The 10 Best Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers in 2020 – Full Buyer’s Guide With Reviews
It is hard to find a household without a set of Bluetooth speakers nowadays. In order to safely take these speakers out, you would want to have them as protected as possible and that includes waterproofing. Unfortunately, browsing for the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers can be a bit challenging mainly due to the vast number of models on the market. In this guide, we will go through some of the top speakers for this year and see how they stack up against each other. We will also dive a bit deeper into waterproofing and water resistance to see what exactly both those things mean.
Below I’ve ranked the best models in an objective manner taking all of their features in mind but primarily focusing on their waterproofing and how reliable they are in a wet environment…
JBL GO2BLU Go 2 Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
JBL has been a pioneer in audio engineering for decades now. They have a huge range of products but some of their flagship products are waterproof speakers meant to be taken outdoors. The JBL Go 2 portable speaker is without a doubt the best product in this category for a few very good reasons. First of all, it has an exceptionally powerful and rich sound for such a small speaker. It can also pair with your phone’s contacts and calls allowing you to pick up calls through the speaker. The noise-free speakerphone adds an additional level to the quality of your conference calls.
If Bluetooth isn’t available it has a 3.5mm audio jack to plug in and enjoy your music. When it comes to waterproofing, the GO 2 has an official IPX7 rating meaning it is water-resistant and can last up to 30 minutes submerged in 1 meter (3.3 ft) of water. It hasn’t been tested for dust particles, however, so make sure you keep it safe from fine particles.
In terms of its design, there isn’t anything that particuarily stands out besides the 12 colorful options you can pick from. You have the standard connectivity and volume buttons at the top and the usb/audio jack ports on the side covered with a waterproof seal. The only thing I can really fault here is the mediocre battery life. Compared to its competitors, the 5-hour run time just doesn’t cut it, since most other models have batteries that easily last more than 10 hours of continuous play time.
- IPX7 rated waterproofing
- 12 vibrant color options
- Crystal clear and rich sound
- Noise-free speakerphone
- Has a 3.5mm audio jack
- Small form-factor
- Has no officla dust rating
Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2
Coming up second on my list is the lesser-known brand called Ultimate Ears. Their Wonderboom 2 speaker is one of the highest-rated and highest-selling models due to its unique design, powerful sound, and long-lasting battery. One of the features that I enjoy the most about this speaker is its 360-degree sound. It seems like more and more manufacturers are going all-in on that design since it is highly functional in group environments where everyone wants to listen.
What is surprising about this model is its lows, especially considering its small size. Another surprising feature that is rare among its competitors is the official dust rating. Unlike the typical IPX7 we see, the Wonderboom 2 has an IP67 rating, making it dustproof and waterproof at the same time. That just shows that the company’s target demographic has clearly been people going to the beach and outdoors in general. What’s more amazing is that this speaker floats in water, making the go-to choice for pools.
Design-wise, the Wonderboom is equally unique as it is with its other features. It has a cloth-like side profile with a hang loop up top. At the top, there are also play/pause/skip buttons as well as the Outdoor Boost mode button which takes the sound level a step further. The two white Plus and Minus buttons are also functional and serve as volume up/down. At the bottom, you have your micro USB port but unfortunately, there is no audio jack. The battery life here lasts 13 hours, making it one of the longer-lasting Bluetooth speakers out there. Another disadvantage is that it is a little more expensive than most of its competitors.
- 360-degree sound
- Floats in water
- Has official IP67 rating
- Outdoor Boost mode
- Large, easy to use buttons
- No audio jack
- Somewhat expensive
Sony SRS-XB12 Mini Bluetooth Speaker
It would be an honest guide to waterproof speakers if there wasn’t a Sony product in it. In my opinion, the Sony SRS-XB12 is one of the best models out there mainly because of its incredible value and unique functionality. While it is compact in nature, the levels of deep bass sounds this delivers aren’t typical for a portable speaker. This is one of the many benefits of getting a product from a company that has excelled at portable audio technology for decades. The whole body of the speaker acts as a hollow case to enhance the lows, making it sound incredibly crisp from the top and super low from the bottom. All that is powered by a battery that can last up to 15 hours.
