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Best cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50

The best cheap Bluetooth speakers for your next gathering or adventure.
By
August 8, 2022
Best All-Around
Anker Soundcore Flare Mini
By Anker
A product render of the Anker SoundCore Flare Mini cylindrical speaker with the LED ring alight.
9.4
Check price
Positives
360° Sound
IPX7-rating
LED halo lighting
Aux input
Negatives
Distorts at loud volumes
Lacks detail in the highs
The Bottom Line.
For a budget speaker that looks, feels, and sounds the part, the Anker Soundcore Flare Mini is one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy under $50.
Best for the home
Creative Stage Air
By Creative
A product render of the Creative Stage Air soundbar in black against a white background.
7.9
Check price
Positives
Compact
Price
Easy setup
Negatives
Auto-off after 15 minutes
Limited connectivity
The Bottom Line.
While it isn't something to build a home theater around, the Creative Stage Air is a solid under-monitor sound bar that gets the job done for the price. Read full review...
Best Portable
JBL Clip 3
By JBL
JBL Clip 3 against a white background
7.7
Check price
Positives
Carabiner clip
IPX7
Battery life
Connectivity
Negatives
Sound quality
The Bottom Line.
While the Clip series has always been good, the much-improved battery life and the slight redesign make the Clip 3 a must-have for basically anyone.Read full review...
Best Durable
JBL GO 3
By JBL
JBL GO 3 against a white background.
7.5
Check price
Positives
IP67 rating
Easy to use
Battery life
Price
Negatives
Sinks in water
Small loop
The Bottom Line.
If you live a rugged lifestyle and need something that can handle anything you throw at it, the JBL GO 3 needs to be in your bag right now.Read full review...
Best smart home
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)
By Amazon
The Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) in black against a white background.
8.6
Check price
Positives
Excellent voice recognition
Control smart home devices
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and auxiliary connectivity
Negatives
Sound quality
Must be plugged in
The Bottom Line.
This is the best cheap option for the smart home enthusiast. This speaker lets you control all your IoT devices.

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.

If this were a list of headphones or microphones, frequency response charts would be at the end of each image gallery, however we don’t currently take frequency response measurements for speaker reviews. You can learn more about how to read our charts here.

Editor’s note: this list was edited on August 8, 2022, to include a contents menu, include the JBL GO 3 as a top pick, include more information in the buying guide, address FAQs, and update formatting.

The Anker SoundCore Flare Mini is the best cheap Bluetooth speaker

The Anker SoundCore Flare line of Bluetooth speakers are best known for the combination of design and solid sound quality, with different models catering to different price brackets. The Mini variant is Anker’s lowest-priced offering, and it provides loud sound in a compact form.

Anker Soundcore Flare Mini
Anker Soundcore Flare Mini
9.4
A product render of the Anker SoundCore Flare Mini cylindrical speaker with the LED ring alight.
Anker Soundcore Flare Mini
Anker Soundcore Flare Mini
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With its two 5W back-to-back neodymium drivers, the Flare Mini delivers 360˚ sound for an immersive music listening experience. An IPX7 rating ensures that the party won’t stop, even if the speaker is out in the rain, or taking a leisurely 30-minute dip in the pool. Extra features include a modest 12-hour battery life, Bluetooth 4.2 support (connection range of up to 20 meters), and the ability to pair two Flare Mini speakers together.

Although the Flare Mini lacks clarity, the overall sound is very good for such a cheap speaker: amplified bass and low-midrange frequencies make the sound engaging and perfect for a pool party. For less than $50, it’s hard to find another Bluetooth speaker that can compare with the Flare Mini.

For a simple home solution, check out the Creative Stage Air

If you’re looking for an inexpensive Bluetooth speaker, chances are it’s going to be small and portable similar to the other options on this list. However, that doesn’t always have to be the case. Case in point: the Creative Stage Air.

Creative Stage Air
Creative Stage Air
7.9
Creative Stage Air: The Creative brand name on the speaker grill.Creative Stage Air: The bottom rubberized feet that prevent the speaker from slipping.Creative Stage Air: The connection inputs on the rear of the speaker.Creative Stage Air: The rubberized controls on the side of the speaker.
Creative Stage Air
Creative Stage Air
Buy now
See review
See review

While this speaker isn’t nearly the size of the some of the other soundbars we’ve tested, you still get a lot of speaker for not a lot of money. It’s not the best option for building your dream home theater system, but it’s a perfectly fine under-monitor speaker that makes listening to music, watching videos, or playing games that much more enjoyable.

