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Best Bluetooth speakers under $100
The right Bluetooth speaker under $100 is hard to find. Most of us don’t mind if a speaker that costs less than $20 breaks because it was “good enough” while it lasted. You might even be able to afford to replace it. But that’s not something you want to keep doing when the cost exceeds $100. These aren’t cheap Bluetooth speakers, and as such, we look for a certain level of durability and quality in them. These Bluetooth speakers need to be more than good enough, and we’ve made sure you’ll get your money’s worth with every option on our list.
- This list was updated on January 24, 2024, to add the Soundcore Motion 300 to our Top Picks and ensure the timeliness of the information within.
The JBL Flip 6 is the best Bluetooth speaker for ~$100
Yes, we know the JBL Flip 6 retails for $129, which surpasses the threshold of this list. But we still highlight it here because you can often find it on sale for under $100, such as during Black Friday.
This speaker brings a few improvements over the fifth-generation model, like a new multi-driver sound system and Bluetooth 5.1. You still get JBL’s signature sound, and it’s just as easy as ever to sync this Bluetooth speaker with your devices.
Hikers, bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts are sure to appreciate the upgrade to an IP67 dust- and water-resistant rating when they take the Flip 6 out and about. Similarly, shower singers will also enjoy the loud output from the Flip 6 that overcomes ambient sounds. You don’t need to be an outdoor adventurer or shower Sinatra to enjoy the Flip 6: anyone who wants an easy-to-use Bluetooth speaker will get JBL’s speaker to work in no time.
For a small and packable speaker, check out the Bose Soundlink Micro
Bose is a company that you can usually count on the make some pretty good audio products, and the SoundLink Micro is no exception. It doesn’t sound amazing, but as something that can fit in your hand, it really isn’t meant to. This speaker is for people who tend to be a little rougher on their devices. Its IPX7 build makes it waterproof, while the rubber body makes it hard to scratch, get dirty, or break in general.
Battery life isn’t great at just over four hours (two hours short of the six hours that the company claims), but it does have a silicone strap that lets you attach it to everything from your beach chair to a backpack strap. Plus, it only weighs about 289g. making it a super lightweight and portable option for anyone looking for music on the go.
The UE WONDERBOOM 3 is the best waterproof speaker under $100
The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is one of the most durable portable speakers under $100 on the market, and it’s a great option for anyone looking for an outdoor option with an IP67 dust and water resistance rating. UE continues its streak of high-value audio, building off the success of the WONDERBOOM 2. The new model brings an hour longer battery life (up to 14 hours) and increased bass. Additionally, you can pair two WONDERBOOM speakers together for a wireless stereo experience — great for outdoor parties or camping.
The focus on physical buttons for controlling every single feature of the product is something that isn’t found on a lot of Bluetooth devices. It’s small, sturdy, and light enough to be thrown in a backpack easily.
The Amazon Echo (5th Gen) is one of the best smart speakers
The Amazon Echo (5th Gen) is the latest and greatest edition of Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker line. Once you download the Alexa app, you’ll be able to hook up the speaker with any other Alexa speakers you might have in your house and customize all of its settings. One important thing to note about the Echo is that it is different than the other speakers in this article because it is not portable. In fact, it does not only operate over Bluetooth — while you can connect your smartphone to the speaker via Bluetooth, you will also want to connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi for access to the Alexa assistant.
The microphone on the Amazon Echo (5th Gen) does a great job at detecting the wake word even when music is playing loudly. The sound quality of this speaker is quite good, thanks to its tweeters and large woofer. The Echo (5th Gen) comes with all of the Alexa skills out there — it is compatible with plenty of music streaming services, including Spotify and Amazon Music HD. If you’re a smart home fanatic and have Philips Hue lights or an Amazon Firestick, you’ll be able to use the Echo (5th Gen) to control them.
If you want a smart speaker but aren’t into the Amazon brand, check out the Google Nest Audio. Like the Amazon Echo, this speaker operates over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and is a home speaker meant to stay in one place. The Google Assistant is also compatible with many streaming services, and it features Google Chromecast, which makes it easy to send media from your phone to the speaker. The Nest Audio has one less driver than the Amazon Echo, housing only one tweeter and one woofer. However, its sound quality isn’t bad at all, though you may be missing out a bit on thumping bass frequencies simply due to its size.
