Best Bluetooth Speakers For Outdoor Entertaining
Best Bluetooth Speakers For Outdoor Entertaining
Whether it’s setting the mood, or covering the lawn with great-sounding music, portable Bluetooth speakers are a convenient way to host just about any occasion. If you are shopping for a dependable, rugged Bluetooth speaker that can withstand the elements and present great sound, you came to the right place.
At Audio Advice, we spend a lot of time outdoors. If you are familiar with our videos, you will see us talking about our favorite outdoor speakers to serenade or light up a party in the backyard. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes — some are portable and can go just about anywhere — and others are permanent weather-resistant installations you wire-up around your house.
For applications where it’s too difficult to wire, there are portable speakers that can stand a little water should it start to rain. When searching for the best portable Bluetooth speakers, we rate on a variety of features:
- Battery Life — so you can keep your party going even if the sun goes down.
- Bluetooth Range — so you can pair with devices while still keeping your distance.
- High IP-rating — this protects the Bluetooth speaker from the elements so you can use it outdoors and not have to worry about water or dust damaging the speaker.
These are the best ones in their price-category for outdoor use. Click on any of the Bluetooth speakers below to be taken directly to more information on that model.
Table Of Contents
- Sonos Move Battery-Powered Smart Speaker — Regular Price $399.00 $399.00
- Soundcast VG5 Bluetooth Loudspeaker — Regular Price $499.99 $399.99
- JBL Boombox 2 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker — Regular Price $499.95 $499.95
- JBL PartyBox 310 Portable Bluetooth Speaker — Regular Price $499.95 $499.95
- Soundcast VG7SE Portable Loudspeaker — Regular Price $999.00 $899.00
In this overview, we’ll tell you a little bit about our experiences with each one and why we think the features and performance they offer are such a great value for the money.
Sonos Move Battery-Powered Smart Speaker
Smart Indoor & Outdoor Sound
First up, we have a pretty recent newcomer to the portable outdoor speaker market. The Move is a great smart speaker from Sonos. It’s an all-in-one speaker with outstanding sound that runs on a rechargeable battery. If you didn’t already know, Sonos offers a complete ecosystem of high-performance smart speakers that can cover your whole house with music. The Sonos Move lets you expand on this smart home concept by bringing the music already playing inside your home outside to the patio or screened-in-porch.
One or two of these will cover a typical screened-porch & backyard very well. Sonos added a level of weather-resistance, so it would be ok to leave this out on a covered porch for a while. The Move's internal components are protected by a shock-resistant case, so it’s fairly durable if it slips or takes a fall.
Another great feature Sonos products have is the ability to group zones of speakers. You can run a single Move or use two of these for a stereo pair. They stream over the home WI FI network and connect with the rest of your Sonos speaker system. When hosting a party, this allows them to play the same song — and with this feature, you would actually group several Move’s together to cover a pretty large outdoor area.
We recently celebrated a birthday party outside, and one of these was enough to cover the patio with clear-sounding background music at low volume. When we brought out the second Move, our friends were really impressed with the soundstage two of these are capable of presenting. Two of these really spread the sound out for larger gatherings and outdoor spaces. When the party was over, we just brought them back inside and kept playing the same song in multiple rooms of the house.
We like how the Move gives us the ability to switch to Bluetooth, so we can stream music from a phone too. This feature frequently comes in handy especially when on-the-move.
The Move has full voice-control from either Alexa or Google and Apple AirPlay 2, so it’s really easy to set up and convenient to use. Plus, the variety of ergonomic scenarios it fits for the home makes this one of the best portable speakers to use outdoors and indoors too. While there are more rugged options available, for less than $400, the Sonos Move offers incredible value for just about any party at home for this price-point.
Sonos Smart System For Whole-House Music
Hardwearing Shock-Resistant Case
Soundcast VG5 Bluetooth Loudspeaker
Portable Powerhouse & Rugged Design
Soundcast is another great option for portable outdoor sound as each model is specially designed for outdoor use. All Soundcast products are weather-resistant to varying degrees, but unlike a lot of speaker companies, they actually define a spec for how resistant they are.
