Waterproof Bluetooth speaker - a way to take Your music anywhere.
Wireless waterproof speaker is one of a few new devices that had been made possible by recent advances in wireless communication technology. With Bluetooth technology, your smartphone, tablet or any other Bluetooth enable music player can also serve as your boombox that you can take nearly anywhere. All you need, is your media player and a speaker. No wires, no fuss, just a few taps and your favorite tunes are playing, like magic.
Does the sound quality match the one produced by your Hi-Fi audio system? The answer is most likely NO, but have you ever tried to take your amp and speakers with you on a hiking trip or to a pool party, probably not a good idea.
With newer versions of the Bluetooth devices (Read: Bluetooth Technology in Plain English) the sound quality improved tremendously and most of us can hardly hear a difference between the wireless and a similar wired speakers. To make the Bluetooth speakers even more portable, many of them are fit with a rechargeable batteries, that provide hours of a completely wire-free music playback anywhere we go.
For nearly any situation that you might consider, whether it is camping, hiking, beach, pool party or shower, there is a Bluetooth speaker that will work without wires or worries about water damaged. Top Bluetooth audio manufacturers in recent years created a wealth of portable waterproof speakers for any possible environment. As a matter of fact when we plunged into the Bluetooth waterproof speaker jungle, we had faced a somewhat daunting task of selecting the best Bluetooth portable speaker from hundreds of available choices. Because not any single speaker is perfect match for every situation, in our review we looked for speakers that we believe are the best performers in the following categories:
- Best rugged Bluetooth speaker for hiking / camping
- Best pool party Bluetooth waterproof speaker.
- Best waterproof Bluetooth shower speaker.
In each category we picked our Top Bluetooth Waterproof speaker (and a runner up), however, to make our selection more complete we listed most of the top contenders because the overall differences in most cases were minimal and we decided to give our readers a chance to pick their own "perfect speaker".
For some related info we included two more useful links:
- Bluetooth accessories - adapters and transmitters for legacy audio equipment.
- Portable USB chargers - re-charging power sources on the go
The category winner - FUGOO Tough
In a tidal wave of recent Bluetooth speaker offerings it might be hard to find exactly what you are looking for. There is however, one speaker that stands out. Even though the FUGOO Tough is a new name in the market, the people behind the design and manufacturing are experts in audio and Bluetooth technologies. The company had been founded by a few former members of some huge names in the Hi-Fi and computer industries. The new company seams to be laser focused on a goal of creating a single product. Namely, a perfect portable wireless Bluetooth speaker. In our opinion they managed to achieve just that. In a heavily saturated market of Bluetooth speakers, they not only got noticed but in fact nearly everybody that tried their product has only positive comments about both, the sound quality and the design of this exceptional Bluetooth speaker.
Admittedly at about $200 it is one of the most expensive portable waterproof Bluetooth speakers we have tested but the price offers a lot of value. You start with a great sound created by six drivers (2 tweeters, 2 mid-range and 2 passive radiators) positioned around the entire speaker body. For even better aural effect the speakers are slightly angled upward and deliver a great listening experience for both indoor and outdoor environments. The base speaker is designed and manufactured in a way that provides an ultimate protection against elements. It received the maximum rating of IP67 (6 of 6 against dust and 7 of 7 against water). For the outdoorsman in us, the Tough version is mounted inside a sturdy and rugged enclosure (Tough Jacket) that provides additional protection and mounting functionality. The enclosure, build with fiber and aluminum, creates one tough shell that, even if you drive a car over it, will keep your speaker safe and sound. The Tough Jacket is also specially designed to work with a variety of FUGOO mounting accessories ( FUGOO Mount Pack) that will allow you to mount your Bluetooth speaker nearly anywhere. All of this is also equipped with a battery that will provide 40 hours of completely wireless music playback or phone talk time.
In the box you will also receive a USB charging cable, auxiliary audio cable for passive playback and a universal AC adapter for re-charging your battery. For more details, watch the "Unboxing FUGOO Tough" video below.
In the end we couldn't find any speaker, at any price, that would match the durability versatility and quality of the FUGOO Tough Bluetooth speaker. It excelled even as a speakerphone with its high quality omnidirectional microphone coupled with echo cancelation and DSP noise reduction. The only con that we could find is the speaker size and 1.4 pounds of weight that might not be ideal for backpacking (For backpacking models, like Omaker M4 or TDK A12 Micro, please check the list of other waterproof Bluetooth speakers for hiking, below this review section).
Other versions of the FUGOO speaker are based on the same core as the reviewed Tough version. They are created by changing the speaker's Jacket (available as FUGOO Style and FUGOO Sport) to match the intended use.
