True story… I purchased over $3,000 worth of portable waterproof Bluetooth speakers because I truly wanted to know what the absolute best waterproof Bluetooth speaker was for use on the boat, at the beach, or hanging out with friends in the backyard. (My wife thought I was insane. Maybe she’s right!)
In this article, I will share my thoughts about what to look for in waterproof Bluetooth boat speakers, things you need that you may not realize you need (like being able to charge your phone while listening to music), and more.
What To look for in a Bluetooth boat speaker
A Bluetooth speaker you plan to use on your boat should have a high enough IP rating to withstand minor splashes. It should also be loud enough to hear over the waves and engine.
If you’re on a boat all the time, listening to music can add to the ambiance. Sure, the peace and quiet is fine. However, you want to liven things up a bit and make your boating experience a little less boring.
You’ll want to take a look at portable speakers that will be great for your boat. In this review guide, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best choices you’ll find for 2023. What you’ll want to look for is something that will not just deliver superior sound quality.
You want something that will be protected against water – which is one of many enemies of anything electronic. We’ll dig more into this in the ‘what to look for’ section. Whether it’s for riding around, fishing, or having a party on the water with friends or family, getting a portable speaker will be worth it.
You can find the best quality and within the price range that you can afford. If you are looking for the perfect portable speaker for your boat in 2023, this guide will be for you. Keep reading to find the right one for you.
What to look for in a portable Bluetooth speaker for boat?
There are some can’t-miss features that you’ll want to take a look at when finding portable speakers. It’s important to find something that will match your needs and preferences. To that end, you will also need to find a speaker that is of excellent quality so it can last a long time.
Here are some of the things that you will need to look for:
The higher the waterproof rating the better. At a minimum, you want the rating to be IPX7. An IPX7 rating will almost guarantee you excellent waterproof protection that you’ll need.
Portable speakers are battery-operated. But how long will it be before the music dies? The longer the battery life, the better. The good news is that most of them will have a USB charger so you can keep it charged. Assuming your boat has a USB charger, that might be a big help for you. Otherwise, find a speaker that will give you hours of battery life on one charge.
Will it float
Things can get easily knocked down. And it can end up going overboard. The last thing you want to do is retrieve a speaker that sinks deep into the water. Plus, there is no need to risk your life trying to find it. For this reason, find a speaker that has the ability to float when it’s on the water.
This is one of the features you really don’t want to compromise. Sound quality can be excellent to a point where it can be rich when you listen to the music from close range. At the same time, you want it to be clear to where it can be heard on the water by others. If it has a volume level where it can be heard without the engine noise drowning it out, then that’s a good sign.
Of course, we would be remiss if this wasn’t included. It’s obvious that a portable speaker will be the best solution for boating. How easy is it for the speaker to go from point A to point B? Most of these speakers are light in weight. But it’s also the size that plays a role in portability. Can it fit easily in a travel bag?
When looking for portable speakers, it’s important to know the IP rating so you know which one to choose. Since you will be boating, you will need something that will give you excellent protection.
At best, you’ll want to find a speaker that has a rating no lower than IPX7, which is waterproof when it’s submerged under 1 meter (or three feet) of water. What you’ll notice are most of these speakers will have IP67 ratings, which will give you the same protection for water and then some.
IPX6 could be doable since it can provide protection against jets of water. But as far as being submerged underwater, it may not be enough. If push comes to shove, IPX7 should be the lowest rating to settle on period.
Best Portable Speakers For Your Boat (Best Bluetooth speakers)
We’ll be taking a look now at the following list of portable speakers that will be great for your boat. Most of these have been tested for this review. We’ll also give you a glimpse at some of the other important features like how waterproof it is, the sound quality, and more.
We hope our findings may be enough to help you decide which portable speaker will be best for your boating experience. Let’s dive right in (no pun intended) and go over each of these speakers:
First on the list is the Turtlebox Gen 2: Loud! Outdoor Portable Bluetooth 5.0 Speaker. This is perhaps one of the most popular of its kind on the market and for good reason. Not only is it great for boating, it’s great when you want to get a beach party going with your friends.
