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Best Overall: JBL Charge 4 at Amazon
"The JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth speakers deliver high-quality audio in a body that is both small and rugged."
Most Portable: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 at Amazon
"At around 4 inches tall, it’ll slide into any backpack or beach bag with ease."
Best Value: AOMAIS Sport II at Amazon
"With a 20W output, you'll have no problem filling your room or campsite with music."
Best Battery Life: Fugoo Sport at Amazon
"The Fugoo Sport comes in with an exceptional weekend-long battery life."
Best for the Shower: iFox iF012 at Amazon
"With up to a ten-hour battery life this is a great, low-cost way add some musical accompaniment to your shower."
Best for Beach Parties: JBL Pulse 3 at Amazon
"The sound quality is impressive across the tonal range, and there's more than enough volume for a good-sized outdoor party."
Best for Pool Use: UE Roll 2 at Amazon
"The Roll 2 ships with a special floatie, so it can sit on top of the water pumping out tunes for as long as you like."
As great as the best Bluetooth speakers are, they don't approach the versatility of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers. If want to take your music with you out to the pool, or on an awesome weekend getaway to the beach, these speakers will give you that wireless freedom and the peace of mind that you won't be risking destroying a bunch of expensive gear.
So what should you look for when shopping for a waterproof Bluetooth speaker? Obviously water resistance is key, so a speaker's Ingress Protection (IP, not to be confused with IP addresses used in networking) rating is one of the first specs you should consider. Beyond that, battery life is obviously hugely important for any wireless speaker, as well as connectivity and audio quality. If you're going to be travelling with it a ton, you'll also want to consider portability/form factor—how well will it tuck into a backpack or gym bag, and how heavy is it to lug around? We took all of these factors into account when culling options for our list of the very best for a variety of lifestyles/scenarios.
Slightly underwhelming bass
Learning from the successes of the Charge 3, JBL created a mid-priced Bluetooth speaker that delivers plenty of bang for its buck. Whether its pool party tunes or shower karaoke, the JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth speakers are powerful and durable, delivering high-quality audio in a body both small and rugged. With an IPX7 rating, it can withstand being in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes, meaning rain or pool splashes will be a non-issue. The speakers can also float, so there’s no risk if it falls into the deep end.
With a substantial 7500mAh battery, the speakers are a testament to JBL’s desire for continual improvement in making sure you jam out without worry (it lasts 20 hours on a single charge). The single full-range driver pumps out rich and crisp audio, and the improved JBL Connect+ lets the speaker connect with up to 100 other JBL speakers to play the same song, rather than just one or two others, as the Charge 3 offered. Our tester loved the Charge 4s durability and remarkably clear sound.
"The JBL Charge 4 is a versatile and waterproof Bluetooth speaker with lots of power and great sound." — Danny Chadwick, Product Tester
Compact and portable
Fantastic sound quality
Dust proof as well as waterproof
Lossy Bluetooth codec
The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom speaker is one of the most portable Bluetooth units we’ve seen. At around 4 inches tall, it’ll slide into any backpack or beach bag with ease. In terms of sound quality, it blows the first-gen model out of the water. For starters, there's a lot more bass on tap, so you never have to worry about an otherwise glaring lack of vibration when you're studying and relaxing to your favorite lo-fi hip-hop beats. Plus, if you plan to share your music with the outside world, the Wonderboom 2 has an “outdoor boost” mode, which you can activate by pressing a button located on its underside.
While the first Wonderboom had an IPX7 waterproof rating, Wonderboom 2 adds dust protection to the mix, thereby netting itself an IP67 rating. With that, not only can you submerge the speaker underwater, but also you can expect an active resistance to dust. Wonderboom 2 introduces a bigger battery as well, with which Ultimate Ears claims it will last about 13 hours of consecutive audio playback, up from just 10 hours with its predecessor. The new color options — Bermuda Blue, Crushed Ice Gray, Deep Space, and Radical Red — are reminiscent of athleisure wear, and the accessory loop at the top is stretchier, not to mention sturdier than it ever was before. Our reviewer, James, loved its big sound and solid battery life.
"Between an excellent 13-hour battery life, waterproof and drop-proof design, and enough volume to cut through even the loudest background noise, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is the perfect speaker for a backyard party or day at the beach." — James Huenink, Product Tester
Solid battery life
Can survive half an hour of immersion
Not the best looking speaker
The low price and useful features of the AOMAIS Sport II make it a great option for value-conscious buyers. With 20W output, the speaker is seriously loud, and you'll have no problem filling your room or campsite with music. Depending on the volume, you'll get up to 12 hours between charges, and the Sport II acts as a speakerphone as well if you need it.
There are controls on the speaker for volume, playback, and calls, and you can pair a second Sport II for double the volume and stereo separation. Unusually for a low-cost speaker, it's IPX7 rated, so can handle being immersed in water for half an hour. It's not the most attractive device you'll ever find, but its durability, powerful audio output, and overall value for money make any lack of style easy to overlook.