The Anker Soundcore Motion 300 is great for the great outdoors
The Anker Soundcore Motion 300 is a great option for outdoor enthusiasts who want a soundtrack to accompany their adventures. With an IPX7 protection rating, it’s built to endure the bumps and bruises of travel and camp life, not to mention any unpredictable weather you might encounter.
The Soundcore Motion 300 uses Bluetooth 5.3, which supports low-latency audio streams with LDAC and AAC codecs for high-quality audio. It also brings a battery life that can last over 16 hours of continuous playback.
With SmartTune adaptive EQ that can change with the speaker’s orientation and a versatile housing design, you have multiple placement options for great sound wherever you set up camp. Balance it on the woodpile, hang it from your truck canopy, or for those less adventurous, it’s also a great speaker to bring on a picnic or a relaxing day in the park.
The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is another high-value product
Anker’s Soundcore Flare line of speakers has seen huge success since its inception, offering speakers with high-quality construction and decent sound, all for less than $100. That success continues with the Flare 2, which features new drivers that result in even louder bass and improved treble reproduction.
The Soundcore app allows you to adjust settings such as EQ or control the speaker’s dual-LED halo lights. If you have multiple Flare 2 speakers, you can connect up to 100 and really get your party started. Other notable features include an IPX7 waterproof rating and a 5,200mAh, a 12-hour battery that is rechargeable via USB-C.
The Flare 2, unfortunately, doesn’t include a 3.5mm input jack. However, for its durable and stylish build, coupled with its decent sound quality, the Flare 2 is a worthy adversary in the affordable Bluetooth speaker category.
For something super portable, check out the JBL Clip 4
The JBL Clip 4 doesn’t even bump up against the $100 budget, but it’s a great speaker for those who want to take their music everywhere. The integrated carabiner makes it easy to attach the Clip 4 to any bag, and its IP67 build means you can take it anywhere without worrying about breaking it.
Though the Clip 4 is small, it gets plenty loud and sounds pretty good. Its sound quality isn’t going to match that of something larger, particularly in the bass frequencies, but it gets the job done. This little speaker is easy to use thanks to its large tactile buttons, and it has a long battery life, clocking in at about 10 hours.
Best Bluetooth speakers under $100: Notable mentions
- Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) ($99 at Amazon): If you aren’t quite convinced by the necessity for a smart home speaker, this is a great way start out on the cheap. The latest generation of Amazon’s Echo Dot serves as your music speaker/kitchen timer/trivia searcher, all in one compact globe.
- Anker Soundcore Flare Mini ($42 at Amazon): If you want to save a little cash money, the Flare Mini is the little sibling of the Flare lineup: similar build quality, smaller form factor, and less powerful drivers.
- Anker Soundcore Motion+ ($99.99 at Amazon): Though this speaker is technically over $100, Anker often puts it on promotion, bringing it just below the triple digits. This Bluetooth speaker has an IPX7 rating and can be paired with a twin speaker for stereo sound. Though its default sound signature isn’t as bassy as we’d like it to be, the speaker has a useful companion app that you can use to customize the EQ.
- Anker Soundcore Select Pro ($109.99 at Best Buy): It’s new, so we haven’t tested this boombox style speaker yet or found enough reviews to wholeheartedly recommend it, but with an IPX7 rating, 16 hours of music on a single charge, and fun lights, there’s no reason to not consider the Anker Soundcore Select Pro.
- Jam Hang Up ($349 at Amazon): This compact speaker looks a bit like the Bose SoundLink Micro, but instead of a semi-elastic strap, it features an adhesive pad that sticks to nearly any flat surface. At the time of publishing, it retails for less than $20.
- JBL Go 3 ($39 at Amazon): This tiny speaker from JBL is well under $100 and offers a lot for being so cheap. It has an IP67 rating, lasts over 10 hours on a single charge, and sounds decent.
- JBL Flip 5 ($89 at Amazon): The Flip 5 is a worthy successor to the Flip 4, and if you’re going to be heading out for a weekend trip or just going to the backyard, this is definitely worth the asking price.
- Skullcandy Kilo ($39 at Amazon): This is a great barebones portable speaker that you can clip onto a backpack or a tent, perfect for playing music with small gatherings on the go.
- Sony SRS-XB13 Extra BASS (on the product’s website) and Sony SRS-XB23 EXTRA BASS ($69 at Amazon): Both of these speakers have IP67 ratings and strong bass responses. The SRS-XB23 is a bit pricier because it is compatible with the Sony Music Center app, and you can adjust its EQ settings. It’s also just a larger speaker. On the other hand, the cheaper SRS-XB13 has a 16-hour battery life, whereas the pricier speaker’s battery life is 12 hours.
