This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the UK audience.
Take a moment to picture the perfect holiday snap: You relaxing in some picturesque location, the sun shining and a cold drink in your hand. Yes, it’s a pretty picture. But what about the sounds? The only thing that could make this image even more perfect would be an excellent speaker at your side, pumping out your favourite tunes.
When you’re selecting a speaker for this scene, there are a few features you’re going to want to prioritise. Choosing a wireless speaker — one that doesn’t tangle you in power cords and can easily connect to your phone via WiFi or Bluetooth — will make things easier, which is why you should only consider wireless for outside use.
Wireless technology isn’t the only feature that you need for an outdoor speaker. Also important for outdoor use is some kind of weather-resistance or waterproofing. There are other things to consider too, so here’s a guide to everything you need to know.
Do you need a wireless outdoor speaker?
With today’s WiFi and Bluetooth technology, there’s no need to fumble with complicated installations and worry about safely burying wires outside in all the wet and windy elements. You’re better off with a Bluetooth speaker that easily connects to your devices — smartphone, tablet, laptop, whatever — and seamlessly streams your tunes. Another benefit is that you can often link several of them together via Bluetooth to provide complete audio coverage across your outdoor space. You can also use that tech to sync the audio playing indoors and outdoors to keep your party’s vibe consistent.
What are the important features in wireless outdoor speakers?
We have checked out a wide range of wireless outdoor speakers, and come up with a shortlist of things you should care about. These are some things to consider:
Battery Life — The major downside of wireless speakers is that they need to be charged periodically. Make sure that the outdoor speaker you choose has a decent battery life if you plan to use it often and don’t want to think about recharging too much. 10-12 hours is about average.
Durability — This might seem obvious, but you need your outdoor speaker to be durable. If it’s not, then it’s not going to last very long. Chances are, any outdoor speaker is going to take a few bumps and it might even get dropped. So the last thing you need is something that easily breaks.
Sound quality — Just like with any speaker purchase, you’re going to want to prioritise sound quality. What’s the point if your speaker doesn’t play your tunes any better than your phone? So make sure you pick something with bass, clear audio, and good volume.
Waterproofing — We have just mentioned how important water resistance is, but you should also look for the next step in protection. If you’re planning to use your speaker near a pool, lake, or sea, you should get one that can be submerged in water. Accidents happen, and it’s best to play it safe with a waterproof speaker.
Weather-resistance — Of course, nothing is indestructible in the elements, but you will need something that can hold up at least for a little while in whatever weather conditions are common near you. This is where a speaker that’s water or heat resistant can come in handy.
Keep these points in mind when shopping for your next speaker.
What is the best wireless outdoor speaker?
Once you’ve made sense of what matters most to you, and what you should be looking for in an outdoor speaker, you can actually decide on your preferred device. This isn’t the most simple task, because there are a lot of options out there that tick a lot of boxes.
To make things easier for you, we have lined up a selection of the best wireless outdoor speakers, including popular models from top brands like JBL and Ultimate Ears. We have searched high and low to bring you this list, and we’re confident that there is something for everyone and every budget.
These are the best wireless outdoor speakers in 2023.
Joseph Green, Ashley Keegan, Matt Ford