by Adam MolinaFebruary 6, 2017

If you’re in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, good luck. There are tons of options to choose from and what might be a great value to some might not be such a steal for others. How do you know which speakers are actually worth the money and which ones are overhyped trash?

Well that’s what we’re here for. We went through all of Bluetooth speakers ever made (kind of) and compiled a list of some of our favorite Bluetooth speakers for under $100. You’re welcome.

You might also like: Best Bluetooth Speakers Under $50 or Best bluetooth speakers of 2017

JBL Flip 3

For some time JBL has been the name to beat when it comes to bang for your buck options. The Flip series is one that has garnered a lot of attention and praise for offering such good quality at such a low price. The company has refreshed their previous model, the JBL Flip 2, in a way that makes the new Flip 3 a better speaker in basically every way. For one, it’s now encased in a splashproof fabric which makes it that much more portable. The perks of getting a Flip has always been the ease with which you can pick it up and throw in a bag or even stuff it in your pocket. Keeping with that theme JBL kept the same basic shape and size of the Flip but the new splash proofing means that now if you get caught in the rain you won’t have to wrap the speaker in a plastic bag. They also found a clever new way to incorporate the on-board controls into the aesthetic of the speaker instead of having the buttons placed awkwardly on either end. Now the buttons blend nicely into the fabric which, side note, feels amazing in the hand and provides a way better grip than the plastic of the previous generations. The battery life has also been upgraded from 6 hours in the Flip 2 to about 10 in the Flip 3 and has five tiny indicator lights that let you know roughly how much battery life is left. Be sure to check out the full review if you want to know more. Still, all of the design upgrades would be essentially useless if the speaker didn’t sound good. Thankfully it still sounds great with a balanced sound and an impressive low end for it’s size. This is mainly because of the two new external passive radiators that have been implemented into either end of the speaker giving a fuller bass than many speakers we’ve heard in this price range. The JBL Flip series has been the speaker to beat for a long time and the Flip 3 continues that legacy. It remains less than $100 and comes in a total of 8 colors to match your style: black, blue, gray, orange, pink, red, yellow, and teal. Although its relatively new it already has a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon so pick one up and see what all the hype is about.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
4.1
Water-Resistance
Splashproof
Battery Life
10 hours
Weight
1 pound
Size
4.5 x 7.5 x 3.88 in
Pros
Good soundSplashproof
Cons
Average battery lifeFew playback controls

CB3 Armor XL

If you like to listen to your music outdoors then you should give the CB3 Armor XL a look. The Armor XL can handle the toughest of conditions: mud, dirt, water, drops, this speaker can handle it all. Durability aside this speaker also sounds great, deep rich beats that are sure to be a party pleaser! It doesn’t have as sleek a design as some of the other speakers on this list, but this is this rugged section isn’t it? Who cares, as long as it’s durable and sounds good. This little cube also has Bluetooth 4.0, and it can play music for a straight 10 hours. As you would expect from a speaker that’s meant to be durable, it does have a few basic playback controls built in since you’re probably not going to want to bring your $600 phone near water. Better to deal with the $79 speaker while standing in a pool than a phone. It has a power button, dedicated phone button for answering and ending phone calls, a mute button, track skipping buttons, and volume buttons. The buttons are made of a soft plastic and embedded into the rubber of the speaker on top. Bass and kick drums come through loud and clear thanks to the dual 50mm drivers so if you enjoy a strong low end, you’ll like this one. The speaker also comes with a rubber strap that you can attach to the speaker so you can dangle it from a shower head or even a backpack. While a shower or a beach might not seem like a hostile environment for you, it is for electronics so a solid build is essential. The combination of the sound and the build quality is the reason why this speaker is a perfect pick for those looking for a waterproof rugged speaker and with a score of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon it’s a solid choice.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
4.1
Water-Resistance
IPX6
Battery Life
10 hours
Weight
1.43 pounds
Size
7.9 x 3.1 x 2.7 inches
Pros
IPX6Sound qualityMultiple playback controls
Cons
Average battery life

