Best waterproof speakers 2024: all types tested for every budget

Best waterproof speakers: quick menu

If you love music and spending time outdoors, you need a speaker built to withstand the elements. Generally, water and electronics rarely mix, especially if the IP rating isn't up to scratch – waterproof speakers, however, are a completely different breed.

Get hold of a proper waterproof speaker and you'll soon see that the best models are built to withstand being splashed or sometimes even submerged in water for several minutes without malfunction. Still, it's not an experiment we'd recommend unless you're sure of your hardware's integrity, especially if you don't want to end up with a fizzing speaker and a pond full of dead fish. 

If you need a rugged portable Bluetooth speaker that won't break at the sight of water or dust without compromising on sound, you're in the right place. We've tested every speaker in this list in our dedicated listening rooms, as well as taken them out on our travels to test their durability, exposing them to the harsh, drizzly realities of the British climate so that you can be sure your next speaker purchase serves you well the next time you're heading out.

Every single product has been tested by our team of expert reviewers both in the real world and in our dedicated test rooms to ensure they're truly put through their paces. Find out more about our testing process here or keep scrolling to see our pick of the best waterproof speakers available.

The quick list

Written by
Harry McKerrell headshot
Written by
Harry McKerrell

I'm a staff writer who has listened to and reviewed dozens of products - from Bluetooth speakers to wireless headphones - during my time at What Hi-Fi?. A lover of the great outdoors, there's nothing I like more than picking up a portable speaker and heading on a long run, a hockey field or just a rainy garden to test its waterproofing credentials. When it comes to choosing the best waterproof speakers, I focus on the IPXX rating (i.e. how much water it will withstand), the durability of the build and finish, battery life, as well as the all-important sound quality for the price.

Best waterproof speaker overall

Bluetooth speaker: JBL Charge 5 in red charging phone

Not only can the Charge 5 handle submersion in water up to a 1.5m depth, it also sounds excellent to boot. (Image credit: JBL)
What Hi-Fi? Awards winner. Updated specs and subtle tweaks make JBL’s fifth-generation Charge ever better than before.

Specifications

Battery life: 20 hours
Waterproof rating: IP67
Power: 40W
Connections: USB-C, USB-A, Bluetooth 5.1
Dimensions (hwd): 22 x 9.6 x 9.4cm

Reasons to buy

+
Clear, detailed sound
+
Wide soundstage
+
Superbly made and very durable

Reasons to avoid

-
More affordable JBL models are available
-
Chunkier unit than the slimmer Flip 6

Bluetooth speakers come in all shapes and sizes, yet we can't think of many that offer the sort of value and reliability as the JBL Charge 5. We hope a new Charge model will come along soon, but for now, we're convinced that this is one of the absolute best performers around. Those multiple What Hi-Fi? Awards don't lie, after all. 

The JBL Charge 5 rocked our world by showing itself to be even more durable and better sounding than the four Charge models 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 almost completely dustproof. Like almost everything JBL makes, it's so reassuringly solid and well-made that you'd be forgiven for thinking that the fifth-gen Charge could survive a nuclear fallout. For all we know, it could. 

Thanks in part to a 10W tweeter and racetrack-shaped driver, the Charge 5 provides as good a sound as you can currently get in a portable Bluetooth speaker design for around £200 ($200, AU$300), as well as boasting sonic and aesthetic improvements over its predecessors. 

We're keen to see what JBL comes up with for the upcoming Charge 6 – for the time being though, our current What Hi-Fi? Award-winner remains king of the castle.

Read our full JBL Charge 5 review

Best portable waterproof speaker

JBL Flip 6

The JBL Flip 6 sounds great, will last a long time, and you can bring it with you just about anywhere. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
JBL's talented, affordable Flip 6 is hardy enough to survive almost anything you throw at it.

Specifications

Battery life: 12 hours
Waterproof rating: IP67
Power : 30W
Connections: USB-C, Bluetooth 5.1
Dimensions (hwd): 17.8 x 6.8 x 7.2cm

Reasons to buy

+
Offers clarity and sonic precision
+
Punchy bass for size
+
Useful equaliser feature

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be critical of recording and source quality

JBL's love of rugged, dependable hardware is reflected in its great portable speakers range, making it practically synonymous with the entire concept of hardwearing outdoorsy audio. The Flip 6, happily, is a JBL speaker through and through.

