Best waterproof speakers 2021: the top outdoor speakers for any budget

best waterproof speakers 2021

(Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

Perfect for rainy campsite tunes and hot days by the pool, the best waterproof speakers you can buy in 2021 are not sub-standard audio devices that can take a splash or two. The outdoor speakers in this list are durable and ready to take on the elements, and still sound fantastic while they do it. 

There are plenty of portable speakers to choose from that are easy to carry around with you wherever you go. However, not all Bluetooth speakers have the combination or durable materials and protective coating necessary to stop waves, rain or puddles messing with the circuitry and your fun. So rather than put your current devices at risk, choose from one of the best waterproof speakers that can withstand pretty much whatever you throw at it. 

All the choices here in our guide to the best waterproof speakers come with IPX7 waterproof ratings. That means even if you’re not planning on swimming with your Bluetooth speaker (although, technically, you could), you can rest easy knowing it could withstand an accidental dip or a downpour – or even a trip into your morning shower, should the mood take you.

The great news about most of the speakers on this list is that many of the top waterproof speakers you can get today aren’t only designed to be waterproof but robust too. This means you shouldn’t need to worry about an accidental drop on the ground, either or any knocks and scrapes either.

Although durability and waterproofing are important, they’re not everything. Below we’ve selected the best models based on a range of factors, including price, sound, design, and connectivity – not only are these devices rain-friendly, pool-friendly and spill-friendly, they’re also the best waterproof speakers you can buy right now. 

Read on for our top selection, with commonly-asked questions and an explanation of water resistance below that.

Top picks

ue wonderboom 2

(Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

1. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

Big sound for a small waterproof speaker

Specifications

Weight: 0.93 pounds

Battery life: 10 hours

Wireless range: 100 feet

Frequency response: 80Hz – 20kHz

Drivers: Two 40mm active drivers, two 46 x 65mm passive radiators

NFC: No

Aux-in: No

USB charging: Yes

Reasons to buy

Great sound for its size IP67 dustproof/waterproof rating 30% better battery life

Reasons to avoid

Restrictive soundstage

The original UE Wonderboom has been at the top of our best waterproof speaker list since its debut and for good reason: It’s rugged, plays louder than its diminutive sound suggests, and could be paired to other UE Wonderboom speakers to amplify sound. 

Although the UE Wonderboom 2 looks nearly identical to the original, Ultimate Ears packed in a slew of upgrades that make the Wonderboom 2 even better, like the increased battery life (up 30% compared to the original), better bass response, and the new Outdoor Boost feature that helps the speaker get even louder than before.

Combined, these seemingly minor upgrades not only keep the UE Wonderboom 2 on our list of the best outdoor speakers for another year, but they help to make it one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy, period.  

Read more: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review

jbl flip 5

(Image credit: JBL)

2. JBL Flip 5

A fun, no-frills waterproof speaker

Specifications

Weight: 1.2 pounds

Battery life: 12 hours

Wireless range: N/A

Frequency response: 65Hz – 20kHz

Drivers: 40mm

NFC: No

Bluetooth version: 4.2

Aux-in: No

USB charging: No

Reasons to buy

Engaging, entertaining sound Easy to use

Reasons to avoid

No 3.5mm inputNo mic for hands-free calls

The JBL Flip 5 is proof that the best Bluetooth speakers aren’t always the ones with the most impressive specs – and with an IPX7 rating, it’s suitable for use as a waterproof speaker.

JBL’s Flip 5 is a simple soul with Bluetooth-only playback and modest features, but if you desire a rugged, great-sounding portable speaker and can sacrifice voice control or hands-free call functionality, you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks to its neat design (camouflage grille anyone?) and great sound, it’s a steal at $119.95 / £119.99 / AU$149.95. Looking for USB charging too? Check out the JBL Charge 4

Read more: JBL Flip 5 review

anker soundcore flare

(Image credit: Anker)

3. Anker Soundcore Flare

A vibrant outdoor speaker that packs impressive sound

Specifications

Weight: 1.2 pounds

Dimensions: 5.25 x 5 x 2.25 inches (H x W x D)

Battery life: 8 hours

Wireless range: 30 feet

Frequency response: N/A

Drivers: N/A

NFC: No

Aux-in: Yes

Bluetooth version: N/A

Weatherproofing: Yes

Charges devices over USB: No

Reasons to buy

Insanely cheap Impressive sound for the size

Reasons to avoid

Average battery lifeHarsh at max volume

You may know Anker best for its electronic accessories and chargers, but its flagship waterproof speaker, the Anker Soundcore Flare, combines the best features of its competitors into an affordable package that’s tough to beat. 

