Choosing the Best Outdoor Speakers for Your Picnics and Parties
| Reuben Howe
Sitting under a warm golden sun with dashes of shade from nearby trees, a vibrant picnic rug on the verdant grass and company to share the moment with - a scene we all look forward to creating in Summer 2023! No sunny day, rainy hideaway or gathering / party would be complete without one thing, though…
Music and sound are a huge part of what makes us feel relaxed, happy, and sociable. Keeping your flow and immersing yourself in your favourite music is the best way to enjoy any season. Portable, rechargeable speakers are perfect for garden parties, barbeques, picnics and outings allowing you and your friends or family to share sound you love while hopefully also sharing a lot of food!
Look forward to summer with these key features to look out for in Bluetooth Speakers in 2023!
Correct Size and Portability for Outdoor Speakers?
No one wants to lug a bag to the park just to have some tinny, echoing tunes creak out! Miniaturisation is one of the first ways new technology gets refined and perfected, and Wireless Speakers are no different. Compared to the speakers of ages past, measuring up to 60cm tall, modern devices are positively tiny!
Mobile Phone Adapters
The smallest contender but by no means the weakest. These mobile phone audio adapters allow wired playback from your phone without needing anywhere to set them up. Simply dangle the speaker from your phone, in a purse, or pull out from a pocket! The MS315 is a compact little ball that doesn’t look out of place and could be mistaken for a subtle decoration.
But underneath that cute casing is a serious side that really speaks up! Surprisingly higher volumes than you’d expect from such a shy looking bit of kit, these types of speakers are worth considering when space is tight and you want to travel as light as possible. If you’re walking to a local green rather than driving to a reserve or venue then this option is the best compromise of size and quality. Going too far from home to carry a full speaker but not far enough to drive? The MS315 has you covered. At just 73 grams stuffed into a 5.5 diameter sphere this is the smallest practical speaker you’ll find!
A step up from what is essentially a speaker dongle…are mini-Bluetooth speakers. These devices like the MS425 are similar to pairs of headphones in that they go all-in on the drivers. The driver units make up most of the architecture and a simple, accessible button pad makes these better for group gatherings. Switching your picnic DJ is easy when you have button controls, and you get a 40mm premium speaker wirelessly.
Easy to carry, throw in a bag or picnic box or glove compartment and with a wired option for emergencies the MS425 makes the speaker the focus of the build quality, allowing you to connect how you need and get listening to music instantly.
Portable Speakers with Stereo Sound Quality?
Being outside doesn’t mean you have to settle for lost audio and insufficient volumes! Look out for premium drivers of the size that suits you and check out portable Bluetooth speakers with separate speakers for separate purposes!
One way Bluetooth Speakers lose their edge is the lack of any real stereo. A pair of headphones envelops you in music from both sides, completely immersing you in sound and sending those chills down your spine. Bluetooth speakers…don’t always manage that.
The MS515 are a twin pair of speakers, however. These wireless speakers work together as a couple to bring you high-quality music from multiple channels no matter where you are. Use the Bluetooth connection or plug in the dedicated Red Band L-R Stereo cable included to wow your barbeque guests with outside stereo! The pair also feature up to 10 hours of battery life to ensure the party doesn’t stop until you tell it to.
Multiple In-Built Speakers
A Bluetooth Speaker design doesn’t always have just one driver, some are built with a full range of frequency-specific speakers for a truly Hi-Fi delivery even wirelessly! The WS350 is a larger, more substantial beast than the previous options and may be more apt as a garden party / barbeque speaker than for a walk to the park (But don’t let us stop you!).
It features 4 separate drivers and subwoofer bass to deliver an authentic audio experience even outside! Also usable as a Wi-Fi speaker in your home network the WS350 Smart Speaker is the most versatile speaker for listening to music indoors, outdoors, portable or stationary.
Another example, more streamlined but using the same principle, is the SE30. The SE30 features two in-built speakers for stereo audio and a bass output. While not as impressive as the WS350 for sound range, the SE30 is smaller and can be easily thrown into a bag or carried to a picnic site or beach. The SE30 does only sport 9 hours of charge per use however, while the WS350 has a mighty 15-hour battery life.
If you need high-quality, portable audio then chances are you’re going somewhere that isn’t exactly conventional. Maybe it’s a festival ground and there’ll be mud, maybe a beach with sand getting in every nook or maybe even the tide coming in! Whatever the weather and location you need a speaker you can trust.
The MS430 is built with IPX5 rating Waterproofing to enable light rain, shower splashes and other running water to leave the speaker unaffected! When the rain ruins a picnic just dance it away! With a battery of 11 hours and a specialist attachment method for tiles the MS430 is made for bathrooms, but can be taken anywhere.
The water-resistant Bluetooth speaker also enables hands-free calling with the press of a button. Take calls without needing to find your phone using the integrated microphone and button pad.
Good Battery Life Outside Speakers
Finally, you’ll want to consider the longevity of your speaker. Quick trips to a bench are fine, but providing a soundscape for an afternoon, evening and night of entertainment requires a good deal of charge.
- The speakers with longest battery life on the list are the Twin Stereo Speaker Couple MS515 and the Wi-Fi Bluetooth Speaker WS350 both with up to 15 hours of playback.
- The SE30 stereo speaker has 9 hours
- The mini-Bluetooth cylinder speaker MS425 has just 5 hours of 40mm driver audio
- The tiny phone speaker replacement MS315 lasts a respectable 8 hours at max volume or 12 at 60%.
A final note before you rush to pick up your favourite from this buying guide; Bluetooth has come a long way in 20 years. Over that time, we have seen Bluetooth advance to the latest Bluetooth 5.3 specification! This is faster, higher-capacity and generally provides a higher-fidelity experience. You can find the details on the speakers and their Bluetooth version below so you choose the best outdoor speaker: