The best outdoor speaker allows users to take their music out of the home without having to compromise on sound quality or worry about what the weather is going to be like.
An outdoor speaker is designed to survive whatever Mother Nature (or you) can throw at it. As such these speakers will IP ratings that indicate how much dust or water they can resist, feature a rugged build to survive any accidental knocks or drops and an audio performance that’s as good as any other speaker that’s designed for the home.
Plus, outdoor speakers often come with features such as handles or are small small enough to fit into a rucksack. That makes them a perfect choice for outdoor parties, trips to the beach or to your local park.
Here is Trusted Reviews list of what we think are the the best outdoor speakers, ready to survive any mishap.
1. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
Small gains add up
- Huge sound
- Easy to use
- 13-hour battery life
- Outdoor Boost is useful
Almost identical to the original Wonderboom, the Wonderboom 2 brings with it a few important tweaks.
New features arrive in Outdoor Boost and Double Up; the former boosting the mid-range when outside and the latter introducing stereo pairing. And for such a small unit, the Wonderboom 2 is surprisingly loud and energetic.
Its IP67 rating ensures it can survive wet conditions, and with 13 hours of battery life, you’ve a days’ worth of fun.
2. B&O Beosound A1 2nd Gen
Hi-fi sound for the outdoors
- Excellent sound
- Alexa support
- Great style
- Waterproof design
The A1 2nd gen is the world’s first Bluetooth-only speaker to support Alexa, but more than that, it’s a portable speaker with an excellent audio performance.
Alexa works by communicating via the Bluetooth signal from your phone, providing answers to your queries without much in the way of hiccups. The speaker is full water- and dustproof, but at £200 it’s not a speaker to be careless with anyway. It’s the audio that makes the biggest impression here: detailed, clear and boasting plenty of bass from a small form factor, it’s a wonderfully expressive effort.
3. Sonos Move
A outdoor speaker that adapts to its surroundings
- Big, powerful sound
- Confident bass performance
- Can work like any other Sonos speaker
- Voice assistant and multi-room capability
- Not exactly portable
The Move is Sonos’ first Bluetooth speaker, and can be used in the home or outdoors. It marks the debut of Sonos’ Auto Trueplay feature, which adapts the sound to fit its environment. It’s tough enough to survive some falls and inclement weather, plus its IP56 rating guards it against dust, water, mud and such like.
It’s a big, powerful speaker with an assured bass performance – and while it isn’t exactly portable at 3kg, it’s the most versatile speaker on this list.
4. LG XBOOM PL7
A party speaker with a sense of fun
- Clear, detailed sound
- Long-battery life (with a few caveats)
- Big bass
- Design an improvement over the PK7
- Treble could be better
- On the heavy side no aptX/aptX-HD
The XBOOM PL7 is big (shaped like an American football) and tips the scales at 1.4kg, but is still less bulky than its PK7 predecessor and looks less like a toy. Battery life is 24 hours at 50% volume, which should be enough time to gallivant around with it in the garden or in the park. The IPX5 water resistance is enough to shield it from some mild inclement weather, but we’d avoid using it around a pool in case it falls in.
The loss of aptX-HD from the PK7 is noted, but the sound quality still impresses. The delivery belies its XBOOM name with a controlled but weighty sound. It’s not a particularly wide soundstage but the bass is tightly delivered and dynamically it entertains. Some may find the light show that accompanies the performance gimmicky, but we like it as it gives the XBOOM some personality. It’s an unabashed party speaker with a sound that’s more mature than you’d expect.
5. KitSound Diggit 55
An outdoor speaker you can stick in the ground
- Clear, detailed performance
- Can be used indoors and out
- Easy to use
- Good looks
- Bass lacks excitement
- Not fully waterproofed
KitSound’s Diggit 55 impresses both as indoor and outdoor speaker, offering fantastic value for money and a novel ‘stake’ solution for outdoor use.
Some elaboration is probably needed with the ‘stake’. While indoors it can be used as a conventional Bluetooth speaker, outdoors there’s the option of inserting a stake to plant it into the ground. The benefit is that it allows sound to travel further instead of being absorbed by the earth, and in our testing we found it live up to the marketing hype.
The Diggit 55 can be stereo paired with another to produce a bigger sound, with left and right channels filling a decently-sized garden. It’s not fully waterproof, so we wouldn’t suggest leaving it close to a pool (in case it falls in) or outside in the rain. Battery is improved over the original at nearly double the life so the KitSound should easily last a few days. We like the Outdoor EQ mode too, offering more scale and volume.
