Grab your sunglasses and sunscreen, because we’re talking about the best Bluetooth speakers to soundtrack your summer! Whether you’re hosting poolside parties or embarking on outdoor adventures, a durable, waterproof speaker is essential. With so many options on the market, I’ve rounded up the top picks to make your decision easy. Let’s dive in!
Big Sound, Bigger Bass: JBL Charge 5
Kickstarting our list is the JBL Charge 5, acclaimed for its powerful audio performance in a portable, waterproof form. Driven by a specialized racetrack-shaped driver, dual passive radiators, and a separate tweeter, the JBL Signature Sound is bold and resonant across lows, mids, and highs.
The bass thumps hard enough for pool parties or beach bashes, yet retains clarity across vocals, guitars, and percussion. Upgraded from the Charge 4, the Charge 5 packs more volume and refined acoustics into its cylindrical frame. It’s larger than a typical can of soda, but still slim enough to toss in your beach tote or backpack.
With a beefy 7,500mAh battery, you’ll keep the music pumping all day or all week depending on volume. The built-in powerbank lets you charge your phone via USB-C when far from an outlet. Its durable, waterproof fabric covering and IP67 rating instill confidence if splashed poolside. User reviews confirm the Charge 5 withstands complete dunkings and jet sprays, emerging unscathed.
Though pricey, the Charge 5 warrants its cost with resonant JBL signature sound and rugged waterproofing for outdoor escapades. With omni-directional PartyBoost, you can also stereo pair with another JBL speaker for more immersive surround sound.
Surprisingly Powerful: Anker Soundcore Rave Neo
Don’t let its pint-sized design fool you – the Anker Soundcore Rave Neo delivers impressively bold, multi-directional audio from its petite cylindrical chassis. Packed with two 6.5-inch woofers topped by high-frequency tweeters, the rhythmic light show illudes to its party-ready sound.
Bass radiates intensely given the compact size, while mids and highs retain clarity even at higher volumes. The middle and upper registers could sound slightly more crisp, but impressive overall balance for a speaker this small. Weighing just 2.6 pounds, it’s supremely portable whether heading poolside or to the park.
Its IPX7 waterproofing ensures no issues with splashes, spills, or full submersion up to three feet. Anker claims 18 hours of playback at moderate volumes – enough for a full weekend’s worth of festivities. When it’s time to juice up, the USB-C and USB-A ports charge your devices too.
While the Rave Neo lacks some audio refinement compared to larger speakers, its ultra-portable design, vibrant LEDs, and surprisingly bold output make it a fantastic choice for lively occasions. The Andre speakerphone utilizes noise-cancellation for clear call clarity when synced to your phone.
Take It Anywhere: JBL Flip 6
Renowned for compact, take-anywhere designs without compromising sound, the JBL Flip 6 is an ultra-portable waterproof speaker ready for daily use. Its durable cylindrical shape fits easily in bags and backpacks with a lanyard strap to match.
Outfitted with a racetrack-shaped woofer, separate tweeter, and dual external passive radiators, the Flip 6 generates impressive volume and bass from its petite chassis. The sound profile caters more to pop, hip-hop, and EDM compared to audiophile genres, but pleasing overall with vocal clarity and significant bass punch.
The IP67 rating ensures water, dust, and shock-resistance when Bringing the Flip 6 near pools or oceans. Users confirm its survivability after full submersion. Battery life hits around 12 hours at moderate levels – not outstanding, but enough for most single-day excursions. The built-in powerbank handily charges phones via USB-C when outlets are scarce.
For those seeking a rugged, waterproof speaker to toss in a bag for the park or beach, the Flip 6 ranks among the best portable choices under $100. It lacks the bass enormity of larger speakers, but impressive output given its ultra-compact size.
360-Degree Sound: Anker Soundcore Motion Boom
Our next pick, the Anker Soundcore Motion Boom, stands out with its 360-degree surround sound – a rarity among portable Bluetooth speakers. Angled drivers on all sides distribute audio evenly throughout the room instead of projecting forward like most speakers.
This makes the Motion Boom especially ideal for gatherings where people congregate in different directions. Its two tweeters and mid-woofers deliver emphatic bass along with crisp highs and vocal clarity. While not the most refined sounding for critical listening, the lively sound provides ambiance for social gatherings.
