Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best boat stereo 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated April 1, 2019
Best boat stereo of 2018
The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more. So this is not only going to give you an insight to the best boat stereo of the 2018 but also those which are user friendly and easy to work with. If you get well acquainted with these basics, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing a boat stereo that suits your need. The best boat stereo will make your fairytale dreams come true!
Test Results and Ratings
№1 – JVC KD-X33MBS In-Dash Marine Boat Yacht Bluetooth Radio USB Stereo Receiver Player Bundle Combo
Why did this boat stereo win the first place?
I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
№2 – Kenwood MP3/USB/AUX Marine Boat Yacht Stereo Bluetooth Receiver CD Player Bundle Combo w/ RC35MR Wired Remote Control
Why did this boat stereo come in second place?
This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery.
№3 – Pyle Bluetooth Marine Audio Stereo Kit [Radio Receiver & Waterproof Speakers] Hands-Free Talking
Why did this boat stereo take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment.
boat stereo Buyer’s Guide
Fed up with the terrible warbling noise your flat-screen TV makes? You’ve come to the right place.
Upgrading your TV sound can be as easy as plugging in a sound bar, but first you’ll need to buy the right one. In this guide we’ll look at the different types of home audio systems available, from sound bars to stereo speakers to full-blown, amped-up, surround-sound speaker packages. Here’s what you should be looking for to best suit your needs.
Step up to a surround-sound system
If you’re looking for something that sounds better than a sound bar, the best option is to put together your own system with an AV receiver and surround-sound speakers.
If you have a double-DIN slot, you can still use a single-DIN radio, but a single-DIN slot cannot accept a double-DIN upgrade.
One of the first questions you’ll likely encounter when you consider upgrading your car audio system is whether you even can. If your car is older than, say, years (the approximate point when manufacturers began adding command screens that controlled multiple systems, not just audio) or contains a fairly straightforward audio setup, you’re probably okay—the only question is whether your car has a single-DIN or double-DIN design. Those terms refer to the measurements of the “hole” your car stereo sits in. A single-DIN slot measures 2⅛ inches high by 7⅛ inches wide. A double-DIN mount is twice as tall; most cars with LCD screens are double-DIN. If you have a double-DIN slot, you can still use a single-DIN radio (an adapter kit that you purchase for your specific vehicle simply creates open storage in the unused space), but a single-DIN slot cannot accept a double-DIN upgrade.
Another factor that will determine your ability to upgrade is whether other vehicle functions are integrated into your car’s audio system. For example, LCD screens that also include climate controls and the settings for other systems can’t be incorporated into a replacement stereo. But even if that isn’t the case in your vehicle, your car may have a complex, nonstandard dash setup that precludes such upgrades.
Some cars—the Ford Taurus of the late 1990s comes to mind—have oddly shaped panels around the stereo systems, or they use contoured surfaces that dispense with the “box cutout” configuration that persisted for decades. Carmakers do this kind of thing for design and functionality reasons, to increase button sizes and smooth out the dash appearance. In both cases, however, you might find adapters that will allow you to replace the unit even if the factory setup has funky dashwork going on.
Other vehicles, including my wife’s mid-2000s Mercedes, may be able to accommodate an upgraded unit, but they might require custom work on the dash to make it look right, something that’s beyond the scope of traditional plastic dash adapters. That’s the kind of job only a pro can do, and it will require extra time and money.
The process can be frustrating, but you can usually get a sense of what your car can or cannot accept by going to a good car-audio site such as Crutchfield and seeing what the online selection tool says about your vehicle’s upgradability. In addition, the better sellers usually offer installation instructions custom-made for your specific vehicle when you order the receiver, and will include any necessary parts and adapters to make the piece fit.
If you find that your car can’t deal with an upgrade, you have other options, such as Bluetooth kits that will allow you to stream music and place calls through a device that either plugs into your stereo’s aux-in jack or transmits to the stereo via an FM tuner. (For more details on the various pros and cons of these setups, check out our full guide to the best Bluetooth kits.) The trouble with kits, however, is the addition of still more cables and electronics to your car—stuff that can easily snag and tangle as you and your passenger come and go. Also, FM-tuner quality tends to be abysmal. A kit is cheaper, but if you can afford to upgrade the whole stereo, you’ll be rewarded with superior sound quality and ease of use.
If you already have a Bluetooth-capable stereo, you might still consider upgrading. Some older Bluetooth stereos, or those in less-expensive cars, might only accept phone calls and not support music. And the latest systems may have some inviting features—dedicated music apps, voice control, an adjustable display, or dual-phone capability—that didn’t come with your original car-audio system. Beyond that, you’ll also get a more modern, streamlined interface without the functional clutter of previous-generation head units.
Features to consider
As you shop for a replacement car stereo, you’ll have to decide which features are most important to you. And one of the first questions you’ll have to ask is whether you really need a CD player. In our survey of more than 400 Wirecutter readers, the vast majority of respondents—more than 80 percent—said they didn’t. That’s why digital media receivers, which come without a CD player, are the latest trend in replacement car stereos. The absence of a CD player often means a lower price, more user-friendly controls, a smaller chassis (which makes the unit easier to install), and fewer mechanical parts (which means fewer components that can break later on). Even so, car-stereo manufacturers say that a lot of buyers still want the option of playing a CD, so you have a lot of CD-capable receivers from which to choose.
One advantage of not having a CD player is that the receiver can be much smaller—about half the size of a normal stereo—which makes installation easier. Such a device also fits in older cars made before CD players became popular.
A feature we think is worth considering is Siri Eyes Free, which, when paired with an iPhone, boosts your safety and convenience on the road by offering voice control of your receiver. A lot of models include SiriusXM satellite radio and/or HD Radio capability, though we think those services are less important if you typically stream your music. Speaking of streaming, you’ll want to check for Pandora and Spotify support, which lets you control those apps directly from the receiver. And of course, you’ll want easy pairing of your smartphone, which is something most manufacturers are starting to master, plus a USB-input option to charge your phone or ease the integration of a guest’s device. Unfortunately, the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems, which provide much of the functionality of a compatible iPhone or Android phone with a more driver-friendly interface, aren’t available in single-DIN stereos because they need a larger display.
Some models come with a handheld remote. That may sound silly—a handheld remote for a device that’s inches from you—but on a long drive it’s more comfortable to flip tracks with your hand in your lap than to be constantly reaching for the head unit. (You can also hand over control to rear-seat passengers, if you dare.) Smartphone apps that control the receiver as a handheld remote does are increasingly available, too—though the results vary widely. Some are barely functional while others, like the Pioneer ARC app, are nearly seamless facsimiles of conventional smartphone music controls.
Relatively minor but handy features you’ll encounter include tunable colors, which let you coordinate your stereo with the lighting in your car’s interior, and multi-line LCD screens that provide more data.
How we tested
Instead of installing each of the units on our short list into an actual car, I bench-tested them head to head at my residence. Bench-testing them allowed us to experiment longer and more thoroughly with each product. After hooking each receiver up to a 12-volt power source and a set of moderate-quality speakers, I put it through its paces. We focused on Bluetooth functionality, not audio quality, since so much of that is dependent on the number and quality of speakers in your vehicle. While many readers in our survey indicated that they’d consider upgrading to better speakers at the same time they upgraded the head unit, that wouldn’t have affected our results, as great speakers will indeed sound better across the board. If you’re an audiophile, you can find plenty of options for expandable systems, which we’ll describe briefly later on.
Our bench-test setup, consisting of two speakers and a 1V power source.
I tried the test receivers with both iOS devices and Android phones, simulated hundreds of vehicle entries and exits to gauge Bluetooth reacquisition behaviors and speeds, placed and received calls to see how well the Bluetooth hands-free communication worked, and, of course, streamed music via Bluetooth and USB cables. I learned what sort of control each receiver permitted over music selection from the head unit itself versus the connected device, and I also hooked up multiple phones to see how easy it was to switch between devices.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
We don’t have much to complain about with the Pioneer MVH-X390BT. The primary LCD screen is only one line, which limits you to one category of information (track name, station, artist, and so on), but it scrolls smoothly and legibly for longer titles.
You can’t tune the display color to match the rest of your dash (it’s white), and the buttons are backlit in blue. This color scheme may make the unit less of a natural fit with your car’s dashboard, but it doesn’t affect overall functionality. While other units, such as the Sony MEX-N5000BT, automatically dim when your headlights come on, the MVH-X390BT’s display can be dimmed only manually, or programmed to dim at specific times of day. And the handheld remote control has no button to activate Siri Eyes Free; you have to reach for the multifunction knob on the head unit.
Hardcore car-audio geeks won’t be into this unit due to its limited options for expandability (in terms of extra speakers and subwoofers). But that is an exceptionally minor complaint, since most buyers won’t be interested in expanding beyond their car’s existing core capabilities.
Typically a little higher in price, this model is basically the same unit as our top pick, with SiriusXM compatibility and a few extra features.
