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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

22 Models Considered
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307 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best solar-powered Bluetooth speakers

Last Updated November 2019

Whether you’re relaxing at the beach, socializing at a park, or entertaining in your backyard, music enlivens the atmosphere. Portable Bluetooth speakers provide impressive sound and convenience, but one type in particular offers even more efficiency and effectiveness: a Bluetooth speaker powered by the sun.

Solar-powered Bluetooth speakers provide hours of music and perfect company outside on sunny days. Instead of solely relying on an outlet or batteries for power, these specifically designed Bluetooth speakers use the sun’s energy to maintain a charge, which means when you’re away from home and short on electricity, these devices are mighty useful and environmentally friendly.

Similar to traditional Bluetooth speakers, the solar-powered alternatives also vary in size, shape, and sound quality. Since companies are focused on incorporating solar panels onto the speakers, it’s important to mind that the overall sound quality may be less than high-end, non-solar-powered Bluetooth speakers.

Still, these devices can hold exceptionally long charges, are designed to cope with changing weather and are ideal for transporting. Here’s what you need to know about solar-powered Bluetooth speakers, along with five of our top recommendations.

It’s not just Bluetooth speakers that can harness the sun’s power and save you money at home. Solar lanterns, watches, flashlights, and even keyboards can make your life more energy efficient.

Key considerations

Design

Solar panels are incorporated in a variety of ways for these Bluetooth speakers, and as a result there are plenty of different designs from which to choose. Some are made with the outdoors in mind, featuring a rugged look to withstand the elements. Others may be cylindrical or rectangular, resembling traditional popular Bluetooth speakers, and are easy to carry and transport. Some, however, are far more functional than decorative, with solar panels taking priority over aesthetics, resulting in speakers that are angular, cumbersome, and best kept stationary.

Weatherproofing

As solar-powered Bluetooth speakers are meant to be used outdoors, companies employ a variety of ways that allow them to stand up to changing weather and inclement nature.

  • Shockproof speakers are durable and designed to withstand regular movement and jostling.
  • Drop-proof is similar – these can take a fall and keep on working.
  • Waterproofing allows for the speaker to play in the rain and be submerged briefly (for example, if it fell off a boat into a lake, it will still work if retrieved shortly thereafter).
  • Dustproofing protects against debris; sand proof is similar, and – you guessed it – protects your speaker from sand.
     

It’s important to look closely at the protections listed by the companies, as they may come with caveats in terms of exposure. That is, while a speaker may withstand something for a certain amount of time, there is a threshold that once reached, will hurt the speaker (such as letting the speaker float to the bottom of a lake and leaving it submerged for hours).

Charge life

The lifespan of a solar-powered Bluetooth speaker may be as short as six hours, or as long as a couple days. While the sun is shining, the speaker will gain a charge; on overcast days, you’ll be slowly draining the power. The charge varies widely among speakers and depends on the quality of solar panels as well as their coverage. This consideration will often converge with design; sleek and stylish looks may not absorb as much solar energy as something more functional and less attractive.

Sound quality

Not all solar-powered Bluetooth speakers are created equal when it comes to the primary function of playing sound. It’s best to test out various speakers in person, although that’s not always possible, especially when you buy online.

Take note of the actual speaker coverage: does the sound emitted in several directions or just one? The power of the bass is something to consider as well, as bass quality can fluctuate across speakers and sets higher-end speakers apart from the rest.

EXPERT TIP

A Bluetooth signal transmits on radio waves but can be interfered with by other Bluetooth, WiFi, or even microwaves. If a signal is weak, turn off other devices or relocate.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Color

Because solar-powered Bluetooth speakers are made more with function in mind, color choice becomes a less frequent available option. Most speakers are black or gray, and simply come in one color. However, there are still those available that pop – blue, green, and red speakers can be found from some designers. You can also find earth tones and camouflage to appeal to nature enthusiasts.

Sustainability

Solar-powered devices save energy compared to their cabled siblings and some companies will further embrace their eco-friendly nature when manufacturing and selling their products. Some may incorporate more sustainable materials, such as bamboo, while others may use proceeds to fund environmental charities. Those with more solar panel coverage will have a longer battery life, saving more energy. As a result, the speaker can be used to charge other devices with the excess power.

Straps, hooks, and clips

Some solar-powered Bluetooth speakers are designed with an eye for mobility. That means certain models will come with hooks, straps, or other options to attach or adhere to a variety of items. These can tether to packs, latch onto bicycles, or hang from trees.

