Whether you’re heading to the beach or on a weekend camping trip, Bluetooth speakers are an easy and affordable way to incorporate music or relaxing sounds into your leisure time. Bluetooth speakers are wireless and can sync with your smartphone, iPod, computer, or another device to play music.
Investing in a quality set of Bluetooth speakers will get you more than a season’s worth of use out of the product. Considering factors like sound quality, wireless range, battery life, and portability, this guide rounds up the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers and audio brands on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II
- BEST BUDGET: Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Speaker
- BEST HIGH-END: The New SOUNDBOKS Bluetooth Performance Speaker
- RUGGED PICK: ECOXGEAR EcoBoulder+ Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
- BEST MINI: JBL CLIP 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- BEST RETRO: Marshall Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- BEST WALL MOUNTED: Sound Appeal Wireless Streaming Patio Speakers
- BEST SOUND QUALITY: Polk Audio Atrium 6 Outdoor Speakers
- BEST HIGH VOLUME: JBL Boombox Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- BEST FOR SONOS USERS: Sonos Move – Battery-Powered Smart Speaker
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers
There are many factors to consider when shopping for the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers. There are pros and cons to each speaker. You’ll make the smartest purchase for your situation if you carefully consider how important factors like size, sound quality, and battery life are for your new outdoor Bluetooth speakers.
Outdoor speaker sizes vary depending on the application and the size of the backyard. There’s a difference between listening to a podcast on the deck versus blasting tunes for a backyard barbecue. A yard the size of a balcony needs less volume than one big enough for a pickup game of football.
For big backyards, look for a speaker that’ll provide enough bass. Speakers with a large 6.5-inch or an 8-inch cone size will produce more bass. Also important is a speaker with a high-mid and high-frequency response—especially since there are no walls for the bass to bounce off. Look for something with multiple audio drivers; this will generate a good balance between bass, treble, and midrange. Small speakers that can be easily carried in and out of the house have their uses, too.
Outdoor speakers need to endure harsh weather and potentially dirty conditions. Look for a speaker’s IP rating, which indicates how dustproof and waterproof it is.
- Dust-resistant vs. dustproof: the first number in the IP rating. Anything between 1 and 5 is dust resistant, whereas 6 is dustproof. If a manufacturer uses an X in place of a 0, they’re confident the speaker can withstand a bit of dust—it’s a tad better than a 0.
- Water-resistant vs. waterproof: the second number in the IP rating. Anything between 1 and 6 is water-resistant—from withstanding dripping water to strong water jets. Waterproof is denoted by a 7 or an 8. You can submerge an IPX7 speaker in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes and an IPX8 in 3 meters of water for 30 minutes.
Outdoor speakers are also made tougher than their indoor counterparts with metal grills and rugged plastic enclosures. Rogue volleyballs, harsh winds, and persistent bugs shouldn’t damage them.
Portable vs. Permanent Installation
Permanently installed speakers save listeners the hassle of constantly taking them in and out of the house. They also provide loud and clear sound. Some permanent outdoor stereo speakers get their power and signal from a home receiver, meaning they need to be connected to an amplifier in the house. As an alternative, others come with built-in amplifiers that require a wire between the speakers and a connection to a power supply.
Portable outdoor speakers vary in size, from those that can be carried in one hand to ones that you can barely lift off the ground. These wireless Bluetooth speakers use batteries for power and come with various transportability features.
The most compact and portable speakers often come with a clip or lanyard for attaching the speaker to various items, like a travel backpack, or for hanging from a beach umbrella. Tailgating, yard parties, and other loud events require a bigger speaker to provide sufficient volume, the largest of which typically have handles and/or wheels for easier transport.
Sound Quality and Volume
There are several situations and features that determine the quality of sound and loudness produced by an outdoor speaker:
- Placement: Where you place outdoor speakers plays a significant role in sound quality. Loud volume can be beneficial, but this feature can be counteracted if the speakers are placed incorrectly and block the travel of sound waves. If setting up on a patio, mounting speakers that rotate helps create a containable area for the acoustics.