The cylindrical shape feels sturdy, while an IP67 rating ensures full waterproofing along with shock resistance. Battery life clocks in around 24 hours at moderate volumes – enough to keep the party going all weekend. Integrated straps make transportation easy, be it the beach or your friend’s BBQ.
Overall, the Motion Boom’s 360-degree design and lively audio performance make it a versatile choice for both pool parties and camping trips. The ability to position it in the center of any social gathering is a distinguishing perk.
Take It To The Lake: Ultimate Ears BOOM 3
For sonic fun on the water, check out the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 – one of the best floating Bluetooth speakers available. The disc-shaped chassis and silicone base keep it afloat above the surface, allowing 360 degrees of bold, vibrant sound to radiate outward.
Driven by a 2-inch active driver and two 1.75-inch passive radiators, the BOOM 3 outputs emphatic bass tones relative to its compact size. A wide frequency range maintains composure across genres like EDM, rock, hip-hop, or acoustic folk. At maximum volumes, some distortion creeps in, but overall loud and clear for outdoor use.
The BOOM 3 bears an IP67 rating, allowing both water and dust protection. It treads water for up to 30 minutes without issues. Integrated volume buttons allow control while the speaker floats alongside you. A flexible snap hook conveniently attaches to bags and gear too.
While pricier than other floating speakers, the BOOM 3 warrants the cost with powerful audio and unmatched durability while adrift in pools or lakes. Grab one for your next aquatic adventure!
What To Consider When Choosing An Outdoor Waterproof Speaker
Once you start the search for an outdoor waterproof Bluetooth speaker, the sheer options quickly become overwhelming. Understanding the key factors and technical specs will help narrow your decision. Let’s explore what to look for.
Sound Quality Should Be Priority Number One
While aspects like battery life and durability are crucial, a speaker’s fundamental purpose is playing music. Thus, sound quality should be the top priority.
Consider the overall frequency range – a wider range with extended highs and lows provides balance across genres. Look for specs that indicate frequency response measured in Hz. Most quality speakers target 20 Hz on the low end for deeper bass up to 20 kHz for crisp treble.
Pay attention to bass resonance as this enhances the energy and ambience – important for pool parties and social gatherings! 2-3 inch drivers or dual passive radiators typically deliver the most powerful low-end punch.
Volume capacity is also key, especially for outdoor use over distances. Ensure the speaker outputs enough loudness without distortion or muddiness at higher levels.
Lastly, listen for vocal clarity on acoustic and rock tracks along with crispness on cymbals, guitars and percussive instruments. This adds polish and balance to the overall signature.
Don’t Underestimate Needed Durability
Besides great sound, an outdoor speaker must withstand the elements while out and about. Be sure to check the IP waterproof rating, which measures protection levels on a scale from IP67 to IP68. Look for IP67 at minimum, which allows immersion for 30 minutes in 1 meter of water.
Also inspect the exterior material’s resilience to dust, shock, scratches and dents. Rubberized, silicon and woven fabrics protect best against drops and debris. Avoid cheaper plastic bodies prone to cracking and marring.
Lastly, consider size and portability. While large drivers output big bass, compact chassis allow easy mobility in bags or attached to bikes, golf carts, etc. Decide the needed balance between power and transportability.
Battery Duration Impacts Convenience
Few things are more frustrating than a dead speaker, so battery endurance deserves close evaluation. Playback time commonly ranges between 10 to 30 hours depending on model and volume levels.
Consider the speaker’s intended use – longer battery for multi-day camping versus moderate life for backyard use. Also factor in recharge time – some speak can fully juice up in just 2-3 hours.
Removable batteries allow swapping fresh ones in to eliminate downtime. But integrated batteries have become more efficient in recent years as well. Just ensure it has enough stamina for your lifestyle.
Wireless Connectivity Should Be Strong and Consistent
Nothing ruins a vibe like speakers cutting out, so examine wireless specs closely. Most speakers today use Bluetooth 5.0 or greater, which provides faster pairing and extended range up to 800 feet compared to older versions.