If our top pick isn’t available, or if you want to be able to play satellite radio, the Pioneer MVH-S501BS is another great choice. This is a newer version of the MVH-X580BS and MVH-X560BT, which were our previous alternative picks, and typically it costs a bit more than our main pick. It has a similar interface and all the features of our top pick, along with SiriusXM compatibility, tunable display colors to match your interior, and a second line of display text, so you can see both the track title and the artist name simultaneously. Because we think those features are more minor ones (more than 80 percent of the readers who responded to our survey said they didn’t want satellite radio, for example), we’d rather get the MVH-X390BT and save some money.
If you want to expand your system
The Sony MEX-N5100BT has a built-in CD player and supports near-field communication (NFC), which lets you pair a compatible phone with your receiver just by holding it up to the head unit and selecting the pair function in the menu. It has an app remote that lets you not only control the music but also adjust the audio settings; I’m not a fan of app remotes, however, and I find them of limited utility. This Sony unit currently costs about the same as our top pick, the Pioneer MVH-X390BT, but we preferred our Pioneer pick overall because of its lack of a CD player, its inclusion of Siri Eyes Free support, and its thoughtful elimination of unused sources from the menu.
If you do want a CD player—or at least don’t mind having one—you open up the door even further for more options. We considered many units from the key manufacturers but found most of them to be overloaded and generally too complex for people who want simple and streamlined operation.
The affordable Alpine CDE-143BT has good Bluetooth support but lacks Siri Eyes Free.
The Alpine CDE-SXM145BT adds SiriusXM radio but is too pricey.
The JVC KD-X240BT is an exceptionally affordable unit that’s extremely spartan and lacks the usability features and advanced smartphone connectivity of the Pioneers.
The Anker SoundCore makes the best cheap Bluetooth speaker even better, offering big sound and a 24-hour battery within a wonderfully compact design. It’s also water resistant now, making it an even better companion for a quick trip to the pool or beach.
Yes; Google Assistant
The JBL Link 20 is one of the few third-party Bluetooth speakers that taps into Google Assistant, allowing you to do things like check the weather or control your smart home wherever you are. It’s also simply a great premium speaker, with balanced audio, a rugged, waterproof design, and hours of battery life.
How We Test Bluetooth Speakers
To evaluate each Bluetooth speaker, we listen to a wide range of music and test the device’s durability, if applicable. We also test speakerphone capabilities (if available) and play tunes continuously to see how long the speakers’ batteries last. We also consider the quality of the design and ease of use and setup.
Other features we consider include whether a given Bluetooth speaker supports Siri and/or Google Assistant voice prompts, as well whether as it has any rugged features such as dust- and waterproofing.
How They Work
Marine VHF radios rely on radio waves to send and receive transmissions. They rely on line of sight in order to function. Anything that blocks line of sight (land masses, earth curvature, etc.) will disrupt the signals. Thankfully there are few such obstacles on the open water.
The most powerful marine radios are those with long antennas and high wattage. If multiple boats simultaneously transmit on one frequency, the strongest signal is the one which will come through.
Fixed-Mount and Handheld
There are two basic types of VHF marine radio: fixed-mount and handheld. You can maximize your range with a fixed-mount system, which also draws from the boat’s electricity (so you don’t need batteries). Then again, if the electrical system goes down in an emergency, you will need a handheld. Buy one of each if you can.
VHF Radio vs. Mobile
A fixed-mount VHF marine radio is one which is permanently mounted to your boat and wired into the boat’s electrical system, generally the helm. Benefits include a higher power output and range than handheld radios, dedicated power, and ease-of-use in choppy sea conditions. Many options are available for antennas (straight mount, swivel mount, ratchet mount, rail mount, etc.). You can even set up dual stations and navigate using GPS.
Power and Range
A fixed-mount radio can transmit on anything from one to 2watts of power. Transmitting on one watt allows you to talk to nearby boats without disrupting other transmissions. Transmitting on 2watts will maximize your range (anywhere from five to 30 miles, depending on clear line of sight).
As mentioned before, you have numerous options when it comes to antennas for fixed-mount units. To get the best range, you want your antenna to be mounted as high as you can. If you plan to attach the unit to a powerboat, do so on the superstructure and pick an antenna with six- or nine-dB gain. If you have a sailboat, mount on the mast and go with three dB.
One popular feature for fixed-mount systems is dual station. This allows you to install a microphone in another room inside your boat and operate dual stations from the helm radio. You can then use the system as an intercom.
This is a feature you will find in higher-end fixed-mount marine radios, but generally not in the less expensive models. It allows you to broadcast to other vessels in the area, line handlers, and so on. To use it, you will need to purchase additional hardware in the form of an external waterproof speaker. You also may find it comes equipped with a feature called Listen-Back. With this, you can convert speakers into microphones to amplify noises. This makes it easy to hear the foredeck hand or fog signals in the distance. Not all hailer functions include Listen-Back, so if you need it, look for it specifically in the product specifications of the model you are considering.
This is the portable version of a VHF marine radio. It isn’t mounted; you carry it around with you. Many handheld units these days offer most of the same advanced features as fixed-mount units. You can get extremely basic models at the lower end and very sophisticated ones at the higher end.
Features can include DSC capability, built-in GPS, a distress button, waterproofing, noise canceling, and much more. Range is lower than what you will get from a fixed-mount radio, but handheld models offer a couple of very important benefits. They offer a backup if your ship’s electrical system crashes in an emergency (or your ship sinks altogether). On top of that, they are portable. You can take them anywhere on your vessel or off of it.
The larger your handheld radio, the bigger the battery it can hold and the longer its battery life is going to be. Buoyant, lightweight models also generally hold smaller batteries than those which are allowed to sink. At the lower end of the range, you might get seven hours of charge. At the higher end, you can expect around 20 hours. You will need to weigh the importance of battery life in conjunction with other important features such as buoyancy. Figure out what you need most and make your purchase decision accordingly.
As just discussed, some radios these days are made to float. While the tradeoff is a shorter battery life, there are plenty of benefits to a floating radio. For one thing, you are less likely to lose it and have to waste money on a replacement. For another (and more importantly), you might need to use your radio to get rescued in the water. If it sinks, obviously it is useless to you. A buoyant radio could save your life.
Handheld marine radios usually have either a dot matrix or LCD display. A seven-segment LCD display looks like your clock radio; it is blocky and hard to read. A dot matrix display can generate any image, and looks more like the screen on your smartphone or television. While dot matrix may not be a vital feature, it certainly makes for a more pleasant user experience.
What are some important features to look for on a VHF marine radio? The features listed below may cost you extra, but they can provide you with greater value in your purchase.
GPS is an incredibly useful feature. As mentioned above, you can use it in conjunction with your DSC to transmit your exact location in distress. This allows rescue parties to make their way to you directly.
GPS is also useful for general navigational purposes. You can view your latitude and longitude, and even set up custom waypoints as you travel. That way you can find your way to and from specific locations. This is excellent for fishing, diving, and numerous other purposes.
AIS stands for “Automatic Identification System.” It is a tracking system you can use to locate and identify other vessels. Using an AIS-equipped transponder or receiver, you can see real-time data on nearby ships including their type, dimensions, cargo, position, speed, destinations, and more. A transponder will broadcast information on your vessel; a receiver will not. Benefits include the ability to transmit your position, detect movements from unauthorized vessels, manage a port, conduct coastal surveillance, and more.
Early warning in case of inclement weather conditions at sea can quite literally save your life. For that reason, you are going to want a marine radio equipped with weather alerts. These should include alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as well as Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) alerts. SAME alerts are specific to your region; NOAA alerts are national.
2watt mountable marine radio doesn’t have built in GPS. However, it is very reasonably priced, powerful and very easy to use. Also, it’s one of the only marine radios on the market that comes with an external speaker jack.
Comes with mounting bracket. There’s no chance this radio will go overboard. It attaches to the frame of your boat.
Long range communication. 2watts of power allows you to send messages to boats 20 nautical miles or more away.
Noise free transmissions. The built in noise reducer erases static and wind.
Uncomplicated interface. The MR F45-D doesn’t have quite as many features as some nautical radios. But it has all the basics and it’s super easy to use.
External speaker jack. If you need a volume boost, you can hook up an extra speaker.
GX1700W costs twice as much as an ordinary mounted marine radio. But, it has twice as many features. With this unit you get built in GPS and DSC. Plus, water doesn’t phase it. This radio is JIScertified waterproof.
Built-in GPS. No need to buy a separate GPS device. The GX1700W comes with built-in GPS functionality.
Advanced DSC calling. With this radio, you can place DSC calls while you monitor other communication frequencies.
Send and receive position info. Receive, send and navigate GPS waypoints via DSC.
Easy to install. Some bulky marine radios are a pain to setup and wire together. But it’s super easy to set up the GX1700W because it’s slim and compact.
