The 8 Best Outdoor Stereos in 2021

Take your tunes with you wherever you go

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The Rundown
Best Overall:
Sonos Move at Amazon
"The Sonos Move boasts a shock-resistant case and is backed by an IP56 rating for enhanced protection against natural elements."
Runner-Up, Best Overall:
Bose SoundLink Micro at Amazon
"The SoundLink Micro packs in a custom-designed transducer and dual passive radiators that deliver a powerful sound output."
Most Popular:
JBL Charge 4 at Amazon
"Sporting a proprietary driver and dual passive bass radiators, it produces 30W of powerful, full-spectrum sound."
Best Ultraportable:
Ultimate Ears Roll 2 at Amazon
"Measuring around 5.3 x 5.3 x 1.6 inches and weighing just 0.7 pounds, the Roll 2 is portable enough to be carried everywhere."
"The speaker's best feature is its 5,200mAh battery, which helps the Soundcore 2 play up to 500 songs once it's fully charged."
"It comes with two 1.75-inch drivers, working in tandem with two 3.1-inch passive radiators for a 360-degree audio output."
Best Budget:
JBL Clip 3 at Amazon
"Its tough shell is made from a combination of fabric and rubber, and the speaker is also backed by an IPX7 rating."
"Weighing about 2 pounds and measuring 3.4 x 3.4 x 8.9 inches, the Megaboom 3 is a perfect choice for a compact stereo speaker."

Whether it's a party in your backyard or a camping trip in the woods, you need the best outdoor stereo to get the most out of your music. There's no dearth of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market these days, and many are rugged enough to be used as outdoor stereo systems. They don't cut any corners when it comes to features, either. For instance, the IP65-certified Sonos Move comes with virtual assistant support and touch controls, while the IPX7-certified JBL Charge 4 is powered by a large battery that can also charge other devices.

As awesome as that is, choosing the right wireless speaker for your next adventure can be a daunting task since there are hundreds available out there. To make things easier, we've rounded up a few of the best outdoor stereos currently on offer. Read all about them, and make the right choice.

Best Overall: Sonos Move Battery-Powered Smart Speaker

Sonos Move — Battery-powered Smart Speaker, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with Alexa built-in - Black​​​​​​​
What We Like
  • Far-field microphone array with echo cancellation

  • Apple AirPlay 2 support

What We Don't Like
  • No 3.5mm audio port for wired use

Loaded to the gills with awesomeness, the Sonos Move is hands down one of the best outdoor stereos you can buy. It boasts a shock-resistant case and is backed by an IP56 rating for enhanced protection against natural elements such as water, dust, and extreme temperatures. Being a smart speaker, it also comes with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration that allows you to control music playback or check the news and weather completely hands-free, using just your voice.

The Move includes two class-D digital amplifiers tuned to match the speaker drivers. You also get a downward-firing tweeter that evenly disperses high frequencies for a wider soundstage, while the mid-range and bass are handled by a mid-woofer. The result is a rich and immersive sound output that's perfectly tuned to your listening environment.

The Move uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity and also features top-mounted capacitive touch controls for effortless operation. Its built-in battery is rated for up to 11 hours of continuous music playback, and can be easily juiced up by docking the speaker into its bundled charging base.

Dimensions: 6.25 x 4.9 x 9.3 in. | Weight: 6.6 lbs | Type: Smart Speaker | Wired/Wireless: Wireless | Controls: Capacitive touch | Connection: Bluetooth / Wi-Fi

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Bose SoundLink Micro

What We Like
  • Can be paired with another Bose speaker for stereo sound

  • Works with Siri and Google Assistant

What We Don't Like
  • Dated microUSB charging port

When it comes to audio hardware, Bose is a name that needs no introduction. The company's product portfolio includes a variety of speakers, a case in point being the SoundLink Micro. Featuring a shell made of high-quality silicone rubber and backed by an IPX7 rating, it can withstand being immersed in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.

