Waterproof, Wireless, Great Sound, Can We Have It All?
As the summer is coming up soon, one of my favorite things to do is to head over to the beach. Being able to escape from the loud city noise is a nice relief on the weekends.
Although it’s peaceful to be on a quiet beach and enjoy a cold one in the sun, having a speaker with some good tunes can definitely make for a perfect combo.
The market for speakers is massive and the choices are endless. Even when niching down as far as being both waterproof and wireless, there are still a lot of choices and it can be tough knowing which one is the best one for the best price.
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JBL has been known for killing it in the speaker game for years now. Introducing the JBL Charge 4 is no exception as it shows great promise in many aspects.
While the signal range is only documented to work to around 30+ ft, it is a groundbreaking speaker for being classified as IPX7 while still offering great sound and base.
Apart from providing great sound quality, you also have the added feature of being able to charge your phone or other gadgets through USB. This is most likely one of the reasons as for how the name came out.
As the battery allows up to 20 hours of use, you should be able to get a decent amount of battery out of it for charging your other devices as well if needed.
It is on the heavier side at 2.1 Lbs but it shouldn’t cause any problems unless you’re planning on carrying it around a lot. It is a quite larger speaker, whether that is a problem or not for you may depend on personal preference. As for other downsides, which, aren’t very many, there is no AUX input.
This is a tiny flaw compared to the other great features along with the great battery life this speaker offers, while still having an affordable price tag.
- Good battery life
- Great sound and bass quality
- Strong IPX score
- Can serve as a portable charger
- Heavier than others
- Large size may concern some
- No AUX input
Anker is known for many of their products these last few years, including mostly chargers and power banks. However, they do deserve some credit for their products in the speaker market as well.
Soundcore 2 is one of the smaller wireless speakers among others. While it is often seen on the shelves together with other waterproof speakers, be sure to note that it is only IPX5 approved. So, while it won’t break from a little rain, you should probably keep this speaker at a safe distance from the water.
The price tag is very affordable and I believe it’s neither over- nor under-priced in its quality. You won’t see the same sound quality as some of the more expensive, but it’s definitely not poor quality.
It is equipped with an AUX input and offers a signal range up to 66 feet which, is actually quite impressive for its price. Also, as it is the best on this list in terms of battery life as well as up to 24 hours of use.
While I do prefer the JBL or Bose, I am impressed by Anker with this product and it’s a great choice if you don’t want to spend too much on a speaker.
- Very affordable
- Portable smart design
- AUX Input
- Great battery life
- Average sound quality
- Lack of bass
- Average IPX score
To start off from the design, Bose continues in their usual way of creating great quality in great looks.
With great quality and looks, Bose often tends to be on the more expensive side and there is no difference with this product. The question is, is it worth it?
I would say that it depends on the purpose. This speaker like all others on this list is mentioned as somewhat related to being waterproof, although this speaker only has an IPX4 score which won’t really help against much other than rain.
Bose has however provided us with 360 sound which is a great feature to have, although it might not be the best choice for bringing it to the beach. Also, the signal range is similar to the Anker speaker above at just 30 feet which is generally a quite poor range.
The battery time is listed as up to 12 hours which isn’t the worst but definitely not the best.
If you’re looking for a portable speaker with great 360 sound, it could be for you. However, if you’re mostly concerned about water-resistance, you might want to look at the other options included.
- Great sound quality
- Stylish design
- Poor signal range
- Poor IPX score
The Wonderboom is the ultimate speaker for you if you’re the clumsy person at the pool party that would knock a table into the pool after a few too many.
While there have been quite a few waterproof speakers on the market for some time now, none of them has been able to float without some sort of inflatable gadget. With the Wonderboom, it will actually come back to you even if you drop it in the water.
With an impressive score of IPX7, it should be able to survive to be under the water for at least 30 minutes, and even better, it floats. While it may not break, I advise you to not test these scores to the limit and still use common sense when using electronics near water.
In terms of sound quality, I was impressed with it coming equipped with a quite decent 360 sound. You can also pair it with other Wonderboom to increase the sound, even though I believe one is loud enough for most occasions.
The battery life is where it falls a little bit short as it’s only up to 10 hours. However, for being in the midrange price of waterproof speakers, I believe it is worth its price due to its decent sound quality together with its robust and waterproof qualities. The signal range is also up to 100 feet which is in the better levels.
- Durable design
- Great IPX score
- Great signal range
- Decent 360 sound
- Average battery life
- No AUX Input
The Tribit MaxSound Plus is a recently released speaker that offers many great qualities while remaining very affordable.
In terms of design, it is an all-around speaker meaning the sound is pretty much coming out of all areas. I believe this fits perfect for bringing to the beach as it spreads the sound around great if you’re a bigger party.
Adding on to the design, it has an impressive score of IPX7 which I did not expect when I first looked at the price.
From a technical standpoint, I tested this one out in the store and the bass is actually pretty good for being a smaller speaker as that’s generally a problem when going for a small portable speaker. I do not believe it’s in the same quality range as the JLB or Bose, however, given it’s a lower price and durable features, it is my second choice.
The battery life is up to 20 hours which is also a great feature together with an impressive signal range of up to 100 feet.
- Very affordable
- Great IPX score
- Great signal range
What Should You Look For In A Wireless Waterproof Speaker?
Different speakers will focus on different aspects whether you’ll looking for the ultimate waterproofness, the best signal-range, or best sound. We would all like to think we could find it all in one package but some may be designed for certain purposes.
Waterproof or not, don’t be tricked by advertising!
You might think that a device being waterproof means that you can take it scuba diving but that’s not the case with many of them. Waterproof devices are generally measured through an IPX score in how water-resistant they are aswell for how long or how deep they can be submerged under water. (I will provide more information about this in related questions at the bottom)
This can be misleading for many people that aren’t aware as all companies that offer waterproof products mention them as being, waterproof. The definition is quite vague as it can mean different things for different products. For example, one speaker might be listed as waterproof but reading more closely, you might find it can be submerged for a max of 5 feet, and only for 3 minutes.
Way too often, this information is mentioned in a small caption while the word “Waterproof” could send the wrong signals if you’re new to waterproof products. This is definitely something that you should always check before purchasing a waterproof device of any kind.
Just like with any wireless product, they will send signals through either Wi-fi or Bluetooth. Regardless of being waterproof or not, the range of signal should be a concern worth looking into before purchasing a wireless speaker.
Have you ever used a wireless speaker and walked away a bit too far from the receiver? I know, it can be annoying when the sound cuts off. The reception and the signal range is important in any wireless product, and this is something worth looking into when it comes to wireless speakers.
Whenever we want to add anything to a speaker, other than it’s the original purpose of playing music, we sometimes have to give up a little bit of quality.
As the market for wireless speakers is massive, this is becoming less of a problem as there are constant improvements coming out on the market. However, it is essential for your experience and even though your main concern might be the waterproofness if you’re going to the beach, you certainly want to read up on the sound quality of your speaker before making a purchase.
What does IPX mean and how is it measured?
IPX is a way of ranking a device in how resistant it is to environmental elements, in this case, how water-resistant something is.
IPX0 means a device is not resistant to water at all, IPX1 means it can be resistant to a few drops of water, etc.
Conclusion – My Choice
My choice may vary from many but I am personally a big fan of bass, and for this case, I personally use the JBL Charge 4
Apart from the great sound quality, battery life, and decent IPX score, the fact that it can act as a portable charger is what gives it my vote.
Be sure to go through the different aspects for the other speakers to make sure that you choose the one that fits your needs.
And as I mentioned above, remember that waterproof may not literally mean waterproof!