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Best Bluetooth speakers under $200

For bringing to the beach or for blasting music in the kitchen.
By
May 11, 2022
JBL Charge 5
By JBL
The JBL Charge 5 portable Bluetooth speaker in black against a white background.
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Positives
IP67
Sound quality
JBL PartyBoost
Powerbank
Negatives
No wired listening
Large
JBL PartyBoost not backwards compatible
No microphone
The Bottom Line.
For most people, the JBL Charge 5 is the best jack of all trades Bluetooth speaker.
Read full review...
UE MEGABOOM 3
By Ultimate Ears
A front-facing product render of the UE MEGABOOM 3 waterproof speaker.
Check price
Positives
360-degree sound
Can connect multiple for surround sound
Customizable EQ
Doesn't overdo bass
IPX67 and floats
Multipoint Bluetooth
Negatives
Sound quality is not amazing for price
The Bottom Line.
If you're going to the beach or taking a bath, the UE Megaboom 3 is a great choice.
Sony SRS-XB43
By Sony
A black Sony SRS-XB43 speaker sitting and an angle with purple accent lights illuminated on the end visible in the foreground against a white background.
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Positives
Stereo playback with other Sonos One speakers
Fun accent lighting
Wired and wireless listening
IP67 rating
Can charge other devices
Negatives
Treble and mids are hard to hear
Bulky
The Bottom Line.
If you want to charge other devices and party all night long, the Sony SRS-XB43 can do all that while adding fun lighting effects, too.
Bose SoundLink Revolve (Refurbished)
By Bose
The Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth speaker in black against a white background.
Check price
Positives
360-degree sound
Bose SimpleSync
Sound quality
IPX4
Can access your smartphone's smart assistant
Speakerphone mode for calls
Negatives
User-reported connection issues
The Bottom Line.
Bose is tried and true when it comes to sound quality, and the SoundLink Revolve is a well-rounded speaker for pool party hosts.
JBL Flip 6
By JBL
The JBL Flip 6 Bluetooth speaker in black against a white background.
Check price
Positives
Lightweight, portable
Price
IP67 rating
USB-C charging
Battery life
Negatives
No high-quality Bluetooth codecs or aux input
Stereo mode only works with JBL speakers of the same generation
The Bottom Line.
If the JBL Charge 5 is too bulky and expensive for you, go with the JBL Flip 6.
Read full review...

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.

Editor’s note: this list of the best Bluetooth speakers under $200 was updated on May 11, 2022, to include in-line FAQs and address the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II.

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 pretty great and you shouldn’t have any issues picking out your favorite backing vocals from this speaker.

JBL Charge 5
JBL Charge 5 resting on a balcony with a cabin and forest in the background.JBL Charge 5 resting on rocks and grass.JBL Charge 5 resting on a wooden bench with crystals..JBL Charge 5 resting on a balcony fence. The bass radiator is the focus of the photo.JBL Charge 5 resting on a bed of crystals.JBL Charge 5 resting on a wooden step with deer antlers next to it.JBL Charge 5 placed on some rocks and grass. The charging port is visible.A woman touching the JBL Charge 5 as it rests on the armrest of her chair.A woman touching the JBL Charge 5 as it rests on a table.JBL Charge 5 resting on a balcony fence. The top buttons of the speaker are visible.

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.

Read on: things to keep in mind

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. Even with its drawbacks, the Charge 5 is a great speaker for nearly any occasion.

The UE MEGABOOM 3 is 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.

UE MEGABOOM 3
A product render of the UE MEGABOOM 3 waterproof speaker with its inclusions (charging brick and cable).A front-facing product render of the UE MEGABOOM 3 waterproof speaker.
UE MEGABOOM 3
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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 backward compatible with all previous generation BOOM speakers.

Amp up the fun with the Sony SRS-XB43

If you want your parties to have lights and sound, then the Sony SRS-XB43 is a good choice. With its EXTRA BASS and LIVE MODE features plus a speaker light, tweeter light, and a multi-color line light, you can change up the sound and visuals at any gathering to re-energize the room. It can also charge other devices via USB-A and USB-C, while an aux port permits wired play for lag-free use. There’s a microphone, as well, in case you want to make hands-free calls and not rely on your phone’s tiny speakers.

