The natural sounds of the outdoors can be extremely soothing and peaceful, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little music of your own as well. If you like listening to music in the outdoors, or you just want to create your own atmosphere, you’ll need some good outdoor speakers. This gives you the option to add a little ambiance to any outdoor gathering or event, and lets you enjoy your time outside that much more.
We’ve tested and reviewed dozens of outdoor speakers to find the ones that offer the best performance and value possible for anyone looking to play their favorite tunes in the outdoors. We look at things like sound quality, durability, water-resistance, and overall build quality
During our testing, we had one standout performance from the JBL Flip 5 Portable Wireless Speaker. This speaker offers a great performance for the price, and tremendous sound quality as well. It provides 12 hours of playback and has an IPX7 waterproof rating so you can take it on all your outdoor adventures.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Outdoor Speakers
|Best Outdoor Speakers Overall||JBL Flip 5 Portable Wireless Speaker||4.8|
|Best Indoor/Outdoor Speakers||Vanzon X5 Pro Portable Wireless Speaker V5.0||4.8|
|Best Budget Outdoor Speakers||VaKo Tapping & Shaking Bluetooth Speakers||4.7|
|Best Bluetooth Outdoor Speakers||Zamkol Bluetooth Speaker||4.8|
|Best Ceiling Outdoor Speakers||Polk Audio Atrium 6 Outdoor All-Weather Speakers||4.7|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Outdoor Speakers Overall: JBL Flip 5 Portable Wireless Speaker
The JBL Flip 5 is a waterproof speaker primarily designed for those who live an active lifestyle and want to be able to play their favorite tunes while out and about. These speakers are designed to be pretty tough, and they charge in under 3 hours so you can get back up and going quickly. It is also Bluetooth capable, of course, so you can connect your phone and play music through your app of choice anywhere you are, for up to 12 hours.
Connecting to the speaker is quick and easy, and you can also connect other JBL PartyBoost-enabled speakers in order to play the same music or ambient sound through each device, which gives you an unprecedented amount of sound in a mobile package. Being able to chain multiple speakers together is a great option for outdoor gatherings where you want music, but you don’t want to lug around heavy and costly equipment.
You also get an excellent drop-resistant case that comes with an EVA foam lining that gives you an easy way to keep your speaker safe. With this case you can be sure that your speaker will survive getting tossed around in a bag or in the backseat of your car without worry. Overall, this speaker is a phenomenal option for anyone that wants to jam out and maintain an active lifestyle at the same time.
JBL Flip 5 Key Features:
- Bluetooth compatible with easy pairing of new devices
- Can be linked to other PartyBoost JBL speakers for greater sound coverage
- Waterproof and shock resistant
- 12 hour run time on battery mode
- Recharges in just under 3 hours
Best Indoor/Outdoor Speakers: Vanzo X5 Pro Portable Wireless Speaker
The Vanzo X5 Pro Portable Wireless Speaker is another excellent option that provides great sound indoors and outdoors. This portable speaker is designed for those who live an active lifestyle and want to be able to play their music indoors as well as out. If you want the option to jam out in your living room or move the party outside as needed, this is a great choice for you. It’s water/splash proof to handle everything from the shower to rain or even a day at the pool (just don’t fully submerge it).
Beyond that, you have options to chain speakers together to cover a wider area as well which can help if you’re having a party or other outdoor gathering. This makes it much, much easier to get the sound coverage you want for those bigger gatherings. It also has USB Type-C and 3.5mm aux ports, as well as 5v/2A rapid charging to get you back up and going quickly if your battery is dead. This, of course, also lets you just plug the speaker in and listen to your favorite tunes indoors when you’re not out exploring.
And when you are out and about, you have a carabiner clip so you can easily attach the speaker to your belt or backpack so you can easily bring your music with you when you’re on the go. This ability to take the speaker with you wherever you go is a huge part of why we recommend it. This truly is an excellent option for those looking for a solid speaker that can be used indoors or outdoors.
Vanzo X5 Pro Portable Wireless Speaker Key Features:
- Excellent sound quality indoors or outdoors
- Up to a 24 hour run time on a single charge
- IPX7 Waterproof
- High-end sound quality for an affordable price
Best Budget Outdoor Speaker: VaKo Tapping & Shaking Bluetooth Speakers
The VaKo Tapping & Shaking Bluetooth Speakers are our pick for the best budget Bluetooth speakers. This speaker is IPX5 (splashproof) so it’s safe to use in the shower or even out in the rain. It also comes packed with a variety of features that make it a great choice for anyone that’s on a budget. Don’t worry though, you’re not losing all of the features you might expect. In fact, this speaker can punch above its weight class and offer a lot more than some other more expensive speakers.
First of all, you get Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, which means you can connect from up to 100 feet away. This is really impressive from such an affordable speaker, especially one that is also splash-proof. Of course, that’s not all this speaker has going for it.
