, but you could also just leave it plugged into your projector’s USB port all the time.
Neewer Compact Mini Tripod ($38)
Don’t set your projector on the ground. Don’t lean it on a stump or a garbage can. Tripods aren’t that expensive, they help you to level out your picture, and they keep your mini projector safe. The Neewer mini tripod can get up to 20″ tall and can handle up to 11 pounds. It’s a straightforward and professional-grade mini tripod. You can rely on it for indoor and outdoor use.
The most projector-friendly feature on the Neewer is its swivel-ball head, which allows you to pivot your projector at any angle. It also has a bubble level, so you don’t have to worry about straightening out your image. Just promise that you won’t try to swivel your projector on the Neewer until you double check that your projector has a tripod mount.
JOBY GorillaPod SLR Zoom ($39)
Have you ever wanted to hang your projector from a tree? The Joby GorillaPod SLR Zoom is a tripod with flexible, magnetically tipped legs. This is a great option for people who want to set up impromptu streaming sessions, or people who just want the flexibility to project in unconventional environments. Of course, your projector will need to have a tripod mount if you want to screw it down onto the Joby.
Yes, you can hang your projector upside down from a rail or a clothesline. The crazy things that you can do with one of these makes it a great companion for people who want a lot of mobility and don’t mind projecting video on the side of a building or a hotel ceiling. May I suggest a very portable Bluetooth speaker to pair with the Joby?
Unless you’re a daredevil, you shouldn’t use a heavy mini projector with the GorillaPod SLR Zoom. You see, this tripod can only support up to 6.6 pounds. If that’s an issue for you, take a quick glance at the GorillaPod 5K. It can hold 11 pounds.
Pyle Projector Stand ($32)
If your mini projector doesn’t have a tripod mount, then you’ll just have to get a tripod with a flat stand. The Pyle projector stand can go up to 41″ high, which is more than enough height for most situations.
The Pyle is also a great option for people who want to use their laptop or a game console with their projector. With the Pyle, you have a 16″ x 20″ surface to keep your things on, and most mini projectors aren’t more than a foot wide. If you’re willing to sacrifice some of that surface area for an extra 9″ of height, you should take a look at this 50″ tall Pyle tripod.
RAVPower 26800mAh Battery Pack ($57)
Why not bring a portable battery along for the ride? Most mini projectors and Bluetooth speakers have a reasonable battery life, but you won’t always get the chance to charge them. The RAVPower holds an impressive 26800mAh charge (which is great for the price), and it can charge three devices simultaneously.
Not to mention, you can use a portable battery for more than just your mini projector. You could probably use a good portable battery for your phone every day, and the RAVPower has a lot of power for a reasonable price.
CASEMATIX WORKFORCE Projector Hard Case ($45)
Whether you’re dragging your projector through the wilderness or a house party, you want to keep it safe and dry. The CASEMATIX has enough room to fit most mini projectors, remote controls, power cables and small accessories. It features a building-block styled foam interior that you can pick apart depending on the shape and size of holes that you need. While a hard case (or any case) for a projector may seem unnecessary, it offers a lot more security than a tote bag.
A good case could outlast your projector or be used for future upgrades. You can also use one of these for your other hobbies. If you handle a lot of microphones, cameras, or sensitive electronics, a case like this can come in handy often.
I love to get out of the house for some fresh air, but I’ve trained my primitive mammal brain to relax only when I have access to Youtube or Hulu. Thankfully, the Chromecast is an incredibly portable and low profile streaming device. It’s so small that you could just leave it plugged into your projector all the time. Obviously, you’re not going to have Wi-Fi in the woods or under a bridge, but it’s easy to set your phone up as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and most carriers have reasonably priced unlimited data plans.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter which streaming device you pair with your projector. Some projectors even have rudimentary streaming features built in. But the Chromecast works especially well as a mobile device because it doesn’t come with a remote control. Anybody can use a phone or laptop to control a Chromecast, which offers you a lot of flexibility. Not to mention, the basic Chromecast is only $35.