The 10 Best Waterproof Speakers
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in September of 2015. Keep the party going wherever you are headed with one of these waterproof speakers. They are capable of streaming your tunes from just about any device, and let you rock out at the beach, a pool party, or even in the shower without the risk of damaging your gear. We've ranked a variety of options here, taking into account water resistance, sound quality, portability, and price. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 16, 2020:
For this update, we replaced four of our previous entries due to waterproof and availability issues.
Though all of these options are waterproof to some extent, some can handle more moisture than others. This protection is reflected in each product's two-digit IP rating. The first digit represents its protection against solid objects, like dust or dirt, and the second digit indicates how much water exposure it can withstand. If one of these digits is an “X”, that just means there is no rating for that category. The full description of these ratings can be found online, but essentially, the higher the number, the more protection the product offers.
For example, one of our new additions, the iFox iF012, has an IP67 rating. The 6 indicates that it is completely protected against any dust, and the 7 shows that it can be fully submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. This information gives you a pretty specific idea of what you can do with the product, and should always be researched before purchasing.
One of the products we replaced, the Alpatronix Shockproof AX410, was rated only IPX4. We replaced it with the Anker Soundcore 2, a similar model that delivered the same 12 watts of power but had a much higher IP rating of IPX7. This new addition is also more affordable than its predecessor and features BassUp technology to improve sound performance.
Just How Wet Can Your Speaker Get?
That’s not to say that the bulk of waterproof speakers out there — and certainly the ones on our list — aren’t more than capable of handling contact with water.
It might be tempting to unbox your brand new waterproof speaker, take it out to the pool, and see how good it sounds while both you and it are completely submerged underwater. The problem with this experiment is that it will, more than likely, destroy your device.
The company who sold you the speaker didn’t exactly lie to you; they were merely participating in a system that has a tendency to mislead and confuse customers into buying their products. If they didn’t participate in the illusion, they couldn’t make ends meet.
That’s not to say that the bulk of waterproof speakers out there — and certainly the ones on our list — aren’t more than capable of handling contact with water. It’s just that none of them are completely waterproof.
So, that’s the bad news. The good news is that the waterproof speakers on our list are among the most resistant to liquid ingress on the market, while also being among the best sounding options out there.
Another piece of good news is that there’s a system in place that allows consumers to see past the flimsy waterproof claims behind which so many inferior products hide. Once you master this simple list, you’ll be able to apply it to the purchase of anything that claims to resist water.
In the majority of advertising copy for waterproof goods, you’ll see what’s called the IP rating. Those two letters are usually followed by two numbers, or by an X and then a number. It’s that last number that matters to us when we’re looking at waterproofing, as the first number denotes physical ingress from debris or dust.
Obviously, a zero in this spot would indicate no water protection, but it’s highly unlikely that a company would advertise that. Most of the electronics on the market that don’t employ special seals around their doors, buttons, and joints test their equipment against dripping, splashing, or spraying water. The more forceful the water stream, the more likely it can get inside speaker, so resistance to increases in water pressure result in a higher IP rating.
Generally speaking, you want this number to be as high as possible within the scale, with any number seven or above translating to water resistance even when fully submerged.
How To Choose The Right Waterproof Speaker For You
A good waterproof speaker can absolutely transform the quality of an outdoor party, bringing crystal clear sound and thumping bass to your poolside or the beach. A speaker that fails to stand up to even light splashing will quickly become a hindrance and a distraction. A speaker that doesn’t sound very good will quickly become a paperweight.
There are a few variables you can compare between and among speakers to help you figure out which one is right for you. The most important thing is for you to understand your own needs and your environment, and to find a speaker that suits those the best.
For example, if you know you want to bring your speaker to the beach, and you need your tunes to reach as many ears as possible, you’re going to want to focus on power. The more watts a speaker offers, the greater its reach is liable to be. You can even afford to sacrifice a little waterproofing in the name of increased power in this instance, as you’re far more likely to drop a speaker into a pool that’s next to your lounge chair than you are to drop it in an ocean that’s 20 yards away.
In another example, you may only need to fill a small backyard with sound, but you may have youngsters running around that are more likely to pick up the speaker and carry it around, even as they’re soaking wet. Those wet hands might also cause the kids to drop your speaker, but some of the options on our list are also shockproof from drop heights up to seven feet. If those youngsters are the proud owners and operators of some high-powered water pistols, that’s all the more reason to prioritize a speaker that can stand up to a pressurized spray.
Other features to look out for that might not be as vital, but could be the deciding factor between two similar models include carrying options and brand name. A few speakers out there come with straps or carabiners that make them easier to take with you from one location to the next. Brand names in the speaker world will significantly increase the price of your purchase, but they may also be the difference between a speaker that plays your music back in the highest fidelity and one that’s decidedly muddy.
Waterproofing Gets Better And Better
For a very long time, waterproofing was a guessing game. If you wanted to keep water out of a gadget or a container, you’d have to line the area around any of its openings with rubber gaskets. The biggest problems with these methods were exactness and durability. Engineers eventually cracked the former issue, gaining a great enough understanding of water’s properties and pressure to create gaskets of an ideal size for a given application.
Durability was still an issue, however. Rubber had a tendency to dry out and crack over time, rendering it susceptible to liquids and even dust. Synthetic materials came to the rescue, but consumers could still unintentionally sabotage their seals with the greatest of ease.
Waterproof cameras designed to shoot videos and stills while completely submerged offer a great example of this accidental ingress. Because they run on batteries and write to removable memory cards, underwater cameras often have a door with a seal along its frame to access the card and battery slots. If users got this seal dirty, or if a single human hair were to come between the door and the body of the camera, water could get in.
Today’s methods of waterproofing are decidedly more advanced. There are sprays like Rustoleum’s NeverWet, as well as industrial applications of gases that, through the process of deposition, settle and adhere to complex circuitries, allowing them to directly repel water.