It feels like summer is threatening to be over up north, but following the recent hot days and several BBQs, I wanted to find the best portable outdoor speaker.
I have reviewed quite a few portable Bluetooth speakers over the years, but it has been at least four years since I reviewed a decent speaker, and I wanted to upgrade to something a bit better.
All of the speakers have a good IP rating, allowing them to get caught out in the rain, at least. Some, you can drop in a pool; they may even float, but I still wouldn't recommend it. They also all have a good level of durability and can take a few small drops.
They all are battery-powered, allowing you to take them anywhere.
|soundcore Anker Motion Boom Plus Bluetooth Speaker, Portable...||£159.99||Buy on Amazon|
- Battery life: 20 hours / 13,400mAh
- Waterproof: IP67
- Connections: Bluetooth 5.2
- Power: 80W (Dual 30W woofer and dual 10W tweeter)
- Dimensions: 39 x 14 x 32cm / 15.31 x 5.51 x 7.7
- Weight: 2.4kg / 5.29 lbs
I should have the new Anker Soundcore Motion Boom Plus to review soon. I'll be honest, I love Anker, I don't think I have ever had a bad product from them, and they always provide good value for money.
This ticks a lot of boxes if you want something bigger and more powerful. With dual 30W woofers and dual 10W tweeters, this should be loud enough for most people, albeit not the loudest on this list. If, for some reason, you want to make this even louder, it can be paired up using other PartyCast 2.0 compatible speakers, so you can have two of these running together.
It pairs up with the Souncore app so you can tweak the settings to your liking.
Durability is superb, with an IP67 rating. You won't want to go swimming with it, but it will handle the heaviest of rain. Driving those speakers is a 13,400mAh battery which can run for 20 hours and is charged via USB-C and it also can charge your devices.
Alternative Choice: Soundcore Motion Boom
|soundcore Anker Motion Boom Portable Bluetooth Speaker with...||£89.99||Buy on Amazon|
If you want something smaller and cheaper, Anker also has the older Soundcore Motion Boom for a reasonable price of £70. This one floats in the water, should you drop it in the pool. It is obviously not as powerful at just 30W total, but it is the best option on this list if you want something affordable.
|Sonos Move - The durable, battery-powered Smart Speaker for...||£379.00||Buy on Amazon|
- Battery life: 10 hours
- Waterproof: IP56
- Connections: Dual-band WiFi, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth
- Power: 120W
- Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 12.6cm
- Weight: 3kg
The Sonos Move is a great speaker if you already have invested in Sonos speakers. You can have it plugged in indoors and paired up with others speakers when at home, then take it with you when you go outside or camping.
I'd say this excels for people that take their speakers into the garden a lot. The battery life is good enough for an afternoon in the sun, it can handle a bit of rain, and it can still connect to WiFi, avoiding you having to have a specific phone paired up with it.
It is also very loud with great bass, which is surprising because I wouldn't say it is massive, though it is heavy.
Alternative Choice: Sonos Roam
|Sonos Roam SL. Experience size-defying sound at home and on...||£157.00||Buy on Amazon|
The Sonos Roam is the smaller portable Sonos speaker. It has all the same features as the Move and a superior IP67 rating. The battery life is the same, being 10 hours, not amazing, but more than enough for a day outside. It only weighs half a kilo, so it is not going to be the most powerful speaker.
|Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker...||£165.82||Buy on Amazon|
It has been years since I have reviewed an Ultimate Ears speaker. They used to be the go-to brand for loud portable Bluetooth speakers.
The MEGABOOM 3 has been out for several years and is still regarded as one of the best. Similar to the Anker, you can pair this up with other Ultimate Ears, up to 150 of them, in fact.
They don't state the power of the speakers, just the maximum sound level. The drivers themselves are two 50mm (2 in), 4-ohm full range drivers and two 55mm x 86mm passive radiators.
I'd say the main downside to this is because it has been out for a few years, it uses microUSB and it also can't charge your other devices. You can get a charging dock for it, which makes life a little easier.
