Once the joke of the audio community, Bluetooth speakers have improved dramatically in the last few years.
And while you might think that means they’ve also increased in price, it turns out that you can snag a very capable portable Bluetooth speaker for under $100.
So which one’s best?
Reviews show that the JBL Flip 4 is one of the most versatile options.
It packs a waterproof design, great sound and plenty of battery life into a compact, unique design.
But, depending on how and where you plan to use it, there’s other options that might be a better fit for you.
We’ve rounded up 5 best portable Bluetooth speakers under $100 that reviewers feel offer exceptional value in an increasingly-competitive market.
Whether you’re looking to thump dance floor favorites or dig your toes into the sand relax, there’s an option on this list for you!
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for 2020
1. JBL Flip 4
Pros: Balanced sound, powerful, good battery life, waterproof design
Cons: Minor distortion at full volume, Connect app has limited features
The JBL Flip series is no stranger to the rankings -- with its Flip 2 and Flip 3 models wowwing reviewers. With their latest update, the Flip 4 goes from water-resistant to waterproof and gains a slight boost in audio quality and volume.
The tube shaped design means it cranks out sound standing up or laying down. It also helps protect it from drops. With dust, sand, and waterproofing, the speaker is ready to go virtually anywhere.
For larger areas -- or simply more volume -- you can connect multiple speakers together. You can also activate the voice assistance features of your phone using the speaker making it a great compromise between the connected requirements of smart speakers and the portability of Bluetooth speakers.
Rich sound, plenty of output, and an IPX7 waterproof rating make the JBL Flip 4 an excellent option for just about anyone looking for an affordable Bluetooth speaker.
2. UE Boom 2
Runner Up Pick
Pros: Balanced 360-degree sound, waterproof design, simple controls, NFC pairing
Cons: So-so battery life at full volume, app not super intuitive
With it’s tube design and range of bold color choices, it’s not hard to pick the UE Boom 2 out of a lineup. The shape isn't purely aesthetic either. The omni-directional 360-degree sound has no problem filling a room while rounded face provides extra-large controls on a compact surface. You won’t have to worry about pushing the wrong button while doing other things.
UE has established itself as a contender in the mid-tier Bluetooth market. The Boom 2 confirms why. It offers up to 15 hours of battery life on a single charge to ensure you make it through a day. However, reviewers noted that really cranking the volume made that number drop pretty fast.
The 100-foot range is also one of the longest in the portable market. There is also NFC pairing if you're devices support it. Further adding to the speaker's bag of tricks, you can pair it with other UE Boom 2 speakers to create an affordable multi-room setup or improve the audio quality.
Reviewers praise the UE Boom 2 for a good balance of bass, mid-tones, and treble -- especially for the size. It also has no problem belting out crystal-clear sound -- even at the top of its volume limits.
Stellar performance in a compact package and flexible connection options makes this speaker an excellent value. However, the weaker battery kept it from the top position in our roundup.
Best Sound Quality
Pros: Plenty of volume, balanced sound, strong bass, IPX7 water resistance, mounting band, voice assistant support, ultra-portable
Cons: Battery weaker than competitors
Sound quality is one of the trickier parts to finding a good Bluetooth speaker under $100. There’s plenty of loud options. And a good handful that sound great. But finding one that offers both qualities in a single speaker limits your options. The Bose SoundLink Micro hits the mark while remaining portable.
It includes all the main features one might need -- speakerphone, water resistance, an auxiliary input, support for voice assistants, and the ability to pair with another Bose SoundLink Micro unit for stereo sound.
Reviewers found the sound rich and balanced for the size. They also loved the built-in mounting strap for attaching the speaker to bike handlebars, backpacks, and other items while out and about.
The biggest drawback to the speaker is its battery life. Bose quotes 6 hours of use on a single charge while many speakers in this roundup hit double-digit hours with ease.
With the ability to tailor the sound to fit your preferences; loud, clear output; and the ability to connect multiple speakers, the Bose SoundLink Micro is a great choice for those looking to get the best listening experience in the sub-$100 market.
Best for Large Rooms or Parties
Pros: Room-filling 360-degree sound, excellent battery life, bass boost mode, high-quality materials, speakerphone functionality, can connect two speakers for stereo sound
Cons: Heavier than many speakers of the same size, lights are a matter of personal taste
Anker's Bluetooth speakers are typically minimalist affairs which sound great and look stylish but have no real personality. The Soundcore Flare Plus is an exception to this with its tapered tube design and responsive LED base.
If you're looking to an eye-catching effect or soothing ambient light, the lights are interesting and can synchronize with sound. If you don't like the lights, you can dim them or turn them completely off but will need to download an app and sign up for an account to do so.
Reviewers found the 360-degree sound rich and loud without minimal distortion and plenty of thump. Hitting the bass boost button has mixed results, but often accentuates the punch with little muddling of other sounds.
Best of all, an estimated 20 hour battery life means you can jam long into the night at a party or count on it having a charge if you toss it in your bag and tote it around on your next adventure.
With a stylish design, exceptional battery life, and room-filling 360-degree sound, the Anker SoundCore Flare+ is an excellent option for parties or large spaces while remaining very portable.
5. UE Wonderboom 2
Best Ultra-Portable Waterproof Speaker
Pros: IP67 rating, compact design, great battery life, plenty of volume, 360-degree sound, floats
Cons: Bass is shallow, outdoor boost hit or miss
Most Bluetooth speakers these days follow one of three shapes: puck, tube, or block. The UE Wonderboom 2 combines the puck and tube design to create an ultra-portable speaker with 360-degree sound.
