Best Waterproof Speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar's round-up of the best waterproof and water-resistant speakers you can buy in 2018.
Today, there are plenty of amazing Bluetooth speakers on the market, but what if you’re looking for something that can get wet? There are more of these about than you might imagine.
We get it – you don’t exactly plan on taking a swim with a Bluetooth speaker strapped to your back. That’d be ridiculous – but the peace of mind that you get when you know you won’t ruin your Bluetooth speaker by getting it wet is priceless.
When buying one of these more outdoorsy speakers, look for its IP rating. This is how water resistance gadgets are categorised. You'll see that IP mark, followed by two numbers. IP67 is one of the most common, and means the speaker can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes.
The first thing you’ll notice when you go on Amazon and search for ‘waterproof speakers’ is that the market for waterproof speakers is absolutely saturated right now. But don’t worry, we here on the TechRadar editorial team have compiled a list of the best waterproof speakers you can buy today. Every speaker on this list has been extensively tested and reviewed in-house so that you can be confident that you’re getting your money’s worth.
If you want a waterproof speaker that doesn't look like a waterproof speaker, get the Denon Envaya DSB-250BT. It'll fit into a classy living room but has IP67 water resistance, letting it withstand a full-on dunk. This is also the best-sounding speaker of its size, with meaty bass and audio balance you might expect from a hifi master like Denon. There's an Envaya Mini if you want something smaller, too. Any complaints? To make the water resistance work, the speaker has rubbery panels instead of clicky buttons, and they aren't half hard to depress sometimes. But if that isn't a minor quibble, what is?
Read the full review: Denon Envaya
No speaker begs for the pool as much as the UE Wonderboom. You get a little inflatable ring in the box to let it bob around in the swimming pool on your holiday. It also stands well above its weight class, with weighty bass for a speaker so small. Music also sounds balanced and rich. You can even pair the Wonderboom with two devices simultaneously. It may not have the largest soundstage and doesn’t have a speakerphone option, but the Wonderboom still ticks all the right boxes.
Read the full review: UE Wonderboom
The JBL Charge 3 presents an incredibly attractive package. This speaker features a battery that can last more than 20 hours – and can even charge your phone in a pinch, plus it features the meatiest bass out of all the speakers in this list. However, the JBL Charge isn’t exactly the most lightweight speaker in the world, but if you’re a bass head and you don’t mind adding a bit of weight to your bag, the Charge 3 might just be for you.
Read the full review: JBL Charge 3
The UE Boom 2 is the UE Wonderboom’s big brother, offering even more precious decibels and finer detail. It also lasts about 25% longer than the Wonderboom and has useful features, like NFC and aux-in, for older devices. It’s a little bigger and heavier, but with that added bulk it does offer longer battery life. (Oh, and if you want even more umph, the Megaboom – again from Ultimate Ears – is a pretty great choice, as well.)
Read the full review: UE Boom 2
If you still don’t know about Fugoo, you’re certainly missing out on some of the best waterproof speakers in the world. The Fugoo Style not only offers the longest battery life of any speaker on this list, (40 hours!) it also comes in at a tiny one pound. Fugoo’s design philosophy is to offer different ‘jackets’ (Style, Tough or Sport) to fit around its ‘core’ speaker to fit different styles. The Fugoo Style offers a great blend of size, sound fidelity and battery life for an affordable price.
- This product is only available in the US at the time of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the UE Wonderboom
In terms of sheer audio prowess, the JBL Pulse 3 was a pleasant surprise. While it’s light show may lead you to believe that it’s all a gimmick, the Pulse 3 actually offers a very well balanced tonal balance: Highs have good extension but are a little rolled off. Bass offers good slam and texture, but bleeds into the mids a little. If you’re not an audiophile, none of this matters – it sounds darn good and gets loud, making it the perfect companion for your next pool party.
If you want a great sounding Bluetooth speaker that’s waterproof and a conversation piece, the JBL Pulse 3 is the speaker to get.
Read the full review: JBL Pulse 3
The UE Megaboom is at the very peak of Ultimate Ears’ line of waterproof Bluetooth speakers. Its larger size means that the Megaboom can get loud and can last up to 20 hours at a sensible volume. Bass is stronger and richer than its smaller UE Boom 2 and Wonderboom brothers. This is the speaker for anybody who wants to really blare their music at a party. For people who want to save some cash, however, the JBL Charge 3 is half the price and performs similarly.
Bose is well known for making fantastic sounding audio equipment, and the SoundLink Color II is no different. This small speaker packs a stealthy punch, providing deep bass with a nice impact, but it obviously can’t match the sound of the larger speakers in this list. Now, while the SoundLink Color II sounds great, you should note that it’s not entirely waterproof. It’ll survive splashes and rain, but you don’t want to drop it in the bath.
The UE Roll 2 offers a unique disk form factor that’s perfect for taking to the pool. The speaker comes with its own float, which lets you listen to and control your tunes in the pool, something no other speaker on this list can do. It might not sound quite as good as the UE Wonderboom, as it’s lacking in the bass department, but it’s still a solid sounding speaker. If you don’t care about the form factor and float, however, the UE Wonderboom is the better buy.
The Fugoo Go is a unique Bluetooth speaker that comes with a built-in bungee cord, like the UE Roll 2, to help you mount it to different things. The Go can also pair with another Go speaker to play in stereo, something that other speakers on this list can’t do. Sure, UE allows you to pair up multiple speakers for more volume, but you won’t get true stereo playback. While we recommend the Fugoo Style for its class-leading battery life and excellent sound, the Fugoo Go is a good alternative for a lower price.
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the UE Roll 2