For the price, the Flare offers good sound, a tough waterproof build and excellent user experience. The LED light show is a bit of a gimmick, sure, but it’s certainly fun and can be disabled entirely. While other outdoor speakers may sound better, you’re going to have to spend much more money.

Read more: Anker Soundcore Flare review

ultimate ears boom 3

(Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

4. Ultimate Ears Boom 3

One of our favorite waterproof speakers

Specifications

Weight: 1.2 pounds

Dimensions: 5.25 x 5 x 2.25 inches (H x W x D)

Battery life: 8 hours

Wireless range: 30 feet

Frequency response: N/A

Drivers: N/A

NFC: No

Aux-in: Yes

Bluetooth version: N/A

Weatherproofing: Yes

Charges devices over USB: No

Reasons to buy

Brilliant design Slightly improved sound More robust feature set

Reasons to avoid

Battery life isn’t improved

The UE Boom 3 is one of the best waterproof speakers money can buy in 2019. This is a speaker that can get loud and not distort at higher volumes; be light enough to carry on the move but remain durable enough to tumble in a bag unprotected. 

It’s waterproof as well as dust-proof, and  has a one-touch mix button that lets you pull up your favorite playlists without needing to pick up your smartphone. 

There are certainly more detailed outdoor speakers out there (see: Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin down below), but at a price that’s relatively affordable to all, the UE Boom 3 hits all the right notes for the third year in a row. 

Read more: UE Boom 3 review

jbl charge 4

(Image credit: JBL)

6. JBL Charge 4

The best mid-range speaker

Specifications

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Dimensions: 8.66 x 3.74 x 3.66 (W x D x H)

Battery life: Up to 20 hours

Wireless range: 30 ft (10 m)

Frequency response: 60Hz–20kHz

Drivers: N/A

NFC: No

Bluetooth version: 4.2

Aux-in: Yes

USB charging: Yes

Reasons to buy

Balanced, powerful sound Can charge your phone Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

No 360-degree sound

The JBL Charge 4 isn’t a huge step up from the JBL Charge 3, sure, but that’s because the speaker series was already such a massive success. What the Charge 4 does do, however, is add much better tonal balance while still being able to dish out some serious bass that doesn’t overwhelm other parts of the frequency spectrum. 

The JBL Charge 4 may seem like a boring update on paper, but it’s still one of the best waterproof speakers around. For the money, you get a speaker that sound great, is tough as nails, acts as a charger for your phone, and lasts all day. 

Read more: JBL Charge 4 review

waterproof speaker

(Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

7. Ultimate Ears Megablast

Big sound and a big battery in this outdoor speaker

Specifications

Weight: 1.93 pounds

Battery life: 20 hours

Wireless range: 100 feet

Frequency response: 65Hz – 20kHz

Drivers: Two 2” drivers and two 2” x 4” passive radiators

NFC: Yes

Aux-in: Yes

USB charging: Yes

Reasons to buy

Convenient Alexa integration Bigger sound, better battery

Reasons to avoid

ExpensiveCharging dock sold separately

The UE Megablast is at the very peak of Ultimate Ears’ line of waterproof speakers. Its larger size means that the Megablast can get loud and can last up to 20 hours at a sensible volume.

Bass is stronger and richer than its smaller UE Boom 3 and Wonderboom 2 brothers, and this is the speaker for anybody who wants to really blare their music at a party. For people who want to save some cash, however, the other Ultimate Ears speakers cost much less and sound nearly as good. Still, it’s not a bad option if you want a personal assistant with you at the beach.

Read more: Ultimate Ears Megablast review

JBL boombox

(Image credit: JBL)

8. JBL Boombox

A waterproof party speaker that sounds great

Specifications

Weight: 11.57 pounds

Dimensions: 10.01 x 19.48 x 7.69 inches (H x W x D)

Battery life: N/A

Wireless range: N/A

Frequency response: 50Hz – 20kHz

NFC: Yes

Aux-in: Yes

Bluetooth version: 4.2

USB charging: No

Reasons to buy

360-degree sound Built-in mic

Reasons to avoid

Short battery lifeNo smartphone charging

In terms of sheer audio prowess, the JBL Boombox was a pleasant surprise – it’s a monstrous waterproof speaker that not only gets loud, but stays pretty crisp when pumping the volume. It’s heavy, and not the easiest thing to carry around, but it’s rugged enough to handle any pool or tailgate party.

That said, we can’t recommend the Boombox as a speaker for the home. You can find comparable sound in form factors that take up less real estate, but if your plan is to hit whatever patio, pool, beach or tailgate party you can find, then this one should be in the running to play the tunes.

