To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Escape P9 review: The best outdoor speaker money can buy

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £999
incl VAT

With fabulous sound, and all the power you could possibly ask for, the Escape P9 is the perfect speaker for the great outdoors


  • Breathtaking sound quality
  • Astonishingly loud
  • IPX4 weather-resistant


  • Expensive

Most outdoor wireless speakers focus on ruggedness and portability – and too often the trade-off is audio quality. The Escape P9 makes no such compromise: this Bluetooth speaker looks like part of a nuclear reactor and the sound will blow your socks off.

READ NEXT: Best Bluetooth speakers – our favourite wireless speakers

Escape P9 review: What you need to know

As is obvious from a glance, the Escape P9 is not your ordinary Bluetooth speaker. Available in stylish tan, white and black fabric finishes, it stands a whopping 731mm tall, with a square footprint measuring 293mm on each side. Inside, a set of four full-range drivers and a separate subwoofer provide 360° sound, and there’s also an internal lithium iron phosphate battery that’ll run for eight hours between charges.

As you might guess, all of this makes it rather heavy, but a sturdy aluminium handle on top helps you lug its 12.3kg weight around. And while it’s not the most portable speaker, the Escape P9 is made for the outdoors, with an IPX4 weather-resistant design and rubber flaps that cover up the charging port at the bottom and 3.5mm jack and USB connectors at the top.

Cables are very much optional, however. The speaker will connect to any standard Bluetooth source, with support for both AAC and the higher-quality aptX codec. You can also use it over Wi-Fi via the Escape smartphone app, which lets you stream music from services such as Spotify and Tidal – and gives you the option to pair a second P9 in a stereo configuration. A five-band equaliser can be tweaked to your liking, or you can use one of the indoor and outdoor presets, which adjust the bass response to suit your surroundings.

Once you’ve chosen the right settings, the sound is amazing. With the outdoor preset enabled, I found it gave simply the best performance I’ve heard from any Bluetooth speaker. The bass hits hard in MVP’s ”Bounce, Shake, Move, Stop!” and rumbles the cladding throughout Mariah Carey’s “Get Your Number”, while Mariah’s voice remains powerfully at the forefront of the song. Mid-range reproduction is excellent, with the electric guitar strokes in Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” extending flawlessly into the upper range.

Impressively for a standalone speaker, the speaker’s 360° design also produces a wide soundstage, with excellent instrument separation and fantastic tonality throughout the frequency spectrum.

What’s more, it’s all powered by a heavy-duty digital amplifier rated at 100W RMS. That’s loud enough to deliver crystal-clear music to a whole street: after setting the speaker up outside our London offices, I set the volume to 25% and could hear it clearly from the other side of the street. With the volume cranked to maximum, it felt like I was back at Notting Hill carnival – except that, unlike those loudspeakers, this one didn’t distort. No need to worry about whether the P9 is loud enough for your next garden party or camping trip.

The Escape P9 certainly isn’t cheap at £999, but there’s nothing else out there that’s quite like it. Its closest-sounding competitor is the elegant Naim Audio Mu-so at £749, but that’s only designed for indoor use. If you crave the al fresco experience, there’s the Polk Atrium 8 SDI at £270 and the Klipsch AW-650 at £350 – but those aren’t wireless. The all-weather JBL Boombox at £329 fulfils a similar role, but it doesn’t have anywhere near the audio quality or sheer volume of the P9.

Buy now from Escape Speakers

Escape P9 review: Verdict

The Escape P9 fills a niche between floorstanding Hi-Fi speakers and portable weather-resistant Bluetooth speakers – and it does so brilliantly. It’s very expensive, but with its stylish looks and incredible sonic capabilities, it’s a fantastic addition to your patio. Quite simply, it’s the best outdoor speaker money can buy.