best alexa speakers for outside

5 Best Alexa Outdoor Speakers for 2021 [#5 is Waterproof]

In Amazon Alexa, Music & Audio by Tim BrennanLeave a Comment

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In this article, I compare the five very best Alexa outdoor speakers that you can buy right now. I’ll include some great-sounding options for beach, yard, pool, deck, and patio. This way, Alexa can help you get your groove on when BBQing at home, hosting that special summer party, or chilling by the sea or lake.

If you simply want to know the best outdoor speakers with Alexa, they are:

  1. Best Overall: Bose Portable Smart Speaker
  2. Solid Runner-Up: Sonos Move
  3. Bose Budget Option: Soundlink Revolve
  4. Best for Tailgaters: ION 50 Echo Dock
  5. Best for Poolside: JBL Charge 4

Click any link in the list above to jump down to my mini-review for that product. Or read on if you are interested in an interesting fact about portable speakers.


“What Outdoor Speakers Work with Alexa?”

best alexa outdoor speakersA friend of mine knows I write a lot about Amazon Alexa. She recently asked me to recommend some options for the best Alexa outdoor speakers.

This past summer, I had been taking my 2nd generation Echo out on my patio with me when I wanted to hear music outside. I know, pretty lame for a self-described smart home enthusiast.

I’m a pretty hardcore Alexa guy and I love music, so getting a portable Bluetooth speaker with Alexa built-in just makes sense.  So I bit the bullet and decided to buy a few of these to test out for all of you.

When it comes to buying portable speakers, apparently I am in good company.  According to GrandViewResearch, the global portable Bluetooth speakers market was estimated at USD 1.21 billion in 2018 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 11.71% from 2019 to 2025.

The global portable Bluetooth speakers market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 11.71% from 2019 to 2025.Click To Tweet

In the rest of this article, I will go into more detail about the five best Alexa outdoor speakers listed above, list the pros and cons, and then provide a cost comparison.

But, let me start with a features comparison so you can see the key features of these puppies side-by-side.


Top 3 Best Alexa Outdoor Speakers: Key Features

The following comparison table highlights the key features of the best Alexa outdoor speakers.

1. Bose Portable Smart 2. Sonos Move 3. Bose Soundlink Revolve
Image
Voice Control Built-in Alexa or Google over Wi-Fi Alexa or Google via Bluetooth Paring Alexa or Google via Bluetooth Paring
Water Resistance IPX4-rated IP56 Waterproof IPX4-rated
Battery Life 12 hours 11 hours 12 hours
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Wired, and AirPlay 2 Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Bluetooth, TF Card, USB, 3.5 mm Auxiliary jack
Bluetooth Streaming Range 30 feet 30 feet 30 feet
Durability Less than others here Prone to breaks if dropped More durable
Controls Controls Bluetooth button Volume up/down buttons Power button and light Microphone on/off button and light Smart assistant listening LED ring indicator Play/pause button Action button (to activate voice assistant) Power Button Volume control Play/Pause Next/Previous Microphone indicator Status Light Power Light Join Button USB Port Bluetooth/Wifi toggle button Power button and battery indicator Bluetooth button Volume up/down buttons Multi-function button Input mode button
Dimensions 7.54” H 4.69” W 4.09” D, 2.34 lbs. 9.44 x 6.29 x 4.96, 6.61lbs 3.50 x 8.50 x 3.40 inches, 2.13 lbs
Audio Quality 360-degree sound with powerful bass Rich bass, a wide soundstage, and automatic Trueplay tuning adapts the sound for where you are 360-degree sound

1. Best Overall: Bose Portable Smart

Best Alexa Outdoor SpeakersFirst on my list of the best Alexa outdoor speakers is the Bose Portable Smart Speaker.

Indoors or out, this is one of the coolest sounding speakers I have heard in a long time. It packs a lot of punch into a small roughly 7.5 x 4.5-inch thermos-like package. Plus, you are always sure to impress your friends when you go with Bose.

The highs and lows are pretty close to perfection and the mid-range is perfect in my opinion.  In fact, the sound is only second to the larger Bose Sound Touch 30 that I tested a while back.

While it isn’t cheap, I justified getting this because I also use it indoors as part of my Echo multi-room music configuration.  Bose has definitely worked out a sweet deal with Amazon because Alexa is directly integrated into this smart speaker.

And the integration just works flawlessly after the initial setup.  The battery doesn’t last as long as other models here, but unless you are throwing a “rave,” do you really need to play music for more than 12 hours without a charge?