Update: 10/25/2015 - FUGOO also available in XL version: FUGOO Sport XL, a bigger version of the original FUGOO with 8 insted of six speakers.
Runner-up in best waterproof Bluetooth speaker for hiking / camping
Our runner-up is Alpatronix AX410 Portable Bluetooth Speaker. At about $50 it offers a great value without overly compromising sound quality and design features. While not quite as refined as the FUGOO, AX410 produces a very good sound quality with a combined 12W from its two speakers, in most cases you will not need to go higher than about half of the volume level. It features Bluetooth 4.0 with a very easy and reliable device pairing with 30 feet of Bluetooth range. As most of the devices in the portable Bluetooth speaker category AX410 can also be used as an external speakerphone for your Bluetooth enabled smartphone. The build-in 3000mAh rechargeable Lithium battery will provide at least 10 to 12 hours of music playback and/or talk time in a speakerphone mode. You can control the volume level from your paired phone, and in most cases we were also able to see the speaker's battery charge level on the connected phone.
In our test we found only one major issue, the port protective cover's fit is not tight enough and in some cases it can come loose and expose the external connection elements. At about 1 pound it is noticeably lighter than our #1 but still not quite ideal for backpacking, for backpacking Bluetooth speaker you should look for compact models (e.g. Omaker M4 or TDK A12 Micro) on our finalist's list, below this review.
Shipping package includes: a carabiner hook that can be used to hang the speaker, a USB charging cable (USB charger not included), an auxiliary cable for passive mode playback and a mesh carrying bag.
Waterproof Bluetooth speaker for hiking / camping - top finalist list.
Best waterproof Bluetooth speaker for your next pool party.
UE MEGABOOM - Bigger, Louder and ... more expensive.
When searching for a perfect pool party wireless speaker we were looking for just two main features. It had to be waterproof with the best possible sound. Unlike in the case of hiking music companion, raggedness, toughness and portability were not as important. Our choice: UE MEGABOOM. It is a newer and bigger version of an already great speaker, UE BOOM from Ultimate Ears (UE) a Logitech company. The UE MEGABOOM provides lots of great sound with deep lows (a must at any party) traveling in nearly all directions, thanks to its two drivers enclosed in a round case. Its weight (1.93 pounds) and size proves to be a big plus for a pool party speaker, it provides visibility and stability against an accidental knocking over. An excellent battery life is another great feature that makes this Bluetooth speaker to stand out among the competition. It provides about 20 hours of a completely wireless playback time.
Is it waterproof? Absolutely. The speaker is rated with the maximum of IPX7, which should provide a complete water protection. Its construction is so water resistant that even an occasionalswim in a pool is not going to harm it in any way, we couldn't resist and we tested that ourselves. According to its rating it should withstand being submerged up to 3 feet for up to 30 min.
The speaker's Bluetooth range is better than nearly any other waterproof Bluetooth speaker. It continues to provide a playback at a distance of up to about 100 feet between your player and the speaker.
As if that wasn't enough to make the UE MEGABOOM a great waterproof pool party speaker, it comes with a UE BOOM app for your Android or iPhone device (UE BOOM app supports both; UE BOOM and UE MEGABOOM). The app can customize the sound to match your preferences, use the app's five band equalizer to fine tune the music to your liking. Another great and unique feature provided by the UE App, is the ability to connect two speakers simultaneously for either doubling the sound or to create a true stereo speaker system. We also recommend the app as a remote to control your UE MEGABOOM from a distance. With a 100 feet range, the ability to turn the speaker on and off remotely can come in really handy.
In the box you will find only the absolute must have accessories of a micro USB cable and a power adapter. We were hoping to find an Auxiliary cable for passive playback, unfortunately there wasn't one provided. Considering the speaker's price, we feel that there should be one included in the package.
With all those good things said about the UE MEGABOOM, it is time for the one bad thing that could stop us from inviting this truly great waterproof wireless speaker to our next pool party. It is its price of around $300. If you decide to go for the two speaker setup with the UE BOOM app, the price also doubles and becomes prohibitively high.
For links and more info on UE BOOM and other waterproof wireless speaker options for your pool party, please see the list below this review section.
