A Bluetooth speaker is one of the easiest ways to listing to some music or a podcast in a home/garage gym. What do you have to look for to select the right speaker and what are the best ones.
Bluetooth speakers for a home gym should be loud enough to be able to hype you up and stand up to the noises in a gym. The sound quality should be good enough to enjoy the music or hear your podcast without distractions. Being somewhat water resistant is a plus.
Find out more about what home gym speakers should do, what they’re for and what the best options are.
Why you need a Bluetooth speaker in a home gym
First let’s take a look at why most people want to get some kind of speaker into their home gym. There are three main reasons;
- Motivation: Music can hype you up for a heavy lift like not much else can. The right music can actually improve your performance temporarily.
- Distraction: Often you just want to be distracted a little from what you’re doing. Especially during cardio exercise many people need this but also during other types of exercise. It doesn’t have to be music necessarily. Podcasts are also great ways to be distracted from that long run a little.
- Use with timers: Some gym timers or timer apps can be linked to a Bluetooth speaker so the buzzer or beeper is easier to hear. Often you can even blend this in with music automatically.
These are some of the most common reasons why people want a Bluetooth speaker in their home gym. Headphones are common as well but wearing headphones isn’t for everyone. They can be uncomfortable, don’t stay on your head during exercise or you just don’t like them. Also, if you’re working out with more than one person in your gym, wearing headphones just isn’t very social.
What to look for in a Bluetooth speaker for your gym
- Sound level: It has to produce some pretty loud music. A gym is a noisy environment and usually pretty big. You need a decent volume of sound to fill the whole room and overcome weightlifting sounds. It’s not necessary to get up to nightclub levels of volume but enough to hear the music and actually feel motivated.
- Sound quality: Loud noise is not the same as good sound. People have wildly different expectations of the sound quality of their speakers. A Bluetooth speaker is never going to produce the same sound quality as a high end stereo setup but some are still a lot better than others. I’d say the sound level is a bit more important in a gym setting but you still want to listen to your music or podcasts without distortion and should be easily understandable.
- Battery life: If the Bluetooth speaker is a battery powered one, it should last at least a few workouts. It just gets irritating if it doesn’t. A battery life of about 6 hours is enough to get you through a few workouts.
- Somewhat water resistant: Especially in a basement or garage, there can be quite a bit of moisture and/or high humidity. Electronics are pretty sensitive to water and if it isn’t water resistant, the speaker can fail pretty quickly. If this is necessary really depends on the room you put the speaker in and your local climate.
Best Bluetooth speakers for a garage/home gym
So now we know what a speaker is for and what to look for in a Bluetooth speaker for a garage or home gym, let’s see what the best options are. Not everyone is looking for exactly the same thing so I’ve selected four different speakers that all excel in a certain area while also hitting most of the other checkboxes of things to look for in Bluetooth speakers.
#1 Best Sound Quality
Want the best sounding Bluetooth speaker(s). You’re actually better off looking at a set of two speakers that are meant for more HiFi minded people.
Check out the AudioEngine A5+. It’s a pair of stereo speakers that produces very high quality sound. While they look like normal speakers on the surface, they are actually Bluetooth enabled and require minimal wiring. The Bluetooth receiver and amplifier is in one speaker, the other one is just a normal speaker. So the wires you need are a power cord (they’re not battery powered) and a speaker wire that goes from one speaker to the other. That’s it.
While it’s not quite as simple as a single Bluetooth speaker, the sound quality you’re going to get from this is miles away as well. Besides Bluetooth, you can also use USB, AUX and RCA as inputs so if you want to repurpose these speakers later on, that’s not a problem. You can mount these close to the ceiling and out of harms way because there is a simple remote control (on/off and volume) included.
AudioEngine also makes many different models of Bluetooth enabled speakers. Some are even more expensive and focused on sound quality and some are smaller than the A5+. The A5+ is a great compromise between price, functionality, sound quality and volume. The A2+ are a bit too small for a home gym.
If you just want a single speaker instead of a pair, check out the AudioEngine B2 (Amazon link).
The downsides of this set? They’re pretty expensive and aren’t very water resistant. They’re made to be put on a desk, not in a gym. However, if the humidity in your home gym is not much higher than the rest of your home, it’s fine. Just make sure to mount them somewhere safe where you don’t accidentally knock them with a weight.
Just want something that is going to hype you up for a heavy lift? Just nightclub levels of noise? Look no further than the SoundBoks. It actually looks like a speaker you would see at a concert and it produces sound that’s of similar levels. It actually tops out at an ear punching 126 Db. For reference, holding a chainsaw is about 121 Db while a fighter jet taking off with the afterburner engaged @50 feet is 130 Db. This speaker produces a silly amount of noise.
Luckily you don’t need to turn up the volume all the way because you’d have hearing damage pretty quickly.
You might think that this speaker has to be plugged in or the battery doesn’t last very long. However, this SoundBoks sports an incredible 40 hour battery life as well. That’s at mid-volume. Even at full volume it still lasts 5 hours while the recharge time is only 3.5 hours. On top of that it’s built in a very rugged way and it’s water resistant.
It’s the loudest but for most people, this is massive overkill. It’s just too much for a garage gym. While it’s a cool piece of engineering, most people don’t actually need this speaker. If you want t
#3 Loud + Good Sound Quality + Portable
All the ones above are supposed to be in place somewhat permanent. Sure, they aren’t so heavy you can’t move them but they’re not meant to just grab and take with you. If you want to get a Bluetooth speaker that’s good for in your gym but also easy to take with you for any other situation, you need something smaller. Something battery powered is also a good idea.
The Ultimate Ears Hyperboom goes pretty loud for a battery powered speaker (98 Db. max), sounds good, can last 24 hours on a charge and even has a carrying strap so you can carry it around. It weighs about 15 lbs. so it’s not light but still pretty easy to carry.
#4 Waterproof + Portable
Want something that is suitable for gym, beach and pool parties? You want something that’s waterproof. Yes, the Ultimate Ears Hyperboom is IPX4 rated but that’s not really waterproof, it’s just protection against splashing water.
The best option in this category is the JBL Boombox 2. It is relatively compact, especially for the amount of noise it produces. There is a grab handle for easy transportation, 24 hour batter life, decent bass and has an IPX7 waterproof rating. That means it can get wet without issues. The IPX7 rating means a device can be submerged up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes without issues. So an occasional rainstorm is not an issue for this JBL speaker.
All that means it’s suitable for pretty much every situation you want to put it in. The JBL Boombox 2 is about as loud as the Hyperboom however, the sound quality is not as good but on the other side the JBL is much better protected against water.
Favorite home gym tools
Many people often forget a few important pieces of their home gym that isn’t directly gym equipment. Here are my favorite home gym tools.
- Interval timer: To time your intervals and all types of other workouts, the GymNext Flex is easily the best and easiest to use.
- Mirrors: Fab & Glass (Amazon link) makes the best large mirror sheets so you can see your exercise form.
- Flooring: American Floor Mats gym flooring (Amazon) or equipment mats make your gym quieter, easier to clean and keeps your floor and equipment safe.
- Fan: The Rowenta VU5670 (Amazon) is a great way to stay cool while working out.