First up, we have the Soundcast VG5 Bluetooth Loudspeaker. For the same price as Sonos Move, the VG5 is a larger, rugged portable powerhouse. At a little over 17-inches tall and about 8-inches wide and deep, the VG5 is moving into the “serious speaker” category.
There’s an impressive 6-inch powered subwoofer built-in plus two 3-inch aluminum-cone drivers fire out big stereo sound — and yet this one is still small and light enough to carry around. You’ll be able to feel the bass with the VG5 and fill up a much bigger area than the Sonos Move. Two of these paired together are a great idea for your next social gathering outdoors or even a pool party.
It has a high IP-rating of IP64, so it’s pretty immune to everything but a long dip in the pool. In terms of solids, IP64 means it’s totally resistant to dust, pollen, or any solid — so don’t worry if it gets hit with a sandstorm. It doesn’t mind getting splashed on either, so this is the one to own if you are looking for a rugged portable Bluetooth speaker to bring around water under $400.
Some people may decide to make it a flexible speaker and use it both indoors and out, which Soundcast also realized. Soundcast even added a switchable EQ that changes the tonal quality with an indoor/outdoor setting for this.
Playtime is 10 hours, so we see this one as more of an outdoor speaker you take to the boat dock, a tailgating event, or out by the pool. It weighs 12 ½ pounds, but we like the rear-carrying handle which balances out the extra weight. You’ll probably want to find a better way to tote this around if you are going more than a couple of hundred yards with it — but obviously, the heavier weight here translates into a much much bigger sound.
Rugged Weather-Resistant Design
JBL Boombox 2 Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
Waterproof Portable Speaker & 24-hour Battery-life
JBL also has some pretty neat options for outdoor sound. They have some small portable Bluetooth speakers that are easy to move around — and JBL’s PartyBox series are quite serious outdoor speakers. These are capable of club-levels in your backyard. There are famous DJs who rely on JBL to thrill club venues, so this is one of the reasons to love their portable Bluetooth speakers.
At Audio Advice, we really enjoy using JBL’s PartyBoost feature to link other PartyBoost-compatible speakers together. It’s a similar smart speaker concept as Sonos, but JBL’s technology is optimized for outdoor use since you can wirelessly link up with other JBL products for epic neighborhood bashes or cookouts in the cul-de-sac.
We’re focusing mainly on the JBL Boombox 2 next for obvious reasons. This one packs the loudest JBL Signature Pro sound into a highly portable format you can carry around like a boombox. While not quite the same level of audio quality as Soundcast products, this portable Bluetooth speaker throws out seriously impressive volume for its size with deep bass that gets everyone’s feet moving.
It weighs 13-pounds, which is only a half-pound heavier than the Soundcast VG5. For just $100 more than Soundcast VG5 and Sonos Move, you get better protection from liquid accidents when you step up to this. This one has a very high-performance waterproof-rating of IPX7, so you can submerge this up to 1-meter, and the speaker will be fine for 30-minutes underwater! For less than $500, PartyBox 300 wins as the ultimate JBL Bluetooth speaker to serenade and light up your camping experience. The decision for this one came down to these 3 important features:
Take this to the beach or the pool and you don’t have to worry about spills or accidental submersion. Whether you are throwing a party in the backyard or doing some heavy yard work in the garden, this speaker will be well-protected against liquid accidents wherever or however they occur.
Plus this one offers an extra-long battery life with 24-hours of wireless playtime. With this kind of battery-performance, the fun and music will last all night before it needs another charge.
Massive JBL Club Sound
JBL PartyBox 310 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Portable Music-Performance Machine
Up next, we have the JBL PartyBox 310 Portable Bluetooth Speaker. This is for the person who wants an outdoor speaker to Bluetooth music with, but also wants the option to plug in a guitar and a microphone and be the entertainer. This one includes mic & guitar inputs that let you or your friends serenade your guests with professional-grade JBL sound and it lights up the outdoor experience too.
For less than $500, we see this one as the best Bluetooth speaker for larger outdoor events, requiring some “off-the-grid” features to help the music and your devices stay powered plus karaoke features that rock the party. It weighs in at almost 40-pounds, so it’s much heavier compared to the Boombox 2, but the sound coverage this provides is significantly louder and closer to what you will find in a professional PA system. This beast is capable of outputting a massive 240 Watts!