- Sony SRS-XB100 ($58 at Amazon): This tiny speaker is extremely durable and packs a lot of bass for its size.
- UE BOOM 2 (on the product’s website): If you’re looking for a speaker to accompany you on every summer adventure, the UE Wonderboom 2 is a great option that even floats in water.
What you should know about the best Bluetooth speakers under $100
Ingress protection (IP) ratings denote how dust- or water-resistant a given product is. Oftentimes, something will be rated IPX4 — or something of that nature — and the “X” serves as a placeholder for the less commonly awarded dust-resistant rating.
Although we’re looking at speakers to reproduce your favorite songs, it’s important to remember that a $100 budget won’t buy the best sound quality on the market. If you want something that sounds incredible, you’ll have to compromise on portability for a good pair of desktop speakers or a home theater soundbar setup.
Since these are Bluetooth picks, you should know that Bluetooth audio quality can’t hold a candle to that of wired. This is less pertinent to waterproof speakers than it is to wireless headphones or true wireless earbuds, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for AAC codec support if you’re using an iPhone or aptX for Android phones.
How we chose the best Bluetooth speakers under $100
If a speaker made it onto this list, then you can be sure we’ve had firsthand experience with it and, in many cases, put them through our entire review process. Whittling down an entire product category to only a handful of recommended items takes a lot more work than you might expect. For one, not everyone is after the same kind of product. Just like how sound is different for every person, some products might check all of the boxes for some people and not for others. This is how we approach the second aspect of our best lists: categories.
We also consider what other people are saying about a product. We review a ton of stuff here at SoundGuys, but let’s be real: We can’t review all of them. So, how do we remedy this? Research, research, research. In addition to the vast personal network of reviewers we’ve built in our time around the block, we’ve dug through forums, read reviews, scrolled through comment sections, and done everything we possibly can to gather as much information about a product we haven’t reviewed before putting it on a list. Even if we’ve reviewed a product, we’ll give our picks a gut check by seeing what the community or former colleagues we trust have to say.
Our main goal is to make sure you find the best product for your needs.
When we made our picks, we wanted to make sure that anyone buying them would be happy with their purchase, and that means a hard look at what makes a good Bluetooth speaker. For most of us, that means a speaker that sounds good, isn’t too expensive and can withstand being used in a setting where anyone might want to listen to music.
Why you should trust SoundGuys
In addition to the fact that this site is all of our day jobs, each writer at SoundGuys has accumulated years of experience reporting on the consumer audio market. Having kept a finger on the pulse of Bluetooth speakers for several years allows us to be able to figure out what’s good, and what’s best avoided.
These best lists may not always reflect your experiences, but they are our earnest attempt to get the right product onto your wish list. We do this because we genuinely want you to be happy with your purchases. None of our writers see a dime from partnership deals or referral purchases, and nobody here is allowed to benefit from steering you toward one product or another. While this site does make money from referrals, the individual writers are paid based on their work regardless of whether or not people click that “buy” icon. They will never even know if anyone did, though I suppose the site going under might be a big tell.
Frequently asked questions about Bluetooth speakers under $100
The biggest difference between Bluetooth 4.0 and 5.0 is its range. The older Bluetooth 4.0 supported connections up to 10 meters/33 feet, while Bluetooth 5.0 can (theoretically) maintain a connection at a range of 243 meters/800 feet. If you’re planning to have your smartphone very, very far away from your Bluetooth speaker, consider looking for a speaker equipped with Bluetooth 5.0.
There are not many smart speakers that are waterproof that retail for less than $100. Still, the Sonos Roam is one of the cheaper waterproof smart speakers out there, retailing at $179. This is a great little speaker for bringing in the shower or out to the beach. It operates over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and integrates into your Sonos home ecosystem.
It depends on the size of the room, your neighbors, and what time of day it is, but in the right conditions, you should be able to reach 75-85dB with just about any of the Bluetooth speakers listed here.
You can find several food wireless speakers on this list for less than $100, such as the Anker Soundcore Flare 2, the JBL Flip 6, or the Bose Soundlink Micro. If it made this list, it deserves to be here.
For less than $100, we recommend getting the JBL Flip 5. It makes for a great all-purpose speaker that you can bring with you anywhere, including the shower. However, it’s also worth considering the newer Flip 6 for a slightly higher price.