Compatible with RAM3+ remote microphone technology. With a RAM3+ microphone, you’re not stuck in front of the radio anymore. You can walk around your boat and communicate from wherever you want.
Won’t break if submerged underwater. The GX1700W can withstand being submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. It’s JIScertified.
Water damage guarantee. Standard Horizon is so confident in this radio that it has backed it up with a year warranty that covers all water related breakages.
In 2016, the lines between “marine” electronics and “personal” electronics continue to blur as fishfinders, radars, and multifunction displays take technology and design cues from the smartphones and touch screens we use in our everyday lives. The electronics on our boats are becoming more connected to our personal devices and to the cloud, and the result is better performance, greater usability, and an incredible wealth of information at your fingertips every time you hit the water. If you haven’t upgraded your fishfinder in a few years, you’ll be blown away by what’s available and by the incredible technology that can be purchased today for a fraction of what it used to cost to consumers. Take advantage and make the most of your limited time on the water by making it safer and more productive.
LOWRANCE TOTALSCAN TRANSDUCER
Receive the benefits of greater fish-target separation and less interference for a more clutter-free display with CHIRP sonar, plus photo-like images of fish-holding structure on both sides of your boat with StructureScan HD, along with the same photo-like images directly beneath your boat with DownScan Imaging—all in one transducer. The Lowrance TotalScan Transducer reduces the number of separate transducers required to take full advantage of all the latest fishfinding features of Lowrance systems. The Lowrance TotalScan transducer offers additional versatility with multiple mounting options.
The M2handheld VHF radio is a sleek, stylish unit with big features and long battery life. Although it’s compact, it has a large LCD display and easy-to-operate buttons. A built-in lithium-ion battery will typically provide up to 1hours of operation and is charged through a micro-USB connector. If you happen to drop the fully-buoyant M2overboard, the Float’n Flash feature lets you know where it is with a flashing red LED light.
The Simrad GOXSE is a powerful, full-featured standalone marine chartplotter/fishfinder packed into a compact, easy-to-use display. The GOXSE features a super-bright multi-touch display, internal Hz GPS receiver, StructureScan HD and CHIRP sonar, autopilot integration/control, engine data monitoring, full audio entertainment integration with SonicHub 2, integrated wireless connectivity and the powerful, new Simrad TripIntel trip computer.
STANDARD HORIZON HX380
The HX380 from Standard Horizon is a commercial-grade submersible handheld VHF packaged with a 1,600 mAh lithium-ion battery that provides up to 1hours of use on a charge. It is factory programmed with all USA VHF marine channels and features a dedicated button for quick access to emergency channel 1and hailing channel A preset key allows quick access of up to commonly used channels. A 110-volt AC and a 12-volt DC charger are standard.
SIMRAD SONICHUB 2
SonicHubfrom Simrad upgrades the original SonicHub audio entertainment system to allow complete control from Simrad’s NSS evoand NSO evoMFDs and glass-helm systems. Features include Bluetooth audio streaming, a video output for playing files from a USB drive, dual USB ports for connecting and charging multiple devices, a 50W-by-amplifier and integrated support for Pandora internet radio via mobile device.
FURUNO NAVNET TZTOUCH12F
With a 12-inch multifunction display, an internal GPS antenna as well as an internal fishfinder, the NavNet TZtouchcombines striking design with simple operation for a sonar/chartplotter combo that helps you stay on the fish.
If you are looking for some of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers, here’s a list of the top best outdoor speakers of 201that outperform the rest in terms of sound quality, durability and design. These outdoor bluetooth speakers are perfect for the outdoors and are designed to survive the harsh outdoor elements and yet deliver incredible sound. They pack a solid punch in the bass department too, which is surprising given their size and audio constraints.
How we choose
The JBL Flip tops this list as the overall best outdoor Bluetooth speaker with an excellent combination of size, sound quality, loudness, bass response and a completely waterproof design. The sound quality of the Flip is a vast improvement over its predecessor – the JBL Flip – with stunning midrange, crisp highs and punchy bass that feels powerful and present. It features dual external passive bass radiators on the side of the speaker to enhance the bass response, which provides punchy beats in outdoor spaces to keep the party going. It features a built-in 3000mAh rechargeable battery which provides an incredible 1hours of playtime on a single charge. You can also simultaneously connect up to mobile smartphones or tablets to the JBL Flip for wireless music streaming and switch between them at any time. Overall, the JBL Flip is one of the most versatile and best outdoor Bluetooth speakers we have tested and is now selling at a very good price at the time of writing.
The sound performance of the JBL Flip is phenomenal – it delivers extremely detailed midrange and crisp highs, with deep low-end frequency bass response that is enhanced by its passive bass radiators. Music performances through the Flip sounded clear, crisp and well balanced; it can also go louder than its predecessor, the JBL Flip which is an added improvement. The sound quality feels rich and detailed, and you can crank up the volume on this outdoor speaker without any distortion at near maximum volume levels. Vocal performances sounded detailed with amazing soundstage and music separation which felt incredibly life-like. Listening to electronic and hip-hop music also sounded very good and enjoyable to listen to with deep and punchy beats. We were truly impressed with the sound performance of the JBL Flip considering its compact and portable size. It is truly one of the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers you can rely on to deliver great sound performance in an outdoor open environment.
The Bluetooth connectivity on the JBL Flip works like a charm and connecting it to our mobile device took a few seconds. The speaker will remember your device and automatically pair the next time you switch the speaker on – this is a really convenient feature which helps save time. The music quality streamed over the Bluetooth connection was really good and we did not experience any sudden dips or drops in sound quality. The Bluetooth range lasts a good 3feet before the connection starts to dip off. The JBL Flip also comes with a built-in noise and echo cancellation speakerphone for you to take hands free calls on the go. This is especially useful if you need to switch between listening to music and taking calls while driving or riding a bicycle.
The Verdict? The JBL Flip easily tops this list as the overall best outdoor Bluetooth speaker of 201with exceptional sound performance, portability and a fully waterproof design now selling at a very good price. The speaker is capable of producing very high quality sound with crisp highs, detailed midrange and a good deal of bass with its passive bass radiators on both sides of the speaker. The sound performance of the Flip is simply incredible considering the compact size of this speaker. The JBL Flip also feels high quality and durable, and is rugged enough for you to take it outdoors without any issues. It also comes with an incredible 3000mAh rechargeable battery that delivers an incredible 1hours of continuous music playtime. It’s a truly comprehensive and versatile outdoor Bluetooth speaker that delivers the quality and toughness that outdoor enthusiasts need.
The Omaker Mis one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers with an impressive 1hours of playtime and excellent sound performance. The speaker is designed to produce full and crystal clear sound quality and robust bass with its 3W audio driver and passive subwoofer. It also features the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology with a good connection range of up to 3feet, and the latest NFC technology allows you to instantly connect with your bluetooth audio device in a single tap. The Mis also IP5rated, which means that it will survive direct splashes of water and also comes with a shockproof and dustproof rugged exterior. Overall, the Mis a really good outdoor bluetooth speaker you can find on a budget that really packs a punch.
We were impressed with the sound performance considering the size of the MWe found that the sound is clear without distortion and the bass well above average for a speaker of this size – the songs with the most bass made the speaker shake. The speaker produces crisps highs and mids, and the volume can get really loud with this speaker considering it is running on a 3W driver. We felt that the treble on the speaker was also really nice, clear and pleasant to listen to. The volume and sound actually sounds about the same regardless of whether the speaker is facing upwards, towards you, or away from you, which is a good feature for an outdoor speaker.
The Mis specifically designed for outdoor rugged use. It is made of a high quality plastic material which feels really nice to hold in the hands. We also felt that this speaker was really lightweight at a mere 0.pounds, although it looks incredibly sturdy and durable. It’s designed with splash-proof, shock proof, dust proof features which make it suitable for outdoors and even for use in the shower. We liked the unique rugged square design of the Mand the compact size of this speaker makes it extremely portable. The speaker dimensions are 1.8” x 3.2” x 3.2” which is perfect for travel or outdoor use.
The biggest advantage of the Mis the extended battery life of 1500 mAH. This is enough to last you up to 1hours of music at 80% volume, which is great for outdoor activities as it will last you all day and is made for rugged use. The speaker also comes with a micro USB cable, AUX cable for non-bluetooth devices and a lanyard for carrying. The speaker also allows you to take hands free calls from its in-built microphone.
The Verdict? The Omaker Mis one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers you can find with a whopping 1hours of battery life and superb audio performance. We were really impressed with how good this speaker sounds outdoors, producing excellent bass and crisp highs and mids without distortion at high/max volumes. You can take this speaker virtually anywhere and enjoy your favorite music streamed directly from your Bluetooth device. The splashproof and rugged designed is also a very good feature for you to take this speaker through harsh outdoor elements. It’s also designed to be highly compact and lightweight, so you can easily carry it around with you without any hassle. Overall, the Mis one of the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers now selling at a very good price point.