This particular speaker has a fun party trick in the form of a “tap or shake to activate” sound and light system. Simply shaking the speaker or tapping on it plays one of 15 fun sound effects and flashes lights in various colors. Having this extra functionality is a fun little bonus to what is already an excellent speaker for the price.
VaKo Tapping & Shaking Bluetooth Speakers Key Features:
- Tap and Shake feature activates lights and sound effects
- Bluetooth 5.0 for extended connectivity range
- IPX5 waterproof rating for use in the shower or other similar environment
- Built-in microphone for hands-free calling
Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker: Zamkol Bluetooth Speaker
The Zamkol Bluetooth Speaker is one of the best-performing speakers we tested, and it has the best Bluetooth performance hands-down. There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to play music through your handy Bluetooth speaker and being unable to connect, or having a spotty connection that drops in and out. With this speaker, you’ll never have to worry about losing connection to your speaker as long as you stay within 60-70ft or so. You can stretch this a little further if you have a clear line of sight, but not much more. This is a limitation of the Bluetooth technology and the power of our cellphones though, and not a failing of the speaker itself.
Beyond that, this speaker is shock and water-resistant, making it a great choice for anyone that lives a life in the outdoors. This speaker fits perfectly in a water bottle pocket on your backpack or your bike, which means you can always have your music with you when you’re on the go, whether you’re biking around the city or hiking in the backcountry.
Finally, the 360-degree speaker design can fill a room with sound, or blast your music with enough volume to cover a wide outdoor area for a picnic or party. The dual-speaker setup gives you a full, bassy sound that remains true to the music while still giving you the power you need to rock out wherever you are.
Zamkol Bluetooth Speaker Key Features:
- 360-degree speaker blasts sound evenly in all directions
- Shock and water-resistant
- Best Bluetooth performance of any speaker we tested
- Sleek modern design goes with most any aesthetic
Best Outdoor Ceiling Speaker: Polk Audio Atrium 8 SDI Flagship Outdoor All-Weather Speaker
The Polk Audio Atrium 8 SDI Flagship Outdoor All-Weather Speaker is our #1 pick for homeowners who want to have their speakers outside all year round, without having to worry about moving them around or charging a wireless model. These speakers hook into your sound system and allow you to play your music, or just a relaxing ambient track, whenever you want. Also, they are water and dustproof so you don’t have to worry about them getting destroyed by the weather.
All of this makes them a truly fantastic option for anyone looking to permanently attach some speakers to a deck, gazebo, patio, or another similar area so that they can then enjoy a little music in the great outdoors. These are also great for landscaping and for venues that host parties or events. With these speakers, you’ll never be without your music, and you’ll get some of the best sound quality and coverage possible. You also won’t have to worry about charging a wireless speaker, or Bluetooth connection issues which can spoil an otherwise stellar gathering or event.
Polk Audio Atrium 8 SDI Flagship Outdoor All-Weather Speaker Key Features:
- All-weather design will survive most common weather conditions
- Shielded design protects it from rain, snow, dust, dirt, and other debris
- Excellent sound quality keeps your music faithful to the original source without adding too much bass
- High-wattage speakers mean you can pump your music as loud as you want
Who Should Buy an Outdoor Speaker
If you like listening to music in the outdoors, you really should invest in a good outdoor speaker. Headphones are great, but they disconnect you from the world around you. With a good speaker, you can listen to your music, and still take in the sounds of nature around you (unless you just want to crank the volume and rock out, which is totally an option as well). Beyond that, if you have a group of friends or family together for some sort of gathering, headphones aren’t really an option and you need outdoor speakers if you’re going to want to play music for the whole crowd.
And of course, if you’re outside, there’s a chance your speaker can get beaten up, knocked around, or even drenched with water, so a standard Bluetooth speaker just isn’t going to cut it. You really and truly need something that’s robust enough to stand up to an active lifestyle. Also, if you’re looking for something you can use in the shower, you obviously need it to be waterproof as well.
Finally, if you’re a homeowner and you want to enjoy your music outside with a little more regularity and overall quality, consider installing some permanent outdoor speakers! These speakers can come in a variety of designs from a classy and modern steel to ones that are disguised as decorative rocks or boulders. Either way, they allow you to play music through your sound system to fill your yard with the sounds of your favorite playlist, and you never have to worry about lugging around a single speaker. You’ll get way better audio quality too.
Important Features to Consider
An outdoor speaker should have a few different key features. Here’s what to consider when selecting an outdoor speaker for yourself:
- Sound quality: First and foremost, the speakers need to sound good. Otherwise, you’re likely going to be dissatisfied and not want to use them
- Water resistance: If your speakers are outside, eventually they’re going to get rained on. Any outdoor speaker needs to be water and dust resistant at the very least.
- Bluetooth connection quality: If you’re going with a wireless model, it has to have good Bluetooth connectivity. If you can’t pair or maintain a connection to your device, the speaker is basically useless.
- Battery life: If you don’t want to be chained to an outlet all day, you need a speaker that has good battery life (unless it stays wired up all the time).