Best pool party waterproof wireless speaker, runner-up - FUGOO Style
Our runner-up in the pool party waterproof wireless speaker category is a variation of our hiking speaker winner, FUGOO Style. For a complete list of features please see our FUGOO Tough review above. The main difference between the two versions is the "Jacket" and the price, the Tough Jacket adds about $50 more to the speaker's price. Both versions are based on the same core waterproof speaker, featuring six drivers that provide 360 degrees of sound coverage. The only feature that we did not mention in our hiking speaker review is FUGOO's ability to withstand close contact with the pool itself. It can survive a 30 minute dive in up to three feet of water without sustaining any damage. The sound of the FUGOO speaker, while not as massive as the one produced by the UE MEGABOOM (FUGOO's sound volume is comparable to the smaller UE BOOM) should be adequate in most party settings as long as you are not trying to entertain a whole city block.
You might also consider its bigger sibling: FUGOO Sport XL
Pool party waterproof Bluetooth speaker - top finalist list.
Best waterproof Bluetooth shower speaker.
BOOM Swimmer by Polk Audio - Big sound in a small package.
Our task of selecting the best waterproof Bluetooth shower speaker was relatively easy. One of the first tested speakers in the category, was BOOM Swimmer from Polk Audio and we instantly fell in love with its somewhat provocative design and a great sound.
It proved to be not only a great conversation starter but also a solid speaker in a relatively small package. The main reason behind winning our number one spot are its seemingly endless mounting options. Almost any shower waterproof wireless speaker provides some form of a suction cup mounting, this solution works well on glass or glazed tiles, but not all showers provide this kind of surface for your speaker. BOOM Swimmer provides two mounting options, you can use either a suction cup or its unique bendable tail that enables you to mount it almost anywhere. We could not find a situation that this little waterproof speaker could not handle.
Producing a good sound quality with waterproof Bluetooth speakers, especially compact models, can create a challenge for even experienced speaker manufacturers. Polk Audio however passes this test with flying colors. In our opinion, BOOM Swimmer is the best sounding waterproof Bluetooth compact speaker that we have ever tested. When mounted on a surface that does not distort the sound (Swimmer vibrates at high volumes) the speaker delivers a great sound with some distortion only at maximum volume settings. Polk Audio used its long time expertise in making high end speakers, to create this truly exceptional waterproof Bluetooth speaker that is small yet tough enough to withstand anything that your bath or shower can throw at it.
In addition to the original BOOM Swimmer, Polk Audio created two slightly different siblings: BOOM Swimmer Duo and Boom Swimmer Junior (Jr). BOOM Swimmer Duo while physically not different from the original Swimmer, features stereo linking that enables two speakers to work together and create a true stereo sound. BOOM Swimmer Jr. is a slightly scaled down and less expensive version of the original with one important additional feature. BOOM Swimmer Jr features a build-in microphone for a hands-free calling.
Now for the bad, there is one feature that in our opinion is missing from the BOOM Swimmer. The missing build-in microphone for hands-free calling was somewhat a disappointment, especially since its younger brother BOOM Swimmer Jr. comes with this feature.
Environment resistance IP rating of IPX7 makes the BOOM Swimmer capable of being submerged up to three feet of water for up to thirty minutes with water penetration. The speaker is also dust proof and its silicon skin makes it extremely shock resistant. The rated battery life of 6-8 hours applies to running it at the maximum volume setting. In our tests, at moderate volume setting the battery lasted 10-11 hours between its 2 hour charging cycles.
BOOM Swimmer shipping package includes both the mounting flex tail and the suction cup. Like most other wireless portable speakers it also includes a USB charging cable and an auxiliary cable for passive audio connection.
Although we chose the Boom Swimmer as our Best Waterproof Bluetooth Shower Speaker, the ingenious design makes it a great choice for many other applications, like hiking, beach (the speaker is completely sealed and sand proof) or even as a handlebar speaker for your bike.
Best waterproof bath / shower wireless speaker, runner-up - Abco Tech
Our runner-up, Abco Tech Splash Proof Shower Speaker had been awarded the second place for its versatility. It is a Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, it is a speakerphone for your smartphone and also it is an FM radio. All this packed in a compact waterproof package that can follow you anywhere around the house and beyond.
For about $40 you get a solid 5W speaker that can perform as functions of three devices. Whether you like to listen to your favorite Pandora, Spotify or FM station, you can do it with this nifty little speaker, either from your phone/medial player or just a local FM signal. Whatever is the music source, if the speaker is paired with your phone, you will be also able to monitor and/or answer calls without ever touching your smartphone. This wireless speaker is our favorite choice as a bedside and bathroom radio.
Battery life is rated by manufacturer at six to eight hours of playtime. In our test, at moderate volume we were able to play it for about nine to nine and a half hours between charges.
The FM receiver performs well, especially when we consider the compact size of the unit and lack of an external antenna.
The final verdict: While we rated the sound quality as adequate, the versatility of this wireless speaker more then justifies the expense and makes it a worthy addition to your smartphone accessory portfolio.