The Photive Hydra is one of the most popular and undoubtedly one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers that money can buy. In terms of quality and value, you cannot go wrong with these outdoor speakers. The Photive Hydra is encased in a smooth grippy rubber on all sides. The speaker itself is protected by a tough metal grill, and the accessory ports are covered by a flexible round pop off cap. The lid stays on well but if it was designed a little tougher this speaker may actually be able to be submerged under water. It’s current IPXrating means that it can survive being exposed to splashes of water from all directions but not entirely submerged, which is really good for a speaker of this size.
The sound of the Photive Hydra is what makes this a little beast. The audio performance is spectacular – it has excellent clarity and you can hear the separation between instruments and vocals as if they are coming out of different speakers. The bass is not earth shattering but it does sound good and punchy for a speaker of this size. You can get even more bass by using a reflective surface like a box, bucket or cooler to bounce the sounds back. That being said, the amount of sound coming out from the Hydra is simply outstanding with no distortions at high volumes. It also comes equipped with a passive subwoofer and two 40 mm drivers. We were surprised at how good this speaker sounded for its price.
Setting up the speaker was simple. It was very easy to connect and the sound effects are simple beeps. The latency is close to zero, which means you can use it to watch movies or TV shows with no distracting delay between the picture and sound. The lithium ion rechargeable battery also provides hours of uninterrupted playtime with a single charge via USB. It also contains AUX cable inputs should you prefer not to use the bluetooth.
The Cambridge Soundworks OontZ Angle is one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers ever designed with high quality crystal clear sound and waterproof resistance. The speaker is designed to be IPXsplashproof, rainproof, dustproof and is perfect for use at the beach or the poolside, and can easily resist water splashes although it cannot be fully submerged in water. The OontZ Angle comes equipped with two high precision acoustic drivers which deliver distinct mids, crisp highs and enhanced bass from its integrated passive bass radiator. Furthermore, the Angle is designed to be extremely portable, weighing just less than ounces. It has an integrated 2200 mAh rechargeable battery that can deliver a stunning 1hours of continuous playtime on a single charge. You can also connect a variety of bluetooth devices to this speaker such as the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Macbook and other bluetooth mobile devices and it will pair without any issues. If you are looking for one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers that will deliver incredible sound performance on a budget price, the OontZ Angle comes highly recommended.
The sound quality of the OontZ Angle is extremely good – the two precision acoustic drivers provide very crisp, distortion-free stereo sound with very good quality. The highs and the midrange on the music is detailed and clear, and you can really hear the subtle notes and beats in the music with crystal clarity. Furthermore, the OontZ Angle delivers richer and deeper bass than other outdoor bluetooth speakers due to its integrated passive bass radiator, which makes playing music on this speaker a truly enjoyable listening experience. The speaker can also get really loud with a total combined power of 10Ws and can fill any room or outdoor party with music without distortion at maximum volume, which is ideal if you want to take this speaker for an outdoor party or by the poolside. On the whole, the sound performance of the OontZ Angle exceeded our expectations – it was smooth, crisp, detailed on every level and the bass sounded very punchy and tight. The sound signature on this speaker is best described as warm and leaning towards the bass-heavy range.
The OontZ Angle has a lightweight and sturdy design with no sharp edges or corners and has a good gripe when held in the hand. The speaker is IPXwater resistant which means that you can take this speaker out in the rain or by the pool and it can easily resist water splashes, although you should not fully submerge this speaker in water. The overall appearance of the Angle looks very durable and solid; the rubbery exterior of the speaker protects the speaker from outdoor elements and gives a sleek and minimalist appearance to the speaker. The Angle also has rubber strips on the bottom of the speaker to increase its stability and prevent it from shaking around when playing music at high volumes. The Angle weighs less than ounces which makes it super easy to carry around in your backpack or to take it with you on the go. If you are looking for a reliable outdoor speaker to take with you on the go, the Angle will definitely surpass your expectations.
The bluetooth connectivity on the Angle is fast and smooth – we did not experience any dips or drops in sound performance while connected to the speaker via our mobile device. You can easily pair the speaker by turning on the bluetooth and searching for it with your device, and click on the Angle to pair. The bluetooth connectivity has a distance of about 3feet, which is pretty incredible for a speaker of this size. Furthermore, the Angle comes with an built-in microphone for hands free calls, allowing you to switch between taking calls and listening to music on the go. It also comes with a 3.5mm auxiliary jack in case you need to connect the Angle to non-bluetooth music sources.
The Verdict?The Cambridge Soundworks OontZ Angle is hands down one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers now selling at a very good price and we highly recommend them. The sound performance of the OontZ Angle is phenomenally good, with crisp highs, detailed midrange and stunning low end bass which is enhanced by its passive bass radiator. We were surprised at how good the Angle sounded for a speaker of this size. Furthermore, it comes with a 2200 mAh battery which delivers an incredible 1hours of playtime, together with an IPXwater resistant design which protects this speaker from the outdoor elements. If you are looking for an excellent outdoor bluetooth speaker at an affordable price that will surpass expectations, the OontZ Angle will not disappoint.
The Vtin sounds very premium and can easily fill up large open spaces with sound without any distortion at maximum volume. The Vtin comes equipped with high powered dual W drivers which pump out very crisp and clear sound which can get very loud. The sound quality is pretty good on the whole and the music from this speaker sounded clear and detailed, with very minimal interference or dips in sound performance. We were quite surprised that the Vtin was able to capture and bring up the subtle details in the music – there was a certain degree of soundstage and music separation on this speaker that made listening to the Vtin an enjoyable experience. This outdoor bluetooth speaker is especially ideal if you intend to use it for outdoor activities like biking, driving or on a camping trip and it will easily fill up these outdoor spaces with good quality music. That being said, we did find the Vtin somewhat lacking in the low-end bass reproduction, although this is to be expected from a speaker of this size.
Where the Vtin really shines it is phenomenal battery life and incredibly study design. The battery life on this speaker is an incredible 4400 mAh which means that you can play up to 2hours of music on this speaker on a single charge. We also liked the overall design of this speaker which gave it pretty sleek and modern appearance; the speaker itself is IPXwater resistant and will be able to take direct splashes of water – just don’t submerge it fully into water. The speaker is constructed to be extremely tough and portable at the same time, and you can easily fit it into a backpack or luggage while travelling. The Vtin also comes with a nice carabiner hanger so that you can hook it to your backpack while embarking on an outdoor adventure.
The blutooth connectivity on the Vtin is superb. We were able to connect our wireless mobile device to this speaker almost instantaneously, and the speaker will remember your mobile device which makes future pairing automatic. We also liked the fact that this speaker comes with an auxiliary input which means that it will function as a laptop or desktop speaker as well. The size of this speaker is just nice (7” x 2.75” x 2”) which allows you to easily grab it with one hand and carry it around. The entire package comes with an included auxiliary cable, one carabiner hook, one USB charging cable and a detailed user instruction manual for the controls.
The Verdict? If you are looking for one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers in terms of durability and battery life, the Vtin is definitely a great speaker you can buy on a budget and is now selling at a very good price. The battery life on this speaker lasts an incredible 2hours of continuous playtime, and the sound on this speaker can easily fill up a large open space without any distortion at maximum volume. Furthermore, the sound quality on this speaker is very good, with crisp and detailed sound reproduction with a good midrange. Although the low-end bass on this speaker is somewhat lacking, this is partially made up for how loud these speakers can go. The acoustic drivers on the Vtin have a combined power output of 20Ws of pure sound, making it one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers you can find on a budget price.
The Anker SoundCore Sport XL is one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers in terms of sound performance, versatility and battery life. The SoundCore Sport XL has a whopping battery life of up to 1hours with its high capacity built-in rechargeable battery, which doubles as mobile charger for your phone or tablet devices. The sound performance on this outdoor bluetooth speaker is superb, and pumps out an incredible combined 16W volume with its X 8W stereo drivers with dynamic frequency response. The bass output is also enhanced with its dual passive subwoofers. This speaker is hands down one of the toughest speakers in the market, and is IP6waterproof (up to 1m depth) and dust tight, which makes it the perfect speaker for outdoor enthusiasts.
The sound performance of the Anker SoundCore is phenomenal. The sound quality is superb, pumping out crisp and detailed stereo music without any static noise or distortion at high volumes. The sound itself feels very clean, and delivers natural clear sound in outdoor environments. The great aspect about this speaker is how loud it can go – the speaker can pump out a massive 16W of volume which is perfect for outdoor parties. The speaker also produces decent highs and crisp mids, which is pretty good for a speaker of this size. The treble and midrange sounds balanced, which means that you can listen to a wide range of music on this speaker without any issues. The bass response on this speaker is also good and enhanced by the passive bass radiators.