Pros

  • Amazing (and I mean amazing) 360° sound that can go LOUD
  • IPX4-rated water-resistant (nice water resistant vs waterproof guide at Jabra.com)
  • Native Alexa and Google Assistant integration
  • Easy setup via Bose Music app
  • Connects directly to your favorite streaming services when on Wi-Fi. Otherwise, can play anything from your devices via Bluetooth
  • Supports Apple Airplay 2 (stream anything your iPhone can play)

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Battery life could be better, some customers complain it won’t last 12 hours after several recharges
  • Won’t work with your laptop
  • Voice control requires a Wi-Fi connection

Video

Thanks to NCT for the helpful unboxing video.


2. Solid Runner-Up: Sonos Move

Best Alexa Outdoor Speakers Next on my list of best Alexa outdoor speakers is the Sonos Move. This is another amazing-sounding speaker with the second-highest waterproof rating on my list.  While it cannot be fully submerged in water, it can handle high-pressure water jets from any direction. Not sure why anyone would do that, but there it is.

According to Sonos, it can also stand up to humidity, rain, snow, dust, salt spray, UV rays, and extreme heat and cold. Now that is really pretty cool – or hot – depending on your point of view.

In fact, this would have taken the top spot over the Bose speaker if it weren’t for a two key things. First, it is significantly larger and heavier making transport a bit more clunky if you someone who is always on the go. That said, with its extreme weather resistance, it could make a great outdoor poolside speaker, for example.

The second-place it falls short is its battery life. While Sonos claims it will play for 11 hours on a charge, customers have complained that after a few months, this drops down to 8-9 hours. Still, a corded option is provided.

Pros

  • Outstanding sound
  • IP56 rating repels water, humidity, rain, snow, dust, salt spray, UV rays, and extreme heat and cold
  • Alexa is built right in so in addition to playing music, you can also get weather, news, set timers, etc.
  • Flexible – control using the Sonos app, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, or your voice

Cons

  • It’s big and pricey
  • Shorter battery life than other speakers here
  • I read a few customer complaints about that Sonos customer and technical support can be “prickly”
  • Connectivity issues with open Wi-Fi networks
  • Can break if dropped

Video

Thanks to Smart Home Sounds Ltd for teaching me everything I needed to know about Sonos Move in under five minutes.


3. Bose on a Budget: Bose Soundlink Revolve

Best Alexa Outdoor SpeakersComing in at number 3 on my list of best Alexa outdoor speakers is another speaker made by Bose: Bose Soundlink Revolve.

While Alexa and Google aren’t built into this speaker, you can connect up with them via another Echo device using Bluetooth. This is true of the rest of the products reviewed here.

Like the Bose Portable Smart Speaker, it is also IPX4 rated, which means you can splish-splash around it all you like. (I actually put this to the test with the Portable speaker.

Mine got pretty damp one day after a steam shower and I had no issues whatsoever.

The sound on this speaker is similar to the Bose Portable Smart speaker, although not quite as good. While I didn’t buy this one for extensive testing. I did go into my local Bose store and tested them literally side by side.

There was a slight tinier sound at full volume and at full volume, it would not go as loud as the larger Bose Portable Smart speaker.

There are really two main differences between this and the Bose Portable Smart. One, there is no direct integration with Alexa and Google, so you will need to set this up via a hack. Two, lack of Wi-Fi support means that you can’t stream directly to your favorite music services without help from your smartphone.

Still, this is a solid choice for a great-sounding portable speaker. But if you really want Alexa or Google, spend the extra money and go with the Portable Smart model.

Pros

  • Great-sounding premium portable speaker
  • Affordable
  • Simple streamlined controls (see below)
  • Includes Bose signature 360-degree sound
  • A tad lighter than Portable Smart
  • Can pair two for stereo effect via the Bose app

Cons

  • No native integration with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Not as loud as Bose Portable Smart
  • Some minor distortion at higher volumes

Video

Thanks to Jeff from RIZKNOWS for the helpful introduction to the Bose SoundLink. Cheers, Jeff.


4. Best for Tailgaters: Ion Outdoor Echo Speaker Dock

Next on my list of best Alexa outdoor speakers is the Ion Outdoor Echo Speaker Dock.

Best Alexa Outdoor SpeakersWhen I first saw this thing, I thought “holy cow this thing must rock!” Annand….I bought one and it does NOT disappoint.  While maybe a bit overkill for your backyard BBQ, my camping buddies are going to love this when I take it to the annual camping trip this summer.

While getting the Echo Dot connected to the dock requires a little bit of monkeying around with the auxiliary wire, it is easy enough to do.

Once connected, this beast acts as a giant Alexa speaker and you can do anything that your Echo Dot can do. That said, it does require that you purchase the relatively inexpensive Echo Dot separately.

There are three things that I love about this speaker. First, I was surprised at the depth of sound. At 50 watts I expected this to sound like an amplifier than a premium speaker. The bass boost helps to kick up the low end, decent midrange and the highs are about what I expected.