- Audio drivers: In more open spaces, multiple audio drivers in each speaker help produce better-quality sound. A woofer handles bass, or low-range frequencies, while midrange drivers handle midrange frequencies, and tweeters take care of high-frequency treble. The larger the cones of the drivers, the louder the volume.
- Passive bass radiators: Some smaller Bluetooth speakers have passive bass radiators. These rubber-like surfaces vibrate with the output of a powered driver—the air pressure created by the cones or the speaker diaphragm. Passive radiators create that punch of bass that might otherwise be missing without them.
Outdoor speakers range in wattage (energy output) between 60 and 300 watts. While it is true that more wattage can mean higher volume capacities, it is also the case that there is potential for better sound and coverage at lower volumes. The amount of wattage you need depends on the size of the area you want to cover:
- 60 watts for areas smaller than 300 square feet
- 80 to 100 watts for spaces between 300 and 500 square feet
- 100 to 175 watts for anything between 600 and 800 square feet
- 250+ watts for areas over 1,000 square feet
Most yards will do fine with 100-watt speakers. As most speakers come in twos, a pair of 80-watt speakers have a total of 160 watts.
The wireless range for most outdoor Bluetooth speakers varies from approximately 30 feet to 100 feet, meaning your device will need to be somewhere within that range for the speakers to work. When you’re not within a speaker’s suggested range, the music may cut in and out—or the speakers simply won’t connect.
Newer, more advanced Bluetooth speakers have broader ranges, typically between 250 to 800 feet. These models come at a premium, but if you foresee having to connect your device to the speaker over a fair distance, they’re a worthwhile upgrade. Otherwise, you can boost the range of standard Bluetooth speakers using a signal repeater. These devices amplify the signal between your device and the speaker, in some cases extending it to 1,000 feet or more.
Battery life is an essential consideration when investing in outdoor Bluetooth speakers, especially if they’ll be used for events. Bluetooth speaker batteries typically last from 8 to 40 hours per charge, depending on the model.
Finally, it’s important to note that playing music at high volumes can drain Bluetooth speakers’ batteries more quickly. If jamming out at top volume is important to you, research speakers that have the battery life to keep your party going.
Like portability and wireless range, how important battery life is to you will depend on your individual circumstances. Long battery life is likely a top priority for a weekend camping trip that does not include access to power, for instance. Playing music for a few hours on the patio, on the other hand, wouldn’t require a long-lasting battery—there are plenty of high-quality options with average battery life, and these are more affordable than long-range models.
Many outdoor Bluetooth speakers on the market have extra features that add to the outdoor experience and enhance operation:
- Smart technology: Bluetooth speakers with smart technology include features like music apps and voice control, which allows you to activate the speaker or change playlists by talking to it.
- Lighting effects: Speakers with lighting effects add color and light to your music experience. They also come in handy if you’re bringing your speaker to an area with low visibility.
- Bottle opener: Similar to lighting effects, speakers with a built-in bottle opener are a great feature to have during backyard parties. A key bonus to this feature: You’ll never lose the bottle opener!
- Cup holder: Yet another drink-friendly feature, some waterproof Bluetooth speakers come with convenient cupholders.
- USB charging ports: Most Bluetooth speakers today are multifunctional, in that you can listen to audio and charge devices with integrated USB ports.
Our Top Picks
These outdoor Bluetooth speakers meet or exceed our stringent expectations for portability, wireless range, durability, sound quality, and value for money. From affordable options to higher-end models, options abound.
Weighing just over a pound and coming in a soft-touch exterior, the Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker II gives you great sound in a smaller package. Measuring 2.2 by 5 by 5.2 inches, this Bluetooth speaker has an IPX4 waterproof rating and gives you eight hours of play per charge.
With voice prompts that make it easy to set up and use, this Bluetooth speaker can travel with you easily thanks to its diminutive size. You can also take hands-free phone calls by pairing the speaker to your smartphone.
Easy to use with great sound quality and a wireless range of about 30 feet, this portable outdoor Bluetooth speaker from Bose is sure to please. Available through Amazon and BestBuy.
