Tech

The best waterproof Bluetooth speakers for poolside parties

JBL portable speaker at the poolside

Hanging out by a pool, lake, or beach just isn’t the same without your favourite playlist. Which just isn’t possible if you own a clunky, heavy speaker that plugs into the wall. If that sounds like a sadly familiar scenario, you’re in desperate need of a waterproof Bluetooth speaker.

Besides protecting your beats when it starts pouring down on your barbecue, a waterproof Bluetooth speaker gives you the freedom to head to the beach without worrying about it getting soaked. Some portable outdoor speakers even float in the water, which is not only convenient for quick recovery, but also turns it into a cool party piece to show off to your guests. 

But there are hundreds of different Bluetooth speakers out there. It’s hard to pick one based on your budget and needs. The good news is that we’ve done the hard work for you and researched the very best waterproof Bluetooth speakers. Before we jump into suggestions, let’s talk about the features you’ll want to consider before buying.

How do Bluetooth speakers work?

When you want to take your tunes outside, you don’t want to worry about wires or any other external power source to keep your speaker pumping. Fortunately, you don’t have to when you’re working with the absolute godsend that is Bluetooth technology. All you’ve got to do is wirelessly pair your smartphone with your speaker, then pull up your music-streaming app on your phone and hit play. Depending on the battery life of your speaker, you’re set for easy, uninterrupted listening for hours and hours. Just keep in mind that they will need periodic charging, so pencil in some time to bring them indoors for some extra recharge juice.

Another advantage to Bluetooth speakers is that you can often hook up two or more of them together to provide impressive stereo sound and wider coverage over an indoor or outdoor space, which is perfect for keeping the fun vibes consistent for larger parties.

Is water-resistant and waterproof the same thing?

Not all waterproofing is the same. Pay close attention to the device’s IP rating, a measurement of how waterproof — or merely water-resistant — it is. And if an IP rating isn’t clearly stated, move on to something more trustworthy. These ratings can be a little confusing if you’re not sure what each one means, so we’ll explain that in a moment. But the main thing that is crucially important to know is that water resistance is not the same as waterproof — not even close.

What is a waterproof rating?

Let’s take the plunge with IP ratings. A water-resistant speaker will typically be rated IPX5 or lower, meaning it can certainly survive a splash or a sprinkle here and there, or even a steady stream of water. But if you’re looking for a speaker to stand up to the elements (and accidents), you need one with a much higher waterproof rating. Most often, you’ll see ratings of IPX6 or IPX7, which means that a device will survive a good soaking or even complete submersion, respectively. However, if you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker that’s truly outdoorsy and weatherproof, you’ll want to opt for one with an IP67 rating. 

That means the device is not only waterproof and able to withstand being submerged in a metre of water for up to 30 minutes, it’s also dustproof, dirtproof, and sandproof. You can confidently take your weatherproof speaker everywhere — from sandy beaches to dusty campsites — without worrying about wet or windy conditions.

What is a good battery life for a waterproof Bluetooth speaker?

If you’re just headed out for the day, six to 12 hours would probably be just fine. But if you’re going away for a weekend, or you don’t want to have to worry about charging often even when you’re at home, you’ll want to opt for a speaker that can give you upwards of 20-24 hours of uninterrupted audio bliss.

What is the wireless range of a waterproof Bluetooth speaker?

Wireless range is another big thing to consider when deciding on a Bluetooth speaker. If you’re streaming tracks from your smartphone and intend to sit near your speaker the entire time, it doesn’t really matter how long the range is. But if you’re having a party, you probably want a little more flexibility to mix, mingle, and move yourself (and your phone) around. About 30 feet is the standard wireless range, but many higher-end Bluetooth speakers will afford you up to 100 feet of leeway.

Do Bluetooth speakers sound good?

Obviously, you want your waterproof speakers to sound good — that’s literally why you’re spending your hard-earned cash on them. Typically, the higher the price of the device, the more crisp the audio and more bumping the bass. However, we do like a few budget options that offer some surprisingly impressive sound quality, so don’t automatically think that you can’t get something great if money is tight.

What is the best waterproof Bluetooth speaker?

To help you make a decision, we’re sharing our top picks for the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers around. We’ve lined up something for every occasion — and every budget — including devices from top brands like Ultimate Ears, JBL, and Bose.

All you need to do is consider all of the options outlined here, and compare them to your personal set of preferences. Then you should be able to highlight the speaker that works for you.

These are the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers of 2022.

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