Read more: JBL Boombox review

Tribit xsound go

(Image credit: Tribit)

9. Tribit XSound Go

This budget outdoor speaker has no right to sound this good

Specifications

Weight: 0.83 pounds

Dimensions: 56 x 59 x 170(mm)

Battery life: Up to 24 hours

Wireless range: 30m or 100 ft

Frequency response: 85 – 20,000 Hz

Drivers: N/A

NFC: No

Aux-in: Yes

USB charging: No

Reasons to buy

Expansive sound Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

Mid-forward soundCharging takes a long time

If you believe the old adage about getting what you pay for, you might not expect much from the Tribit XSound Go’s sound quality. Thankfully, that adage has never been less applicable: the speaker gets loud enough to fill up a medium-sized room, and at full volume, there’s only a little distortion on the highs.

Honestly, the Tribit XSound Go shouldn’t sound this good for the price, but it does. The speaker impressed with balanced sound, is near distortion-free at high volumes, and lasts and incredible 20 hours of playtime at medium volume. Plus, the speaker is IPX7 water and dust resistant so it’ll put up with a day at the beach or pool without a problem. While it’s design may be forgettable, you won’t care once you hear how good the XSound Go sounds.  

Read ore: Tribit XSound Go review

braven stryde 360

(Image credit: Braven)

10. Braven Stryde 360

A versatile, weatherproof speaker at an affordable price

Specifications

Weight: N/A

Dimensions: N/A

Battery life: N/A

Wireless range: N/A

Frequency response: N/A

Drivers: N/A

NFC: No

Aux-in: No

Bluetooth version: N/A

USB charging: No

Reasons to buy

Syncs with a second speaker Great price-to-performance ratio

Reasons to avoid

No 3.5mm aux jackAverage battery life

Last on our list is the Braven Stryde 360 that, in all fairness, is a solid waterproof speaker that is average in just about every way. Sound quality is good but the speaker struggles with bass response. Battery life is an average 12 hours and its design doesn’t particularly stand out. For the price, there are better options – see: any of the speakers above – but if you’ve gotten this far and still haven’t found what you’re looking for, the Braven could be it.

Read more: Braven Stryde 360 review

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the UE Roll 2 

FAQ

Outdoor speakers FAQ: quick questions answered

  • Can you put an indoor speaker outside? It’s possible, depending on the type of power output. A wireless speaker can be put anywhere, providing it’s near enough to its source device – smartphone, computer, or otherwise. Keep in mind indoor speakers won’t usually be waterproof, though. So it’s always best to get one built for the outdoors to be safe.
  • What’s a good wattage for outdoor speakers? 5W might be suitable for a quiet picnic, but you’ll want more for a bustling BBQ or party out of doors. For comparison, most smart TVs come with maximum 10W speakers.
  • How many outdoor speakers do I need? This depends on the volume of the device and where you’re putting it. For covering various spots around a garden or yard, you may want several.
  • Can you put an indoor speaker outside? It’s possible, depending on the type of power output. A wireless speaker can be put anywhere, providing it’s near enough to its source device – smartphone, computer, or otherwise. Keep in mind indoor speakers won’t usually be waterproof, though. So it’s always best to get one built for the outdoors to be safe.
  • What’s a good wattage for outdoor speakers? 5W might be suitable for a quiet picnic, but you’ll want more for a bustling BBQ or party out of doors. For comparison, most smart TVs come with maximum 10W speakers.
  • How many outdoor speakers do I need? This depends on the volume of the device and where you’re putting it. For covering various spots around a garden or yard, you may want several.

Waterproof vs water resistant

Waterproof vs water-resistant speakers

While waterproof and water-resistant aren’t synonymous, they roughly translate to ‘water won’t ruin it’. 

When hunting for the best waterproof speaker for the great outdoors, look for its IP rating. This is how water resistance gadgets are categorized. You’ll see that IP mark, followed by two numbers – IP67 is one of the most common, and means the speaker can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. This is the one you want and means it’s a great option for waterproofing and one of the best outdoor speakers your money can buy.

Waterproof is the better of the two, as it usually carries an IP67 rating that means it can withstand to float in around a meter of water for a half-hour before it bites the dust. 

Water-resistant, on the other hand, means it could survive a splash or two, but it’s not the kind of thing you’d just want to casually throw in the pool.

Of course waterproofing isn’t the only thing we looked for when picking out this list of the best outdoor speakers. We also considered factors such as sound quality, price and feature set, all of which helped establish a set of criteria that we could measure all speakers against. What you see above is the result of that effort – our definitive list of the best waterproof speakers.

Today’s best waterproof speaker deals

January 27, 2021
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