The old Flip 5 was a past What Hi-Fi? Award winner, a trick that JBL has more or less repeated with the five-star sequel. The Flip 6 doesn't exactly change much from its predecessor, and rumours of an upcoming seventh-generation model might threaten its primacy in the near future, but for now, this really is one of the finest speakers of its type and price anywhere in the world.

It's super durable, too, with an IP67 water and dustproof rating seeing the Flip 6 match the durability of the excellent Tribit Stormbox above. Not only can you get the Flip 6 wet at the beach, but you can also afford to allow quite a bit of sand to get near it as well. 

Yes, it's still 'just' a Bluetooth speaker – but what a great-sounding Bluetooth speaker it is.  If you want to boost the sound presentation to your liking, you can now tweak things thanks to a new EQ feature in the app. For a nominal price hike over the launch price of the Flip 5, there’s certainly more detail here, too, while that improved IP rating offers peace of mind when you're hitting the road.

In terms of overall performance, the Flip 6 remains a firm recommendation, and while a Flip 7 is surely in the pipeline, this burrito-sizes beauty is still very tough to beat.

Read our full JBL Flip 6 review

Best budget waterproof speaker

Wireless speaker: Tribit Stormbox Micro 2

The budget Micro 2 is a plucky little speaker that can handle the elements, and your music catalogue, like a pro. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
An IP67 rating and a rugged designed make this affordable speaker a fine choice.

Specifications

Battery life: 12 hours
Waterproof rating: IP67
Power: 10W
Connections: USB-C, Bluetooth 5.3
Dimensions (hwd): 9.8 x 9.8 x 4.29cm

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive sound for the size
+
Surprisingly weighty bass
+
Plenty of extra features

Reasons to avoid

-
Unwieldy at higher volumes 
-
Rivals offer bigger sound

If what you want from your ideal outdoor speaker is portability, affordability and water resistance, the consistently impressive Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 is up there with the best. A small, satchel-friendly Bluetooth speaker that's one of the cheapest options on this list, the Micro 2 still delivers a surprising amount of sonic wallop.

Admittedly, it doesn't harness the 360-degree sound design of many of its rivals such as the JBL Flip 6 or the Charge 5 (see below), but we found it is one of the best value options if you’re on a tight budget. It sounds good, it's well-made and it performs time and again regardless of place, climate or your taste in music. 

With a robust woven finish design and squat, compact design, the Micro 2 delivers enjoyable audio and impressive battery life – we coaxed 12 hours of listening out of a single charge. An IP67 rating, meanwhile, let one of our reviewers use it in the shower without any issues or damage. Again, the Stormbox Micro 2's diminutive size and durable design make it well-suited for travelling far beyond the confines of a bathroom or kitchen.

Audio is also really strong, and much bigger, punchier and louder than you’d expect from such an undersized device, with that midrange in particular offering real meat and muscle no matter the genre. The only issue is that it can start to suffer from distortion at louder volumes, but based on our head-to-head tests, you’ll have to pay more and invest in either a more expensive JBL Flip 6 or UE Wonderboom 3 to move up to the next level. 

Read our full Tribit Audio Stormbox Micro 2 review

Best mid-price waterproof speaker

BanBang and Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd gen

The compact, portable and superbly made Beosound A1 combines deft design with supremely impressive sound. (Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)
Want a premium waterproof speaker? The IP67-rated Beosound is a stylish, high-end triumph

Specifications

Battery life: 18 hours
Waterproof rating: IP67
Power : 60W
Connections: USB-C (charge), Bluetooth 5.1 (with aptX Adaptive)
Dimensions (hwd): 4.6 x 13.3 x 13.3cm

Reasons to buy

+
Broad, expansive sound 
+
Weighty, full bass
+
Stunning build and finish
+
Alexa voice control

Reasons to avoid

-
Far from the cheapest speaker on this list
-
Almost too nice to get wet and dirty 

There's nothing better than seeing style and substance come together, and that's exactly what you're getting with the rather wonderful Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen). It looks the part, it sounds the part, and by Jove, it's built to last, too.

Yes, most of B&O's range looks more at home in an art gallery than stuck on the side of Skegness beach, meaning you'd be forgiven for thinking that a go-anywhere bit of Bang tech would be a little like having a portable version of Rodin's The Thinker stuffed in your backpack.  Happily, the Beosound A1 is tougher than its delicate looks would suggest, and the A1's IP67 rating should mean that it's happy being subjected to a 30-minute swim up to a metre deep. 

