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Best Bluetooth speakers under $200

For bringing to the beach or for blasting music in the kitchen.
By

Published onMay 7, 2024

The Best
JBL Charge 5
MSRP: $159.00
8
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Positives
Sound quality
IP67 rating
Bluetooth multipoint
Can charge your mobile devices
Negatives
No microphone
Bulky
No wired listening
Best bass
Sony ULT Field 1
MSRP: $129.00
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Positives
Durable
Portable
Lightweight
IP67
Negatives
Mono sound
Lackluster companion app
White cloth finish gets dirty fast
Best sound
Anker Soundcore Motion X600
MSRP: $199.99
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Positives
Premium design
Companion app with customizable EQ
Bluetooth 5.3 with LDAC
Immersive sound with spatial audio mode
Negatives
No dust rating
Heavy
Best features
Bose SoundLink Revolve II
MSRP: $219.00
Check price
Positives
Nice look
Omnidirectional sound
Negatives
Outdated codec/Bluetooth options
Micro-USB charging
Price
Too much Bass
Bang for your buck
JBL Flip 6
MSRP: $129.99
8
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Positives
Easy to use Bluetooth pairing
Loud output
Portable
USB-C charging
JBL signature sound suits parties
IP67 rating
Rugged and durable
Negatives
Not the best at distinguishing instruments
Stereo mode only works with same-gen speakers
No microphone

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.

What's new?

  • This list of the best Bluetooth speakers under $200 was updated on May 7, 2024, to include the Sony ULT Field 1 in our top picks and add more notable mentions.

Why is the JBL Charge 5 the best Bluetooth speaker under $200?

JBL Charge 5 resting on a bed of crystals.
Sara Carbone
Use the Charge 5 or a pair of Charge 5s to DJ your next beach party.

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 4 in a hand with water splashes.
The Charge 4 has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which doesn’t officially protect it from dust like the Charge 5.

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. Additionally, the Charge 5 even has multipoint connectivity, so you can connect it to two devices at once. On the other hand, 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.

JBL Charge 5JBL Charge 5
SG recommended
JBL Charge 5
MSRP: $159.00
Whether your season is full of trips to the beach or backyard parties, you'll need just the right speaker to DJ these events. The JBL Charge 5 gets the job done if you need something that's very loud, and quite portable. It's a little pricey though, so anyone who already has an older JBL Charge speaker shouldn't feel the need to upgrade.

Best Bass Pick: Sony ULT Field 1

A photo of a hand holding the Sony ULT FIELD 1.
Christian Thomas / SoundGuys
The Sony ULT FIELD 1 is both shock and rust-proof.

For those seeking a rugged, portable Bluetooth speaker that doesn’t compromise on bass, the Sony ULT Field 1 is an excellent choice under $200. Its standout feature is the dedicated “ULT” button, which engages a powerful bass boost that adds substantial low-end thump to your music. This feature significantly improves the overall sound quality, making the ULT Field 1 punch well above its weight in terms of bass response.

Despite its compact size, the ULT Field 1 is built to withstand the great outdoors, boasting an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. Its durable design, complete with a shock-proof exterior and rubberized end caps, ensures that it can handle the occasional drop or tumble without sustaining damage.

While the companion app lacks advanced sound customization options, the ULT Field 1’s simplicity is part of its charm. Just hit the ULT button, and you’ll instantly experience a satisfying bass boost that breathes new life into your favorite tracks. Whether you’re hosting a backyard gathering or embarking on a weekend adventure, this portable powerhouse delivers impressive low-end performance that belies its compact form factor.

Sony ULT Field 1Sony ULT Field 1
Sony ULT Field 1
Durable • Portable • Lightweight
MSRP: $129.00

The Anker Soundcore Motion X600 looks as good as it sounds

Anker Soundcore Motion X600 speaker held in hand above a table.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
This might be the best-looking Bluetooth speaker under $200.

If you want a speaker that feels more luxurious than its price would suggest, check out the Anker Soundcore Motion X600. This speaker has a premium aluminum encasing that is hefty, but looks good on any coffee table.

With five drivers, including an upward-facing driver, the Anker Soundcore Motion X600 has the most immersive sound of any speaker on this list. A press of a button on top of the speaker enables its spatial audio mode, which utilizes the upward-firing driver to add a vertical element to the sound field. This adds noticeable depth and height to elements of a song, making it feel more like the music is coming from all around you.

A closeup of the USB-C and 3.5mm ports on the Anker Soundcore Motion X600.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
The USB-C and 3.5mm inputs are protected against water by a flap.

