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3 best outdoor speakers to pump up your summer

Bring the boom with you.


Larry Frum


As the northern half of the world transitions into spring and summer months, people will want to enjoy outdoor activities and take along their indoor entertainment. Music has always has been a staple of backyard BBQs, beach parties and picnics in the park.

Streaming music has made it easier to take musical collections anywhere, and music apps have increased the availability of cool jams for any occasion. However, the best music needs a worthy speaker that will reproduce the fidelity of the song without distorting it as the volume gets turned up.

Bluetooth speakers are a great way to take music anywhere in a compact configuration that still leaves room for your sandwiches. Some are even equipped with a handle for easy conveyance to your party destination. These are the best outdoor speakers your money can buy.

1) Aquatune 9612 ($70)

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If a rugged design and waterproofing are in line with your outdoor musical needs, the Aquatune 9612 offers a sturdy, compact and shockproof shell around a 9-watt speaker that provides high-definition audio anywhere.

The speaker is ideal for water activities (it floats!) as well as trips to the mountain trail. A carbine clip attachment can keep the music nearby if walking or biking is more your speed.

Weighing less than a pound, the speaker is highly portable and produces a dynamic sound that belies its small size. Nearly 12 hours of battery life mean it can stay out as long as you do. The Aquatune 9612 also has a microphone for hands-free calling, so it’s ready to go wherever adventure and music collide.

Buy it here

2) Big Blue Party ($195)

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Having music at a park or beach is divine, but what about a backyard get together or BBQ? Brookstone has a speaker that not only offers a clean sound and easy Wi-Fi or Bluetooth set up, but it also comes with Chromecast built in for more entertainment options.

Four angled speakers mean the Big Blue Party can occupy a prominent place on your pool deck or patio and provide amazing stereo sound. Don’t worry about splashes. The speaker is water resistant too, keeping the 72-watt music makers inside safe.

The Google Home app keeps the variety of entertainment everchanging. Music apps like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play and others are are there for your use. The built-in Chromecast offers several apps that can stream sound from videos through the speaker as well, so the grilling can be in full swing while sound from the big game can play, creating a tailgate atmosphere.

While the Big Blue Party has its own handle, the weight isn’t friendly for constant moving. However, it’s perfect if you want to plop it somewhere and let its do its job.

The battery lasts 4.5 hours at maximum volume. Plenty of time for burgers and dancing!

Buy it here

3) Beolit 17 ($499)

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B&O Play’s latest entry into the portable speaker genre is not only powerful, but incredibly lightweight and long lasting. The Beolit 17 looks like a tiny picnic basket, but inside an omnidirectional speaker is ready to spread music across any park or beach.

Twenty-four hours of battery life means the party can go on all day, and a USB-C charger can power up the speaker in no time at all for daily use. A Beoplay app allows for a personalized touch, producing a specific sound tailored to the ear of the user. The app works with Apple watches as well as smartphones.

The aluminum casing means the Beolit 17 won’t be a burden to tote along any outdoor journey. A leather handle provides for easy lifting while folding neatly to the side when the speaker is in place.

The sound is amazing, producing clean highs and booming lows at any volume level. During a test demo, I did discover the sound changes depending on what surface the speaker is sitting on. Your preferred sound may be just as simple as moving the speaker from a table to the ground or vice versa.

Buy it here


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