In short, it sounds great, even at full blast. Second, the battery is a monster: 50 hours of playtime means that it will survive camping weekend on a single charge. That is pretty crazy.

And finally, it has some great perks like remote control, AM/FM radio, plus a USB charging port, Aux input, and you can get a microphone for it if you want to emcee at your tailgating party—or camping trip! Oh, I’m sure my fellow camper will appreciate that 😊 this summer! This is one impressive speaker.

Pros

  • Monstrous 6 ½” two-way speaker cranks at 50 watts
  • Sick 50-hour battery life
  • Bass Boost kicks up the bass big time
  • Very well-designed controls
  • Lots of extra perks that include a remote and a microphone
  • Super inexpensive for what you get

Cons

  • Need to hardwire Echo Dot in cradle via aux cables
  • 100W model doesn’t have Echo Dot cradle
  • The dock does not fit the latest Echo Dot 4th Gen model (You can get older generations at Amazon)

Video

Shout out to Colin from AkiaTech for showing off the previous model of the ION that works with the Echo Dot..

 


5. Best for Poolside: JBL Charge 4

Best Alexa Outdoor SpeakersLast but not least on my list of best Alexa outdoor speakers is the JBL Charge 4. Like Bose Soundlink, the JBL Charge 4 does not have Alexa built-in.

However, you can connect an Echo Dot or other Alexa speaker to use it along with everyone’s favorite voice assistant. I don’t have Google Home so I was unable to confirm this will work with Google Home myself, but my research says that it will.

Some key benefits of the Charge 4 are that is both dust-proof and water-proof, it has an hour longer battery life than both Bose speakers featured here (20 hours), it includes a 3.5mm audio jack, and a sleep timer.

I found the sound to be closer to Bose Soundlink Resolve than Bose Portable Smart, but it still packs a pretty serious punch and sounds much bigger than you would think for such a small package. Oh, it comes in a variety of colors including the very cool looking Green Camo one I tested.

Pros

  • IPX7 Waterproof (can be submerged underwater for 30 mins)
  • Great sound in a small package
  • Crisp highs, surprisingly solid lows
  • Solid 20-hour battery life
  • USB Type-C and includes 3.5mm audio jack
  • Includes portable hard case

Cons

  • Close but not quite as crisp and clear as the Bose speakers I tested
  • Bass sounds better on Bose speakers at higher volumes
  • Speaker is positioned on the left side of the device making the sound seem a bit “off-center” (i.e., no 360-degree sound)

Video

Thanks to Jim over at JimsReviewRoom for this nice review of JBL Charge 4.


Alexa Outdoor Speakers: Price Comparison

The following table is updated through direct integration with Amazon’s API. To see up-to-the-minute pricing, click the Buy Now button to go to Amazon’s product page

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:


How To Pair an Echo Device to a Bluetooth Speaker

Since two options in my list that require you to pair an Echo device with your speaker, I thought I would include some instructions here.

The process is very straightforward. You use the Alexa app to pair your phone or Bluetooth speaker with your Echo Device.

  1. Put your Bluetooth device in pairing mode.
  2. Open the Alexa app and tap Devices.
  3. Select your device, and then select Bluetooth > Pair a New Device.  When your Echo device discovers your speaker, the speaker appears in the list of available devices in the Alexa app.
  4. Select your Bluetooth speaker. Your Echo device connects to the speaker and Alexa then tells you if the connection is successful.
  5. In the Alexa app, select Continue. Your Bluetooth speaker is now paired with your Echo device.

If you want to play audio from another device on your Bluetooth speaker, say “Alexa Disconnect.”

Next time you want to connect, enable Bluetooth on your phone or Bluetooth speaker and say, “Alexa, Pair Bluetooth.” Once the initial pairing is complete, certain Bluetooth devices may automatically reconnect to your Echo when in range.


Best Alexa Outdoor Speakers: Sound Off

So what do you think of my picks for the best Alexa outdoor speakers?

Believe me when I tell you that ION 50 Amp sounds pretty sick. And does the Bose Portable Smart speaker. All of these speakers are cool in their own way.

Is waterproof rating the main consideration for you?  How about portability? What’s your feeling about the price of these products?

I hope you will leave me a comment below and let me know.

Until next time, keep on rockin’.


Related Reading

If you enjoyed this article about the best Alexa outdoor speakers, you may also like these articles I wrote:

Echo Sub Vs Sonos Sub Vs Bose Sub: Feel The Bass!

Amazon Nebula vs Sonos Beam: Does Alexa Raise the Bar?

5 Ways You Can Dramatically Improve Alexa Sound Quality

19 Rockin Alexa Multi-Room Music Commands [Essentials List]


About the Author

Tim BrennanTim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger

Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.

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