Quoted battery life is also a solid 18 hours at normal listening volume, or up to 48 hours at a more conservative level, so running out of juice halfway through your camping trip shouldn't be too much of a concern.

The A1 supports Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive Bluetooth 5.1 codec as well as Alexa voice control, which is a bonux. Sound performance is authoritative and expansive with a weighty, pleasing bass presentation, and there's even a convenient strap for ease of transport. 

It's expensive, sure, but if you have money to spend, the Beosound A1 is a rather remarkable all-rounder.  

Read our full Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) review 

Best premium waterproof speaker

JBL Xtreme 3 outside on a paved surface

JBL's Xtreme 3 is built for "xtreme" conditions, but it's also got impressive detail and a strong sense of timing. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
JBL’s wireless outdoorsman may be rugged, but that doesn't mean it can't deliver high quality audio.

Specifications

Battery life: 15 hours
Waterproof rating: IP67
Power: 100W
Connections: 3.5mm input, USB-C, USB-A out, Bluetooth 5.1
Dimensions (hwd): 13.9 x 29.8 x 13.4cm

Reasons to buy

+
Rugged build
+
Impressive detail and dynamics
+
Strong sense of timing

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the cheapest JBL on this list
-
Will be too bulky for some
-
Soon to be ousted by the upcoming Xtreme 4

If you want that classic combination of rugged durability housed within a bulky, boombox-style interior, you could do far worse than the JBL Xtreme 3. Anyone serious about outdoor pursuits and cranking the sound all the way up when the time comes should consider the Xtreme 3 above pretty much anything else on this list.  

The durable Xtreme 3 is yet another classic JBL outdoorsman, a versatile, talented five-star wireless speaker that’s as happy chilling at home as it is being the life and soul of a sweaty student party. As rugged as the rest of its stablemates, it's IP67 dust and waterproof-certified, making it perfect for getting its (metaphorical) hands dirty in the great outdoors. 

You might be forgiven for thinking that, given the bulky construction, the Xtreme 3 might be more preoccupied with the amount of bass it’s producing rather than focusing on musical quality. Happily, the Xtreme 3 proves to be a careful and considerate performer from the lowest of lows to the highest highs, giving impressive detail, dynamics and a strong sense of timing.

Bassheads will be more than satisfied with the healthy low-end clout on offer, but there’s quality as well as quantity on display – this is a speaker that never feels out of its depth no matter how complicated the musical arrangement. 

We know for certain that a new Xtreme 4 is on the way soon, complete with Auracast and some fancy AI sound calibration tech, which means one, maybe two things for the current model. Firstly, it might be ousted from this list rather soon and, second, its price might start to plummet as the fourth-gen model takes the reins. 

Read our full JBL Xtreme 3 review

Best multi-room waterproof speaker

Sonos Roam outdoor

The meaty sound of the Sonos Roam is great for, well, roaming the outdoors when you still want a full-bodied speaker. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
Sonos' well-made portable will be there for you wherever you Roam.

Specifications

Battery life: 10 hours
Waterproof rating: IP67
Power: 18W
Connections: USB-C, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth 5.0, wi-fi
Dimensions (hwd): 16.8 x 6.2 x 6cm

Reasons to buy

+
Well made design and finish
+
Heavy on features thanks to Sonos ecosystem
+
Full-bodied sound 

Reasons to avoid

-
Could do with finer clarity
-
So-so timing and dynamics 

The Sonos Roam is a strong candidate for those looking for an off-roading, hiking, beach-combing, deep-diving speaker with a slim design and a feature set to rival the best of them. Given Sonos’s recent run of superb-sounding products, one that we can drop in our backpack and take on a ramble has been highly anticipated – especially since the Move, the company’s first battery-powered speaker, was more portly than portable in comparison. 

Sonically, the Roam is an admirable effort, even if we can't help feeling that Sonos' diminutive portable swaps out truly detailed sound for a greater emphasis on usability, build quality and durability. That's not an entirely bad thing for an outdoors speaker, but the Roam's slight lack of crystal clear detail, coupled with some rather average timing and dynamics, means it can't take the crown from its JBL competitors.

