Best Bluetooth Speaker for a Boat: Your Comprehensive Guide to Superior Portable Sound on the Water in 2024

Reviewed by Tim West

Updated:

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best bluetooth speaker for a boat

This is a review of the best Bluetooth speaker for a boat in 2024

I am a boat owner, tech enthusiast, and music lover, who has spent years testing gadgets.  Over the years exposed to audio technology, I’ve developed a keen ear for what makes a speaker truly great.

After some extensive research and testing, I found that the Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Portable Speaker stands out as the best overall Bluetooth speaker for a boat. 

Thanks to its exceptional sound quality, impressive durability, portability, and solid battery life, among other features.

Of course, every boat owner has unique needs, so I’ve also included reviews of other top Bluetooth speakers for boats across various categories to help you find the perfect fit.

Let’s get started!

Note: This is a review of the best portable Bluetooth speakers for boats. If you are a jet skier, we have a specific guide for you, check out our Best Jet Ski Speakers Guide. And if you are after coaxial/built-in speakers for your boat, check our Best Marine Speaker Guide. 

Our Best Bluetooth Speakers for a Boat

  1. Bose Soundlink Flex Bluetooth Portable Speaker (Best Overall Bluetooth Speaker For Boats) 
  2. JBL Charge 5 – Portable Bluetooth Speaker (Best Solid Contender Bluetooth Speaker For Boats) 
  3. Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Best Powerful Portable Bluetooth Speaker For Boats)
  4. Soundcore Anker Motion Boom Outdoor Speaker (Best Boom Bluetooth Speaker For Boats)
  5. JBL Partybox 310 (Best Party Box Bluetooth Speaker For Boats)
  6. Bose Soundlink Micro Bluetooth Speaker (Best Small Bluetooth Speaker For Boats)
  7. JBL Flip 5, Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker (Best Bluetooth Speaker For Boats at Average Price)

7 Best Bluetooth Speakers for a Boat Reviewed

Boating is a great way to relax and have fun with friends and family. However, it can be challenging to find a portable Bluetooth speaker that can withstand the harsh marine environment while providing excellent sound quality. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best Bluetooth speakers for boats.

Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Portable Speaker

Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Speaker, Portable Speaker with Microphone, Wireless Waterproof Speaker for Travel, Outdoor and Pool Use, Black

IP rating: IP67 

Play time: Up to 12 hours

Bluetooth range: Up to 30 feet 

Floats? Yes 

Dimensions: 2.06 x 7.93 x 3.56 inches

If you’re looking for a high-quality portable speaker for your boat, the Bose SoundLink Flex is a great choice. We highly recommend this product for its excellent sound quality, durability, and waterproof design.

Pros

  • The SoundLink Flex provides clear and immersive audio, thanks to its custom-engineered transducer and PositionIQ technology that detects the speaker’s orientation for optimal sound quality.
  • The speaker undergoes thorough testing to achieve an IP67 waterproof rating, making it perfect for outdoor activities. And it even floats, so there’s no need to fear it sinking if it accidentally tumbles off your boat.
  • The SoundLink Flex is easy to hold and store, and its compact design makes it ideal for travel. The built-in microphone allows you to take and make phone calls through the speaker, and the rechargeable battery offers up to 12 hours of life per charge.

Cons

  • The Bose SoundLink Flex is pricey compared to other portable speakers on the market.
  • Some users have reported difficulty connecting the speaker to their devices, but we did not experience any issues during our testing.
  • The USB port is not covered by a flap, which may make it vulnerable to water damage if not handled carefully.

Overall, we think the Bose SoundLink Flex is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality portable speaker for their boat.  Its durable, waterproof design and impressive sound quality make it a top choice for any boater.


JBL Charge 5 – Portable Bluetooth Speaker

JBL Charge 5 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with IP67 Waterproof and USB Charge Out - Black, small

IP Rating: IP67

Play Time: Up to 20 hours

Bluetooth Range: Up to 30 feet

Floats?: Yes

Dimensions: 8.7 x 3.67 x 3.76 inches

If you’re looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker that can withstand any weather condition, JBL Charge 5 could be a perfect fit for you.

