Portable Bluetooth Speaker for Outdoor Sports in 2020: Clip-on, Water Resistant
There are so many Bluetooth speakers available, but what if you need one that can withstand a pool party, a trip to the beach, or a rugged trip through the woods? That’s where water and dust-resistance come into play, and there’s none better than the JBL Charge 4. With this speaker, you’ll get 20 hours of battery life, USB Type-C, and the ability to connect with up to 100 different compatible speakers. You get all of this, along with being IPX7 waterproof, so you can take it for a swim.
JBL makes some great Bluetooth speakers, and the Charge 4 is the perfect balance between high and low-end speakers. The Charge 4 is rated to last for up to 20 hours, and can quickly recharge with the USB Type-C charging port. The inclusion of Type-C sets it apart from the competition alone.
JBL also makes a slew of different color options to pick from, so you don’t have to worry about going with the same dull, old, black. JBL also includes Connect+, which allows you to pair the Charge 4 with up to 100 different compatible speakers for the ultimate sound experience.
The downside with the Charge 4 is that you will need to make sure you have a wall adapter available to keep it powered. Plus, this speaker is a bit heftier than other models, so you may not want to carry it with you for the entire day.
- Many colors to pick from
- 20-hours of battery life
- USB Type-C charging port
- Does not include a wall adapter
- Heavier than similar models
Take it anywhere, and it lasts all day
The JBL Charge 4 is fantastic with its 20 hours of battery life, multiple color options, and improved bass radiators.
Best for Parties: Ultimate Ears BOOM 3
The Ultimate Ears BOOM lineup of Bluetooth speakers has always impressed, and the BOOM 3 improves even more over its predecessor. You have a range of up to 150-feet, so you can take your phone with you during the party, versus leaving it on the same table and open to others.
Ultimate Ears also provides an optional charging dock for those moments where you need to keep the BOOM 3 charged but want to keep the music going. There is also an accompanying app for any updates that may arrive over the lifespan of this Bluetooth speaker. Plus, it floats in the water and can be paired with other compatible speakers for a surround sound experience.
The downside here is that while Ultimate Ears does a fantastic job when it comes to sound, it still lags a bit in other areas. One such area is the charging port, as the BOOM 3 still relies on Micro-USB for its charging needs, which can be frustrating with the subpar 15 hours of battery life.
- Bluetooth range up to 150 feet
- App integration
- Floats in water
- Pair up to 150 compatible speakers for stereo sound
- 15-hour battery life
- Micro-USB charging port
Best for Parties
Perfect for taking to the pool since it floats with you
With the Ultimate Ears Boom 3, you will get fantastic sound in a sleek package, and it even floats for those pool parties.
Best for 360-Degree Sound: Bose Soundlink Revolve+
Bose is an industry-leader in speakers, headphones, sound systems, and more, and it’s for a good reason. With options like the SoundLink Revolve+, you get incredible sound quality in a gorgeous package.
The Revolve+ offers 360 degrees of sound, and the built-in acoustic deflector ensures that the music is spread out evenly. The accompanying Bose Connect app makes it easy to switch between Bluetooth devices with ease. There is even Google Assistant support with the hardware button found on the top of the speaker.
Bose decided not to go “all-out” with the Revolve+, despite its pricing. On the water-resistance front, this speaker only has an IPX4 rating, so you won’t exactly want to take this one swimming.
- Integration with Google Assistant
- 360-degrees of sound
- Stereo mode possible with multiple speakers
- IPX4 water and dust resistant
- More expensive than other options
Best for 360-Degree Sound
Not the best water resistance, but you get that Bose sound
The Bose Soundlink Revolve+ provides that classic Bose sound that you can rely on while being water-resistant and more.
Most Rugged: DemerBox Rugged Bluetooth Speaker
The DemerBox is perhaps one of the most unique Bluetooth speakers available; it looks like it’s built like a tank. There are two speakers built into this Pelican case and lasts for up to 40 hours in between charges.
The case itself opens up and includes an internal storage compartment so you can take the DemerBox with you on a lazy river. There is even a built-in USB port that allows you to keep your phone charged up while the music is playing.
This is not precisely the best speaker for portability. It has a handle and only weighs 5.4 pounds, so it’s decently portable, but there are way lighter and smaller options. It’s better suited to float around in the pool or to take to the beach for the day. Just be prepared to pay for the awesomeness that the DemerBox has to offer.
- 40 hours of battery life
- Internal storage compartment
- Charge your phone with built-in USB port
- Not very portable
Pump up the music and store your valuables
Not only is the DemerBox ultra-rugged, but there is even a compartment to store your valuables, and they won’t get wet.
Best for Biking: JBL Wind Bike Portable Bluetooth Speaker
If you’re someone who likes to spend their free time cycling or taking your mountain bike off-road, this may be the perfect Bluetooth speaker for you. Not only is it safer because it lets you do things like making calls hands-free, but you can also hear your music and the world around you since you don’t have pesky earbuds blocking out important noises.