This speaker also has a bass boost mode, which helps the Motion X600 to pack a heavier punch in the low end compared to most other speakers on this list. It has a frequency response that extends down to 50Hz, which means you’ll feel a bit more of the deep sub-bass frequencies with this speaker compared to other Bluetooth speakers.

The Anker Soundcore Motion X600 also comes with the Soundcore companion app, which has an equalizer to adjust the sound of the speaker. You also get Bluetooth 5.3 with LDAC support, so this speaker is a great option for anyone who appreciates good sound quality.

Anker Soundcore Motion X600Anker Soundcore Motion X600
Anker Soundcore Motion X600
Immersive spatial audio • 50W of output • IPX7
MSRP: $199.99
Great design and sound quality.
The Anker Soundcore Motion X600 delivers immersive sound in a portable and luxurious package.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve II is smart and lets you take phone calls

An iPhone sits on a metal bench next to a Bose SoundLink Revolve II with stripes of sunlight on the Bose speaker.
Jasper Lastoria / SoundGuys
The SoundLink Revolve II favors a bass-heavy sound at low and moderate volumes, which is arguably too much indoors but makes more sense outside.

You can snag the Bose SoundLink Revolve (refurbished) for just $149 through Bose’s website. It includes a dedicated smart assistant button on top, and the 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 II 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 top of the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II displaying its buttons.
You can control the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II via the buttons on its top or through the Bose Connect app.

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II has a longer battery life, 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.

Bose SoundLink Revolve IIBose SoundLink Revolve II
Bose SoundLink Revolve II
3.5mm port • Voice command supported • Omnidirectional sound
MSRP: $219.00
A good-looking and straightforward speaker
The Bose SoundLink Revolve II produces a loud sound in every direction. Bluetooth pairing is simple, commands are responsive, and it has a 3.5mm port.

Go small and loud with the JBL Flip 6

A JBL Flip 6 Bluetooth speaker sitting next to a small fountain.
The JBL Flip 6 is water- and dust-resistant and loud enough to keep a small patio party entertained.

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 a 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.

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, 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.

JBL Flip 6JBL Flip 6
JBL Flip 6
Easy to use Bluetooth pairing • Loud output for parties • Portable
MSRP: $129.99
A solid successor to the Flip 5.
The JBL Flip 6 makes for a solid update to the JBL Flip 5 and the IP67 rating is a welcome upgrade. You still get JBL's signature sound and it's just as easy as ever to sync this Bluetooth speaker with your devices.

Does the Sonos Roam have Bluetooth?

A white Sonos Roam sitting on a wooden railing in front of a beach on a sunny day.
The Sonos Roam can indeed roam thanks to its small size and robust build quality.

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, 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, and 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.

Sonos RoamSonos Roam
Sonos Roam
Decent audio • IP67 durability • Well-featured app
A built-in support for voice assistance along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
Sonos Roam is a portable speaker that operates over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and offers an IP67 rating. The app allows voice assistance and pairs the speaker with other devices.

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 Boom 2 ($179.99 at Soundcore): With plenty of bass on tap, customizable dual LED lights and a floatable design, the Boom 2 brings a little something extra to your next outdoor gathering.
  • Anker Soundcore Motion 300 ($79.99 at Amazon): The Anker Soundcore Motion 300 is a budget-friendly audio adventure companion. Featuring an IPX7 protection rating and decent sound in a durable compact package, you don’t have to think twice before tossing this speaker into your backpack or gear bin for a weekend getaway.
  • Anker Soundcore Motion X500 ($169.99 at Amazon): A nice step up from the smaller Bluetooth speaker options on the market without going overboard, the X500 really packs a punch while still remaining portable.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sonos One (Gen 2) ($219 at Amazon): This is a little more than $200, but with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in, this smart speaker will satisfy most people’s preferences. It has app-adjustable sound, and you can also connect it to your home Sonos ecosystem for multiroom audio.
  • Tribit StormBox Micro: If you’re looking for something small and portable, then this is a pretty good choice. It’s still definitely in the budget category, and it can even be paired with a second one to deliver stereo sound.

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 backwards 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?

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, 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?

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 to 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

A person wears the Skullcandy Kilo speaker on a sling bag.
Lily Katz / SoundGuys
The round clip is useful, but a standard carabiner would have been more versatile.

Each writer at SoundGuys has accumulated years of experience reporting on the consumer audio market, and our staff adheres to a strict code of conduct. SoundGuys’ survival depends almost exclusively 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.

Well, first things first, having other codecs available besides SBC does not necessarily mean a speaker will sound good. There are 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 a 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.