2020 BLUETOOTH SPEAKER BUYER’S GUIDE
What’s your favorite band? The Beatles? Queen? Red Hot Chili Peppers? No matter what music you’re into, you can listen to it (at a reasonable volume) on the golf course with a Bluetooth speaker.
During testing, some models stood out for their sound quality and robust features. No matter your budget, you can buy a speaker to keep you swinging to the beat.
With an ever-increasing number of options, finding the right Bluetooth speaker to fit your needs can be a bit overwhelming. That’s where we come in. We put the top speaker devices on the market to the test to ensure you have the best information available when it comes time to buy.
Whether you’re looking to buy a Bluetooth speaker today, some buying advice to get started or just want a closer look at what’s on the market, this guide will help you find the right speaker to fit your needs.
Best Sound Quality – Ultimate Ears WonderBoom 2
The UE WonderBoom 2 offers top quality 360-degre omnidirectional sound and volume capabilities. You can pair two units together for true stereo sound. UE’s new “Outdoor Boost” mode allows you to crank-up powerful audio that’s engineered to be heard outside.
Bluetooth Speakers – Features That Matter
(Omnidirectional versus directional) Listening to music should be an immersive experience. Sound quality shouldn’t fade because you’re on the wrong side of your speaker. The sound from directional speakers is less immersive, often limited by the direction the speaker happens to be facing. We found that omnidirectional speakers are better suited for the golf course.
Speakers like the UE WonderBoom 2 and UE Boom 3 are great examples of quality omnidirectional speakers. Directional speakers are not as well suited for the 360-degree challenge of the golf course, at least for those looking for consistent sound in and out of the cart.
No matter how great a speaker sounds, it’s only as good as its connection. The best speakers for golf allow you plenty of room to wander.
The top performers maintained their connectivity despite 40-plus yards of separation. If you carry your phone while playing, especially if you find yourself wandering far from your cart, maximizing your connectivity distance is essential to keeping the music going.
How long does your golf speaker last when it’s unplugged and paired with your Bluetooth device? Bluetooth speakers can last from five to 24 hours per charge. For a day that starts at the course and ends at the pool, an extra couple of hours can come in handy.
EXPERT TIP – Finding the Right Speaker for How You Travel the Course
Golfers who walk should favor smaller and lighter speaker options. The ideal solution is likely one that clips to your bag. Golfers who prefer to ride, should take advantage of sound-rich speakers which easily fit in the car’s cup holders.
Bluetooth Speakers – More Tips
- Bigger doesn’t always mean better (or louder). Some smaller speakers outperform their large competitors and better fit in a cart’s cup holder.
- Nearly all Bluetooth speakers are portable, meaning you can take them anywhere without needing a cord for them to play music.
- Some Bluetooth speakers can also be used for phone calls. The added versatility can be helpful, especially if you don’t have to sacrifice sound quality to get it.
- While most speakers are water resistant, some, like the like JBL Flip 4, are fully waterproof. So even if you get rained on during your round or your speaker takes a soggy tumble at the pool, the music will keep playing.
How We Test
We’re here to help you find the perfect golf speaker to fit your needs.
To do that, we employ a thorough and fully independent testing process that leaves no feature unexplored, no detail unchecked, and no stone unturned.
Golf speakers are tested head to head using rigorous protocols.
The metrics we consider when rating Golf Speakers include Durability, Features, Ease of Use, and Sound Quality.
What do I need to know about Bluetooth speakers?
Q: How do I charge my Bluetooth speaker?
A: Most up to date devices have USB ports that charge your speaker. Some older, less advanced speakers still require batteries to keep the music going.
Q: What is the difference between waterproof and water resistant?
A: Water-resistant speakers will survive a few drops of rain or a quick dip in the pool. Waterproof speakers can tackle the harshest of weather conditions and be submerged under water for an extended period of time without harm.
Q: Are Bluetooth speakers allowed on the golf course?
A: While we’d wager some courses have explicit rules against speakers, we hope it’s not common. Golf is a game, right? Aren’t games meant to be enjoyed? Yes, there is a rule prohibiting music during competition (something about using the rhythm of the beat in your golf swing), but, if you’re respectful of others on the course, listening to music with your buddies during a fun round shouldn’t be an issue. Keep it at a reasonable volume and it’s all good. Go ahead and post your scores. We won’t tell.