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Best Overall: Amazon Echo Dot at Amazon
"This pocket-sized speaker offers the most apps, the best control, and some of the best flexibility of any Bluetooth option on the market."
Best Budget: OontZ Angle 3 at Amazon
"The Angle 3 can connect to any Bluetooth device you throw at it and works with a variety of services, including Amazon Music, Spotify, iTunes, and more."
Best Battery: Anker SoundCore at Amazon
"Measuring 2.13" x 6.5" x 1.77" and weighing 12.64, the SoundCore is a lightweight, highly portable option for listening on the go."
Best Touch Control: DOSS Touch Wireless at Amazon
"The Touch Wireless has dual drivers for stereo sound and since it works with Bluetooth 4.0, you should expect a range of around 66 feet."
Best Waterproof: JBL Flip 4 at Amazon
"The Flip 4 comes with an IPx7 rating, which means you can submerge it in water and it won’t get damaged."
Best Outdoor: AOMAIS Sport II at Amazon
"The Sport II is waterproof and can sit in up to three feet of water for 30 minutes and still hold out."
Most Portable: JBL Go 2 at Amazon
"The small but mighty speaker measures 1.3" x 3.5" x 2.9" and weighs 6.49 ounces."
Best Design: Sony XB10 at Amazon
"Sony’s XB10 offers an Extra Bass feature that improves low-end audio, and if you buy two, you can pair them together for stereo sound."
A Bluetooth speaker on a budget doesn't have to be bad. There are no shortage of affordable brands out there that can get you a Bluetooth speaker with a durable build, great sounding audio, and a solid battery life. Some speakers in the under $100 price range even have waterproofing or built-in voice assistants like Alexa. We've reviewed and researched Bluetooth speakers from a number of brands in the sub-$100 price range to find the best ones.
If you're frequently on the go, you may also want to take a look at our list of best portable Bluetooth speakers and best waterproof Bluetooth speakers.
Courtesy of Amazon
Tiny form factor
Decent audio quality
Mono audio without pairing
Requires plug point
Difficult to clean fabric
If you’re looking for the best affordable Bluetooth speaker on the market, look no further than the Amazon Echo Dot. The pocket-sized speaker offers the most apps, the best control, and some of the best flexibility of any Bluetooth option on the market. At a surprisingly affordable price, the diminutive device won’t break the bank, either — and might even allow you to buy a couple with the cash you have on hand.
First and foremost, the 3.9” x 3.9” x 1.7" Echo Dot is powered by Amazon’s virtual personal assistant Alexa, allowing you to control smart home products and use voice controls to access different services. It’s arguably the Echo Dot’s most important feature.
The Echo Dot comes with its own speaker built-in, of course, and can connect to other devices via its 3.5mm headphone jack or with Bluetooth (it's compatible with Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices). Our reviewer particularly liked that with high-powered speakers handy, he could connect the Echo Dot to them and boost its sound quality. Aside from sound and voice control, the Echo Dot can be also be used as a hands-free device that lets you place calls and send and receive messages.
"The Echo Dot is a good value, especially if you want to see what all the voice assistant hype is about without dropping a bunch of cash." — Benjamin Zeman, Product Tester
Supports variety of music streaming services
Some reliability issues
You might have $100 to spend, but if you opt for the OontZ Angle 3, you can save a few bucks and still get a product that will pump out good-quality audio. The Angle 3 gets its name from its triangular design. On one side are controls that let you play, pause playback, and use voice control. Since it’s made from a resilient material, you can bring the Angle 3 with you outside and splash it with water around the pool and not worry about it getting damaged.
OontZ's speaker has two precision acoustic drivers on the inside to create stereo sound and according to the company, it offers amplified bass to make your low tones sound better. With a 2200mAh battery pack on the inside, you should be able to get 12 hours of battery life from the Angle 3 before it needs to be recharged.
The Angle 3 can connect to any Bluetooth device you throw at it and works with a variety of services, including Amazon Music, Spotify, iTunes, and more. Since it has a built-in mic, you can also handle calls from the Angle 3 and use it like a speakerphone. Ultimately, the speaker, which offers a 100-foot wireless range, offers a great value for the price.
Small and simple design
Long battery life
Short Bluetooth range
Anker’s SoundCore is a small wireless speaker that offers one of the best battery lives of any speaker on the market. The SoundCore is about as simple as it gets, with a thin rectangular design. It comes in three colors — black, red, and blue — and offers a built-in microphone, so you can use it as a speakerphone when it’s connected to your handset. Although its 66-foot Bluetooth 4.0 range is a little on the short side, for most users, it likely won’t be much of a problem.
The SoundCore’s best feature, however, might be its battery, which clocks in at a whopping 24 hours of continuous playtime. Since it has dual drivers, you should be able to take advantage of stereo sound when you’re playing music or listening to podcasts. Measuring 2.13" x 6.5" x 1.77" and weighing 12.64, the SoundCore is also a lightweight, highly portable option for listening on the go.
"The Anker Soundcore is a compact and portable speaker with a long battery life. These features more than make up for its shorter range." — Ajay Kumar, Tech Editor
Dual drivers for stereo
Capacative touch controls
Small and lightweight
Somewhat short range
Average battery life
If you’re looking for plenty of buttons all over your Bluetooth speaker, don’t even consider the DOSS Touch Wireless. This speaker is all about user experience, and it’s designed with capacitive touch controls that allow you to quickly change tracks, pause playback, or change modes with just your fingertips.
The Touch Wireless has dual drivers for stereo sound and since it works with Bluetooth 4.0, you should expect a range of around 66 feet. Its battery life is 12 hours, which isn’t stellar but should work for most users. Once you run out of battery life, you can recharge to 100 percent capacity in three to four hours.