UE Mini Boom

In a similar price range comes another little guy with a big sound, the UE Mini Boom. The regular sized UE Boom was definitely a fan favorite even though we weren’t too impressed with it for the price. However, at $120 cheaper its little brother can’t be ignored. Its technically discontinued by UE but if you can find one on Amazon for cheap, its a good deal. Though it still suffers from a lack of clear definition in the mid-range, this speaker is full of bass and gets loud. Surprisingly loud for a speaker that can fit in the palm of your hand. If you don’t want to spend more than $100 and need something small that packs a punch then definitely give this a look. Though the Mini Boom doesn’t have the same water resistance as its taller sibling, it is at least still able to connect to another UE Mini Boom via the Boom app. The company also claims a battery life of 10 hours so it should last you a while even if you can’t get near a charger. Up top you’ll find the volume up and down buttons flanking the Bluetooth button. UE claims a Bluetooth range of about 50 feet and as long as you stay within that range you shouldn’t have connection issues at all. The whole speaker is covered in a soft rubber that makes it feel smooth in the hand, but it’s still small enough that you should be able to get a good grip on it with no problem. It only weighs .7 lbs so throwing it in your bag on your way to the beach won’t be hard to do. The 1.5-inch full range driver does a good job at pushing sound and the passive radiator adds some strong bass that makes it perfect for small parties and get togethers. If you’re looking to use this for personal enjoyment and prefer a neutral sound, this may not be for you. However, if you’re looking for a speaker that gets loud and sounds fun, the UE Mini Boom won’t disappoint. Naturally it has a 3.5mm input on the back for non-wireless devices and comes in a couple of different colors including black, orange, red, and purple. Though prices fluctuate depending on which color you prefer, they all float around or below $100, which is good news considering the price point of the regular UE Boom. With 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, the UE Mini Boom is one of the best and most portable Bluetooth speakers.
Bluetooth
Yes
Water-Resistance
No
Battery Life
10 hours
Weight
0.7 pounds
Size
4.4 x 2.6 x 2.4 inches
Pros
SizeSound quality
Cons
Average battery life

Ivation Acoustix

If you’re looking for a more rugged option, then take a look at the Ivation Acoustix Bluetooth speaker. This speaker weighs slightly less than one pound at 14.4 ounces, but comes with a carabiner clip to easily attach it to a backpack. It has metal grilles covering two 4-watt speakers in a durable rubber-like IPX7 certified housing. In other words, its tough. The Acoustix can be completely submerged for up to 30 minutes in one meter of water. Hopefully this goes without saying but I dont recommend submerging any electronic device in any amount of water, but maybe thats just me. Still, it’s good to know that if you fall in a puddle or stream the speaker should be fine. Keep in mind that complete IPX7 waterproofing is a double-edged sword. Yes it can get wet but don’t expect to be blown away by sound quality since the speakers themselves have to be protected as well. The speaker has Bluetooth 4.0, an aux input, and even an FM radio if you prefer to leave your phone at home while out on your adventures. Ivation claims that the 2500 mAh will get you nine hours of constant audio, which should be enough to get you through a full days journey. The coolest feature the speaker has to offer has to be the small LCD display that lies next to the playback controls on the top of the speaker. The display tells you how much battery life is left in the speaker, the form of audio playback that is being used (aux, FM, or Bluetooth), text message notifications, name of the song that is playing, and even caller ID. If you want a durable and versatile speaker this might be for you and with 4.1 stars on Amazon, you wont be the only one surprised at how good it is.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
4.0
Battery Life
9 hours
Weight
14.4 ounces
Size
7.0 x 2.3 x 2.5 in
Pros
IPX7Cool features
Cons
Battery life

Anker Premium Bluetooth speaker

Anker has been on plenty of our lists in the past, but never this one. However that has changed once we got a chance to check out their Premium Stereo Bluetooth Speaker, henceforth referred to simply as “the Premium. At around $60, it’s too good a deal to pass on. As its name implies the speaker does have stereo capabilities, though you’ll need to be fairly close to it in order to differentiate instruments. Still, it’s good to have that extra layer of detail if you want it. The Premium aims to live up to its premium name without the cost, and it gets pretty close. The rectangular design is rounded off into smooth edges and the fabric that covers the grille gives it the look of a much more expensive retro speaker. The buttons up top are a little cheap looking, but it kind of plays into the whole retro aesthetic that Anker has going on here. It has a glossy finish to it which is a nice departure from the matte plastic were used to when it comes to inexpensive speakers. That said, the new finish does come with its cons. One thing to keep in mind is that its a huge fingerprint magnet, but as long as you wipe it down every once in a while itll look fine. The speaker can give about 8 hours of playback at 50% volume and has a range of about 33 feet thanks to the use of Bluetooth 4.0. In terms of audio, the Premium sounds more expensive than it is. Make sure to check out our full review for a more detailed description, but the summary is this: bass. The Premium sounds good in other areas but it really shines in the low end. It has two passive subwoofers that help push some serious air and it has a soft, rubberized pad on the bottom that prevents it from falling off the desk. Theres also an indicator built-into the buttons up top that let you know when the speaker is fully charged and when it is connected or in pairing mode. Overall, its a fairly straight forward speaker that does exactly what youd need it to do. At 1.4 pounds it’s not the lightest of speakers, so even though you can technically throw it in a backpack this is a speaker that will probably do best on a table or desk. With over 2,400 reviews on Amazon, it has a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars so if you’re interested in good sound for a low price the Premium should be on your shortlist.
Bluetooth
4.0
Water-Resistance
No
Battery Life
8 hours
Weight
1.37 lbs
Size
2.36 x 8.27 x 2.36 in
Pros
Solid bassNice designGets fairly loud
Cons
Mids aren't greatButtons feel cheap

