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The 4 Best Cheap Speakers - Black Friday 2022 Reviews

Best Cheap Speakers

If you're shopping for the best budget Bluetooth speaker, it can feel like you have to make many sacrifices in terms of performance. However, speakers have increasingly improved their features while keeping prices fairly low. Although they tend to have a simple design and small size, many affordable speakers can still deliver clear vocals. Some speakers even have companion apps that offer additional controls and features, built-in voice assistants, and Bluetooth connectivity for more portability.

We've tested over 100 speakers, and below are our recommendations for the best cheap Bluetooth speakers. See also our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers under $50 and the best Bluetooth speakers under $100.

  1. Best Cheap Speaker

    The best cheap speaker we've tested is the Anker Soundcore Flare 2. It's a portable speaker with rings of multicolored lights around the top and the base, which you can customize in its app to match your mood. The app also gives you access to a wide array of customization tools to help you switch up its sound, including a full graphic EQ, presets, and an extra bass feature. However, you may not even need these features in the first place— right out of the box, this speaker offers a balanced sound, so voices and lead instruments are accurately reproduced.

    Overall, this affordable speaker is suitable for listening to many different types of audio content, from music to podcasts to audiobooks. Its small, lightweight design makes it easy to carry with you from room to room, and you can even bring it outside. Thanks to its IPX7 rating for water resistance, you can submerge it in up to one meter of water for up to thirty minutes without damage. However, the manufacturer warns against dropping it. If you keep an eye out for sales, you might also find the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 at a similar price— and it's much more suitable for outdoor use since the manufacturer says that it can float in water and withstand small bumps and falls along the way. However, if you want to stick within a tighter budget, the Anker remains a good pick.

    See our review

  2. Best Small Cheap Speaker

    If you're looking for a smaller speaker ideal for life on the go, consider the Sony SRS-XB13. It's another cheap speaker with a solid performance for the price, and it's incredibly lightweight, so you can easily carry it in one hand. Better yet, its built-in carrying strap makes it easy to latch the speaker to your bag, which is great if you're looking to boost the mood on your next hike with your favorite tunes. Also, this speaker is rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, so if you come across some rain on your next adventure, it's not a big deal.

    This speaker offers a pretty even sound profile, making it suitable for most types of audio content. Dialogue in podcasts and audiobooks is clear and detailed, and you enjoy an accurate reproduction of instruments in your favorite music, with a touch of extra boom in the bass. Unlike the Anker Soundcore Flare 2, you won't find a graphic EQ or any presets to help you switch up its sound, which is a bit disappointing. Still, it offers a solid performance overall, with an over eleven-hour battery life to keep the party going.

    See our review

  3. Best Loud Cheap Speaker

    Love to blast your favorite songs? The DOSS SoundBox Plus is among the loudest cheap Bluetooth speakers we've tested. While it doesn't get loud enough to fill a large, crowded party with sound, it easily fills a small to medium-sized room like your bedroom. Also, although its volume is a touch louder than the Anker Soundcore Flare 2, it has significantly less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds much cleaner and clearer when you blast your music. It has a balanced mid-range that ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix, though sibilants like S and T sound sharp at times. Still, it's small, portable, and has customizable RGB lights surrounding its drivers. It even supports voice assistants through your smartphone. It doesn't produce a bass as deep as the Flare 2.

    If you're looking for something even cheaper, and don't care for lights or voice assistants, consider the OontZ Angle 3 ULTRA. This small, triangular speaker gives you more control over its sound profile thanks to the bass and treble adjustments in its companion app. Its battery lasts twice as long, lasting over 20 hours on a single charge! That said, it has a bit more compression present at max volume than the DOSS, though not by much. The DOSS also produces a bass that's a bit deeper.

    See our review

  4. Best Cheap Smart Speaker

    Looking for the best budget speaker to add a voice assistant to your home? While it isn't as portable as the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 due to its wired design, the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 is an Alexa-enabled smart speaker that's excellent at registering your commands when you're far away from the speaker and in noisy rooms. You can activate Alexa using your voice and mute its mic for more privacy. You can also connect the speaker to multiple other compatible Amazon speakers when you want to amplify your audio across your home. It has a wide and spacious-sounding soundstage, and its balanced mid-range makes it good for listening to dialogue-heavy audio content like podcasts and audiobooks. There are also bass and treble adjustments to tweak its sound. That said, it doesn't get as loud and doesn't produce as deep a bass.

    Prefer Google Assistant? The Google Nest Mini is even more affordable and supports Google Chromecast. Like the Amazon, it has a balanced mid-range, making it good for dialogue-centric audio content like audiobooks and podcasts, and it comes with bass and treble adjustments. Its treble range is fairly uneven, so higher-pitched voices and sounds sound alternately harsh and dull. The speaker also doesn't produce a bass that's quite as deep as the Amazon, and it isn't as good at registering your commands in noisier rooms.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Apple HomePod mini: The Apple HomePod mini is worth considering if you're looking for a Siri-enabled smart speaker to integrate into your Apple ecosystem. However, unlike the Google Nest Mini or Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4, it lacks a mute microphone switch. It's pricier too, and its voice assistant may struggle to pick up your voice in a noisy environment. See our review
  • JBL JR POP: The JBL JR POP is a very small, portable speaker primarily designed for kids. It has a built-in carrying strap that kids can attach to their backpacks. However, its sound profile isn't as balanced and neutral as the Sony SRS-XB13. See our review
  • JBL GO 3: The JBL GO 3 is a small, outstandingly portable speaker with a built-in carrying loop to help you attach it to your bag. Unfortunately, its battery only lasts around five hours on a single charge. It also doesn't produce an as extended low-bass as the Sony SRS-XB13. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Nov 18, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

  2. Sep 21, 2022: Restructured article and recategorized picks. The text was updated for consistency.

  3. Jun 27, 2022: Restructured article to better align with user needs. Added the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 as the 'Best Cheap Speaker'. Recategorized the Sony SRS-XB13 to 'Best Small Cheap Speaker', the Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 to 'Best Cheap Speaker For Alexa', and the Google Nest Mini to 'Best Cheap Google Assistant Speaker'. Also added the Anker Soundcore 3 to the Notable Mentions.

  4. Apr 22, 2022: We verified our picks for availability and updated text for clarity.

  5. Feb 21, 2022: Made the Sony SRS-XB13 an 'Alternative With Less Compression' to the Anker Soundcore 3. Updated the text for consistency.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cheap and best budget Bluetooth speakers 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 speaker reviews under $100. 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.