People love to celebrate and complain about our increasingly-connected technology in equal measure. Yet, whether you’d like a chance to tune out texts and phone calls with some entertainment, or you never want to miss a message, a Bluetooth speaker is a great way to expand the options available from your wireless device of choice. To be clear, these little wireless wonders of sound and function have had an extremely rocky road. If you’re looking for pure audio nirvana, you’ll likely want to invest at least $200 in the latest and greatest.
However, the technology pulling it all together has experienced a drastic decrease in cost over the past few years. Yes, that’s right. You can get your own, fully-functional and not-at-all-frustrating little chunk of bluetooth speaker for less at $50!
This list should give you some ideas about what to look for. But to share some of the methodology, the first tip is to browse around for the best *and* most-reviewed options available. A 5-star rating looks great, but if that’s based on 5 reviews, you’d be better off with the product with 500 reviews and a 4-star rating. In the wild west of wireless speaker offerings, there is absolutely safety in numbers.
At this price range, you should expect to find rechargeable battery packs, speaker-phone functionality, and some extra emphasis on delivering the bass notes your phone can’t.
Here are 10 of the best Bluetooth speakers you can find for under $50 (Note: Prices are subject to change)
|10. Etekcity RoverBeats T16 Ultra Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker||Connects via bluetooth or via 3.5mm audio jack for non-Bluetooth devices such as MP3 and DVD players|
Compact size with an included carrying pouch
|9. OontZ Curve Bluetooth Speaker Ultra Portable Wireless Full 360 Degree Sound||Up to 5 hours play time|
Connects with Bluetooth or via 3.5 mm jack
|8. OontZ Angle 2 PLUS Portable Wireless Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker||Under 10 ounces, 5 inches long, 2.8 inches tall|
Built in mic
High capacity rechargeable 2200 mAh battery for up to 12 hours of playtime at 2/3 volume on a full charge
|7. Bearded Blue Premium Stereo Bluetooth Speaker||Play up to 200 songs (8 hours) on a single charge|
You get Bluetooth Speaker, Micro USB cable, 3.5mm audio cable, welcome guide, and 12 month warranty
|6. Tmvel MastiAqua NFC Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Water Resistant/Waterproof Shockproof and Dustproof||Water Resistant, Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof Rated IPX5. Rubberized rugged exterior|
Bluetooth 4.0 Technology, 33 feet range
8 to 10 hours of uninterrupted playtime with a single charge
|5. Tmvel Aquamasti Rugged Wireless Shockproof 100% Water Resistant/Waterproof 10W Speaker||10W Speaker|
Water Resistant, Waterproof, Shockproof, Dust-proof Rated IPX6 for 100% protection against Water and Dust
10 to 18 hours of uninterrupted playtime with a single charge
|4. SoundBlock Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Speaker||Bluetooth 3.0 Technology with 33 feet range|
Auxiliary 3.5 mm Input for connecting non Bluetooth devices
|3. JBL Clip 2 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker||Bluetooth Wireless|
IPX7 Waterproof Rating
Integrated 3.5mm Audio Cable
Mic for Speakerphone Calls
|2. iSound Twist Bluetooth Wireless Mobile Speaker||Stereo Sound with 6 watts total output from two 40mm drivers and on passive radiator |
Up to 5 hours continuous play on a single charge
3.5 mm Aux port
|1. Polaris V8 - 9W(4.5W X 2) Portable Bluetooth Speaker with FM-radio, Micro SD MP3 Player, NFC, LED Display and Removable 18650 Li-ion Battery||9W output from two 56mm drivers|
Enhanced resonator & Mixxinno digital amplifier
Micro-SD card slot supports max. 32G
Bluetooth V4.0, NFC, 3.5mm AUX Jack
Your best bet may be to spend a bit more, but you can absolutely find a quality speaker for around $20. You’ll also enjoy a more compact form factor, with a solid battery life from its standard re-chargeable power pack. If your goal is to simply amplify the audio you already get from your phone, RoverBeats delivers that alongside a modest bass boost. It may not be enough to get a party started, but it’s more than enough to deliver a mobile “Netflix and Chill.”
Jumping up a little in the price range is where you’ll find the best deals and the most-recently discounted high-technology. Oontz uses this same, pod-like form factor as conventional “low-end” Bluetooth speakers, and gives the whole design a sturdy, attractive finish. And if you’re the sort that needs a speaker phone that won’t embarrass you in a business meeting, the Curve brings clear and crisp functionality without looking like it’s meant for playing Justin Bieber songs. (Of course, it can do that, too. No judgements.)
