best waterproof bluetooth speakers for kayaking

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The 5 best waterproof Bluetooth speakers for kayaking

Your day on the water just got so much better.

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A 2019 study in the Psychological Bulletin has shown that listening to upbeat music may help people feel better while working out — and even perceive less exertion. It’s just another reason to bring your Bluetooth speaker with you on your outdoor adventures, and waterproof technology means you can even bring your jams with you on your kayak. With IPX7 or IPX67 ratings, the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers for kayaking stand up to the elements, and can be attached to your kayak with a carabiner clip. Some are even designed to float in water, while others have extra features such as a built-in LED light or storage compartment for stashing your phone.

What to look for when shopping for the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers for kayaking

IPX rating: water and dust resistance

The IP (or Ingress Protection) rating system is used to evaluate how resistant a product is to environmental factors, such as water, dust, and sand. The first digit represents protection against solids while the second indicates protection against liquids. The best waterproof speakers will have an IPX7 or IP67 rating, which means they can still function after being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. The is one difference between the two ratings is that an IP67 product is also resistant to dust and sand over extended periods of time; that means it will offer a bit more protection when you’re on dry land getting ready to launch.

Attachments & flotation

You’ll want a secure way to attach your Bluetooth waterproof speaker to your kayak, and the picks here are designed with either built-in carabiner clips or loops for attaching your own carabiner. Some speakers also have the ability to float, which is useful in case they happen to detach and find their way overboard.

Sound quality

If you’re just looking to do some casual listening, you can get away with a budget-friendly Bluetooth speaker, but sound giants like Bose and JBL offer speakers in a higher price range, with quality to match. JBL speakers tend to excel in the bass range, making them ideal for listening to hip-hop and rock (you’ll get that signature “boom” effect). Meanwhile, Bose speakers are famous for offering crisper sound quality, allowing vocals and instruments to shine.

Other features to consider

Some of the best outdoor speakers are also configured with built-in microphones, so you can answer phone calls while out on the water. And — if you’re particularly worried about your smartphone getting wet — there’s an option on this list that includes a built-in locking phone case, protecting your device from accidental splashes.

So if you’re ready to hit the river accompanied by your favorite playlist, here are the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers for kayaking.

Shop the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers for kayaking

In a hurry? These are the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers for kayaking:

  1. The best basic Bluetooth speaker: EBODA Bluetooth Speaker
  2. The best speaker for powerful bass: JBL Clip 4 Bluetooth Speaker
  3. The best Bluetooth speaker with FM radio: LEZII Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
  4. The best investment Bluetooth speaker that’s worth the price: Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Portable Speaker
  5. The best speaker with built-in phone storage: ECOXGEAR Floating Bluetooth Speaker

1. The best basic Bluetooth speaker

Pros:

  • Built-in microphone
  • LED light
  • Long battery life
  • Floats in water
  • Comes with a carabiner clip

Cons:

  • Battery life is significantly shortened when using the LED light
  • Sound may be inferior to higher-end options

With a budget-friendly price and a 4.6-star overall rating after 8,000 reviews, this is one of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers under $50. In addition to being waterproof, the IP67 speaker is also dustproof and sandproof — plus, it floats in the water. Measuring 4.4 inches across, it’s compact and hangs easily off the side of your kayak with the included carabiner clip. It has an outstanding battery life of up to 38 hours, or up to eight hours if you’re using the color-changing LED light. And, keep in mind, this is the only pick on the list with a built-in light. There’s also a built-in microphone, so you can take hands-free calls while on the water. Despite the low price tag, reviewers reported the “sound is amazing” and that distortion is minimal.

According to a reviewer: “Obsessed with this speaker! The sound quality is fantastic even under water. We took this kayaking and flipped the kayak (whoops) and still heard the music perfectly under water. After it had been submerged for a few minutes it still worked perfectly.”

IPX rating: IP67 | Battery life: Up to 38 hours | Bluetooth range: 33 feet | Available colors: 9

2. The best speaker for powerful bass

Pros:

  • Produces superior sound, excelling in low ranges and bass
  • Built-in carabiner clip
  • Reviewer favorite

Cons:

  • Doesn’t float in water
  • No built-in microphone

Boasting a near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating on Amazon (with over 14,000 fans), this Bluetooth waterproof speaker from JBL offers impressive sound quality for avid music listeners — especially audiophiles looking for punchy, powerful bass. The speaker measures 5.3 by 3.4 inches, and a carabiner clip is built into the machine, giving you a streamlined way to attach it to your kayak. JBL also ensures that its speakers don’t distort at higher volumes, so you can get that “boom” effect. The IP67 rating means that it’s dustproof, sandproof, and waterproof — however, it doesn’t float. While it doesn’t have a built-in microphone or LED light, this is a great choice for those who prioritize sound quality over extra features.

