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Best outdoor speakers 2023: The best all-weather speakers

The best outdoor speakers allow their owners to take their music from their homes into the outdoors without fear its performance could be compromise by the weather.

Unlike typical wireless speakers used within the home, an outdoor speaker is designed to withstand whatever Mother Nature can throw at it. They come in different shapes and sizes for whatever use case you need them for, whether you it’s a compact speaker to keep in your bag or take with on holiday, or perhaps you’re after a bigger speaker for an outdoor gathering.

So we’ve devised this list to help you decide on your next outdoor speaker. We’ve put them through tests both inside our own homes and in outdoor environments to determine their build quality, construction and ease of use; using the speaker’s features where possible to see if they work as advertised. And of course we’ve listened to lots of music on these speakers, comparing them to others at similar prices and coming up with the list you see before you.

Of course, this is only the start of the buying process. If an outdoor speaker isn’t what you’re after, then we have other lists that will be of help such as our best Bluetooth speakers. Or you could have a look at our best smart speaker page and best multi-room speaker options if you’re thinking of getting a speaker for the home.

Best outdoor speakers at a glance

How we test

How we test wireless speakers

We play a lot of music, and we play it loud. We play it everywhere – in the house, in the garden, and even in the bath if a speaker is waterproof.

We don’t just listen to the speakers; if there are special features then we make sure we fiddle with them until we’re satisfied. Some Bluetooth speakers have smart functionality, and as a result we’ve started speaking to our speakers as well. With portable speakers we take them outside and listen to them to get a feel for how they sound in the great outdoors.

Of course, it always comes back to the music. Speakers are tested by reviewers who have a love of music, a knowledge of sound quality, as well as a context of the market. We’ll listen to Bluetooth speakers alongside similarly priced rivals, so when we recommend a particular model, it’s among the best you can buy for the money.

Bang and Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen

Best portable speaker
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Pros

  • Excellent sound
  • Portable
  • Alexa support
  • Great style
  • Waterproof design

Cons

  • Still pricey

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen is a sensational-sounding speaker and, for a Bluetooth speaker, it supports smarts in the form of Alexa voice assistance.

It achieves Alexa control through a smartphone, so the Alexa app needs to be downloaded on the mobile device as the A1 2nd Gen does not natively support it. During our time with the speaker, we found summoning Alexa work rather well in a local park, proving to be responsive at handling queries. Alexa wasn’t as quick to chime in when our smartphone was performing another task, so we’d suggest you keep attempts at multi-tasking low if you want a fast response.

Compared to the Beoplay A1, battery life has also had a upgrade, with the Beosound A1 able to last for 18 hours, where the original model could only reach four hours. The B&O companion app offers some decent functionality with EQ presets and volume control, though there are fewer features than what you’d get with a Wi-Fi enabled speaker.

As a B&O product, the Beosound A1 looks the part with a stylish leather base and aluminium top surface that helps the speaker achieve an IP67 water resistance, which is the same as the Wonderboom 3. It is lighter than its predecessor at 558g, which helps to make it easier to carry around, and its leather strap has been tweaked to allow for more hanging options. The tweaks to the design make it a little more convenient to carry with you.

The audio performance is one that we found to be very impressive, the sound quality was impressively clear, with bass better emphasised that the Sonos Roam. Vocal clarity is excellent with voices granted plenty of space to exist, the tonal balance throughout the frequency range is great, and it’s a very dynamic and exciting. This is one of the best outdoor speakers we’ve come across, the only that would give us pause is that it comes at high price.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: B&O Beosound A1 2nd Gen

Sonos Roam

Best portable speaker under £200
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Pros

  • Excellent, neutral-sounding performance
  • Well built
  • New features are useful
  • Easy to use
  • Auto Trueplay

Cons

  • Sonos S2 little flaky with new features
  • Rather functional looks
  • Wireless charging plate an optional extra

The Sonos Roam is what we envisaged the Sonos Move would be. Both operate as a Sonos-like speaker in the home, but out of the two, the Roam is easily the more portable wireless speaker.

The Roam is the speaker out of the two we’d feel you’d be taking on longer journeys. It’s small, lightweight and takes on a shape that’s reminiscent of a Toblerone bar. With an IP67 rating, it can be submerged in water of 1m depth for 30 minutes, so if it happens to fall in a small body water (or perhaps a paddling pool), it should be able to survive unscathed.

