Best waterproof speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers you can buy in 2022.
Love music, love spending time outdoors? You need a speaker built to withstand the elements. You don't need to be a regular reader of What Hi-Fi? to know that generally, electronics and water don't mix. But some Bluetooth speakers are special.
Snag a waterproof speaker and you'll soon see that the two mix like gin and tonic. These little beauties are built to withstand being splashed by water or sometimes even submerged for several minutes without malfunction. So if you want a rugged speaker that won't break at the sight of water or dust ingress, and that sounds good too, you're in the right place.
How to choose a waterproof speaker
Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
A true waterproof rating should be on your checklist of things to consider when choosing a waterproof speaker. The most common rating used in consumer electronics is the IP (Ingress Protection) standard, with ratings written as "IP" followed by two numbers – the first represents dust resilience, the second represents water resistance.
Some models are only splashproof, rated IPX4. (The 'X' means the product wasn't tested for resilience against that particular issue; in this case dust ingress.) But one of the most common specifications is IPX7, meaning that waterproof speaker is safe to immerse in water up to 1m deep for up to 30 minutes.
IP67 and even IP68 are now increasingly popular too across newer models. IP68 means the speaker should survive at a depth of 1.5m for 30 minutes and it's dust-proof, too.
While Bluetooth is pretty much a must, wi-fi connectivity is less important when it comes to a waterproof speaker. Still, it's a great addition if you'll be using your speaker at home too and want to integrate it with your smart home set-up (using Amazon Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant).
Decent battery life is also a key consideration – nothing spoils a long hike or away day like a flat battery. Whether you want a budget buy or a much pricier and more capable model, there's bound to be something below for you...
It’s hard to imagine a home decor, backpack or personal taste that the Tribit Audio Stormbox Micro couldn’t merge in with happily. It's the size of a stack of drinks coasters, it's IP67 rated, there's a useful rubberised strap across the back of it and you can pair two of them in stereo mode.
You'll be pleasantly surprised by the bass clout the Tribit is able to deliver. Although a speaker of such dimensions is obviously limited in terms of bass weight, it does remarkably well; close your eyes while listening and you’ll picture a bigger product.
If your budget maxes out at £50 ($60), the Tribit is a splendid option. Similarly, if you only have a small zip compartment in the top of your backpack for a sonic travel companion, this speaker is worthy of that space. Take note, Ultimate Ears: a little-known brand called Tribit Audio has produced a budget belter of a Bluetooth speaker.
Read the full review: Tribit Audio Stormbox Micro
Given that the Flip 5 is a past What Hi-Fi? Award winner, it will come as little surprise to learn that the Flip 6 is another resoundingly five-star product. We might have thought we’d be advising JBL to rework the Flip by now – add a few more features, change it up a bit to keep up with the competition – but instead, we are left praising the sonic chops of a proposition that now offers extra durability (it is now IP67 water- and dust-proof, over the waterproof-only IPX7 Flip 5), plus an extra ounce of space within its trademark zealous and musical presentation. Yes, it's still 'just' a Bluetooth speaker – but what a great-sounding waterproof Bluetooth speaker it is.
If you want more from the midrange and less from the treble, say, you can now tweak it thanks to a new EQ feature in the app, which adds significant value. For a nominal price hike over the launch price of the Flip 5, there’s certainly more detail here, too.
Read the full review: JBL Flip 6
The JBL Charge 5 is even more durable and better sounding than the four Charges that have been before it. Its predecessor carried an IPX7 rating, meaning it could handle being submerged in water to a depth of 1.5m, but the IP67-rated Charge 5 builds on that durability by also being fully dustproof. Want a speaker roughly the dimensions of a bottle of wine that'll charge your phone and sound great? You've found it – and it's a What Hi-Fi? 2021 Award-winner.
Thanks in part to a new 10W tweeter and racetrack-shaped driver, the Charge 5 is currently as good a sound as you can get in a portable Bluetooth speaker design for under £200 ($200, AU$300). It boasts marginal improvements, both sonically and aesthetically, over its predecessors.
One day JBL may produce a Charge that can be outdone by a new and plucky rival, but rest assured, that has not happened with the rather splendid Charge 5.
Read the full review: JBL Charge 5
The JBL Xtreme 3 is a versatile, talented wireless speaker that’s as happy chilling at home as it is being the life and soul of a party. Yes, it's rugged, it's IP67 dust- and waterproof certified and you’d be forgiven for thinking at first glance that it might be more preoccupied with the amount of bass it’s producing rather than musical quality. But let us reassure you: the JBL Xtreme 3 proves to be a careful and considerate performer from the lowest of lows to the highest highs.