Like most speakers of this price, the Creative Stage Air has fairly limited features so don’t expect to plug in HDMI and optical cables from your gaming console. For that, you should check out our list for best soundbars. The Creative Stage Air keeps it simple, supporting Bluetooth 4.2 with the SBC codec and 3.5mm input. It has a few annoying quirks, like automatically turning off to save power after 15 minutes of non-usage, but overall it’s a solid option for the price.

Always on the move? Bring the JBL Clip 3

The JBL Clip 2 was one of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers, but it’s been outdone. The Clip 3 comes with the same familiar fabric covering and remains IPX7-rated, as well as a redesigned carabiner for easier attachment to a bag. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more, check out the new JBL Clip 4 which has an IP67 rating, improved carabiner, and a whole new design.

JBL Clip 3
JBL Clip 3
7.7
Voice frequency response of the JBL Clip 3.Frequency response of the JBL Clip 3The ports of the JBL CLip 3 are under a protective flap.Close up of the JBL Clip 3 buttons for power and Bluetooth pairing.Pictured is the JBL Clip 4 against a gray background.The JBL Clip 3 from the front.The JBL Clip 3 attached to a backpack strap.Shot of the JBL Clip 3 on top of a book.
JBL Clip 3

The Clip 3 also features greatly increased battery life over its predecessor. Instead of just eight hours of playback, users are afforded 16 hours of listening before having to charge the Clip 3 with a microUSB cable.

Sound quality is good enough for a hike, picnic, or even for the shower. Just don’t expect it to get loud enough to power your backyard BBQ like the UE Hyperboom. Clarity and bass response aren’t great, but it gets the job done well enough. The same can be said for the microphone quality: it works, but you’re better off using your smartphone.

Editor’s note: The JBL Clip 3 occasionally fluctuates in price above $50. However, the product is available for less than $50 through the Amazon Renewed program.

Do you prioritize durability? Make room for the JBL GO 3

This speaker retails for around $40 and is unusually durable. Not only is it IP67-rated, making it fully waterproof, but it’s also dust and shockproof. The main downside we observed with this speaker is that it doesn’t float, so you can keep it near the bathtub or the swimming pool, but you probably don’t want to put it in the water.

JBL GO 3
JBL GO 3
7.5
The JBL Go 3 bluetooth speaker submerged in a water outdoors.The JBL Go 3 lays on a white shelf paired to a Google Pixel 4a.The JBL Go 3 lays on a wooden surface.The JBL Go 3 hangs from a screw on a wooden patio divider.A man holds the JBL Go 3 in front of a wooden surface.The JBL Go 3 stands on a wooden table, with its controls in view.
JBL GO 3

The JBL GO 3 is a great companion for day-long summer excursions because its battery lasts over 10 hours on a single charge. In terms of sound, the GO 3 isn’t the highest quality, but it isn’t meant to be. It produces pretty loud volumes considering its size, and lets vocals come through clearly enough to hear the lyrics you want to sing along to.

The JBL GO 3 is pretty no-frills and is unfortunately not compatible with the JBL Portable app, but it has onboard controls to adjust volume and media playback. The speaker is made of a fabric covering and fits in the palm of your hand. It’s a great option for a speaker under $50.

If you have a smart home, get the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

The smart home is more relevant than ever, and companies are running with even the most ridiculous Internet of Things (IoT) product ideas. Anyone with multiple smart home devices, say a few Philips Hue lightbulbs or a smart fridge, will benefit from the hands-free voice controls of the new Echo Dot.

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)
8.6
The Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) in black against a white background.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)
Buy now

Alexa has over 50,000 skills that users can command to make life presumably more convenient. From adjusting your thermostat to locking your doors, the Echo Dot will hopefully make your life a little more streamlined. The latest Amazon Echo Dot features the company’s new AZ1 Neural Edge Chip, resulting in a smart speaker that takes less time than its predecessor to process voice commands.

