Who doesn’t like listening to their favorite songs when cycling or relaxing by the poolside? Almost everyone. However, not every portable speaker works outside your room or house effectively. Pick up the wrong speaker and you might end up with a water-damaged one on a rainy day. Thankfully, some of the budget Bluetooth speakers today come with the necessary IP rating (Ingress Protection) that makes them perfect for outdoor adventures and even parties.
The best part is that these speakers can easily take splashes of water and even survive a short sprint underwater. And no, I am not kidding.
If you are considering getting a new wireless speaker for outdoor usage, we have lined up some of the best Bluetooth speakers available in the sub-$100 price bracket.
Let’s have a look.
1. OontZ Angle 3 Ultra
- IP Rating: IPX7
- Battery Life: Up to 20 hours
For under $40, the Oontz Angle 3 Ultra has a lot to offer. Cambridge Soundworks’ speaker not only packs a functional shape but also comes with Bluetooth 5.0. The latter means a longer Bluetooth range and better connectivity. Last but not least, this waterproof speaker can get you close to 20 hours of playback time on moderate volume. Yes, no kidding.
This portable speaker is loud and several user reviews on Amazon have backed that. Plus, you can pair it with your phone and listen away to your favorite song. You can also connect a secondary speaker to get louder and rich stereo output.
The speaker is sturdy enough to withstand its share of abuse, thanks to the tough speaker grills and the rubberized endpoints. Plus, the triangular shape ensures that you can place it either horizontally or vertically on any surface.
Based on all these features, it isn’t difficult to see why the Oontz Angle 3 Ultra has a good rating. Users love it for its durability and connectivity, among others.
2. Anker Soundcore 2
- IP Rating: IPX7
- Battery Life: Up to 24 hours
If you are looking for a better sound than your smartphone’s speaker, take a look at the Anker Soundcore 2. This one is priced below $40 and packs a duo of 6W speakers. The IPX7 rating and the grippy matte rubber on the speaker’s exterior translates into a rugged exterior. Not only can it survive a dip in the pool, but it can also withstand a few drops. This speaker comes with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity support.
A 5,200mAh battery powers this Bluetooth 5.0 speaker and makes it deliver non-stop music. Though it has a playing time of up to 24 hours, it will drop when blasted at full volume.
The Bluetooth connectivity is decent, and there’s a 3.5mm AUX out to connect non-Bluetooth devices.
However, when it comes to sound quality, the bass on this speaker is a little on the lower side, and if you are a basshead, you might be disappointed with it. Nevertheless, the audio quality is balanced and is loud enough for small outdoor gatherings. Over the years, the Soundcore 2 has amassed a whopping twenty thousand reviews with users speaking highly of its durability, portability, and battery life.
3. JBL Clip 3
- IP Rating: IPX7
- Battery Life: up to 10 hours
The JBL Clip 3 is arguably the best Bluetooth speaker money can buy in the sub-$50 price point. You get a rich and full sound output with a decent base for the size of the speaker. Plus, the battery life isn’t too bad either. With under 10 hours of playback on a single charge, the Clip 3 is suitable for a casual day out on the beach or for a day-long hike up in the hills.
The primary highlight of Clip 3 is that it’s small and can easily fit in your hands. It comes with a built-in carabiner, using which you can hang the speaker from your backpack.
There are playback controls at the top, and you can control the volume via the paired phone. Speaking of phones, this tiny speaker also bundles a microphone with built-in echo & noise-canceling speakerphone capabilities to make your calls sound clearer.
As noted earlier, it is IPX7-rated, meaning you do not have to worry about rains and pool splashes.
The only issue is that charging is via a micro-USB port at the bottom of the speaker. And given the rarity of micro-USB ports on phones, you will have to hold dearly to the charging cable.
