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Best waterproof speakers 2020: budget, portable, smart

Best waterproof speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers you can buy in 2020.

If you're a music-lover who likes spending time outdoors, you'll need a speaker that's built to withstand the elements. When hiking, it's important to bring your waterproofs, and the sentiment extends to your portable speaker. You don't need to be a regular reader of this publication to know that generally speaking, electronics and water don't mix.

Enter, then, waterproof speakers. Here, the two mix like gin and tonic. These little beauties are designed to withstand being dunked in the drink, so you can blast tunes in the pool and in the hot Caribbean sun without worrying about malfunctions.

So what should you look for in a waterproof speaker? Naturally, sound quality is of prime importance – it doesn't matter how hardwearing the thing is if the sound proves wearing to your ears. But don't fret, the products you'll see below have all been thoroughly reviewed by the What Hi-Fi? team – and they all sound great for the money. 

A true waterproof rating should also be on your check list. That's not as obvious as it seems – some models are only splashproof, so make sure you check before you buy and think about how you're going to use it. One of the most common specifications is IPX7 – that means it's safe to immerse in water up to 1m deep for up to 30 minutes. Given that some of the waterproof models listed here will actually float rather than sink to the bottom of the pool anyway, that shouldn't be an issue. 

IP67 means the speaker has the same level of waterproofing, but it's dust-proof too. (Remember, the 'X' in IPX7, IPX5, or indeed any IP rating just means the product wasn't tested for resilience against that particular issue; in this case dust ingress.)

All of the models mentioned below are Bluetooth waterproof speakers, so you can play your tunes wirelessly while keeping your smartphone or tablet away from the wet stuff.

Wi-fi is less pressing here perhaps, but it's a great addition if you'll be using your speaker at home a lot too and want to integrate it with your smart home setup (using its built-in smart assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant).

Decent battery life is also a key consideration. Nothing spoils a long hike or away day like a flat battery.

We've taken our authoritative catalogue of reviews and used it to round up the best waterproof speakers on the market right now. Whether you want a budget buy or a much pricier and more capable model, there's bound to be something here for you. 

MORE: Best Bluetooth speakers

best waterproof speakers 2020

(Image credit: Tribit)

1. Tribit Stormbox Micro

A fun and bubbly Bluetooth speaker that's serious when it comes to sound


Dimensions: HxWxD (cm): 9.8 x 9.8 x 3.5cm | Power: 9W | Features: water/dustproof, Bluetooth 5.0, stereo-pairing mode | Connections: 3.5 mm stereo

Reasons to Buy

Mature, musical sound
Surprisingly weighty bass
USB-C charger

Reasons to Avoid

Short battery life

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 just produced a budget belter of a Bluetooth speaker.

Read the full review: Tribit Audio Stormbox Micro

Best waterproof speakers

(Image credit: JBL)

2. JBL Charge 4

A fun and bubbly Bluetooth speaker that's serious when it comes to sound


Dimensions: HxWxD (cm): 22 x 9.5 x 9.3 | Power: 30W | Features: waterproof, Bluetooth v4.2, power bank, voice assistant integration | Connections: 3.5 mm stereo

Reasons to Buy

Rugged and water resistant
USB port for charging
Great sound quality

Reasons to Avoid

Perhaps too subtle for some

You'll find no fewer than four JBL portable waterproof speakers in this list, all of them boasting great features. Take the company's Charge 4, for example: you'll get a whopping 20 hours of playback from this little five-star performer. 

The fact that we really like the JBL Charge 4 should come as no surprise to those who read our Charge 3 review (below, at number six in this little round-up). 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. 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

(Image credit: JBL)

3. JBL Link Portable

For a great, affordable, durable home smart speaker, you’ll be hard-pushed to find a product that can match JBL’s Link Portable


Dimensions: HxWxD (cm): 17 x 8.8 x 8.8 | Power: 20W | Features: waterproof, Bluetooth v4.2, Google Assistant built-in, Chromecast, AirPlay 2, music over wi-fi | Connections: 3.5 mm stereo

Reasons to Buy

Expansive sound
Packed with features
Premium design

Reasons to Avoid

No JBL Connect support
Fussy over placement

The market is full to bursting with portable Bluetooth speakers in the sub-£150 bracket, but not all of them have the JBL Link Portable’s neat features, including hands-free voice assistance, a charger cradle and wireless streaming via wi-fi or Bluetooth. Suddenly, much of that competition seems to melt away – its connectivity brings a plethora of rarely-seen streaming options to the table at this level, including AirPlay 2, Chromecast and hi-res support.

The Link Portable looks and feels like a premium product. For a speaker of this size, it has oodles of detail and an expansive mix with everything present, including bass. While there's no PartyBoost or Connect+ support for daisy-chaining other JBL speakers, the Link Portable makes JBL a serious contender in the category of affordable smart speakers.

Read the full review: JBL Link Portable

Best waterproof speakers: Budget, portable, smart

4. JBL Xtreme 2

Xtreme style, extremely pleasant sound.


Waterproof: IPX7 | Battery life: 15 hours | Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack | Wireless: Bluetooth | Dimensions (HWD): 136 x 288 x 132mm | Weight: 2390g

Reasons to Buy

Clean, clear sound
Balanced bass
Solid design

Reasons to Avoid

No wi-fi or multi-room
Presentation too mature for some

At first glance, this speaker seems a little brash: the name is like something a college jock would pick, it's big and it weighs a ton. But the sound is surprisingly subtle. It's like finding out that the school bully does, in fact, enjoy classical music and ballet in their spare time. 

