If there’s one thing that can improve your outdoor hikes, sunbathing in the garden, or summer barbecues (besides one of our favorite beer dispensers to pump out beer), it’s a bang-bang playlist of your favorite tunes. While we absolutely love having someone pull out a guitar to serenade us, we’d much rather have a smart-powered portable Bluetooth speaker to call the shots on our songs.
A high-quality speaker can make or break your outdoor experience (if it’s not good enough, we all have a friend who can’t stop complaining), but you can easily find a good-sounding model at a variety of price points, It has enough power to host a small backyard music festival or satisfy one person’s listening experience. The ideal speakers are also smart, allowing you to shout louder, make music louder, or switch tracks without the constraints of staying away from a wall plug.
So, what should you be looking for? Well, you need a speaker with a long-lasting battery to maintain your listening habits, a loud, killer soundstage to fill the space, and enough intelligence to make picking your new favorite playlist easier. Because all three are never inevitable, we’ve compiled together the market-leading models and underrated boutiques, taking a look at products from companies like Sonos, Bang & Olufsen, JBL, and Bose, all of which offer great sound and Durability for a trip to the beach or a small gathering in the garden. But first, our top three choices are clear at a glance.