Pairing

What’s better than one speaker playing music? A bunch of speakers playing music. Certain brands can be paired with like models to create a more comprehensive sound system while you’re outdoors. While this feature is common for traditional Bluetooth speakers, because of the solar panel focus, it’s less common.

Lights

While offering music all day and night, some speakers will also provide some lighting when the sun goes down. LED lights may add to the ambience or gave some much needed direction in the darkness.

Accessories

  • Portable charger: It’s always better to be safe and have a backup charge in case you lose some sun for a bit of time. If clouds are overhead, and an outlet is nowhere to be found, a portable charger can temporarily save the day. Chargers can be solar powered, too!
  • Solar-powered backpacks: In keeping with the theme, if you intend to use the Bluetooth speaker on camping or hiking trips, a solar-powered backpack may be a good investment. It stores the sun’s energy to power your devices, such as your phone, laptop, or speaker.
EXPERT TIP

Solar-powered Bluetooth speakers aren’t just for music. You can enlist them for outdoor movie services if you have a projector and a screen.


Staff  | BestReviews

Prices

Bluetooth speakers fluctuate greatly in price depending on a variety of factors, which means you will have to weigh your priorities against the positives and negatives of any given speaker to find the best value for you.

Inexpensive: The cheapest solar-powered Bluetooth speakers will likely be just under $45. These will still provide quality sound and may be dustproof and water-resistant.

Midrange: From $45 to $90, you’ll find varied sizes and shapes of Bluetooth speakers, including those resistant to debris, water, and movement. This may be more mobile than others and feature a stronger bass.

Expensive: For over $90, the Bluetooth speakers available will likely have a premium on sound as well as design. They may pair with other like speakers and feature a longer lasting charge.

Tips

  • Charge up when you can. These solar-powered speakers can also charge up via USB cables. It’s always a good idea (for any device) to charge when you can lest something fun, spontaneous, and sunless happens and you’re left on low battery.
  • Use the solar charge. As you’re gaining power from the sun, spread the love to other devices. Most speakers have a USB port, allowing you to transfer the solar energy to your phone or other electronics.
  • Higher volume depletes the battery faster. While you may want to crank up the volume as high as it goes on the speaker, just know that there is a certain threshold that once reached, the battery will use its charge more rapidly than advertised.
  • Investigate IP rating. Speakers have Internal Protection (IP) ratings, which are tests done to see how well and to what extent it resists dust (dry particles) and water. A higher number does not necessarily mean it’s better – it just means it passed the test for that level.
  • ‘Resistant’ is not ‘proof’. If a product ‘resists’ water, it can withstand some raindrops and splashes. It may even be able to be dropped in water briefly and still work. Waterproof can withstand more water contact, but even that has a limit.
EXPERT TIP

While these speakers will connect via Bluetooth, most will have an AUX outlet to allow a wired connection.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

Boasting a charge lasting up with 55 hours, NUNET makes the Nuboom Solar Power Speaker at a decent price. It’s a solid companion for outdoor adventures, as it’s both shockproof and splash proof.

Reveal makes a portable, solar-powered speaker made within a bamboo case to offer some eco-friendly incentive to your purchase, and has a sleeker look. The speaker also serves to charge your other devices.

For something a little less conventional, Alpine's Waterproof Bluetooth Rock Speaker is a standout. Indeed, it’s a speaker constructed within a fake rock to offer durability and weather resistance. It’s a little steeper in price, but the high Bluetooth range and long battery life are beneficial.

While it may be convenient to keep a solar-powered speaker set up in a backyard all summer long, be wary of the elements. Heavy rain can ruin the speaker and extended exposure to heat may shorten its lifespan.

FAQ

Q. How long does the battery last?
A.
Every speaker has a different battery potential, ranging anywhere from six hours to a few days. Keep in mind, however, that when a company describes the maximum charge, it’s incumbent upon volume being played at a particular level, which is less than the maximum.

Q. What is the range of the Bluetooth signal?
A.
While some speakers claim to work within a 50-foot distance, that determination, like battery life, is under ideal circumstances. The signal will always be better the closer you are to the speaker, and with as little interference between you and the speaker as possible.

Q. Can the speaker be paired with other devices?
A.
Some brands of Bluetooth speakers can pair with other like speakers to create a more comprehensive sound system. Others may be compatible with virtual assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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