The 10 Best Floating Speakers
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in March of 2016. Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, you can now take your tunes anywhere you go, and that includes the swimming pool, beach, or lake on a hot summer day. Thanks to built-in buoyancy, these floating speakers can keep the party going on water and are capable of streaming music and phone calls over Bluetooth. Some offer an AM/FM radio, and an auxiliary cable for hardwired connections. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 25, 2020:
While some of the items included on our last ranking are no longer available from their manufacturers, there were others that ultimately failed to meet certain standards, like the EcoXGear Eco Extreme, which is a fine idea if you want to take the thing you need to control your music and seal it in a waterproof case. It makes it far too difficult to make adjustments to tracks or volume, and it relies on outdated 3.5mm connections that many phones don't even have nowadays. You're better off grabbing any of the other models out there, like the Philips 27 Shoqbox Mini if price is a concern, and then putting your phone in a waterproof case with buttons.
An important consideration for many of these devices is sound quality, which can be affected by a number of variable, water being one of the most potent. If a speaker's driver is even partially submerged, the sound waves will get muffled to near non-existence by the water. That's why something like the EcoXGear EcoDrift is so appealing, as it's designed to float on one flat side with its main speaker facing up on the other. The World Of Watersports Wow-Sound has a construction with a similar effect, but its top-heavy design makes it wobble a bit on the surface, so the manufacturers included a custom inner tube it can ride in when waterborne.
Understanding Waterproofing Specifications
Fortunately, there's a system in place that makes this claim of waterproofing or water resistance much easier to understand on a product-to-product basis.
Despite what advertisers would have you believe, it is more or less impossible for anything to be completely 100 percent waterproof. Even items that can withstand prolonged submersion at significant depths have their limits, and once those limits are exceeded ingress of water is all but guaranteed. Practically, however, it is extremely possible for something to be as waterproof as you'll need it to be. In that sense, any speaker, smartwatch, or other electronic gadget that claims to be waterproof, while in actuality only being water-resistant, is probably still protected enough from water in most situations.
Still, it would be difficult for the average consumer to take a company's word for it when they claim that a given product is waterproof, or at least water-resistant enough for its intended uses. Fortunately, there's a system in place that makes this claim of waterproofing or water resistance much easier to understand on a product-to-product basis.
Whenever you're looking at any product that claims to be waterproof, you usually see a specific designation with regards to that claim. It will often begin with the letters IP, which are immediately followed by a pair of numbers. Those numbers each correspond to a given product’s resistance against dust in the left-hand number and water in the right-hand number. Occasionally, that first number will be replaced with an X, which denotes a more or less complete resistance to the ingress of dust.
Generally speaking, you want these numbers to be as high as possible, but if you know that a certain product isn't going to encounter very much water, and you're looking to save a little money, you might be able to get away with a lower degree of water resistance. In the case of the products on this list, our top floating speakers, you would want this number to be as high as possible. Even though higher numbers denote the ability to survive submerged underwater, and floating speakers, theoretically, shouldn't have to worry about submersion, it would still be wise to aim for as much waterproofing as you can get.
Why Would You Want Your Speakers To Float?
A floating speaker essentially performs two functions. The first is likely the most obvious, and that's the amplification of an audio source. With a good floating speaker, you can blast whatever music or podcast you like, and since these speakers aren't designed to need to plug into a wall, they provide you with a portable source of fun.
Not only do you not have to worry about it falling into the water and sinking, but you can also intentionally use it in the water.
The second function a floating speaker provides is its flotation. But what good is a floating speaker? The obvious answer is that if you drop it in a deep pool — or a lake, or the ocean — you don't have to dive in and submerge to the murky depths in order to rescue it. This is particularly important for the safety of the speaker, as well, as water pressure increases with depth, which could cause the speaker to crack or otherwise suffer structural damage that would allow water to make its way inside and wreak havoc.
The fact that your speaker can float has additional advantages, however. Not only do you not have to worry about it falling into the water and sinking, but you can also intentionally use it in the water. Imagine that you take a small boat out onto a lake, and you want to listen to some music as you go for a swim. You certainly can't pump that music from the shoreline and expect it to arrive in your ears with any discernible quality. You could pump that music from the boat itself, but unless you have a particularly powerful Marine amplification system, you may have a hard time enjoying that music more than a few feet from the boat. With a floating speaker, you can take your music out into the water with you, allowing you to enjoy anything you choose to amplify right then and there at the highest possible quality.
What To Look For In A Floating Speaker
When you set out to purchase a floating speaker, there's a handful of specific features that can really make one model shine above another. Some of these will have to do with personal preference, while others are features that everyone should look for in their purchase.
As we mentioned above, the degree to which your floating speaker is proofed against the ingress of water is vital. You can try to cut corner here, but if one of your guests at the pool decides to take your new speaker for a dive to see what the music sounds like farther underwater, you may very quickly have a new paper weight on your hands. As such, it's smarter to go with as much waterproofing as you can afford.
Some of these will have to do with personal preference, while others are features that everyone should look for in their purchase.
As far as sound quality goes, larger-diameter speakers tend to have a better time producing quality sound. That's because these usually have larger, more powerful magnets. There's a bit of a trade-off here, however, as those magnets aren't exactly buoyant. Bigger magnets are going to be more expensive and they're going to require more intensive engineering around them to make the whole speaker float.
Other important features to look for include button configurations, carrying handles, color, and battery life. Some floating speakers have bigger, more prominent buttons than others, these are good to have with you in the water, as salt or chlorine in the eyes can make it difficult to see the adjustments you want to make. Some floating speakers include carrying handles that make it easy to fish them out of the drink, and to carry them with you to and from whatever body of water you wish to enjoy.
If you're out on open water, either on a lake or in the ocean, a brightly colored speaker will be easier to locate if it should fall overboard or be forgotten as you make your way back to the boat. And, while better battery life is always a good thing, check to see how that battery life corresponds to charge time. A speaker with a slightly shorter battery life that charges much more quickly than a model with a little more battery life might be preferable, especially if you're the type to remember you need to charge your floating speaker just minutes before you head out the door.