This inexpensive portable speaker delivers a lot for the price, especially in the bass department. Not only does it give you up to 14 hours of playing time on a single charge (with the volume at two-thirds of the max), it also allows you to connect a device that’s up to 100 feet away, which is a longer wireless distance than many other Bluetooth speakers. The OontZ Angle has an IPX5 rating, which means it’s protected against water splashes.
Another good thing about this portable speaker is that it has a built-in microphone, which enables you to take phone calls on the speaker. With its compact size—it weighs just over 9 ounces and measures 5.25 by 2.6 by 2.8 inches—the OontZ Angle fits easily in most bags and backpacks for easy transport.
This Bluetooth speaker is an affordable pick for bass lovers, especially compared to its larger and more expensive competitors. For those that need that bass pickup in their music but don’t want to break the bank, this one’s for you. Available through Amazon and Walmart.
If you’re looking for a larger speaker that can accommodate a big outdoor gathering, the SOUNDBOKS is worth investigating. This portable Bluetooth speaker provides about 40 hours of playback on a single charge, and can be fully recharged in about 3.5 hours.
The SOUNDBOKS does have a few downsides: First, at just over 33 pounds, it’s the heaviest speaker on this list. Measuring 31.5 by 19.69 by 15.75 inches, it’s pretty bulky too. Finally, it offers significantly less playback time when it blasted at full volume, but the good news is that most users won’t need to play it at full volume.
Long-lasting, durable, and splashproof—but not IPX rated—this speaker is our choice for those who need to power a big party with some loud, quality music. Available on Amazon.
Though this speaker is larger than a lot of the competition, it has several cool features and an excellent IPX rating that makes it worth a look. With built-in waterproof removable storage, Yeti cup holders, a bottle opener, adjustable sound quality, and voice control, this speaker has it all.
The ECOXGEAR can connect with your Bluetooth device a range of up to 100 feet, boasts an IP67 rating, and—get this—it floats. Not only can this speaker go with you on water-centered getaways, it can even go in the water with you.
In terms of battery life, this outdoor Bluetooth speaker can play at full volume for up to 10 hours on a single charge and at a lower volume, it can play for up to 100 hours. It can also connect to an AM/FM radio, and has a USB port to charge your devices.
This speaker’s size and weight are its only real drawbacks: It weighs a whopping 29 pounds and measures 12 by 15 by 20 inches. The good news is that it has oversized wheels and a telescoping handle for easier transportation, but you still might not want to take this big guy camping. Available through Amazon and BestBuy.
JBL’s CLIP 3 offers terrific value in a portable outdoor Bluetooth speaker. Weighing just under 8 ounces and measuring 4.33 by 2.17 by 4.3 inches, this small speaker comes in a variety of fashionable colors. It’s IPX7 waterproof, which means it can withstand temporary submersion in water and is housed in a protective rubber casing. Users can also make and receive crystal-clear phone calls on this noise-canceling speakerphone.
The CLIP 3 gives you 10 hours of playback on a charge, which should be plenty for people who are using the speaker while on the go throughout their day. The speaker’s integrated carabiner easily clips to tote bags, backpacks, or belt loops. Overall, JBL’s CLIP 3 gives you terrific sound quality at a bargain price. Available through Amazon and BestBuy.
With adjustable sound quality, a comfortable carrying handle, and an IPX4 rating, this portable speaker gives you classic Marshall vintage style and sound in a compact package. Weighing just over 3 pounds and measuring 7 by 6 by 2.5 inches, this speaker is small and lightweight enough to tote.
This outdoor speaker offers 20 hours of playing time with a full charge, which is pretty good for a unit of this size. It also has a Bluetooth connectivity range of about 30 feet, and a visual battery indicator so you know how much battery time you have left before you need a recharge. With excellent sound quality, the Marshall Stockwell II is for those looking for true vintage style for their outdoor adventures. Available through Amazon and BestBuy.
Featuring a Bluetooth range of up to 60 feet, these Wireless Streaming Indoor/Outdoor Weatherproof Patio Speakers by Sound Appeal are housed in a weatherproof and UV-resistant cabinet that comes in a range of colors. Though the speakers are designed for small to medium gatherings, you can pair them with other speakers for even more sound coverage.
