We’ve been carefully analyzing dozens of Bluetooth speakers for years, and we also love gardening, so we were happy to approach the question of how best to combine the two.
We’ve found that listening to podcasts and music while weeding (especially with a stand-up weeder) makes the whole venture a lot more enjoyable.
We went in search of the best-sounding speaker that is hardy enough to tolerate the odd splash of a hose or grime from dirty hands. And our top pick well exceeds those expectations; it’s also our overall top choice for travel Bluetooth speaker. (Further down this page, we’ll also discuss a larger, louder option and a smaller, wearable speaker that can go on your collar while you do yard work.)
The Best Speaker for Working in the Garden: Ultimate Ears Boom 3
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Why We Love the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 for Gardening
Here are the main reasons:
- Excellent sound: Don’t be fooled by its small size; the Boom 3 delivers an even mix, warmth, and punchy bass.
- Loud: It goes plenty loud to be heard across a small or mid-sized garden (though to go across a a larger yard or down the block, you’ll want the JBL Boombox or Xtreme 2 instead).
- 360-degree sound: The speaker is designed to sound great from any spot, so if we set it in the center of your garden we don’t have to move it or turn it towards where we happen to be working at the moment.
- Battery life: Ultimate Ears claims a battery life of 15-hours and it generally got around that time in tests. It’s more than enough for a long day outdoors without recharging. You’re likely to use it sporadically throughout the week without needing to charge.
- Tap to play: In a similar vein, basic control is possible without reaching for our phones. We tap the top of the speaker to play or pause a track, and tap twice to skip to the next one. The oversize volume buttons on the side of the speaker are also convenient.
Waterproof and dustproof: The speaker is fully IP67 waterproof, meaning it is rated to stand being submerged for up to 30 minutes in a meter of water. You’re not likely to put it through that test, but it is lovely to be able to just hose the speaker off at the end of the day and this can be way simpler than cleaning your gardening tools. The dustproof rating means that the Boom 3 will also stand up to grime; this is a very hardy speaker.
- Fabric loop: You can either hang the Boom 3 from the your garden fence or from the side of a work basket by attaching a carabiner through the loop. This also makes it super easy to carry around.
- Pair multiple Boom 3s: With UE’s mobile app you can pair up to 150 of the speakers — though really two is fine. It allows you to create a true stereo experience on the go, and is great for an outdoor dance party.
A few drawbacks:
- We think this is the most convenient size for a speaker we’d carry out into the garden while working, but some might want a larger speaker for more volume, a smaller speaker, or even a wearable speaker. See below for those options.
- Bose Revolve instead (or compare the Revolve with the bigger Revolve+).
A Larger, Louder Optionfavorite larger waterproof Bluetooth speaker.
Its features are very similar to the Boom 3, but we have a full comparison of the two speakers if you’re struggling to decide between them.
Basically, the Megaboom 3 goes just a bit louder and its bass goes deeper and has more impact. It also has a bit more battery life.
As with the Boom 3 you can pair two or more for stereo sound, and there is also a fabric loop. The Megaboom 3 is also fully waterproof.
A Wearable Speaker for Gardening
The Polk Boom Bit is the only tiny, wearable speaker that we currently recommend that is so cheap (though if you’re willing to pay quite a bit more, there are some good neck speakers). The Boom Bit clips onto your collar and provides a sort of open headphone replacement. It’s a great way to listen to talk programs in particular while out taking care of your plants.
The sound quality for music is clear enough to be able to enjoy the mids and treble, but don’t expect much on the bass end. It was originally marketed as fully (IPX7) waterproof but Polk seems to have since retracted this claim, so you shouldn’t dunk this speaker. We don’t think the odd splash of water or a sweat-drenched T-shirt will cause it any problems, however.