why solar?

A solar outdoor speaker is one of my favorite gadgets when we go camping or really do anything outdoors. Camping, beach parties, hiking, these are all times where having a portable Bluetooth speaker is a must.

While a typical Bluetooth speaker can be charged, it still makes you rely on using a power cord to be recharged. Those small battery powered speakers burn through batteries quickly and don’t really improve sound quality.

If you are venturing out into the great outdoors, a solar-powered Bluetooth speaker will give you the ultimate freedom with its seemingly endless power from the sun. Solar speakers have a longer battery life and you don’t need electricity to recharge, making them perfect for the outdoors.

How to find the best solar-powered Bluetooth speaker?

While solar speakers certainly have their perks, it’s important to have realistic expectations. They are great for campsites, don’t expect them to be a state of the art sound system. With that being said, solar speakers can make up what they leak with other features, like doubling up as a USB charger for your phone.

However, not all solar speakers are created equal and there are certain qualities that you should look for when buying a portable solar speaker. Here is a quick list of qualities & features to look when buying a solar power outdoor speaker:

Price: The price range for solar-powered speakers starts as low as $30 and can quickly go beyond $300. Price is a large contributing factor that was taken into account when choosing the top solar speakers. Bluetooth speakers are more of a luxury since you can certainly make do with normal or battery powered speakers. I know I didn’t want to spend too much on a solar speaker so the list below will feature speakers that are a reasonable price and give you the best value for your money.

Audio/ Sound Quality: Audio is important when it comes to any kind of speaker. The main focus of solar speakers is to integrate a solar panel into the design and give you a strong battery life. So don’t expect to have the same audio capabilities as a Bose sound system.

Durability and Weather-resistance: Obviously a solar-powered speaker is meant to be outside. Dust, sand, and rain are are all conditions that it should be able to handle. It has a greater likely hood of being dropped and it should be able to withstand natural elements like water and extreme heat.

Battery Life & Charging Capability: The longer the battery life the better and the type of battery is also important since it affects the charging time. Solar speakers vary in the amount of time they need in the sun to charge. Your speaker should also have an AC power option so that you can charge it with electricity before you head out.

Size & Design: Solar powered speakers come in many different shapes and sizes. If you do a lot of hiking or backpacking you will want something that is small and portable without losing much sound quality. If you are camping with a large group of people and need high volume and great audio quality, then a bigger speaker would better suit your needs.

Extra Features: Solar speakers can have a variety of extra perks like a radio, flashlight, USB Port for Phone Charging, battery bank, remote control, etc. These are all extra features that can come in handy.

Best Solar Powered Bluetooth Speakers

The qualities and features I listed above are what I used to guide me when I bought my solar-power speaker and I’ve created this list as a buying guide to help you choose the best solar-powered speaker for camping, the beach, and all your outdoor adventures!

Out of all the different solar speakers and features available, the solar speaker that I thought was the overall best and had a good price and ultimately decided to buy is the Soweiek Portable Wireless Speaker.

This speaker has one of the longest battery life and playback time. It guarantees up to 55 hours of playback time at 70% volume on a single charge. The 4400mah li-ion battery is fast charging, giving you a full 30 minutes of playback time in just 10 minutes of solar charging.

You can also charge the speaker using the USB port. It takes about 6 hours to fully charge the speaker through the micro-USB port. 6 Hours are longer than you would typically see but it makes sense since the battery life is 3x greater than what other solar speakers tend to have.

Another important feature that I looked for was a built-in power bank so that I can charge my phone or tablet while streaming music and this solar speaker does have that feature! It also has button controls, built-in mic for hands-free calling and a flashlight. The USB and AUX ports are located on the back of the speaker and protected with a rubber flap.

This speaker is durable, with an IPX5 water resistant rating so it is splash-proof and shock-proof with the silicon cover encasing the speaker. The sound quality is also above average. It has a 10w full-bodied stereo realized through dual high-performance drivers and an unique enhanced bass.

