Best Waterproof Speakers

Updated November 2019
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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 
How we decided

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

35 Models Considered
9 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
252 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Shopping guide for best waterproof speakers

Last Updated November 2019

They say that music makes the moment. But some moments — especially poolside or on a boat — can ruin traditional speakers. Is setting the mood worth the gamble? With a waterproof speaker, you don’t have to weigh the risk.

Waterproof speakers are designed to keep water out of your speaker’s electrical components. They’re the perfect solution if you want tunes at the spa or the shore. They’re wireless, so they won’t keep you tethered to a wall, and most use Bluetooth signals, so the only accessory you’ll need is your phone.

Some speakers are meant for floating in a pool, while others are intended for the shower or a campout. Keep reading more to learn about your options, and when you’re done, take a look at our recommendations for the best waterproof speakers on the market.

A submersible speaker doesn’t necessarily float. If you want a speaker that can hang with your pool noodles, you need to look for this feature specifically.

Key considerations

Water resistance level

Do you need a speaker that’s truly waterproof, or one that just offers some resistance? Speakers that can be fully submerged have special protection and features that usually make them more expensive than speakers that are only water resistant.

If you want a speaker for your pool, spa, or pond, look for a one with an IPX7 (Ingress Protection) rating. The Ingress Protection rating means an item can be submerged 15 centimeters to one meter (or six inches to about three feet) for up to 30 minutes before sustaining damage.

Speakers with a rating of IPX1, by comparison, are only built to handle falling drops of water. Those rated IPX2 through IPX6 can withstand water sprayed from increasingly wide angles. If you’re looking for a speaker to use while in the shower or one that might get rained on while hiking, consider what kind of water exposure you can reasonably expect.

Portability

Where you plan to use your speaker makes a big difference in terms of the features you need. If you just want to hear traffic reports in the shower before work, weight and portability aren’t major concerns. If you want to bring your favorite tunes to the beach, you want something that’s lighter and more packable.

Runtime

Waterproof speakers must be wireless by design, so their playtime before recharging is a consideration. Base model speakers often give you about six hours of music. You can expect about 12 hours of runtime from the next tier. Higher quality models often boast 30 to 50 hours of playtime. Of course, actual playtime may vary depending on volume and other factors.

You should also keep in mind:

  • What is the size of the space where you want the music to be heard? Too large a speaker and the sound may be overpowering; too small and the music may not carry or may sound distorted at a high volumes.

  • Consider the range — how close your speaker needs to be to your phone or other Bluetooth-connected device — in order to play your music clearly.

  • Some waterproof speakers are designed to float. This can be a fun feature if you’re planning for pool parties.

Superior and submersible

With impressive sound quality and an IPX7 rating, the JBL Flip 4 really delivers no matter where you go. Dual external passive radiators create rich, deep bass tones that are uncommon for this size speaker. Noise and echo-canceling speakerphone capability add versatility. Flip 4 offers a 12 hour runtime and comes in a handful of bold colors.

Features

Sound quality

No one buys a speaker because they want their music to sound bad. However, smaller portable speakers aren’t always known for amazing amplification. Look for models that get good marks for their sound quality. Finding a speaker that delivers great bass can be especially challenging.

Connections

Some models let you wirelessly connect to other speakers so you can create stereo sound. This isn’t as practical if you’re shopping for a speaker for hiking or fishing, but if you’re shopping for your patio or pool, it’s worth considering whether you want to pair your speaker now or leave your options open.

Mounting

Some people want their speaker to stay in one spot permanently, while others want to put it down only occasionally. Either way, your speaker needs to hang or sit stably on a surface. Some speakers affix with suction cups. Others come with straps that hang over a tall, slender stationary object. Still others may have an indentation that accommodates a screw or nail.

Mobile call options

Most waterproof speakers connect to your phone or other media devices using a Bluetooth connection. Some of these devices also allow you to use your speaker to answer and conduct phone calls. If you’d like to use your speaker this way, make sure it has a quality microphone.

EXPERT TIP

Be careful where you place waterproof speakers in the shower. Though their components are resistant to water, their finishes and fabrics are not usually resistant to soap residue.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If your Bluetooth connection isn’t the best, try placing your phone up higher for a more direct data transmission.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Some waterproof speakers have auxiliary inputs which are helpful if your transmission device is older and isn’t Bluetooth capable. Check the specs to see how an auxiliary cable affects its water resistance.


