Best Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Top Wireless Outdoor Speakers - Rolling Stone
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The Best Waterproof Speakers to Take Outdoors This Summer

Tough and rugged, these kits will survive drops in water or dirt without any permanent damage

UE MEGABOOM 3

Courtesy Ultimate Ears

Ultimate Ears

Products featured are independently selected by our editorial team and we may earn a commission from purchases made from our links; the retailer may also receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, or are the designated host for a season’s worth of backyard cookouts, you need a waterproof Bluetooth speaker.

A good speaker provides background noise while you’re eating, entertainment while you’re working, and fills in gaps between conversations. The ones in this guide stand out because they’re all waterproof to some extent. Most can be totally submerged underwater for several minutes, and all of them can handle splashes, spills, or an unexpected rainstorm.

We’ve researched and chosen speakers to fit just about any situation, from a solo hangout, to a small gathering, to a full-blown party. Warmer weather is coming (or already here), and a waterproof speaker can help you make the most of it.

What Are the Best Waterproof Speakers?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best waterproof speaker for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.

Bluetooth: All of the speakers in this guide support Bluetooth, an open wireless standard that allows you to connect any phone, tablet, or computer to them regardless of who makes it.

Size: Our speaker picks are all totally wireless, which means you can take them anywhere. We’ve chosen speakers in a wide variety of sizes, so you can find the one that suits your particular situation.

Battery Life: Our minimum requirement for battery life was 12 hours, so you’ll be able to use these speakers for an entire day before having to plug them in.

Durability: An electronic’s resistance to dust and water is measured on the IP (Ingress Protection) scale. The speakers below have at least an IPX5 rating, which means they can be be sprayed with water jets without being damaged. And while some of them can survive dunks under water, we don’t recommend doing that too often, just in case.

Multi-Speaker Support: Every speaker we recommend can be paired with another to create a larger network of wireless speakers. Some can even be used as a stereo pair.

1. Braven BRV-Mini

Braven BRV-Mini

Courtesy Amazon

Amazon

At 4.21 inches tall and 0.7 pounds, Braven’s BRV-Mini is the smallest speaker in our guide, but don’t be deceived by its size.

I’ve been testing it for a few weeks, and have been very impressed by its tech specs and audio quality. The BRV-Mini supports Bluetooth 5.0, a new version of the wireless standard that’s a lot more energy-efficient. Supporting this version of Bluetooth helps the speaker get up to 12 hours of playback per charge.

The BRV-Mini has an IPX7 rating, which means its completely dust-proof, and waterproof enough to be held under 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

These specs sound good on paper, but the BRV-Mini delivers in practice, especially when it comes to audio quality. The speaker sounds very good overall, but I especially appreciated the bass, which was powerful without overwhelming the midrange and treble. I could hear some sibilance (a harsh, shrill sound when singers use words with the letter “S”), but not enough to seriously interrupt my music listening.

Two BRV-Minis can be connected together to create a stereo pair. I was able to test this feature out, and was surprised at how well it worked. When placed a few feet apart, and pointed toward you, there’s a great amount of depth. You don’t have to use multiple BRV-Minis in stereo mode though; each can play music in mono from different places in your home.

If you need a small speaker that can hold its own, we recommend the BRV Mini.

2. Soundcore Flare 2

Soundcore Flare 2

Courtesy Amazon

Amazon

Soundcore’s latest addition to its Flare line of speakers delivers good sounding audio and a fun visual experience.

The company neglects to mention which version of Bluetooth the speaker uses, but I’ve had an opportunity to test it out, and haven’t had any connectivity problems. Soundcore says the Flare 2 gets 12 hours of battery life, which has been true in my experience, and earned an IPX 7 rating. This means the speaker is completely dust-proof, and waterproof enough to be held under 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

On the audio front, the Flare 2 does a respectable job for a speaker that’s 6.3 inches tall and 1.3 pounds. It uses Anker’s custom “BassUp” technology to boost the low end, but you can turn this off, which I did. It’s not that the bass was overwhelming, but it sounds a little artificial. The good thing is that you can customize the speaker’s EQ (equalization) inside the Soundcore app (iOS and Android).