However, it's a nicely portable design with a pleasing, full-bodied sound, and unusually for this type of speaker, it can connect to your home wi-fi (and thus get access to a host of music streaming platforms), making it suited to anyone wanting a speaker to slot into a well-developed Sonos ecosystem. Let's hope the sequel steps up its game in the sound department, because only then will JBL really be sweating.

Read our full Sonos Roam review

Best waterproof speaker for durability

Bluetooth speaker: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3

The dinky Wonderboom 3 has a much larger sound than you'd expect, and it's (almost) as waterproof as your best Wellingtons. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
An affordable, immensely likeable Bluetooth speaker with a weighty sound – and it floats.

Specifications

Battery life: 14 hours
Waterproof rating: IP67
Power : N/A
Connections: Micro USB (charging), Bluetooth 5.2
Dimensions (hwd): 10.4 x 9.53 x 9.53cm

Reasons to buy

+
Cohesive, enjoyable presentation
+
More dynamic, detailed sound
+
Excellent portable, waterproof design

Reasons to avoid

-
Still uses outdated micro USB
-
No built-in mic
-
Newer rivals have more nuanced, engaging sound

Check out most of Ultimate Ears' rather youth-oriented PR and marketing campaigns and you'll notice that water is a recurring theme. More specifically, UE makes a big deal out of the fact that most of its speakers, be they big, small or in between, are happy floating in water for minutes at a time without suffering any lasting damage whatsoever. 

Check that first requirement off the list early, then – the Wonderboom 3 is waterproof and dustproof thanks to its IP67 rating, and its float-ability means it should withstand the most lively of pool parties and outdoor adventures. Battery life, meanwhile, is 14 hours and a full charge takes around 2.6 hours on average, which is hardly shameful by any measure.

Sonically, the Wonderboom 3 is an exciting listen. Bass is impressive given its small form factor, and the sense of dynamics on display is similarly impressive. You also get a ‘boost’ button on the underside of the unit that's a rollover feature from the Wonderboom 2 that restricts the speaker's bass frequencies, allowing the UE to play louder through the midrange. This in turn makes the sound easier to hear when used outdoors, making it all the more attractive a speaker to bring with you on a trip.

There's no built-in mic or app as featured in the Wonderboom 2, but even so, the Wonderboom 3 is an eminently portable, great-sounding Bluetooth speaker that won't break the bank at its £90 / $100 retail price.

Read our full Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 review

Top Tip
Harry McKerrell headshot
Top Tip
Harry McKerrell

The Sonos Roam's four-star rating might be a little off-putting for some, but we need to qualify it with a few major caveats. First, it's a great speaker for integrating into your wider setup, so if you own other members of the Sonos family, it remains a fine pick. Second, a Roam 2 is on its way, with reports suggesting Summer 2024 for a potential release date. With that in mind, it might be worth holding out to see if the second-gen model can bag the full five stars, or else drag the price of the first Roam down to a more attractive figure.

Best micro waterproof speaker

Bluetooth speaker: JBL Go 3

JBL’s soap-sized speaker sounds good for little money, but we wish it had a longer battery life. (Image credit: JBL)
The smallest waterproof speaker on this list is ideal for tight budgets.

Specifications

Battery life: 5 hours
Waterproof rating: IP67
Power : 4.2W
Connections: USB-C, Bluetooth 5.1
Dimensions (hwd): 8.8 x 7.5 x 4.1cm

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonable treble 
+
Fuller bass than the Go 2 
+
Improved volume capacity

Reasons to avoid

-
Poor battery life 
-
No app support
-
Ultimately limited by small size

Anyone who looks at the Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 or the JBL Flip 6 and thinks, "hmm, they're nice, but a bit chunky for my tastes" should really consider the JBL Go 3 as more their sort of thing.

The diminutive, soap on a rope-styled Go 3 features Bluetooth 5.1 plus a maximum power output of 4.2W, up from Bluetooth 4.1 and 3W in the previous iteration. The dinky little speaker's main limitation is that it takes 2.5 hours to charge fully, and you can still only get a comparatively meagre five hours of playtime from a single charge, making battery life something of a limiting factor. 

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, so much so that we awarded the Go 3 full five stars in the sound department when we had it in for testing in early 2021.

