The best Bluetooth speakers under $100

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could spend $100 or less on a Bluetooth speaker and still get an awesome portable sound machine? Not only is it possible, but there’s also a surprising amount of choice. After testing dozens of models, we’ve chosen the Ultimate Ears Boom 2 is the best Bluetooth speaker under $100. It’s highly portable, packs plenty of battery life, but most importantly, it can fill a room with high-quality sound.

The Boom 2 is the best value for most budgets, but if you’re looking for even cheaper options, or perhaps you need a speaker built to handle rougher situations, we’ve assembled a list of great alternatives, each with its own unique strengths.

The best Bluetooth speakers under $100 at a glance:

The best Bluetooth speaker under $100: Ultimate Ears Boom 2

Why should you buy this: With 15 hours of battery life, immersive 360-degree sound, and waterproofing, what more could you ask for?

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a portable and rugged, high-quality wireless speaker.

Why we picked the Ultimate Ears Boom 2:

When the UE Boom 2 debuted in 2015, it cost substantially more than it does today. That’s great news for music fans on a budget, because all of the reasons that made the Boom 2 a smart buy for your wireless-speaker needs are still true: Excellent 360-degree sound, 15 hours of battery life, waterproof enclosure, auxiliary-in jack, and an elegant design that looks as good in the living room as it does by the pool. But now you can find this speaker for $100 or less, making it one sweet deal.

Ont top of all that, the Boom 2 lets you connect to two smartphones simultaneously, enabling a dueling-DJ scenario. Add the UE Boom app and that number grows to three DJs. The App’s PartyUp mode ups the ante even further, letting you cast your tunes to up to 50 UE speakers from one smartphone, giving you king-like power over an entire armada of speakers. The physical controls are also dead simple, including large, easy-to-tap volume buttons on the side, and a touch-sensitive top panel that lets you play/pause or skip tracks.

You won’t be able to summon Alexa or Google Assistant via the Boom 2, and it doesn’t have speakerphone capabilities, but if you’re seeking a high-quality speaker that lets you bring your tunes wherever you go, you’ll love the UE Boom 2.

The best Bluetooth speaker under $100 for travelers: JBL Flip 4

The best Bluetooth speakers under $100
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Why should you buy this: The JBL Flip 4 does it all, with powerful sound, an ultra-rugged design, and smart assistant compatibility.

Who’s it for: Those who want a supremely portable and affordable wireless speaker that doesn’t compromise on features.

Why we picked the JBL Flip 4:

As the name suggests, the JBL Flip 4 is the fourth JBL’s line of portable and rugged wireless Flip speakers. We’ve always enjoyed the way JBL coaxes balanced, loud sound out of small speakers and the Flip 4 continues that tradition. This wireless speaker is less notable for any one of its features, getting our nod instead because of the way it integrates so many features while remaining affordable.

Those features include solid 10-hour battery life, though this may stretch to 12 hours if you don’t max out the volume. If you do explore the upper reaches of the Flip 4’s volume, you’ll be surprised by just how loud it gets. We’re not going to candy-coat it: It’s not the best audio performer indoors — if that’s your main mission, consider the UE Boom 2, or the Klipsch Groove — but outdoors, where there’s plenty of competition in the noise department, this speaker really shines. Place it in the middle of the action and it will power your party with no trouble at all.

The Flip 4 has excellent wireless range, an auxiliary input for connecting other devices, and it can also do double-duty as a speakerphone thanks to the built-in microphone. You may also appreciate that it’s compatible with both Siri and Google Now, though it is not considered a smart speaker because it requires a smartphone for its connection, and there’s no Alexa or Google Assistant built-in.

Its IPX7 rating makes it the ideal music companion for the shower or near a bathtub, and it will even survive an accidental immersion or two if you drop it in a pool. But beware: Unlike our pick for the poolside, the UE Wonderboom, the JBL Flip 4 doesn’t float, so you may need to go for a swim if the Flip 4 heads overboard.

Our full JBL Flip 4 review

The best Bluetooth speaker under $100 for the pool: UE Wonderboom

The best Bluetooth speakers under $100
Ultimate Ears

Why should you buy this: Small size, big sound, floatation, and waterproofing all make the UE Wonderboom the no-brainer pool party accessory.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants an affordable, portable wireless speaker that is totally pool-proof.

Why we picked the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom:

There is actually a new version of the UE Wonderboom — the UE Wonderboom 2 — so why are we still recommending the original? Simple: It’s still a fantastic speaker for those who like their water sports, but now it’s even cheaper and thus an even better fit for those looking for a killer deal on great wireless sound.

The UE Wonderboom looks kind of like a patio lantern crossed with a pool toy, and that sums up its strengths perfectly. It’s the wireless speaker you want if you’re entertaining a crowd (or just yourself) near the water. The sound quality certainly isn’t audiophile caliber, but it doesn’t have to be. Outdoors, where the Wonderboom belongs, you need volume and decent bass response, and it handily delivers both in spite of its pint-sized stature.

Battery life is fairly standard for this category at about 10-12 hours, and its wireless range is very good — you’ll probably get up to 100 feet of coverage when outside barring any barriers. But the key to the Wonderboom is its impressive ability to deal with whatever you throw at it (and whatever you throw it at). It’s rugged, it’s waterproof, and yes, it floats, making it the perfect wireless speaker for the pool or the beach.

The Wonderboom 2 does come with some nice perks, like stereo pairing and dust protection, but unless those are must-haves, the original Wonderboom is all the outdoor speaker you need.

