If you're looking for an affordable Bluetooth speaker, it may seem like you need to make sacrifices in quality. However, you can find some options for under $50 that still deliver a good sound performance. Although most tend to be smaller in size and simple in design, many offer at least a few extra features. Whether you want something with a portable design, voice assistant capabilities, or sound customization features, you can likely find a Bluetooth speaker within your budget that suits your needs.
We've tested over 65 speakers, and below are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers under $50. If you want to see more options, check out our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers for bass, the best cheap speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers.
The best Bluetooth speaker under $50 that we've tested is the Anker Soundcore 3. This remarkably portable speaker comes with a carrying cord you can attach to its side, making it easy to take with you when you're on the go. It's decently built, with an IPX7 rating for water resistance, though we don't test this.
It has a well-balanced mid-range making it suitable for listening to dialogue-heavy content like podcasts. Though it struggles to reproduce a thumpy and rumbling low-bass, you can adjust its sound thanks to the graphic EQ and presets available on its Soundcore companion app. Also, its 13-hour battery life makes it suitable for long listening sessions, though this can vary depending on your usage habits.
Unfortunately, though it supports voice assistants from your phone, its performance isn't very good. It also doesn't get very loud and has compression artifacts at max volume that can affect the clarity of your audio during louder listening sessions. However, if you're looking for a versatile speaker for under $50, it's still a solid choice.
If you're looking for a versatile speaker under $50 with an improved voice assistant performance, consider the DOSS SoundBox Plus instead. While it isn't as well-built as the Anker Soundcore 3, it performs better using the voice assistant from your paired smartphone. Overall, the voice assistant does a much better job understanding your commands. This speaker has a portable design, and it's also rated IPX4 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. It lacks a lot of low-bass, but its balanced mid and treble ranges can reproduce clear and accurate vocals and lead instruments. It only lasts for ten hours off of a single charge, but that's still amazing.
If you want a better-built speaker with longer battery life, check out the Anker, but if you prefer a speaker with an improved voice assistant performance and RGB lights, consider the DOSS instead.
The Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 is the best Bluetooth speaker under $50 that we've tested. This small spherical speaker has Alexa built-in and does an excellent job of understanding your commands when you're far from the speaker or in noisy environments. You can also mute the speaker's mic when you no longer want the assistant to listen to you.
Its balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. However, the underemphasized treble range can make higher-pitched voices and instruments sound dull at times. Fortunately, its Amazon Alexa app features bass and treble adjustments, so you can tweak the speaker's sound to better suit your preferences. Thanks to its 360-degree design, this speaker also has great directivity, resulting in an open and natural-sounding soundstage.
Unfortunately, it isn't very portable and needs to remain connected to a power source in order for it to work due to its wired design. It also can't get very loud, and there's some compression at max volume that may affect the clarity of your audio during louder listening sessions. That said, it's a great choice if you're looking for a more affordable speaker that offers outstanding voice assistant support.
Check out the Google Nest Mini if you're looking for a speaker with Google Assistant built-in instead. While it isn't as good at understanding your commands as the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 in noisier settings, this speaker has Google Assistant built-in and supports Google Chromecast. It even has a mute mic button you can use when you no longer want your assistant to hear you. It has a balanced mid-range that ensures vocals and lead instruments are reproduced clearly. Its companion app also features bass and treble adjustments you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud, and there are some compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio may not sound as clean at louder volumes.
Get the Amazon if you're looking for a speaker with Alexa built-in. However, if you prefer a speaker with Chromecast capabilities and Google Assistant built-in, consider the Google.
The Sony SRS-XB12 is the best portable Bluetooth speaker under $50 that we've tested. This lightweight speaker comes with a detachable carrying strap, making it easy to take it with you when you're on the move. It's also rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.
It has a fairly well-balanced mid-range so the vocals and lead instruments in your audio should sound clean and present in the mix. This makes it a suitable choice for listening to dialogue-centric audio like audiobooks and podcasts. It also has outstanding directivity, so its soundstage is perceived as open and spacious. That said, its price tends to fluctuate and sometimes retails above our $50 price point.
Unfortunately, it has to downmix stereo content to mono which doesn't sound as immersive. It also struggles to reproduce low-bass and doesn't have any sound customization features you can use to adjust its sound to suit your preferences. However, if you're looking for a good portable speaker for under $50, it's still a solid choice.
If a speaker that supports stereo content is important to you, check out the OontZ Angle 3 ULTRA. While it isn't as well-built as the Sony SRS-XB12, it doesn't have to downmix stereo content into mono to play it, resulting in a more immersive sound. It also has bass and treble adjustments on its companion app that you use to can customize its sound to your liking. Its balanced mid-range ensures your vocals and lead instruments stay clear and can please those who enjoy listening to more dialogue-heavy audio like audiobooks or podcasts. It can also get louder than the Sony, and its outstanding battery life makes it great for long listening sessions. Unfortunately, it isn't as portable as the Sony due to its slightly larger and heavier design, and its soundstage doesn't sound as open and wide.
If you're looking for a smaller speaker with a wider-sounding soundstage and a better build, consider the Sony. However, if you're looking for a louder and more customizable speaker that can support stereo content, check out the OontZ.
Jul 08, 2021: Verified picks for accuracy and updated text for clarity.
May 12, 2021: Added the Anker Soundcore 3 as the best pick. Moved the Sony SRS-XB12 to 'Best Portable', and moved the JBL GO 3 to the Notable Mentions. Changes were made to text for consistency.
Apr 21, 2021: Added the Sony SRS-XB12 as Bluetooth Speaker Under $50 and removed it from the Notable mentions. Moved the OontZ Angle 3 ULTRA from best pick to Alternative With Stereo. Minor changes to the text were made to ensure consistency and accuracy.
Mar 31, 2021: Replaced the Sony SRS-XB12 with the OontZ Angle 3 ULTRA as Best Overall since the Sony is now retailing above our $50 price point. Added the Sony SRS-XB12 and the Anker Soundcore 2 as Notable Mentions.
Mar 10, 2021: Replaced the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 with the Sony SRS-XB12 in the 'Best Bluetooth Speaker Under $50' category. Moved the DOSS SoundBox Plus from the 'Best Versatile Bluetooth Speaker Under $50' category to the 'Alternative With A Higher Max Volume' category. Made the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 the pick for the 'Best Bluetooth Speaker Under $50 For Voice Assistant' category, and made the Google Nest Mini the 'Alternative With Google Assistant'.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth speakers under $50 for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper speaker wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no speakers that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our Bluetooth speaker reviews under $50. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no speaker is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.