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The best outdoor speakers of 2024 to pump up your parties, tested and reviewed

Liven up your picnics, barbecues, tailgates and more with these great-sounding outdoor speakers.

The best outdoor speakers of 2024 to pump up your parties, tested and reviewed

Buh-bye, winter! Warm weather has finally returned, and with it, outdoor events: backyard cookouts, tailgate parties, pickleball matches and more. The best outdoor speakers will make these occasions even better, putting your favorite playlists (and maybe even a little karaoke) front and center. Having tested a ton of these things, I've got good news: It's hard to choose a bad one. Below I've rounded up what I consider the top outdoor speakers you can buy right now. Most are waterproof (or at least water-resistant), meaning a few splashes or raindrops won't fry the electronics. Several are beach-friendly as well, able to repel sand, dirt and the like.

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To learn more about these and other factors to weigh in your purchase decision, plus how we tested the speakers, read on past the reviews.

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Portable: Yes | Supports multi-speaker pairing: Yes | Weatherproofing: IPX7 | Rated battery life: 30 hours | Ports: USB-C | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Special features: LED lighting effects; power bank

Full stop: This is my favorite model in the group. It has everything you want from a portable Bluetooth speaker: It’s easily moved (thanks, '80s-boom-box-style handle), incredible battery life (up to 30 hours, which blows away the competition) and has excellent sound that, if I'm being honest, handily beats Sonos in outdoor environments. Credit that to the two tweeters and two midwoofers that combine to crank out a hefty 90 watts of audio goodness. Everything I played on the StormBox Blast just felt big.

Maybe it's because the actual speaker is physically large as well, weighing in at around 12 pounds. That makes it the heaviest player in the group (by a lot), though there's an added benefit to the arm workout you'll get from carrying it: The Blast's battery has so much capacity, you can use it as a power source to charge your phone or another device. There's a USB-C port tucked away inside the rear panel, which means more battery life for all of your devices.

Unfortunately, that port is for output only; you can't use it to charge the speaker itself. For that, you need Tribit's AC power cord. That's understandable given the size of the battery, but it's one more cable to keep track of.

The StormBox Blast comes ready to party: It's IPX7-rated water-resistant and therefore weather-resistant (meaning you could literally submerge it and it would keep playing) and outfitted with color-changing LEDs that bounce in time with the music. A clearly marked button on the control panel toggles between two lighting modes and no lighting at all.

Speaking of controls, the Blast's functionality is a breeze, but it's made even better by Tribit's companion app, which lets you choose lighting modes, check the battery level and apply equalizer settings to tune the music to your liking. There are auto-shutdown modes available as well to help preserve battery life.

If you really want to liven things up, you can pair two of these things for a whopping 180 watts of powerful sound. The only real downside I've found is that the speaker doesn't have a microphone built in, so you can't use it for phone calls.

That aside, I consider the Tribit StormBox Blast one of the best outdoor speakers you can get to stream audio. For half the price of the Sonos Move, this battery-powered speaker can last three times as long on a charge. Plus, it fills outdoor spaces or landscaping better than the Move and looks cooler doing it. Put this party animal on your short list for the best portable speaker.

  • Big, bright sound
  • Unrivaled battery life
  • Neat lighting effects
  • Useful companion app
  • USB-C port for charging other devices
  • No Type-A USB port
  • No microphone option for karaoke or calls
$200 at Amazon

Portable: Yes | Supports multi-speaker pairing: Yes | Weatherproofing: IP67 | Rated battery life: 12 hours | Ports: USB-C | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Special features: LED lighting effects

This is the speaker Yoda would use to teach Luke Skywalker a lesson: "Judge it by its size, do you? And well you should not!" Because despite being tiny (and adorable), the Soundcore Glow Mini is, well, an audio tour-de-force. (See what I did there?)

About the size of a single-serve Pringles can, the Glow Mini features a handy integrated finger strap. Color-changing lights wrap all the way around — totally unnecessary, but undeniably cool when it's dusk or dark out. (They're hard to see during day, especially under direct sun, but you can toggle them off to help preserve battery life.)

