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One of the best uses of Bluetooth technology is the ability to play music or podcasts (or whatever your heart desires) on a crisp, clear speaker without even removing your phone from the charger. In fact, you don’t even have to be inside to play professional-quality sound — not with these Bluetooth speakers we’ve rounded up below, most of which are durable and waterproof and perfect for any outdoor activities your heart desires.
Since the products come in all shapes and sizes with a wide range of features — and a wide range of price points — we’ve selected a variety of the best Bluetooth speakers below, from $20 shower speakers to $400 home systems. For more sonic recommendations check out best soundbars, and best stereo speakers.
Get powerful sound and deep base with the JBL Pulse 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker. Featuring 360-degree sound, this stylish bluetooth speaker dazzles wherever you put it. On the technical side, it’s wireless, waterproof, and gives you up to 12 hours of use on a single charge. It has a wireless range of up to 40 feet, and you can pair it with any bluetooth compatible device to stream your favorite songs. You can also download the JBL Connect App, which features a variety of light show themes (or customize your own) that turn your speaker into a light show — whether the music is on or off. Another cool feature for turning up the party: PartyBoost allows you to pair two JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers together, or link multiple JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers.
Designed to fill the room with powerful sound without overwhelming the space, the Bose Home Speaker 500: Smart Bluetooth Speaker comes equipped with Alexa voice control and Google Assistant, allowing you to start and stop songs and adjust volume with your voice. It’s compact (8” H x 6.7” W x 4.3” D), and has noise-rejecting mic system along with two custom drivers pointed in opposite directions to bounce sound off the walls, thus widening the soundstage. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple Airplay 2 compatibility, allows you to play Spotify, Apple Music, the Bose Music App, and other services directly from your phone or tablet. The speaker has six different presets for playlists, internet radio stations, and more. It can be paired with other Bose speakers, and there’s an LCD display that shows you what song’s playing, the station you’re listening to, playlist info, album art, etc.
This is one durable unit: It’s not “it’s alright if you spill some water on it” waterproof, it’s “can be submerged in up to one meter of water for a half hour” waterproof. Like, “it floats in the pool” waterproof. It’s also “drop proof,” meaning being clumsy won’t mean certain disaster, and the 15-hour battery means it really is perfect for parties and other high-intensity uses. You can pair it with other Ultimate Ears Boom and Megaboom speakers, and it can also charge wirelessly via the Power Up charging dock (sold separately).
You know when you purchase an Anker product that you’re going to get a certain level of quality, and that’s no different with the brand’s affordable, portable Bluetooth speaker. Two high sensitivity drivers mean clear sound with zero distortion, and the long-life battery provides 24 hours of playtime. With Bluetooth 4.0, you’ll have a strong connection for up to 66 feet.
Not only is this extremely small and portable — the compact circular unit comes with a built-in carabiner clip and weighs less than half a pound — it’s also legitimately nice-looking, unlike some other speakers. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 10 hours, and it’s IPX7 waterproof so it can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It’s perfect for the beach, the pool, or the shower, and a built-in noise and echo-cancelling speakerphone means you can make clear calls on it, too.
Perhaps the best-reviewed speaker on this list, the durable, portable, waterproof unit is perfect for both indoor and outdoor usage. It’s both Bluetooth and wifi compatible, and you can control it with the Sonos app or Bluetooth. It’s got built-in Alexa for hands-free control (and all the features Alexa provides, as long as you’re connected to the internet). Deep bass comes from two powerful drivers, and the automatic true-play tuning balances sound depending on your circumstances. It’s rechargeable via the included base or a compatible USB-C charger, and the battery lasts for up to 11 hours. The IP56 rating means it can stand up to humidity, rain, snow, dust, salt spray, UV rays, and extreme heat and cold, plus the shock-resistant casing protects against accidental drops or bumps.
This powerful and stylish wifi-enabled subwoofer speaker is perfectly sized for any room. It’s got precise, balanced audio and built-in Alexa, so you can control your music without even touching the speaker. The app allows you to customize presets, connect to other Alexa-enabled devices, and control playback demands. While the 10-pound speaker is not portable (you have to plug it in to the wall), it has a gorgeous retro design that will look great no matter where you place it.