The Anker SoundCore Sport is built like a tank. The size of the speaker is about X X 1.7inches and has a very sturdy exterior protected by rubbery plastic. The speaker is very solidly constructed and can definitely withstand rigorous outdoor use with its rugged and waterproof encasing – it is IP6waterproof and shock resistant and dust-tight. It can easily withstand extreme conditions and tough treatment, which is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Furthermore, it comes with an amazing 1hours of battery life which is ample time for outdoor adventures.
The Anker SoundCore also comes with advanced Bluetooth 4.technology with an extended range of 66ft, with quality bluetooth audio transmission for high quality music. You can also make hands free calls with the built-in noise cancelling microphone, making it a very versatile outdoor bluetooth speaker. The speaker package also includes a micro USB cable, hand strap and a good 1month warranty from the manufacturer which is highly value for money.
The Verdict? The Anker SoundCore Sport XL is hands down one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers in terms of versatility, sound performance and battery life. It is extremely well constructed and durable, and is waterproof up to a depth of 1m. We really liked the fact that the speaker can run for a continuous period of 1hours which is really incredible – you can even charge your mobile devices using this speaker as a power bank. The sound performance is clean, detailed and crisp, with decent bass response from the passive bass radiators. The Anker SoundCore Sport XL is a really good outdoor Bluetooth speaker that is definitely worth checking out.
Where the FUGOO Sport excels is in its sound quality and audio performance. Not only does it play clean and loud, but the sound is accurate. While some other speakers may artificially over-emphasize the bass notes, this may result in a lot of songs not sounding right. The Fugoo Sport performs a much more difficult acoustic feat: providing great bass without making the bass muddy. Additionally, the speakers are tilted upwards at an eight degree angle to ensure that you hear your music the way it is intended to be heard. We were very much impressed by the overall sound performance of this outdoor speaker – the manufacturers went to great lengths to get every detail right.
The waterproof/durable design of the Fugoo truly set this speaker apart from the others. The Fugoo looks tough enough to survive getting drop-kicked by a rugby team. It offers the highest incursion protection rating of IP6– which means that it is completely waterproof. The Fugoo is also designed to be submerged underwater at feet for 30 minutes without damaging the inner circuits. The Fugoo Sport also comes with a strap / multi-mount which provides different mounting options for your wireless speaker. If you are keen to take this outdoor speaker to rugged terrain the strap is a very nice added touch. You can hook it on with a rope or carabiner loop, tripod mounting socket, strap or belt spring clip.
That said, the most outstanding aspect of the Fugoo sport is the battery life – it really blew us away by lasting all day long. Fugoo claims the speaker lasts a full 40 hours – so far we can confirm that it lasts for more than 30 hours. You could take it on a weekend outdoor trip and you would probably still have battery power in the speaker after the weekend! Combining durability with a super-long battery life opens all kinds of new possibilities for outdoor junkies.
The Verdict? We absolutely loved every single detail that the manufacturers put into the Fugoo Sport. It is hands down one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers, and delivers exceptional value and sound quality. If you are looking for a speaker that excels in terms of sound performance, durability, construction, portability and battery life, we would highly recommend this outdoor bluetooth speaker.
The AOMAIS Sport II is one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers with a full IPXwaterproof design and capable of producing a staggering 20Ws of incredible sound. The speaker is designed to be fully waterproof which means that you actually submerge this speaker for up to meter for 30 minutes underwater – you can take this speaker outdoors by the pool or the sea and never have to worry about dropping it into the water. The speaker also comes with 20W acoustic drivers with advanced digital noise reduction technology to deliver premium acoustic sound, with clear balanced mids and low end bass response. You can even connect two AOMAIS Sport II speakers together to create left and right channels for a surround sound experience. The speaker is designed to be durable, rugged and tough with a smooth rubber exterior that protects the speaker from outdoor elements and impact. It also comes with a nice 1800 mAh rechargeable battery which can deliver a good hours of continuous playtime at 50% volume. The speaker features Bluetooth 4.0 technology with NFC technology for simple one-touch pairing with your mobile device. If you are looking one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers with full waterproof design and great sound, the Sport II is definitely the one to get.
The sound performance of the AOMAIS Sport II was phenomenal. It is designed for pure volume output and will easily fill up a large open space with sound, which is perfect for outdoor parties or gatherings. The sound quality of the Sport II feels good and it does not distort at higher volumes. The sound performance feels smooth and detailed throughout, and this speaker is also able to bring out the treble and crisp highs quite well, with a little sparkle in the music reproduction. The bass response on the Sport II is decent, and does get pretty thumping when maxed out on the volume. The interesting thing about the Sport II is that you are able to pair two of these speakers together to get surround sound music, which is pretty awesome. Furthermore, the speaker also features a screw on the bottom which you can use to mount it on a bike or tripod, and an inflatable floating pad for you to take it with you at the pool. Overall, the Sport II is definitely one of the more versatile outdoor bluetooth speakers you can find that delivers very good sound performance with decent bass and rich sound.
The design of the Sport II is simply top-notch. It is certified IPXwaterproof which means that you can fully submerge it in water for up to one meter depth without any issues. The speaker is also designed to be extremely solid and durable, and will not be damaged even if you accidently drop it. The entire exterior of the speaker is constructed with smooth rubber which absorbs any impact on the speaker and the speaker has a very sleek and modern looking appearance. That being said, the speaker does feel a little heavy around 2ounces, which makes it one of the heavier outdoor bluetooth speakers on this list. The speaker also comes with well written instruction manual, auxiliary cable for non-bluetooth music sources and a standard USB charging cord.
The Bluetooth connectivity on the AOMAIS Sport II is very quick and stable. It features NFC technology which automatically reconnects to your mobile device once you turn on the Bluetooth connection. It also features buttons on the top of the speaker for you to control the volume, skip song tracks and answer calls – the Sport II has an integrated microphone for you to take hands free calls on the go. The speaker also has a power indicator which lights up green when turned on, and a low battery light that turns on indicating that the speaker needs to be recharged.
The Verdict? The AOMAIS Sport II is one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers that is fully waterproof and represents a great value investment for an outdoor Bluetooth speaker. The Sport II is designed to deliver rich, detailed sound quality with its acoustic drivers that pump out a combined total of 20W of pure power. The sound on this speaker can easily fill up large open spaces and does not distort at maximum volume. We also liked the fact that you can pair up two of these speakers together to get left and right channels to increase the sound dispersion. The speaker has a very sleek and modern appearance with a rubbery exterior to protect it from drops and impact, making it ideal to take outdoors. Furthermore, it comes with Bluetooth NFC technology for quick and easily pairing with your mobile device. If you are looking one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers that can test the limits of what you can throw at it, the AOMIAS Sport II will definitely impress you.
The SHARKK 2O is one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers on the market which is completely waterproof (IP67) and dustproof. It has great sound output; with dual 4W loudspeakers and high quality stereo sound, this speaker packs a surprisingly powerful punch. You can connect to it using NFC, Bluetooth or the auxiliary cable and you can also plug in up to a 3GIG micro SD card that has thousands of songs loaded onto it. The speaker weighs in at 1.2pounds and it is ruggedly built for having fun outdoors.
Once we turned on the device we were quite amazed at the sound quality, specifically the bass that this speaker puts out. It really thumps and the sound can go very loud without distortion. We put this speaker through a waterproof test to see if it actually worked. We were amazed that after submerging this speaker twice and playing music during the test that we had zero issues with it afterwards and all the components were completely dry inside.
The SHARKK 2O excels in terms of functionality and rugged design. It has an extremely long bluetooth range of 60+ feet of uninterrupted music streaming, with the highest waterproof rating available at IP6This means that it will function normally even if its dipped into water to a depth of meter (3.feet) Furthermore, it comes with a built-in micro SD card slot to allow you to take it to the beach, pool or outdoors without having to worry about your phone. The built-in mic and voice prompts on this outdoor bluetooth speaker works well for hands-free calls on most mobile devices. The best part is that the 2O comes with a rechargeable 2200-mAH lithium ion battery which will keep the bass pumping for up to hours on a full charge.
This outdoor bluetooth speaker is sharp looking with both silver trim and gray rubberized cover. Both the front and rear grilles blend nicely with the rest of the speaker. Both the look and solid feel of this speaker boasts quality. Out of the box you can feel that this is a very sturdy speaker it has some weight to it and the military grade rubber that goes around it is functional and pleasing to the eye.
Apart from the solid design, there is a rubberized flap that you can lift to charge the speaker, plug in the Aux cable or micro SD card. Having said that, when you are using the Aux cable or charging the speaker it is not waterproof; you have to securely close the flap to maintain the dust and water tigt specifications. There are also LEDs on the side near the waterproof power button. Zero LEDs on means the battery is low, LED means 30%, LEDs means 60% and LEDs means 100 percent capacity.
To give you an idea of how loud the BRV-X can go, on a quiet street with no traffic, you can hear the speaker 50-60 feet away in “indoor” mode. In “outdoor” mode you can hear the speaker at 60 – 80 feet away, although the bass would be reduced at further distances. The sound was accurate and clear, and sounded smooth without distortion. You can even pair two BRV-X speakers together using the app to create an immerse left and right stereo experience.