Within the Soundcore companion app you can choose from five effect-lighting presets or a solid color for ambience. There's also a custom-effect option, which is a little confusing but still fun to tinker with. Although Soundcore says the light show is "beat-synced," I didn't see any indication of that; the effects seem the same regardless of whether music was playing or not.

No matter. The Glow Mini sounds remarkably good for its size, and it can get pretty loud as well. In my testing I was constantly surprised by the quality of music I heard from this little thing. Also impressive: Soundcore promises up to 12 hours on a charge; I'd have expected half that given its size.

I don't love the black-on-black control buttons that are barely raised and difficult to see, nor the cryptic quick-start guide that's almost sure to befuddle novice Bluetooth speaker users.

Those little gripes aside, this is a superb outdoor speaker that's a steal at $40.

  • Very affordable
  • Surprisingly big sound
  • Impressive battery life for its size
  • Nifty wraparound lighting effects
  • Microphone included for speakerphone calls
  • Poor printed setup instructions
  • Lighting effects barely visible in daylight
  • Buttons are hard to see
$40 at Amazon

Portable: Yes | Supports multi-speaker pairing: Yes | Weatherproofing: IP67 | Rated battery life: 16 hours | Ports: USB-C | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Special features: Microphone

If you don't have a lot of money to spend on a speaker but still want something good for the outdoors, look no further than EarFun's 1.4-pound UBoom L Bluetooth speaker. It's surprisingly powerful for its size, yet still compact enough to toss in a bag or backpack. 

Even better, toss in two: You can pair them together for bigger, louder sound and true stereo separation — something that's not always an option with compact speakers like these (but definitely desirable).

Speaking of the outdoors, the UBoom L has a special mode just for those environments. Push a button and the outdoor Bluetooth speakers amplify both the bass and loudness for a balanced sound. Of course, you can use that mode indoors as well, which I found I preferred.

Courtesy of its two 55mm drivers and passive radiators, the UBoom L can crank out 28 watts of power — more than many speakers in this size and price range. This matters most outdoors, where open areas can swallow up your music. You won't be able to hear it well from across a field, but within, say, a 20-foot perimeter, it has the juice.

It also has very good sound, with impressive balance and bass. EarFun promises a solid 16 hours of battery life on a single charge, more than enough to last a day (and night) at the beach. And because it's water-resistant, you don't have to worry about splashes or even dunks. (Real-world test: I plunged this underwater and it kept right on playing. It even floats!)

EarFun frequently discounts the UBoom L, but even at an $80 price point it's a great buy.

  • Compact and portable
  • Bright, well-balanced sound with decent bass
  • Completely waterproof
  • Supports pairing a second speaker
  • Built-in mic for speakerphone calls
  • Full battery charge takes about 4 hours
  • Fairly 'meh' design
$80 at Amazon

Portable: Yes | Supports multi-speaker pairing: Yes | Weatherproofing: IP67 | Rated battery life: 12 hours | Ports: USB-C | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 | Special features: LED lighting effects

Do your outdoor events often last well into the night? The Pulse 5 puts on a lightshow that's even better than the Tribit Stormbox Blast's. It not only spans the full height of the speaker but also wraps all the way around it: Stick it in the center of your gathering and everyone gets the same great view.

The Pulse 5 looks like a shiny black thermos, at least until it's turned on. Then it becomes the LED-powered equivalent of a lava lamp, with cool morphing colors and your choice of a half dozen light-show modes. You can toggle between these using a button on the speaker itself or the JBL Portable app, which is also home to a wealth of settings and other options — all logically organized and very easy to understand. With a few taps you can set not only the light mode, but also brightness and tempo.

Trouble sleeping? The app offers five ambient sounds you can play as well: waves, forest sounds, crackling fire and so on. A simple slider lets you set a countdown timer for this sound. And I love that you can toggle more than one at a time — forest sounds and a babbling brook, for example.

Simplicity carries over to the speaker itself, where you'll find a narrow control panel with clearly labeled buttons: power, Bluetooth, light mode and multi-speaker. Just below that, a battery gauge and the USB-C charging port. Although there's no rubber gasket protecting that port, the Pulse 5 carries an IP67 waterproof rating. That means if any liquid gets splashed into the port, it shouldn't harm the speaker — but you'll need to let it dry out before attempting to charge.

