We’ve all been there when someone starts playing music on their smartphone speaker and it always leaves a lot to be desired. A small Bluetooth speaker will provide a significant improvement in sound quality and volume. Its light weight makes it ideal for travel or carrying everywhere for spontaneous use. Some small Bluetooth speakers are designed to be used on the go by being worn and attached to various objects like a belt, bag, or bicycle.
If the speaker will be used outdoors and exposed to the elements, rugged features like waterproofing are a must. With the proper water resistance, a rugged Bluetooth speaker can withstand rain and splashes and can also be used in the shower.
For the best small rugged Bluetooth speakers we are focusing on those that are around half a pound and designed to be wearable and attachable with a price under $100.
Polk Boom Swimmer Duo: Most Versatile Small and Rugged Bluetooth Speaker
Play Time: 8 hours
Ruggedness: IPX7 waterproof rating, advertised by manufacturer as shockproof, waterproof, and dirtproof
Size and Weight: 9.7 x 2.6 x 2.6 inches, 3.2 ounces
Other Features: speakerphone, audio input, flexible tail, suction cup
The Polk Boom Swimmer Duo from Polk Audio features a 1-inch longer tail than its predecessor. This flexible tail doubles as a stand and makes it easy to attach the speaker to just about anything. The “Duo” feature allows two speakers to be paired for true left and right stereo sound. It can also be outfitted with the included suction cup. Its mounting options make it the best choice for a shower speaker as it can be mounted at ear level. The Boom Swimmer Duo has a shockproof rubberized exterior and is also waterproof and able to withstand light submersion. The dirtproof structure seals it from dirt, dust, mud and sand. With its easily mountable design and high level of ruggedness, the Boom Swimmer Duo is the most versatile small Bluetooth speaker that can be used in any environment. It is available in black, blue, green, and orange.
NudeAudio Super-M Portable: Best Rugged Bluetooth Speaker for the Outdoors
Play Time: 8 hours
Ruggedness: Advertised by manufacturer as shockproof, waterproof, sandproof, and snowproof
Size and Weight: 5.5 x 2.8 x 0.8 inches, 8.3 ounces
Other Features: speakerphone, audio input
The NudeAudio Super-M Portable got its start on Kickstarter by a company in San Francisco. It weighs slightly more than half pound but considering its features like 360-degree sound with 4 full-range drivers and 2 passive subwoofers, it is small for its class. The Super-M Portable is designed to fit in a back pocket and the carrying cord makes it easy to hang or tie to objects. Its sandproof structure and rugged design make it a good choice for the beach.
UE Roll: Best Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Play Time: 9 hours
Ruggedness: IPX7 waterproof rating, can be submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
Size and Weight: 135 x 40mm, 11.7 ounces
Other Features: audio input, bungee cord
Though it weighs 11.7 ounces the UE Roll is still considered to be a small Bluetooth speaker and is the most portable speaker in the current Ultimate Ears (UE) lineup. The UE Roll has a saucer-like shape which provides 360-degree sound with deep bass. It has a high level of water resistance and can withstand submersion in shallow water for short periods. Its marine-grade bungee cord allows it to be easily attached to anything. The UE Roll is also good for groups as it can play music from up to 3 different Bluetooth devices. It is available in a variety of colors and designs.
Philips BT2200B/27 Shoqbox Mini: Best Rugged Bluetooth Speaker for the Pool
Play Time: 5 hours
Ruggedness: IPX6 splashproof
Size and Weight: 2.3 inch x 2.7 inch x 4.3 inch, ~7 ounces
Other Features: Floating, speakerphone, audio input
The Philips BT2200B/27 Shoqbox Mini is a splashproof Bluetooth speaker that can float in water, making it a good choice to use in a swimming pool or bathtub. The Shoqbox Mini has a unique “anti-clipping” feature to prevent audio distortion at loud volumes. Its design allows it to be easily tied or strapped to something.
JBL Clip+: Splashproof Bluetooth Speaker with Carabiner
Play Time: 5 hours
Size and Weight: 107mm x 88mm x 42mm, 5.3 ounces
Other Features: Speakerphone, integrated audio cable
The Clip is JBL’s most portable line of Bluetooth speakers and the latest Clip+ model is now splashproof. The built-in carabiner clip allows easy attachment to bags and objects. The integrated audio cable makes it easy to attach any device without using Bluetooth. The JBL Clip+ offers good sound quality for its size but there was a major design flaw that caused it to get many negative reviews on Amazon. The Clip+ did not turn off properly after charging and many people reported very short battery life. A solution to prevent the battery drain is to turn it on and then off after charging it. JBL claims to have fixed this problem but people still seem to be having problems with it. The original JBL Clip (amazon) did not have this problem but it is not splashproof. It might be a good idea to wait for the newly announced JBL Clip 2.