Best Waterproof BlueTooth Speaker for 2017 – Audio, Untethered
A Waterproof BlueTooth speaker is compact, provides great sound, and can play audio right from your smartphone or tablet, without any tethers or hookups whatsoever. With recent developments in both BlueTooth and audio technology, walking around with a giant boombox a la Do the Right Thing has never been more of a thing of the past. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone with a full-on home stereo set-up these days.
There’s also a large category of these speakers that are either highly water resistant or totally waterproof. It’s a feature that’s immensely helpful for when you’re listening in the shower, rocking out in the outdoors, or enjoying tunes when you and your friends imbibe a bit too much and get sloppy with where you put your cocktails.
If you’re in the market for waterproof BlueTooth speakers or a BlueTooth shower speaker, you’ve got a lot of options; there are choices to fit any budget. Here are ten of our favourites in this category, from least expensive to most expensive.
1. TDK Life on Record TREK Max A34
TDK’s A34 is a mid-size waterproof bluetooth speaker, at about two and a half pounds, but its sound quality is much bigger: clean, with a treble that’s good, a bass that’s better, no detectable distortion. This is all thanks to two front full-range drivers plus a subwoofer for the low end.
There are full music controls — that’s play, pause, and track forward and back — right on the speaker, which means you don’t have to keep digging your phone out to get to the song you want. The A34 also has speakerphone capability, so you can answer any incoming calls right on it.
As for waterproofness, the A34 is highly water resistant; it can withstand any splashing, dirt, or sand, but maybe don’t chuck it in the pool just for kicks. It charges with a standard AC adapter rather than a USB cable, but it does have a USB port to charge your phone, as well as an audio input port. Total battery life is around eight hours.
The A34 is ideal for the beach or for camping, as it’s a solid outdoor speaker. It won’t win any design awards for its simple black aesthetic, but it looks nice enough. And of course, the price is right: at around £70, it’s the least expensive waterproof BlueTooth speaker on our list, and it’s a good device for the price.Buy on Amazon
2. Skullcandy Air Raid Bluetooth Shower Speaker
This industrial looking waterproof bluetooth speaker from the cool and popular brand Skullcandy boasts that it’s the loudest BlueTooth speaker of its size (which, for the record, is 6.4 x 18.4 x 8.9 centimetres and 816g). In fact, Skullcandy promotes it with the #stayloud hashtag. As for the actual sound quality, its two 50mm drivers will do your favourite tunes justice, and it pumps out audio in 360 degrees.
Volume and track controls are right on the speaker, and BlueTooth pairing is easy and is confirmed via a robotic voice. Aesthetically, this is a rugged device with military-inspired looks and reinforced edges; you can drop it without worry (as long as it’s not off a five story building or anything like that), and it’s also highly water resistant.
You can expect up to 14 hours of battery life from the Air Raid, which is impressive, and you’ll get an audio reminder when it’s time to recharge or go without music. Charging is done via micro USB, though there’s also a wall adapter. For the budget friendly price of £79.99, you get a waterproof bluetooth speaker with extreme durability and high quality audio.
3. JBL Flip 3 Waterproof BlueTooth Speaker
This is the third iteration of JBL’s Flip series of the funky, capsule-like waterproof BlueTooth speaker. It can be situated vertically or horizontally, though it should be noted that when the Flip 3 is resting vertically, one of its bass reflexes is covered. If you want a big bass sound, keep it horizontal.
Speaking of bass, it’s pretty good for a speaker of this size, and the overall sound quality, while not mind blowing, is more than acceptable. It also has speakerphone functionality with both noise and echo cancellation, so your conference calls will sound crisp on both ends. Another helpful feature on the Flip 3 is its proprietary JBL Connect technology, which allows you to link several JBL speakers together wirelessly for an even bigger sound that covers a wider area.
The Flip 3 is durable and highly splashproof. JBL even insists that you can clean it with running water as long as the flap covering the audio input and charging ports is closed, though they do caution users against immersing it in water. The battery life is around ten hours, and if you’re picky about colour, you’re in luck: the Flip 3 comes in seven. You can find this neat little pill shaped waterproof bluetooth speaker for around £80.
4. Scosche boomBOTTLE H2O
This rounded, upfiring speaker yields 360 degree sound with a clean timbre and a full bass. Given the compact size of the boomBOTTLE H2O, it actually sounds great. What’s more, it’s about the same diameter as a water bottle and much more squat, so it even fits in your bike’s bottle cage so you can listen to music while cycling (but without compromising your safety by sticking earbuds in your ears).
As for on-speaker controls, there are buttons for power and volume only. Additionally, the creatively capitalised boomBOTTLE H2O is totally waterproof and dustproof, and it carries an IP67 rating. This means that it can be submerged in one metre of water for 30 minutes with no damage whatsoever. That is, as long as the audio input and USB charging ports are completely sealed; if they’re not, then all bets are off. Oh, and if you drop your boomBOTTLE H2O in the pool, no worries — it floats.
This is an ideal outdoor waterproof bluetooth speaker as well as a good choice for shower listening. It boasts an 11 hour battery life and comes in four colours. The retail price on this one is £89, though it can usually be found for even less at popular internet retailers.
Additional Reading: Scosche Rhythm Plus Review: Heart (Rate) on Your Sleeve
5. Sharkk 2O
If you can forgive the extra “k” in the name, the Sharkk 2O provides excellent sound quality with a full range of tones. It contains the full array of buttons (play, pause, skip, and volume), it can work via either BlueTooth or NFC, and it has an impressive 60 foot range. What’s more, you can use the Sharkk 2O to make and take hands-free calls.
One thing the Sharkk 2O has that most other waterproof BlueTooth speakers lack is a microSD card slot; this allows you to play music without having to have your phone nearby (or without running down your phone’s battery because the BlueTooth is running).