Pros

  • JBL Pro Sound with calibrated long excursion driver, separate tweeter, and dual JBL bass radiators for a long-lasting performance
  • 20 hours of playtime with a built-in power bank to charge your devices
  • IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating

Cons

  • No carrying handle or mounting points
  • Not the cheapest option compared to other portable speakers
  • PartyBoost feature only works with other JBL PartyBoost-compatible speakers

We took the JBL Charge 5 on a boat trip, and it was the perfect companion for our day out on the water. The 20 hours of playtime is a great plus in this model. The sound quality was impressive, and we could hear the music clearly even with the boat’s engine running. The speaker’s IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating gave us peace of mind, knowing that it could survive any splashes or spills.

The built-in power bank was a lifesaver as we could charge our phones and other devices without worrying about running out of battery. However, we wished that the speaker had a carrying handle or mounting points to make it easier to transport.

Overall, the JBL Charge 5 is an excellent investment for anyone who loves spending time outdoors and wants a durable, high-quality portable speaker.


Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (Powerful Sound + Thundering Bass, Bluetooth, Magic Button, Waterproof, Battery 20 Hours) - Lagoon Blue

IP rating: IP67 

Play time: Up to 20 hours 

Bluetooth range: Up to 150 feet 

Floats? Yes 

Dimensions: 3.2 x 3.2 x 8.75 inches

If you’re looking for a powerful and waterproof Bluetooth speaker for your boat, the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a great option.

Pros

  • The 360° sound is bold, immersive, and crystal clear, with deep thundering bass that brings your music to life.
  • It’s seriously waterproof and floats, with an IP67 water and dustproof rating that means it can be totally submerged in water up to 0.5m for 30 minutes.
  • The resilient rechargeable battery delivers 20 hours of continuous music playback on just one charge, with the added convenience of wireless charging via the POWER UP charging dock, available separately..

Cons

  • It’s a bit on the heavy side, weighing in at 2.9 pounds, which can make it a bit cumbersome to carry around.
  • Some users have reported the sound quality can be a bit muffled and distorted at higher volumes, which may not be ideal for audiophiles.

We’ve taken the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 on several boating trips, and it’s held up remarkably well. The waterproof and dustproof design is a game-changer, as we don’t have to worry about it getting wet, dirty, or even submerged. The 360° sound is impressive, and it’s loud enough to be heard over the sound of the boat’s motor. The battery life is also excellent, and we’ve never had to worry about it running out of juice during a day out on the water. Overall, we highly recommend the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 for anyone looking for a powerful and waterproof Bluetooth speaker for their boat.


Soundcore Anker Motion Boom Outdoor Speaker

Soundcore Anker Motion Boom Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker with Titanium Drivers, BassUp Technology, IPX7, 24H Playtime, App, Built-in Handle, Outdoor Speaker for Camping, Pool, Beach, Backyard

IP rating: IPX7 (same waterproofing level as IP67)

Play time: 24-Hour Playtime

Bluetooth range: Up to 66 feet

Floats? Yes

Dimensions: 13.62 x 5.83 x 7.87 inches

If you are looking for a durable and reliable Bluetooth speaker for your boat, then the Soundcore Anker Motion Boom Outdoor Speaker is a great choice.

Pros

  • The sound quality is incredible, and the product is loved by thousands of people on Amazon.
  • Ruggedized construction and distortion-free even at high volumes.
  • The titanium drivers reproduce high frequencies up to 40kHz for sound that has noticeably higher clarity.

Cons

  • The speaker is understandably heavier than smaller products, weighing 4.41 pounds.
  • Some users have indicated the app is not very user-friendly.
  • The bass can be a bit overpowering at times.

The Soundcore Anker Motion Boom Outdoor Speaker is a great investment for anyone who wants a speaker that is durable and can withstand the elements. The sound quality is impressive, and the 24-hour playtime is an added bonus. However, expect the speaker to be a bit heavy. Overall, we highly recommend this speaker for anyone looking for a reliable Bluetooth speaker for their boat.


JBL Partybox 310

JBL Partybox 310 - Portable Party Speaker with Long Lasting Battery, Powerful JBL Sound and Exciting Light Show,Black

IP rating: IPX4 (splashproof protection)

Play time: 18 hours

Bluetooth range: Up to 150 feet

Floats? No

Dimensions: 12.8 x 14.5 x 27 inches

If you want to take your karaoke boat parties to the next level, the JBL PartyBox 310 is the perfect mobile entertainment machine. With a built-in mic and guitar inputs, you can perform live like a rockstar. With a vibrant light display that subtly pulses and strongly blinks, you’ll surely wow your audience. Paired with 240 watts of JBL Pro Sound, you’ll sound like a true professional. You can also manage the karaoke features, change songs, and mix up the light display using the partybox app on your phone. Plus, with a battery life of 18 hours, you can keep the party alive from dawn until dusk.

