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If you love listening to music while on the go and sharing your favorite tracks with other people, you will no doubt want better audio quality than the annoying screechy sound of your phone or laptop speaker.
With Bluetooth connectivity baked into virtually every mobile device, outdoor Bluetooth speakers present a great all-year-round companion. Unlike other types of wireless solutions, Bluetooth technology is not platform-specific, which means it can be easily paired with other devices, making wireless music streaming extremely easy.
If you are contemplating investing in outdoor Bluetooth speakers, you are might be in a daze with so many options available. Which can give you more bang for your buck? What specific features and factors should you look for when making a purchase? I’ve broken down the best outdoor Bluetooth speakers by looking at a number of important factors and testing them out.
Key Features Comparison – Head to Head
For a side-by-side comparison, I’ve compiled a table that lists the essential features of each of the previously highlighted speakers.
|Model||Size||Weight||Water-Resistant?||Battery Life||Wireless Range||Sound Quality||Price Range|
|MINI JAMBOX||6.6 x 1.6 x 5.4||12 oz.||Yes||10 hours||33 feet||8/10||$110 – 130|
|Soundmatters DASH7||7.5 x 2.1 x 0.8 inches||7 ounces||No||12 hours||30 feet||8.5/10||$200 – 250|
|Klipsch GiG||8.9 x 3.2 x 6 inches||1.5 lbs||No||12 hours||30 feet||7.5/10||$170 – 200|
|Braven BRV-1||4.8 x 2.2 x 3.2 inches||1.5 lbs||Yes||12 hours||33 feet||8/10||$160 – 190|
|Bose SoundLink Mini||2.3 x 7.1 x 2inches||2.7 lbs||Yes||7 hours||30 feet||7.5/10||$200|
So What Makes a Good Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker?
When looking at outdoor Bluetooth speakers, there are certain features that you need to pay attention to in order to help you determine why one is better than the other. To help you with the selection process, here are some key factors to keep in mind:
If you are looking to buy outdoor speakers, portability is naturally one of the primary considerations. Otherwise, what’s the point, right? You will want speakers that you can easily carry around with you anywhere.
However, it is important to keep in mind that when it comes to sound quality, size does matter. You simply cannot expect powerful bass from a one-inch driver. In addition, if you don’t want to compromise volume, bigger is definitely better. This means you need to find a good compromise between sound quality and portability.
2) Mounting Style
The latest breed of outdoor Bluetooth speakers comes in every imaginable shape and size, and many offer different ways to carry, mount, and display. While most are designed to be mounted on a flat surface, there are others that can be mounted or hung from a ceiling or wall. Others come with a tripod or a built-in carry handle.
3) Sound Quality
While style and portability are essential factors to consider when choosing outdoor Bluetooth speakers, you do not want to compromise sound quality, especially for speakers that are for outdoor use. When determining sound quality, take a hard look at the specifications particularly the wattage, frequency response, bass, and sensitivity.
4) Battery Life
Just like when buying phones and other mobile devices, battery life should be taken into consideration. Even with the most expensive model, they will not do you much good if the power supply runs dry. To ensure you get the best out of your outdoor Bluetooth speakers, make sure it offers a healthy battery life.
5) Water Resistance
Whether you do or do not lead a particularly active lifestyle, having water-resistant Bluetooth speakers is a great benefit you will want to consider, especially when you look forward to enjoying great music while lounging by the pool or on the beach.
Best Speaker Brands on the Market Today
Now that you have a better idea of what to take into account when buying outdoor Bluetooth speakers, you are probably just about ready to pick one, right? There are so many great brands and models available on the market today, to help you out, we have narrowed down the selections for you.
Jawbone Mini Jambox
For a small package, the Jawbone Jambox offers the impressive sound quality, which explains why it easily gained widespread popularity practically overnight when it was first introduced on the market several years ago.
Today, the brand carries two sizes. Most electronic stores today carry at least the single Jawbone JamBox Bluetooth speaker. The high demand is mainly spurred by the growing demand for portable iPhone speakers.
A pioneer in Bluetooth speakers, the original Jambox has shrunk considerably to almost half its size but the sound has improved significantly, which is definitely an impressive feat. The Mini Jambox comes with a speakerphone and the voice prompts can be customized by simply connecting the portable speaker to your computer.
