Written By Tijana Sredanovic
Published Feb. 25, 2021

We all know it’s not the best idea to wear earbuds to listen to music while riding on our bikes (not to mention that it’s also illegal in many places). Still, it’s nice to be able to listen to the radio or music during a ride, either to add motivation, promote serenity, or kick up your enjoyment level a notch. This is when an external bike speaker can be a real game-changer. Now you can listen to music while you ride without worrying about not being able to hear important sounds that might alert you to oncoming riders, traffic, or other hazards. 

If you’re considering purchasing a bike speaker for your next ride, check out our complete product review and buying guide to help you learn what to look for to ensure you get a high-quality, reliable bike speaker that will make those miles fly by. 

 

The Best Bike Speakers

This speaker is made by a well-respected manufacturer known for continually producing high-quality, durable, and premium sounding outdoor speakers. This particular model is available in 14 different and fun color and pattern options so that you can choose your favorite. This speaker is a uniquely designed ultra-compact, Bluetooth-enabled speaker that is IPX7 waterproof rated to go anywhere, even in bad weather. It’s a surprisingly small size with a surprisingly big sound that can play for up to 10 hours of continuous use before needing a recharge.

It’s powered by a 1000mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which isn’t the strongest on the market but should be more than enough to last your entire ride. The attached carabiner means you can hook this speaker almost anywhere, but unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a handlebar mount.

Key Features
  • Palm-sized portable speaker with attached carabiner
  • IPX7 waterproof-rated
  • Available in 14 color and pattern options
  • Ten hours of uninterrupted play time
Specification
  • Brand JBL
  • Model CLIP 3
  • Weight 7.7 ounces
PROS

Ideal for traveling anywhere, not just on your bike

Powerful and clear sound quality

Can connect to your cell phone to allow calls

CONS

A little pricey

No handlebar attachment to make it bike specific

Not as long of a play time as some models

Offered at a super competitive price point, this compact speaker is Bluetooth ready and mounts right to your handlebar for easy access. You can play your favorite music and answer phone calls while you’re out and about. The speaker also functions as a portable torchlight with three separate modes for nighttime riding as a bonus. This speaker comes equipped with a long-lasting 4,000mAh rechargeable battery that can provide up to 24 hours of music play. It’s water-resistant, dust-proof, and shock-proof, so it can easily handle the roughest trails. A built-in 40mm driver and Neodymium stereo amplifier delivers a full, high-quality sound. With its handy USB port, you can even use it to charge your phone.

This speaker functions on a swivel-mount, which reviewers say tends to move around on bumpy trails, and the speaker is a little on the bulky side. Also, this product does not come with a warranty.

Key Features
  • Bluetooth enabled, handlebar mounted speaker
  • Water-resistant, dust-proof, shock-proof
  • Equipped with a 200-lumen, multifunction torchlight for nighttime riding
  • Includes mounting bracket, carabiner, and audio cable
Specification
  • Brand Zealot
  • Model S1
  • Weight 300 grams
PROS

Very affordable

Lightweight

Good sound quality for the price

CONS

Bulky

No warranty

Speaker tends to move around during bumpy rides

This bike speaker has an incredible 100-foot Bluetooth range, allowing you to move around without having to stick too close to the speaker for it to function. This compact speaker is also IP67-rated to be 100 percent waterproof. Built-in extension bass gives this little speaker a surprisingly weighty bass sound that many other portable speakers on the market lack. A cleverly designed tear-resistant strap lets you quickly attach this speaker to your bike’s handlebars, backpack, suitcase, and much more. You can also connect this speaker to a second Micro to let you amplify the sound for up to eight hours of uninterrupted play.

While this is a well-made speaker, it’s not the most compact or aerodynamic on our list and can tend to get in the way of some bike riders. Also, customers have said that there is a degradation of sound quality at high volumes.

Key Features
  • 100 feet of Bluetooth range
  • 100 percent waterproof portable bike speaker
  • Dust-proof protective housing
  • Bass extension for a better sound
Specification
  • Brand Tribit
  • Model BTS10
  • Weight 10.4 ounces
PROS

Can connect to another Micro for bigger sound

Rugged strap allows you to secure it to almost anything

Reasonable price tag

CONS

Bulkier than some other models

Not a lot of color options

Some concern about degradation of sound quality at high volumes

The Kunodi Outdoor Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker gets high marks for being an affordable and high-quality bike speaker that is one of the most compact on our list. It’s fully IPX45 waterproof-rated for dependable use in a wide range of weather conditions. It comes equipped with a specially designed mounting bracket for secure and precise placement on your bike handlebars. It also comes with a heavy-duty aluminum carabiner for more versatile travel options. This speaker is both shock-proof and dust-proof and will hold up to some serious riding. When this speaker is connected to your phone’s Bluetooth, you can monitor its battery life on your phone’s display.

