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Buying guide for best floating bluetooth speakers

When boombox stereos first showed up, people loved using them to take their music everywhere outdoors, especially to the beach. While it’s hard to find boomboxes nowadays, they definitely have a modern equivalent in floating Bluetooth speakers. These are portable speakers that wirelessly connect to smartphones and tablets so you can stream your music in high fidelity. Floating Bluetooth speakers are waterproof and specially designed for situations where there is a lot of water – the pool, the beach, or the bathtub.

If you’re looking for a big speaker for your next beach trip, or if you just want to add tunes to your daily bath, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about floating Bluetooth speakers.

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Floating and levitating Bluetooth speakers are different. A floating Bluetooth speaker is made for use in a pool or bathtub. A levitating speaker uses magnets to look as though it’s floating. The two are often mixed up, but there are definitely differences. Don’t plan on taking a levitating Bluetooth speaker to your next pool party!

Key considerations

Before you start looking at specific speakers, answer a few questions that will help you narrow your search.

Do you plan to make phone calls with your Bluetooth speaker?

Some floating Bluetooth speakers include a built-in microphone, so you can use them to take and make phone calls. If you’re not going to do that, you can save money by buying a speaker that doesn’t include a mic.

What will be your primary music source?

Think ahead of time about where your music will be coming from. If you’ll mostly be using your smartphone to stream music, Bluetooth will be enough. If you’ve got a digital music player to connect, you might want to buy one with a 3.5 mm auxiliary input. Some models even include built-in FM radios, so you can tune in local stations instead of using a separate device.

Where will you be using your speaker?

Some floating Bluetooth speakers are best in low-stakes situations like the bathtub, while others are built to be durable enough to withstand outdoor locations and the occasional drop. Rugged speakers tend to be more expensive, so you might want to budget accordingly, depending on your needs.

Floating Bluetooth speaker features

Most floating Bluetooth speakers handle the same basic tasks: they play your music and stay dry around water. But there are a few premium features that are definitely worth the money. Here are our three favorites:

Enhanced bass

Small speakers don’t usually have a lot of bass, so if you need your music to thump, you’ll need to get a speaker that’s got extra bass. Many models claim to have good bass, but the proof is really in the listening, so dig through user reviews to see which ones actually deliver a good low end.

360° sound

There’s a new trend in Bluetooth speakers that sprouted from digital assistants like the Amazon Echo: 360° sound. That’s basically a fancy term for a cylindrical speaker, but calling it that isn’t underselling it. Speakers with 360° sound push sound out in every direction, so they get louder than most speakers, and they make it sound like the musicians are standing next to you.

FM radio

Terrestrial radio stations are alive and well, and some floating Bluetooth speakers let you tune in wherever you are. Whether you want to blast classic rock or listen to your local public radio station, a speaker with an FM radio means you don’t always have to rely on your phone to be your main audio source.

Floating Bluetooth speaker prices

Basic: Models that cost between $25 and $70 are basic but capable. These speakers are usually pretty small, but they offer decent audio and can withstand a fair amount of water. If you’re looking for a middle-of-the-road speaker that you can use in the shower or pool, you’ll find some great options in this price range. If you need a speaker that gets loud, or one that can withstand a beating, you’ll need to spend more.

Rugged: Extra-rugged floating Bluetooth speakers cost anywhere between $70 and $200. Speakers in this price range definitely bring the noise: they often have subwoofers or 360° speakers that can fill a large room. They also include giant internal batteries for extra-long playing times, which can be perfect for camping or boating.

"Once you’ve narrowed your search, compare the speakers’ weights. Floating Bluetooth speakers can weigh anywhere from a few ounces to a few pounds, which can make a big difference if you’re planning to carry it around. "


  • Keep a power bank handy. This is a good idea if you’re worried about running out of power while you’re out using your floating Bluetooth speaker. Floating Bluetooth speakers rely on batteries, and batteries die, so keep extra power around. A power bank is the best way to keep a spare charge or two with you so you never have to worry about finding an AC outlet.
  • Check the dimensions of the speakers you’re considering. It can sometimes be hard to tell how big a floating Bluetooth speaker is from the photos, so be sure to triple-check the product dimensions. Some speakers are only 16 inches square and weigh a few ounces, while others are over twice that size and weigh up to five pounds.
  • Look at the accessories. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few options, investigate what accessories are available. Some floating Bluetooth speakers are compatible with accessories like inflatable speaker floats, which turn your floating speaker into a mini oasis in your pool. Accessories vary per model, so definitely do some browsing and see if you find any necessary add-ons.
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Did you know?
A floating Bluetooth speaker is a great way to bring a baby’s favorite songs to bath time. Just make sure the one you buy is rugged enough to keep up with your little one. Get a plastic model that weighs less than one pound. And never leave a child unsupervised in the tub with a floating Bluetooth speaker.
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A floating Bluetooth speaker makes a great travel companion. It fits easily in any bag so you can bring your music with you on your next family vacation or business trip. Whether you need to play white noise in unfamiliar locations or just want your own tunes on the beach, a floating Bluetooth speaker makes traveling more fun.


Q. Does streaming Bluetooth audio to a speaker use a lot of my phone’s battery?
Not really. While Bluetooth streaming definitely consumes some of your smartphone’s battery, modern Bluetooth standards are designed to use as little energy as possible, and most smartphones can stream at least a few hours of music before needing to be recharged.

Q. How close does my phone need to be in order to connect to a floating Bluetooth speaker?
Most Bluetooth speakers advertise a range of up to 30 feet, but that can depend on a lot of factors, from wireless interference to physical obstacles. In most cases, you can count on a strong, uninterrupted Bluetooth signal if you keep your phone within 15 to 20 feet of your speaker.

Q. How do I recharge my floating Bluetooth speaker?
It depends on the speaker, but in general, smaller floating Bluetooth speakers get charged via a micro USB cable and larger speakers include an AC adapter that you plug into the wall to charge them. Check individual models to be sure, but count on charging requiring either a USB port or a wall socket.

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