Think of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers as low-cost, easy-to-use upgrades on the integrated speakers your phone or laptop has. True, you’re unlikely to get the monster volume and sound quality of the best Bluetooth speakers overall, but the models on this list can deliver surprising sonic power for a lot less cash.
Indeed, all of the speakers on this list cost $50 or less, a fraction of class-leaders like the UE Megaboom 3. Even so, they can compete on features like connectivity and waterproofing, and in many cases they’re a lot more portable. Naturally we’ve tested them all ourselves, so you can be confident that that these really are the best cheap Bluetooth speakers around.
What are the best cheap Bluetooth speakers?
The best cheap Bluetooth speaker for most people is Anker’s Soundcore 2. Anker is best known for its cables and computer accessories, and with this accessory they’ve nailed it. The Soundcore 2 delivers on the things we think are most important in an affordable wireless speaker: it produces well-balanced sound, is water-resistant and plays for an amazing 24 hours on a full charge. Those are the kinds of features you used to find in Bluetooth speakers that cost $200. It’s also easy to take with you, since it’s not too big or very heavy.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Oontz Angle 3 is almost as good as the Soundcore 2 and often costs quite a bit less. The Angle 3 is lighter and smaller, which makes for better portability, but you give up some battery life — 14 hours versus 24 hours for the Soundcore 2 — and it doesn’t sound quite as rich as the Soundcore 2.
If you find the Soundcore 2 doesn’t have a big enough sound or you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker with better audio quality, you’ll need to spend quite a bit more to get something better. To beat the Soundcore 2, you’ll need to spend a bit more, like on the UE Wonderboom 2.
Best cheap Bluetooth speakers you can buy today
Anker’s Soundcore 2 speaker has almost everything you want in a Bluetooth speaker and is a real bargain, too. The 6.5 x 2.1 x 1.77-inch wireless speaker is small enough to be easily toteable, and its fantastic 24-hour battery life means you can listen for a long time between recharges. It features IPX5 water resistance, which makes it a great companion at the pool or in the bathroom. Best of all, the Soundcore 2 sounds great, delivering well-balanced bass, treble and mid tones. It includes a microphone if you want to use it as a speakerphone and has good wireless strength, with a range of up to 66 feet.
The biggest downside is the lack of an app to tweak the sound or pair it with other speakers, something that you’ll commonly find in more expensive Bluetooth speakers.
For such little cash, you won’t find many better speakers than the Oontz Angle 3. It produces bright, clear vocals and crisp treble, and it even delivers a bit of bass—something missing from other cheap speakers. With a unique 5.3 x 2.6 x 2.8-inch triangular design, it manages to be compact while still creating a big sound. Its IPX5 weather resistance means you don’t have to worry if it gets splashed with water (but you shouldn’t dunk it in the pool). It includes a microphone if you want to use it as a speakerphone.
This version of the Oontz has better battery life than previous models, cranking out tunes for up to 14 hours. While it doesn’t sound quite as good as the SoundCore 2, it has a stronger wireless signal. Like the SoundCore, It lacks an app for adjusting sound.
For a few dollars less than the Anker SoundCore 2, the Tribit XSound Go comes pretty close to matching the specs for our top budget Bluetooth speaker: 24-hour battery life, excellent wireless range and auxiliary input. At 6.7 x 2.3 x 2.2 inches, the Tribit is slightly bigger than the SoundCore 2, but weighs a little less. It bests the SoundCore’s waterproofing with an IPX7 rating, meaning it can be completely submerged. As with the SoundCore 2 and the Oontz Angle 3, it includes a microphone if you want to use it as a speakerphone.
However, while the Tribit delivers very good overall sound for a small speaker, it can’t match the bass output of the SoundCore 2. LIke the SoundCore 2 and Oontz Angle 3, it lacks an app that would allow you to adjust the sound to your liking.
The StormBox Micro sits at the top of our $50 budget, but it’s worth it. This is a much more compact speaker than its cousin, the XSound Go, and it’s both fully waterproof (in depths up to 1 meter) and protected against dust and dirt.
Unlike a lot of very small speakers, it also sounds great, producing clear vocals and some surprisingly strong bass. For something tiny enough to clip onto a satchel or bike handlebars, that’s very good indeed. The only drawbacks are the lack of an app 9though you can pair with two devices at once) and a relatively low battery life, which sees the StormBox Micro run dry after 8 hours.
Read our full Tribot StormBox Micro review.
If you plan to use your wireless speaker mainly on your desk, check out the Doss SoundBox. It delivers good bass and full vocals at a very reasonable price. But it’s 1.2 pounds, so the 6.6 x 2.9 x 2.7-inch unit isn’t really a great fit for the outdoors, even with its impressive 12 hours of battery life and water resistance. It comes in black, white, blue, pink and red to better match your personal style, and has a touch-sensitive dial on top for controlling volume.
