We don’t have to tell you that the speaker market is saturated. Bluetooth speakers, smartphone docks and surround sound systems have been around for years. This can make shopping for a Bluetooth speaker difficult. But the easiest way to sift through all the options out there is to focus on two major features: functionality (like battery life and Bluetooth range) and audio quality.
For a device that delivers on both fronts, we recommend UE’s Megaboom ($184.99; amazon.com). If you’re not familiar with UE (or UrbanEars), it’s a tech company best known for its offerings of wireless outdoor speakers. Its golden child of products is the Megaboom, a high-end offering that has won multiple top honors in the design world, including the International Design Excellence Awards and the Industrial Designers Society of America Awards.
The device has gained intense popularity for its ability to be taken practically anywhere. It’s waterproof, meaning you could submerge it and not have to worry about drying it out in rice later. If you’re in the mood for a pool party, the Megaboom floats and can deliver pretty clear bass while you’re midswim. Weighing less than a can of soda, the speaker won’t drag you down should you want to tote it around with you all year long.
The Megaboom boasts crisp 360-degree sound and is made with the digital age in mind. The speaker scored solid marks in terms of overall sound quality from independent tester Consumer Reports, receiving additional praise for its deep bass. An added Siri, Alexa, Google and Amazon Echo Dot voice integration allows you to control the Megaboom completely hands-free.
In short, the device is a real game changer when it comes to indoor parties, outdoor adventures, and even your daily showers.
Normally priced at $299, it isn’t the cheapest option out there. If price is the sole focus point, UE does offer cheaper picks, like its UE Roll 2, that deliver on most counts for under 100 bucks ($64; amazon.com). However, if you’re willing to invest in a speaker that has a crazy long battery life and works under extreme conditions, the Megaboom is worth it. Plus, it’s an easy way to ensure that whether you’re jamming out poolside or doing a karaoke shower session, your playlists will never sound watered down. Yeah, we went there.
Note: The prices below reflect the listed retailer’s price on the date this article was published.