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The best cheap Bluetooth speakers in 2022

best cheap Bluetooth speakers
(Image credit: Future)

It's easier than ever to find top-tier wireless audio at a bargain price and our best cheap Bluetooth speakers deliver on their promise of quality performance at ultra-low prices. In fact, in this roundup we’ve stumbled on a veritable bonanza of bargain Bluetooth speaker gems all for under $100 — and some that have been further discounted to just $50 — to really give the best Bluetooth speakers (overall) a run for their money.

Many of these budget models even offer water protection and are protected to the same level as more upmarket offerings we've seen from the likes of the Sonos Roam and UE Megaboom 3, meaning the speaker can accompany you outside or in the bathroom, for example, without you needing to worry about splashes and water proofing. Check ratings carefully and don't forget to check out our best outdoor speakers and best waterproof speakers to buy right now. 

Several models offer extended battery life and some can be paired with a second speaker to create stereo sound. In the list of the best Bluetooth speakers, we ranked models based on performance and value, helping you find the best cheap Bluetooth for you. 

Alternatively, if you're after a small speaker for the home then you may be interested to take a look at our guide to the best smart speakers, ranked and tested.

What are the best cheap Bluetooth speakers?

Ranked No. 1 on our best cheap Bluetooth speakers list is the UE Wonderboom 2. It delivers a big sound for its compact size and has respectable battery life. You can expect music to sound vibrant and has better bass output than it has any right to for its size. It's water-resistant, and we love its portability and the numerous color options.

Wearable speakers are now a thing and a model like the Clip 2 is gets second place. Ideal for bikers and outdoor adventurists who want to keep themselves entertained when trekking outdoors, this sequel is a notable improvement over the original, boasting a better design, sound quality, and battery life. The color options (black, blue, red, teal, and gray) look great as well.

If your budget is paper-thin, check out the JBL Go 3. Its battery life may be on the low side but it's highly portable and like the Clip 2, comes in numerous color options. 

Scroll down to get the full breakdown of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers.

Best cheap Bluetooth speakers you can buy today

A Wonderboom speaker.

(Image credit: Wonderboom)
Small cheap Bluetooth speaker for sound

Specifications

Size: 3.8 x 4.1 inches
Weight: 0.9 pounds
Battery life (rated): 13 hours
Waterproof: Yes (IPX67)

Reasons to buy

+
Full bass for a small speaker
+
Waterproof and dustproof

Reasons to avoid

-
No app
-
No visual battery life indicator

If you want the best Bluetooth sound on the cheap, then the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 will meet most of your needs. It can usually be found at a discounted price and has remarkably good bass for such a small speaker.

You can find smaller and lighter speakers, such as the Tribit StormBox Micro further down our list, but they won't sound as good. If you are willing to go bigger, the UE Boom 3 produces better sound — though it also costs more. The Wonderboom hits a sweet spot in price, size and sound quality for portable Bluetooth speakers.

Read our full UE Wonderboom 2 review

Waterproof protection demonstrated on the JBL Clip 2

(Image credit: JBL)
The best cheap Bluetooth speaker for traveling

Specifications

Size: 5.5 x 3.7 x 1.7 inches
Weight : 6.5 ounces
Battery life (rated): 8 hours
Waterproof: Yes (IPX7)

Reasons to buy

+
Waterproof
+
Improved battery life
+
Very good sound for a small speaker

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very loud
-
No app

It’s been on the market for six years and remains one of the best bargains in the category. The JBL Clip 2 packs strong audio performance, highlighted by impressive treble, midrange, and bass, into a compact and sturdy design designed with portability in mind. The attachable carabiner installed at the top makes the speaker simple to carry around by easily clipping onto any item: backpack, bike handle, carry-on bag…you name it. The waterproof exterior (IPX7) is another major hallmark that offers peace of mind when tossing the speaker into the pool or cycling with it through the park during a surprise rainstorm.

It can even connect with two other Clip 2 speakers for surround sound, depending on where you place all three. You’ll likely need to invest in more than one if you want stronger audio presence because the speaker doesn’t get very loud.  This being an older model also means no app support, but that isn’t necessarily a big hindrance.

Read our full JBL Clip 2 review.

The JBL Go 3 propped on a table

(Image credit: Future)
The best waterproof Bluetooth speaker under $50

Specifications

Size: 3.4 x 2.7 x 1.6 inches
Weight: 7.4 ounces
Battery life (rated): 5 hours
Waterproof: Yes (IP67)

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and waterproof
+
Strong bass
+
Choice of six colors

Reasons to avoid

-
No app support
-
Lacking audio setail

The adorably tiny JBL Go 3 very nearly does it all. It's highly portable, even more so than the Go 2 thanks to the new rope loop, and is water- and dust-proof to the IP67 standard. That's on par with the class-leading UE Megaboom 3. It's also good-looking, with six color options to choose from, and its Bluetooth 5.1 is solid and dependable.

