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.
JBL Flip 3Full Review
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.
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.
UE Roll 2Full Review
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.
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.
Anker Soundcore Sport XLFull Review
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 $60.
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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