However, it’s only capable of 4-5 hours of continuous playback before needing a recharge. It’s also one of the heaviest speakers on our list, weighing almost a full pound. That being said, it still gets great reviews for top-notch sound quality.

Key Features
  • Fully waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof portable speaker
  • Includes bike mounting bracket
  • Includes aluminum carabiner for additional travel options
  • Very compact sizing
Specification
  • Brand Kunodi
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 13.6 ounces
PROS

Specifically designed to be used on your bike

Great for use while hiking, camping, even taking a shower

Good sound quality

CONS

Heavier than many other models

Limite color options

Very short battery life

This bike speaker is a super powerful 8-watt, 360-degree surround speaker that offers an impressive 15 hours of continuous playback time on a single charge, making it one of the longest-lasting options on our list. It’s also got a 100-foot Bluetooth radius for added versatility. This bike speaker also comes with a convenient bike-specific handlebar mount and handy remote control. It’s sized to fit easily in your palm and also comes with a micro SD card slot, FM radio capability, and an AUX port, so you can use it in your car if you want.

While this little bike speaker is shock-proof and dust-proof, it’s not fully waterproof. It is rated IPX4 as water-resistant, but we don’t recommend using it in a downpour or accidentally submerging it in water. There is also some concern that the bike mount’s orientation and strength allows for too much movement during rough rides.

Key Features
  • Powerful 8-watt bike speaker
  • Includes bike-specific handlebar mount
  • Allows up to 15 hours of playback
  • 100 feet of Bluetooth range
Specification
  • Brand Clearon
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 11 ounces
PROS

Powerful and loud sound quality

Super long battery life

Lots of music playing options, including FM radio

CONS

Not fully waterproof

Bike mount bracket could be stronger

Speaker orientation when mounted on bike is not optimal for best sound

This is a great value speaker that won’t break your budget but will still deliver a good-quality sound. It comes equipped with a detachable bicycle mount and metal hook so you can affix the speaker to your bike’s handlebars or take it camping, boating, hiking, etc. It’s fully waterproof with a rating of IP65, so don’t worry about taking it out in the rain or dropping it in a puddle. This speaker offers a very respectable 10 hours of continuous playtime, thanks to its 1,200mAh rechargeable battery. It’s compatible with the latest Bluetooth 5.0 devices and provides a decent range of 33 feet. It also comes with a 3.5mm AUX cable for direct connection to your phone, tablet, or car stereo.

There is some concern about the long-term durability of the speaker’s sound quality—we don’t recommend playing it at full volume all the time.

Key Features
  • Bluetooth 5.0 capable portable speaker
  • Comes with handlebar mount with additional grip strips for added stability
  • IP65 waterproof-rated
  • Ten hours of playback time
Specification
  • Brand Olafus
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 12.8 ounces
PROS

Super affordable

Very compact

Versatile use options

CONS

Some concern over the long-term durability of the speaker quality

Constant play at loud volumes drains battery life faster

No multiple listening options

Best Bike Speakers Buying Guide & FAQ

Now that you’ve seen some of our top picks for high-quality speakers, it’s time to learn how to judge for yourself if a bike speaker is good enough to deserve your time and money. 

Choosing the best bike speaker can be a very subjective thing based on your personal needs, priorities, and tastes, but we’ve got you covered with the technical must-haves that will ensure you at least get a durable, long-lasting, high-quality sound producer that you can use for riding.

Why Do You Need a Bike Speaker?

An external portable bike speaker is an excellent and safe alternative to using earbuds to listen to music while you ride. It lets you better hear surrounding traffic, cyclists, and people so that you can avoid unnecessarily injuring yourself or someone else while riding but still enjoy the fun and motivation of your favorite tunes while out on the trails or roads.

External bike speaker allowing you to listen to music while you ride without worrying about not being able to hear important sounds

Bike speakers also do double duty as great options for listening to music while hiking, camping, picnics, boating, hanging at the beach. They can even be used in your car if your car stereo isn’t equipped with the ability to connect to your phone to stream your favorite playlists.

  • A good bike speaker can be used in numerous settings, not just when riding your bike.
  • Bike speakers that are rugged and durable can withstand harsh weather conditions and bumpy rides, making them a great overall choice.
  • A bike speaker allows you to keep your ears open for surrounding riding hazards, making it safer than using your earbud or headphones.

