Holiday Gift Guide: Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers

November 30, 2016

  • by
  • Peter Reese

Sound waves meet water waves with these three Active Junky selections. With varying output and power management (as in, battery life), you’ve got a trio of splash-worth Bluetooth speakers from which to make a smart choice.

Braven 405 HD Bluetooth Speaker: Highs on even higher seas

Braven 405 hd main Braven 405 HD Bluetooth Speaker Starting at: $61.44

This one’s a new tester favorite as the Braven tradition of accurate sound reproduction continues. With outsized output (when placed on or near a bass-promoting surface), the 405 is among the few pocket-sized speakers rated at waterproof IPX7 that both feels the music and floats on the surface. Really. Their claim of 24-hour continuous play is legitimate and recharging is easy after removing the self-gasketing side seal. Evaluated in high-vis orange, the speaker’s shockproof enclosure conceals a fold-out, wind-fighting kickstand and phone charging capability. A 2100mAh battery and reliable Bluetooth connection well past 10 yards complete the well-conceived package.

Best For: All outside occasions at home, cabin, campground or on the road, with the only limitation being obvious exterior attachment points (carabiner clips points or strap loops)

Hercules WAE Speaker: Oceans of joy

Hercules wae main Hercules WAE Speaker $52.35 - $67.90

Active Junky took a previous version of this speaker around the country. As in, coast to coast with salt water and roaring tides in the background. The ability to punch through ambient sounds fits paddlers and cyclists looking to supplement the soundtrack of their lives. Mounting the certified water-resistant Bluetooth speaker is easy with wrist loop, integral screw adapter and a shape that straps to frame or deck. Water, dust and moisture resistance allow the triangular tube of full-range frequency response to endure conditions that defeat less-armored competitors. And Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity equals no barriers to clear connection with battery life up to 12 hours (testers are more confident in 10 hours’ playtime). 

Best For: On-board music, campground music that travels to the backcountry

Outdoor Tech Buckshot Speaker: A mini winner

Outdoor tech buckshot mian Outdoor Tech Buckshot Speaker $28.16 - $50.56

We’ve directed plenty of outdoor companions to this product after initial exposure nearly three years ago. The biggest challenge is the diminutive control buttons that are a small inconvenience for the total portability of the speaker. Twenty hours of battery life with a reach of up to 60ft from the source should put Outdoor Tech Buckshot on your list of purchasing targets. Testers have carried, strapped, bounced and dropped this one around the world with zero problems. Quick to clean up and easy to conceal if there’s concern about theft, the waterproof Bluetooth speaker is yet another inspired design from a leading outdoor brand. Color options fit any attitude as Buckshot carries its weight – and well beyond – on any outing.

Best For: Everyday and travel use with a place in pack, pocket or car console

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