With Bluetooth speakers, it’s simply a matter of pairing your device of choice with your speaker, and you’re ready to blast that awesome playlist from anywhere. No more being tethered by an aux cable or worrying that your CD will skip. As long as you’re within range (and the connection range is pretty generous), your music will always be at your fingertips.
But there are a ton of different Bluetooth speakers out there. Some can connect to multiple devices at once, and others can even connect to multiple speakers to expand the sound. Most let you take hands-free calls when your smartphone is connected, so you don’t have to lift a finger. There are nice big ones with great sound, and smaller portable (even waterproof) speakers that you can take with you to the beach.
In short, getting the right Bluetooth speaker really depends how and where you plan to put your new sound system to use. Do you want something that you can pull out during dinner parties to add a festive mood? Are you hoping to find something that you can throw next to the pool or bring into the shower with you? There are tons of features and options to consider when shopping for a Bluetooth speaker—and, these days, you can get pretty much any specifications for under $100.
What features should you look for in a Bluetooth speaker?
Battery life: Certain Bluetooth speakers will last for days without needing to be plugged in while others seem to run out of juice after just an afternoon of playing music. Ten hours of wireless play time is a pretty decent benchmark to look for.
Wireless range: Be sure to double check the wireless range before making any purchases—especially if you’re hoping to use it as the main speaker throughout your home or apartment. A decent range is considered to be around thirty feet but you might want to go a bit higher if you live in a larger space or a two storey home.
Durability: Depending on what and where you plan on using your Bluetooth speaker, you might want to take durability into account. These days, there are tons of excellent features that will ensure your speaker works well even after taking a beating. Look for things like waterproof or water resistant capabilities and built-in drop protection if you expect to use your speaker outside or at parties.
Smart home capabilities: If you’ve already started building your smart home—you might want to consider picking up a Bluetooth speaker that you can add to the mix. There are many voice-enabled speakers on the market that will make it all the more easy to control.
What are the best budget-friendly Bluetooth speakers on the market?
With all the options on Bluetooth speakers, it can be hard to know which ones are worth the money, so we’ve done the legwork for you.
We’ve sniffed out a few of the best-reviewed Bluetooth speakers from retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy and have narrowed down the list to help you decide which is the right fit for you.Here are some of the best-reviewed (and cheap) Bluetooth speakers, all less than $100:
Not just a speaker, but a voice assistant
If you’re just looking for a speaker, others are better
The Echo dot is both a smart speaker and a voice assistant, making it a versatile choice.
Amazon Echo Dot
You can pair it with other Bluetooth speakers, so you can use the Echo Dot as a smart hub to control your music all throughout your home.
When the Amazon Echo Dot first debuted in 2016, we were quick to name it
The Dot is about the size of the hockey puck and is the cheapest option from Amazon’s family of smart speakers. Though it can do a lot, it lacks the 2.5-inch woofer, 2-inch tweeter, and reflex port of its big brother, the Echo. That said, the Dot is a great Bluetooth speaker that delivers a lot for the price.
when it first hit the market:
The Echo Dot, like the Echo, is a must-have if you intend to build a smart home and control everything with your voice, especially if you want to have a multi-room or multi-floor set-up.
It’s small, easy to set up, and the Alexa voice commands are as responsive and intuitive as ever. I can’t recommend it enough if you don’t want to pay extra for the Echo’s built-in speaker.
One of the best features is that you can pair it with other Bluetooth speakers, so you can use the Echo Dot as a smart hub to control your music all throughout the home. Though it regularly clocks in at $39.99 on Amazon, we’ve seen it drop as low as $29.99 for Black Friday.
Compact size • Decent wireless range • Very good price for quality
Max volume sounds a bit harsh
If you’re looking for a fun little speaker that’s reliable and affordable, look no further than the JBL FLIP 5—it’s waterproof, durable, and offers superior sound quality for the price.
JBL FLIP 5
Budget-friendly, high quality sound, and impressively durable.
These days, you can get a great Bluetooth speaker without spending a lot of cash. In fact, the JBL FLIP 5 is a top quality option at any price range. This compact speaker offers a decent 12 hour battery life, an impressive wireless range, and a very lightweight design that makes it easy to move around the house or throw into your bag for a jam session in the park.
Very Compact size • Impressive battery life • Available in a variety of cool colors
Wireless range could be better
Looking for a compact speaker to take with you on the go or tuck incognito into a bookcase? This micro-mini speaker is surprisingly powerful but takes up very little space.
Anker Soundcore Mini
You don’t need to go big to get great sound and the adorably miniature but surprisingly powerful Anker Soundcore Mini is proof of that.
Bluetooth speakers are oftentimes quite clunky or heavy to tote around, but the tides have begun to turn on the portable speaker. The Anker Soundcore Mini offers all the same features of a larger sized speaker without the extra weight and bulk. In fact, it’s actually quite cute.