This small but mighty speaker is not only ultra portable thanks to its small size (it weighs just 1.3 pounds), but provides high-quality sound that is comparable to many other higher-end brands out there. The deep bass and full-sounding mids and trebles will be even clearer if you purchase a second speaker for stereo sound. It’s 100 percent waterproof with a tear-resistant silicone strap, which means it’s perfect for whatever activity you’re getting up to.
This versatile smart speaker can be used as a portable Bluetooth speaker, a home speaker, or a voice control speaker. It weighs just over two pounds, has a battery life of up to 12 hours, and comes with a portable handle so it’s easy to transport. It’s water-resistant and can withstand plenty of accidental drops and bumps. Control it with your mobile phone or tablet, or if you’re within wifi range, use voice control with built-in Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant with integrated music services like Amazon Music, Spotify, and Pandora. The 360-degree sound and powerful bass make the sound quality clear both inside and outside. And it’s compatible with any other Bose smart devices for a multi-room listening experience. The minimalist design comes in two colors: Triple Black or Luxe Silver.
Another portable unit, this rectangular design takes three hours to fully charge 10 hours of total playtime, with a 90-day standby time. It delivers deep bass, which can be doubled if you connect to a second speaker for surround sound, and it’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices. While it’s not submergible, it is splash-resistant with an IPX5 waterproof rating and weighs two pounds. Get it in white over at the Urbanista website (the company’s smaller Sydney speaker, available in solid colors and a stylish chevron pattern, is another great choice for an even lower price point — $39 for the patterened H&M model).
About the size of a Discman (sorry, youths, we’ll explain: that was what we had to use to listen to music on the go before smartphones), this lightweight speaker (it weighs just over a half a pound) is everything you’d expect from Bose. It’s got crisp and clear sound both indoors and outdoors, a built-in mic for speakerphone calls, and it’s waterproof up to one meter and has a very durable exterior. Rather than a carabiner, it comes with a strap for easy attaching to backpacks, coolers, handlebars, or even belt loops. The battery lasts for up to six hours, so it’s not quite as long-lasting as competitors, but it’s a trade-off for the Bose sound quality. It can be paired with other SoundLink speakers or any smart Bose speakers for stereo sound, and you can also use your phone’s Siri or Google Assistant or access your Echo Dot directly from the speaker.
The priciest speaker on this list, it’s the largest and most powerful speaker Ultimate Ears makes — with the most features to boot. The 24-hour battery life, IPX4 waterproof rating, and adaptive equalizer make it perfect for parties (so does the rich, bass-heavy yet still well-rounded sound). It can play music from four different devices thanks to its two Bluetooth, one auxiliary, and one optical inputs, or connect with any Boom Megaboom or another Hyperboom for extra sound. A USB charge-out means you can charge your phone from the device (the 24-hour battery comes in handy here), and you can control your sound directly on the speaker or via the app. Surprisingly, it’s still a portable 13 pounds and even has a pull-out strap for easy movement.
The specs on the Color II are similar to the Micro, particularly the bold sound quality. It’s waterproof (though a slightly lower grade than the Micro) with a durable silicone exterior, and uses the same Bose app and has the same Siri and Google assistant compatibility. Where it differs more is battery life — the Color II lasts for up to eight hours per charge — and its weight — at 1.2 pounds, it’s more than double the weight. It comes in a few fun colors (Aqua Blue, Citron, or Coral Red) as well as a standard Soft Black, Polar White, or Midnight Blue. An auxiliary jack allows you to connect a non-Bluetooth advice, and you can operate it via battery or AC power. One word of warning: a bug in the firmware can mean that some units will lose the ability to charge, but there are fixes online and Bose will replace it under warranty within one year of purchase.
You can’t beat the price on this portable waterproof speaker, which comes with color-changing lights and a carabiner that makes it easy to attach to anything. It’s perfect for listening to podcasts or music in the shower, and it’s even got a port for an SD card if you don’t want to use the Bluetooth feature. It has several different light modes, including a multi-color display that is extra fun for kids. (And, on a personal note, this little guy is going on 3 years of near-daily usage with no end in sight — it holds a charge for weeks at a time, charges fast, and is easy to keep clean. Not bad for $20.)