The rugged portable speaker also comes with a tear-resistant strap that lets you fasten it to a backpack, your bike's handlebar, or just about anything else. Despite its small size, the SoundLink Micro packs in a custom-designed transducer and dual passive radiators that deliver a powerful sound output.

There's Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, and the integrated voice prompts make for a fuss-free usage experience. Using the companion "Bose Connect" smartphone app, you can personalize audio settings and manage connected devices. The SoundLink Micro also includes a built-in speakerphone for hands-free calls and has a battery endurance rating of up to six hours on a single charge. It's available in three different color options: Black, Bright Orange, and Midnight Blue.

Dimensions: 3.8 x 3.8 x 1.4 in. | Weight: .64 lbs | Type: Smart Speaker | Wired/Wireless: Wireless | Controls: Tactile Buttons | Connection: Bluetooth

“Boasting features such as voice assistant support, IPX7 dust, and water resistance, and much more at a reasonable price, Bose SoundLink Micro offers a lot of value for your money.” Rajat Sharma, Product Tester

Most Popular: JBL Charge 4

JBL Charge 4
What We Like
  • Sturdy design

  • Can work as a power bank for charging other devices

What We Don't Like
  • No speakerphone functionality

If you're looking for a robust and capable outdoor stereo speaker, we suggest the JBL Charge 4. Sporting a proprietary driver and dual passive bass radiators, it produces 30W of powerful, full-spectrum sound. The exterior is made from a combination of fabric and rubber for increased durability, while the IPX7 rating means that the speaker can work even after being submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.

Wireless connectivity is handled using Bluetooth, and there's also a 3.5mm audio port included for wired music playback. Not only that, you can use the companion "JBL Portable" smartphone app to amplify the audio output even further by connecting more than 100 (supported) speakers wirelessly.

The Charge 4 comes with case-mounted button controls that allow you to conveniently access all of its functions (e.g. play/pause, volume up/down, and Bluetooth pairing), and there's also an array of five LEDs at the bottom for monitoring the battery charge level. Speaking of which, the speaker is backed by a 7,500mAh battery that can provide up to 20 hours of music playback when fully charged.

Dimensions: 8.6 x 3.75 x 3.6 in. | Weight: 2.12 lbs | Type: Bluetooth Speaker | Wired/Wireless: Wireless | Controls: Tactile Buttons | Connection: 3.5mm, Bluetooth

Best Ultraportable: Ultimate Ears Roll 2

UE Roll 2
What We Like
  • Companion app allows extra functionality and remote control

  • 3.5mm audio port

What We Don't Like
  • Limited on-device controls

Measuring around 5.3 x 5.3 x 1.6 inches and weighing just 0.7 pounds, the Ultimate Ears Roll 2 is portable enough to be carried everywhere. However, don't let its small size fool you, as this thing can pump out some seriously loud sound. This is made possible by a 2-inch driver and two 0.75-inch tweeters, working in unison for a 360-degree audio output.

Backed by an IPX7 rating, the Roll 2 works great even after being immersed in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. Furthermore, it comes with an inflatable float that lets you enjoy music when you're in the pool. The speaker uses Bluetooth for wireless connectivity over a range of up to 100 feet and can connect with two source devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets) at the same time. Conversely, you can also use a single device to wirelessly stream music to two speakers.

The Roll 2 has a battery endurance rating of up to nine hours on a full charge and features an integrated bungee so it can be strapped to just about anything.

Dimensions: 5.3 x 2.16 x 1.6 in. | Weight: .72 lbs | Type: Bluetooth speaker | Wired/Wireless: Wireless | Controls: Tactile buttons | Connection: 3.5mm, Bluetooth

“Despite its small size and lightweight design, Ultimate Ears Roll 2 features a loud audio output that you have to hear to believe.” Rajat Sharma, Product Tester

Best Battery: Anker Soundcore 2

Anker Soundcore 2
What We Like
  • Amazing battery life

  • Speakerphone for hands-free voice calls

What We Don't Like
  • Some connectivity issues

Anker's products are renowned for offering unbeatable value, and the Soundcore 2 is no different. Boasting customized neodymium drivers and a digital signal processor (DSP) with dynamic range control, it delivers 12W of rich, distortion-free sound. The outdoor stereo speaker also uses Anker's "BassUp" feature and a patented spiral bass port to boost low-end frequencies and is backed by an IPX7 rating for increased protection against natural elements such as dust and water.