Types of Bike Speakers

There are only a couple of types to choose from when it comes to bike-specific speakers, making your decision on that front at least a little bit easier. Again, this choice is all about personal preference and what you hope to get out of your bike speaker.

Handlebar-Mounted

Handlebar-mounted speakers come with a specially designed bracket or attachment that allows you to affix the speaker to your handlebars while riding. The speaker is angled toward your face so that you can get the most out of the sound output. 

The benefit to this type of speaker is that you can easily remove the speaker from your bike and take it with you to listen to while you do other activities. The drawback is that the farther the speaker is from you, the lower the sound quality and volume, sometimes making it hard to hear when surrounding traffic noises are also loud and chaotic. 

Helmet-Mounted

These speakers have an external MP-3 or Bluetooth device that attaches to the back of your bike helmet and two small speakers that mount near your ears on either side of the helmet. The idea is that the speakers act almost like earbuds by being very close to your ears to minimize sound loss and distortion, but they also keep your ear canal free to hear external sounds around you.

The benefit to a helmet speaker is that you get clearer, more high-profile sound while riding. The drawback is that this type of speaker is situational-specific and doesn’t work well for applications off your bike. Because of that, this type of bike speaker is rapidly losing ground to the more versatile and practical handlebar speaker.

The Most Important Features of Bike Speakers

As with many tech items, quality and reliability can vary greatly between brands. There are certain features to look for in a good bike speaker to guarantee that you’re getting a rugged, high-quality sound that will last for a long time. 

Sound Quality

This is one of the most important features to assess when choosing a bike speaker. Since no one wants to listen to muffled, distorted, weak, or static-y music, you need to select a speaker that delivers clear, clean sound with a great bass component, even at high volumes. A high-quality bike speaker won’t get overly distorted and sloppy as the volume increases. Look for something with dual audio drivers and a 360-degree setup. An additional subwoofer component is also a nice touch.

Connectivity Options

It’s a good idea to purchase a bike speaker with a wide range of connectivity options. That gives you the advantage of listening to music in multiple formats and being able to use the speaker in a lot of different situations other than just biking. Bluetooth is great but also look for speakers that offer a USB port, micro SD card slot, or even an auxiliary cable port so you can get the most bang for your buck from your bike speaker. 

Battery Life

Battery life may not seem like such a big deal until your speaker dies in the middle of a long ride. If you’re an endurance rider or just don’t want to always worry about charging your speaker, steer clear of bike speakers with small battery capacity and short battery life. A good quality speaker can play for 10-24 hours of uninterrupted play before needing a recharge.

Bike speakers are great options for listening to music while hiking, camping, picnics, boating, hanging at the beach

Also, consider whether you want a fully waterproof bike speaker or one that’s just water-resistant. Reading online user reviews is also a great idea when looking for a good quality bike speaker. Getting one that gets high ratings and is well trusted by lots of other consumers improves the odds that you’ll be happy with it as well.

Best Bike Speakers FAQs:

Still have some questions about choosing the best bike speaker? We’ve got you covered with comprehensive answers to some of the most frequently asked questions floating around the internet.

Q: What is the usual wattage of a 360-degree Bluetooth speaker?

The usual wattage of a good 360-degree speaker is between 4-8 watts, with the higher wattage offering a stronger output. For outdoor biking, you don’t want something below 4 watts. Otherwise, it gets hard to hear it with surrounding ambient noises.

Q: How loud are 3-watt and 2-watt speakers?

Two- and 3-watt speakers are usually loud enough to create a good ambient sound that you can easily carry on a conversation with. Usually, a 2-watt speaker will have a maximum decibel rating of 98, and a 3-watt speaker will max out at 100 decibels, which is plenty of sound for most portable speakers.

Our Top Pick

After getting through our complete buying guide, you can probably guess why we chose the JBL Clip 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker as our top pick. This speaker is a uniquely designed and ultra-compact, Bluetooth-enabled speaker that is IPX7 waterproof rated. It’s capable of continuous play for up to 10 hours before needing a recharge. The sound quality and bass are top-notch, and the attached carabiner means you can hook this speaker almost anywhere.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a versatile bike speaker that will amp up the enjoyment of your ride and go with you wherever else you want to take it, you can’t go wrong with the JBL Clip 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker. For a more affordable option, the Zealot Portable Wireless Bicycle Speaker is another excellent bike speaker.

Sources:

  1. Loudspeaker – Wikipedia

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