Sony SRS-XB43
A black Sony SRS-XB43 speaker sitting and an angle with purple accent lights illuminated on the end visible in the foreground against a white background.
Sony SRS-XB43
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The Sony SRS-XB43 can stand vertically or horizontally, which is good for finding a spot for it to rest. And it lets you sync up to 100 speakers via Bluetooth using Party Connect, in case one alone isn’t enough. An IP67 rating means a spilled drink or beach party won’t be likely to ruin the speaker either. Plus, Sony claims the battery can go for up to 24 hours, which means your gatherings can go all night long without worries.

Keep in mind, however, like any party speaker that cranks up the bass, mids and highs might be a bit harder to hear. Still, if you want a party speaker that also puts on a visual display, the Sony SRS-XB43 is a good pick.

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.

Bose SoundLink Revolve (Refurbished)
The Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth speaker in black against a white background.
Bose SoundLink Revolve (Refurbished)
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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.

JBL Flip 6
The JBL Flip 6 in black on a bed of flat stones.A JBL Flip 6 Bluetooth speaker sitting on a wooden desk next to a smartphone at its right and a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to its left.A JBL Flip 6 Bluetooth speaker sitting next to a small fountain.A hand wearing a black leather glove presses a button on the JBL Flip 6 Bluetooth speaker sitting on a metal bench.

The main downside of the JBL Flip 6 is its lack of high-quality Bluetooth codecs and a wired input. 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.

A woman wears the JBL Clip 4 speaker on her backpack strap.
The JBL Clip 4 comes in six colorways: grey, squad, black, pink, red, and blue.

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, no aux input or JBL app support, it stands as one of the best wireless JBL speakers you can buy and costs far less than $100 USD.

Does the Sonos Roam have Bluetooth?

A person holds the Sonos roam in front of their face.
Sonos You can access Alexa or Google Assistant with just your voice through the Sonos Roam.

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 really 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). You can enjoy this speaker all day because it has a 10-hour battery life and recharges via USB-C cable.

Is the UE BOOM 3 loud?

A front-on shot of the UE Boom 3 on steps.
It may not be the best of the best Bluetooth speakers under $200, but the UE BOOM 3 is good if you want to get 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 are able to 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

A black Bose SoundLink Flex dangles from a person's backpack, and this didn't quite make the cut as the best Bluetooth speakers under $200.
The Bose SoundLink Flex’s volume levels and design fit the use case of a hiking speaker well.
  • Anker Soundcore Motion+: If you want a great bang for your buck, get the Motion+ Bluetooth speaker. This shares a similar shape as the Sony SRS-XB43 but lacks the flashing lights. For just $106 USD, you get aptX and wired audio support along with a comprehensive mobile app that lets you EQ the sound. We really like its rugged IPX7 build too.
  • 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 pretty loud audio and the quality of the sound 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?

Sonos One Gen 2) on a side table with curtains and string lights in the background.
Setting up the Sonos One Gen 2) is no simple task, but once you do it you will never have to do it again even if you unplug it.

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, as well as 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

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?

The frequency response chart for the JBL Xtreme 3 showing its sound profile in blue mostly tracking a neutral response expect for a sharp drop off in the sub-bass frequencies.
The JBL Xtreme 3 (cyan) has a relatively standard response curve for Bluetooth speakers, with its drop in the sub-bass notes found in many other models, too.

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, there are plenty of workarounds that companies use to amplify bass within a speaker’s small housing. You’ll often see companies 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?

A chart showing the frequency response performance of the AAC Bluetooth wireless codec.
Android phones don’t give you CD-quality playback with AAC.

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, and durability as well as audio quality.

Why you should trust SoundGuys when it comes to the best Bluetooth speakers under $200

Each writer at SoundGuys has accumulated years of experience reporting on the consumer audio market, and our staff adheres to a strict ethics policy. We never use ads or sponsored content on the website, so you can trust that our opinions are honest. SoundGuys’ survival depends solely on readers enjoying their purchases.

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.