According to a reviewer: “The best micro portable speaker I’ve ever owned. [...] this little JBL clip 4 surpassed my expectations, which is perfect for hiking, kayaking, walking and bicycling. The bass is impressive and the overall sound quality is crisp in low, medium and high volume.”

IPX rating: IP67 | Battery life: Up to 10 hours | Bluetooth range: 32 feet | Available colors: 7

3. The best Bluetooth speaker with FM radio

Pros:

  • Built-in FM radio
  • Wallet-friendly price
  • Floats in water
  • Comes with a carabiner clip
  • Built-in microphone

Cons:

  • Sound quality may be inferior to higher-end options

If you’re looking for a compact, wallet-friendly Bluetooth speaker with FM radio functionality, this one fits the bill. Measuring 4 by 4 inches, it has a convenient carabiner clip for attaching to your kayak and a built-in microphone that allows you to answer calls. With an IPX7 rating, it’s waterproof, but not rated to stand up to sand or dust, so keep that in mind if you plan to set your speaker on the ground before you head out on the water. That being said, the speaker does float — a big plus if it detaches from your vessel. The sound might not be as sophisticated as a Bose or JBL speaker, but the reasonable price and FM radio make it a worthy pick.

According to a reviewer: “This is a great little speaker with really nice sound and incredible volume. It's very easy to operate and to set up the bluetooth function. I got it for kayaking and the clip holds it securely to my boat. All of the function keys are on top of the speaker making it really easy to use.”

IPX rating: IPX7 | Battery life: Up to 12 hours | Bluetooth range: 32 feet | Available colors: 3

4. The best investment Bluetooth speaker

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Fan favorite
  • Floats in water
  • Built-in microphone

Cons:

  • High price tag
  • Doesn’t come with carabiner clip

Although it’s an investment, this is one of the best waterproof speakers when it comes to sound quality, making it worth the price for audiophiles — and it boasts a 4.8-star overall rating after nearly 14,000 reviews. Part of its exceptional quality is due to Bose’s proprietary PositionIQ technology that utilizes built-in transducers to provide optimal sound quality in any environment — in other words, your music will sound crystal clear, even out on the water.

With an IP67 rating, it’s waterproof as well as sand-proof and dustproof, but you’ll need to provide your own carabiner to attach to the included loop. It has a built-in microphone, as well as the ability to pair with other Bluetooth speakers for surround sound. Keep in mind that it’s larger than other options here — at 7.9 inches long by 3.6 inches wide — making it a bit bigger and clunkier in your kayak. However, if you’re someone who values sound quality, this is a great pick that’ll last you a long time.

According to a reviewer: “I love these speakers. They sound amazing, especially when you sync two speakers. The first sounded so good that I had to buy the second. If I’m hammocking, I’m clipping one on each end and totally vibing out. With kayaking and tubing down the river it’s amazing. Don’t be afraid to get them wet.”

IPX rating: IP67 | Battery life: Up to 12 hours | Bluetooth range: 30 feet | Available colors: 4

5. The best speaker with built-in phone storage

Pros:

  • Includes built-in shockproof phone case
  • Floats in water
  • 100-foot Bluetooth range

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with carabiner clip
  • No built-in microphone

If you’re nervous about your phone getting wet while kayaking, this Bluetooth speaker offers a built-in shockproof smartphone case. Measuring 8.1 by 3.9 inches, the speaker can also be used to hold your keys or wallet — just make sure your items fit securely inside before heading off. With an IP67 rating, it’s waterproof as well as sand-proof and dustproof, and it floats in the water. Plus, it has a Bluetooth range of 100 feet — the longest on the list by a long shot.

Some drawbacks: You’ll have to provide your own carabiner clip, there’s no LED light or microphone, and according to reviewers, the sound quality is “good enough” but not exceptional. All that said, the added feature of a phone case makes this a standout choice for those who want a streamlined option and extra security.

According to a reviewer: “Awesome little speaker. Pretty loud for its size. Really cool that it hooks up to your phone so when it is wet you just press a button on the outside to answer it. You never have to take it out of the box.”

IPX rating: IP67 | Battery life: Up to 15 hours | Bluetooth range: 100 feet | Available colors: 3

Studies referenced:

Terry, P. C., Karageorghis, C. I., Curran, M. L., Martin, O. V., & Parsons-Smith, R. L. (2020). Effects of music in exercise and sport: A meta-analytic review. Retrieved from https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2019-75018-001.html

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