As for the looks department, the rubberised exterior of the Sharkk 2O has a rugged, almost military aesthetic. It’s also rated IP-67, so it can get wet and muddy without any loss of functionality. Battery life is a respectable ten hours — a bit less if you play it extra loud — and there are indicator lights on the side to let you know how much juice you have left.
The Sharkk 2O retails for £89.99, though it can almost always be found for less if you hunt around a little.
6. Pyle Splash Sound Box
The bass response is the standout of the Sound Box’s audio, though the overall sound is quite nice, with decent mids and highs. However, the speaker’s look suggests that the sound is 360 degrees, but that’s not the case here; audio comes out of just one side of this device.
The rugged, marine-grade exterior of the Sound Box is shock proof, and it’s got an IPX4 rating. This means that it’s totally splash proof (hence the word “splash” in its name) and can handle the rain, but it’s absolutely not immersible.
The Sound Box has volume controls and track skip buttons on its exterior, but that’s about it for functionality. The six hour battery life is adequate, though not great, and while it charges via micro USB cable, there’s no cable included in the box. That’s not a big deal — you probably already have one, and not including one may help to keep the speaker’s cost down — but it is a consideration. This device retails for £90, though it can be found at many retailers for about 30% less.
7. Braven BRV-Pro
This rugged waterproof BlueTooth speaker is so small that it fits in your hand, but don’t let the size fool you. The sound quality on the Braven BRV-Pro is great, with crisp treble and warm bass. There are no speakerphone capabilities and no skip track buttons, but the one has a bigger selling point, and it’s this: up to 30 hours of battery life!
The Braven BRV-Pro is covered with aircraft grade aluminium, so it’s pretty rugged. With a rating of IP-X7, it can be in a metre of water for a half hour without any damage. There are battery indicator lights, an audio input port, and even a USB port to charge your phone. It’s ideal for the outdoors, though if you want to use it to listen to podcasts in the shower, it will do nicely. At £129.99, it’s a bit expensive for it’s simplistic functionality, but again: 30 hours of playback.
8. Logitech UE Boom 2
The UE in the name stands for “ultimate ears,” and “boom” is self-explanatory. True to its name, then, the sound quality on the Logitech UE Boom 2 is excellent, with a full range of tones that includes good highs and full lows. It’s also speaker that’s nice and loud, though if you play it at top volume, you may start to detect a hint of distortion on the edges of the sound spectrum.
The UE Boom 2 provides 360 degree sound from its rounded capsule design that’s more durable than it looks. It has both BlueTooth and NFC capabilities, and you can even set up gesture controls through its proprietary app, such as tap to pause. If you want to cover a wide area with sound, the UE Boom 2 can pair with other UE speakers (as many as 10) to expand the sound.
It’s got an IPX7 rating, so it’s fully waterproof and shockproof. The battery life is around 15 hours for moderate volume; play it louder, and you’ll need to recharge sooner. The UE Boom 2 comes in six colours, and while it retails for £169.99, it can often be found for around £120.
9. Fugoo Sport
The name itself is super fun to say, though the Fugoo Sport calls itself the ultimate sports speaker. That title feels accurate, with its speakers on all four sides for 360 degree sound and its excellent audio quality thanks to six sound drivers that provide clear treble and deep bass.
Not only does the Fugoo Sport work as a speakerphone when paired with your smartphone, but it also has integrated voice control. That means you can quickly and easily call up the digital personal assistant of your choice (Siri or Google Now) and start asking questions.
The Fugoo Sport is durable and reinforced, and all of its components are shock mounted; there’s no need to worry if it’s dropped or kicked or anything like that. It also has an IP67 rating, which means it’s dustproof, dirtproof, and waterproof up to one metre. The big appeal of this device, however, is its 40 hour battery life. You read that right — 40 hours. That’s at 50% volume and not at full blast, but it’s still an impressive length of time.
Its ruggedness and durability make the Fugoo Sport best for outdoor adventures. In fact, you can even buy a variety of mounts and carabiners to use with it. At £160, this is one of the more expensive waterproof BlueTooth speakers out there, but the outstanding sound quality and long battery life in an essentially indestructible package may make it worthwhile.
10. Drifter Action Speaker
We’ve arrived at the cream of the crop, the Cadillac, the top of the line waterproof BlueTooth speaker, and boy is it a nice one. The Drifter Action Speaker is expensive, retailing for $299.95 USD (about £225), but before you balk at the price, we should tell you everything it does. It’s no ordinary speaker.
Billed as the world’s first smart speaker, what makes the Drifter so remarkable is that you don’t really need a phone connected to it to play music or anything else. In fact, it has its own touchscreen display and its own Android-like OS that can run just about any app on the Google Play store (yes, including Netflix). There’s a built-in 16GB hard drive for storing music files, and it can connect via BlueTooth and wifi to services like Spotify or Pandora or to your phone.
Oh, and the Drifter isn’t just a speaker — there’s a built in video camera as well. And, the Drifter works with GoPro mounts, making it not just a really nice speaker, but a combination speaker and sports camera. That sort of helps to justify the price, doesn’t it?
The Drifter is waterproof, with a rating of IP-X7, it floats, and it’s rugged enough to withstand just about any weather conditions. And, it’s small, and not quite six inches long, and lightweight. Again, this one is a serious purchase and an investment in your outdoor audio experience; it’s definitely more of a sophisticated piece of equipment rather than a simple waterproof BlueTooth speaker.
What’s Your Pick?
When it comes to shower speakers or a waterproof BlueTooth speaker, there are lots of choices at a wide variety of price points. We’ve given you our ten favourites, but do you like one that’s not on our list? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!