While depth, clarity, and a wide soundstage are all great things, not everyone is willing to spend $200 on a Bluetooth speaker. If you just want one that will play your favorite tracks for you without leaving a gaping hole in your pocket, you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of cheap models out there.
And the great thing is that while they’re low-cost, some of them have some pretty nifty features like waterproofing and long-lasting battery life. To help you out, here’s a roundup of the best affordable Bluetooth speakers in the market, including ones from top brands like JBL and Anker.
Best Budget Bluetooth Speakers Comparison Chart
|Name||JBL Go 3||Anker Soundcore 2||Tribit StormBox Micro|
|Price||Check Price at Amazon||Check Price at Amazon||Check Price at Amazon|
|Water Resistance||IP67 rating||IPX5 rating||IP67 rating|
|Battery Life||5 hours||24 hours||8 hours|
|Best Features||-compact and portable|
-comes in six colors
|-excellent battery life|
|-small and portable|
-water and dust-proof
|Dimensions||3.4 x 2.7 x 1.6 inches||6.5 x 2.2 x 1.8 inches||3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4 inches|
|Weight||7.4 ounces||14.6 ounces||9.6 ounces|
JBL Go 3
The JBL Go 3 is the best affordable waterproof Bluetooth speaker.
The JBL Go 3 may be a tiny little thing but don’t let its size fool you. This Bluetooth speaker has it all and for a very budget-friendly price. For starters, it boasts of an IP67 rating which means it’s both water and dust-proof. This features puts it on the same level as more expensive models such as the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3. It’s also very easy to bring around with you on your adventures, thanks to its new grippy rope handle. To top things off, the JBL Go 3 comes in six vibrant hues, all of which are very pleasing to the eyes.
Performance-wise, the JBL Go 3 delivers good quality audio but don’t expect it to be outstanding. The bass comes through with a lot of punch although detail and clarity are kind of left out in the mix. As for connectivity, you won’t have any issues here as the JBL Go 3 makes use of Bluetooth 5.1. Battery-wise, you can extend its 5-hour life to around 10 hours if you turn the volume down to medium levels.
Anker Soundcore 2
The Anker Soundcore 2 is the best affordable Bluetooth speaker overall.
The Anker Soundcore 2 has everything that the JBL Go 3 has and more, making it the best affordable Bluetooth speaker overall. Its compact design makes it easy to pack along with your other travel essentials, plus it has an IPX5 rating so you don’t have to be scared of bringing it to the pool. Another thing that makes the Anker Soundcore 2 such a great bargain buy is its dependable battery life. Able to last up to 24 hours, you don’t have to reach for the charging cable too often.
The best part about this Bluetooth speaker, however, would have to be its sound quality. It’s surprising for an affordable model to be able to strike a harmonious balance between the lows, mids, and highs but that’s exactly what the Anker Soundcore 2 does. In addition, it has an impressive wireless range of 66 feet. But if you compare it to more expensive speakers, what really sets it back is its lack of a software that allows you to customize its sound and connect it with other speakers.
SoundBot SB510 HD
The SoundBot SB510 HD is the best cheap Bluetooth speaker under $20.
The SoundBot SB510 HD may not look like much but despite how small and flimsy it is, it actually delivers quite a big sound. Maybe even bigger than what more robust speakers out there can manage. This big sound is able to highlight vocals and treble very well although don’t expect much in the bass department. If you want to create an even more powerful experience, the SoundBot SB510 HD has a suction cup which lets you stick it to walls and tables. This allows the sound waves to bounce off the surface and create a louder sound.
As for water-resistance, it can withstand light splashes of water so you can stick it to your bathroom wall and enjoy your favorite jams while showering. You should definitely keep it away from the bathtub and the pool though. Another useful feature you can enjoy with this cheap speaker is its built-in microphone which allows it to double up as a speakerphone.
The Hussar MBox is a cheaper alternative to the Anker Soundcore 2.
The Anker Soundcore 2 is already quite affordable in its own right. But if you want speakers that are even more budget-friendly yet still able to meet the same level of sound quality, the Hussar MBox is a good alternative. The most impressive thing about it would have to be its EQ bass boost feature which lets you enjoy two different sound modes. If you’re a sucker for punchy bass, go ahead and switch over to EQ2. Not a lot of cheap speakers offer a customizable sound so the Hussar MBox definitely earns plus points for this.
Aside from good bass, the vocals come through nice and clear too although the treble sounds a little shrill. Just like the SoundBot SB510 HD, you can use the Hussar MBox as a speakerphone thanks to its built-in microphone. In addition, it has an IPX5 rating so it should be able to take on light rain without any problem. Battery-wise, it’s a little disappointing that it can only last up to 10 hours despite its bigger size.
Tribit StormBox Micro
The Tribit StormBox Micro is the best affordable portable Bluetooth speaker.
Thanks to its compact design, the Tribit StormBox Micro is a joy to bring around with you on your adventures. It’s definitely small enough to clip onto your backpack or hang from your bike’s handlebar. The best part is that there’s no need to baby it at all because not only is it fully waterproof for up to a meter, but it’s protected against dust and grime as well. As for sound quality, it’s decent when it comes to vocals and does exceptionally well in the bass department.
The Tribit StormBox Micro is affordable but certainly not the cheapest on this list. However, we find that it’s worth the extra money for its portability and sound quality. It does have a couple of drawbacks though. For starters, it doesn’t come with an app although you can connect it to two devices at the same time. Its short 8-hour battery life is also a bit of a letdown.
These affordable speakers prove that you don’t have to pay big money to enjoy good sound.
While there are definitely Bluetooth speakers out there that will cost you an arm and a leg, this roundup shows that you don’t always have to fork over big money for good sound. The Anker Soundcore 2 is the best proof of this, able to deliver a well-balanced performance despite its low price point. If you want to go even cheaper, the Hussar MBox is a good alternative. Aside from impressive sound quality, these affordable speakers also come with some additional features. The JBL Go 3, SoundBot SB510 HD, and Tribit StormBox Micro, for example, are all water-resistant and compact enough to bring around with you on your travels.
The SoundBot SB510 HD retails for less than $20 but manages to deliver a big sound. This big sound is able to showcase vocals and treble very well although don’t expect much in the bass department.
The Anker Soundcore 2 is the best affordable Bluetooth speaker in our book. It’s portable, it’s water-resistant, it has a dependable battery life, and it’s able to deliver a well-balanced sound.
The JBL Go 3 is a good option if you’re after portability. Not only is it small but it comes with a grippy rope handle as well. The Tribit StormBox Micro is another speaker you can consider. It’s compact and fully water and dust-proof.
Thanks to its EQ bass boost feature, the Hussar MBox delivers impressive bass. By switching over to EQ2, you get to experience even punchier lows.