That said, the BRV-X speaker is slightly heavier than other conventional outdoor bluetooth speakers – this might be a factor for some to consider when taking this speaker on a hiking adventure, although it may actually be worth it for the sound. For those who want to do water sports, this speaker will definitely survive a beating from water splashes and is adequately protected for outdoor enjoyment.
The Verdict? If you are looking for one of the most durable, best outdoor bluetooth speakers, the Braven would be an obvious choice. This outdoor bluetooth speaker sounds great, has nice features, connects with no problems, is tough, will take a beating/built like a tank, water proof, and pretty much everything you need to survive the outdoor elements. The audio drivers deliver big clean crisp sound with a nice bassy punch, in addition to its heavy duty battery life. We would highly recommend this speaker for outdoor enthusiasts and at the time of writing is now selling at a very good price point.
Special Mention: The UE BOOM Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker
The UE BOOM is one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers you can find the market. It is waterproof, shockproof, designed for adventure (it is IPXrated waterproof up to 30 minutes and up to a depth of one meter). The sound on this outdoor bluetooth speaker is insanely good, with a loud 360 degree sound with deep bass and rich treble tones without sounding tinny or the bass distorting.
The manufacturers claim that this device is 25% louder than the original UE Boom, and it can get pretty loud with no problems filling a large room or area with music. At full volume, you basically need to yell at each other to be heard over this speaker. The bass rolls off around 75% volume, and with the music of DSP, it still sounds clear even when maxed out. We found little to no distortion at full volume. The frequency response of these outdoor speakers are 90Hz – 20kHz, which means you will get more audible bass on your tracks. This unit has slightly larger, (¾”) drivers as well as (¾” x 3”) passive radiators.
The sound performance of the UE Boom is truly impressive for an outdoor speaker of this size. When we tested the UE Boom outdoors, we found that the sound was rich, layered and detailed, with crisp highs and mids and a noticeable low. The bass on these speakers are simply incredibly punchy and impactful, making every beat of the music come to live – playing electronica and rock or pop on these speakers sounded particularly good and we felt like we were in a disco party. The sound can go loud enough for outdoor parties, and the sound feels immersive and smooth throughout. We can safely say that the UE Boom is easily hands down one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers in terms of sound quality at an affordable price.
The Boom speaker itself is an art in simplicity. On the top you have a power button and a Bluetooth connecter button. On the bottom you have a 3.5mm jack plug and the Micro-USB charging interface. Both of these are hidden behind covers which fit tightly and make them waterproof. One face of the almost cylindrical speaker houses two large volume buttons and that is all there is to it really. The speaker itself is actually quite small, roughly the size of a can of beer so is easily carried around, put in a bag or luggage to take on vacation with you etc. It has a very good portable design for you to bring your music anywhere outdoors.
Connection to your bluetooth device is simply a matter of pressing the Bluetooth connecter button on the top of the speaker and looking through the list of available Bluetooth devices on your phone, tablet or whatever and selecting the Boom. It is very intuitive interface to use and you would be up and running in a matter of seconds. Furthermore, this speaker has a whopping 1hour battery life and 100 ft. bluetooth wireless range. The Boom charges very quickly in around the hour mark compared to other outdoor bluetooth speaker models.
The Verdict? The Boom is one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers to take with you when you go on outdoor adventures or places that require exposure to the elements. It is loud, crisp, easy to use and weatherproof. If you are looking for an excellent portable speaker you cannot really go wrong with the Boom Furthermore, at the time of writing, the UE Boom is now selling at a very good price point and is definitely worth checking out.
The Bose SoundLink Color II is one of the most versatile and best outdoor bluetooth speakers currently available. This little unit pumps out clear, full-ranged sound which exceeding all our expectations from sound expected from a compact speaker. It also features up to hours of music from rechargeable lithium-ion battery, fast wireless connection and voice prompts which make pairing your devices easier than ever. Because of its portability and powerful sound, this little unit has all the positives of the “boom boxes” with the added benefit of smaller dimensions and longer battery life. In addition, the speaker itself is IPX4-rated water resistant and can resist sprays of water in all directions.
The SoundLink Color II excels in terms of audio performance. It puts out a rich, clean, clear sound. The bass is present without being overwhelming and the higher notes do not get tiny. It has a deep, warm bass that is quite characteristic of Bose products. The unit also handled guitar and cappella very well without muddying the purity of the unaccompanied human voice. It also stood up on the subtle complexities of guitar, and had nice spatial differential between the notes. Overall, the SoundLink Color has a great combination of highs, mids and lows while not being over-laden with studio trickery and post-production enhancements.
We really liked how this unit is small enough to tuck into a day pack or oversize purse, which is simply outstanding for portability. The manufacturer specs note that the internal battery holds a charge up to hours’ of playing time, which means you do not bring the provided power adaptor. The adaptor itself comes in two compact parts – a USB cable and a wall adaptor with fold-flat prongs. This outdoor bluetooth speaker will simultaneously recharge and perform as a speaker in about 60 – 70 minutes, which is pretty fast considering how long the battery lasts. The cool thing about this speaker is that you can also charge it using the micro USB cable.
In terms of appearance and durability, the SoundLink color features a smooth case with rounded corners. The one-piece top panel and two narrow vertical panels on the sides of the case are rubberized, with some flexibility. The control functions are printed on the surface of the top panel, and are pressure-sensitive, so there are no moving parts exposed. The narrow strips on the sides of the case give you a surer grip when lifting or moving the unit. The SoundLink and power supply are both well-machined. Overall, the unit seems sturdy and capable of withstanding daily use, including frequent movement and plugging and unplugging.
The Verdict? The Bose SoundLink Color II is a hands down fantastic and one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers that really challenge what you can expect of compact speakers. It’s really a rather elegant piece of audio equipment. It also feels heavy and extremely durable, making it the perfect outdoor companion for rugged adventures. It has one of the best combination of sound, portability and usability and the sound output from these speakers is deep, crisp and impactful. We would highly recommend this outdoor bluetooth speaker if you are looking for a rugged and high performance water resistant speaker from Bose.
Special Mention: The Trendwoo Music Tube
The Trendwoo Music Tube is a super sleek and modern looking outdoor bluetooth speaker. It is a highly versatile speaker with great quality sound for all music types. The speaker sounded really good with decent volume. We experimented a variety of music from Disney soundtracks to Michael Jackson to Bass Heavy dubstep tracks and it sounded good with all types of music. The frequency range was really good with some decent bass for a smaller speaker while maintaining clear mids and highs. The frequency and bass response range of this speaker is 25Hz to 15000Hz. There is a substantial amount of bass – so much that this outdoor speaker can vibrate itself right off the table! We were totally blown away by its superb and beautiful sound coming from this speaker.
The Trendwoo Music Tube makes it to the list as one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers because of its sound and excellent design. The tube design looks very sleek and nice with a rubber base for you to stand the speaker upright or along two rubber feet on the bottom if you want to lay the speaker down. The colored metal grill design, rubberized end caps and rubber bars on the base was very cool.The great thing about the tube design is that it can be inserted into a bike water bottle holder. The water resistant design provides rubber caps over ports. It also water-resistant rated IPXThe connectivity on this speaker is very good with a bluetooth range of about 25-30 feet and has an aux input for wired use.
The one element that surprised us was that this speaker is directional, rather than omnidirectional, which means that the sound fires out from one side of the speaker. Laying the speaker down and pointing it the wrong way would result in muddied sound. To get the best quality sound, you have to point this speaker in a specific direction. That being said, the overall sound quality is excellent.
We also liked the additional add-on features, such as the built-in microphone for hands-free speaker phone calling which was cool.This outdoor bluetooth speaker also features a built-in high capacity 4000mAh rechargeable battery for up to hours of playtime.
The Verdict? The Trendwoo Music Tube is clearly geared toward the portable factor and does a great job in what it is designed to do – to be more robust when out and about. It has a real Beats Pill design about it and it provides a lot of bass for such a small unit.
Special Mention: The Trendwoo X-Bass
The Trendwoo X-Bass is testament to the fact that great things do come in small packages. It is probably one of the sleekest looking outdoor bluetooth speakers and rocks even harder in the sound department. If you want to travel with style to the outdoors, this is the speaker to get. The Trendwoo X-Bass is slim and compact, with the perfect size to put into your pocket or bag. It gives you as clear and rich sound as you’d expect from any speaker on all frequencies, and it doesn’t lose quality as playing time goes on. The dual 3W speaker drivers create rich, deep sound from the pocket-sized speaker with very good bass response. This is really the best choice if you want a very portable speaker but aren’t willing to compromise on sound quality.