When the sun sets, cool light-shows light up your outdoor area with a variety of mood-setting modes. With subtle pulsing and powerful strobing effects, there's a setting for every mood. We see this being especially useful for parties that need a touch of professionalism. You can even set these up on speaker stands for more visibility and even better sound. The colorful light shows really level-up the energy of the party.
We love the TWS & AUX inputs JBL included too. With these connections, you could connect two compatible speakers wirelessly via TWS (True Wireless Stereo) using a Bluetooth connection or wired via one AUX output to another speaker. In fact, connecting two of these together is a fantastic idea. When we connected two of these together, the sound and the light-shows covered the outdoor area with a wide stereo image that sounded great to our audience and it was really impressive to watch too.
Watch our comparison to learn more about this one & our favorite JBL Bluetooth speakers.
Karaoke & Personal Music Performance-Machine
18-hour Battery-life — Plus Cool Off-The-Grid Features
Soundcast VG7SE Portable Outdoor Speaker
The Pinnacle of Outdoor Audio
If you don’t need the karaoke features, and you just want the ultimate rockstar solution with some “off-the-grid” features that keep the party going, just go all out and get the Soundcast VG7SE. This special-edition portable Bluetooth speaker covers larger outdoor areas with the best sound quality available — and it's available exclusively from Audio Advice for less than $900.
This is a more powerful special-edition version of Soundcast’s premium model — the VG7 — which is a step above the VG5. If you take the top-of-the-line VG7, stretch it out, add more power, and a much larger battery then you will have this very high-performance outdoor speaker that’s still highly portable.
Soundcast took the premium 3-inch aluminum drivers from the VG5 and uses four of them here on all sides of the VG7SE for super big sound and they are complemented by a powered 7-inch downward-firing subwoofer. Using the same configuration from their top-of-the-line VG7, Soundcast then doubled the power inside for every driver and increased the bass-driver cabinet-size to provide far more output.
Bass reaches down to an incredible 3 dB down of 40 Hz. This outperforms a lot of large floor-standing indoor-speakers. Soundcast also paid special attention to the DSP to really fine-tune the VG7SE’s sound for audio that will bring a smile to just about any music lover.
The more powerful output and the larger battery means the VG7SE stands a little over 2-feet tall and weighs 24-pounds, but the solid handle built-in makes moving this around pretty easy. With a rugged water-resistant IP64-rating, we see this portable speaker being used mostly for pool parties, dock parties, tailgating parties, or even your neighborhood gatherings in the cul-de-sac.
If you want some ambient lighting, there are downward-firing lights that are adjustable, so you can suit the mood even if your party lasts after the sun goes down. With 40-hours of playtime, this means your outdoor party can last all day and even all night if you need it too. There’s even a USB Type-A port on the back of the speaker, so you or your friends can charge your phone.
We think the extra-long battery life, the mood-setting lights, and the ability to charge your phone are all really nice touches here — but it’s the world-class sound coming out of this that makes this portable speaker stand out as the ultimate in outdoor sound.
We hosted a party with friends on a patio outside, and just one VG7SE was enough to provide clear sounding background music at low volume. When we turned up the volume, our outdoor area was completely covered with high-quality sound with enough volume that impressed everyone around us.
When you’re ready to really rock your pool party, a boat dock, or dance parties in the backyard, just turn this baby up, and the VG7SE will transform your outdoor venue into a dancefloor with great low-end energy. You could even add two of these together and use them as a stereo pair for an even wider soundstage that really spreads the sound out and covers your outdoor venue even more.
World-Class Outdoor Sound
Long 40-Hour Battery Life
Rugged Weather-Resistant Design
There’s never been a better time to be outside, warming up with your favorite music. A great outdoor speaker can be a fun way to celebrate this precious time together while also keeping loved ones safe. Whether it’s setting the mood, or covering the lawn with great-sounding music, portable Bluetooth speakers are a convenient way to host just about any occasion.
These are the best Bluetooth speakers in their price-category for outdoor use. We hope this comparison helps you narrow down the search. If you have any questions, give us a call or chat with one of our experts at audioadvice.com, and we’ll be happy to help you find the perfect one for you or the special music lover in your life.