5 hours doesn't sound like much, battery-wise, but in testing we got closer to 10 hours when sticking to middling volumes. Sound quality is good rather than great, with thick bass but less of an ear for detail than the Soundcore 2, but on the whole this is an outstanding bargain.

Read our full JBL Go 3 review.

The Tribit StormBox Micro clipped to a bike handle

(Image credit: Tribit)
The best cheap Bluetooth speaker for portability

Specifications

Size: 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4 inches
Weight: 9.6 ounces
Battery life (rated): 8 hours
Waterproof: Yes (IP67)

Reasons to buy

+
Small and lightweight
+
Decent bass
+
Water- and dust-proof

Reasons to avoid

-
No app
-
Short battery life

The StormBox Micro pushes $50, but it's worth it. This is a much more compact speaker than its cousin, the XSound Go, and it's both fully waterproof (in depths up to 1 meter) and protected against dust and dirt.

Unlike a lot of very small speakers, it also sounds great, producing clear vocals and some surprisingly strong bass. For something tiny enough to clip onto a satchel or bike handlebars, that’s very good indeed. The only drawbacks are the lack of an app 9though you can pair with two devices at once) and a relatively low battery life, which sees the StormBox Micro run dry after 8 hours.

Read our full Tribot StormBox Micro review.

If you plan to use your wireless speaker mainly on your desk, check out the Doss SoundBox. It delivers good bass and full vocals at a very reasonable price. But it's 1.2 pounds, so the 6.6 x 2.9 x 2.7-inch unit isn't really a great fit for the outdoors, even with its impressive 12 hours of battery life and water resistance. It comes in black, white, blue, pink and red to better match your personal style, and has a touch-sensitive dial on top for controlling volume. 

The sound doesn't project well, so it really works best when you're sitting near it. The sound also gets too sharp and harsh if you crank the volume — another reason it’s best for personal listening. It includes a microphone if you want to use it as a speakerphone. 

The JBL Clip Plus front and back

(Image credit: JBL)
An old-timer with plenty of value

Specifications

Size: 4.2 x 3.5 x 1.7 inches
Weight: 5.3 ounces
Battery life (rated): 5 hours
Waterproof: No (water resistant)

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive audio quality for its size
+
Convenient integrated clip
+
Built-in speakerphone

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited battery life
-
Not waterproof

The first-gen JBL Clip was revered for packing such powerful sound into a compact design, though it lacked a major feature that the Clip Plus introduced: water-resistant protection. More than half a decade since its original launch and this ultraportable speaker remains a popular item to take on bike rides and hikes. You’ll get crisp treble and deep bass coming out of the 40mm driver, while the speakerphone comes in handy to hear people on the other end of a call. The integrated carabiner is also super-convenient for hooking onto your backpack or belt loop.

Being an older model, the Clip Plus won’t match the battery life that its newer siblings deliver. Not being fully waterproof means you can’t take it in the shower or pool either, but that doesn’t mean outdoor adventurists can’t have fun with it.

Read our full JBL Clip/Clip+ review.

How to choose the best cheap Bluetooth speakers for you 

The best cheap Bluetooth speaker is a balance between price, sound quality, size and features. While none of these speakers cost very much, you will see a wide variability in sound quality among the ones that cost closer to $40 than the ones that are less than $20. If you can afford to spend a few more dollars, you will be rewarded with better vocals and bass, and generally, better battery life. 

If you know you’ll want to take the speaker with you on hikes and to the pool, opt for one that is light, offers waterproofing and ideally gets loud enough to be heard over environmental noise. You should also pay attention to the wireless range — some of these will stay connected 100 feet from your audio source, while others are only good at 33 feet. While most of these cheap Bluetooth speakers include a microphone for use as a speakerphone, the quality may not be any better than what your phone can produce. 

How we test the best cheap Bluetooth speakers

We tested these speakers using songs from a variety of music genres, including rock, hip-hop and acoustic. We listen for vocal clarity, sharpness of treble and richness of bass. We try the on-device controls for ease of use. To test battery life, we listened to each for several hours and checked how much charge was left. We benchmark volume using an app that measures decibels.

Once we complete our testing, we rate Bluetooth speakers based on our five-point system (1 = worst, 5 = best). If a product is truly exemplary, it's awarded an Editor's Choice.

As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.

With contributions from