Adventuring can be difficult work, even for those who thrive under the microscope of the earth’s harshest elements. Heck, you could be Bear Grylls himself, and it still wouldn’t stop you from getting bored after a few hours of scavenging leaves and branches to build a depressingly tiny shelter. Luckily, music is a killer cure for boredom.
To get your groove on in the great outdoors you’ll need equipment that’s as resilient, adaptive, and untethered as you are, dear reader. Digital Trends is here to help with a handy rundown of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers available. For warm climes or cold, sweltering summer days or icy winter nights, these speakers will follow you to the ends of the earth, and keep the tunes rolling.
Looking for a more diverse selection? Try our picks for the best Bluetooth speakers, period.
Ultimate Ears Blast
Why should you buy this: It’s sleek, sexy, life-resistant, and it sounds excellent.
Who’s it for: Everyone.
How much will it cost: $230
Why we picked the UE Blast:
If you’re familiar with Ultimate Ears, you won’t be too surprised at our pick here. The Irvine, CA-based manufacturer has built a sterling reputation for building solid speakers capable of repelling water and dirt altogether. Announced in fall 2017, the Blast (and the $300 Megablast) replaced the Boom (and Megaboom) as UE’s top models, and for good reason.
The Blast is slick, handsome, and waterproof (duh), boasting 12 hours of battery life and some basic voice support via Alexa, so long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi. Looking at the Blast, you can’t immediately tell it was designed for outdoor use, which we think is a good design choice. Plus, uh, it sounds pretty fantastic too.
The best floatable speaker
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
Why should you buy this: It offers big sound in a small, amphibious package.
Who’s it for: Frequent swimmers, kids, and bath lovers.
How much will it cost: $69 to $75
Why we picked the UE Wonderboom:
If you weren’t surprised with our choice of the UE Blast above, you shouldn’t be surprised here either! The Wonderboom offers a miniaturized version of the aforementioned Boom and Megaboom speakers, projecting audio in 360 degrees from an adorable little speaker pod.
The compact and shock-proof Wonderboom can take on the elements with fervor, safe from drops up to five feet on hard surfaces. The best part, though? It floats! That makes it the perfect speaker to take in the pool or the lake with kids and ensure it doesn’t disappear in five minutes. While the sound won’t blow you away, it offers impressive punch and clarity for the money. Speaking of which, perhaps the Wonderboom’s best feature is its price point of just $70.
The best boombox
Braven Ready Elite
Why should you buy this: It’s got big bass, a badass look, and it’s ready for your most rugged excursions.
Who’s it for: Those who really like to rough it, and need some big sound for the ride.
How much will it cost: $300
Why we picked the Braven Ready Elite:
Want old-school boombox bombast (except with much better clarity) without having to tote around a massive, shoulder-mounted affair? Braven’s Ready Elite — the biggest sibling in a family of four outdoor “Ready” speakers — can do that, pumping out impressive bass and respectably clear audio at volume levels higher than most any speaker its size can. It’s got a decidedly smaller form factor than the boomboxes of old, with the kind of blasting sound that will make you wary of the classic shoulder carry.
In addition to its powerful sound, the Ready Elite has plenty more to offer: It’s nearly indestructible, features four reinforced anchor points for the included hang strap, and comes with a mobile app which you can use to change the EQ settings. And when it comes to style, it’s safe to assume if Batman ever designed a speaker, it would look a lot like this one.
The most versatile
JBL Charge 3
Why should you buy this: It’s unreasonably affordable, it goes anywhere, and charges your phone on the way.
Who’s it for: Anyone with constant “low battery syndrome.”
How much will it cost: $120
Why we picked the JBL Charge 3:
Sometimes sound just isn’t enough, and you need a speaker that can do a bit more. Enter JBL’s Charge 3, which doesn’t just keep the party going with clear and powerful tunes — it can keep your phone charged up, too. The Charge is a little older than most entries on our list, but at just $120, you can’t beat the value of a speaker with respectable sound performance, solid build quality, and extra backup juice when you need it most.
The Charge sounds a lot like the Flip 4 and the Link 10, which also offer a whole lot of audio punch for the money. That means punchy mids, clear treble, and bass that’s bigger than you’d expect for the size. If you need a budget speaker for camping, hiking, and days at the lake, this is a great choice.
The most extra
Why should you buy this: It’s a party in a box. Seriously.
Who’s it for: Those with an open checkbook and a desire to rage.
How much will it cost: $899
Why we picked the Soundboks 2:
Disclaimer: The Soundboks 2 isn’t actually waterproof — do not, under any circumstances, put it in the tub, pool, or ocean. It is rain-proof and splash-proof, though, and thanks to its hefty weight, you’d really have to try hard to submerge it in the first place. That being said, if you’re willing to shell out some big bucks (like, nearly $1,000), this absurd speaker can power a pool party or bonfire bash by itself without breaking a sweat.
Boasting a ridiculous 40 hours of battery (or more like 10-20 if you’re on full volume), the Soundboks can go all weekend long without needing to plug in. With a case made from Baltic birch wrapped in scratch-proof aluminum, you’d be hard-pressed to do any real damage to the Soundboks short of pushing it out a high window. The kicker: It sounds awesome, thanks to two 10-inch woofers and dynamic bass-boosting technology. Rain or shine, let the good times roll.