All the controls are on the top of the speaker: on/off, volume down, play/pause/handsfree/volume up. The volume up button gives you a short beep to let you know when you’ve reached maximum volume. All the various prompts you get are tones rather than voice prompts. On the back of the speaker is a flat that covers the AUX in port, Micro USB charging port and a reset button. An AUX (3.5mm jack) cable is provided as well as a USB to Micro USB charging cable.
We were very impressed with the design of the Trendwoo X-Bass. This outdoor bluetooth speaker has an IPXwater-resistant design that protects it from being damaged by splashes, so you’d be fine if you get caught in the rain with this speaker. It even supports handsfree functionality – you can answer or hang up phone calls and finish Google Talk, Skype and video chat, even if the device is not by your side.
The Turcom AcoustoShock is one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers built for portability and durability which at the time of writing is now selling at a very good price and definitely worth checking out. Its rugged and compact design gives outdoor enthusiasts the ability to listen to music anywhere. This unique outdoor speaker is dust-proof, shock-proof, and has a water-resistance rating of IPX-5, which means it can withstand a rain storm or direct splashes of water. Furthermore, this outdoor speaker contains drivers and active sub-woofers to deliver 30 Watts of power with high crisps without any distortion at maximum volume. In addition to the 2.Channel stereo sound output, it has the capability to answer calls with its integrated microphone.
The AcoustoShock is equipped with the latest NFC bluetooth technology which makes it easy and quick to connect smartphones, tablets, laptops or mpplayers to stream your music with minimum power consumption. It also has a 3.mm auxiliary cable for use with any non-bluetooth device. When we tested this speaker, we were happy to find out that the speaker volume does not level down as the battery life drains – this speaker has a 8,000 mAh lithium ion rechargeable battery, allowing up to hours of continuous music. You can even use the external battery as an external power source to charge your mobile device through the USB connection.
The Verdict? With a dual 15W speaker and passive sub-woofer with rugged water resistant coating, the Turcom Acousto Shock is one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers in terms of its portability and durability. It has a good 8,000 mAh lithium ion battery which lasts for more than hours of continuous playback, and you can even double it as a powerbank to charge your handphone or other devices via USB. We note that the slight distortion while taking phone calls could be a minus, and the water-resistant design is not entirely waterproof which may be a concern for some. That said, at this price range, the Turcom Acousto Shock has some really good specifications and sound performance that is hard to beat.
To begin, this speaker went beyond all our expectations. Despite the NUU Wake’s rugged design, it has two 10W speaker drivers and DSP to improve pass performance, combined with a passive bass radiator to allow it to pump out big sound with full bass that goes the distance. The volume output of this speaker can go incredibly high (supports an outdoor party of 50 people) without any distortion. The highs and mids are crisp and clear. Surprisingly, this beast weighs only pounds in total and is about 1× × inches and even floats on water instead of submerging, so you never have to worry about dropping this into the river! This is such a relief over other conventional outdoor speakers that sink to the bottom or are not waterproof and cannot be submerged in water. The battery life is amazing: the battery lasts for up to hours and you can even charge your phone when it runs out of battery too on this device.
The NUU Wake is designed like a tank. The Wake is IPXtested and approved, providing 100% waterproof protection (provided not submerged for long periods of time) and can withstand drops, dunks, and the most severe outdoor elements. It is ultra-rugged and built to stand up to the toughest environments and is very well suited for those adventurous outdoor hikers who want to listen to good music without having to worry about damaging the speaker. The Wake is truly exceptional in what it does – survive the outdoors and deliver exceptional sound performance.
The Sound Monkey is probably one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers in terms of build, design and portability. Straight out of the box, we were stunned by its very attractive design and the geometric pattern of diamond shaped holes in the silicone outer covering to reveal the actual speaker surface. It’s closely rivals the Splash SoundBox but excels in terms of design, durability and portability. The Sound Monkey weighs just over one pound. It is about ¾ inches long and ½ inches across. The outside of the speaker is covered in silicone with the speaker’s wire mesh underneath. There are openings all over the silicone that allow the sound to come out – and it looks great and feels very sturdy. The Sound Monkey features rich sound with watts of total output driven by two 40mm drivers and a massive passive radiator for incredible sound quality.
Where the Sound Monkey excels is in terms of its portable design – it is very versatile and can stand up on its end or lay on its side. The rugged outdoor speaker features superior water resistant to play wherever you need to listen to your music. It has a solid piece of silicone on the bottom side as a base when laying it on its side. It has a carabiner clip on the end so you can clip it onto your backpack or bag and use it on the go. It also comes with an audio cable so you can plug it into your computer or phone and use it without Bluetooth or you can pair it via Bluetooth to any device. It also comes with a micro USB cable that you can use to charge it or you can use it while it is plugged in. The battery life is very good, with up to hours of uninterrupted music on a single hour charge from the high capacity 2000AH Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. One thing that really sealed the deal on this one was that it could also be used as a cell phone speaker. You could do whatever you needed to do and still talk on the phone without any hassle.
The sound output of the Sound Monkey is nothing to shout about but we were quite impressed with how good the sound fidelity is – the mids and highs are crisp and clear and the bass isin’t muddy at all. The slight downside is that the bass isin’t as punchy but that’s expected for an outdoor bluetooth speaker of this size and power. The speaker controls are easy to use – to raise or lower the volume, just hold down the + or – button on the top of the speaker. A simple press of the same buttons can rewind or fast forward music or video, which is a nice feature. It also features Bluetooth CSRconnectivity for more efficient power consumption.
While this is not an outdoor speaker that you’d want to bring for a hiking/camping trip, the JBL Pulse outdoor bluetooth speaker a pretty swanky looking portable speaker that’s perfect for the outdoors on the beach or for a barbeque in the park. This speaker is ideal for small parties and get togethers. The JBL Pulse outdoor speaker sounds as good as its Bose counterpart (which costs more) and is well worth the money. What really makes the JBL Pulse stand out despite its lack of sturdiness is its sound quality and aesthetic appeal, which compensates for this speaker’s susceptibility to outdoor elements.
The sound of the JBL Pulse is excellent and mind-blowing. It produces clear loud sound at no distortion at high volumes and packs a decent amount of bass into the beats. The dual speaker system in the JBL Pulse delivers full-range sound – the highs and mids are crisp and have lots of clarity to them, which is rare for a speaker of this size. The music can be combined with a programmable LED light show via an easy to use app. We really liked the LED Pulse rhythms which was such a joy to look at. Streaming music wirelessly through a smart phone or bluetooth enabled device was easy. It also comes with an auxiliary port which allows you to hook up other devices.
The JBL Pulse has awesome batteries too that lasts for more than hours straight. It’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery can also be charged via a USB cable, which is a nice added touch. This is probably one of the best outdoor bluetooth speaker in terms of looks and sound, but is more suited for outdoor parties rather than rough sport.
The Verdict? The JBL Pulse, while not a hardcore outdoor speaker, shines in the music department and has a fascinating LED display looks seriously cool and is perfect for outdoor gatherings.
The Yantouch IceDiamond outdoor bluetooth speaker is not the kind of speaker you’d bring on an outdoor hiking trip, but it’s great for recreational outdoor activities (BBQs, chilling by the beach, etc.) The Yantouch IceDiamond makes it to this list as one of the best outdoor bluetooth speakers purely for its portable and incredible design. The colors on the IceDiamond are fascinating – it features three synchronised lighting patterns – one for soft relaxing music, exciting rock and dance beats – which change according to the tempo of the music. It also features a high class woofer tube Neodymium “Super Magnet” stereo speaker system that creates awesome sound – the highs and mids are crisp and clear, and you can hear the punchy bass from this baby (although it sounds visibly different outdoors than indoors due to spatial constraints).
We really liked the design of this outdoor bluetooth speaker which made it look truly impressive and unique like a glowing diamond. It’s easy to carry around because of the size of the speaker: small and light-weighted. It also has a built-in li-polymer rechargeable battery for use outdoors or on the move (up to hours battery life). It also has a dedicated “BedTime Social” app available for bluetooth wireless devices/PC integration and Facebook “remote whispers” messaging which is a nice added touch. The key thing about the IceDiamond is that it works well at home and outdoors – it is easy to control via bluetooth and is a great product for someone who needs a speaker that can connect with both computer or wireless device. The LED lights change with the beat of the music and are probably the most addictive thing about this awesome speaker.
The Verdict? The Yantouch IceDiamond is an exotic and versatile indoor/outdoor speaker, and is best suited for recreational outdoor activities were people can admire its incredibly swanky LED display and punchy beats.
Waterproof vs water-resistance
Some outdoor Bluetooth speakers are designed to be “waterproof” whereas some are “water-resistant”. There is a crucial difference here – waterproof means that the speaker is fully submersible in water and will be fully water-resistant up to a certain depth (usually meter) in the water. Water resistant outdoor speakers, on the other hand, are built to withstand gentle splashes of water that originate from rain or by the poolside. These outdoor Bluetooth speakers are therefore not suited for use if you intend to totally submerge it underwater.