It's also an aesthetically pleasing little fella, once again sporting an IP67 rating to give it that go-anywhere reliability. That probably makes it better suited to showers than long-range, weather-beaten excursions, though, and if you're planning a trip to the Andes, you might want to consider one of this list's bigger boys instead.

Read our full JBL Go 3 review

Also consider

  • JBL Charge 5 Wi-Fi: A superb spin-off from one of our favourite JBL speakers ever, the Charge 5 Wi-Fi adds wi-fi streaming and some extra musicality to the Charge 5's Award-winning formula. It's a tad more expensive than the basic model at around £200 / $200, so you'll have to pay more for AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect. Still, it's got the same durability as the standard Charge 5, making it a winner in our book.
  • Sonos Move 2: If you love Sonos and want something bigger than the Roam, try the Move 2. It's heftier than the Roam, but the Move 2 is made semi-portable thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity, built-in rear handle and solid build. That said, it's more the kind of speaker you'd take around the garden rather than much further afield.

How to choose the best waterproof speaker for you

A good waterproof rating should be high 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

Those models with a rating of IPX4, for instance, are only splashproof (the 'X' means the product wasn't tested for resilience against dust ingress.) But one of the most common specifications in newer models – in the speakers listed below – is IP67, meaning that particular speaker is safe to immerse in water up to 1m deep for up to 30 minutes and it's dust-proof, too. For a full explanation of the IP ratings and what they mean, check out our IP ratings explainer

While Bluetooth is pretty much a must for these portable designs, 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 can stretch to a much pricier and more capable model, there's bound to be something for you in our recommendations above.

How we test waterproof speakers

We review hundreds of products every year at What Hi-Fi?'s state-of-the-art testing facilities, including all kinds of Bluetooth speakers, and of course waterproof ones. 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. While we listen to all speakers in the test rooms, we also take waterproof speakers outside to test how durable they are against the rain, drizzle or even a dunk in the pool (or a sink or bath).

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 and context in the market as well as help us settle on a final verdict score.

Outside of evaluating the audio performance of every waterproof speaker, we also test features like battery life, water resistance, 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.

FAQ

How does a Bluetooth speaker work?

Bluetooth is a low-powered, short-range and low-bandwidth streaming protocol for connecting devices wirelessly. Bluetooth uses radio waves; like wi-fi but at a different scale.

A Bluetooth speaker uses this short-range Bluetooth to connect to a Bluetooth-supporting source and accept data from it. Both the speaker and source device need compatible Bluetooth codecs to send such information between them – SBC and AAC are the standard ones. A wireless speaker works similarly but relies instead on a wi-fi network connection to accept audio data transmitted from its audio source.

Pairing a Bluetooth speaker and Bluetooth device is simple: put the speaker in 'pairing mode' (usually by pressing or holding a button), go into a device's Bluetooth settings, 'scan' for available speakers and then select your device when it appears.

What are IP ratings and how do they work?

If you want a completely comprehensive rundown of what IP ratings are, how they work and why they're important, our "IP ratings explained" page is your go-to guide. 

If you want the abridged version, the IPXX system is essentially a simple method of classifying audio products depending on how resistant they are to their environment, broken down into physical particles (dust, sand etc.) and liquid particles, i.e. water and other fluids. The term "IP" stands for “Ingress Protection”, so how well a product can prevent the ingress of particles into its hardware.

The IPXX rating system thus informs consumers as to how waterproof and/or dustproof a given product is, with the first number denoting resistance to physical particles and the second denoting liquids (an X means untested or unrated), with 0 being the lowest and 9 the highest. So, for example, an IP67 rating means a dust-tight speaker that can withstand full immersion for 30 minutes in water up to a meter deep. 

Recent updates

  • March 2024: Added FAQs and an "Also Consider" section to offer more alternative buying options for readers.  
  • November 2023: What Hi-Fi? Award winners labelled after the 2023 Awards Best Buys and Product of the Year announcements.

MORE:

See our best budget Bluetooth speakers list

Check out 28 of the best tracks for testing bass

IP ratings explained: how waterproof are your headphones?

Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. During his time at the publication, he has written countless news stories alongside features, advice and reviews of products ranging from floorstanding speakers and music streamers to over-ear headphones, wireless earbuds and portable DACs. He has covered launches from hi-fi and consumer tech brands, and major industry events including IFA, High End Munich and, of course, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or trying to pet strangers' dogs. 

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