The new Echo Dot still uses the same 1.6-inch speaker found in its predecessor. However, the larger, spherical design of the 4th generation Echo Dot produces less vibration in the body of the speaker, which helps reduce distortion when listening at higher volumes. And just like with the last model, the new Echo Dot still features a 3.5mm line out if you’d rather listen to music through another pair of speakers.

Best cheap Bluetooth speakers: 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: 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.
  • Anker SoundCore Flare 2This speaker has all the features of the Flare Mini, but includes more powerful drivers, SoundCore app control, dual LED halo lighting, and better sound quality at a price tag slightly above $50.
  • Anker Soundcore Icon Mini: With a form factor smaller than a deck of cards, paired with an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, this speaker is designed for the adventurer looking to take their playlist along for the ride.
  • Anker SoundCore 2: With a 24-hour battery life, an IPX5-rating, and 12W total sound output, you can’t go wrong with this sub-$50 Bluetooth speaker.
  • 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.
  • Sony SRS-XB12: The “XB” in the product’s name stands for Extra Bass, delivering a powerful low-end in a compact form factor. An IP67 rating also ensures that the party will go on, no matter where you take this speaker.
  • Tribit XSound Go: This speaker provides 24 hours of playback, is IPX7-rated, and can easily fit in a bag or purse.
  • UE Wonderboom: This speaker isn’t quite under $50—it’s $61. However, it is a handy little speaker with an IPX7 rating and a loud sound. Its battery life is pretty poor, unfortunately, but if you’re not planning to use it to blast music at maximum volume all day, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

What you should know about cheap Bluetooth speakers

What is a Bluetooth codec?

The SBC, aptX, aptX HD, AAC, and LDAC bluetooth codec performance shown on a chart.
Represented is the max transfer rate (kbps) of each respective Bluetooth codec (greater is better). Each waveform depicts a transfer rate of 100 kbps.

Just like wireless headphones, Bluetooth speakers support specific Bluetooth codecs. Codecs determine how files are transmitted from a source (phone) to a receiver (speaker). Different codecs produce different amounts of latency when streaming, and the most common of those that have the lowest latency and the highest streaming quality are aptX and AAC if you’re an iOS user.

What are IP ratings?

UE Wonderboom 2 floating in a pool. The speaker is in red.
The speaker can be placed directly in the pool and float about.

Plenty of these speakers are water-resistant, so here’s a quick rundown of Ingress Protection (IP) ratings and what they mean to your specific model. IP ratings denote the dust and water resistance of a particular product. Oftentimes, a product will be rated something like IPX4 and the X is just a placeholder for what would be a dust-resistance rating. For a product to withstand full submersion, it must be at least IPX7 or higher.

Water-resistantWaterproofCan withstand
IPX0
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Not water-resistant
IPX1
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Dripping water (1 mm/min)
Limit: vertical drips only
IPX2
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Dripping water (3 mm/min)
Limit: Device max tilt of 15° from drips
IPX3
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Sprays
Limit: Device max tilt of 60° from sprays
IPX4
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Splashes, omnidirectional
IPX5
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Water jets (12.5 L/min)
Example: Squirt guns
IPX6
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Strong water jets (100 L/min)
Example: Powerful water guns
IPX7
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Complete submersion
Limit: 1 m. for 30 min
IPX8
Water-resistant

Waterproof

Can withstand
Complete submersion
Limit: 3 m. for 30 min

How we chose the best Bluetooth speakers under $50

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 you should trust SoundGuys

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.

Frequently asked questions about cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50

While these two little speakers are of a similar size, they differ in a few minor ways. One of the major selling points of the JBL Clip 3 is that it has a built-in carabiner clip making it easier to attach to a backpack or anything, really. The JBL GO 3 only has a loop, but if you have a carabiner of your own it is easy to use it in the same way. The JBL GO 3 also has an IP67 rating whereas the Clip 3 has an IPX7 rating—this just means that the Clip 3 doesn’t have a certified dust-proof build, but both speakers are waterproof. Another notable difference between the two speakers is that the Clip 3 includes an auxiliary port whereas the GO 3 can only connect to a source device via Bluetooth. Lastly the Clip 3 includes a microphone for making calls, but the GO 3 does not.

When the Anker SoundCore Flare Mini has low battery, the power button blinks in red.