UE Roll 2

UE might not be too into high end audio, but they seem to have a thing for bang for your buck audio. Case in point: the UE Roll 2. It’s not a huge improvement over the original (so if you can find the original for cheap it’s still a really good deal), but there Roll 2 is still less than $100 and you also get some added benefits as well. It gets roughly 15% louder than the original which isn’t much, but it’s enough to make some songs sound just a little bit cleaner and more enjoyable. It also has a range of roughly 100 feet, up from about 65 feet of the original. Besides that, it hasn’t changed much. It’s still IPX7 certified so you can submerge it in water and also has the handy bungee cord on the back for hanging it. On the downside playback controls are limited to only the + and - buttons for adjusting volume, but you can connect up to 8 other UE speakers together via the free app. So if you’re looking for party speakers for you and your friends, getting a few of these might not be such a bad idea. With over 200 reviews on Amazon, these have an impressive 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon.
Microphone
No
Bluetooth
Yes
Water-Resistance
IPX7
Battery Life
9 hours
Weight
11.6 ounces
Size
1.6 x 5.3 x 5.3 in
Pros
IPX7Good soundPortable
Cons
Limited playback controlsQuestionable battery life

Anker Soundcore Sport XL

The Soundcore Sport is a great little speaker, but if you don’t mind spending just a few more dollars you can get the SoundCore Sport XL which is definitely what we’d consider bang for your buck. You can usually find it for about $59 and it’s plenty more speaker than you’re probably used to at this price point. It’s a tough and durable speaker with an IP67 certification that lets it withstand submersion up to 1m. Anker also touts that it’s shock resistant and though you probably shouldn’t go testing this extensively, it’s good to know that it can at least survive a drop or two. Up top are a few playback controls so you can adjust volume, pause or resume music, and also skip to the next track. On the back you’ll also find a small exposed passive bass radiator that adds some extra power to the low end and at average volume you can squeeze out about 15 hours of constant playback which isn’t too bad. Overall, this is one of the best values you’ll find in the durable speaker category and it’s just slightly over $50. With about 700 reviews on Amazon this speaker has impressed many, earning a 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
4.1
Water-Resistance
IP67
Battery Life
15 hours
Weight
1.32 lbs
Size
1.7 x 6.9 x 3.1 in
Pros
DurableGood playback controlsLow end
Cons
Design

Sony SRSXB2

Sony has had plenty of success in a number of different tech categories, and audio is no different. Though they get plenty of acknowledgment for their headphones, they also have some really good speakers that sometimes slip under the radar such as the SRSXB2. This is a small and compact speaker that doesn’t aim to be the most durable, like some other speakers on this list. Instead Sony decided to focus on two aspects of the speaker: sound and design. And they succeeded in both. The “XB” in the name stands for “Extra Bass” and while this does have a little more of a punch in the low end, it doesn’t negatively effect the sound. At $100 and above, there might be better options than this speaker. But because you can usually find it under $100 at around $70, it’s a great option. Design-wise Sony went with a rounded pill-like design that makes it looks kind of like an alarm clock. The speakers are also aimed slightly upwards which makes it perfect for setting down at a desk or bedside table and you’ll get roughly 12 hours of battery life out of it. Sony also threw in a few nifty features as well. You can easily connect to it via NFC as long as you have a compatible device and if you want to step it up a notch, you can sync it with another SBSXB2 using “Double mode”. If a modern design and a good sound are your top priorities, this speaker might be the one for you.
Microphone
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes
Water-Resistance
Splashproof
Battery Life
12 hours
Weight
1.5 lbs
Size
8.7 x 4.2 x 5.8 inches
Pros
SoundBattery lifeSplashproof
Cons
Not too loud

 


There are tons of Bluetooth speakers in the world so we’ll update this list whenever one deserving the title of “Best” reaches our ears. If you have any suggestions or feel we missed a quality device be sure to let us know so we can check it out for ourselves. Who knows, your recommendation might pop up on the updated list.

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