Wireless connectivity is handled via Bluetooth, and you can even pair two speakers with a single source device (e.g. smartphones, tablets) for an amplified audio output. The Soundcore 2 features top-mounted button controls for easy access to all its functions, including play/pause, volume up/down, and Bluetooth pairing.

Perhaps the speaker's best feature is its 5200mAh battery, which takes advantage of built-in power management technology to provide a continuous playback time of up to 24 hours. This essentially means that the Soundcore 2 can play up to 500 songs once it's completely charged.

Dimensions: 4.1 x 7.6 x 2.2 in. | Weight: 1.4 lbs | Type: Bluetooth speaker | Wired/Wireless: Wireless | Controls: Tactile buttons | Connection: 3.5mm, Bluetooth

Best Sound: Ultimate Ears Boom 2

UE Boom 2
What We Like
  • Great sound quality

  • Oversized volume buttons and tap controls

What We Don't Like
  • Audio distortion at high volume

On the hunt for a feature-loaded and stylish portable speaker? Look no further than Ultimate Ears Boom 2. It comes with two 1.75-inch drivers, working in tandem with two 3.1-inch passive radiators for a thunderous 360-degree audio output. The cylindrical housing features a wrap-around grill made from woven fabric, while the plastic top and bottom panels are joined by a thick rubberized strip running down the speaker's entire height.

Thanks to its IPX7 rating, the Boom 2 works flawlessly even after being submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. You get Bluetooth for wireless connectivity over a range of 100 feet, and the speaker can connect to two source devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets) at the same time. Apart from that, a 3.5mm audio port and NFC are included in the mix too.

The Boom 2 features a D-Ring at the bottom, which can be removed to access the standard tripod insert that allows for easy mounting. Other notable additions include app support (for extra functionality such as equalizer presets), and a battery life of up to 15 hours.

Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 in. | Weight: 2.2 lbs | Type: Bluetooth speaker | Wired/Wireless: Wireless | Controls: Tactile buttons | Connection: 3.5mm, Bluetooth

“Featuring a powerhouse sound output, multi-device connectivity, and great battery life in a well-built chassis, Ultimate Ears Boom 2 gets almost everything right.” Rajat Sharma, Product Tester

Best Budget: JBL Clip 3

JBL Clip 3
What We Like
  • Auto power off feature for better battery life

  • Integrated carabiner

What We Don't Like
  • Unreliable microUSB charging port

Undeniably among the best affordable Bluetooth speakers out there, JBL Clip 3 offers a lot more than what its budget price tag might have you believe. Its tough shell is made from a combination of fabric and rubber, and the speaker is also backed by an IPX7 rating that allows it to be used even after being immersed in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.

Perhaps the Clip 3's most interesting design element is its integrated metal carabiner, which lets you hook it up to anything from your backpack to a belt loop with little to no effort. The speaker's 1.6-inch transducer produces 3.3W of powerful sound, and you also get a speakerphone (with noise and echo cancellation) for hands-free calls.

The Clip 3 uses Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, and comes with a 3.5mm audio port for wired use, too. It's available in a wide range of color options (e.g. Gold, Teal, and Camo), and features a 1000mAh battery that's rated for up to 10 hours of music playback on a full charge.

Dimensions: 5.4 x 3.8 x 1.8 in. | Weight: .5 lbs | Type: Bluetooth speakers | Wired/Wireless: Wireless | Controls: Tactile buttons | Connection: Bluetooth

Best Compact: Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 Portable Waterproof Speaker

What We Like
  • Companion app enables additional features such as EQ support

  • Slim yet rugged construction

What We Don't Like
  • No speakerphone for calls

Weighing about 2 pounds and measuring 3.4 x 3.4 x 8.9 inches, the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 is a perfect choice for anyone who's in the market for a compact outdoor stereo speaker. Its cylindrical body comes wrapped in a two-tone fabric material that's both durable and good-looking. Then there's its IP67 rating, which ensures that this thing will continue blasting tunes even after being submerged in up to 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.

