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The 4 best solar-powered speakers

A solar-powered speaker is a great way to listen to your favorite tunes in the great outdoors without being tied to cables or wires. For optimum outdoor listening, the best solar-powered speakers will be constructed to withstand the elements, and they'll offer plenty of play time before needing to be recharged.

Since solar-powered speakers charge in the sun, it goes without saying that they need to be built for outdoor conditions. Look for a sturdy speaker that's resistant to a little wear and tear — even better if it's water-resistant. An IPX4 rating or higher means your speaker can handle a few minutes in the rain or getting splashed at the beach — without lasting damage.

As far as play time goes, all the picks on this list offer at least 12 hours before needing to be recharged, but if you prefer not to think about recharging all that often, you can opt for a workhorse that plays for up to 60.

Last but not least, consider what perks you want your speaker to have, like the ability to charge other devices, a backup battery option, or even a built-in flashlight so you can find your way to the bathroom from your campground tent in the middle of the night.

Ready to listen up? These are best solar-powered speakers to keep the party going wherever you go.

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1. The one with the longest play time

Made from carbon fiber and utilizing a mono-crystalline solar panel, this solar-powered Bluetooth speaker offers up to a whopping 60 hours of play time on just one charge — the longest on the list. With Bluetooth 4.0 technology, it easily syncs to your device, but there's also a 3.5-millimeter audio jack for plugging it in. The small but durable speaker is shock-proof and dust-proof, with an IPX5 water-resistance rating, which means this pick can withstand a spray of water from any direction for at least three minutes

The speaker doubles as an on-the-go power bank for your phone, tablet, and other devices, and the built-in mic lets you take calls. Plus, this small speaker has a built-in flashlight and comes with carrying straps and a carabiner, so you can attach it to your backpack and be on your way.

One reviewer says: “Overall, this is a great value. The self-charging capability is neat but the best part about battery life is it lasts for days -- I have charged it only once since purchasing it and it has seen enough sun to keep the charge up towards 100%. The flashlight is a bonus. Audio quality is better than smaller speakers due to the multiple speakers and bass."

2. The budget option

This solar Bluetooth speaker isn't just the most affordable on the list, it's also the most-water resistant, boasting an IPX6 rating, meaning it can handle high pressure sprays of water for more than three minutes. This speaker has Bluetooth 4.2 technology, as well as a 3.5 millimeter jack for AUX listening, but only plays for up to 15 hours before needing to recharge — a quarter of the time as the above option. But for faster charging, you can also recharge the speaker via wall outlet.

The protective silicone housing boosts its shock and dust resistance, and the built-in microphone enables hands-free calling. It comes with a carrying strap for portability and even has a bracket, so you can mount it to your bike.

One reviewer says: “It's weatherproof and recharges from the sun. Sounds great, and I can use Bluetooth or 3.5mm AUX port. Perfect for my use, which is exclusively outdoor."

3. The one that blends into your backyard

With this solar-powered speaker rock, you can sneakily pipe music into your backyard without any obvious source. This outdoor Bluetooth 4.0 speaker offers up to 12 hours of play time, but since you're likely to just keep it in your yard at all times, there's a good chance it'll always be charged up. Of course, you can always charge it via USB too. There's no built-in microphone, and no IPX rating listed either, but Amazon reviewers reported no problem with operation after leaving the speaker out in the rain. And while you can't charge other devices with this option, reviewers noted that there is a jack for AUX-enabled listening.

One reviewer says: “I love that it’s waterproof, and I can just leave it in the garden without worrying if it will be damaged. With the solar pack, You don’t have electric cords running across the yard, and it’s very simple to use!”

4. The one with a crank radio and flashlight

Perfect for emergency kits or anyone dedicated to backpacking in the wilderness, this solar-powered speaker is outfitted with a built-in flashlight, a hand crank radio, and a weather alert system that notifies you when inclement weather is on the way. The solar speaker can also be charged via USB, but the AAA batteries make for a great backup, so you never run out of power.

The speaker itself is not Bluetooth enabled, so you'll need to have a lightning to 3.5 millimeter jack adaptor if you're using an Apple device to connect. However, play time is pretty impressive, offering up to 35 hours of AUX listening or 20 hours of radio on just one charge. But one drawback: It's not water-resistant, so you'll have to stash this in your tent if it starts to rain.

One reviewer says: “Using another supplied cable, you can also play audio from your cellphone or other device via the radios speaker. I also find the weather alert and flashlight features to be useful. All-in-all it provides exactly what I was looking for in an Emergency Radio."