One unique feature of this speaker is that you can wirelessly connect two of them to achieve a stereo sound. This is a great feature to have and more and more companies are implementing it in their newest products. That way, if your friend has the same speaker, you can create twice the environment with them. At the top, there is a detachable carry strap that is color-matched. Apart from that, you get a micro-USB and an audio jack at the side of the speaker. They are both covered with a rubber seal to comply with the model’s IP67 rating. That rating means that it is waterproof as well as dustproof.
The whole construction of If the style is something you’re after, the SRS-XB12 comes in 6 different colors. Personally, I think that the red version is unique and really stands out from the typical color options from the competition. The only few issues I have with this speaker is that it isn’t as loud as some Anker or JBL models out there. It also has trouble pairing to some Android devices.
- IP67 Rated
- Rich and dense lows
- Has a detachable carry strap
- Very well priced
- Lightweight and compact structure
- Comes in 6 colors
- Can pair two speakers for stereo sound
- 16 hours battery life
- There can be some pairing issues with certain Android devices
- Sound doesn’t go as lound as some other waterproof speakers
Anker Soundcore Flare Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Anker Soundcore line of products is one of the most impressive out there. They bring exceptionally good sound quality, high volume capabilities, and reliable waterproofing at a bargain price. In fact, apart from the JBL Go 2, the Soundcore Flare has one of the best price-to-value ratios. The sound here is delivered by a twin-speaker system which is combined with a passive bass radiator. All that delivers a seamless 360-degree sound with no dead zones around the speaker. When you play any type of music, there is a pulsing light bar at the bottom which really enhances the user experience, especially in the darker hours. There are 5 different modes for the light bar so cool-factor is definitely a perfect ten. Surprisingly enough, the extra lighting and even the Boost mode don’t put too much strain on the battery, as it can last up to 12 hours. For such a big portable speaker that is commendable.
In a typical Anker fashion, there is more that is going on underneath the surface. There is a real-time bass equalizing processor which takes your song’s low frequencies and then puts them amps them up through the neodymium drives. All that can be further enhanced with the “Boost” mode which has a button at the top. That mode almost doubles the sound levels but also spoils the sound quality a bit, especially if you are in a room. Right next to that button, there are also music control buttons. Everything here is sealed shut and the whole speaker is IP67 rated, making it dust and waterproof.
Just as with the Sony SRS-XB12 speaker, you can pair two Soundcore Flares together to get a stereo sound. Thanks to the high sound levels, two of these are more than enough to be heard clearly in a spacious outdoor environment.
- Very high volume levels
- Can be paired with another Soundcore Flare speaker
- Has a pulsing light bar at the bottom
- Boost mode for enhanced sound levels
- Crystal clear lows
- 360-degree sound
- IP67 rated
- 12-hours of battery life
- Not as portable as some other smaller waterproof speakers
JBL Xtreme 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
To have more than just 1 entry in a top 8 list is a statement to JBL’s brand quality and experience in the portable audio technology market. The JBL Xtreme 2 Waterproof speaker is something that caters to larger groups of people. It is also a suitable replacement for a large sound system, as it has a substantially higher volume levels than typical portable speakers.
The Xtreme 2 syncs to your device via Bluetooth and can play music for up to 15 hours with its 10,000 mAh battery. That same battery can act as a powerbank to charge your mobile devices. The whole pill-cased body is wrapped in a durable fabric that is waterproof. The sides of the speaker house the woofers which are also water sealer. At the top, there are two metal hooks which are used for the carrying strap that comes in the box. At the top, you also have your control buttons and at the bottom, you have a watertight seal that houses the USB and audio jack ports.
On top of all that, this speaker can also pair to other JBL Connect+ enabled speakers to create a more diverse stereo-sounding environment. My main issue with this speaker is that it is a bit harder to carry around and is also quite expensive.
- Crystal clear and loud sound
- 15 hours play-time on a single charge
- Rugged construction
- Surround bass sound
- Comes with a carrying strap
- Has a built-in powerbank
- Very expensive
- Not easy to constantly carrying around
Anker Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth Speaker
The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is another product from Anker that caught everyone’s attention. The main reason people are getting is its High-res 30 Watt audio capabilities. It is the loudest speaker out of all the rest here but with higher volume levels there usually is some drop in quality which is exactly the case here. While it sounds fine in the low volume levels, the higher you go, the more distorted the sound gets. Still, at average volume levels, the Qualcomm aptX processor takes care of the lossless music streamed directly from your device via Bluetooth.