Reviewers found the design makes the speaker ultra durable. It's also IPX67 rated -- meaning it's dust- and dirt-resistance on top of water-resistant for up to 30 minutes in up to 1 meter of water. It also floats, so there's little worry about if you like to listen in the bath or at the beach or pool.
The speaker touts an outdoor boost feature that increases volume and range, but reviewers found it was hit or miss depending on the type of music you prefer. However, they still found it plenty loud and the sound well balanced when using it without the boost feature. You can also pair it with another UE Wonderboom 2 to enjoy sound in stereo or cover a larger area with beats.
While one of the smallest picks on this roundup, reviewers were impressed with the UE Wonderboom 2's big sound and well-rounded feature set.
The following speakers didn’t make our list...but they came close.
They still offer value in the sub-$100 market and make solid runner-up options if one of the others isn’t in stock or doesn’t interest you.
Tribit StormBox - The Tribit StormBox offers 24w of 360-degree sound and a XBass technology to boost the punchy lows in your favorite tracks. Reviewers found the speaker a good value thanks to its waterproof design, fair price, and performance. However, some felt that while loud, the sound profile for the speaker accentuated bass too much.
Anker SoundCore Pro+ - Featuring a 4-speaker array and 25-watts of power, the SoundCore Pro+ isi an excellent option for the home or office. However, it's bulkier than most of our picks and some reviewers were not a fan of the styling. Still with BassUp bass boosting, 18 hours of battery life, and IPX4 water resistance, it offers a nice list of features at a fair price.
JBL Charge 3 - Using the tube concept in a horizontal format, the JBL Charge 3 offers an interesting take on speaker design. Reviewers generally enjoyed the sound on offer while most were quick to note it wasn't the best available. It's also a little on the large size for frequent travels. However, it offers an interesting alternative to the options on this list.
How We Picked
The picks in this buyer's guide are what we think are ideal for most people.
We selected these models based on analysis of expert reviews from around the web, user feedback on sites like Amazon, forum comments on our site, social media discussions, and more.
When answering the question, “What’s the best bluetooth speaker under $100?”, we considered the following primary criteria:
Good Sound Quality
While the sub-$100 market has improved dramatically in recent years, we wanted to be sure that every pick on our list offered a decent audio experience.
You should be able to crank up the volume and listen to a variety of genres without having to worry about distortion or tinny, empty sound.
Long Lasting Battery
The whole point of a bluetooth speaker is being able to enjoy your favorite music or media without wires and in better quality than your laptop, phone, or tablet speakers.
To do that, you need a battery that’ll last.
Most of our picks offer a solid 8 to 10 hours of use -- some even more!
Even at the sub-$100 price point, there’s no excuse for flimsy speakers or cheap materials.
Each of our picks offers either a rugged, durable design or a premium aesthetic that fits the investment you’re making in your audio experience.
Good Warranties and Support
We understand that even the best manufacturer’s sometimes crank out a faulty product.
What’s more important is how they handle customer concerns when this happens.
We’ve scoured reviews, dug through warranties, and checked customer service forums to be sure that all of the companies we list here stand behind their products and do right by their customers.
We compared the things most people consider when purchasing a wireless bluetooth speaker.
In short, we did the research—so you don’t have to.
Competition in the under-$100 range is heating up in recent years.
While you won’t get a chest-thumping, window-rattling experience you might get from high end audio equipment, a good sub-$100 listening experience will probably rival that of a decent portable stereo or even your car’s audio system.
They offer significantly more richness than your laptop, tablet, or phone’s built-in speakers but also fall far short of a home theater system or high-end stereo. It’ll probably even compete with some entry-level TV sound bar systems. Our picks in this guide also go toe-to-toe with most smart speakers in terms of audio quality.
This entirely depends on the Bluetooth speaker. Many of the picks in this guide allow you to chain speakers together to create a more immersive audio experience. However, this isn’t a native feature of Bluetooth. So if it’s an important option, be sure to check the specs of the speaker you’re considering before buying.
Bluetooth speakers and the ability to transmit audio over bluetooth connections have improved by leaps and bounds in the past 3 to 5 years. If you’re skeptical, walk into an major electronics retailer with your smartphone. There’s a good chance the store has display models for their speakers. Pair up your phone and load up your favorite song. You’re probably in for a surprise.
- Best Overall: JBL Flip 4
- Runner Up: UE Boom 2
- Best Sound Quality: Bose SoundLink Micro
- Best for Large Rooms or Parties: Anker Soundcore Flare+
- Best Ultra-Portable Waterproof Speaker: UE Wonderboom 2
While we feel our picks offer a great experience to a wide range of people, there’s not a single pick that will be perfect for everyone.
From the type of audio you like to where you plan on using your speaker, each aspect will impact which choices are a good fit for you.
This is why we make multiple recommendations and suggestions based on speaker features, sound profiles, and other criteria.
It will help you narrow down additional options and find the perfect speaker for you.
If you’ve never purchased a Bluetooth speaker, our in-depth Bluetooth speaker buyer’s guide dives deeper into the features discussed in this guide. It includes information on sizes, audio quality, connectivity, durability, and more.
Or, as always, if you have a question we'd love to try and help. Just head over to the community forum and ask.
Disclosure: You should know that in some cases, we may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to you) for products purchased through the links on our site. These links help support our work but they do not influence our content. Our editorial recommendations are always genuine and we try to feature only the best products and services. Why trust us?
 Digital Trends: The Best Bluetooth Speakers under $100
 SoundGuys: Best Bluetooth speakers under $100
 Reviewed: The Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers Under $100 of 2020
 Speaker Fanatics: Top 10 Best Bluetooth Speakers Under $100 in 2019
 Ask Men: Best Bluetooth Speakers Under $100