Pros

  • 240 watts of powerful JBL pro sound
  • Captivate your audience with a fun, bright light show that moves with the music, featuring gentle flashing and strong blinking effects
  • Long lasting sound with 18 hours of music-blasting battery life

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky at 38.4 pounds
  • Just splash resistance.  Do not put it under the hose.

The JBL PartyBox 310 is perfect for those who want to take their boat parties to the next level. With its powerful sound and dynamic light show, it’s sure to impress your guests. However, it is heavy and bulky, and is just built for moderate splashes, so will require extra attention when on your boat. While this speaker provides plenty of power to party while boating, it may not be the best choice for those who want a more portable speaker solution.


Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker

Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker: Small Portable Waterproof Speaker with Microphone, Black

IP rating: IP67 

Play time: Up to 6 hours 

Bluetooth range: Up to 30 feet 

Floats? No 

Dimensions: 1.4 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches

We highly recommend the Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker for anyone looking for a small, portable, and waterproof speaker that delivers crisp, balanced sound with unexpectedly powerful bass.

Pros

  • Generates loud and clear audio with surprisingly deep bass tones
  • Tear-resistant silicone strap holds tight through shocks and shakes
  • Resists drops, dents, cracks, and scratches

Cons

  • Battery life of up to six hours may not be enough for some users
  • Some users may find the size to be too small for their liking
  • The price point may be higher than some users are willing to pay

The Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker is a rugged outdoor speaker that is built to withstand the elements. Its tear-resistant strap makes it easy to attach to your backpack or handlebars, and its rubberized silicone exterior ensures it can handle drops and shocks. The speaker is also waterproof and dustproof, making it the perfect companion for any outdoor activity.

Despite its small size, the Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker delivers surprisingly powerful sound with deep bass. Its custom-designed transducer and passive radiators ensure crisp, balanced sound, whether you’re listening to music or taking phone calls. The speaker also comes equipped with an integrated microphone and multi-function button, making it easy to take phone calls and access your phone’s voice assistant.

While the battery life of up to six hours may not be enough for some users, the included Micro-USB cable makes it easy to charge the speaker on-the-go. Additionally, the Bose Connect app allows you to customize settings and unlock product features. SimpleSync pairs your Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker to compatible Bose products for sound that follows you from room to room.

Overall, we believe that the Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Speaker is a great choice for anyone looking for a small, portable, and waterproof speaker that delivers powerful sound and is built to withstand the elements.


JBL Flip 5, Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

JBL FLIP 5, Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Black, Small

IP rating: IPX7 

Play time: Up to 12 hours 

Bluetooth range: Up to 33 feet 

Floats? No 

Dimensions: 2.9 x 7.1 x 2.7 inches

If you’re looking for a waterproof Bluetooth speaker that’s portable and delivers premium sound quality at an average price, then the JBL Flip 5 is a great choice.

Pros

  • The wireless Bluetooth streaming makes it easy to connect to your phone or tablet.
  • With up to 12 hours of playtime, you can enjoy your favorite tunes all day long.
  • The IPX7 waterproof rating means you can use it in the rain or even take it swimming with you.

Cons

  • The connector type is 3.5millimeter stereo, so you can’t connect it to devices that don’t have a headphone jack.
  • It’s not the most compact speaker out there, so it may take up more space than some other portable speakers.
  • Bluetooth Range, shorter than competitors

We’ve used the JBL Flip 5 on several occasions, and we’re impressed with its performance. The Flip 5 is about half the size of its big brother the Charge 5 (see review above), and this is noticeable in the depth of bass and maximum volume you get. However, the sound quality is excellent, and the waterproof design makes it perfect for outdoor use. We also like the feature allowing the connection of multiple JBL party boost-compatible speakers for a stereo sound effect, or the linking of numerous speakers to establish a larger party ambiance.

One thing to note is that the speaker can be a bit heavy for its size, so it may not be the best option if you’re looking for something ultra-portable. However, the sound quality more than makes up for the weight. Overall, we highly recommend the JBL Flip 5 for anyone looking for a high-quality, portable Bluetooth speaker that’s also waterproof.


