Bluetooth speakers are extremely convenient, and with a battery built in, they let you enjoy the music wherever you are, and wherever you decide to go. But when the pool party starts to get a little crazy, you want a speaker option that isn’t going to give up on you with the first sign of spray. All of the speakers below are fit for the outdoors, with weather-resistant designs that will survive a bit of rain, a dusty trail, or being knocked off the bar by someone who’s had a few too many, and they all sound great doing it.
Ultimate Ears MEGABoom ($300)
If you want something to really pump up your next pool party, and you’ve got some cash to burn, the Ultimate Ears MEGABoom improves on its less MEGA little brother the Boom with boosted bass response, excellent battery life, and an exterior that can take a beating and keep the tunes bumping. Like most Bluetooth speakers it has extras like an on-board speaker phone and a charging port for your smartphone, and it also has a class-leading wireless range of up to 100 feet. It’s bit spendy for a Bluetooth speaker, but it’s loaded with great sound and plenty of extras, including a up to 20 hours of battery run time to keep the good times rolling long after all the guests are gone.
Braven BRV-X ($200)
The Braven BRV-X combines a portable form factor and great battery life with an IPX7 weather-proof construction, meaning it’s tested for a dunk in a three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. It has a rich, full sound until you reach the spritely high end, and it’s loud enough to carry outdoors without distorting the jams. It’s listed at $200, but can often be found for a lot less online, making it a very enticing solution for those worried about the elements spoiling the party.
Braven BRV-1 ($120.00)
Before the BRV-X, the BRV-1 caught our ears with a full sound highlighted by a rich and detailed midrange, all built into a housing that can really take a beating. It may not be as loud as its big brother, but at half the size it’s much easier to take a long. And like most of the Braven family, the BRV-1 offers class leading battery life to keep the music going long after the sun has gone down, without you ever having to lift a finger.
TDK Life On Record Trek MAX A34 ($250)
If a big, punchy sound is your main desire, the TDK Life On Record Trek Max A34 has it (along with a very long name). Though it’s not designed for intimate listening sessions, what the speaker lacks in finesse, it makes up for with a seriously potent max volume, and tough weatherproof construction. Tailgate parties in the rain, meet your new best friend.
TDK Life On Record Trek 360 ($200)
It’s a little bigger than some of the other speakers on this list, and sure, it looks like a damned car battery. But the Trek 360 makes up for it by providing hefty bass from a dedicated 15W subwoofer and clear, omni-directional sound from a quartet of 2W mid-range drivers. Unlike most smaller speakers, the Trek 360 also offers treble and bass equalization, but with only about 6 hours of use on a single charge, it’s not the kind of speaker you’ll want to tow very far from a power outlet.
Fugoo Tough ($230)
Taking a different approach to a weatherproof speaker, Fugoo created a base speaker that includes a set of “jackets” to offer different levels of protection from moisture or impacts, as well as different mounting options. The Tough has great Bluetooth integration with Siri and Google Now, plus impressively loud, balanced sound.
Eton Rugged Rukus ($130)
On the more compact end of the spectrum, the Rugged Rukus carries lucid sound and solar charging in a durable, wedge-shaped chassis. It has a great price point too, when you consider all the functionality it provides — after all, how many other solar devices have you got? The Bluetooth connection carries a bit of a hum, and the treble is on the bright side, but for conversation starters alone, the Rukus is worth a long look.
Eton Rukus XL ($250)
The pyramid-shaped Rukus XL takes solar sound to the next level, offering a hinged solar panel to bring in the photons during the day, and 8 hours of playtime in the dark. The speaker offers full, balanced sound across a large range, and also carries a great price point. While it won’t fit easily in your bag, this solar-powered wireless wonder is the boombox of the next era.
Available at: Amazon
Soundcast Melody ($450)
It isn’t the most attractive speaker on this list — in fact, it looks like an electronic thermos. But the SoundCast Melody has it where it really counts, with big, clear, and brilliantly detailed sound that rivals anything in the genre. It’s a big beast, but it’s easy to carry around with the handle on the back, and offers a seriousl a rugged weatherproof construction and an impressive 20 hours of battery life. In short, the Melody is the ultimate beach companion, but it comes at a cost.
G-Project G-Boom ($100)
When it comes to boom for your buck, it’s hard to beat G-Project’s G-Boom, with a high max volume cap, big and full midrange coverage, and a smooth upper register that will let you hear your favorite outdoor songs in a new way. Another wireless boombox job, it’s easy to carry wherever, and it also gets style points for looking oddly like Batman’s briefcase.
Available at: Amazon