Simple to install and set up, these wall-mounted speakers are great for outdoor get-togethers where you need to control sound from your device. These speakers come with an extension cord and speaker wire. Available through Amazon and Walmart.
These Atrium 6 Outdoor Speakers from Polk Audio feature a 5.25-inch woofer for midrange and bass and a 1-inch tweeter for treble frequencies. The speakers pack a punch and produce accurate, high-quality sound. The dual drivers in each speaker offer a balanced sound that’s great for listening to classical or hip-hop music, and more. With an angled design the sound disperses evenly, and the 100 watts per channel should cut through annoying background noises.
Users can install the speakers vertically or horizontally by mounting the bracket, clicking the speaker into place, aiming it where desired, and tightening it. The speakers boast all-weather performance with aluminum grills and internal stainless steel and brass parts. That said, it’s still best to install the speakers under some type of protection, like an awning. The speakers come in black or white. Available through Amazon and BestBuy.
The JBL Boombox has terrific sound quality and, with two JBL bass radiators, lots of boom. Enjoy your day at the beach or in the pool without worry—this speaker is IPX7 waterproof, which means it can withstand temporary submersion in water.
This outdoor Bluetooth speaker boasts 24 hours of play time and can charge your devices while it’s in use. For larger events, you can connect multiple Boombox speakers for a complete listening experience. You can also connect two smartphones to the JBL Boombox and take turns DJing with a friend.
One of the speaker’s biggest drawbacks is that it takes about 6.5 hours to fully charge. Plan ahead if you need the speaker for an all-day event. Available through Amazon and BestBuy.
Those looking for an outdoor add-on to their Sonos speaker system won’t be disappointed with the Sonos Move Smart Speaker, which gives you up to 11 hours of continuous playtime on a charge. You can even use the Move with both WiFi and Bluetooth, making it a versatile speaker you can use both while at home and away.
With voice-controlled Amazon Alexa capability built right into the speaker, you can ask questions, order groceries, queue up your favorite song on a streaming service, and more. Sonos Move has an IP56 rating, meaning that it’s rated to stand up to both dust and water but it can’t be submerged in water. It can be connected to smartphones and other Bluetooth devices within a 30-foot range.
The only downside here is that the speaker weighs just over 6 pounds and measures 9.44 by 29 by 4.96 inches, which makes it a little bulky to transport. Available through Amazon and BestBuy.
How can you care for your speakers and place them for maximum sound quality? Find your questions answered here.
Q. Who makes the best Bluetooth waterproof speaker?
Some of the top brands for Bluetooth waterproof speakers include Bose,
Q: How many watts is a good speaker?
Most people are satisfied with a speaker between 15 and 30 watts for everyday backyard use. For larger outdoor gatherings, something between 50 and 100 watts should be sufficient.
Q: Who has the loudest outdoor speakers?
The New SOUNDBOKS Bluetooth Performance Speaker is one of the loudest Bluetooth speakers designed for outdoor use.
Q: Where should outdoor speakers be placed?
If you have multiple speakers in your outdoor space, they should be angled towards each other at least 10 feet apart for optimum sound. If you have just a single speaker, place it in a spot within the wireless range that’s also close to where the action is.
Q: Can you play two Bluetooth speakers at the same time?
For most speakers on this list, the answer is yes. Many Bluetooth speakers can be paired with multiple speakers of the same type so you can amp up your music coverage. Bluetooth speakers made by different manufacturers can’t usually be connected, but you should be able to sync your device to both units and use them individually.
Q: How do you protect outdoor speakers from rain?
Most of the Bluetooth outdoor speakers on this list are designed to handle rain exposure. For those with a lower IPX rating, you can use an umbrella or weatherproof bags or covers to keep moisture out.
Q. How do you keep outdoor Bluetooth speakers clean when they are not in use?
The best way to clean your Bluetooth speakers is with a clean cloth. Refrain from using any type of liquid to clean your speakers. When not in use, store your speakers in a case that’s protected from the elements so they’ll work perfectly when you need them again.