The Bluetooth 4.0 technology (33ft range) makes it compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices and non-Bluetooth devices through the included 3.5mm aux audio cable. I also love that it automatically connects to the last device used so you don’t have to open your phone to reconnect if you accidentally go out of range.

This is also a very portable speaker. The silicon cover proves protection and makes it shock-proof. It has a loop so it can be hooked to a backpack (Carabiner hook included and it has velcro straps that can be used to attach it to a bike (straps included).

The sound quality is above average for a solar speaker. It is surprisingly loud, with stereo sound and strong bass. It has a powerful subwoofer for bass in the back.

Soweiek Portable Wireless Speaker Reviews

This is a highly rated item on Amazon with an average 4.5 out of 5-star rating. People are very pleased with the features and quality of this solar speaker. It’s a well-designed splash resistant Bluetooth speaker that puts out a fat sound for its size. It’s very portable and easy to take along for outdoor activities. People have used it in the shower, on a boat, by the pool, strapped it to their bike, hooked it to a backpack while hiking, etc. The design and color options are also a great feature.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
55+ Hour Battery Life
L
Solar or mirco-USb charging
L
Water-resistant and shock-proof
L
Button controls, built-in mic, and flashlight
L
Built-in Power Bank
L
Great Sound 10W Output
L
Portable (hooks to backpack or bike)

Cons

M
Over $50

Most Popular: Eton Rugged Rukus Solar Powered Speaker (Under $50)

Among online shoppers, the Eton Rugged Rukus is in the top in terms of popularity and with its small size, it still gives off a decent sound. This speaker has a flat design with the solar panel on top. The front is the speaker and the two sides angle to the backside which is where you will find the micro-USB charging port, aux input, and the USB-out port.

This speaker can be charged with the micro-USB cable in about 2.5 hours or in 5 hours with the solar panel. A full charge will give you about 8 hours of music playback. If it’s sitting in the sun, you can play music continuously. It also has a built-in power bank via the USB output port. So you can charge your phone while it’s streaming music.

The Eton Rugged Rukus has an IPX4 rating which certifies that it is splash-proof. This means it will withstand moister and water splashes but it shouldn’t be left out in the rain. Its small size puts it at about 17 ounces which makes it very portable

It does have an AUX port so you can connect with non-Bluetooth devices (AUX cable not included). It also has a loop so you can strap it to a backpack. It has two full-range speaker drives and you can stream music from any Bluetooth enabled smartphone, computer, or tablet.

Eton Rugged Rukus Reviews

This speaker has over 800 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
People that have purchased this speaker like that it’s small, portable, and durable. it has a nice, full sound for its size. The solar charging is efficient and works very well. A few complaints where that the is your phone or streaming device goes out of range, it won’t automatically connect when it’s within range again.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
5 Hour Solar Charge Time
L
8 Hour Battery Life
L
Built-in Power Bank
L
Splash-proof
L
Built-in Power Bank
L
Under $50

Cons

M
Bass could be better for the size

Longest Playback Time: ZeroLemon SolarSound Solar Bluetooth Speaker/Power Bank (Under $50)

The ZeroLemon solar speaker has the longest playback time with an incredible 72 hours powered by a built-in 10000mAh Li-polymer battery. It has a 10W stereo sound with dual high-performance drivers and superior enhanced bass performance and clear sound. It has a good rich bass and clear mids and highs once again impressive for such a relatively small speaker. Like many other solar speakers, this one can charge your phone or tablet with it’s 10000mAh power bank.

With Bluetooth 4.0 technology, it is compatible with all Bluetooth tabled devices and has a range of 32 feet. One really cool thing about this speaker is that is will automatically reconnect to the device last used. It weighs about 1.2lbs making it portable and easy to travel with.

ZeroLemon also gives you a 24-month warranty. ZeroLemon is a well-established brand in the solar power market. They also have an awesome solar-powered portable power bank that not only charges phones and devices through its USB ports but also has a C Port which can be used to charge a MacBook Pro or Nintendo Switch!