If you are looking for a really small, portable Bluetooth speaker, the Jambox definitely offers the best sound quality and design.
Unlike other portable speakers on the market today, the Mini Jambox does not only sound good, but it also looks great with its sleek aluminum enclosure, passive radiator, and housing steroid drivers.
The Mini Jambox comes with the standard features of a Bluetooth speaker, which includes a line-in for your wired audio sources, Micro USB charging as well a built-in speakerphone. It also features speech cues and the “LiveAudio” sound processing features that you can also find in other Jambox models.
Soundmatters FoxL DASH 7
Like the Mini Jambox, the DASH 7 is small and compact, yet offers good quality sound. In addition, it comes with 12 hours battery life, making it a perfect companion for frequent travelers. The DASH 7 also comes with a sturdy carrying case that you can easily convert into a stand. Like the Mini Jambox, it also features speakerphone capabilities.
However, compared to Jambox, the DASH 7 is considerably more expensive. Many people prefer this speaker over other brands mainly for its slim and sleek construction weighing only 0.44 pounds and 0.75 inches deep, which makes it thinner than the Mini Jambox.
Overall, the DASH 7 is a great investment. It is available in different colors and is geared towards people who love to travel and always on the go. Aside from Bluetooth connectivity, it also comes with an audio input and a port that you can connect to non-Bluetooth devices. Charging can be done via its AC adapter or the Micro-USB.
However, if you are the type who wants to play your music loud and listen to bass-heavy music and complex rock tracks, the DASH 7 definitely pales in comparison to the Mini Jambox.
Another great option for outdoor Bluetooth speakers is the Klipsch Gig, which easily tops the chart when it comes to offering the deepest bass you can find in any micro speakers today. In addition to an exceptionally strong bass, it also offers good battery life with 12 hours of live streaming. It also comes with a built-in speakerphone and NFC and AptX support.
Perhaps one of the main drawbacks of Klipsch Gig is its price, as it is known to be in a more expensive range. However, if you are keen on investing in compact, superior quality speakers, this one comes highly recommended.
Klipsch Gig offers you a winning combination of strong design and an impressive feature set, as well as its excellent deep bass for its small size. It also comes with a removable band that can be used as protective wrap-around protection, at the same time serves as a fashion statement. You also have the option to change the band to different colors and also use it to prop up the device in a vertical position.
Another standout feature of the Klipsch Gig is its designed controls. Aside from its power button, it also has a battery life indicator, located right above the volume control knob. It also doubles as a single button remote, allowing you to conveniently play and pause tracks and even skip tracks forward and backward. Overall, it is a beautifully designed speaker.
If you lead a highly active lifestyle and love the great outdoors, you will want to invest in a Bluetooth speaker built to keep up with you. When it comes to rugged speakers, the Braven BRV-1 is considered to be the heavyweight champion.
Considerably larger than its contemporaries, it stands almost 5 inches in height, 4 inches in width, and comes with a compact, boxy design. It looks and feels heavier than its competitors.
If you find its size acceptable, you will find out that this little concession really pays off with its impressive sound quality. Suffice it to say, Braven BRV-1 delivers you the very best in the rugged speaker category.
First off, it is drop and water-resistant, which is perfect for outdoor use and for people with highly active lifestyles. In addition, it has impressive 15-hour battery life. It also is known to offer excellent sound quality and can also be used as a backup battery for your tablet or smartphone.
Compared to the previous models, the Braven BRV-1 is priced just right and is considerably less expensive than the competition.
Bose – SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker
If you want to enjoy full sound in a mini speaker, the Bose Soundlink Mini Speaker delivers just that and so much more. Aside from its Bluetooth connectivity feature, this one comes with a charging cradle as well as a lithium-ion battery, allowing you to choose versatile powering options.
However, compared to other brands, the battery life only delivers 7 hours of sound streaming and continuous operation. However, one of the main selling points of this Bose model is its ultra-sleek, anodized aluminum housing, making it an exceptionally compact and extremely portable design.
It is designed to easily fit in the palm of your hand. This makes it a highly ideal companion when traveling or while on the go.