This speaker mounts right on the handlebars for easy access and better sound delivery, and it has an FM tuner so you can listen to your favorite local radio stations. Alternatively, you can leave your phone in your pocket or pack and pop in a microSD card full of tunes to ride to your favorite cycling playlist.
While it doesn’t sport official IP water or dust resistance, JBL says that the speaker is both water and splash-proof, so it should hold up to riding through big puddles or a light rain shower. When the battery runs low, you can pop it off the mount and charge it for another 10 hours of riding fun.
- Mounts right to bike handles
- Hands-free calling with the built-in microphone
- microSD card slot for music
- Built-in FM radio
- Speaker doesn’t get too loud
- Radio reception spotty
- No official IP certification
Best for Biking
Handle meet speaker
This portable JBL Bluetooth speaker supports microSD cards, plays FM radio, and straps on to your bike’s handles.
Best Value: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
The Wonderboom 2 from Ultimate Ears is consistently mentioned as one of the best Bluetooth speakers. This is because it’s small, portable, and provides excellent sound quality in a unique package.
With IP67 water and dust resistance, you can take it to the pool, and don’t have to worry about keeping your phone nearby. That’s thanks to the 100-foot Bluetooth range provided by the Wonderboom 2. Plus, you can pair a second Wonderboom 2 for a stereo experience, or just to cover the entire area.
You might want to keep a charger nearby, however, as the Wonderboom 2 comes with just 13 hours of battery life. This is expounded by the fact that you have to rely on Micro-USB and not USB Type-C, which is rather frustrating.
- Bluetooth range of 100-feet
- IP67 water and dust resistant
- Pair a second Wonderboom 2 for stereo sound
- 13-hour battery life
- Micro-USB charging port
- No app support
- Older model
Packs a bigger punch than expected
If you want a more portable speaker with a lot of sounds, then the Wonderboom 2 is excellent. Just don’t expect the battery to last forever.
Best for Portability: JBL Clip 3
Sometimes you don’t need a Bluetooth speaker to light up a party, but you want something with enough power to enjoy yourself. That’s where the JBL Clip 3 comes in. This speaker includes a built-in carabiner so that you can clip it to your belt loop or backpack.
JBL included IPX7 water and dust resistance so it will be able to withstand a hiking session, or if you get caught in the rain. The Clip 3 also features three easy-to-access control buttons on the front for Play/Pause and Volume Up/Down.
Not everything is perfect with the Clip 3, as it only sports 10 hours of battery life. Meaning that you could end up with a dead speaker if you are out for the day. Plus, there’s no microphone, so you’ll still have to use your smartphone if a phone call comes through.
- IPX7 water and dust resistant
- Carabiner clips to backpack or clothes
- Easy-to-use buttons
- 10 hours of battery life
- No built-in microphone
Best for Portability
Clip it anywhere and listen all day
When it comes to portability, there’s no better option than the JBL Clip 3. You can use the carabiner to attach it to your bag or pants loop.
Best Cheap Portable: Vtin SoundHot Q1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
If you’re looking for an ultraportable, lightweight, and waterproof speaker to take with you on your mountain biking or trail running adventures, this is a great option. Heck, you can even listen to it in your shower or bring it to the pool and not worry about water drowning out your sound thanks to its IP45 water and dust resistance. Just be warned if you do bring it in the shower — hang it on a hook or the showerhead because some say the included suction cup isn’t that strong.
The Vtin SoundHot Q1 has a 10-hour battery life to last you for a full day’s worth of outdoor fun. It also has a range of around 33 feet, so you don’t have to have it clipped to you at all times. The 8W high-performance driver really lets the bass come through, which should help give you all the motivation you need to finish your endurance race. And if you don’t want to bring your phone along, you can store your tunes on-device through a microSD card.
While this device is great for personal use or small groups, don’t confuse this little guy for a party speaker. If you want to host a backyard pool party, you might be better off with the larger Bose or DemerBox speakers on this list.
- 10-hour battery life
- microSD support for phone-free activities
- IP45 water and dust resistance
- Not a party speaker
- The included suction cup is weak
Best Cheap Portable
A portable affordable speaker
The Vtin SoundHot Q1 is the perfect portable Bluetooth speaker for the backcountry or the bathroom.
There are so many great Bluetooth speakers out there. If you are looking for the perfect waterproof Bluetooth speaker, you would be hard-pressed to find a better option than the JBL Charge 4. On top of getting great sound from this, the Charge 4 also has a fantastic battery life with a 20-hour battery life rating.
Plus, the Charge 4 is one of the few speakers that comes equipped with USB Type-C for charging, so you can finally get rid of those micro USB cables. The accompanying JBL Connect+ app makes it possible to connect with compatible speakers so you can fill the room, or the yard, with your music.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Andrew Myrick is a regular freelancer at Android Central and iMore. He has been a tech enthusiast ever since the original iPhone was released and continues to flip-flop between devices. You might as well hook him up to an IV filled with coffee in an effort to get him through the day. If you have any questions, you can find him on Twitter, and he’ll get back to you.
Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he’s not writing about Amazon products and services, he’s defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
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