Enjoying nature is fun. Problem is, it can get disconcerting when all you hear is the wind blowing, the leaves rustling, and the water moving. Yeah, it’s a tough change when you’re used to hearing the sound of passing cars, bustling people, and loud music coming from different directions. The easiest way to bridge the gap is to bring some music to your surroundings and a portable Bluetooth speaker offers the most convenient way to do that.
If you’re going to use it for the outdoors, it’s always a good idea to get a Bluetooth speaker that’s waterproof. There’s a good chance a lot of your trips will take you near some kind of water, not to mention the unpredictability of sudden rain showers. Having a waterproof portable speaker will ensure you can keep the music going even when it gets splashed on, dropped in water, or drenched in torrential rain.
These are the best portable waterproof speakers for your outdoor adventures.
Measuring 3.3 x 4.1 inches (diameter x height), this can-shaped speaker comes with a long strap that lets you hang it on various loops and hooks, making it convenient to both carry while on foot and find a place for once at camp. Of course, it’s waterproof to IP67 standards, making it ideal for taking outdoors, with a rated battery life of 16 hours. It got some modest upgrades last year, most notably in the sound department, allowing it to get exceptionally loud for its size. Sound quality is actually pretty good, especially if you hang it during playback, as the way it’s designed tends to vibrate on surfaces when you turn it up towards higher volumes. Like many speakers this size, you will hear some distortion when playing tracks with heavy low-end frequencies at max volume, although it handles those same tracks much better at just one setting under max. It has an onboard mic and allows for decent hands-free calls, too, with good voice quality, although it does get some Bluetooth fuzz.
JBL Go 3
It looks like an oversized padlock, with its shape, small loop on top, and compact dimensions measuring 2.7 x 3.4 x 1.6 inches (width x height x depth). Seriously, you can keep this in a jacket pocket (or maybe a loose pocket on your pants) and have it play music from there. Despite the size, the JBL Go 3 is absolutely waterproof to IP67 standards, so it can survive any encounter with water, save for being immersed for more than half an hour. The sound is surprisingly big for its size and, while you can’t compare the quality with larger speakers, it definitely holds its own even in outdoor settings, delivering a sound that’s warm with a strong bass, albeit lacking in nuances and detail. It’s only rated for 5.5 hours of battery life and our use showed that to be pretty accurate, provided you don’t go wild on the volume. Besides, you won’t want to go wild on the volume because distortion will definitely kick in once you get too loud.
- JBL Pro Sound delivers surprisingly big audio and punchy bass from Go 3’s ultra-compact size.
JBL Clip 4
If you like the JBL sound, but want bigger battery life, you might be more interested in the Clip 4. Measuring 3.4 x 5.3 x 1.8 inches (width x height x thickness), it’s fairly bigger than the Go 3, although it does bring louder volumes, longer playtime, and overall better sound. Audio quality is bigger than its compact size will suggest, with a good amount of details coming through, although performance at max volumes varies from track to track. With some mixes, cranking it up actually beefs up the richness of the sound while making the bass feel punchy; with others, it comes across as harsh, more than anything. Overall, though, the sound will turn out good if you keep it at reasonably modest levels. We’re particularly fond of the carabiner-style handle, allowing you to easily clip it to any loop or strap for convenient transport, along with the 10-hour battery life rating.
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Bose SoundLink Micro
Yes, this one’s pretty old, staying, pretty much, unchanged since its release in 2017. Despite that, the SoundLink Micro remains an excellent option when it comes to waterproof Bluetooth speakers at this ultra-compact size. Measuring 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4 inches (width x height x thickness), it’s incredibly portable, all while being waterproof to IPX7 standards. The sound quality also holds up to competition even among newer speaker models, complete with a satisfying bass, although it definitely sounds better with some tracks than others. Battery life is rated at six hours and you should be able to get that, save for those times you crank it up to max for extended periods, while the built-in mic allows for decent-sounding hands-free phone calls. The strap in the back, by the way, allows you to mount it to a whole load of stuff – personally, we prefer securing it to the strap on our backpacks, as it makes for a convenient place to pump up the tunes while going on a hike.
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Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
With an IP67 rating, this speaker is reinforced enough to survive being immerse in water for up to half an hour, all while shrugging off five-foot drops without taking a hit. Heck, you can even drop it in water and have it play music there, as it’s deigned to float. It’s also incredibly compact, measuring just 3.8 x 4.1 inches (diameter x height), making it ideal for clipping to a carabiner on your pack. Despite the size, it’s one of the best-sounding portable speakers we’ve tried, delivering an excellent balance of frequencies that makes it sound exceptionally clear, all while bringing enough bass to not leave you hanging when playing modern tunes. There’s also an outdoor boost mode that lets you play it even louder, albeit at the expense of the bass (we prefer not to use it). Battery life is rated at 13 hours, but don’t expect to get anywhere near that if you plan to crank up the volume (and since you’re outdoors, you probably will). The one big omission here is the lack of speakerphone function, so you can’t use it to take calls.
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Bang & Olufsen BeoSound A1
This premium disc-shaped speaker measures just 5.2 x 1.8 inches (diameter x thickness), making it very convenient to squeeze into even a fully-loaded pack, all while being fully waterproof to IP67 standards. Being a B&O product, you expect a lot of attention to be put on the sound and you’re not wrong on that end, with the upwards-firing 3.5-inch woofer and 0.6-inch tweeter delivering a well-rounded sound with superb bass performance. Seriously, the bass punch here isn’t something you’ll frequently hear with portable Bluetooth speakers. It’s loud, too, thanks to two 30W Class D amps that deliver enough volume to let you fill an outdoor space with sound while barely cranking the volume past the halfway mark.
Battery life is impressive. While the rated playback time is 18 hours, you can actually get more if you keep it at casual listening volumes. Suffice to say, this is good enough for all-day listening. It also comes with three far-field mics, making it excellent for hands-free phone calls and picking up Alexa commands (it has a not-so-straightforward Alexa support).
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