Alternative Choice: Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM
|Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM Portable Bluetooth Speaker - Loud...||£409.99||Buy on Amazon|
The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is a newer speaker and is significantly bigger, louder and more expensive. It's the speaker you want for a proper outdoor party. This goes up to 100 dBC with a speaker configuration of 2 x 114 mm woofers + 2 x 25 mm tweeters + 2 x 89 mm x 190 mm passive radiators, and it is the equal heaviest on this list at 5.9kg. It has a 24-hour battery life and has a USB charge out to keep your phone charged. One downside is that it doesn't look that convenient to carry around.
|Sony SRS-XG500 - Portable and durable Bluetooth® Boombox...||£299.00||Buy on Amazon|
- Battery life: 30 hours
- Waterproof: IP66
- Connections: 3.5mm input, USB-C, USB outputs, Bluetooth
- Power: Not Stated
- Drivers: 2 x 11cm Woofer + 2 x 2.5cm Tweeter
- Dimensions : 460 x 256 x 215 mm
- Weight: 5.6kg
This is another speaker that can handle big parties. It is a hefty speaker with big drivers, but they do not state the power. It can then be paired up with 100 similar speakers, and you have the Sony Music Center app for music control and EQ or the Fiestable app to control the party features.
Alternative Choice: Sony SRS-XB33
|Sony SRS-XB33 – Portable, Waterproof, Powerful and Durable...||Buy on Amazon|
I have listed a lot of large portable speakers, but if you want something a bit more portable and don't need it to go incredibly loud, then the Sony SRS-XB33 is the best-reviewed portable speaker on the Sony website and well reviewed amongst critics.
It weighs a touch more than the UE MEGABOOM 3, but they are a bit vague about the overall driver specification. It has two main woofers and then dual passive radiators on the side with an extra bass function. Battery life is 24 hours in the normal mode or 14 hours with extra base, and this is charged via USB-C and has an additional USB-A port for charging other devices.
|JBL Xtreme 3 - Wireless, portable waterproof speaker with...||£218.00||Buy on Amazon|
- Battery life: 15 hours
- Waterproof: IP67
- Connections: 3.5mm input, USB-C, USB outputs, Bluetooth
- Power: 100W
- Dimensions: 13.9 x 29.8 x 13.4cm
- Weight 1.97kg
The JBL Xtreme 3 is a bit lighter but more powerful than the Soundcore Motion Boom Plus I listed above. There are two 7cm woofers for low frequencies and two 20mm tweeters for the highs, while at either end of the speaker, you'll find a chunky passive bass radiator.
It comes with a handy shoulder strap and hooks on top of the speaker for easy carrying, and it is charged via USB-C with a USB-A output. Battery life is 15 hours which is a bit less than others but should see you through a couple of days of use.
Alternative Option: JBL Boombox 2
|JBL Boombox 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with Indoor and...||£449.99||Buy on Amazon|
I have listed this as an alternative option as I have so many other big speakers on the list. This is the loudest boombox JBL has produced. It has 2 x 40 W RMS-woofer + 2 x 40 W RMS-tweeter as well as a passive radiator.
It is the equal heaviest option on my list at 5.9kg. This has a massive 20,000 mAh Battery with Dual Charge Out, and the speaker should last for 24 hours of use. The built-in carry handle makes it a bit easier for transport than the UE HYPERBOOM.
|Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Portable Speaker, Wireless...||£129.00||Buy on Amazon|
- Battery life: 12 hours
- Waterproof: IP67
- Connections: USB-C, Bluetooth
- Power: Not stated
- Dimensions: 9 cm H x 20.1 cm W x 5.2 cm
- Weight 0.6kg
Personally, I am not as keen on small Bluetooth speakers as they don't have enough power for a group of people. However, they are convenient for some people. If you hike to a campsite, you probably don't want to carry around a 5Kg speaker.
Bose is one of the best companies for producing quality audio gear in a compact form factor. Their small Acoustimass speakers were an iconic product from Bose.
As for the Bose SoundLink Flex, it is universally well reviewed, and I'd say it is a reasonable price. It is fully waterproof, has a 12 hours battery life and has a convenient hoop on the end for you to attach it to things with a carabiner.
Alternative Option: Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Generation)
|Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Generation) - Wireless...||£234.00||Buy on Amazon|
The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 is tiny and incredibly well reviewed. I'd have listed it as the main choice over Bose, but the price is a little off-putting at around £230. If money isn't a concern, this seems to be the best tiny portable speaker on the market and has 2 x 30W Class D For toofer and tweeter and weighs just 558 g. It is IP67 rated, has an 18-hour battery life and a convenient carry loop.
I am a UK tech blogger and have been in the industry for over ten years now, running Mighty Gadget and its sister sites and contributing to other sites around the web. I am passionate about all tech, including computers/networking, mobile, wearables, and smart homes. I am also a fitness fanatic, being both a keen runner and cyclist, so I cover as much fitness tech as possible.
Last update on 2023-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API