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Best Overall: Fugoo Go at Amazon
"Delivers ten uninterrupted hours of wireless musical perfection."
Best Value: Comiso Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker at Amazon
"Includes two precision acoustic drivers that deliver 360-degree sound."
Best for Base Campers: Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 3.0 at Amazon
"Includes 20 hours of play time when running off a full charge."
Best for Clip-and-Go Convenience: Lifeproof Aquaphonics AQ9 at Amazon
"Submersible in water for up to 30 minutes."
Best Design: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom at Amazon
"Adds a bit of much-needed whimsy to your aquatic audio adventures."
Best Big Sound in a Small Package: Bose SoundLink Micro at Amazon
"Small in size and massive in sound."
Best for Light Shows: JLB Pulse 3 at Amazon
"LED lights blast out of the speaker, synchronizing to your music automatically."
Best for Backpackers: Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro at Amazon
"Delivers clear sound, with a passive bass port for enhanced subtly."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Fugoo Go
If water remains constant in your travels, the Fugoo Go delivers ten uninterrupted hours of wireless musical perfection, whether your pool-side, playing in the waves, or windsurfing across the ocean. Two full-range 52mm drivers deliver 360-degree sound, amplified by twin base radiators that measure 62 x 36mm for a full-bodied sound that can reach up to 92 decibels. Pairing is a breeze thanks to the easy-to-set-up Bluetooth 4.2, and a wireless range of up to 100 feet will keep you untethered from the speaker.
It's all the little things that really let the Go shine, though, including a mounting cord to let you strap or hang the speaker, and large, easy-access volume and power controls integrated across the face of the speaker, rather than hidden off to one side of the device. The Go is compatible with a range of Fugoo accessories, including a Mount Pack to attach the device to your bike, windsurfing rig, and kiteboarding harness. You can also pair the same device to another Go to deliver full stereo sound, or share the same tunes when you and your travel partner tackle the surf in a sea kayak.
Best Value: Comiso Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
It’s not just the $30 price point that makes the Comiso shine. The speaker also includes two precision acoustic drivers that deliver 360-degree sound that’s buoyed by a dual passive bass radiator design, which pushes out the bass evenly, even at full volume. At less than 13 ounces, it’s easy to stash and forget, and its cylindrical shape makes it easy to slip into a side water bottle pocket. The controls are nestled on the top, including play/pause, volume, power, and next/previous tracks. You can also pair this device to another Comiso, and then opt to either stream the same audio through both speakers, or configure them to play the audio’s left and right channels via the TWS control.
Best for Base Campers: Outdoor Tech Turtle Shell 3.0
When you’re camping out in the wild — be that on the beach or in beech wood forest — you want something that’ll play longer than your partying ambitions and the Turtle Shell 3.0 delivers, with 20 hours of play time when running off a full charge. Now in its third iteration, this one is 20 percent louder than previous models, blasting 360-degree sound from a polygonal housing that’s rugged and dust-, shock-, and fully waterproof. The thing even floats. A built-in mic allows for conference calls, and it comes with a 3.5mm jack if you want to save your smartphone battery and plug in for wired sound (cable included). The wireless range reaches 35 feet, and you can also daisy-chain together a network of Turtle Shells. Just sync another speaker to the same device 15 feet away that extends your reach to 45 feet to boost the ambient audio into full-on music festival status.
Best for Clip-and-Go Convenience: Lifeproof Aquaphonics AQ9
Lifeproof got its start making some of the best waterproof smartphone cases on the market. And now that most smartphones are waterproof, they’ve extended their business to keeping the delicate insides of portable speakers just as dry. The ultra-compact Aquaphonics AQ9 runs for 16 hours at a full charge, with speakers that measure 5.6" x 3.2" x 1.3" and a max audio output of 80 decibels. The spring-loaded carabiner locks tight, but even if you manage to drop the speaker, it can handle serious abuse. The AQ9 is submersible in water for up to 30 minutes, drop-proof from 1.2 meters, and sealed to protect it from dirt, dust, and snow. It also floats and can be paired with up to eight different devices. A built-in mic lets it work as a speakerphone if you get trapped mid-vacation by some work obligation, or if you just want to call the family lake-side and rub in your good fortune.
Best Design: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
Available in bold, playful colors like fireball red and deep blue, the Wonderboom adds a bit of much-needed whimsy to your aquatic audio adventures. The spherical device delivers boisterous 360-degree sound, with a max level of 86 decibels powered by two 40mm active drivers and two 46.1 x 65.2 mm passive bass radiators that deliver pristine sound even when cranked high.
With a full charge, the Wonderboom produces ten hours of sound, with a wireless range that tops out at 100 feet. Large volume controls make it easy to adjust the levels, while other buttons at the top let you toggle the power and play/pause/skip as well as a quick-pair Bluetooth button that can be synced up to eight devices — or paired with another Wonderboom speaker. It comes with a smart hanging loop, but it also floats in water and is drop-proof from up to five feet.
Best Big Sound in a Small Package: Bose SoundLink Micro
Measuring only 3.87" x 3.87", with a modest diameter of 1.37" and weighing just more than ten ounces, the SoundLink Micro is small in size and massive in sound. Bose leverages its well-earned rep for high-quality sound by using a custom-designed transducer along with rugged silicone passive radiators to boost the bass and deliver clear, crisp sound that other speakers can’t match.
The integrated, tear-resistant strap makes it easy to attach it your pack, bike, or cooler, and it exceeds the industry-standard IPX7 waterproof rating, with a silicone rubber exterior that eliminates gaps and seams while armoring it against drops, dents, scratches, and cracks. Basic controls — volume, power, and a multi-functional button that includes fast Bluetooth pairing — all sit on the face of the device, but the Bose Control app unlocks a world of configurations, including tips, personalized settings, and the ability to trigger Party Mode, which allows you pair another speaker, and Stereo Mode to create dedicated right and left playback. A full charge delivers six hours of playback with a wireless range of up to 30 feet. An integrated mic lets it work as a speakerphone, and the multi-function button also lets you access voice input from Siri or Google Assistant directly from the speaker.
Best for Light Shows: JLB Pulse 3
If music is merely the start of your party, the JLB Pulse 3 can bring the vibrancy of a light show to your next outdoor fête. Simply shake the cylindrical device and LED lights blast out of the speaker, synchronizing to your music automatically, or to whatever setting your creative spirit desires thanks to the JBL Connect app. Sounds come out at 80 decibels thanks to the 3 x 40 mm transducer, which runs off 20 watts of power for up to 12 hours of playing time. It carries an IPX7 waterproof rating and includes a speakerphone mic equipped with noise- and echo-canceling tech. But to really become the life of the party, you can pair your device with up to 100 additional Pulse 3s and then create a light show extravaganza that would’ve made Pink Floyd blush with envy.
Best for Backpackers: Outdoor Tech Buckshot Pro
The deep beyond you reach while backpacking shouldn’t be shattered with bone-rattling sound, which is with the lower-octane Buckshot Pro is ideal. It delivers clear sound, with a passive bass port for enhanced subtly, without blasting out the animals lingering at the edge of your fire, playing for ten hours on full charge.
The Buckshot Pro is more than a mere speaker, though. It’s also another backcountry essential: a flashlight, which can operate as a go-to lantern when cooking by setting it to torch mode. It carries an IPX5 waterproof rating — not ideal for full submersion, but plenty robust enough to handle light rain and snow. It also comes with a bike mount, transforming the simple wireless speaker into a bike light/music monster when you’re in the saddle.