The “Angle 2” from OontZ is a great example of why the company has built such a committed following. Rather than the classy finish of the Curve, the Angle 2 is the rugged speaker you’ll want to bring wherever your journey takes you. It’s important to note that water *resistant* isn’t the same as “water-proof,” but this design does a great job of keeping the normal threats of moisture and dirt away from the electronics inside. And you’ll be happy that it does, because the sound, battery life, and build quality are all extremely impressive for the price. You’ll find some minor trade-offs when compared to fancier options, but if you’re going out into the wilderness, you might appreciate a sturdy device that won’t bring you to tears if tragedy strikes.
On the opposite end of the “rugged, weather-resistant” scale is this offering from Bearded Blue. With the shift if focus, you get more emphasis on sound reproduction in a sleek, attractive package. Billed at one point as the “thinnest speaker on the market,” its 8 hours of battery life and shiny alloy casing makes this a great option for household listening. It won’t look out of place in most modern settings, and it might even class your place up.
6. Tmvel MastiAqua NFC Portable Bluetooth Speaker, Water Resistant/Waterproof Shockproof and Dustproof
Now we’re getting into “yesterday’s best Bluetooth” territory. With so much competition from all sides, the industry can’t help discounting their last, best tech. So it is with the MastiAqua, a rubberized beast of water/dust/shock-proof beauty that doesn’t compromise on sound or battery. With 8-10 hours of battery life, and a nifty NFC syncing pad, a quick bump of an NFC-enabled device is all you need to begin using the speaker. A gimmick, sure. Yet, with this many options available to you, these unique “gimmicks” can actually represent real value if you appreciate the functionality they offer.
Their name may be unpronounceable, but Tmvel knows their way around a solid, sturdy speaker design. And with the Aquamasti, they’ve thrown everything they do well into a small, absurdly overpowered package. It’s like they hit their 10-*18* hours of listening time, realized it still wasn’t enough, and put in an option to charge your devices from its giant battery. They made a case that was as “fill-in-the-blank”-proof as humanly possible, and then jammed a 10 watt speaker system inside to justify the protection. You’ll find plenty of bass and volume for your money here, with few concerns about damaging your investment.
Remember that note about “strength in numbers”? Soundblock is one of the most and best-reviewed Bluetooth speakers on Amazon for a reason. They have consistently delivered uncomplicated quality in an understated, attractive package. At this point in the list, you might notice that what’s “best” for you will be decided by how you plan to use the speaker and the flexibility you want from it. Soundblock hasn’t bothered to make an anything-proof design, they’ve simply focused on a quality wireless speaker. Sometimes, that’s more than enough.
If your chief concern is portability and a form-factor that increases it, the Clip 2 might be your best bet. Missing many of the features and specializations of the other entries, the Clip 2 is about having a truly pocket-sized speaker you can clip pretty much anywhere you want. Its sound quality is good, and if flexibility is more important to you than anything else, it’s a great way to bring bigger sound to your device without substantially increasing the space you need to carry it.
Bluetooth Speakers as an industry provide limitless opportunities to branch out into things that barely resemble our emojis for “Speaker.” The Twist is one of the more elegant examples of this attitude, with strange, yet reasonably-helpful design cues to get the most out of its already good electronics. They claim a “passive radiator subwoofer,” but the truth is they’ve designed a case that does everything it can to bring full-speaker quality to a smaller, less-expensive set of components. With a cool, strange style to match, it’s a gimmick that can still deliver on some of its promises.
1. Polaris V8 – 9W(4.5W X 2) Portable Bluetooth Speaker with FM-radio, Micro SD MP3 Player, NFC, LED Display and Removable 18650 Li-ion Battery
The “everything and the kitchen sink” option. The V8 brings power *and* functionality. While you certainly *can* stream most radio stations through your device, there’s something reassuring about knowing you’ll have options long after your phone’s battery dies. The inclusion of a microSD slot, a rarity at this price range, extends your options even further.
So there it is! A list of the 10 Best Bluetooth Speakers under $50….that you can find right now as this list is being written. By the time it’s published? You might just want to use this list as a guide to your purchase: Safety in numbers, know your needs, and avoid any speaker claiming to present a compelling LED light show alongside quality audio. They don’t have a place on this list for a reason 😛