DOSS’ speaker comes in a variety of colors, including black, gray, and red, and its boxy design should make it easy to place anywhere in the house. But since it’s so small and lightweight, you can also easily pop it into a bag and bring it with you wherever you go.
Can connect to two devices at a time
JBL has been one of the leaders in the wireless speaker market for quite some time. Although its Flip 4 is one of the more expensive items on our list, it offers outstanding flexibility — and doesn’t make you worry if it gets wet.
The JBL Flip 4 has a cylindrical design that blasts out stereo audio. It’s available in a slew of colors, including black, gray, and red, among others, and according to many users, it delivers downright outstanding sound. JBL’s speaker lets you connect up to two smartphones or tablets to it at the same time, so you and your friends can pick music and play it on the device. Its 3000mAh battery pack delivers up to 12 hours of straight playtime.
The Flip 4 comes with an IPx7 rating, which means you can submerge it in water and it won’t get damaged. With help from its JBL Connect+ support, you can link the speaker with more than 100 other JBL Connect+ devices to create a truly immersive sound experience.
Rugged and waterproof
Somewhat short Bluetooth range
The AOMAIS Sport II is about one thing: outdoor partying. The speaker comes with a decidedly unique design with two front-facing speakers and a black-and-orange finish. It has a rugged look to it, as well, which further bolsters the belief that this thing can handle the elements and still work just fine.
The Sport II is waterproof and can sit in up to three feet of water for 30 minutes and still hold out. Its exterior is made from rubber that protects it from scratches and should help it absorb some shock if it’s dropped under certain conditions.
AOMAIS's speaker uses 20W sound, which translates to high-quality audio, and if you have two of the devices, you can pair them together to create a multi-channel setup. The device uses Bluetooth 4.0, which is good for 66-foot range, and its built-in microphone means you can use it to place and receive calls.
Ultraportable and compact
Solid audio quality
Short battery life
JBL’s Go 2 is an ultraportable Bluetooth speaker that will do just fine above or under water. The device is nicely affordable and comes with an extremely small design. The speaker, which looks not unlike a lunchbox, is available in a dozen colors, ranging from deep sea blue to cinnamon red. Since it’s been designed to be water-resistant, you can submerge in three feet of water and keep on listening to music.
The speaker comes with five hours of playback, so it’s not the right choice for an all-day excursion, but if you want to take advantage of solid audio quality, its noise-canceling might help you out. In addition to wireless connectivity with Bluetooth, the JBL Go 2 also comes with a USB port for plugging in other devices and beaming audio through it. The small but mighty speaker measures 1.3" x 3.5" x 2.9" and weighs 6.49 ounces.
Extra Bass to improve low-end audio
Some sound delay for media content
The XB10 comes with a cylindrical design not unlike the Apple HomePod. But instead of an all-grille design like Apple’s device, the XB10 has a plastic wrap and a grille at the top. Better yet, in addition to Bluetooth connectivity, the XB10 offers near-field communication connectivity between devices.
Sony’s device can be arranged vertically or horizontally to pump out rich sound and its controls are nicely placed on the back to make it easy to pause playback and interact with audio in different ways. Regardless of how you’ve placed your speaker, Sony’s device offers water-resistance to protect it when it rains.
Sony’s XB10 offers an Extra Bass feature that improves low-end audio, and if you buy two, you can pair them together for stereo sound. According to Sony, the device offers up to 16 hours of battery life, which is quite good compared to Bluetooth competitors.
For the best Bluetooth speaker under $100, it's hard to do better than the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen). This little puck comes with Alexa voice integration, giving you the ability to control your smart home devices, play music, and find out about the weather. The audio quality is pretty solid for the size and the microphone responsiveness is great. However, if you want something more portable and even cheaper, the OontZ Angle 3 costs a mere $20. It gives you solid audio, 12 hours of battery life, and it works with most music streaming services.
Benjamin Zeman has over 20 years of experience in the tech industry, and he's written for Lifewire since 2019. He's previously been published on SlateDroid, AndroidTablets, and AndroidForums and he has a background in film and audio tech. He reviewed the Amazon Echo Dot and loved the value it offered in terms of both audio quality and smart home integrations.
Ajay Kumar is Tech Edtior at Lifewire. With over seven years of experience in the industry, he's previously been published on PCMag and Newsweek. Over the course of his career he's reviewed thousands of consumer tech products from Bluetooth speakers and soundbars, to phones and tablets. He personally uses an Anker Soundcore as his shower speaker and likes it for the compact size and solid audio.
Don Reisinger has over 12 years of experience writing about consumer technology. He's previously been published in Fortune, PCMag, CNET, eWeek, and LA Times, New York Times, and other publications.
Design - An affordable Bluetooth speaker will usually come in two shapes: rectangular or circular. The rectangular speakers are more standard, but the cylindrical ones are good for evenly distributing audio across 360-degrees and work best if placed in the center of a room or a group of listeners. Some speakers include an extra bit of protection with hard polycarbonate and rubber flaps to protect the ports from water and immersion. These features are particularly useful for pool-side and beach speakers.
Audio Quality - Audio quality for budget speakers tends to break down between mono and stereo. Smaller speakers like the Echo Dot only support mono audio, but you can pair them with other devices to get stereo sound. Larger speakers will have stereo sound built-in and not require any additional pairing.
Battery Life - Battery life varies according to speaker size and capacity. Most speakers hover around 12 hours of runtime with 2,000mAh batteries. On the lower end, more portable speakers might only offer 5 hours, while the Anker Soundcore manages 24 hours despite its small size.