Don't spend a lot on these great Bluetooth speakers under $100

Don't spend a lot on these great Bluetooth speakers under $100

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a great Bluetooth speaker. Whether you’re looking to pick up a speaker to listen to music or play your favorite podcasts at the pool, or need one for streaming music from your phone, there are plenty of great options available for under $100. Our pick would be the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 for its versatility and excellent sound quality.

Best Overall: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

The Wonderboom 2 delivers everything you’re looking for in an affordable Bluetooth speaker: it has IP67 water resistance, astonishingly great sound quality, and a 13-hour battery life. The speaker also has multi-directional sound, and you can even pair two speakers together to create a stereo effect (although you can only pair it with other Wonderboom speakers).

The versatility on offer here makes the Wonderboom 2 stand out from the pack. You can take it to the pool without having to worry about water getting into the innards (just make sure the Micro-USB port is covered), and you can even submerge in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes without any issues.

The design itself is rugged enough — it’s rated to withstand tumbles from five feet — that you don’t have to worry about long-term durability issues. Oh, and it’s available in several exciting color options. Combine all that, and you get a fantastic choice in this category.

Pros:

  • IP67 dust and water resistance
  • Great sound quality
  • 13-hour battery life
  • Multi-directional sound

Cons:

  • Charges over Micro-USB
  • No adjustable EQ
  • No Party Up

Best Overall

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

  • From $80 at Amazon

The best budget Bluetooth speaker around.

The Wonderboom 2 combines excellent sound quality with a rugged design, IP67 water resistance, and a 13-hour battery life.

Also Great: Anker Soundcore Motion+

The Soundcore Motion+ may not have a distinctive design, but it sure does have an array of features that make it stand out in this segment. The speaker is Anker’s first with USB-C connectivity, and it also has Bluetooth 5.0 as well as AptX, a rarity in this category.

You get 30W of sound from the Soundcore Motion+, and there’s the option of pairing two units together to create a stereo soundstage. The Motion+ also has a BassUp mode that turns up the bass in real-time. You get the ability to customize the EQ via the Soundcore app, and the 6,700mAh battery lasts 12 hours on a full charge.

There are playback controls at the top, and the Soundcore Motion+ is also IPX7 waterproof, making it ideal for taking to the pool. The powerful sound combined with Bluetooth 5.0 and USB-C charging gives the Motion+ a distinct edge in the affordable Bluetooth category.

Pros:

  • Bluetooth 5.0 with AptX
  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Wireless stereo pairing
  • Charges over USB-C
  • 12-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Boring design
  • Flat highs

Also Great

Anker Soundcore Motion+

  • $100 at Amazon

Outstanding sound with the latest tech.

The Motion+ comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and AptX connectivity, and you get 30W of sound, IPX7 water resistance, and USB-C charging.

Classic Sound: Bose SoundLink Micro

Bose is a brand that is well-known to audiophiles and speaker novices alike, and as you can imagine, it has several Bluetooth options in its arsenal. We like the SoundLink Micro because it delivers on that Bose sound experience in a petite package.

The speaker is not much bigger than a hockey puck, and it has a clip-on attachment so you can attach it to a bag or strap for portability. It’s also IPX7 water-resistant and is quite durable with its rugged rubberized construction.

The speaker comes in three different colors — black, bright orange, and dark blue — and it can be paired with another SoundLink speaker to create stereo sound. It also features a microphone for access to your personal voice assistant or taking calls from your smartphone.

Pros:

  • Bose heritage
  • Super portable
  • Durable construction
  • Water-resistant

Cons:

  • Average battery life
  • Charges over Micro-USB

Classic Sound

Bose SoundLink Micro

  • $79 at Amazon

Big Bose sound in a portable package.

The Bose SoundLink Micro has excellent sound and durable construction to go with you on the go.

Light Up A Party: Anker Soundcore Flare+

The Soundcore Flare+ is an interesting product. It has four drivers that deliver 360-degree sound, but what makes it stand out is an LED ring around the base that lights up in sync to the music. The light adds another dimension to the listening experience and makes the Soundcore Flare+ the ideal Bluetooth speaker for parties.

You can also pair two speakers together for a stereo effect, and there’s the option to customize the EQ to your liking from the Soundcore app. You get up to 20 hours of playback from a full charge, and the Flare+ connects over Bluetooth 5.0. You even get IPX7 water resistance, making it a great choice for pool parties.

Overall, there’s a whole lot to like with the Flare+. The sheer number of features on offer combined with the unique light ring at the bottom and the 360-degree sound make it a fantastic option.

Pros:

  • Quad drivers for excellent sound
  • Halo LED is pretty cool
  • Stereo pairing
  • IPX7 water resistance

Cons:

  • Not very portable
  • Charges over Micro-USB

Light Up A Party

Anker Soundcore Flare+

  • $100 at Amazon

The ideal Bluetooth speaker for parties.

The Flare+ definitely lives up to its name thanks to an LED light ring at the bottom, 360-degree sound, IPX7 water resistance, and 20-hour battery life.