ZeroLemon SolarSound Reviews

This speaker has over 35 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Those that have purchased this speaker are very impressed with the battery life and great sound quality. The biggest complaint in the location of the solar panel on the speaker. Instead of being on top of the speaker, the solar panel on this speaker in on the back. Another feature that customers would like to see is to make it more durable and water-proof. ZeroLemon does have a portable Bluetooth speaker (ZeroLemon ToughSound IPX8) that is rugged and waterproof for under $30 but it is not solar powered.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
72 Hour Battery Life
L
24 month Warranty
L
10,000mAh Power Bank
L
High Performance Sound
L
Under $50

Cons

M
Not water-proof, splash-proof or shock proof
M
Solar panel is on the back

Most Portable Solar Speaker: Goal Zero Rock Out 2 Solar Rechargeable Speaker (Under $100.00)

The Goal Zero Rock Out 2 Solar Rechargeable Speaker is the ultimate portable and adventure-ready solar-powered speaker. This might have a small size but this outdoor speaker is packed with featured and built for the outdoors.

This speaker weighs in at around 15 ounces and measures about 7 inches in length. The front has the speaker grille and button controls. The back is where the solar panel housed. What’s interesting about this solar speaker is that it has a zipper that splits the two sides open and inside is a USB and AUX cord as well as a mesh pocket that can hold your phone. The design makes it convent to carry your phone inside with speaker while streaming music.

The buttons on the front allow you to play/pause, skip songs, increase/decrease volume so you don’t have to have your phone out to enjoy your music.

Another impressive feature is that the AUX cable can be used to connect two speakers together. Around the parameter of the speaker, you will find a bungee cord that can be used as a foolproof attachment to hang the speaker on a backpack if you are hiking or around a bike handle for mountain biking.

It has highly efficient monocrystalline solar panel to allow you to play music all day in the sun and has an advanced 800mAh lithium battery which can allow you to play over 10 hours without the sun. This speaker can be fully charged by the solar panel in 8 hours. You can also use the USB cord to charge it with a laptop or power outlet in 2.5 hours.

Goal Zero Rock Out 2 has a built-in mic so you can answer incoming calls without using your phone. As far as sound quality goes, this speaker has Darkbass chamber allowing it produce a deep, precise sound and it’s chain able to other Rock Out speakers.

This is a rugged adventure ready speaker that is built with a weatherproof outer shell to withstand all Mother Nature can throw. The roomy, fabric-lined pocket keeps your gear safe inside and the attached bungee lets you strap your speaker anywhere!

Goal Zero Rock Out 2 Solar Rechargeable Speaker Reviews

Those that have purchased this speaker are very impressed with the audio quality and how loud this speaker can be. People like the long battery life and how durable it is. The price is the biggest downside but, overall, this is a great choice for adventure seekers.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
10+ Hour Play Time
L
8 Hour Solar Charging Time
L
Durable & Portable (Attaches to backpack or bike)
L
Built-In Mic
L
Chainable
L
Phone Case/ Storage

Cons

M
Pricer ($80+)
M
No battery bank

Best Waterproof Solar Speaker: Ecoxgear Sol Jam Solar-powered Waterproof Speaker (Under $160)

The Ecoxgear Sol Jam Solar-powered Waterproof Speaker is a rugged wireless speaker that is ready for water and sun. If you are going to the beach. lake, or on a boat this is the solar speaker to take with you.

This is a rugged speaker with a box-like design that looks much bulkier next to some of the smaller and sleeker models like the Eton Rugged Rukus. But this speaker is still very much portable weighing only 1.5lbs. The front speaker grille is 6.2 inches long, 3 inches high and extends 5 inches to the back.

This is an ultimate waterproof solar speaker with an IPX7 rating. This means it can be completely submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. But you don’t have to worry about losing this speaker if it goes overboard because it floats!

The solar panel and button controls are on the top face and it has separate volume and track navigation controls. The frame has gaps in the rear so that you can connect a cord and secure it. Another unique design feature is the threaded hole at the bottom which will connect to any standard camera mount.

The back of the solar speaker is where you will find a screw-on lid that houses the USB port, aux input, and micro-USB charging port. Like many others, this solar speaker also doubles as a power bank.

