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 55 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 Sony SRS-XB12. It's very well built and is rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Its small, lightweight design along with its carrying strap makes it exceptionally portable, which makes it a good fit to take outdoors with you.
While it doesn't get very loud, it has little compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio should sound mostly clean when listening to music at louder volumes. Its soundstage is very good, which also allows your audio to be clear from most angles. Also, it has a balanced mid-range which makes it a good choice for dialogue-centric content like audiobooks and podcasts.
Like most small speakers, it also struggles to reproduce low-bass, and it doesn't have an EQ you can use to adjust its sound, which may disappoint fans of bass-heavy genres like EDM. While it can support voice assistants when paired to your smartphone, its performance isn't great. It's also important to note that it sometimes retails for a little more than our budget price point of $50. That said, if you're looking for a cheap and versatile speaker, the Sony is still a great 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 Sony SRS-XB12, it performs better using the voice assistant from your paired smartphone. Overall, this speaker does a much better job understanding you even if you're far away from it or if you're in a noisier setting. 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 Sony, but if you prefer a speaker with an improved voice assistant performance and RGB lights, consider the DOSS instead.
The best Bluetooth speaker under $50 for voice assistants that we've tested is the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4. It has Alexa built-in, which can hear you even if you're far away or in a noisy room. There's also a mute mic button if you want Alexa to stop listening to you.
It has a balanced mid-range, so it can reproduce vocals and lead instruments clearly, though higher frequencies may sound dull or veiled due to its underemphasized treble range. There are also bass and treble adjustments in its companion app, which lets you customize its sound to your liking. It has impressive directivity thanks to its 360-design, so it has a wide and immersive soundstage. Its Bluetooth range is superb, so it can play audio from connected devices even if they're far away.
Unfortunately, it has to be plugged in to be used, so it's not very portable. It also doesn't get very loud, though its companion app has a Party Mode feature that lets you pair multiple speakers to amplify the sound. If you're looking for an affordable option with an amazing voice assistant, this is a suitable choice.
If you prefer Google Assistant over Alexa, consider the Google Nest Mini. While it doesn't understand you as well as the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 in noisy environments, it has Google Assistant built-in. It also has Chromecast capabilities, as well as a mute mic button if you want it to stop listening to you. Its mid-range is well-balanced, so lead instruments and vocals sound clear and present. Although it has to downmix stereo content into mono, it has excellent directivity, resulting in a large and open soundstage. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud, and it doesn't support multi-device pairing. It also has to be plugged in to be used, so it's not very portable.
If you're looking for a speaker with Alexa built-in and a more balanced sound profile out-of-the-box, consider the Amazon. If you'd prefer to use Google Assistant and like streaming audio using Chromecast, check out the Google instead.
The JBL GO 3 is the best portable Bluetooth speaker under $50 that we've tested. Thanks to its small and lightweight design, it's outstandingly portable. You can also attach it to your bag using its built-in strap, so you can take it on the go.
It has a well-balanced mid-range, so it can reproduce vocals and lead instruments clearly. While it can't get very loud, it doesn't have much compression at max volume, so its audio production remains clean and pure. It also comes with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. It's suitable for watching videos since it has low latency with iOS and Android devices, although some apps compensate differently for this.
However, it isn't compatible with voice assistants, even those on your smartphone. Also, its battery only lasts around five hours on a single charge, though this may be okay for shorter listening sessions. If you're looking for an incredibly portable speaker with Bluetooth capabilities, this is worth considering.
If a speaker that supports stereo content is important to you, check out the OontZ Angle 3 ULTRA. While its sound profile isn't as balanced as that of the JBL GO 3 out-of-the-box, you can customize its bass and treble to your liking thanks to the handy sliders that are available on its OontZ companion app. 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 JBL, and its outstanding battery life makes it great for long listening sessions. Unfortunately, it isn't as well built as the JBL and isn't as portable due to its slightly larger and heavier design. Additionally, its Bluetooth latency performance isn't as good as that of the JBL.
If you're looking for a louder and more customizable speaker that can support stereo content, check out the OontZ. However, if you're looking for a smaller speaker with a more neutral sound profile and a better build, consider the JBL.
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.