Exceptional battery life
Visually unappealing without the "jacket"
Whether you're partying at the beach or chilling out beside the campfire, the last thing you want is the music to die in the middle of your favorite song. That's where the Fugoo Sport comes in with an exceptional weekend-long battery life.
Rated to last 40 hours at half volume, the Sport is also prepped to contend with snow, sand, and water (three feet for thirty minutes), and puts out up to 95db from its six speakers.
There's a speakerphone built in, and while the speaker looks fine as is, you've got the option of three different colors of "jacket" to make it look more stylish. There's also an optional waterproof remote if you can't be bothered getting out of the pool to turn up the tunes. Weighing about a pound, the Fugoo Sport is a great option for trips that take you far from the nearest wall socket.
Perfect for the shower
Big accessible controls
Slightly underwhelming volume
Want to listen to your favorite tunes or podcasts in the shower? While almost any waterproof speaker will do the job, the iFox iF012 is designed specifically for the task, with a few extra features that help it stand out.
It's one of the least-expensive speakers we've found with an IP67 rating, meaning it'll handle immersion in three feet of water for half an hour, rather than just a few splashes. For a device that's likely to get soaked every day, that's important.
Much of the speaker's front face is a set of large buttons for controlling playback and answering calls, so there's no need to touch your phone with wet hands, and a strong suction mount lets you securely stick the speaker almost anywhere.
With up to a ten-hour battery life, this is a great, low-cost way add some musical accompaniment to your shower. Danny, our tester, loved the crisp audio, and the convenience of that powerful suction cup.
"If you want a basic, affordable shower speaker that reliably sticks to the wall and delivers clear audio, the iFox iF012 is the model to buy." — Danny Chadwick, Product Tester
Cool light show effects
Connect up to a 100 Pulse 3s
Planning a beach party? JBL's Pulse 3 hits all the right notes with impressive sound, solid waterproofing, and an inbuilt light show that turns the dunes into your own personal nightclub.
Sound quality is impressive across the tonal range, and there's more than enough volume for a good-sized outdoor party. The speaker sits vertically, with a large plastic section for the customizable lighting to show through. You can select from eight different lighting modes from the device, with total customization available through the accompanying app.
The app also lets you connect 100+ other Pulse 3s together, which would be quite something to see on a dark night. You'll get up to 12 hours of battery life with the lights turned on, and with the same IPX7 rating as the other JBL models on this list, your speaker will be just fine even when the tide rolls in.
It's fairly hefty, at 8.8" long and 2.1 pounds, but if your priority is great sound and an impressive light show from a device that's still pretty portable, the extra size will likely be a compromise worth making.
Can float in water
Surprisingly powerful for its size
Can pair with multiple devices
Doesn't stand upright
Putting your speaker beside the pool is one thing, but what about taking it in with you? Most portable speakers aren't designed to do that for very long, even if they're officially waterproof, but the UE Roll 2 is an exception.
The UFO-shaped Roll 2 ships with a special floatie, so it can sit on top of the water pumping out tunes for as long as you like. With a maximum 85db volume, there's a surprising amount of sound from such a small speaker, and its minimal weight, 11.6 ounces, and slim dimensions make it easy to transport no matter where you're going.
You can pair two UE Roll's together for extra volume, and unusually, can also have two phones or devices connected at once. There's even a stretchy bungee cord on the back, making it easy to strap the speaker to your backpack, bike, or anything else you can find. Available in a small range of colors, it's a great portable speaker for almost any use. For playback in the pool, however? It's unbeatable.
The JBL Charge 4 is an amazing Bluetooth speaker, well equipped to pump out jams on the beach, at poolside, or at any campground or party. For a slightly more portable model that's a cinch to grab and take on the go, but also delivers amazing audio, consider the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2.
David Dean is an experienced tech reporter whose work has appeared in top publications like The New York Times and Chicago Tribune. He previously spent 15 years as an IT expert, and specialized in travel tech, making him a perfect choice to craft this roundup.
Danny Chadwick has been writing about tech since back in 2008, and has produced hundreds of features, articles, and reviews on a massive range of subjects. He specializes in mobile audio equipment and reviewed several of the speakers on our list.
James Huenink is an experienced tech journalist and copywriter who's fascinated with how tech can help bind people together. He specializes in portable speakers and produced an insightful review of the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 for our list.
IP rating - The main factor that distinguishes the models on our list from traditional Bluetooth speakers is their water resistance, so you'll want to pay close attention to the IP ratings of any speaker that will live near (or perhaps in) the water.
Audio quality - Key when picking out any speaker, audio quality is especially important for a waterproof Bluetooth model because of how often they'll be used outside. They'll need to be crisp and clear, and powerful enough to compete with any ambient noise outdoor environments present.
Battery life - Because they'll often be used on the go, or may live outside next to your pool, a capacious battery is really important for these speakers. Something in excess of 12 hours is a good place to start, though some of the best will go all weekend long without quitting.