Best Rugged Option: JBL Charge 3

JBL is one of the most recognized players in this segment, and the Charge series continues to be a best-seller for its rugged design and versatility. The Charge 3 may not be the latest in the series, but it still has plenty to offer. It sounds great thanks to dual 10W drivers, and you get IPX7 water resistance, making it ideal for the pool.

The 6,000 mAh battery delivers 20 hours of music playback from a full charge, and you can pair the Charge 3 with other JBL speakers via Connect+. You get the option of connecting two devices to the speaker at the same time, and you can invoke Google Assistant. If you already have a JBL product with Connect+ tech, the Charge 3 is an easy sell.

Pros:

  • Rugged design
  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Google Assistant integration
  • Can connect to devices simultaneously

Cons:

  • Charges over Micro-USB
  • Costlier than other picks

Best Rugged Option

JBL Charge 3

  • $100 at Amazon

A great option for the road.

The Charge 3 has several standout features, including a rugged design, 20W sound, Assistant integration, and 20-hour battery life.

Still Going Strong: Ultimate Ears Boom 2

The Ultimate Ears Boom 2 is one of the best-selling Bluetooth speakers around, and it’s easy to see why. The cylindrical design delivers 360-degree sound, the IPX7 rating makes it ideal for taking to the pool, and you get easy pairing over NFC and the ability to connect to two devices at once.

Combine that with a Bluetooth range up to 100 feet, 15 hours of music playback between charges, and a variety of attractive color options, and you can understand why the Boom 2 is a standout offering in this segment.

There is a newer version of this popular speaker, the Ultimate Ears Boom 3, but it’s priced well above our $100 limit here. For those looking to spend under the century mark, the Boom 2 is still a great option.

Pros:

  • IPX7 rating
  • 360-degree sound
  • 15-hour battery life
  • Excellent range

Cons:

  • Charges over Micro-USB
  • Older model

Still Going Strong

Ultimate Ears Boom 2

  • From $78 at Amazon

360-degree sound in a robust package.

The UE Boom 2 has 360-degree sound, an IPX7 rating, a 15-hour battery life, and a range of up to 100 feet. It’s easy to see why it’s still a best-seller.

Best Sound Quality: Klipsch Groove

If your primary consideration from an affordable Bluetooth speaker is sound quality, then look no further than the Klipsch Groove. The speaker offers outstanding sound from a relatively modest package, and the IPX4 rating gives it some resistance to the elements.

You get Bluetooth pairing and music playback controls at the top, and there’s a 3.5mm jack on the side if you’re interested in plugging in. The 2,200mAh battery delivers eight hours of music playback from a full charge.

Pros:

  • Outstanding sound
  • IPX4 rating
  • Accessible controls

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work with calls
  • Average battery life
  • Charges over Micro-USB

Best Sound Quality

Klipsch Groove

  • $99 at Amazon

Great sound in a modest package.

The Groove doesn’t look like much, but it offers outstanding sound quality and an IPX4 rating.

More For Less: DOSS SoundBox

DOSS’ Bluetooth speakers are a fan favorite, and the entry-level SoundBox has a lot to offer. The speaker is affordable enough to be an impulse purchase, and it is loaded with features. You get a modern design with an aluminum grill that extends to all sides of the speaker, and it has touch gestures at the top for adjusting the volume and music playback. Just rotate clockwise on the volume ring to increase the volume, and counterclockwise to turn it down.

The SoundBox has two 6W drivers that manage to deliver a decent amount of sound for a speaker of its size. You can easily pair your phone or tablet to the device over Bluetooth 4.0, and there’s an aux jack if you prefer to plug it in. Best of all, you also get an SD card slot that lets you quickly play tunes without having to connect the speaker to another source.

You get 12 hours of battery life from the 2,200mAh battery, and the SoundBox takes just over three hours to recharge over Micro-USB fully. Oh, and it also has an IPX4 rating, giving you the ability to use it in the shower. Based on the design and sound quality on offer, it’s easy to see why the SoundBox is so highly rated in this segment.

Pros:

  • 12W sound
  • IPX4 water resistance
  • Modern design
  • SD card slot

Cons:

  • Charges over Micro-USB

More For Less

DOSS SoundBox

  • From $30 at Amazon

All the frills at a low cost.

The DOSS SoundBox offers fantastic sound quality and a robust set of features at a low price.

Plenty of great picks to choose from

Ultimately, choosing a Bluetooth speaker comes down to what you’re looking for. There’s no shortage of great products in this category, and it is down to you to decide if you want the latest connectivity, water-resistance, or the best sound quality.

If we had to choose one, it would be the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2. The speaker is a fantastic option for listening in the shower or at the pool, and the sound quality combined with the form factor and rugged design makes it the best choice in the affordable Bluetooth space.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Harish Jonnalagadda is the Regional Editor of Android Central. A reformed hardware modder, he now spends his time writing about India’s burgeoning phone market. Previously, he used to ponder the meaning of life at IBM. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he’s not writing about Amazon products and services, he’s defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

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