If you own a Jeep Wrangler and like tailgating parties, this is the perfect speaker to use. Even for concert pre-parties, it’s great to use when you want to blare some awesome tunes of the artist you’re going to see. So what makes this speaker so special?
For one, the sound quality is pretty good. It’s not ridiculously rich, but it’s not lacking either. If you are looking for dependable audio quality, there’s no denying that the Turtlebox Gen 2: Loud will deliver on that promise.
It delivers a total of 120db of sound, which is loud and can be heard over engine noise. So that’s good news if you want something that will allow you to crank it up. It’s made for the outdoors and it has the rugged body to show for it.
It’s IP67 rated so it can resist shock, dust, and yes, even water. In other words, it’s tough as nails. If you are looking for a speaker that can handle the outdoors both on land and water, this is it.
For the price it’s going for, you won’t be surprised at the fact that it’s of excellent quality inside and out. When you put it to good use, you’ll know that it’s worth every penny.
Next, we have the JBL Flip 6. This is the latest model from the JBL Flip line. It’s got excellent sound quality and a deep bass.
It’s rated IPX7 waterproof, which is a huge plus. If you are looking for a speaker that will last a long time on a single charge, this is it. That’s because it will give you 12 hours of playing time in total.
It’s design makes it look great and sound awesome as well. You can even stand it in a vertical or horizontal position. And it comes in various colors.
This also has a PartyBoost feature that will be useful when you want to pair other JBL speakers that have this same feature. When you put them together, you have an excellent sound that will make it quite the party in your neck of the woods or if you are out on the water.
It has about the same battery size as its Flip 5 counterpart. It also has the same features as well such as Bluetooth 5.1 compatibility, USB-C Quick Charge, and waterproof capabilities. The only difference between the two is that the Flip 6 has a Tweeter Speaker and a slightly larger driver size.
So there have been some minor adjustments to it. But it still delivers the same quality of sound and capabilities as its predecessor. If you are looking for a speaker that will be the life of the party, look no further than the JBL Flip 6.
Our next speaker will also be from the JBL brand. This is the Charge 5. If anything, one of the things we’ve noticed is that it’s better than the Sonos Roam, which is a competing speaker that has recently popped up on the market.
What makes this better than its Flip 6 counterpart is the battery life. You get 8 hours more listening time on one charge (for a total of 20 hours). This has a separate tweeter, dual bass radiators, and a long excursion driver to give you that patented JBL Pro Sound.
Another thing this has is a Power Bank that is built-in. What it allows you to do is charge your other devices without disrupting what the speaker does. So you can be able to let the speaker do its thing while serving double duty as a phone charger.
Not too shabby when you think about it. It comes in six different colors, so you can choose one that fits you best. Let’s not forget that it’s also got the PartyBoost feature that will allow you to pair JBL speakers with the same feature.
It’s IP67 rated, making it waterproof and dustproof. So it’s tough as nails and can give you excellent protection against whatever nature throws your way. If you are looking for a speaker that will handle the outdoors, the JBL Charge will do a good job while providing excellent quality sound to boot.
If money is no object and you don’t mind the size and weight, just go ahead and buy this one. The sound is amazing, it can get super loud without sound distortion and I love the bass!
Here’s the rest of the story…
Just when you thought that was it for JBL speakers, we’ve got another one. It may be one of the best options for when you are having a party outdoors. What’s great about this is that it has a bass feature that is out of this world.
This has a playing time of 24 hours on a single charge. So if you want to party all day and night until the battery runs out, you can do just that. It has bluetooth streaming, so you can pair it with another device that will be able to play music.
Whether it’s from a phone, tablet, or any other device that has such compatibility, if you can pair it with this speaker, you’re golden. It’s rated IPX7 waterproof, making it one of the best options if you are looking for something that will be fully protected.
So if it gets thrown in a pool or if the sky opens up with a downpour, it won’t get ruined. It can handle whatever the outdoors throws its way. It’s gota durable design, high-quality sound, and is just the perfect speaker for your outdoor event.
It can be a cookout, a pool party, or a combination of the two. Or you can take it out on the water during a little boating to get together with friends or family. Whatever the day brings, the JBL Boombox 2 will be the perfect option for you.
