Probably the best way to enjoy music in your hot tub is to use the built-in speakers. With the top brands, the sound system comes as standard, but when you are paying for a mid-priced hot tub, built-in speakers are an expensive added extra, with some companies charging $800 or more. In this article, we look for alternatives that may save you money in the long-term and suggest that a floating waterproof speaker may be a more versatile option than built-in speakers!!
Built-in Bluetooth speakers
Built-in Bluetooth speakers are a great way to listen to music in your hot tub. Unfortunately, they can be an added expense and the sound and build quality may not be great. They also tend to have a limited guarantee (1-2 years) compared with a 10 – 12-year warranty for your hot tub. I asked a local hot tub dealership why this was, and he said the speakers were in ‘harsh conditions and may need to be replaced after two years or so.’ If this is the case with some speakers, then they may cost you a lot of money in the long run. This is why I started to look for alternatives, and I have collated your options in this article.
Bring your indoor speakers outside!
This may work okay if you are having a casual party, but indoor speaker’s sound tends to get lost in open space. This is because they are designed to work indoors and they use the walls to bounce sound. Even my sophisticated Sonos Play:5 struggles outside and that is a $500 speaker system. Also, it is unlikely your speaker system will be waterproof, so you may be taking a risk with it.
These are fabulous for outdoor use and can fill the air with a lush, vibrant sound. But there are two problems when using them as an alternative to the hot tub speakers. Firstly a good system is expensive and needs to be installed appropriately to get the best sound out of the speakers. The second problem is you have to have them very loud to be clear enough over the noise of the pump and jets in the hot tub. Unless your neighbours are understanding, or very far away, we need to think about something else.
My criteria for finding a cheaper solution…
I did not want to spend too much money on the alternative but equally didn’t want to pay $20 and get something next to useless. I, therefore, set my budget at around 100 bucks. I also wanted to be able to enjoy the music when the jets were on full, as well as if they were on the low, quiet setting.
Waterproof floating speakers
This is the best option in my opinion if you have not got (or do not want to spend $800 on) a built-in Bluetooth sound system. These floating speakers fall into two broad categories – those that are designed to be used floating in the water and those that will float if they accidentally fall in the water.
Monster SuperStar BackFloat High Definition Bluetooth Waterproof Floating Speaker
I love this speaker! It is designed to float in the water, and it also looks super cool. The sound quality is above average for a speaker of this size with full lows and crisp highs, and I was enormously excited about trying it in the hot tub. When you throw it in the hot tub and turn it on, it is very satisfying when the sound coming from it throws the water off the speakers in time to the music – great to see!
The Monster speaker is designed for use in swimming pools and as soon as I put the jets on the shortcomings of the speaker became clear. When the water was agitated, the speaker was unstable in the water, causing water to flow onto the speakers faster than it could throw the water off. The water distorted the sound quality and each time it bobbed under the water feature; the speaker was pushed under the water resulting in no sound at all!
Don’t worry, this cloud does have a silver lining! The speaker can also be stood on its side, out of the water completely. This results in the speakers facing directly towards you and the improvement in the sound were noticeable. For hot tub use, I recommend it is used out o the water. I placed in on the cup-holder section of the tub, and it worked very well. One concern going forward is the risk of one of the children knocking the speaker onto the floor. The Monster speaker is probably rugged enough to cope with his once, but multiple times – not so sure.
This is a fantastic speaker and the base notes it achieves for a speaker this size is impressive. I think the sound quality of this speaker is better than then Monster, but there is not a lot in it. The architecture of the speaker is beautiful with bespoke designs that ensure everyone will find one they adore; no matter what their style or preferred colour is.
Unlike the Monster SuperStar BackFloat, it is not designed to float with the speaker side up. But it does come with a ‘Floatie’ which allows it to bob about in the water. The Floatie is an inflatable ring which the UE Roll 2 speaker fits snuggly into. The bungee cord on the back of the speaker attaches the speaker to the floatie, creating a remarkably stable float. As the floatie keeps the speaker out of the water by about 2 inches, the speaker is much less likely to overheat. With the jets on full, the speaker stayed afloat and sounded pretty good too!! When it went under the water feature, the sound got muffled a little by the water, but importantly the floatie was not flipped.
With most things in life, it’s the small details that make the most significant differences and with this speaker that difference is the bungee cord at the back. This bungee cord can be used to attach the speaker to many different points around the hot tub. This reduces the risk of the speaker being accidentally destroyed by the darling ankle biters!! (children..)
Top Tip: If you are using Chlorine to sanitize your hot tub, then remember to rinse the bungee cord after it has been in the chlorinated water. This will stop it fading and keep it looking great longer. Find out the difference between bromine and chlorine here.
So, which waterproof speaker is best for use in the hot tub?
In my opinion, the ultimate ears Roll 2 Bluetooth waterproof speaker is the best alternative to a built-in speaker system for your hot tub. It sounds incredible. It floats above the water so will not have overheating issues and the handy bungee means that is can be positioned anywhere securely around your hot tub. Unlike built-in speakers, the ultimate ears roll 2 can be taken anywhere, from the beach for a picnic or even with you on holiday. A versatile, brilliant speaker system.
There are other speakers on the market that cost a little more but have better sound quality like the JBL Charge 4, but this only has a wrist strap so could be knocked off the edge of the tub onto the hard floor. If you are not very clumsy and keep the kids away from the hot tub, then maybe give it some consideration.
Thanks for reading – happy hot tubbing!!