Bluetooth technology has been one of the main heroes in the ongoing battle to free humanity from the tyranny of wires, and its application in portable, battery-powered speakers is our greatest hope in eradicating the tinny, shrill cacophonies that emanate from most smartphone speakers. Use our guide to make sure you choose a speaker that is right for you.
1. Where do You Want to Use Your Speaker?
The environment in which you plan to use your speaker will dictate the general design you should be looking for. Bluetooth speaker design lies on a spectrum from not waterproof at all to being able to withstand complete submersion in water. Either you just want something portable enough to move from room to room as you ramble about the house, or you want to use your speaker outside in situations where it may be dropped or splashed with water.
2. Are You Willing to Spend Extra for Better Sound Quality?
Once you’ve decided whether your Bluetooth speaker must be rugged or not, the next item on the list is sound quality. In our testing we’ve found that sound quality is a get-what-you-pay-for kind of scenario. So you’ll have to decide if you want to shell out some extra cash to get deep bass and clear treble, or if you don’t mind some clipping and loss of clarity as long as you can share your music without breaking the bank. Additionally, even the best portable Bluetooth speakers aren’t going to match the sound quality of home sound systems, so audiophiles are going to have to make sacrifices regardless.
3. Consider Battery Life
In our testing we saw a wide range of battery lives amongst the models we tested. If you normally use your speaker for a few hours of lounging on the patio or next to the pool then battery life won’t be much of an issue. If you want your speaker to power your friends through an all-night beach party, then you’ll need to make sure it has a battery that is up to the task.
4. Do You Need a Microphone?
Some Bluetooth speakers include a built-in microphone. Any model with a microphone will allow you to turn any phone call into a public conference call. We tested this feature on the models that offer it and found it to be of a similarly low quality across the board, low enough that we generally would have preferred to just use the speakerphone function on our phones, so we definitely wouldn’t consider this a selling point.
Top 5 Waterproof Speakers
1. OontZ Angle 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker IPX5 Water Resistant
- HIGH QUALITY CRYSTAL CLEAR SOUND distinct mids and highs from our two precision acoustic drivers delivers excellent stereo sound and enhanced bass from our proprietary passive bass radiator design -the next generation of portable speaker delivers the sound & features that distance it from the competition ……. The Perfect Gift
- LOUDER VOLUME & MORE BASS distortion-free at maximum volume; room filling sound, perfect for home, dorm room, kitchen, bathroom, car, parties; streaming music or internet radio services such as Pandora and Spotify from your Smartphone, iPhone, or audio device
- WATER RESISTANT IPX5 splashproof, rainproof, dustproof, sandproof; outdoor shower speaker, perfect for the beach, poolside, car, boat & golf cart — IPX5 rating speaker can resist gentle water spray & splash but cannot be partially or fully submerged
2. JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Wirelessly connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take turns playing impressive stereo sound
- Built-in 3000mAh rechargeable li-ion battery Supports up to 12 hours of playtime
- Ipx7 waterproof means no more worrying about rain or spills; you can even submerge flip 4 in water
3. AOMAIS GO Bluetooth Speakers,Waterproof Portable Indoor/Outdoor
- IPX7 Waterproof: Really waterproof! AOMAIS Go has top level waterproof able to withstand full immersion of up to 33 feet for 30 minutes. Other speakers may claim water resistance but can only defend against the smallest splashes. AOMAIS Go is protected enough to go on, it’s dustproof, snowproof, mudproof, waterproof or even being dropped. Confidently take AOMAIS Go for shower, boat, hiking, camping, risk, to the beach, pool, or just your backyard. With Sporty looks, great gift for summer holiday
- AOMAIS Go Makes the Party: Clear, rich sound that fills the room indoors and performs outdoors. Easily connect any device with a playlist to have continuous sound for any occasion. Tablets, cellphones sync in a snap with Bluetooth 4.2. Works great with iPhones, iPad, Samsung, HTC. Wired connection with PC, TV and other non-Bluetooth devices with 3.5mm audio jack. Use AOMAIS Go for hands-free calling. You can even do Karaoke with the unique 3.5mm external microphone to have a backyard party
4. Poweradd MusicFly Indoor/Outdoor Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speakers
- Impressive Loud Volume Energetic Sound: You can enjoy crisp, energetic sound with impressive loud volume with built-in 2 X 13W stereo drivers and 2 X 5W passive subwoofers. Very clear sound and less than 1% harmonic distortion even at highest volume.
- IPX7 Waterproof Speaker: The highest waterproof rating provide fully waterproof. It is real waterproof. Accident Immersion to underwater will not damage the speaker. Some other speakers may offer an IPX5 rating only at splash proof or light rain,not waterproof. MusicFly is waterproof, sand proof, snow proof and shockproof. Perfectly designed and very durable for outdoor/indoor use:beach,seaside,camping, car driving, fishing, swimming pool,shower,back yard, home, ect.
- Long Playing Time: Up to 24 hours playtime(at 20% volume) / 12 hours playtime(at 50% volume)provide by the built-in high-capacity rechargeable lithium-ion battery, you can keep your music playing all day long.Playtime will vary due to different sound volume and audio content. The speaker can even used as a emergency power supply to charge your tablet/phone with the charging port.
5. Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM Super Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
- SURPRISINGLY SERIOUS SOUND – Don’t let the small package fool you, each UE WONDERBOOM delivers massive, crisp, clear 360-degree sound so you can liven up the party
- IPX7 WATERPROOF – Play your music safely around water with this speaker’s IPX7-rated waterproofing
- BLUETOOTH CONNECTIVITY – Connect to your UE WONDERBOOM using Bluetooth and keep on playing up to 100 feet (30M) away
- 10-HOUR BATTERY LIFE – Play for up to 10 hours on a single charge. Listen to your music for longer without having to get the charging cable