CLEVELAND — Who doesn’t love listening to some good tunes while relaxing at the beach or the pool? The best sound starts with the right portable speaker, and that speaker needs to stand up to the occasional splash of water. That’s where Consumer Reports comes in, with some great suggestions for waterproof speakers you can take just about anywhere without breaking the bank.
No matter what you're listening to, Consumer Reports has you covered with Bluetooth speakers you can take wherever you go. They were selected because they’re small, fun, and can survive exposure to some of the elements.
Like water! Many of them have rugged exteriors that can be tossed in a beach bag, like the Bose SoundLink Color II for $130 ($170 in Canada). CR’s experts say it shines in all the right places. It’s good for sound and is very easy to use, and it’s got decent versatility.
Several recommended models share a cylindrical shape that can easily fit in your backpack, including in its side water bottle pouch.
Like the Sony SRS-XB23 for $90 ($150 in Canada) and the JBL Flip 5 for $100 ($160 in Canada). They’re both CR Best Buys that sound good and are really easy to use.
For a little more, there’s also the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 for $200 ($250 in Canada). It gets solid scores across the board, and CR says it’s loud enough to fill a medium-to-large room.
If you’re looking for something smaller, more portable, and less expensive, look no further than the JBL Clip 4 for $80 ($100 in Canada). Although it’s not an official CR-recommended model because its sound quality is lacking, testers say it’s good enough for podcasts or other casual listening. And it has a fun feature—its own carabiner—that allows you to hook it onto just about anything that has a loop or a latch.
And a reminder about most Bluetooth speakers: You have to keep the music source, like your smartphone, within about 30 feet of the speaker, otherwise the Bluetooth signal fades.
More from Consumer Reports: