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Best Bluetooth speakers under $200
Everyone has a different outlook on how much is too much when it comes to audio. What some people consider a steal, others consider expensive. We researched the best Bluetooth speakers you can get for under $50 and under $100, so now it’s time to up the ante. If you have a bit more money to spend, these are the best Bluetooth speakers under $200 USD.
Editor’s note: this list of the best Bluetooth speakers under $200 was updated on July 11, 2022, to add the Anker Soundcore Motion+ to the best list, address an FAQ, expand our section on the Sonos Roam, and update formatting.
Why is the JBL Charge 5 the best Bluetooth speaker under $200?
This fabric-covered JBL Charge 5 is fully waterproof and dust-proof with a certified IP67 rating, and you don’t need to worry about its durability. Yeah, it’s bulky but it’s portable enough to take to the beach or on a camping trip. Its sound quality is great, and you shouldn’t have any issues picking out your favorite backing vocals from this speaker.
The JBL Charge 5 has JBL PartyBoost, which allows you to connect up to 100 JBL speakers together to create a pseudo surround sound system, or connect two JBL Charge 5 speakers for stereo playback. Unfortunately, if you have an older JBL speaker that doesn’t have JBL PartyBoost, such as the JBL Charge 4, there is no backward compatibility. The Charge 5 doubles as a portable smartphone charger, though the function will deplete the battery.
Although the Charge 5 is a fairly plain speaker regarding features, it remains a great option for most listeners who want something loud and portable.
The Charge 5 is very similar to the JBL Charge 4 except that it uses Bluetooth 5.1, whereas the Charge 4 uses Bluetooth 4.2. The Charge 5 even has multipoint connectivity, so you can connect it to two devices at once. The Charge 4 has an aux port and the Charge 5 does not. Neither speaker has a microphone, so you can’t use either as a speakerphone for calls.
What makes the UE MEGABOOM 3 a great pool party companion?
The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 has an IP67 rating and is ultra-portable. It has the size and shape of a water bottle, so you can store it in your cup holder when biking down to the beach. The speaker emits 360-degree sound. While its sound quality isn’t the absolute best, you can customize the EQ on it with the BOOM app.
The MEGABOOM 3 allows you to pair up to eight Bluetooth source devices and has Bluetooth multipoint, just like the Charge 5. This means you and your friend can take turns picking the music at your pool party. With the BOOM app, you can connect over 150 UE speakers using the PartyUp function, and this is backwards compatible with all previous generation BOOM speakers.
The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is a great value
The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is not only a good value, but it incorporates many features other speakers don’t have. If you want great bang for your buck, get the Motion+ Bluetooth speaker.
For just $106 USD, you get aptX, wired audio support, and a comprehensive mobile app that lets you EQ the sound. If that’s not enough, an IPX7 rating helps ensure an errant spilled drink won’t stop your fun. A microphone rounds out the feature set and offers a convenient way to chat with friends, but it’s not the clearest mic by any measure.
Like most small Bluetooth speakers, the Motion+ doesn’t do sub-bass very well, but it has a “BassUp” setting if you want more oomph. And you get up to 16 hours, 13 minutes of battery life according to our tests, which is more than enough to last through a long party or day trip. Add to that Bluetooth multipoint support, and the Anker Soundcore Motion+ is a value pick that certainly won’t feel cheap.
The Motion Soundcore Plus microphone helps it stand out from the rest of the best Bluetooth speakers under $200, but you need to be deliberate with how you use it. Make sure you’re close to the speaker and speaking directly into the microphone for the best results.
Anker Soundcore Motion+ microphone demo (Ideal):
Anker Soundcore Motion+ microphone demo (Street):
How does this microphone sound to you?
The Bose SoundLink Revolve is smart and lets you take phone calls
This Bose SoundLink Revolve (refurbished) costs just $149 USD through Bose’s website and includes a dedicated smart assistant button on top. Its integrated microphone allows you to ask your phone’s smart assistant questions without the need to interact with your phone. You can also use the SoundLink Revolve in speakerphone mode for phone calls.
The SoundLink Revolve offers fantastic omnidirectional sound, so everyone can gather around it and enjoy the same kind of sound. This is ideal for parties when you just want to throw the speaker in the center of the room and get music playing.
In addition, you can pair this speaker with another compatible Bose Bluetooth speaker and use the Bose Connect app to enable either Stereo Mode or Party Mode. You can also pair your Bose SoundLink Revolve with Bose Home speakers using Bose SimpleSync. The Bose SoundLink Revolve has an official IPX4 rating, so it can handle splashes. It’s also super durable, and you can drop it without it denting. This speaker is portable and offers up to 12 hours of battery life.
The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II has a longer battery life that lasts up to 17 hours compared to the 13-hour battery of the standard Revolve II. Bose features a handle on the Revolve+ II, making it a bit easier to carry around. Both speakers feature 360-degree audio output and an IP55 build, and you can access your virtual assistant easily with either speaker.
Go small and loud with the JBL Flip 6
The JBL Flip 6 is the latest JBL Flip speaker and brings a more durable IP67 build and redesigned (larger) logo on the speaker grille. With the Flip 6, you get Bluetooth 5.1 for efficient power consumption that facilitates the 12-hour battery life.
The main downside of the JBL Flip 6 is that it lacks an aux input. (You don’t get high-quality Bluetooth codecs either.) Still, we suppose it makes sense given that its intended use is outside or as background noise for small gatherings. Plus, you still get Bluetooth multipoint, though you need to pause playback on the primary device before playing it from the secondary one.
With the Flip 6, you get access to PartyBoost and stereo mode. PartyBoost lets you connect up to 100 compatible JBL speakers to amplify the output, and interestingly, stereo mode only works with two JBL speakers of the same generation. There’s no microphone on this speaker, but there hasn’t been since the Flip 4. Those who want a reliable, durable speaker for hikes and small gatherings will like the Flip 6, a worthy successor to the Flip 5.
Unlike the JBL Clip 4 Flip 6, the Clip 4 from JBL has an IP67 rating so it resists both dust and water. With its integrated carabiner, the Clip 4 can go anywhere as you can easily attach it to a bag or a purse and enjoy loud 5W output from anywhere. While the Clip 4 isn’t perfect, with no aux input or JBL app support, it is one of the best wireless JBL speakers you can buy and costs far less than $100 USD.
Does the Sonos Roam have Bluetooth?
Yes, the Sonos Roam is a Bluetooth speaker, despite Sonos being known for its numerous smart speakers. The Roam also connects over Wi-Fi; however, when you choose to leave it in the house, so you get the best of all worlds here. It supports Apple AirPlay 2 and connects to your favorite music streaming services.
The speaker has an IP67 rating, so it’s resistant to both dust and water. It has Sonos’ Automatic Trueplay technology, which optimizes the sound depending on where the speaker is located and the content (e.g., podcasts vs music). It recharges via USB-C, but our battery test measured just 5 hours, 23 minutes of playtime from the Sonos Roam. Your mileage may vary depending on how loudly you listen to your music. That falls well short of the claim of 10 hours, but the definition of “moderate volume” Sonos uses may differ from our testing.
The Roam can be a hassle to get synced for the first time, but once you do it integrates well into a smart home setup. If you want a speaker that can do both portability and smart functionality, the Roam slides nicely into that niche.
Is the UE BOOM 3 loud?
Yes, if you want to save a bit but like the idea of the UE MEGABOOM 3, the UE BOOM 3 is very similar. It’s loud, it still has that IP67 rating, and it can be paired with up to 150 other UE Boom speakers and the MEGABOOM 3 itself. The speaker’s loudness comes at the expense of sound quality, but many can overlook this.
For those who want a speaker like the UE MEGABOOM 3 that works well outdoors and moves around with you, the UE BOOM 3 has carved itself out a niche that might be just right for you.
The best Bluetooth speakers under $200: Notable mentions
- Bose SoundLink Color II: This little speaker is small and portable and, though it isn’t fully waterproof, it does have an IPX4 rating. For its stout size, it produces loud audio and the sound quality is pretty good.
- Bose SoundLink Flex: If you want an adventure speaker from Bose, the SoundLink Flex is your best with its IP67 rating and tough build. The sound quality is good, but you should remember this is an outdoor speaker, not one of the company’s more premium offerings.
- JBL Flip 5: If the JBL Charge 5 seemed a little bulky, and the Flip 6 too pricey for you, the JBL Flip 5 is a wonderful alternative. It has a loud sound for such a small speaker and can withstand submersion thanks to its IPX7 rating.
- Klipsch Heritage The One II: This speaker originally retailed for $299 USD, and now costs just $179 USD. It uses Bluetooth 4.0 and has a 3.5mm input for wired listening. Audio enthusiasts who like mid-century modern furniture will easily find a place for The One II in their homes.
- Marshall Emberton: This little speaker is shaped like a guitar amp and has good sound quality just like an amp should. It also has an IPX7 build so it’s great for taking to the beach. Its connection strength is strong and it uses Bluetooth 5.0, but it doesn’t have a microphone so don’t try taking calls through it.
- Marshall Uxbridge: This little smart speaker connects over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.2. It works with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa depending on your model. You get direct access to Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Tidal, and more. iPhone users can even take advantage of Apple AirPlay 2 from the Uxbridge.
Hold up! Something’s different:
Some of our picks’ frequency response charts were measured with our old testing system. We’re still ironing out our standardized speaker tests with the appropriate support equipment to update our testing and data collection. It will take a bit to get everything fleshed out, but we will update this article (and many others!) once we’re able with improved sound quality measurements and performance plots. These will be made obvious with our new chart aesthetic (black background instead of white).
Thank you for bearing with us, and we hope to see you again once we’ve sorted everything out.
What if you want a smart speaker for the home instead?
The Sonos One (Gen 2) is one of our favorite smart speakers and includes smart assistants Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant as standard, and you can activate them via your voice. While this speaker supports Bluetooth Low Energy to simplify the initial setup process, it streams audio from your smartphone over your home’s Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth. The speaker is humidity resistant, so you can put it in the bathroom, but it does not have any official IP rating.
If you buy two Sonos One speakers, you can connect them for stereo sound. Additionally, the Sonos One (Gen 2) is backward compatible with the Sonos One (Gen 1) for stereo output and surround sound when paired with a Sonos Playbase or Playbar. This is one of
What you should know about the best Bluetooth speakers under $200 USD
When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s what to look out for before you pick one up for your next party.
IP ratings stand for Ingress Protection ratings, and refer to how resistant a product is to dust and water damage. The X in IPX7, as an example, is a placeholder for dust protection. So, if a product is rated IP67 for example, it has a 6 rating for dust and a 7 rating for water.
How should a Bluetooth speaker sound?
Bluetooth speaker frequency responses usually look something like the JBL Xtreme 3, with virtually no sub-bass response. This lack of sub-bass is a consequence of a speaker’s physical size; they’re pretty small. Still, companies use plenty of workarounds to amplify bass within a speaker’s small housing. Companies often use passive bass radiators that use air pressure within the speaker housing to boost bass. Passive bass radiators don’t have a separate power supply, so while they will still amplify bass frequencies, they won’t get as loud as a dedicated sub-woofer.
What is a Bluetooth codec and how does it affect audio quality?
If you consider yourself a true audiophile you may find that Bluetooth audio quality just doesn’t do it for you. That’s because wired audio quality is always better than Bluetooth audio quality. Bluetooth codecs cut out data and add unwanted noise in the transmission process.
To shrink the gap in quality between your Bluetooth speaker and your wired speaker, we recommend looking for aptX or aptX HD codecs. If you have an iPhone, stick with the AAC codec. Keep in mind that this list of the best Bluetooth speakers under $200 USD factors in convenience, portability, durability, and audio quality.
Why you should trust SoundGuys when it comes to the best Bluetooth speakers under $200
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We pride ourselves on transparently outlining objective facts, while accounting for the subjective experience to contextualize an audio product’s performance. When we do misspeak, we correct and own up to it.
Frequently asked questions about the best Bluetooth speakers under $200
Many Bluetooth speakers these days overemphasize bass response which is ideal for music genres like pop and hip-hop, but not great for classical music. We’d recommend going with the UE Megaboom 3, because it has a fairly neutral-leaning frequency response.
A Sonos system will probably please you and your clients. The Sonos app makes integrating all your speakers together very easy.
Well, first things first, having other codecs available besides SBC does not necessarily mean a speaker will sound good. There a lot of factors that go into “sounding good” and Bluetooth codecs are one piece of a (rather large) puzzle. Considering this, there are Bluetooth speakers out there that do support more than SBC. Often what you might notice with this codec is latency, or a mismatch between visual and audio content when connected to TV or game console, for instance.
With all that in mind, some of the models above support AAC, like the Sonos Roam. AAC is a good option for iPhone users, but Android users may still notice latency issues. Android users will have to find a speaker with aptX or LDAC support, which can get tricky. For example, you can check out the Anker Soundcore Motion+ (listed as a Top Pick) if you want aptX support at a comparable price.
However, you can avoid these concerns if you find a speaker with wired connectivity, like the Anker Soundcore Motion+ or the (much more expensive) JBL Xtreme 3.