Staff  | BestReviews

Waterproof speaker prices

Inexpensive: You can find speakers that offer good sound quality and decent splash resistance starting between $20 and $30. At this price, speakers may be smaller and possibly clip for portability. They have a playtime of six to 10 hours on a full charge, and have a Bluetooth range of around 30 feet. They offer some degree of water resistance, but usually are not truly waterproof.

Mid-range: Mid-grade speakers generally run you $30 to $50. Speakers in this price range may be water resistant or fully waterproof. They should have a runtime of 10 to 12 hours and may be paired with other speakers to create stereo capability. Most should have a Bluetooth range of around 50 feet.

Expensive: High-end waterproof speakers usually cost $50 or more. These speakers should be fully waterproof with a rating of IPX7 or more. They should pair with other speakers and feature a runtime of at least 12 hours. Speakers in this range should offer quality speakerphone options and have a Bluetooth range of 50 to 100 feet.

Safe for the shower

This small round speaker is ready for action thanks to its carabiner clip and removable suction cup. Its 5W, HD speaker is surprisingly powerful for its size, and you can answer calls with the speaker’s built-in microphone. The VicTsing speaker gives you up to six hours of playtime on a single charge, and charges in only two hours. It’s rated IPX5 so it’s safe for splashes, but it shouldn’t be submerged.

Tips

  • Salt water may damage some electronics items that can withstand freshwater or pool water exposure. If you have a saltwater pool or plan to take your speaker in the ocean, check your specific speaker’s requirements.

  • A speaker that’s waterproof isn’t necessarily sandproof. If you’re taking your speaker to the beach, look for models that factor in dust particle protection, often rated IP67 or IP68.

  • Some speakers won’t play audio while they’re charging, especially speakers with longer lasting batteries, which tend to take more time to charge.

  • Speakers with battery life indicators let you know how much juice you have left.

  • Some models include a charging port for your phone or other devices. This feature is more practical in higher-ticket speakers that have a longer battery life.

  • Some waterproof speakers light up and flash colors, helping to set the mood at a party.

Other products we considered

The floating Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Waterproof Speaker gives you 360° of sound as it meanders around the pool. This unique speaker comes in several fun color options, but its IPX7 rating reveals it’s more than a pretty face. It has a 100-foot Bluetooth connection so your phone can stay safely out of the splash zone. Wonderboom charges fully in just under three hours and gives you 10 hours of music per charge.

If you aren’t quite ready to shell out for the JBL Flip 4, take a look at the highly portable JBL Clip 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker. Don’t let its smaller size and convenient, colorful carabiner fool you. The Clip 2 boasts an IPX7 rating and a surprising sound quality for its size. Unlike many other speakers, it has an audio input for use with devices that aren’t Bluetooth-enabled — just make sure your device is waterproof or kept away from the spray.

Your speaker’s battery life can vary depending on your volume level.

FAQ

Q. What’s the difference between water resistant and waterproof?

A. Items that are water resistant can withstand some exposure to water, but cannot be submerged in water. Items that are waterproof, however, can be submerged to the depth and time limit stated in their specs. A speaker’s IP — also known as International Protection or Ingress Protection rating — lets you know what kind of liquid contact your speaker can take. A rating of IPX1 can withstand falling water. Items that are IPX2 or 3 protect against water from spray angles of 15 to 60°. A rating of IPX4 means a device can withstand splashes from any angle. If an item is IPX5 rated, it can take jet sprays from any angle, while IPX6 means it can be sprayed by a powerful water jet without harm. Even devices with high IP ratings can suffer damage if charging ports or other openings aren’t sealed, so be sure to check your instructions.

Q. Are waterproof speakers more durable than regular speakers?

A. Most waterproof speakers are portable, so manufacturers know they’re more vulnerable to drops and spills. Water resistant speakers are often sturdier because it takes more material to keep water out. If you’re really concerned, look for models with extra rubber or silicone padding for more security.

Q. How can I improve my Bluetooth signal?

A. Bluetooth devices transmit data using short-wavelength radio waves, so they can be physically blocked by objects that get in the way. If you’re getting interference or your audio is skipping, make sure there are no physical obstructions between your speaker and the phone or other device transmitting the sound. Metal and water are especially good at blocking Bluetooth signals, so make sure there are no pipes or electrical wiring between your speaker and source. If you have a specific place you want to use your waterproof speaker, like on the patio or in the pool, make sure you purchase one that will go the distance.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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