Bose is known for creating some great products with excellent sound quality. Needless to say, the waterproof ability of some of their speakers may not be the best. The Bose Soundlink is rated at IP67, which is waterproof but can also withstand drops, rust, corrosion, and impact.
Above all, it’s a pretty durable speaker. It’s got a state-of-the-art design that will make the sound quality clear, rich, and deep. So you can listen to your favorite music at home or when you’re out on a boat.
You can plug this in with a USB-C cord and it can charge it up fast. On a single charge, you get 12 hours of playing time. That’s a pretty good sign if you’re going to be out on the water and want to play music for much of the day.
It’s got Bluetooth compatibility, which will connect with any device that has it. It also can connect with other Bose speakers if they are within 30 feet of each other. That’s easy connectivity done right.
You can also download the Bose Connect app so you can be able to get the latest software updates. It can also provide you with customizable settings, unlock various product features, and more.
If you want to get excellent sound quality, a sleek design, and can be great for your boating trips, this is the speaker you want. Also, you get it at a price that might just be doable for someone on a budget.
Even for a brand like Bose, the price that it’s going for is a steal of a deal. You’d be insane to pass up the opportunity to get the Soundlink if audio quality is something you’ll never compromise on.
I know I said to buy the JBL Boombox 2 for the very best, and it really is one of my top picks, but the speaker I use the most is the Bose Soundlink Resolve+. We use it everyday in our bathroom when we get ready for work each morning. We carry it out on the patio in the afternoon when we want to have a cocktail and sit outside. We just don’t use it on the boat or on the beach.
Here’s a dive into more Bose Soundlink Resolve+ review notes:
The next speaker we’ll be looking at is the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ (Series II) Portable Bluetooth Speaker. To begin, this one isn’t as waterproof as the other speakers on our list. So it would be ideal to use this for the pool as opposed to boating.
But if you need a speaker just to play music when you’re out on the water, you may need to use something else. You could easily knock it overboard and it may get submerged. (this is why we almost exclusively use it around the house!)
Other than that, it has a unique 360 degree design that will give you the best sound quality you can get. It has a built-in microphone that you can use whenever you need to receive and take calls. It’s compatible with Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo Dot.
It’s got Bluetooth compatibility so it can be connected to your devices. Since it’s also a Bose speaker, it also has the ability to connect with other speakers from the brand if they are within a 30 foot range of one another.
You can easily manage the speaker using the Bose Connect app. So if you need to customize the features or even get up to date software, it’s a reliable app that you can use. Last but not least, it has Party Mode that allows you to connect to speakers in the Bose family.
While this speaker may not be the best in terms of waterproof features, this still can be usable for the pool or at home.
Next, we have the OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Speaker. This comes in various colors, so you can find one that will fit your personal preferences and your personality. If you are looking for excellent quality sound, then you’re going to love this speaker.
That’s because it uses the highest quality components that are great for sound production. It’s great for both indoor and outdoor use. Plus, with no distortion, you can play music as loud as you like.
This is water resistant and rated at IPX5. So it’s not one of the most ideal speakers for your boat. But it can handle trips to the beach or the pool.
For a small speaker, it has a lengthy battery life of up to 14 hours. So on one charge, you can put it to good use for a long time. If you are looking for a speaker that will get the job done even at a good price, this OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Speaker just might be exactly what you’re looking for.
This being said, if you can afford one of the other speakers, don’t buy this one. It sounds really good for its size BUT you can’t compare it to more expensive and larger speakers and expect the same sound quality. It’s good, but not as good!
Now, we’ll be taking a look at the Braven BRV-Mini Waterproof Pairing Speaker. This is rated at IPX7 waterproof, which means you get the best water protection bar none. It’s perfect for boating, so you can take this with you any time.
For what it is (a tiny speaker) it was quite impressive. I love the tone and bass when turning it on. If only music was impressive as the sound it makes when turning on.
This said it’s still a good option for a beach bag. It’s small in size, making it easy to take on the go. With one charged battery, it can run up to 12 hours for music listening. It also has the ability to pair with your favorite wireless device.
