Chilling by the pool, lounging on the beach, and singing in the shower—none of these activities are quite the same without a bit of musical accompaniment. But, because these areas are usually damp at the very least, they’re not exactly ideal for speakers. A waterproof speaker, however, gives you the option to bring your music with you wherever you go—without having to worry about errant splashes ruining your equipment.
This guide dives into the details, highlighting the must-have features to look for, as well as other key considerations to bear in mind. Also, don’t miss our roundup of top-favorite options among the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers available, below!
- BEST OVERALL: JBL FLIP 4
- RUNNER UP: ZoeeTree Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
- BEST SOUND QUALITY: Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
- BEST FLOATABLE: Altec Lansing Life Jacket 2
- BEST FOR SHOWER: iFox iF012 Bluetooth Shower Speaker
- BEST MINI: Bose SoundLink Micro
- BEST BOOMBOX: JBL Boombox
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Ahead, learn about some of the most important factors to consider in a waterproof speaker, including its size, waterproof rating, and sound quality.
While most waterproof Bluetooth speakers are meant to be portable, they vary in size. Bluetooth speakers typically measure 8 to 9 inches in length and about 3 inches in diameter. Boombox-style Bluetooth speakers are significantly bigger, measuring about 18 inches in length and about 10 inches high. Mini waterproof Bluetooth speakers, that are meant to dangle from backpacks and handlebars, are among the smallest units available and typically measure just a few inches wide and a few inches tall. While sound quality can vary from device to device, the same rule of thumb for speakers holds true for waterproof Bluetooth speakers—the bigger the speaker, the louder the output.
“Waterproof” and “water-resistant” are somewhat ambiguous terms that can leave you wondering just how protected a speaker is against water. Luckily, there’s a standard rating system, known as the IP or Ingress Protection rating, that lets users know precisely how much water an electronic device can withstand before malfunctioning.
A product’s IP rating delineates how well-sealed the product is from dust, dirt, and water. An IP rating consists of a two-digit number: The first number refers to solids, which covers everything from objects 2 inches in diameter (a rating of 1) to dust particles (a rating of 6), while the second digit refers to liquids. The liquid rating ranges from 1 to 9; items with a rating of 7 or above are waterproof.
The most common rating for a waterproof Bluetooth speaker is IP 67, which means it’s dust-tight and can withstand immersion in water for up to 30 minutes. Many manufacturers will forgo the particles rating by listing the product with a rating of IPX 7 with the idea that any watertight piece of electronics is also dustproof.
A high-quality Bluetooth speaker can produce excellent sound quality, no matter its size. A quality Bluetooth speaker has two speakers inside it to create a full stereo sound. Higher-end speakers will pack a small subwoofer inside to give the speaker a fuller bass sound, making them 2.1 speakers. A good Bluetooth speaker should pump out tunes at higher volumes without distortion.
Volume and Sensitivity
There are two ways to control the volume on a Bluetooth speaker: Manual controls and Bluetooth controls. Manual controls can be found on the device itself whereas Bluetooth controls can be found on a smartphone or a smart device. A quality Bluetooth speaker will allow for gradual increases and decreases in volume.
Sensitivity is also a vital consideration to think about when selecting a speaker as it determines how loud a speaker is. Decibels measures sensitivity. The higher the decibel rating, the louder the speaker’s max volume. Most waterproof Bluetooth speakers have a decibel rating between 70 and 80 DB.
A Bluetooth speaker isn’t of much use if it struggles to connect to a smart device. Most Bluetooth speakers include the range with no obstructions between the smart device and the speaker. Some Bluetooth speakers boast long ranges of 100 feet, while some smaller Bluetooth speakers feature shorter range antennas that may only reach 30 feet.
When a Bluetooth speaker reaches the outer limits of its range, it may crackle or have reduced sound quality as it intermittently loses connection to the smart device. Keep in mind that environmental factors impact a Bluetooth speaker’s overall range. Walls, furniture, and even some electronic devices may interfere with the connection, shortening the range.
Wattage and Battery Life
Bluetooth speakers use powerful lithium-ion batteries that can last hours before requiring a recharge. Most Bluetooth speakers will last between 12 and 20 hours.
Wattage determines how much power the speaker uses, which also determines the speaker’s decibel output. The greater the wattage, the more decibels it can produce, and the louder the speaker is.
In addition to pumping out tunes, waterproof Bluetooth speakers also perform other functions. Some include built-in microphones that allow them to serve as hands-free speakerphones.
Others work with virtual assistants, enabling them to work with voice control. Since waterproof speakers are for use in and around water, many include more comprehensive controls that allow the user to stop and start songs or advance tracks directly from the speaker, preventing the need to operate a smartphone with wet fingers to perform those functions.
Many people tote waterproof Bluetooth speakers to the beach, the pool, or the campground, making portability a requirement for these devices. With that in mind, the average Bluetooth speaker weighs just a few pounds or less, except for large boombox style Bluetooth speakers, which can weigh more than 10 pounds.
Waterproof Bluetooth speakers also have features that enhance portability. Small speakers have clips that allow the user to attach them to items, while mid-sized Bluetooth speakers are round in shape, allowing them to be gripped easily in the hand. Large boombox speakers have substantial handles that make them easier to carry.
Our Top Picks
In addition to being waterproof, the products below feature excellent sound quality, volume output, and useful additional functions, making them some of the best waterproof speakers on the market.
A powerful output, watertight construction, and lengthy battery life make this speaker from JBL a worthy companion for pool parties and beach trips. It features an IP 7 waterproof rating, which means it can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. With its 16-watt output (8 watts per 1-inch speaker), and dual 2-inch subwoofers, this speaker produces full sound even outdoors. This speaker measures 7 inches tall and 2.5 inches in diameter and can easily fit into a bag or a backpack.
