Updated on October 9, 2018 to reflect price changes

Music is a social experience, which is why cheap Bluetooth speakers are exploding in popularity. Every party needs music, but you don’t have to spend a fortune on speakers to set the tone because the cheap Bluetooth speakers market is booming.

What you should know about cheap Bluetooth speakers

Plenty of listed speakers here are water-resistant, so here’s a quick rundown of Ingress Protection (IP) ratings and what they mean to your specific model. If you want to take a deep-dive, make sure to read our feature.

 Water-resistantWaterproofCan withstand
IPX0Not water-resistant
IPX1Dripping water (1 mm/min)
Limit: vertical drips only
IPX2Dripping water (3 mm/min)
Limit: Device max tilt of 15° from drips
Limit: Device max tilt of 60° from sprays
IPX4Splashes, omnidirectional
IPX5Water jets (12.5 L/min)
Example: Squirt guns
IPX6Strong water jets (100 L/min)
Example: Powerful water guns
IPX7Complete submersion
Limit: 1 m. for 30 min
IPX8Complete submersion
Limit: 3 m. for 30 min

The Anker Soundcore 2 is the best cheap Bluetooth speaker

As with many successors, the Anker Soundcore 2 takes what was great about its predecessor and improves upon what was just OK. It’s a 12W, IPX5-certified speaker, so it can withstand strong jets of water but not full submersion.

Anker Soundcore 2

Aside from that, and a negligible redesign, the Anker Soundcore 2 and Soundcore are virtually identical. Both provide 24 hours of playback, are outfitted with speakerphone capabilities, and have playback controls. Due to the increase in power, the bass is more emphasized, and generally speaking, the Soundcore 2 gets louder. For just under $40, this is a perfect on-the-go speaker that has no problem filling a common area.

Look fly on the cheap with the Doss Soundbox Touch

Doss’ Soundbox Touch ditches playback buttons in favor of a touch-sensitive control panel. You can switch between inputs, skip between tracks, and adjust volume by tapping the top panel. The glowing circle up top serves as a volume dial, so going clockwise raises the volume while counterclockwise lowers it. A small detail and a neat feature.

Doss Soundbox Touch

The speaker features dual 6W; if your ears require powerful bass you won’t get it here. You will, though, experience harmonic distortion at full volume. Additionally, it operates via Bluetooth 4.0 and has a 10-meter wireless range. But if your phone has a headphone jack, you can use the 3.5mm input, too. Heck, you can even listen through the micro SD card slot. Playback lasts about 12 hours, which is long enough for a hike and then some.

Always moving? Bring the JBL Clip 2

JBL Clip 2

Full Review

The JBL Clip 2 is one of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers you can get. It’s decked out in a fabric covering and is IPX7-rated. The built-in metal carabiner allows for easy attachment to a bag, and battery life clocks in at eight hours. Sound quality is good enough for a hike, picnic, or even for the shower, but don’t expect it to get loud enough to power your backyard BBQ like the Sony SRS-XB501G.

See: Best shower speakers

Do you prioritize durability? Make room for the Aomais Sport II

This speaker retails for around $25 and is unusually durable. Not only is it IPX7-rated, but it’s also mud and shockproof, and can float via the included float accessory which is absolutely adorable. The rubber exterior protects the speaker against drops and dings, making it the perfect speaker for an outdoorsman.

Aomais Sport II

Now, this is the most powerful speaker of the cheap Bluetooth speakers at 20W. It allows for loud volumes and strong bass reproduction, which is ideal for outdoor use where ambient noise may easily mask midrange and treble frequencies.

One of the most unique features of the Sport II is the ¼” tripod mount. This is intended to be used on bike handlebars, but who’s to say you can’t attach it to an actual tripod too? A full charge cycle takes three hours, supplying 8 hours of battery life. It’s not lightweight at 618g (21.8oz), but it’s durable and compact.

If you need the best value, get the Creative Metallix

This isn’t the star of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers, but for only $29, this little guy packs a punch. As far a sound goes, it’s a better than you might expect. You won’t get much of a low-end and mids can be lacking in detail, but considering the size, it’s impressive.

Creative Metallix

Full Review

It’s not exactly a durable speaker, but it survived a few bangs and bruises during our full review. The Bluetooth connectivity range keeps your music playing up to 10 meters without skips or stutters. If you happen to get two of these, you can pair them up for stereo sound. And you can plug in an audio cable or pop in a micro SD card for music streaming. As a matter of fact, there’s even an FM tuner built right in.

Creative claims a battery life of 24 hours but that’s really only if you leave the volume at about 50 percent. At normal listening volumes, we got closer to 9 hours, which is still good enough for a day out.

Notable mentions

Best cheap Bluetooth speakers: An image of the speaker on a wood surface, against a horizontally paneled (wood) background.

For $39.99, the Anker Soundcore Motion Q serves as a great budget, portable speaker.

  •  Anker Soundcore Motion Q: It falls within the same category as the JBL Clip 2 but isn’t quite as portable as it has a more traditional stout shape. That said, the battery life and sound quality are more impressive than the Clip 2.
  • Anker Soundcore: It’s nearly identical to the Soundcore 2, but lacks any IP certification; is a 6-watt, rather than a 12-watt speaker; and operates on Bluetooth 4.0, rather than 4.2.
  • Omaker Nature: This is a small, rugged 5W speaker that’s IPX6-rated and provides 20 hours of playback time.
  • Oontz Angle 3: This is the runner-up for the best bang-for-your-buck speaker. It’s just over $20, is portable, and IPX5-rated.
  • Tribit XSound Go: If you’re familiar with the Sony SRSXB2, this will look familiar. It provides 24 hours of playback, is IPX7-rated, and can easily fit in a bag or purse.

How we chose the best cheap Bluetooth speakers

A simple search on Amazon yields hundreds of options from a myriad of manufacturers—and that’s just for cheap Bluetooth speakers. So, how do you know what to choose? Well, you can do a ton of research and gather up the best options, which is exactly what we did.

A photo of the JBL Flip 3 put into a bag.

The JBL Flip 3 is the perfect speaker to stow in your bag but is $20 more than our $50-limit.

After ordering a bunch of the top options we narrowed it down to a few of the products we already reviewed and know to be good. Nothing here is going to make it into the MoMA, but for less than $50 it doesn’t need to. These cheap Bluetooth speakers just need to be functional and better than average, which these are and do.

Why should you trust us?

Maintaining and updating this site is each of our day jobs, and collectively, we’ve accrued over a decade of experience with our fingers on the audio industry’s pulse. We try to directly test as many products as possible to paint a clear picture of how each product compares to others.

A photo of the Sony WH-1000X M2 wireless Bluetooth headphones being used to activate the Google Assistant on a Google Pixel XL.

Chris boasts countless hours testing consumer audio products over many years.

We regularly update this list as a living document, so if your all-time, favorite cheap speaker was omitted, let us know. We want this list to help educate your purchasing decisions, and none of our writers can benefit from steering readers toward one product or another. If you have time, please feel free to read our ethics policy.

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Disclosure: We may receive affiliate compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. Even though we may receive compensation, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on each product. See our ethics policy for more details.