4. Sony SRS-XB12 Mini Bluetooth Speaker
- IP Rating: IP67
- Battery Life: up to 16 hours
With voice assistant integration and battery life up to 10 hours, the Sony SRS-XB12 is another speaker that you can use for your outdoor adventures or parties. This speaker is small and bears a strong resemblance to a mini soda can. However, don’t let the small size fool you, for it can deliver a laudable bass. Yep, you read that right.
The SRS-XB12 has a great audio output which is further accompanied by a rich and heavy bass, thanks to the passive radiators at the base. At the same time, you can pair it with a second XB12 speaker to amplify the sound.
It carries the IP67 rating, meaning it is dust resistant and can be subjected to water as well. And the matte rubbery construction helps make it more durable. And people love this tiny speaker for its portability, connectivity, and more importantly, its audio output.
It comes in several shades — Black, Blue, Grey, Red, and Violet. And oh, it also sports a lanyard.
6. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
- IP Rating: IP67
- Battery Life: up to 13 hours
When it comes to speakers, Ultimate Ears is one of the most popular players out there primarily because of its ruggedness and loudness. And like its predecessors, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 has a lot to offer. Like the Sony SRS XB-12, it’s dustproof and waterproof, and you can bring it along with you to a pool or beach party or your trekking escapades.
Let not the small size fool you. It sports a 360-degree design and can blast audio in all directions. And not just any type of audio. The audio is clear, precise, and packs quite the punch. And staying true to its UE legacy, the output is loud.
When it comes to battery life, it can last up to 13 hours before needing a recharge (see best Power Banks with QC 3.0 support). And, you can also pair other UE speakers to it for richer sound output.
The UE Wonderboom has received its share of accolades from its user base. Do note that there’s no speakerphone function in this speaker. On the upside, the UE Wonderboom can float in water.
5. Anker Soundcore Flare 2
- IP Rating: IPX7
- Battery Life: up to 12 hours
If you are looking for the ultimate party-speaker complete with a cool design, 360-degree sound, and RGB lighting, the Soundcore Flare 2 ticks all the boxes. It’s the latter which makes it more appealing. Apart from giving the Flare 2 a stylish vibe, the lighting also syncs with the music playing on the speaker. Interesting, I must say.
The cool LED strip at the top and bottom, and the cloth speaker grille makes it good enough for both indoor and outdoor use.
When it comes to the audio output, the 20-watt drivers and dual passive bass radiators combine to produce a balanced audio output with decent, if not loud, bass. And well, the volume can get pretty loud. As per the folks at TechRadar, the Flare 2 sounds better than the UE Wonderboom 2.
The companion app adds more value to this speaker. Not only can you play around with the equalizer, but you can also tweak the lighting features and customize the colors as per your choice.
Anker claims a battery playback time of 12 hours. It may plunge if you listen continuously at higher volumes. Do note that it doesn’t have voice assistant support.
7. Bose SoundLink Micro
- IP Rating: IPX7
- Battery Life: Up to 6 hours
To finish off this list, we have the pocket-sized Bose SoundLink Micro. Ever since its release in 2017, this speaker has continued to stay in the limelight for its versatility and durability. For its size, this speaker can deliver a loud sound output with a pronounced bass, all thanks to the bass port on its underside, which amplifies the bass.
Apart from being durable, the SoundLink Micro also sports a tear-resistant strap that you can wound around polls, bike handlebars, or your backpack’s straps.
However, battery life is a tad on the smaller side. It can last only up to 6 hours on moderate volumes. So, if you want to blast out music for long hours, this one is not for you.
It has seen a whopping twelve thousand reviews on Amazon so far.
The SoundLink Micro is available in three colors—Black, Midnight Blue, and Bright Orange.
Please Don’t Stop the Music
Apart from the above, you can also check out the UE Boom 3 and the JBL Flip 5. The former has a 360-degree sound output and can be really loud, while the latter is known for its quality audio output.
With these portable Bluetooth speakers, you can blast the music, be it your outdoor adventures or a simple pool party. And the IP ratings on these speakers mean that you do not have to worry much about water damage.
Last updated on 02 February, 2022
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