3 best outdoor camping speakers for 2021
If you’re a seasoned camper – with at least 15-20 years of camping under your belt – you probably remember life before the invention of Bluetooth speakers. You may have had a cassette or compact disc (CD) player (commonly known as a boombox), as well as a large collection of cassettes or CDs in a filing cabinet or cassette box that you had with you when you went. camp.
And you probably had a handful of D batteries handy so you could carry your wireless boombox with you around your campsite – while trying to keep your boombox from falling off a picnic table and breaking or trying to keep it away from dust and water while listening to music outside.
Outdoor speakers have come a long way in the past two decades. Engineers are constantly evolving outdoor speakers, making them more rugged, portable, and clearer sounding. The current selection of rugged outdoor speakers are ideal for camping and far surpass what was readily available in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
After all, Jaap Haartsen did not even lay the foundation for the system that would later be known as Bluetooth wireless technology until 1994. And consumers only had access to a Bluetooth device in 2001 via a Ericsson T39 flip mobile phone connected to the first wireless headset.
But now you can easily effortlessly listen to music at camping events using a smartphone, tablet, or computer paired with a variety of different consumer speakers. Gone are the days of lugging extra D batteries, tapes and CDs while camping.
Here are three of the best outdoor camping speakers for 2021 that let you stream music wirelessly from any Bluetooth enabled device.
1. Turtlebox Bluetooth speaker
If you are looking for a speaker that can fall off your car or truck and survive or that can fall into a lake on your camping trip and continue to perform flawlessly, the Turtlebox speaker is for you.
The rugged hard shell Turtlebox speaker is portable, waterproof and loud, ideal for windy camping environments. The speaker itself weighs 10 pounds and is 11.5 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep and 8.75 inches tall. It has an easy-to-grip rubber handle that feels like you’re carrying a large lunch box.
The sound is awesome. With a powerful and super clean 50 watt amplifier paired with an efficient driver and speaker, it’s nice. It also has a sound level rating of 120 decibels (which is way more than what you’ll need while camping). I have found that the volume in the middle of the road is always loud on the outside and does well in open spaces. You can also keep your speaker outdoors in dusty conditions without worrying about particle ingress and damaging your speaker. And the outer shell is even UV light resistant, so the outer color should not fade in the sun.
What’s most impressive about this speaker is the battery life. It has a built-in 85 watt-hour (9 cell) lithium-ion battery that can last over 20 hours at half volume in moderate weather conditions. Even at the highest volume, you’ll easily get five to six hours of playback at no cost. There is also a built-in USB-C port for charging your phone on the battery.
You can also connect two Turtlebox speakers via Bluetooth for surround sound at camp.
Advantages/Long battery life; clear and loud sound; waterproof
The inconvenients/Heavier than most; Dear
Final result/A waterproof and extremely robust speaker with great sound
2. JBL Xtreme 3 Bluetooth speaker
For a compact portable speaker, the JBL Xtreme 3 delivers powerful pro sound in a small space. It’s waterproof, dustproof, and weighs 4.34 pounds, so you can easily take it out on your kayak or canoe while camping. The speaker measures 5.28 inches high, 11.75 inches wide and 5.35 inches deep and comes with a carrying strap with carabiner-type clips and a built-in bottle opener.
“Pro” sound is possible with the four integrated speakers from JBL with bass radiators. It is cylindrical with passive radiators at both ends. The sound is immersive, detailed and clear and does well in open spaces.
If you are worried about water getting into your speaker, you will be sure to know that this speaker has an IP67 rating, which is one of the highest ingress protection ratings for a consumer Product. You can submerge your speaker up to three feet for 30 minutes without causing damage – ideal for beach camping as it is designed to keep dust and particles like sand out.
And with 15 hours of playback at half volume (10 hours at full volume), you won’t have to stop the party at camp to worry about constantly charging your speaker. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to fully charge the speaker’s 36.3-watt lithium-ion battery.
The rubber grips at the bottom of the speaker help keep the speaker grounded, and you can easily pair two of the speakers together to create surround sound.
Advantages/Professional sound in a compact speaker; waterproof
Final result/Designed for outdoors, with long battery life and pro sound
3. Bose Soundlink Micro Bluetooth speaker
If you’re looking for a quality, lightweight outdoor speaker that fits in your backpack and is waterproof, then this Bose Soundlink Micro speaker is for you.
Weighing in at just 0.64 pounds and measuring 3.9 inches wide, 3.9 inches high and 1.4 inches deep, this speaker has the same crisp, clear sound you’d expect from Bose audio products. It has a wireless range of around 30 feet and comes with a tear-resistant strap so you can easily carry it and attach it to items at camp like a cooler, backpack or camping chair. . If you are riding a bike to camp, you can easily attach this little speaker to your handlebars for sound on the go.
The battery life is 6 hours of playing time when fully charged, and you can pair the speaker with another Soundlink Micro for “party mode”.
You also don’t have to worry about the humidity of this ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker. It has an IPX7 rating, which makes it waterproof. It also has a sturdy exterior, so it won’t dent, crack or scratch easily while you’re camping if it falls off a table or your vehicle.
This little speaker is ideal for beach and backcountry camping.
Advantages/Ultra-portable and high-quality sound; affordable
Final result/Ideal for backcountry camping, yet lightweight and waterproof with great sound
Suzanne Downing is an outdoor writer and photographer from Montana with a background in environmental science journalism. Her work can be found in Outdoors Unlimited, Bugle Magazine, Missoulian, Byline Magazine, Communique, MTPR Online, UM Native News, National Wildlife Federation campaigns and more.
Main feature image courtesy of Turtlebox
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