The sound here is produced by ultra-high-frequency tweeters paired with neodymium woofers and passive radiators. That allows for maximum sound distribution across the open space and makes the speaker incredibly potent in closed spaces. Just like with the Souncore Flare, the Motion+ also has the bassUP technology that processes and enhances the song’s bass tones in real time.
The whole speaker is IPX7 waterproof, meaning it can be dropped in water without any damage to its components. It has a 6700 mAh battery that is good for up to 12 hours of playtime. Thanks to the high-tech speakers, however, the Motion+ doesn’t come cheap…
- Has Anker’s BassUP function
- Very rich Highs and deep lows
- IPX7 rated
- Long-lasting battery
- Perfectly engineered sound range
- Can get very loud
- Quite expensive compared to other
- A bit bulky
- When you crank the volume all the way up there is notable distortion
Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers Buyer’s Guide
When shopping for a waterproof speaker, there are a just a few things that you have to take into consideration in order to make the right choice. Assuming you’re well aware of the sound quality of different models, we will primarily talk about the waterproof part.
Waterproof and water-resistant are terms that are often wrongly used and even more often confuse customers with what exactly they mean. Let’s find out…
Waterproof vs Water-resistant models
In theory, both these terms mean that water won’t destroy your speaker upon contact. However, having a waterproof rating is superior to simply being water-resistant. Waterproof devices usually come with a rating that looks like this “IPXX”. In most cases it is IPX7. The first digit (“X” in this case) is used to refer to the dust resistance. The most common dust resistance level for such speakers is “6”, so some models have a rating of IP67. That makes them dustproof to a certain extent but doesn’t make them immune to superfine dust and dirt particles. Now, onto the waterproofing. The waterproof rating starts from 7 and goes all the way up to 10. Anything below 7 is considered just “water-resistant”, meaning it can take a splash or two but it shouldn’t be submerged or dropped in water as that might damage its internal components.
Speakers with a waterproof rating of 7 and above can be dropped in water with a maximum depth of 3.3ft (1 meter) for a maximum of 30 minutes. Anything longer than that or deeper than that can break the waterproof seal and damage the internal components.
To sum it up, if you see a rating of IP66, it means that there is an official dust resistance combined with splash resistance. IP67 models and above have both dust and waterproof ratings, making them resistant to submerging and dropping in water. Luckily, most waterproof speakers are made that they float in water, just in case you want to take them with you for a swim.
How to choose a good waterproof speaker
Apart from the waterproof rating, there are a few other things you should take into consideration. One of those things is the sound levels. Some speakers aren’t too loud and can easily be overwhelmed in a noisy environment outside. Some brands like JBL, Sony, and Anker pay special attention to their audio technology with their 360-degree models and professionally processed bass sound.
Connectivity is another feature that you have to pay attention to. Make sure you check that the speaker pairs with your specific mobile device brand and model, as there have been some issues with certain devices not pairing up with speakers.
Battery life is probably the most important feature if you are planning on taking your speaker outdoors a lot. A good amount of battery life is 10-15 hours even though there are some smaller models that cannot push through the 5-6 hour barrier mostly due to their compact design. Some models even take it a step further and add a powerbank function to their speakers allowing you to charge your mobile devices when they’re plugged into the speaker.
Lastly, don’t forget about practicality. While most portable models are small and easy to carry, some larger ones will need a convenient method of carrying them around in order to be comfortable. That can be either a strap or a full-on handle like the one on JBL’s Boomboxes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good amount of Watts for a portable waterproof speaker?
Anywhere between 10 and 30 Watts is more than enough for a portable speaker. The wattage usually determines how loud the sound can get, but also makes for a faster battery draining, so make sure you balance those two features out.
Can two portable speakers be paired?
Yes, most modern portable speakers pair with each other to create a stereo sound. While some companies rely on their own models pairing between each other, other brands have a more open approach allowing their speakers to pair via Bluetooth with any other speaker out there. That is a really cool feature as it allows you to pair with your friend’s speakers when you want to take the sound experience a notch further.
Official IP ratings, solid and durable constructions and the lack of noise distortion are all features that are typically present in the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers. If you are struggling to choose one of two models with the same official IP rating, always opt for the models coming from top audio brands such as JBL, Bose, Anker, and Sony. Apart from that, keep an eye out for the battery durations, as that is one major aspect of the outdoor performance of any speaker.