Battery life for this speaker is 12 hours and the 1.5W solar panel allows this solar speaker to fully charge in just 3 hours! In terms of audio, this speaker is average. Keep in mind that the main focus of building this speaker was to make it waterproof. Overall, it has pretty good audio for all genres and it can get loud enough for a small gathering.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
Waterproof (Submersible & Floats)
L
Shock Resistant
L
3 Hour Solar Charging Time
L
12 Hour Battery Life
L
Button Controls & Built-In Mic
L
Chainable
L
Battery Bank
L
3 Year Warranty

Cons

M
Pricy (About $150)

Budget Pick: Dreamix Solar Bluetooth Speaker (Under $40)

Solar speakers can get pricey and my pick for the best value speaker would be the Dreamix Solar Bluetooth Speaker. This speaker is around the $30 range and has an awesome battery life of 30 hours at max volume. The solar panel charge it’s 2500mAh lithium battery and just 10 minutes in the sun can give you 30 minutes of playback time.

The design of this speaker is very functional. The solar panel is located on the top. It has easily accessible button controls on the side. The micro-USB charging port and aux port are on the back, protected by a silicon cover. A neat feature that this speaker has is a small flashlight built in and located next to the button controls.

It is encased in a silicon rubber material making is shockproof. In fact, it’s very durable and they claim it can be dropped from a height of 6.5 feet. The silicon cover also makes it grip better on surfaces. It’s a good speaker for adventures, it has a loop so it can be hooked to a backpack and you can also get velcro straps to attach the speaker to a bike.

It has a water-resistant rating of IPX5 so it’s splash-proof and can resist mental water spray and splash but it can not be submerged in water. It’s compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices and non-Bluetooth devices with included 3.5mm audio mini jack cable, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, Smartphones, Tablets, mp3 etc. Built-in mic for hands-free calls. I also like that there are a few different color options available, black, blue and green.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
30+ Hour Play Back Time
L
Durable (Water-Resistant & Shockproof)
L
Attachable to backpack/bike
L
12 Hour Battery Life
L
Built-in Flash Light, Button Controls & Mic

Cons

M
No power bank

Emergency & Survival: Ivation 7-in-1 Bluetooth and Radio Speaker (Under $100)

As the name implies, the Ivation 7-in-1 Bluetooth and Radio Speaker has many tricks up its sleeve. A solar panel is just one of the many features. This is a great option if you are wandering in the wilderness, going somewhere remote, or even a great addition to any emergency kit.

The design looks like an old radio and it might be a litter bulky. It’s unique in that is provides an AM/FM radio service, NOAA radio and AMBER alerts. The telescoping antenna allows you to get better reception in emergencies and remote areas.

The LED display on the front provides you with useful information like the time, date, weekday and even temperature. You can also set an alarm.

This emergency solar speaker can be charged with solar power, AC power and even with the crank charger located on the side! By rotating the crank charger handle you can power up the speaker with the kinetic energy from the rotation.

A built-in battery bank can help power your devices and the handle on top makes it easy to carry. A built-in flash light and thermometer are also included as well as a 3.5mm port for earphones to be plugged in.

Pros & Cons

Pros

L
Charges with 9V Solar Panel, AC power or crank charger
L
Am/Fm/NOAA Radio with Telescoping Antenna
L
Clock, Date, Time, Alarm
L
Flashlight, Power Bank, Thermometer
L
Water Resistant

Cons

M
Bluetooth Audio could be better
M
No AUX Port
M
3.5lbs
As you can see, solar-powered Bluetooth speakers come in many shapes and sizes with a wide variety of features. There are many other rugged outdoor speakers that do not have solar charging capabilities.

Solar speakers can definitely make your camping trip or any outdoor activity more enjoyable, but you don’t necessarily have to get a solar-powered speaker to enjoy solar.

If you found an outdoor speaker without solar charging or if you already have a great outdoor speaker another option would be to just buy a powerful portable solar power bank. There are solar charging battery banks that can hold over 25,000aMh which is plenty of battery to power your outdoor speaker with solar energy!