Offers aux and SD/TF card options • Ability to make hands-free calls • Very highly reviewed
Last just 5 hours on a charge, but for this price that’s not bad
This budget powerhouse has some of the best reviews for a Bluetooth speaker we’ve ever seen.
gives you plenty of options to play music. Of course you have your Bluetooth connection, but you can also use the classic aux cable or even use an SD/TF card insert to play your favorite tunes. It lasts for five hours on a single charge, and it can even handle hands-free calls. With 100% of users giving it 5-star reviews, it’s definitely worth a look. Amazon users like
love its size and portability.
66-foot range • Excellent reviews • 24-hour battery life
Not a lot of negative things to say!
If you’re looking for an all-purpose Bluetooth speaker that pairs fast and has range and battery life, this could be your best bet.
The battery life on the Anker Soundcore Bluetooth speaker
is seriously impressive. This small speaker can blast the tunes for a full 24 hours and can pair with devices from up to 66 feet away — more than twice the distance of some of the other ranges we’ve seen in Bluetooth devices at this price point. Available in black, blue, or red, the Anker Soundcore speaker has more than 10,000 customer reviews on Amazon, with many commenting on how much they love it. (No wonder this speaker has received a 5-star rating from 76% of reviewers.) Don’t take it from us though — the reviews speak for themselves.
This Bluetooth speaker is absolutely fantastic! The highs, mids and lows are all very clear even at full volume. The build quality is very good albeit a bit simplistic in its styling (it still looks good so I really can’t complain). Its the Sound Cores function that matters more to me, in that regard the Anker Sound Core delivers on sound quality, battery life and its ability to quickly pair with my phone!
Waterproof • Very durable • Highly rated
Some reviewers say it can have trouble holding a charge
If you want to use your speaker outdoors without worry, this is probably your best bet.
is supposedly rugged and durable. It uses a smooth rubber exterior that is designed to protect it from bumps and scratches. According to the product page, it’s also waterproof and can last up to 30 minutes in three feet of water, making a perfect companion for those poolside parties or shower singalongs. You can also buy two and hook them up to each other for a more immersive surround sound experience.
Super rugged and durable • Has a port for plugging in a karaoke microphone • Great battery life
Some reviewers complain that it’s not loud enough
If you have big outdoor plans for your speaker, this one can withstand dust, snow, mud, and water.
Prepare to meet a juggernaut of an Amazon’s Choice Bluetooth speaker. It’s not only portable and waterproof —
, it can also weather dust, snow, and mud. It can even supposedly withstand full water submersion for up to 33 feet for 30 minutes. Don’t know how your speaker would ever be involved in those kinds of weather conditions, but at least you know it’ll be okay. You can even do some karaoke by plugging in an external microphone. The battery life is pretty good on this wireless speaker — it can last up to 30 hours at 50% volume, and the rechargeable battery can be brought back up to full power in about three hours.
24-hour battery life • Super long range • Great reviews of sound quality • Small and portable
Some reviewers say there’s a slight sound delay
This immensely popular lightweight option has long battery life and a large range, so you can feel free to wander.
A portable Bluetooth speaker is already pretty awesome, but
can apparently last for over 24 hours so the party can keep going all day and night. It’s also another waterproof speaker that’s primed for poolside parties or relaxing bath time playlists. While most other Bluetooth speakers have a range of 33 feet, this one boasts double the connection range at 66 feet, so you’re free to roam around the party without worrying that you’ll kill the music.
Water-resistant • Can connect to up to 3 devices at once • App-enabled • Allows hands-free calls
Doesn’t hold a charge for as long as some speakers
This high-quality speaker can connect to up to three devices at once, and features colored lights to improve any party.
Sony’s known for great consoles, cool TVs, and negotiating custody over Spider-Man
film rights with Marvel Studios. By that logic, is it really any surprise that their Bluetooth speakers have the same kind of quality?
, which just makes the cut at $99.99, is portable enough to bring with you in your bag, but stands out thanks to its high-resolution sound. The battery lasts for up to 12 hours on a single charge, and it’s water-resistant for all types of weather. It can also connect to up to three devices at once, so everyone can have a turn playing their favorite music. It’s even app-enabled so you can control the music from a distance, and its light function can help your party aesthetic.
5 color-changing modes • Pairs with an app that allows voice commands • Weather resistant
Goes just 8 hours on a charge
If you’re looking for something different, this speaker’s mood lighting and voice-command app could be for you.
Small and compact can usually do the trick, but there’s definitely nothing wrong with the heavy hitters. Namely,
. Still small enough to be called portable, this speaker is built to withstand watery environments for poolside parties and raves in the rain. It even has accent lighting with five color-changing modes to fit the mood. According the product page, there’s a Melody app that lets your speaker recognize voice commands for streaming your music.