A great way to take advantage of the outdoors is with a few friends and some good music, but the problem is some of the best Bluetooth speakers can cost hundreds of dollars. The good news is that there are plenty of great Bluetooth speakers under $100 that will do just as good of a job at keeping the party going. Whether you are prone to breaking your electronics, losing them, or just don’t want to spend too much on something that you know is going to take a beating, we’ve got you covered. This list of speakers should get the job done whether you’re hanging out in the living room or hiking a volcano (not recommended).
For a closer look at the pros and cons of each pick as well as some other useful information, make sure to check out the full article over on our sister site Soundguys.
Without further ado, here are the best Bluetooth speakers under $100.
The JBL Flip 4 is hard to beat
Reasons to consider the JBL Flip 4:
- The Flip 4 is IPX7 waterproof and has a small cord that lets you hang it from wherever you want.
- Sound quality isn’t half bad considering its size.
- You can usually find it at or around $99.
- Solid 12 hour battery life should last you through most of the day.
If you’re going to be near WiFi, you might want to check out the JBL Link 20
Reasons to consider the JBL Link 20:
- Like almost every new-ish speaker in the JBL line-up, the Link 20 is also IPX7 waterproof.
- The speaker has integrated Chromecast and voice-activated Google Assistant functionality, so connecting it to your existing Google Home setup is simple.
- Can connect to it via Bluetooth or over WiFi.
- The battery life of roughly 10 hours isn’t great, but it’s not bad for a speaker that works best when connected to WiFi anyway since you’re never far from an outlet.
The most portable option is the UE Roll 2
Reasons to consider the UE Roll 2:
- Super lightweight and the bungee cord makes it easy to hang anywhere, from a tree to a shower.
- It’s also IPX7 rated, and if you can’t tell from the pictures comes in a few interesting color options as well.
- It has a fairly long connection range up to 100 feet.
If you want to add some boom to your bag, go with the Sony XB20
Reasons to consider the Sony XB20:
- The XB20 is a simple speaker that does exactly what it advertises: plays music and can emphasize bass notes.
- It has an IPX5 certification so it isn’t entirely waterproof to the point where you can submerge it, but it is highly water-resistant.
- Has all the best tech built in like NFC for easy pairing and LDAC codec support for higher quality streaming.
- Playback buttons are simple, nicely clicky, and reflective of the overall solid build quality.
For the price, the Anker Soundcore Flare is a no-brainer
Reasons to consider the Anker Soundcore Flare:
- It’s significantly under the $100 budget this list was made for, so you’re saving even more money.
- Has really good build quality with an IPX7 waterproof build and a colorful ring of lights on the button.
- Plays music in 360 degrees around the speaker .
What you should know
There aren’t as many things to be aware of with Bluetooth speakers as there is with other audio equipment, but there are still some important factors to consider.
One of the most important things to consider when looking for a Bluetooth speaker is the environment in which you’re going to be using it. If you plan on taking it anywhere outside or poolside, then a water-resistant or waterproof rating is highly recommended. In the chart above, you can see that means that, at the very least, the second number in the IP rating should be at a four or above. If you’re going to be using the speaker while doing something like hiking, camping, or even at the beach, then you also want it to be protected against dirt and dust. In that case, the first number should be at the very least a five or above. That’s basically all you need to know for the purposes of this article, but we recommend reading the full explainer to learn more about what an IP rating is.
If you really want to dig into this part of Bluetooth audio, it’s worth checking out the article where Lily Katz explains everything you need to know about Bluetooth codecs. The good thing is, you don’t need to know all of that for the purposes of this article. Instead, all you really need to know is that some Bluetooth codecs allow for more data transfer between devices, which results in higher quality audio transfer and better sound. Of course, sound quality is likely not the reason you’re looking for a sub-$100 Bluetooth speaker, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for something that sounds terrible.
Why you should trust SoundGuys
SoundGuys is the sibling site to Android Authority that goes over everything you need to know about audio. Whether you’re looking for reviews on a new speaker, a list of the best headphones, or just want to learn how some of your favorite audio gadgets work, the team at SoundGuys has made it their mission to explain it all.
And that wraps up our list of best Bluetooth speakers under $100. What’s your favorite?
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