Buyer’s Guide: Navigating Your Way to the Best Bluetooth Speaker for a Boat

When it comes to choosing the best Bluetooth speaker for a boat, there are a few key features to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind before making your purchase:

Durability

Boating exposes your speaker to the harsh realities of the outdoors: splashes, sunlight, and salty sea air, which could cause less sturdy speakers to malfunction. Hence, durability is a top consideration when shopping for the best Bluetooth speaker for your boat. 

You’ll want to focus on speakers with a high Ingress Protection (IP) rating, indicating its resistance to water and dust. An IP rating of IP67 or higher is most suitable for the demanding boating environment as it offers significant protection against water ingress. 

The higher the IP rating, the more resilient the speaker will be. Additionally, some portable speakers for boats are designed to float, ensuring they won’t sink to the bottom should they accidentally take a dip.

Sound Quality

While durability is important, you also want a speaker that sounds great. A truly great waterproof Bluetooth speaker for boats delivers clear, full-bodied sound that can cut through ambient noise – the rush of waves, wind, and chatter. 

Look for a speaker that boasts high-quality drivers and a balanced frequency response to ensure a powerful, crisp sound. Some models even offer additional features like bass boost or EQ settings that allow you to tailor the sound profile according to your taste or the genre of music you’re playing.

Battery Life

Extended boat trips require a Bluetooth speaker with substantial battery life. The last thing you’d want is for your tunes to run out while you’re halfway through an adventurous voyage.

So, consider a portable Bluetooth speaker for your boat with a battery life of 10 hours or more, to keep the beats going. Some speakers also come with quick charging capabilities, enabling you to juice up your device swiftly, ensuring minimal interruption to your sea-faring soundtrack.

Bluetooth Range

The size of your boat and how much you move around on it could affect the performance of your Bluetooth speaker. The Bluetooth range is an essential consideration, especially on larger boats where you may move some distance away from the speaker. 

To avoid signal dropouts, consider a speaker with a Bluetooth range of at least 30 feet. This will allow you to roam around your boat freely without losing your musical connection.

Size and Portability

Finally, consider the size and portability of your speaker. Space is a prized commodity on a boat, and cumbersome equipment can quickly become a nuisance. Hence, it’s essential to opt for a portable speaker for your boat that is compact, lightweight, and easy to handle. 

Look for a model that you can easily stow away when not in use but is also robust enough to stand up to the rigors of boating life.


Our Verdict

Choosing the best Bluetooth speaker for your boat really comes down to what you personally need and prefer.

There are a lot of different portable Bluetooth speakers out there, and each one has its own good points. The best speaker for you should have great sound, be tough enough to handle being on a boat and be affordable.

Every boat owner has their own unique needs, so you should think about what you specifically want in a speaker before you pick one.

But don’t forget, the Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Speaker is a great option if you’re looking for a speaker that sounds amazing and can handle your boating adventures


FAQ

What’s the difference between marine speakers and regular speakers?

Marine speakers are specifically designed to withstand harsh conditions like water, salt, and sun exposure that are common in a boating environment. Regular speakers, on the other hand, are not typically built to endure such conditions and may not last long or perform well when exposed to them.

What happens if my speaker falls into the water?

The outcome depends on the waterproof rating of your speaker. Some marine speakers are designed to float and are completely waterproof, so they should continue to function even if they fall into the water. However, others may be only water-resistant and could be damaged if fully submerged.

How waterproof are marine speakers?

The waterproofness of marine speakers varies by product. It’s typically indicated by an IP (Ingress Protection) rating. The higher the IP rating, the more waterproof the speaker is. A speaker rated IPX7 or higher can be submerged in water (up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes) without damage.

What does IPX6 mean?

An IPX6 rating means the speaker is protected against powerful water jets from any direction. This means it can resist heavy splashing and rain, but it’s not designed to be fully submerged in water.

What does IPX7 mean?

An IPX7 rating means the speaker can be submerged in water up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes without damage. It’s more waterproof than an IPX6-rated speaker and can handle accidental drops into water.

What is the difference between IPX7 and IPX67?

The main difference between these two ratings lies in their protection against dust. While an IPX7-rated speaker is tested for water resistance alone, an IPX67-rated speaker has been tested and shown resistance to both dust and water. The ‘6’ in IPX67 refers to complete protection against dust ingress, while the ‘7’ maintains the same water resistance as in IPX7 – able to be submerged up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.

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AUTHOR

Hi, I'm John! Tech whisperer, a music junkie, and a self-proclaimed boat captain whenever the sun's out. Juggling between tech and nature, this is my world!