If you are looking for excellent audio quality, you’ll love this speaker. For 5W output and a boosted bass, you will be quite happy with it even for the price that it’s going for. This can be charged using a USB-C cord and the battery gets full fairly quickly.
If you have your phone linked to this speaker, you can use it for all your calls. It has a lanyard that you’ll be able to use whenever you need to secure it. It’s a nice speaker to have and might be great for the beach, the pool, or a day on the water on your favorite boat.
For a small speaker, it’s durable, rich in sound, and worth every penny. If you want to stay within a certain budget without going too cheap, this is the speaker you want.
Going back to the JBL brand, we’ll be taking a look at the GO2 Waterproof Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Speaker. It’s rated at IPX7 waterproof, so you get excellent protection. So that’s a green flag for those that want to be on a boat all the time.
It gives you five hours of playtime on a single charge. It can be connected to your favorite device that will allow you to connect your phone or tablet. It also has a micro USB cable so you can charge the battery whenever you need to.
It has good enough sound quality, which is exactly what you’re expecting from the JBL brand. If you are looking for a budget speaker from one of the more trusted brands in audio, then you’ll probably find this one to be the perfect match.
However, just remember it is small and simply does not compare to the sound of the bigger Flip and Charge JBL speakers. If your budget allows, get one of the other two.
Let’s begin with this review of the Sonos Move with some good news and bad news. We’ll go with the bad news first: it may not be suitable for boating, the pool, or the beach. But the good news is that it will be perfect for outdoor parties.
Even though we’re focusing on speakers for boating, we believe this deserves some kind of mention. It’s bulky and heavy, which explains why it’s not boat, pool, or beach friendly. However, you can snag this if you are planning on having get togethers over the course of the summer.
We use this is our family room as our music speaker when we have guest over or when we are cleaning the house and need some tunes to keep us motivated. It sound amazing, but not really great for many of our main goals.
Plus, the Sonos Move will take several minutes to set up and can stream over your Wi-Fi connection. If you have a Sonos system set up throughout your home, you’ll be able to pair it so all your music that’s playing inside can go outside as well.
It’s IP56 rated, which means it can withstand many weather conditions. It’s even got an excellent amount of durability. This means it can survive the drops and bumps that can happen if you know it down.
It’s got excellent sound quality along with a rich bass. So if you are looking for something that may give you the best in terms of audio, you’re going to love the Sonos Move. You can even link this up with Alexa so you can have it as your personal assistant as well.
Now do you see why it’s great for home and not the boat? The Sonos Move does a good job providing you with the goods. But it’s too bad you can’t take it with you.
But hey, at least you have plenty of other options like the ones listed above. Or even this next one down below.
The final speaker we’ll be looking at is the COMISO Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers. This comes in a variety of colors that you can choose from. What makes this great is that it has 20 hours of playing time in one battery charge and the price point.
Aside from that, it has crystal clear sound quality that you’ll enjoy while playing music. You can connect your device to the speaker since it has Bluetooth capabilities. It’s IPX5 rated waterproof, but can also resist splashing, rain, dust, sand, and so many of the outdoor elements.
Unfortunately, it’s not rated high enough to be submerged underwater. Its ultra-portability makes this easy to take with you wherever you go. So it can be used for boating, but you’ll want to put it in a place where it won’t easily get knocked over.
Aside from boating, it will be perfect for hiking, camping, while you’re at the beach, or hanging around poolside. The good news is that you’ll be able to use this almost anywhere you go.
Whether it’s a day in the sun or hiking the trails, this bluetooth speaker will not disappoint.
However, it’s a budget speaker so don’t expect Sonos Move JBL or Bose sound quality.
If you are looking for good portable speakers, there are plenty of them listed above. You can find one that will be perfect for while you’re boating. Plus, you may find others that will work just fine when you are outdoors and enjoying yourself poolside.
Whatever your needs and preferences, you can find a speaker that will work just fine. The sound quality, waterproof rating, and design may be one of the top features to look for. You’ll never know which one of these speakers will be your next best purchase.
Check out which speaker fits your needs and budget and grab one while you can.