We’ve found few wireless speakers combine Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity as effortlessly as the Roam. In the home it can function like a smart speaker, connecting to the Wi-Fi and supporting the likes of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice support. The Sonos S2 app features wide support for music streaming services, so you can log in and listen to your favourite songs from within the app. None of these features are available when streaming over Bluetooth, but an update brought Sonos’ Auto Trueplay feature that optimises its audio delivery to allow it on both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth playback

A battery life of 11 hours is not as progressive as we’ve seen around the £150 price point, less than the JBL Charge 5, Marshall Emberton II and Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3. There is a battery saver option in the app to help preserve the battery if it’s found to be draining too fast.

In our opinion, the Roam remains a terrific listen two years after its release. It produces a natural, detailed and clear performance, though we found it a bit light on bass, but that’s not surprising given its small size. If you want more thump where low frequencies are concerned, Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound A1 2nd Gen provides it.  

For existing Sonos owners it makes plenty of sense as it extends the Sonos sound into the outdoors. For everyone else it’s one the cheapest ways into the world of Sonos.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Sonos Roam

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3

Best outdoor speaker under £100
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Pros

  • Improved audio
  • Extended battery life
  • Resilient build quality
  • More sustainable design
  • Same price as before

Cons

  • Lack of USB-C charging
  • No stereo pairing with older models

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 continues on from where the Wonderboom 2 left off, and while on the surface the changes made don’t appear a massive step up, in our opinion it produces a much better sound for the same price.

It produces a more effective and rounded bass performance, as well as striking a tone that’s clearer, detailed and better balanced than its energetic predecessor. While treble notes don’t register as crisply, there’s plenty of detail at the top end of the frequency range and there’s more room within the midrange for vocals to be projected above instruments and beats. In terms of loudness, the Wonderboom 2 hits a higher volume but it isn’t as nuanced as the threequel.

Other new features include Google Fast Pair for Android devices and a slight increase to 14 hours of battery life (better than the more expensive Sonos Roam). Some will feel that the continuation with micro-USB charging is not a forward-looking decision as many devices have moved to the quicker USB-C charging method. The rest of the features carry on from before with Outdoor Boost making the speaker sound more expansive and bringing clarity to the midrange and treble frequencies, while Double Up adds the functionality of using two Wonderboom 3 speakers in a stereo pair. You cannot use the Wonderboom from different generations as a stereo pair, however.

The design has been slightly tweaked, the two-tone colours take on a more contrasting appearance. Otherwise there’s the scratch-proof fabric material (guarding against feral domestic pets), and with a IP67 rating the speaker can repel dust and water, as well dunked under water for 30 minutes (though it’s likely to bob on surface).

The changes aren’t as big as many might have expected, but in our opinion this is a better-sounding speaker for the same unbeatably low price.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3

Tribit StormBox Micro 2

Best affordable outdoor speaker
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Pros

Cons

We very much liked the original Stormbox Micro but felt it could be improved in a few areas. The Micro 2 seems to have taken on that feedback and it’s an improvement in pretty much every way.

The design has been tweaked with buttons coloured white to contrast against the black fabric covering and the speaker’s dimensions are bigger, holding more battery life (12 hours) and able to be used as a power bank to charge mobile devices. The useful tear-resistant strap remains, offering plenty of versatility in how the speaker can be used or transported whether it’s attached to the handlebar of a bike or connected to a rucksack.

Like many of the speakers on this list, the Stormbox Micro 2 hits an IP67 rating, insulating it against dust and water as well as being immersed within a body of water 1m deep for thirty minutes.

As we mentioned, battery life is up to 12 hours, which puts it among the likes of the Sonos Roam (11) and Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 (14) except the Tribit is much cheaper than either. Also new is support for an app where the speaker’s sound can be adjusted.

In terms of its audio performance, the Micro 2 can hit higher volumes than the original, produces a bigger sound and projects audio further way from the speaker’s body. Add in to the mix better levels of clarity and detail, and music on this speaker sounds improved over the original, with bass better described, treble frequencies sharper and clearer and the midrange is more detailed and clearer.