Notably absent from the on-speaker controls: volume, play/pause and track skip. It's up to your phone or tablet to manage all that, which can be a hassle if someone other than you needs to quickly pause the music or adjust the volume.

That's my only real usability complaint with the JBL Pulse 5, but I do have a financial one as well: $250 seems awfully steep for a speaker of this size. Make no mistake, it sounds terrific, with impressive bass response and enough wattage for a wide listening area. But unless you really want that light show, you can get just as much power (or more) for less money.

  • Big sound, compact speaker
  • Nifty 360-degree LED lightshow
  • Excellent companion app
  • Integrated carrying strap
  • On the expensive side
  • No playback controls on the speaker
$200 at Amazon
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$200 at Walmart$250 at Macy's

Portable: Yes | Supports multi-speaker pairing: Yes | Weatherproofing: IP56 | Rated battery life: 24 hours | Ports: USB-C | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi | Special features: Wireless charging dock, voice commands, NFC

If you want a speaker that's primarily for indoor use but suitable for non-rigorous excursions, consider the Sonos Move 2. Successor to the already excellent first-gen Move, this sturdy monolith — available in black or white — weighs 6.6 pounds and lasts up to 24 hours on a charge, a massive improvement. (The original Move was rated for just 10 hours.) 

Sonos supplies a decent quick-start guide to get you up and running. You can charge the battery — which is user-replaceable! — using either the included dock or an optional USB-C AC adapter (with PowerDelivery). The original Move didn't support USB charging.

The Move 2 is IP56-rated against dust and splashes, so a little sand or water won't hurt it. But it feels a little too fancy to subject to the rigors of the outdoors. Patio, fine. Beach... maybe not. 

In addition to Bluetooth connectivity (which is what allows for on-the-go listening), the Move emulates other Sonos speakers by connecting to your home Wi-Fi network. This is fairly easy to set up, though it does require installing the Sonos app. What's more, when you roam outside the range of that network and want to switch to Bluetooth, you have to press a rear button to toggle modes. At least the Move 2 can automatically revert to Wi-Fi when back in range, something its predecessor couldn't.

Another Wi-Fi perk: Support for both Sonos and Alexa voice commands. (Sorry, Google Assistant fans: That option has been removed.) It's a great feature, one not found in any other speaker here. Once you get accustomed to barking, "Alexa, play my party playlist," it's hard to go back to tapping on your phone.

Having adopted a new dual-tweeter design, the Move 2 sounds even better than its predecessor — and that's saying something. You get a brighter, more detailed soundstage, with a hint of stereo separation. Sonos' Trueplay technology employs microphones to optimize the sound depending on your environment.

The tough pill to swallow, as with many Sonos products, is the price. At $449, the Move is definitely on the high side in this category. But if you want a first-class indoor speaker that can also go outside to play, it's easy to make the case for splurging.

  • Rich, detailed sound
  • User-replaceable battery
  • Huge improvement in battery life
  • Supports line-in audio sources (with optional adapter)
  • Outdated Bluetooth spec
  • Too fancy for any rugged outdoor use
  • No Google Assistant
$449 at Amazon
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$449 at Adorama$449 at World Wide Stereo

Portable: Yes | Supports multi-speaker pairing: Yes | Weatherproofing: IP67 | Rated battery life: 24 hours | Ports: USB-A | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 | Special features: Power bank

If you're old enough to remember the iconic portable tape decks of the 1980s, you'll appreciate JBL's choice of name: The Boombox 3 looks like, well, a boombox, though good luck hefting it onto your shoulder. This thing is heavy, tipping the scales at nearly 15 pounds. At least there's a handle for relatively easy toting.

Ironically, there's nothing boxy about the Boombox 3: It's all curves, a big black (or camouflage) tube that, from afar, could be mistaken for a duffel bag. I like the design save for one oddity: The small, flat base. Although it has rubber feet for gription, there's not enough surface area to keep the whole unit from tipping over if placed on an incline. Flat ground, flatbed — wherever you put the Boombox, it better be flat.

