SAN ANTONIO – If you like to listen to your tunes when you’re relaxing poolside or on the beach, a Bluetooth speaker that can handle a splash or two can be just the thing.
Consumer Reports offered suggestions priced between $80 and $200.
“They were selected because they’re small, fun, and can survive exposure to some of the elements,” said Consumer Reports’ Elias Arias.
Many of them have rugged exteriors that can be tossed in a beach bag, like the Bose SoundLink Color II for $130. Testers say it’s good for sound and is very easy to use, and it’s got decent versatility.
Several recommended models share a cylindrical shape that can easily fit in your backpack, including in its side water bottle pouch.
Those include the Sony SRS-XB23 for $90 and the JBL Flip 5 for $100. They’re both CR Best Buys that testers say sound good and are really easy to use.
If you want to spend more, there’s also the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 for $200. It gets solid scores across the board, and CR says it’s loud enough to fill a medium to large room.
If you’re looking for something smaller, more portable, and less expensive, there’s the JBL Clip 4 for $80. It’s not an official CR-recommended model because testers say its sound quality is lacking, but they say it’s good enough for podcasts or other casual listening. It also has its own carabiner that allows you to hook it onto just about anything that has a loop or a latch.
If you’re not familiar with Bluetooth speakers, be aware you have to keep the music source, like your smartphone, within about 30 feet of the speaker, otherwise the signal fades.