Our full review of the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

The best budget Bluetooth speaker under $100: Oontz Angle 3

The best Bluetooth speakers under $100

Why should you buy this: Tiny yet mighty, the Oontz Angle 3 delivers wireless stereo sound at crazy-low.

Who’s it for: Those who need a wireless speaker for chump change.

Why we picked the Oontz Angle 3:

Let’s not beat around the bush: We picked the Oontz Angle 3 because you simply won’t find a cheaper Bluetooth speaker that isn’t a piece of junk. The fact that it’s actually got decent sound quality considering its price and size is amazing. In the Angle 3, you’ll find many of the features from our other picks like 12-15 hour battery life, excellent wireless range, and speakerphone compatibility — you’ll simply pay a lot less for them. It even has IPX5 water-resistance, which won’t be ideal around bodies of water like pools or beaches, but more than qualifies for protection against splashes — and you can even rinse it off if you’re gentle with the water pressure.

With rubberized end caps, the Angle 3 can stand up to some abuse too, though again, ruggedness is not its primary mission. What you do get is clear, and surprisingly loud sound from its modest footprint, which is ideal for situations where your phone or tablet’s internal speaker just isn’t up to the task of sharing music or YouTube videos. Though not a champ in the bass department, if you stand the Angle 3 on its end, you’ll give the passive bass radiator on the bottom some girth to work with, and it will sound richer and fuller.

The best Bluetooth speaker under $100 for music: Klipsch Groove

The best Bluetooth speakers under $100
Klipsch

Why should you buy this: It’s got the best sound quality you will find in a reasonably-priced Bluetooth speaker.

Who’s it for: Those who need a cheap wireless speaker but value great sound above all else.

Why we picked the Klipsch Groove:

Wireless Bluetooth speakers in this price range tend to want to be many things to many people. Not so with the Klipsch Groove. As with every other product this much-revered company creates, there’s one primary focus: Producing the best possible sound — in this case, from a wireless speaker. The Groove does this handily by sticking a massive three-inch single driver in the center of the enclosure. Instead of using multiple smaller drivers in an attempt to produce stereo separation (which hardly ever works in such a small speaker) this single driver creates big mono sound that can easily fill a room. It’s the same formula that Sonos has used to such brilliant effect on its Play:1 and Sonos One speakers, and it works here too.

You won’t find speakerphone compatibility, multi-speaker control, ultra-ruggedness, or the ability to float. What you do get is about eight hours of battery life on a single charge, an auxiliary input for wired devices, and top-mounted controls for power, volume, and play/pause that are easy to see and use. Klipsch does acknowledge, however, that the Groove will be taken a lot of places, and subjected to a fair amount of abuse. It’s a well-built unit that can withstand some rough handling, but its IPX4 water resistance is really only enough to keep it from damage if you accidentally splash it. This ain’t a shower speaker, or a pool-party rocker, though if you’re careful with it, it will sound fantastic outdoors as well as indoors.

Research and buying tips

Are Bluetooth speakers loud enough for a party?

Absolutely. Some Bluetooth speakers are huge, powerful devices that can rock an entire house if you let them! How powerful it is will depend on its size and level of amplification. Given that any speaker that costs less than $100 isn’t likely to pack a lot of power, you may want to check our list of the best Bluetooth speakers or best wireless speakers for products that can really get the party started.

Can I use these Bluetooth speakers outdoors?

Yes. All of these Bluetooth speakers have built-in batteries and of course, a Bluetooth wireless connection, which is the minimum you need for outdoor use. But be aware that there are other considerations: How loud does it get? A small Bluetooth speaker may not pack enough power to be heard over other sounds. Is it waterproof enough? Some of the speakers on our list are splash-proof, but if you’re going to spend real outdoors time with a wireless speaker, we strongly recommend that it be fully waterproof (IPX7 or better).

Can I use these Bluetooth speakers with Alexa or Google Assistant?

No, the Bluetooth speakers on this list do not work with Alexa or Google Assistant, though a few are designed to let you work with Siri and Google Now via your smartphone. That said, there are some Bluetooth speakers that do work directly with voice-based assistants. The Riva Concert and JBL Link 20 are both examples of Bluetooth speakers that are voice-assistant compatible. But there’s a catch: Smart assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant normally only work over Wi-Fi, which means that if you’re using your speaker somewhere where there’s no Wi-Fi, you won’t be able to use these assistants over just a Bluetooth connection.

Do Bluetooth speakers usually have a microphone?

This feature varies a lot. Some excellent Bluetooth speakers, like UE Boom 2 and the Klipsch Groove, do not have mics and thus can’t be used as speakerphone accessories. Some, however, do have one or more microphones built-in. Even inexpensive Bluetooth speakers — like the Oontz Angle 3 —  often offer this feature, so be sure to read the full product description if this is something you need in a BT speaker.

Do any Bluetooth speakers have a radio?

As a rule, Bluetooth speakers do not include a traditional AM or FM radio. If this feature is important to you, there are an increasing number of bookshelf stereos and boom-boxes that have radios and Bluetooth too, but they won’t be as small and as portable as a regular Bluetooth speaker.

Do any Bluetooth speakers have a CD player?

Yes, though it’s a rare combo. In such a case, you’re usually talking about a full boombox which has Bluetooth connection.

Can a Bluetooth speaker connect to my TV?

Yes, but depending on your TV, you may need to buy an additional Bluetooth transmitter. Most TV soundbars now come with Bluetooth built-in, but this does not mean they connect to your TV over Bluetooth. Typically, these products connect over a wired connection to get audio from your TV, and the Bluetooth connection is there to let you stream music to the soundbar from your phone or tablet.

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