Bassheads should be more than satisfied with the healthy low-end clout on offer, but there’s quality as well as quantity. The JBL Xtreme 3 gained five stars across the board during our rigorous in-house testing, never appearing out of its depth no matter how complicated the musical arrangement.
Read the full review: JBL Xtreme 3
You'll find no fewer than five JBL portable waterproof speakers in this list, all of them boasting great features. Take the company's Charge 4, for example: it's slightly older, but you'll still get a whopping 20 hours of playback from this little five-star performer – and because it has recently been superseded by a newer model, deals will undoubtedly start appearing.
The fact that we really like the JBL Charge 4 should come as no surprise to those who read our Charge 3 review – or our five-star verdict on the newest Charge 5 (above). JBL has fine-tuned the sound in this latest iteration to please even pickier ears and battery capacity has increased. We can’t reasonably ask for any more at this price – especially since it has now been reduced thanks to the release of the Charge 5 (above). Obviously there's a limit to the bass floor in a speaker of this size, but the low-end is tasteful – and there's still plenty of punch.
Read the full review: JBL Charge 4
If you want a compact yet extremely capable Bluetooth speaker, look no further than Ultimate Ears' Wonderboom 2. The 13 hours of battery life should keep you going into the early hours, while the IP67 rating means it'll survive a bit of dunking.
What's most impressive is the sound that this diminutive speaker manages to serve up. It's attacking, enthusiastic, and there's an impressive amount of bass too. For the money, this portable package is tough to beat.
Read the full review: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
Thought waterproof speakers were a little... basic? Think again. This one boasts Amazon's Alexa smart assistant, so you can use it to control your smart home appliances, change radio station, read you the news and all that jazz.
There's also an optional charging stand (which costs extra) for juicing it up wirelessly from a plug socket. Its 360-degree design fills rooms with sound, too – or poolsides, or beaches, or where you choose to use it. A great option if you can spend a little more.
Read the full review: Ultimate Ears Blast
If all you want is a portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker that sounds as good as £100 can currently buy, you’ll be hard-pressed to better the Flip 5. Truly, JBL’s newest Flip offering sounds great for the price. If you don’t mind the lack of aux-in port or inbuilt microphone (as seen in the Flip 4) or the inability to partner it with older JBL speakers (the PartyBoost function is not backwards compatible with Connect+ enabled speakers, like the JBL Charge 4), it’s an excellent proposition for the money.
It may be low on added extras, but the Flip 5 gets away with it. Once you're actually listening to it, JBL's latest Flip easily betters the competition at the price – even the award-winner. The solid sonic chops JBL has managed to deliver at this level simply cannot be denied.
Read the full review: JBL Flip 5
Like the Wonderboom, this speaker floats in the pool, so can bob along entertaining you while you smash out a few lengths. The button on top is surprisingly versatile – it can skip tracks, play and pause, and even summon a playlist – and you can pair hundreds of the blighters to create quite a din.
The sound is as fun as ever, highly enthusiastic while never being in danger of losing control. The bass is deeper than previous generations too. Definitely worth a look.
Read the full review: Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3
The diminutive, soap on a rope-styled Go 3 features Bluetooth 5.1 instead of 4.1 plus a maximum power output of 4.2W, up from 3W in the Go 2 (which we also liked) and now, an IP67 water- and dust-proof rating. The one specification that hasn’t changed is the Go 3's stamina. It takes 2.5 hours to charge fully, and you can still only get five hours of playtime from it from a single charge.
If you can live with this, there's much to celebrate in the sound department at the level. The extra power and overhauled design have resulted in some solid sonic enhancements, and aesthetically it's perhaps even cuter than the original. We gave this iteration five stars for sound. Will five hours get you through a day at the beach or a lazy picnic in the park though? Probably best to take a wireless charger.
Read the full review: JBL Go 3
How we test waterproof speakers
We review hundreds of products every year at What Hi-Fi?'s state-of-the-art testing facilities in London, Reading and Bath, including all kinds of Bluetooth speakers. We test all products that come through our doors as a team of experts with over a century of combined experience, ensuring no expert opinion ever goes unheard.
Every Bluetooth speaker is judged on a performance-per-pound basis, and we make sure to compare speakers with similarly-priced class leaders to help ensure we get a good sense of a speaker's performance as well as help us to settle on a score.
Outside of evaluating the audio performance of every waterproof speaker, we also test features like battery life, Bluetooth connection strength, ease of use and set-up, among other things – including whether it's as rugged as it is claimed to be. It's important we get a full sense of both a product's practicality as well as its performance to gauge its overall value.
As a matter of course, there's no input from PR companies or sales teams when it comes to reviews, with What Hi-Fi? enjoying a sterling, decades-long reputation for delivering unbiased, honest feedback.
See our best budget Bluetooth speakers
Check out 25 of the best tracks for testing bass
Read up on the best wireless headphones