- Shock resistance: You don’t want your fancy new speaker to stop working just because it fell out of your bag or off a table, so try to pick something that is relatively shock resistant as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do outdoor wireless speakers work?
These speakers typically work in one of two ways. First, they can connect to your device via Bluetooth, which allows you to play music wirelessly. Then you have your fixed or landscaping speakers that you can wire up and have permanently placed around your home, venue, or what have you.
How many watts do I need for outdoor speakers?
It depends on how loud you want your speaker, but for something like a handheld speaker you’re planning on using to play music for your friends, you’ll want to look at something in the 50-75 watt range at least, and for something like landscaping speakers you’ll generally want to stay in the neighborhood of 150-200 watts at a minimum.
How much are outdoor speakers?
Probably not as expensive as you think! These speakers have gone down immensely in price within the last few years, particularly as the chips that drive them and the lithium-ion batteries that power them have both gotten cheaper. Expect to spend $30+ for a mid-range model, and $100-$250 for something on the high-end. As far as the landscape speakers go, expect to pay $50-$150 for most models.
What kind of speaker wire do I need for outdoor speakers?
You don’t actually need speaker wire for these speakers unless you’re looking at the ones that are permanently affixed to something like a gazebo ceiling or concealed within a fake rock as part of your landscaping. If this is the case, you’ll need special outdoor speaker wire, sometimes called landscape speaker wire, to hook everything up safely and effectively.
Other Outdoor Speakers We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other outdoor speakers. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best outdoor speakers list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for anyone that likes to listen to music outside. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Bluetooth Outdoor Speakers
- Ceiling-Mounted Outdoor Speakers
- Rock Outdoor Speakers
- Surround Sound Outdoor Speakers
Bluetooth Outdoor Speakers
Anker once again proves their mastery of portable electronics with this stellar speaker, delivered at an affordable price.
- Robust construction
- Excellent battery life
- High-quality sound
Axloie is a relatively new brand that is already making waves with its colorful and innovative speaker designs.
- Colorful lights add a fun mood
- Twin-speaker design
- Excellent construction
- Highest-available sound quality
- Great battery life
- Good Bluetooth reception even at a distance
- Extremely water-resistant
- Long battery life
- Excellent sound quality
This lightweight speaker from JBL offers great sound in a very convenient form factor.
- IPX7 Waterproof rating
- Aux and Bluetooth input
Designed by serious music enthusiasts for serious music enthusiasts, this speaker offers you great sound clarity even at its loudest volume setting.
- Low distortion at any volume
- 4000MAH Battery
- 20 hour run time
The WONDERBOOM by Ultimate Ears is another great option for anyone looking for excellent sound in a small package.
- Great if you like your music loud
- Long-lasting battery
- Hanging loop
Ceiling-Mounted Outdoor Speakers
The Bose 251 Environmental Outdoor Speakers offer the best possible sound quality for your patio, garden, terrace, or another outdoor gathering area.
- Best-in-class sound quality
- Attractive design
- Easy to install
These speakers provide excellent sound coverage at a fraction of the cost of other similar models.
- Quick installation
- Great sound quality
- Relatively affordable
If you’re looking for something with slightly better sound quality than our last entry, try the Audium Atrium 5 model.
- Power-port bass venting
- Slightly wider sound coverage
- Excellent quality of sound
These high-powered speakers from legendary audio giant Klipsch deliver serious high-end sound.
- Best overall sound quality
- Highest sound output
- Works well inside or out
Rock Outdoor Speakers
This is one of the few disguised landscape speakers that is also natively Bluetooth-compatible.
- Bluetooth-compatible outdoor landscape speaker
- Excellent sound coverage
- No pre-existing sound system needed beyond the wiring
These landscape speakers offer a cool look at an affordable price for the quality.
- Easy to install
- Quick to setup
These disguised speakers come in several styles so you can rest assured there will be something to match your existing landscaping.
- Multiple styles available
- Easy to chain multiple speakers
Surround Sound Outdoor Speakers
This boombox-style speaker gives you impressive performance from such a portable package.
- Very clear sound
- Long battery life
- Great sound coverage from a single unit.
This version is a little more robust and has a longer battery than the previous Aomais model, but it is a little more expensive
- 40 hour run time
- IPX7 Waterproof rating
- Drop/Shock resistant
This speaker features a built-in microphone so you can use your Siri, Google Assistant, or another device-centered virtual assistant with ease.
- Quick-charge capability
- Long run time
- Built-in microphone
This Bose speaker offers the best sound quality of any portable speaker we tested.
- Best sound quality from a portable speaker
- Excellent area coverage
- Top marks for clarity
This is another great boombox-style speaker for when you want to kick it old school, but not without your Bluetooth.
- Easy-carry handle
- Excellent battery life
This speaker from W-King also functions as a portable power bank.
- High-Fi sound
- Carry strap included
- Can also be used as a power bank