Optimal Bluetooth range is 30+ feet before audio degrades or cuts out. WiFi connectivity present in some speakers extends range significantly but comes at a higher cost.
If using your speaker for calls, check for integrated microphones and noise-cancellation abilities that enable clearer voice transmission. This allows handy speakerphone functionality.
Extra Features Add Fun and Functionality
With technology advancing, many modern speakers boast bonus features beyond just audio playback. Here are some useful extras to look for:
- Voice assistant integration – use Siri or Google Assistant to request songs, weather, news, etc. Hands-free!
- Party pairing – link multiple speakers in stereo or surround configurations for whole-home audio.
- Lights or displays – LEDs that pulse with music add visual appeal, especially poolside. Displays show track info.
- Charging abilities – spare USB ports allow charging phones/tablets from the built-in battery when outlets are scarce.
- Speakerphone abilities enable clear call handling when synced to your phone. Helpful while out and about.
- Floating designs – speakers that float allow pool and lakeside listening while drifting along.
Reputable Brands and Warranties Increase Confidence
While cheaper no-name speakers found online may be tempting, reputable brands provide peace of mind and customer support. Respected names like JBL, Anker, Sony, Bose, Ultimate Ears and others have proven track records building durable Bluetooth speakers.
Most offer at least a 1-year limited warranty protecting against defects. Some extend coverage to 2-3 years. Just remember to register your product online to activate warranty service if needed down the road.
Setting a Budget Prevents “Feature Creep”
With countless options at different price points, it’s wise to determine a spending budget beforehand. Entry-level speakers start around $30, while premium waterproof models climb up to $400+.
Setting spending parameters helps prevent “feature creep” where you pay more for unnecessary bells and whistles. Determine what features you truly require, and find the best match within your budget.
For instance, compact $50 speakers work well for personal use, while $150+ models offer surround-sound party abilities. Consider costs relative to your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers
Q: Why do I need a waterproof Bluetooth speaker?
A: Waterproofing allows worry-free use around water, whether by the pool, beach, on boats, etc. They provide peace of mind that splashes or drops won’t damage your speaker.
Q: How waterproof are they really?
A: Look for the IP rating, measuring water protection on a scale from IP67 to IP68. Most quality speakers have IP67, allowing 1 meter submersion for 30 minutes. This provides ample waterproofing.
Q: What’s the difference between “water resistant” and “waterproof”?
A: Water resistant only withstands light splashes. Waterproof means the speaker can be fully submerged without issues. Look for “waterproof”.
Q: How long does the battery last?
A: Battery life ranges widely from 5 hours to over 30 hours depending on model, volume, etc. Plan for multi-day trips versus backyard use.
Q: What Bluetooth range should I look for?
A: Look for 30+ feet of Bluetooth range for optimal connectivity. Some speakers also have WiFi extending range further.
Q: Can I make calls through the speaker?
A: Many speakers have integrated mics and noise-cancellation for speakerphone abilities. But call quality varies, so check reviews.
Q: Will it float in the water?
A: Some waterproof speakers are designed to float, making them ideal for pools and lakes. Others may sink if dropped in deep water.
Q: What kind of warranty do they have?
A: Most speakers have a 1-2 year limited warranty. Register your product online to activate coverage in case of defects.
Q: Can I listen underwater?
A: While waterproof, Bluetooth doesn’t transmit underwater. These are made for use near water, not while submerged.
After reviewing the top portable waterproof Bluetooth speakers and key buying factors, you now have the knowledge to choose the perfect model for your outdoor activities.
Whether splashing poolside, embarking on camping trips, or chilling lakeside, a durable speaker lets you immerse in music anywhere without worrying about water damage.
Look for strong battery life, at least IP67 waterproofing, robust exteriors, and clear audio with punchy bass. Extra perks like integrated microphones or floating designs also prove useful depending on planned usage.
While pricier than generic models, trustworthy brands like JBL, Anker and Ultimate Ears deliver lasting performance that justifies the cost. Just be sure to shop within your budget.
Equipped with a rugged waterproof speaker, you can finally enjoy carefree audio wherever summer takes you. Here’s to many memorable adventures surrounded by your favorite tunes!