Buyer's Guide 2019: Rugged, Smart & Fun Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Speakers

If you've been on the hunt for the perfect Wi-Fi or Bluetooth speaker for your next party, event, or outdoor adventure, our 2019 Buyer's Guide has you covered. Whether you're looking for a smart speaker, something rugged, waterproof, and portable, or a large speaker for an event, complete with mic and guitar ports, we have the best speakers of the year right here! 

Related: Best Speakers of 2018: Portable, Bluetooth, Waterproof & More

Ultimate Ears MyBOOM 3 ($149.99)

What could make the stylish, waterproof, and rugged BOOM 3, with its excellent sound quality, even better? How about the ability to personalize it with customized colors and text? Along with the fun of building a unique speaker, the MyBOOM3 comes with a POWER UP Charging Dock, so you will never again have to remember to plug in your speaker or worry about whether it’s fully charged before grabbing it on your way out the door. If you’re looking for the same great performance and ruggedness in a smaller package, check out the WONDERBOOM 2 (starting at $79.99).

 

Zagg Braven BRV-360 ($79.99)

If you crave portability but need quality sound, this rugged, waterproof speaker is the perfect choice. Small enough to fit in a water bottle holder, but powerful enough to put out some serious volume, the BRV-360 can also charge your phone and offers up to 12 hours of play time. If even water bottle size is too bulky, the BRV-105 ($49.99) is equally rugged but half the size. It also comes with a sturdy, detachable strap for attaching it to backpacks, handlebars, and more.

 

Sonos One (Gen 2) ($199)

This smart Wi-Fi speaker is ideal for anyone who loves Apple, but isn’t fully committed to the Apple ecosystem. Unlike the HomePod, this smart speaker works with a large number of audio streaming services. The Sonos One comes with built-in Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility (Siri can be used to control the speaker via an iDevice, but only for Apple Music playback). Its AirPlay 2 compatibility, ability to match the acoustics of the room where it’s located, great sound quality, and a relatively low price make it our top pick of the year.

 

EcoX Gear EcoBoulder+ ($249.99)

Although it’s waterproof and dustproof and can float, don’t expect to throw the EcoBoulder+ into a backpack and hit the trails with it; this 27-pound, 100-watt Bluetooth speaker is the size of a large carry-on! Don’t worry though, the wheels and telescoping handle make it easy to take the party wherever you go, whether that’s to the beach or a float trip down a river or an indoor Karaoke party.

 

JBL PartyBox 300 ($499.95)

This speaker delivers on its name, with its impressive sound, light show, and bass boost. The included car charger makes it perfect for tailgating, and the additional mic and guitar ports on the back—each with independent volume controls and auxiliary inputs and outputs for other devices—make the PartyBox 300 great for simple events too.

If you like the party atmosphere a light show can bring but are looking for a more modest size and price, check out the SoundCore Rave Mini ($149.99) from Anker. Or consider the JBL Pulse 3 ($229.95) if you want your light-up speaker to also be portable and waterproof.

    Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.
    Sarah Kingsbury's picture

    Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor of iPhone Life magazine. Previously she wrote for savvyvegetarian.com and was the Associate Editor of the Iowa Source for many years.