That same app lets you control the light pattern of the speaker’s top and bottom LEDs, which you can also turn on and off by pressing a button on the speaker itself. The ability to tweak the speaker’s audio is great, not because it sounds bad, but because you’re able to make it sound better for your ears. The lights are fun, too, but it’s nice that you don’t have to keep them on.

You can pair up to 100 Flare 2 speakers together to create a massive wireless speaker system, but I was disappointed Soundcore removed the ability to use two of them as a stereo pair. This feature was available on the previous Flare speaker, and it’s an odd omission here.

Still, if you want a fairly small feature with a customizable EQ and pleasant extras, the Flare 2 is a great pick.

3. Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

UE MEGABOOM 3

Courtesy Ultimate Ears

Ultimate Ears

The MEGABOOM 3 is Ultimate Ears’ new midrange speaker, and it’s meant to pack a punch.

Ultimate Ears doesn’t mention the version of Bluetooth the MEGABOOM 3 supports, which is a little disappointing, but the rest of its specs are very good. At 8.75 inches tall and 2.9 pounds, it’s the second-largest speaker in our guide, and gets 20 hours of battery life per charge. It has an IP67 rating, which means the speaker is completely dust-proof, and waterproof enough to be held under 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

On the audio front, Ultimate Ears says the MEGABOOM 3 can deliver “powerful sound” and “thundering bass.” The company allows you to tweak the EQ in its BOOM & MEGABOOM app (iOS and Android).

Ultimate Ears says that the speaker uses a custom technology that adjusts how it sounds as you raise the volume, which will help you avoid clipping or distortion. You can connect the MEGABOOM 3 with up to 149 other BOOM and MEGABOOM speakers, but Ultimate Ears doesn’t say whether it can be used as a stereo pair.

If you want a mid-sized speaker with customizable audio and the ability to be part of a gigantic wireless audio system, this is our pick.

4. LG PK7 XBOOM

LG PK7 XBOOM

Courtesy LG

LG

Party speakers have become very popular over the past couple of years, but LG’s PK7 XBOOM is the only waterproof option from a trusted name.

At 12.6 inches tall and 6.3 pounds, the PK7 XBOOM is the biggest speaker in our guide, but that’s kind of the point. It’s earned an IPX5 rating, which means its dust-proof enough to prevent damage from low amounts of exposure to small particles, and waterproof enough to be sprayed with water jets without failing. The bottom line is that this speaker can survive getting caught in the rain and sand (Despite that, you should cover it as soon as possible when raining).

LG doesn’t provide information about what version of Bluetooth the PK7 XBOOM uses, but it is forthright in other ways. It says the speaker gets 22 hours of playback per charge, the highest battery capacity of any speaker in our guide.

Because of its transparent grill, you can see that the PK7 XBOOM has four drivers: two woofers, and two tweeters. Drivers are the part of the speaker responsible for creating sound, and having both a woofer and tweeter typically allows for more balanced sound. Woofers handle bass and midrange frequencies, while tweeters handle treble.

LG says it consulted with a company called Meridian Audio to help design its hardware. While the speaker should sound fairly neutral, there are buttons to enable an “Enhanced Bass” and “Clear Vocal” Mode. There doesn’t appear to be any other way to change the speaker’s EQ, so what you hear out of the box is what you get. LG says that the PK7 XBOOM can be paired to another PK7 or PK5 speaker to create a stereo pair.

If you need a waterproof speaker for large backyard or beach gatherings, LG’s PK7 XBOOM is our recommendation. It’s a big, multi-driver speaker with a long lasting battery and excellent durability in this class.

In This Article: RS Recommends, speakers, summer

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