While bass is better than before, speakers such as the Tronsmart T7 can produce more, but that speaker comes in a different form factor and isn’t as compact (or as versatile in its design) as the Tribit.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Tribit Stormbox Micro 2

Sonos Move

Best portable speaker under £400
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Pros

  • Big, powerful sound
  • Confident bass performance
  • Works like any other Sonos speaker in the home
  • Voice assistant and multi-room capability

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not strictly portable
  • Not the sharpest sounding speaker

The Sonos Move is positioned as a larger speaker for use outdoors compared to the Roam, but a good choice if you’re in need of a bigger sound for parties and gatherings in a garden.

It weighs 3kg, which isn’t exactly portable in the truest sense but in our opinion, the integrated handle actually makes it seem lighter than it is when carrying it about. Build quality is what we’d describe as durable, and while we wouldn’t recommend dropping the speaker from any height, we accidentally did and the result was a tiny mark that we can’t actually locate any more. Rated at IP56 rated, meaning it’s well protected against dust and mud, and should be able to withstand all types of conditions the British weather can throw.

It’s available in two finishes in Shadow Black and Lunar White, the former serves the purpose of protecting the Move against overheating.

Used indoors and the Move works much like any other Sonos speaker when connected to Wi Fi. There’s hands-free access Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, both of which are quick to respond to requests. Other Wi-Fi related features include AirPlay 2 that brings multi-room and connectivity to iOS products into the equation as well as support for Siri.

Sonos’ Auto Trueplay feature automatically optimises audio output based on the speakers’ placement for the best sound quality, while battery life has been extended to up to 11 hours (it was originally 10) through an update. If damaged, Sonos supports replacement of the battery.

We found the Move to be one of the better-sounding outdoor speakers, much like its smaller Roam sibling. It’s a neutral-sounding speaker with good amounts of detail, clarity and sharpness to its presentation. It handles the low end with confidence, though if you want more bass and a wider soundstage then the Sony SRS-XG300 is a good (and less expensive) alternative. However, that speaker doesn’t have the top-end clarity with high-frequency notes that the Move has.

Regardless of what you listen to, the Move puts in a clear, precise and detailed performance that works well across a range of genres, and it’s capable of going pretty loud, though bass does appear to be nerfed at higher volumes.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: Sonos Move

Sony SRS-XG300

Best outdoor party speaker
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Pros

  • Rich, likable sound
  • Solid portability
  • Long battery life
  • Fun audio effects/customisations

Cons

  • Not the most detailed presentation
  • A little heavy to carry

The XG300 is part of Sony’s X-series of wireless party speakers, and if you are looking to party with a group of friends either inside or at the park (or beach), the XG300 is high on the list of speakers we’d say you should consider.

It is like mini-Boombox in its profile, taking on a svelte shape that gives it an hourglass look. The retractable handle is useful for carry considering this speaker weighs around 3kg, and with its IP67 rating it’s good against resisting liquids and particles such as sand and dust.

It has more physical connections than any other speaker on this list, with a USB-C for charging another device, and a stereo mini-jack (cable also included) for plugging in an external source (such as a portable music player). There’s also the Light feature – or Ambient Illumination as Sony calls it – that emits a halo of light at either end of the speaker that pulses in sync with the beat, although we found at its default setting it wasn’t particularly noticeable.

Other party features include support for Fiestable app, which offers control over DJ effects, light effects and Motion Control, where playback and volume can be controlled by moving a smartphone, although this is a feature that can be hit and miss. Battery life is 25 hours, the longest of any on this list; Google Fast Pair is provided for instant connection to an Android device and there’s LDAC Bluetooth for those that want to play tracks at a higher bitrate.

In terms of its sound, the SRS-XG300 delivers a warm, rich performance with an emphasis on bass. Those after a more neutral and balanced performance should consider the Sonos Move as an alternative, but if you like your bass assertively described, and music given plenty of drive and energy then the XG300 is a definite party starter (though B&O’s Beolit 20 can summon even stronger levels of bass if that’s your fancy).

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: Sony SRS-XG300

FAQs

What does the IP waterproof rating mean?

IP stands for Ingress Protection, and it refers to a products ability to withstand ingress of dust and water. The higher the rating a product has, the better the protection.

Which is the most powerful outdoor speaker?

If power is what you want, then you’d be looking at a bigger speaker, such as the B&O Beolit 20, Marshall Tufton and Sonos Move.

Which outdoor Bluetooth speaker has the best sound?

B&O’s Beosound A1 2nd Gen is one of the best-sounding portable speakers we’ve tested, with excellent clarity and good bass for its size.

We also considered…

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