In the words of lyrical genius Lionel Richie, “the world is a party.” Unless, of course, you don’t have a speaker. Then the world’s a rather dull place full of car horns and pneumatic drills.
If you want to party anywhere, it’s clear you need a wireless outdoor speaker. Ideally, you need one that’s drop-proof, rain-proof, and party-proof.
To help you kick your party to the next level, here are several of the best wireless outdoor speakers available to buy right now.
The Eton Ruckus Xtreme offers a happy medium between price and ruggedness. The unit, which measures 6.9 x 8.7 x 2.6 inches, packs in two speakers, Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility, a bass-extending passive radiator, a 5200mAh rechargeable lithium battery, and an AUX-in line.
The battery can be charged from the mains or, impressively, via the built-in solar panels.
According to Eton, a day in the sun will be enough to power the speaker for the duration of the night. You don’t even need to do anything; the speaker will switch to the battery as soon as it detects there is no longer enough light to keep charging.
Better yet, the solar panels can be used to charge other devices such as phones and laptops, making this a handy companion for any outdoorsy folks.
The speaker is shock-proof for anything up to a three-foot drop and is IPX4 splash-proof.
At the other end of the scale, we have some Bose wireless outdoor speakers. The Bose SoundTouch 251 speakers are designed to be wall-mounted around a patio or pool. Unlike the Ruckus Xtreme, they are not portable.
The speakers will wirelessly connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network and are compatible with most of the mainstream music streaming apps, including Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, and Amazon Music. Apple Music is not yet supported. You can use Amazon Alexa to control the speakers with your voice.
Because the SoundTouch 251 speakers are meant to be permanent fixtures, they’re highly resistant to the elements. They can withstand temperatures between -40F and 158F, and are sun-, rain-, snow-, and salt-resistant.
You also get an amplifier in the box. Be warned: the amplifier connects to the speakers using a wire and needs access to an electrical socket.
The Fugoo Style-S is a portable wireless outdoor speaker that uses Bluetooth to connect to your devices. It has a range of 100 meters when in an unobstructed outdoor environment. And with a 15-hour battery life, it will keep playing for the duration of all but the wildest of parties.
From a durability standpoint, it trumps the Ruckus Xtreme thanks to its IP67 rating. It means you can submerge the device in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes without any ill-effects. Like the Ruckus, it’s drop-proof from three meters.
If you wish, you can pair two models together for stereo sound. However, the circumstances in which you would buy two of the speakers just for the stereo output are unclear. If you’re planning to mainly use them around your pool or patio, there are better fixed options available.
Many audiophiles think the Ultimate Ears Megaboom offers the best sound quality out of all the portable wireless speakers.
And, from a party perspective, the speaker stands out thanks to its Party Up feature. The feature lets you connect up to 150 of the speakers together into a single audio output, thus giving you a level of volume that would make the world’s top DJs jealous.
The Ultimate Ears Megaboom comes with an IPX7 rating, meaning it’s waterproof for 30 minutes at a depth of one meter.
The rechargeable lithium-ion battery will give you 20 hours of playback, the speaker is compatible with both Siri and Google voice controls, and the dedicated app lets you tweak the equalizer to your liking.
Oddly, Sonos doesn’t offer an outdoor speaker in its product line-up, meaning Bose has the fitted wireless outdoor speaker market to itself.
If you would like something more discreet than the SoundTouch 251, check out the Bose Free Space 51 speakers.
These are designed to be placed around your garden at ground level, rather than being mounted on walls. The speakers provide 360-degree sound and incredible acoustics from the downward-firing, full-range driver.
You will need to connect the speakers to a device such as a Sonos amp to unlock their wireless potential.
And if you want a testament to the speaker’s resilience to the elements, here’s what a guy called Larry wrote in the comments section on Bose’s website:
“I own two pairs of the Bose Free Space 51 which were submerged under water for five days during Hurricane Harvey. After the water had receded, I allowed the hot Texas sun to do its job by drying them out. Afterward, I reconnected my speakers to my stereo system, and all four speakers sound as they were originally designed to perform.”
Yes, the Bose Free Space 51 speakers are hurricane resistant!
6. Apie A-03
You’ve probably noticed that the five speakers we have recommended so far will all make a considerable dent in your bank account.
If you’d like a budget wireless outdoor speaker, look no further than the Apie A-03. It’s one of Amazon’s best-selling rugged Bluetooth speakers.
The speaker’s 2200mAh battery will last for 10 hours, it comes with Bluetooth 4.1, and it has an IPX6 weather rating. The rating means you can’t submerge the Apie A-03 in water, but it can get wet from splashes or rain, and continue to function.
Some people have complained that the speaker is bass-heavy. But if you’re having a party, you want a decent dollop of bass, don’t you?
We’ll leave you with the most fun speaker on this list. The Sony SRS-XB41 doesn’t only produce excellent sound—it also offers light effects. There’s a multi-color line light, speaker lights, and a flashing strobe light.
Oh, and the speaker also becomes a portable percussion instrument. You can tap your hand on it, with the strength of your tap determining the volume of the output.
The speaker itself comes with 58-millimeter audio drivers, an IP67 waterproof rating, a 24-hour battery life, and support for both Bluetooth and NFC wireless connections.
The Best Wireless Outdoor Speakers for You
Outdoor speakers are just one of the many ways technology can help you survive the summer, but they are an important one. A barbeque isn’t the same without a few tunes blaring.
However, outdoor wireless speakers are about more than ruggedness and durability. They also need to fit seamlessly into your existing setup. Make sure you check out our other article on how to pick the best wireless speaker system for your needs.