A 3000-mAh lithium-ion battery gives this unit up to 12 hours of battery life—plenty of time for a full day at the beach. This model is also ideal for speakerphone use with its echo-canceling technology. It will also operate via voice control when connected to such virtual assistants as Google Now and Siri.
This speaker features sound quality that’s comparable to other waterproof Bluetooth speakers at a fraction of the cost. Two 10-watt speakers give it an impressive sound output of 20 watts, while a subwoofer supplies ample bass. A bass control button independent of the volume control, allows the user to pump up the speaker’s low end for a fuller sound. With its IPX 7 waterproof rating, this speaker can safely pump out tunes by the pool without fear of splashes or the speaker tumbling into the deep end.
A powerful 4400-mAh battery gives this speaker up to 36 hours of use, while its internal Bluetooth antenna gives it a connection range of 1,000 feet. This speaker will also link up to other ZoeeTree speakers to create a surround sound effect, making it ideal for large pool parties that require more than one speaker. This box-shaped speaker measures 8.5 inches long, 2.8 inches high, and 2.4 inches deep.
The main gripe with some waterproof speakers is that they don’t produce enough sound to handle pool parties and other outdoor events that demand more volume. This speaker is one of the more powerful waterproof Bluetooth speakers one can safely set up poolside or seaside. The rumble of waves and splash of cannonballs won’t drown out the Ultimate Ears speaker, thanks to two 2-inch speakers that crank out a combined 36 watts each. While larger than other Bluetooth speakers at nearly 9 inches high and about 3.5 inches in diameter, it’s still small enough to fit in a backpack or a beach bag.
The added size gives this speaker an impressive bass sound, ensuring the neighborhood won’t feel left out. And, with an IPX rating of 7, this speaker will survive tumbles into the pool. Convenient controls located on the device allow for skipping ahead through music, eliminating the need to fumble with a smartphone with wet fingers.
With its IPX 7 rating, not only will this speaker survive if it goes overboard, but it will also float, making it easier to fish out of the water if it falls in. This makes it an ideal boating companion. This speaker also puts out enough juice for filling an outdoor living space with sound, thanks to two 2-inch speakers that put out 7.5 watts each. A lithium-ion battery supplies an ample 16 hours of battery life.
In addition to its floatable design, this speaker includes a speakerphone capability and a spoken caller ID that lets the user answer the phone without climbing out of the floaty. At just 7.5 inches long and 3 inches wide, this speaker is small enough to fit easily into a pool or beach bag.
Any waterproof Bluetooth device will survive the shower, but few smartphones will, forcing the user to commit to a playlist before hopping into the shower. This model gives the user more control over their playlist from the output end by allowing the user to play or pause music, adjust volume, advance or restart tracks and even answer the phone, all via a control panel that’s easy to operate with wet fingers.
A suction cup back allows for a quick and secure connection to a shower wall. And, at just 4-inch diameter and 3 inches thick, it won’t take up a lot of wall space. While this small speaker puts out only 3 watts, it’s more than enough output to fill a shower space.
At just 4 inches wide by 4 inches long and 1.4 inches thick, this little Bluetooth speaker from Bose is easy to clip to a backpack or even a set of bicycle handlebars. This deceptively small speaker makes the most out of its size, putting out 8 watts of sound. With its IPX 7 rating, this speaker will withstand rain, snow, and even dips in the pool.
A rubberized exterior resists dents and scratches while making the speaker easy to grip. It features a broadcast range of about 30 feet with up to 6 hours of playtime with its rechargeable battery. A built-in speaker allows for pairing with a virtual assistant for conference calls. The SoundLink is also pairable with other SoundLink speakers to boost the overall sound. A durable clip makes it easy to attach this speaker to clothing or a backpack.
Blasting music loud enough so the whole neighborhood can hear requires more power and bigger speakers. This boombox Bluetooth with old school roots boasts two large 30-watt speakers for a total of 60 watts of sound output and two large 4-inch woofers on the sides. Its large body houses a 20,000-mAh battery that provides up to 24 hours of performance. Add to that an IPX 7 rating, and this speaker is suitable for the beach, the pool, and boat parties.
Controls for this speaker aren’t limited to the smart device linked to it. Large buttons allow the user to stop and start tracks and control volume directly from the speaker. Measuring 18 inches long, 10 inches high, and weighing in at 11 pounds, this boombox is just the right size for carrying on the shoulder. A large handle that runs the speaker’s length enables more conventional transport.
FAQs About Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers
If you’re still wondering about waterproof Bluetooth speakers, then look ahead for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about these devices.
Q. What is the difference between a Bluetooth speaker and a WiFi speaker?
WiFi speakers require a WiFi connection to stream music. They work in tandem with smart devices connected to the same network. This limits their portability. Bluetooth speakers connect to a smart device via Bluetooth technology and therefore don’t require a WiFi network. This makes them much more portable.
Q. Can waterproof speakers go underwater?
Speakers with an IPX rating of 7 or above are waterproof, which means they can survive underwater for up to 30 minutes.
Q. Can you put an indoor speaker outside?
Indoor speakers are not rated for outdoor use due to their inability to withstand water. Some indoor models may also be susceptible to dirt and pollen, which can damage their internal parts.
Q. What is a good wattage for outdoor speakers?
A Bluetooth speaker with a wattage of about 15 or more will provide plenty of sound for everyday outdoor use. Larger speakers with 20 or more watts are best suited for larger gatherings and parties.