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Blasting music from your car radio is fine, but to really turn up your tunes at your next tailgate, you’ll want to pick up a portable Bluetooth speaker. Whether you’re partying before a big game, hanging by the pool, going camping or just enjoying an afternoon in the backyard, the best wireless speakers on our list will get you hours of music playback in small, rugged units designed for the great outdoors.
What Are the Best Portable Outdoor Speakers?
The best portable outdoor speakers let you take your music outside, without taking up too much room in your bag — or taking up too much space at your outdoor setup. Here’s what else to keep in mind when shopping for the best portable outdoor speakers online.
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Materials: Unlike traditional at-home speakers, which often favor style over function, the best portable outdoor speakers are made to be carried around and put to use, with durable materials that can hold up to accidental dings and drops. Look for weather-proof materials too (more on that later) so you can take these mini outdoor speakers camping, to the lake or by the pool without worry.
Weight: They’re lightweight enough to be carried around from place to place, and small enough to be tucked into a backpack or tote. Some of the small outdoor speakers on our list are even tiny enough to fit into your jacket pocket.
Waterproofing: All of the models on our list are also water-resistant, and in some cases, fully waterproof, meaning they can be (accidentally) dropped in water without damaging the equipment. The best portable outdoor speakers should be dust-proof and shock-proof too. Keep in mind, the waterproofing varies depending on each speaker; some can withstand accidental sprays of water or light rain, but aren’t designed to work in a downpour.
Connectivity: Outdoor speakers also can’t be beat when it comes to convenience. Since they don’t need to be plugged in, you’re freed from getting tangled in messy cables, and you can place the speakers wherever is most convenient. In other words: no need to stay close to an outlet anymore. The best portable speakers for the outdoors should also get you long battery life (think 8+ hours to at least get you through the day), so you can keep the tunes going without needing to recharge all the time. While some of the models on our list deliver up to 30 hours of playback time, keep in mind that the louder you blast your music, the more battery power it will require.
Audio Quality: Of course, no set of portable speakers is worth its (light) weight if it can’t deliver on audio quality. We’ve rounded up some popular models online, that boast clean, crisp sound with surprisingly powerful bass and discernible mids and highs. They’re loud enough to soundtrack your own space too, whether you’re lounging by the pool or spread out across a campsite.
1. Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speakers
Bose is known for their reliable sound quality, and this portable speaker delivers loud, full-range sound in a tiny package.
Built for the outdoors, this wireless speaker is no bigger than a gift box and gets you up to eight hours of playtime on a single charge. A grippy silicone shell makes it easy to pick up and go, while the rugged, water-resistant casing is splash-proof and drop-proof so it holds up to even the most aggressive of parties — or partiers.
The built-in mic picks up your voice easily; use the SoundLink as a speakerphone for calls, or pair it with your digital assistants (I.e. Siri) to read your texts, check the weather and control your tunes.
Voice prompts talk you through Bluetooth pairing (“Now connecting to Jane’s iPhone”). It’s an easy and fuss-free way to get set up right away.
2. JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
We like the JBL Charge 3, which gets you a high-powered wireless speaker and charging bank in one unit.
Unlike some of the other models on our list, the Charge 3 is IPX7-rated, meaning it’s fully waterproof, and can be submerged in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes without damage.
Battery life is super strong, with up to 20 hours of playback on a single charge. You can also charge your phones and tablets by plugging into the speaker’s USB output.
What we like: you can pair up to three devices with the speaker at once, letting you take turns playing DJ for your party.
Throwing a larger event or have a big space to cover? Use the JBL Connect app and pair multiple enabled speakers together for a surround sound-like experience.
3. OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speaker
If you want a pair of speakers that’ll last all day, and hold up to the unpredictable weather conditions, you could do worse than this affordable unit from Massachusetts-based Cambridge SoundWorks.
The company says the OontZ delivers a 100-foot wireless Bluetooth range, which means it’ll pair easily with your device, no matter where you are in the room. The larger battery gets up to 14 hours of playtime on a single charge. Re-charge using the included micro-USB charging cable.
Cambridge SoundWorks says the speaker’s unique triangular design expands the sound stage, making for brighter, wider sound.
Weighing less than 10 ounces and no wider than an iPhone, this is the lightest option on our list.
4. AOMAIS GO Bluetooth Speakers
With a long-lasting battery, durable construction and an IPX7 waterproof rating, this rough and tumble portable speaker is ready for anything.
AOMAIS (pronounced “oh my”) says the speakers deliver up to 30 hours of playback time when running at 50% volume. Sound quality is clear and consistent – no distortion here. All lows, mids and highs are clearly rendered.
The unit’s plastic shell seals out water (even immersed in 30+ feet of water for up to half an hour) and it wipes down easily, making the AOMAIS Go great for hiking, the beach, camping, poolside, or backyard use. Use the AOMAIS Go as a backup power supply too, and plug in to charge your phones and tablets while you’re out and about.
This set includes the AOMAIS Go Bluetooth 4.2 speaker, a micro USB charging cable, AUX cable, and instruction manual.
5. Tribit StormBox Pro
There’s a lot to love about this portable outdoor speaker from Tribit, which delivers a 360-degree sound experience thanks to its unique rounded shape and the addition of three drivers, two passive radiators, and a booming built-in “XBass” feature. We tested this out in our backyard and were able to hear the music even from the other side of the yard. Audio isn’t muddled or murky either, making this great to keep the soundtrack going for a pool day or beach day.
The StormBox Pro is rated IP67 for waterproofing, which means it can be accidentally submerged for up to 30 minutes in up to three feet of water without worry. It’s snow-proof and dust-proof too, for ski trips to the cabin or to Burning Man in the desert.
With a whopping 10,000mAh battery, the Tribit StormBox Pro delivers up to 24 hours of playtime. Have other devices on you? Plug them into the speakers to charge up on the go.
Get easy pairing with Bluetooth 5.0, with ultra low latency and connectivity from up to 100 feet. The easy-carry handle make it a cinch to take this portable speaker with you on the go. The Tribit StormBox Pro is your perfect partner to soundtrack your next outdoor party, camping trip or getaway.
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