It doesn't have to be dry, though: The Boombox 3 can withstand splashes, dunks, dust and just about everything else. This beast packs more audio oomph than any other speaker in this group — the better to keep your beach party from getting drowned out by pesky waves and whatnot. Credit for that goes to two tweeters, two mid-range drivers and a "racetrack-shaped" subwoofer, which combine to deliver a whopping 180 watts. For straight-up loudness, few other standalone speakers come close. 

It's worth noting, though, that the Boombox 3 downshifts slightly when running on battery power, producing 136 watts instead. Make no mistake, you still get a veritable wall of top-quality sound; you just don't get all of it unless you're plugged into an AC outlet.

It would be nice if JBL let you decide between power and battery life, but I found no such setting in the JBL companion app. In fact, it doesn't do much beyond displaying battery life, updating firmware and managing PartyBoost (which links multiple JBL speakers). There's an equalizer, but no presets and only three adjustable settings: bass, mid and treble.

Honestly, I'm fine with that. This is an outdoor speaker, built for big sound, not audiophile fine-tuning. In my tests it produced wonderfully deep bass and crisp high-end notes, easily earning it a top spot in this roundup. Only the high price is hard to swallow.

  • Superb sound quality
  • Can get crazy-loud
  • Simple on-speaker controls
  • Fully waterproof and dustproof
  • Expensive
  • Heavy, with an unstable base
  • Less audio power when running on battery
$450 at Walmart
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$450 at Adorama$500 at Macy's

Portable: Yes | Supports multi-speaker pairing: No | Weatherproofing: No | Rated battery life: 6 hours | Ports: USB-C, line-in, microphone | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 | Special features: LED lighting effects, FM radio, telescoping handle

A surprisingly decent Bluetooth speaker for the money, the iLive ISB380B makes a great first impression with its retro LED display and control knobs and modern color-changing lighting effects. It's also an FM radio and a karaoke machine: Just plug in a microphone (not included) and you can turn your party into a sing-along.

However, the small battery limits your listening (or singing) to no more than six hours, and the volume and bass levels are lacking compared to other models. My biggest complaint is with the warranty, a short 90 days.

That aside, the iLive ISB380B is a nifty-looking outdoor speaker that feels like a steal at this price.

  • Low price
  • Includes FM tuner and microSD slot
  • Cool lighting effects
  • Microphone input for karaoke
  • Luggage-like design with wheels and retractable handle
  • Not very loud and not much bass
  • Not water-resistant
  • Poor battery life
  • Short warranty
$40 at Walmart
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$56 at Macy's$60 at HSN

Portable: Yes | Supports multi-speaker pairing: Yes | Weatherproofing: IP66 | Rated battery life: 22 hours | Ports: USB-C | Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 | Special features: Solar panels

Got sunlight? Then you've got everything you need to keep your tunes playing almost indefinitely. The Solar Speaker 4 comes wrapped in solar panels; Lodge promises 2-3 hours of playtime for every hour of sunlight.

The good news: It sounds great, especially when you kick in the bass-boost feature. The bad: It's really expensive and saddled with some baffling usability issues. 

Lodge provides no printed instructions. When it's charging, either via USB-C or sunlight, the status LEDs don't light up — not unless the speaker is actually powered on. The Lodge Sound app is for firmware updates and nothing else. But worst of all, you have to manually reestablish a Bluetooth connection every time you use the speaker. Huh?

  • Great sound
  • Sounds even better with bass-boost activated
  • Can play almost indefinitely under sunshine
  • Magnetic yard stake included
  • Expensive
  • No printed instructions
  • Manual Bluetooth connection required every time
  • Charging LEDs don't illuminate when speaker is off
  • Companion app used only for firmware updates
$450 at PC Richard & Son

Portable: Yes | Supports multi-speaker pairing: Yes | Weatherproofing: IPX4 | Rated battery life: 24 hours | Ports: USB-A, micro-USB | Connectivity: Bluetooth | Special features: Power bank

The Hyberboom looks like it would be more at home in a living room than outdoors. Thankfully, it's plenty outdoor-friendly, with its 24-hour battery, IPX4 rating (spills or splashes won't damage anything, but sand might) and cleverly designed handle.

