This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for a UK audience.
Hanging out by the pool, lake or beach just isn’t the same without some tunes. Which just isn’t possible if you own a clunky, heavy speaker that plugs into the wall. If this sounds sadly familiar, you’re in desperate need of a waterproof Bluetooth speaker.
In addition to protecting your shocks when it starts pouring on your barbecue, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker gives you the freedom to head to the beach without worrying about getting wet. Some portable outdoor speakers even float in water, which is not only convenient for a quick recovery, but also makes them a great party piece to show off to your guests.
But there are hundreds of different Bluetooth speakers out there. It is difficult to choose one based on your budget and needs. The good news is that we’ve done the hard work for you and researched the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers. Before we get into the offerings, let’s talk about the features you should consider before you buy.
How do Bluetooth speakers work?
When you want to take your tunes outside, you don’t want to worry about cables or another external power source to support your speaker. Fortunately, you don’t have to when you’re working with the absolute godsend that is Bluetooth technology. All you have to do is wirelessly pair your smartphone with your speaker, then download your music streaming app to your phone and press play. Depending on the battery life of your speaker, you’re set for hours and hours of easy, continuous listening. Just be aware that they will need to be recharged periodically, so take some time to bring them indoors for a little extra recharge.
Another benefit of Bluetooth speakers is that you can often connect two or more of them together to provide impressive stereo sound and wider coverage indoors or outdoors, perfect for keeping the vibes going at large parties.
Is waterproof and waterproof the same thing?
Not all waterproofing is the same. Pay special attention to the device’s IP rating, a measure of how waterproof – or just waterproof – it is. And if the IP rating is not clearly stated, switch to something more reliable. These ratings can be a little confusing if you’re not sure what each one means, so we’ll explain that in a moment. But the main thing that is extremely important to know is that water resistance is not the same as water resistance – not even close.
What is a waterproof rating?
A waterproof speaker will usually have an IPX5 rating or lower, which means it can certainly withstand a splash or splash here and there, or even a steady stream of water. But if you’re looking for a speaker that can withstand the elements (and accidents), get one with a much higher water resistance rating. You’ll most often see IPX6 or IPX7 ratings, meaning a device will survive a good soak or even full submersion, respectively.
However, if you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker that’s truly outdoor and weatherproof, go for one with an IP67 rating. This means that the device is not only waterproof and able to withstand submersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes, but it is also resistant to dust, dirt and sand. You can confidently take your weatherproof speaker anywhere – from sandy beaches to dusty campsites – without worrying about wet or windy conditions.
What is a good battery life for a bluetooth speaker?
If you’re just out for the day, six to 12 hours will probably be fine. But if you’re going away for a weekend or don’t want to worry about frequent charging even when you’re at home, you’ll want to choose a speaker that can give you over 20-24 hours of continuous audio bliss.
What is the wireless range of a bluetooth speaker?
Wireless range is another important thing to consider when choosing a Bluetooth speaker. If you’re streaming songs from your smartphone and intend to sit near the speaker the entire time, it doesn’t really matter how long the range is. But if you’re throwing a party, you probably want a little more flexibility to mix, mingle, and move (and your phone) around. About 30 feet is the standard wireless range, but many higher-end Bluetooth speakers will give you up to 100 feet of range.
Do bluetooth speakers sound good?
Obviously, you want your waterproof speakers to sound good – that’s literally why you’re spending your hard-earned money on them. Usually, the higher the price of the device, the more distinct the sound and the stronger the bass. However, we do like a few budget options that offer surprisingly impressive sound quality, so don’t automatically think you can’t get something great if money’s tight.
What is the best waterproof bluetooth speaker?
To help you decide, we’re sharing our top picks for the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers. We’ve got something for every occasion — and every budget — including devices from top brands like Ultimate Ears, JBL and Bose.
These are the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers in 2023.