So how can you tell whether a speaker is waterproof or just merely water-resistant? The outdoor Bluetooth speaker will have an IP Code (Ingress Protection Rating or International Protection Rating) which shows you the extent to which it can resist water and other outdoor elements. The IP rating determines the degree of protection provided against outdoor elements such as dust, shock resistant and water exposure. Generally, an outdoor Bluetooth speaker with a higher IP rating will be better protected and much more resistant to outdoor elements.
NFC pairing, or Near-Field Communication Pairing, helps the speaker recognise your Bluetooth device automatically. This allows the speaker to automatically pair with your Bluetooth device the moment it detects it on the network, helping you to save time by needing to constantly pair the speaker with your Bluetooth device. We have selected some of the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers with NFC pairing – the NFC pairing will work the second time you pair your speaker to your mobile device – it will automatically pair and recognise your device without you having to lift a finger. This is especially convenient if you need to use your speaker outdoors and helps you save time having to rediscover your speaker on the network and pair again.
Rahul is one of the original members of the ExtensivelyReviewed team. Born in Chennai and living most of his childhood in Kolkata, he originally moved to the United States for school and earned his electrical engineering degree at the University of Central Florida, graduating with honors. Rahul enjoys reviewing the latest electronics and gadgets.
Since many mixers support both live sound and recording functions, the distinction between these two types isn’t always clear. Today there are numerous audio mixers that will meet both your onstage and recording needs.
Mixer Terminology—The Basics
As you shop for a mixer, you’ll run across terms that may be unfamiliar. To help you decipher the specs and features you’ll be reading about, we offer the following glossary that’ll help you navigate through all that information.
A channel insert allows you to connect external sound processors like compressors and equalizers to specific channels, usually after the preamp stage of the channel. On larger mixers there may be a patch bay that allows connection of numerous external devices.
Using the cue system you can listen in on selected channels without affecting the mixer’s output. Usually the signal is fed to a headphone amplifier or monitor speakers. Cue systems usually allow listening to the signal either before or after the fader has affected it. Pre-fader listening, abbreviated as PFL, lets you hear the original signal without sending it to a signal mix. After-fader listening (AFL) allows you to isolate the fader-affected signal, which is handy for troubleshooting signals. Some larger mixers have a Solo In Place (SIP) function that silences every channel other than the one being sampled, a useful feature when doing sound checks.
For instant changes to signal routing, flexible and extensive signal dynamics, and an amazing array of effects possibilities, a digital mixer is hard to beat. With the touch of a button, preprogrammed routing and effects can be triggered that would be impossible for even a talented octopus to accomplish on an analog audio mixer! Some digital boards are compatible with software plug-ins that extend their tone-shaping capabilities even further. They also can ride herd on dreaded feedback, preventing the howls and squeals before they even start. Another nice feature is automatic gating that silences channels with little or no signal passing through them.
The 16-channel Mackie DL1608L Digital Mixer is equipped with a Lightning connector for iPad control.
The PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI digital mixer stores setups for instant recall, includes a bundle of tightly integrated software,and its advanced I/O options will handle just about any recording/performing scenario.
One potential downside of digital mixers grows out of their versatility. Their enormous flexibility comes with a price: The learning curve for mastering all the possibilities your mixer offers can be steep. That said, like any complex digital device, it’s usually not essential to learn every function—the ability to save the settings and configure the interface to your needs can help you cut through its complexity.
Soundcraft’s Si Expression digital mixer uses an intuitive color-coded interface to help navigate its extensive functions and features while delivering classic British EQ and mic preamp technology.
How well the user interface is designed will make a big difference in how quickly you can master the functions you need to know. Talking to fellow mixer users, hanging out on pro audio forums, reading reviews, and checking out demos and tutorials will help you find the mixers that offer a gentler learning curve.
If you’re looking for a mixer to handle your live performances and your main and monitor speakers are unpowered, a powered mixer eliminates the need to transport and set up separate power amplifiers to drive them. Powered audio mixers are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations. They can handle everything from a solo acoustic singer-guitarist using one or two mics, an acoustic-electric guitar, and modestly sized speakers, to a full-blown band with a full array of mics, electric instruments, and hefty main and monitor speakers.
Phonic’s Powerpod 740 Plus 2X220W 7-Channel Powered Mixer has dual 220W amps to drive PA speakers, dual 7-band graphic EQ, 1high-definition digital effects; stereo RCA I/O with trim control for digital media, rumble filters and phantom power supply.
Powered mixers offer most of the bells and whistles you’ll find on unpowered mixers in terms of routing options, effects processing, EQing, and much more. As with any mixer purchase, you’ll need to calculate the total inputs and outputs you need as well as the necessary power to drive your PA speaker cabinets and stage monitors.
The Peavey XR 8600D Powered Mixer has a pair of 600W Class D amps for powering main and monitor speakers, mic preamps, and line inputs.
Since most solo acts and bands that play in smaller venues must deal with their own sound engineering, ease of use is an important consideration. In recent years, integrated PA systems have entered the market that contain all the elements—speakers, mixer, and power amplifier—in one portable unit.
With their multiple turntables and/or CD players, DJs have a unique set of mixing needs to keep their music flowing seamlessly. DJ mixers are specially configured to meet those needs with the right inputs to handle DJ gear and integrate with PAs and club sound systems.
You’ll find DJ mixers vary considerably in their capabilities. Simple, low-cost units may have just two or three inputs and outputs and offer basic EQ/volume controls and crossfader operations that allow mixing the output of a couple turntables or CD players. More sophisticated DJ mixers add features such as kill switches for instant control over certain frequencies, hamster switches that reverse crossfader channel operation, and metering that displays clipping (distortion) and output levels. Mic inputs and talkover switches allow the DJ to easily communicate with the audience.
The Allen & Heath XONE:4DJ Mixeris a 4+channel DJ mixer that offers the very best of analogue audio quality, including the legendary Xone filter with resonance control, band EQ, crossfader with three curve settings and X:FX for send/return to your favourite FX unit.
Since the crossfaders on a DJ mixer take a beating, their replaceability is an important consideration.
The TRAKTOR KONTROL ZDJ mixer from Native Instruments is tightly integrated with the company’s TRAKTOR software to offer + channel control delivering standalone mixer channels plus remix deck channels.
As with any other mixer type, choosing the right DJ mixer is a process of considering the I/O you need, the functions that are critical to your show, and your budget.
Things to Look for When Shopping for a Mixer
If you’ve explored Musician’s Friend’s huge selection of mixing gear, you know there are a lot of possibilities out there. Beside the obvious question of your budget, here is a checklist of things to consider as you narrow down that selection of mixers to a short list of those best suited to your situation.
Application: Will you be using your mixer to record, play live, or both? If you want to use it exclusively for recording, mic preamp quality, and the ability to connect external processors are important factors.
For live-sound use, you’ll want to be sure the mixer is compatible with your existing sound system and offers enough connectivity and sound processing to handle your entire band. (See I/O and Channels below for more on this.) Ruggedness is important too—flimsily built mixers won’t handle the rigors of the road for long.
I/O and Channels: Consider how many mics you need to connect. (A miked drum kit can use up five or more inputs all by itself.) If you plan to use condenser mics, you’ll need mic inputs that supply phantom power for them. Also, if your band includes stereo keyboards and other such instruments, you’ll want enough stereo channels to accommodate them. If you plan to connect guitars or basses directly to the mixer, you’ll need sufficient direct inputs for them too. It’s always best to allow headroom by getting more I/O and channels than you currently need. Bands have a habit of growing in terms of both players and gear over time.
Buses and Signal Routing: These functions may be more important where recording is concerned. If you use a lot special-purpose mixes such as feeds to recording gear, monitors, headphones, and external effects mixes, you will need more routing flexibility and signal paths.
EQ Capabilities. How sophisticated are your EQ needs? Generally, studio recording requires finer tweaking of sound to sweeten your mix. Multiband parametric equalizers may be needed to achieve the level of sound quality you want. On the other hand, for simpler live-sound mixing, simple control over bass, mid, and high frequencies is all that’s needed.
Effects and Other Sound Processors: Do you rely on external mic preamps, effects pedals, and other tone tweaking gear to produce the sound you want ahead of the mixer? If so, internal mixer effects and sound processors are less critical. On the other hand, a mixer with onboard effects and sound processing makes for a very portable setup when playing live.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your boat stereo wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of boat stereo
- №1 — JVC KD-X33MBS In-Dash Marine Boat Yacht Bluetooth Radio USB Stereo Receiver Player Bundle Combo
- №2 — Kenwood MP3/USB/AUX Marine Boat Yacht Stereo Bluetooth Receiver CD Player Bundle Combo w/ RC35MR Wired Remote Control
- №3 — Pyle Bluetooth Marine Audio Stereo Kit [Radio Receiver & Waterproof Speakers] Hands-Free Talking