This speaker has power, with plenty of bass behind it and an adaptive, microphone-powered equalizer that adjusts the audio depending on where you're listening. I found the sound quality extremely well-balanced overall and appreciably "big" without ever growing harsh. And you can pair additional speakers — anything from UE's Boom, Megaboom or Hyperboom lineup — to further extend your listening range and power.

The speaker's large battery provides playtime of up to 24 hours, but you need the included AC adapter to charge it; this one doesn't support USB-C charging. The only real challenge here is the price: At $450, the Hyperboom is among the most expensive speakers in the group.

  • Superb soundstage
  • Styling suitable for indoor use
  • Oversize touch controls
  • Expensive
  • All-white exterior could get grimy outdoors
  • No USB-C port
$390 at Amazon
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$379 at antonline$450 at Newegg
  • JBL PartyBox Club 120 Portable Party Speaker

    Powerful outdoor speaker for karaoke nights

These products were selected based on a number of criteria, including price, portability, product features, usage scenario, user ratings and so on.

On the subjective side, I evaluated design, sound quality (I listened to lots of music in my yard, which I'm sure my neighbors loved), ease of use and fun or practical extras (I'm a sucker for colorful LEDs). There's not a bad option in the bunch, so all you need to do is pick the best outdoor speaker that best meets your needs.

  • Sound quality: Always a highly subjective consideration, especially for outdoor speakers because there are so many variables that can affect sound quality: location, ambient noise, etc. Generally speaking, the more power (in terms of wattage) a speaker has, the louder it can get without distorting — and that's an important "quality" for backyards, beaches and the like.

  • Battery life: Just about any portable speaker should have enough battery power to survive your outdoor event. The question is, will it survive the next one? Because, let's face it, you'll probably forget to recharge it. Most of the speakers here are good for at least 10 hours of playtime, while some can last as long as 30.

  • Connectivity: The majority of outdoor speakers rely on a Bluetooth wireless connection to your phone, which means your phone needs to remain in fairly close proximity (ideally 30 feet or less) to keep that connection stable. The Sonos Move 2 also supports Wi-Fi, but that's for indoor use (and possibly your backyard or patio, assuming Wi-Fi signal strength is strong enough to reach out there).

  • Multi-speaker support: What's better than one outdoor speaker? Two, obviously, or maybe even more. Some of the models here can be paired together to provide extra audio power and coverage area. If you really want to spread out the music, JBL's PartyBoost-compatible models support linking up to 99 speakers at once.

  • Power-bank features: There's always one person who arrives at the gathering with a dead phone battery. Fortunately, many portable speakers can double as power stations, with USB Type-A or Type-C ports for charging phones and other small devices. As a general rule, the larger the speaker, the more spare juice it'll have for such uses.

  • Weatherproofing: Bad weather may make the chips soggy, but it doesn't have to interfere with your tunes. Look for a speaker that's water-resistant (meaning it has at least an IPX4 rating) or, better still, completely waterproof. That way it won't get damaged in case of a sudden rainstorm or, even more likely, spilled beverage. Outdoor speakers can accumulate dirt too, but one that's waterproof can handle getting rinsed off by a hose.

  • Karaoke: You never know when a picnic will turn into that kind of party. By choosing a speaker with a microphone input, you can see who belts out the best version of Springsteen's "Born to Run."

Obviously you don't have many options if you're at, say, a park or the beach. But whenever possible, it's good to put a speaker near a wall or vehicle or the like. That affords at least one surface for the sound to bounce off. It can also help with Bluetooth range for the same reason: Those wireless signals work better when there's something to reflect them.

Not a good idea. Although many outdoor speakers are built to withstand water and dust, cold is another thing entirely. Batteries don't do well in extreme temperatures, and cold could definitely damage internal components. The only exception is "permanent" outdoor speakers, the kind you might install on your patio and wire to an indoor stereo receiver. Even then, you'd want to make sure they're rated for winter temps and conditions.

Nope! Every model here comes with a battery, meaning you don't need AC power except to recharge it. As you peruse the rated battery life for the different speakers, take note that things like volume level and LED lighting (where available) can have an impact. And in the case of the JBL Boombox 3, overall speaker power is a bit less when it's running on battery than when it's plugged in. But that's not common.