As far as audio is concerned, the Megaboom 3 sports two 2-inch full-range drivers and two 3.4-inch passive radiators for a 360-degree spatial sound with deeper bass. There's Bluetooth for wireless connectivity over a range of up to 150 feet, and the top-mounted power and Bluetooth pairing buttons make usage a cakewalk.

You also get a third "Magic Button'' on the top, which can be configured for one-touch access to your playlists on popular music streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify. The Megaboom 3 has a battery endurance rating of up to 20 hours on a single charge and can be wirelessly connected with up to 150 (supported) speakers for a much bigger audio output.

Dimensions: 8.88 x 8.88 x 3.75 in. | Weight: 2.04 lbs | Type: Bluetooth speakers | Wired/Wireless: Wireless | Controls: Tactile buttons | Connection: Bluetooth

“With two full-range drivers and two passive radiators working inside its dual-tone fabric-covered body, Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 looks just as good as it sounds.” Rajat Sharma, Product Tester

Final Verdict

Out of all the outdoor stereos detailed above, we recommend the Sonos Move as our top pick. It can hold its own in harsh usage conditions, comes with a multitude of useful features (e.g. voice assistant support, capacitive touch controls), and the audio quality is awesome.


If you'd rather have something that's a bit more portable, take a look at Bose's SoundLink Micro. The tough speaker offers everything from powerful sound to advanced in-app settings, all at a price that won't break the bank.

About Our Trusted Experts

As a technology journalist with more than seven years (and counting) of experience, Rajat Sharma has tested and reviewed dozens of portable speakers (among other gadgets) over the course of his career so far. Before joining Lifewire, he has worked as a senior technology writer/editor with two of India's biggest media houses - The Times Group and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited.

David Beren is a tech writer with more than 10 years of experience in the industry. He has written and managed content for tech companies like T-Mobile, Sprint, and TracFone Wireless.

FAQ

How important is multi-source streaming?

This is something that depends on the individual requirements. If you just want to enjoy your music when you're out trekking alone, a basic wireless speaker that streams from a single device would be enough. On the other hand, if you're planning a beach party or a night in the woods with a group of friends, a portable speaker that can take turns streaming music from multiple devices would definitely be a better option.


What exactly does 360-degree sound mean?

It refers to the dispersion of sound in all directions from a central point. When you get an outdoor stereo with 360-degree audio output, you don't have to worry about its "ideal" position and direction. Simply set it up in the middle, and enjoy your music.


Which connectivity options should I look for?

Portable outdoor stereo speakers generally use Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. That said, a 3.5mm audio port can definitely come in handy for listening to music from older mobile devices (e.g. portable media players), and it saves battery as well.

What to Look for in an Outdoor Stereo

Sound quality

The best way to test sound quality is by listening in person, but if you’re buying a speaker online, that’s not possible. However, you can ensure quality audio by having a close look at a few specific specs, most notably the sensitivity rating. Sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB) and indicates how loud the speaker can get. If you buy a speaker in the 86 to 90 dB range, you’ll be in good shape.

Portability

If you’re on the move often, it’s important that your speaker can be tossed in your backpack without weighing you down. The best outdoor stereos will have a lightweight, compact design but still produce booming sound. Another factor relating to portability is the battery life, as a dead speaker can really kill the party. Most speakers will average about eight to 24 hours of playtime per charge, depending on how loud you’re playing the music.

Durability

Whether you’re hitting the beach or roaming the great outdoors, you’ll need a speaker that can endure unexpected waves or rain showers. Check the IP rating to determine how waterproof a speaker is: IPX7 is pretty standard, allowing the device to be fully submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes.

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