The carry strap will help you lug it around, and it can daisy chain with another Xtreme 2 to give even beefier sound (but be warned: two of these things at the beach will be loud enough to summon the lifeguards). If you're looking to start a full-on pool party in a few months, this should be at the centre of the mayhem.

Read the full review: JBL Xtreme 2

Best waterproof speakers

5. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

A fantastically affordable and impressive-sounding speaker, ideals for the summer.


Waterproof: IP67 | Battery life: 13 hours | Connections: Micro USB | Wireless: Bluetooth | Dimensions (HWD): 10.4 x 9.5 x 9.5cm | Weight: 420g

Reasons to Buy

Entertaining sound
Impressive bass
13hr battery life

Reasons to Avoid

No wi-fi or smart assistant

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

Best waterproof speakers: Budget, portable, smart

6. Ultimate Ears Blast

An energetic performance meets a fun-loving design.


Waterproof: IP67 | Battery life: 12 hours | Connections: Micro USB, Wireless charger | Wireless: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Dimensions (HWD): 188 x 68 x 68mm | Weight: 640g

Reasons to Buy

Dynamic sound
Good detail
Strong midrange

Reasons to Avoid

Excitable top end
Alexa not exhaustive

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

Best waterproof speakers 2020

(Image credit: JBL)

7. JBL Flip 5

Feature packed it isn't, but it sounds truly great for the money


Dimensions: HxWxD (cm): 7.4 x 18.1 x 6.9 | Power: : 20W | Features: Bluetooth v4.2, PartyBoost for multiple connections to PartBoost enabled JBL speakers, IPX7 rated | Connections: USB-C charger

Reasons to Buy

Solid bass and timing
Great sense of acoustics
PartyBoost stereo pairing

Reasons to Avoid

No aux-in or microphone
Not Connect+ compatible
Basic app

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 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

Best waterproof speakers: Budget, portable, smart

8. JBL Charge 3

Delivers superb sound inside or out.


Waterproof: IPX7 | Battery life: 20 hours | Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C, Micro USB | Wireless: Bluetooth | Dimensions (HWD): 88.5 x 213 x 87mm | Weight: 800g

Reasons to Buy

Impressive build
Clever design
Solid, weighty, punchy sound

Reasons to Avoid

Lacks subtlety

If you want a portable speaker that doubles as a charger for your phone or tablet, this is the one for you. Its mammoth battery goes for a staggering 20 hours before needing a recharge, and it has both USB Type-C and micro USB ports for juicing up your device on the go. 

The design is sturdy and rugged, it has a mic for handsfree calls and JBL Connect lets you daisy chain multiple speakers for beefier sound. Not that you need it – one Charge 3 is loud enough to start a party, and sweet-sounding enough to keep it going. Highly recommended.

Read the full review: JBL Charge 3

Best waterproof speakers: Budget, portable, smart

9. Ultimate Ears Megablast

UE's priciest speaker doesn't disappoint.


Waterproof: IP67 | Battery life: 16 hours | Connections: Micro USB, Wireless charger | Wireless: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Dimensions (HWD): 237 x 88 x 88mm | Weight: 1,200g

This is a higher-end version of the Ultimate Ears Blast mentioned earlier. Basically, it's bigger, louder and more feature-laden. Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant still comes as standard, giving you smart skills around the home, but the battery life is a little better. 

The sound performance is hugely enjoyable too, with little-to-no distortion even at higher volumes. High end, high volume, high class – that's this speaker in a nutshell.

Read the full review: Ultimate Ears Megablast

Best waterproof speakers: Budget, portable, smart

10. Bose SoundLink Revolve

It might be small, but it makes a big impact.


Waterproof: IPX4 (water-resistant) | Battery life: 12 hours | Connections: 3.5mm headphone jack, Micro USB | Wireless: Bluetooth | Dimensions (HWD): 152 x 82 x 82mm | Weight: 660g

Reasons to Buy

Omnidirectional delivery
Solid, punchy sound
Portable and feature-packed

Reasons to Avoid

Rivals offer more detail
Not especially rugged

This speaker is only water-resistant, not fully waterproof like the others here. While it will survive "an accidental showering of water", don't go throwing it into the swimming pool and expect it to survive. 

But what it lacks in ruggedness it more than makes up for in features: you can use it to talk to your phone's smart assistant (like Siri or Google Assistant) even if your phone is in another room. And the sound is impressively big and bold, especially for such a small speaker.

Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Revolve

Best waterproof speakers: Budget, portable, smart

11. Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

Punchy, exciting and full of fun, it's another winner from Ultimate Ears.


Waterproof: IP67 | Battery life: 20 hours | Connections: Micro USB | Wireless: Bluetooth | Dimensions (HWD): 225 x 87 x 87mm | Weight: 925g

Reasons to Buy

Punchy, solid sound
Fun features, easy to use

Reasons to Avoid

Midrange could be clearer

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

Best waterproof speakers: Budget, portable, smart

12. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

Decent sound, rugged build... the ideal travel companion?


Waterproof: IPX7 | Battery life: 10 hours | Connections: Micro USB | Wireless: Bluetooth | Dimensions (HWD): 102 x 93.5 x 93.5mm | Weight: 425g

Reasons to Buy

Clear midrange
Good timing
Solid bass

Reasons to Avoid

Overstated low frequencies

At only a little bigger than a Coke can, this is one of the smaller waterproof speakers around. But it's proof that good things come in small packages: it's a doddle to use (those big plus and minus symbols are the volume controls) and is tough as anything. 

And the sound is way beyond what we'd expect from such a diminutive and affordable speaker. The icing on the cake? It floats. So don't worry about dropping it in the drink.

Read the full review: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom


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