A Bluetooth speaker is a fun accessory for trips, workouts, and parties. We recommend investing in a waterproof speaker so you can use it outdoors, bring it on a camping trip, or play your favorite tracks the next time you go to a pool party.
The features and price range vary a lot from one Bluetooth speaker to another. It’s important to compare different products available to choose the right speaker for your needs and budget.
Looking for a more diverse selection of wireless speakers? Try our picks for the best Bluetooth speakers, period.
|Best waterproof Bluetooth speakers||Category|
|Ultimate Ears Blast||Best overall|
|Ultimate Ears Wonderboom||Best floatable speaker|
|Braven Ready Elite||Best boombox|
|JBL Charge 3||Best versatile speaker|
|Soundboks 2||Best party speaker|
Ultimate Ears Blast
The best overall
Why you should buy this: It’s sleek, sexy, life-resistant, and it sounds excellent.
Who it’s for: Everyone.
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.
You may wonder why we’re still recommending a speaker from nearly three years back, and the answer is simple: It’s got all the features you need for outdoor fun, and because it’s been around for a bit, it’s a crazy-good value. The Blast is slick, handsome, and waterproof (duh), boasting 12 hours of battery life and some (very) 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.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
The best floatable speaker
Why you should buy this: It offers big sound in a small, amphibious package.
Who it’s for: Frequent swimmers, kids, and bath lovers.
Why we picked the UE Wonderboom:
If you weren’t surprised by our choice of the UE Blast above, you shouldn’t be surprised here either. The Wonderboom — or the newer Wonderboom 2, which boasts improved sound quality, battery life, and an IP67 water resistance rating — 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.
Braven Ready Elite
The best boombox
Why you should buy this: It’s got big bass, a badass look, and it’s ready for your most rugged excursions.
Who it’s for: Those who really like to rough it, and need some big sound for the ride.
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 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 incredibly durable, features four reinforced anchor points for the included hang strap, and comes with a mobile app to adjust the EQ settings. When it comes to style, it’s safe to assume if Batman ever designed a speaker, it would look a lot like this one.
JBL Charge 3
The most versatile
Why you should buy this: It’s unreasonably affordable, it goes anywhere, and charges your phone on the way.
Who it’s for: Anyone with constant “low battery syndrome.”
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 3 isn’t the latest version in the Charge family, but at this price, you can’t beat the value. The Charge 3’s feature set includes respectable sound performance, solid build quality, IPX7 water resistance, 20 hours of playback time per charge, and extra backup juice when you need it most.
If you’re looking to spend more money, the JBL Charge 4 is your upgrade option, but with the same water resistance and battery life as the Charge 3, we’re not sure there’s much reason to pay more.
The Charge 3 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 great, affordable speaker for camping, hiking, and days at the lake, this is a great choice.
The most extra
Why you should buy this: It’s a party in a box. Seriously.
Who it’s for: Those with an open checkbook and a desire to rage.
Why we picked the Soundboks 2:
Disclaimer: The Soundboks 2 isn’t fully 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, 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.
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