The mid-range of the KitSound is its best characteristic, sounding natural, detailed and clear. Treble frequencies are well-handled (at this price), while bass is tepid with its flat and uniform description. If you want more energy there are others on this list that are a better guarantee of that, and while it’s not geared to more critical listening, we’d heartily recommend the Diggit 55.
6. Marshall Emberton
Stylish and rugged
- Rugged design
- Entertaining sound
- Nice control interface
- Stylish looks
- Other speakers deliver more precision and clarity
- Slightly soft bass
Marshall’s smallest speaker is one made for the outdoors, combining stylish, rugged build and enjoyable audio performance into one compact form.
Unlike some other speakers on this, the Emberton doesn’t feature a carry strap, which may slightly hamper its portable credentials. But, it’s design means it can survive whatever nature can throw at it, and battery life is 20+ hours, so this speaker has enough energy reserves to last almost a day.
The audio quality is entertaining, packing that signature Marshall energy but not going overboard with it. Vocals come across clearly, there’s detail to be found and the Stereophonic feature means wherever you’re sitting you’re getting a similar audio performance.
7. Tribit Stormbox Micro
Very good sound in a versatile form
- Clear and detailed performance
- Dust and waterproof
- Good, smart design
- Affordable price
- Not the most directional-sounding speaker
The Stormbox Micro is a small speaker but it packs a big surprise. It’s the first effort we’ve heard of the brand and we can’t wait to hear what else they have in store.
The Micro’s tear-resistant strap allows it to be placed on a handlebar of a bicycle or attached to a backpack. The 8-hour battery life is slightly less than what we’ve come to expect, while its IP67 ratings protect it from dust and water.
The sound is much better than we’d imagined, with bass bigger than expected and audio cleanly delivered and detailed. Considering its size it doesn’t pitch the broadest of sounds, nor is it the most directional sounding of speakers (sound has a tendency to be fired up rather than at the listener). Nevertheless, the Tribit is great value for its £40 asking price.
8. JBL Xtreme 2
Powerful, high-fidelity sound
- Sweet, refined yet still powerful sound
- Good battery life
- Water-resistant and portable
- Its style isn’t subtle nor neutral
- Bass isn’t as “Xtreme” as some may want
The JBL Xtreme 2 is an uncomplicated wireless boombox speaker. It has no need for Wi-Fi, no interest in voice assistants or any other smart tech. It’s loud, has a sound that’s better balanced than the original, and comes with a shoulder strap for added portability. For those who value audio quality alongside portability, the Xtreme 2 is a superb buy.
9. JBL Charge 3
A robust outdoor speaker
- Sturdy build
- Weighty sound
- Decent waterproofing
- Doubles as a portable charger
- A little on the heavy side
- Mid-range can be hit and miss
The Charge 3 is built for performance on-the-go, with a built-in battery allowing you to listen to your music and charge your phone at the same time. It will survive a drop into a pool thanks to its IPX7 rating, and its sound performance is nicely balanced, with well-controlled bass and crisp treble. The Charge 3 lacks excitement at low volumes, so turn it up loud.
10. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
A nigh-on unbreakable speaker
- Pretty much unbreakable
- Solid battery life
- Ridiculously loud
- Doesn’t handle mid-range well
If you’re after a Bluetooth speaker for your travels but don’t want to spend a small fortune, the original Wonderboom can still do a job.
Small and rugged, it can survive submersion into water at 1m for 30 minutes, meaning it’s great for pool parties. 10 hours of battery life before it conks out is still a respectable figure – and, as is usual from Ultimate Ears, the Wonderoom delivers a big sound with plenty of bass.
11. Marshall Tufton
A party starter
- Big, energetic and fun sound
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 20 hour+ battery life
- Distinctive look
- Not the most articulate performer
- No smart features
The Tufton is the biggest speaker in Marshall’s portable range – but, like the Sonos Move, it has a few impediments in the way of being truly portable.
For one, it’s big and although the IPX2 rating will protect it from some water splashes, this doesn’t cover being caught out in the British weather. At £349 it’s expensive, and you’ll need to feed it songs that work to its characteristics – but there’s a reason it’s on this list.
Its big, powerful and energetic sound. This speaker is infectiously fun, and with its distinctive looks the Tufton is a great way to get an outdoor party started.
12. Ultimate Ears Boom 3
A speaker that’s ready for adventure
- Great rugged features
- Loud, clean “360-degree” sound
- Smart-looking design
- No aux input
- Some rivals offer deeper bass and a better soundstage
The Boom 3 is the Goldilocks of UE’s portable range of wireless speakers. It’s neither too big, or too small, and plays music very loud. With a clean and stylish look, the Boom 3 isn’t only waterproof, it floats too. Other speakers pip it for sound quality, but the Boom 3 is a fun speaker nevertheless.