The sound doesn’t project well, so it really works best when you’re sitting near it. The sound also gets too sharp and harsh if you crank the volume — another reason it’s best for personal listening. It includes a microphone if you want to use it as a speakerphone.
The VicTsing SoundHot C6 has a useful gimmick to separate it from the masses of cheap Bluetooth speakers: a suction cup. Not only does the suction cup help it stick to the shower wall, it also improves the bass response. As a result, the VicTsing delivers a bigger sound than you’d expect, with good treble and midrange, and, yes, even a bit of bass. The speaker sports an IPX5 weatherproof rating, meaning you don’t have to worry about it when you use it in the shower (just don’t submerge it in the bath). And it gets loud enough that you can hear it over the sounds of the bathroom.
At 5 x 4.8 x 2.2 inches and 6.7 ounces, it’s small and light enough to tote around. But because of the small size, I found the controls on the unit hard to access. It also only has a wireless range of 33 feet — quite low by today’s standards.
The Hussar MBox’s sound quality almost matches that of the Anker SoundCore 2, and it costs a little less. It creates impressive bass thanks to its EQ bass boost feature; you can switch between two sound modes by holding down the play/pause button (use EQ2 for better bass). Few cheap Bluetooth speakers offer sound tweaks like that. Vocals sound clear, though the treble is tinny. It has a microphone so you can use it as a speakerphone.
The 7.2 x 3 x 2.7-inch unit is small enough to take with you, though it weighs a pound — that can weigh you down a bit on a long hike. Its IPX5 water-resistance means you don’t have to worry about a light rain ruining it, but you shouldn’t submerge it. The Mbox’s battery will play for 10 hours on a full charge, which is low for its size.
Zosam’s Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker surprises by delivering clear vocals and decent bass — something all cheap Bluetooth speakers would like to claim, but few this cheap can deliver. The 5.6 x 2.8 x 2.1-inch speaker weighs just under 11 ounces and is built tough, with metal grills covering the drivers and hard plastic encasing the outside. It doesn’t feel like it costs around $20.
It’s waterproof and plays for 10 hours on a full charge. In addition to Bluetooth, you can connect via a 3.5mm cord or use an SD card. It includes a microphone if you want to use it as a speakerphone, and it has good wireless range (66 feet). While it can’t match more expensive models for overall sound quality, it’s a solid choice for a cheap Bluetooth speaker.
Looks can be deceiving, even when it comes to cheap Bluetooth speakers. At just 1.6 ounces, the dome-shaped SoundBot SB510 HD feels flimsy, but delivers better sound than sturdier-looking models. The surprisingly big sound of the SB510 shines when it comes to vocals and treble. It’s available in an array of colors, including black, white, blue, green and yellow. It even includes a microphone if you want to use it as a speakerphone, though your phone probably does a better job.
The speaker includes a suction cup so you can stick it to tables or walls, which helps it create its big sound — and it makes it more convenient to attach to a shower wall. It’s splash-proof so you don’t have to worry about getting it a little wet, but don’t submerge it in the bath.
When you’re balancing size versus portability, sometimes the extra size is worth it. The 8.2 x 3.2 x 2-inch, 21.8-ounce Aomais Sport II will take up some space in your pack, but you’ll be rewarded with larger sound. The unit produces clear vocals and sharp treble thanks to its two drivers, though the bass comes across a bit muddy. It’s IPX7 waterproofing makes it one of the most rugged cheap Bluetooth speakers, and means you can submerge it without fear of damage.
With 16 hours of playtime on a full charge, it also has better-than-average battery life. You can connect via 3.5mm cord if you don’t want to go wireless. To make it easier to tote, you can attach it to your bike using a tripod mount or buy the Aomais Sling Cover to give it a handle.
How to choose the best cheap Bluetooth speakers for you
The best cheap Bluetooth speaker is a balance between price, sound quality, size and features. While none of these speakers cost very much, you will see a wide variability in sound quality among the ones that cost closer to $50 than the ones that are less than $20. If you can afford to spend a few more dollars, you will be rewarded with better vocals and bass, and generally, better battery life.
If you know you’ll want to take the speaker with you on hikes and to the pool, opt for one that is light, offers waterproofing and ideally gets loud enough to be heard over environmental noise. You should also pay attention to the wireless range — some of these will stay connected 100 feet from your audio source, while others are only good at 33 feet. While most of these cheap Bluetooth speakers include a microphone for use as a speakerphone, the quality may not be any better than what your phone can produce.
How we test the best cheap Bluetooth speakers
We tested these speakers using songs from a variety of music genres, including rock, hip hop and acoustic. We listen for vocal clarity, sharpness of treble and richness of bass. We try the on-device controls for ease of use. To test battery life, we listened to each for several hours and checked how much charge was left. We benchmark volume using an app that measures decibels.