One of my favourite things: A small blue-tooth speaker

The House of Marley No Bounds Blue tooth speaker is an ideal choice for a gardener to bring their favourite tunes into the yard.

The House of Marley No Bounds Blue tooth speaker is an ideal choice for a gardener to bring their favourite tunes into the yard.

Every gardener needs one of these small, waterproof blue-tooth speakers

I am passionate about two things: one is obviously gardening, the other is music.

So whenever the two can come together, I’m game.

Remember the days of running speaker wire to the backyard patio and maybe tucking a couple of old speakers under your home’s rafters. Then there was the indoor/outdoor speakers you could wire up under a pergola or some other outdoor structure. More recently we got those fancy plastic waterproof speakers that look like rocks that we can spread around the garden.

Closeup of the Marley No Bounds blue tooth speaker.

Closeup of the Marley No Bounds blue tooth speaker.

Not the best sound quality but you do what you have to do to drown out the neighbours’ annoying gas-powered leaf blower or lawnmower.

Music, like a garden fountain or some other form of moving water, can do wonders to drown out neighbourly noise in the garden. Just be sure that you are not the one creating all the noise. Just because you think Bob Dylan is the greatest, doesn’t mean your neighbours want to listen to yet another version of Blowin’ in the Wind.

One of the problems with music in the garden is that you need it loud enough to hear, but not so loud that it annoys your neighbours. Ideally, you set the volume to a level they don’t even hear.

If I’m alone in the garden, my trusty ipod with headphones or a good pair of earbuds allows me to play it as loud as I want. The Boss can be cranked and Bob Dylan can sing his heart out without annoying anyone including my wife who is, shall we say, not a big fan.

But when you don’t want to use headphones or earbuds, or you want to share your music with garden visitors, it’s hard to beat one of the many blue tooth mini-speakers that are now available at Amazon and most electronic stores.

Up until recently, I didn’t give these tiny speakers much thought. Being a little old school where bigger is always better, it was hard to take these mini wireless speakers seriously.

I mean, how good could they be?

Well, I learned quickly, they can sound pretty darn good. But it’s not just the high-quality sound that makes them so great for the garden or patio. It’s their size, portablility and the fact that you can set one down right beside you and enjoy the music while your neighbours will likely not hear a thing.

If you subscribe to one of the many music streaming services, you can go anywhere in the garden with your phone streaming to your wireless speaker. If you are streaming from a computer in the home, the limited blue-tooth range will keep you close to the source.

These small speakers act more like headphones than traditional speakers in the sense that you can place one right beside you on a table or on the arm of an adirondack chair beside the wine glass and the music is isolated to that small area. Although it may sound loud to you because the speaker is literally right beside you, the sound really does not carry very far.

I recently experimented with two of these small bluetooth speakers. Both were purchased for just a little over $50 Canadian and both delivered excellent streaming sound from my indoor computer playing itunes.

My first purchase was the Sony SRS-XB12 Extra Bass Portable speaker. This thing is small but packs quite the punch for its size. It comes in five colours: black, red, silver, blue and green, is waterproof and has up to 16 hours of battery life. Another nice feature is that you can add a second speaker that syncs up with the first for stereo sound.

The rubberized speaker is waterproof so it will survive if left out in the rain or in the path of the sprinkler. It also feels almost indestructible. The extra bass gives it a solid sound, not the least bit tinny. I spent an entire Saturday afternoon with it, listening to a variety of music and not once was I fatigued by the sound of the music.

It’s now in my daughter’s possession. She loves it for use on her Toronto Condo’s balcony and for the hotel when she travels.

The second speaker I tested is from the House of Marley (yes, that is Bob Marley’s family’s business). The No Bounds outdoor speaker is slightly larger than the Sony product and looks more like a hockey puck than the cyclindrical shape of the Sony. The Marley has a 10-hour battery, is water and dust proof, is buoyant if dropped into water and comes with a nice carabiner to clip it onto your clothing or hook it from a branch in the garden.

For environmental conscious gardeners, there are a lot of good reasons to purchase the House of Marley speaker. All of this company’s products are elegantly designed and have a very high-quality feel and look to them. For example, the speaker is:

  • Crafted from Marley’s exclusive Rewind Fabric, Regrind Silicone, Regrind Cork and Recyclable Aluminum.

  • able to wirelessly team up with another speaker to boost the listening experience and create an element of surround sound

In addition – and gardeners will appreciate this – for every speaker sold, the company says it will plant a tree.

Add to all this, a high-quality sound that captures both the highs and lows with excellent fidelity.

I have used the company’s ear buds for years with my ipod and love the sound and build quality.

In the end, I can recommend both products with great confidence. I like the House of Marley speaker’s elegant design, use of recycled material and their environmental approach to the business. The Sony is perfect for someone who is looking for a tiny speaker that packs a lot of punch for its size.

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you) I try to only endorse products I have either used, have complete confidence in, or have experience with the manufacturer. Thank you for your support. This blog would not be possible without your continued support.

Vic MacBournie

Vic MacBournie is a former journalist and author/owner of Ferns & Feathers. He writes about his woodland wildlife garden that he has created over the past 25 years and shares his photography with readers.

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