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The 4 Best Cheap Speakers - Spring 2023 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 105 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. This portable Bluetooth speaker offers a big bang for your buck, with lots of cool features for a more affordable price. Multicolored lights circle the top and the base of the speaker, and the Soundcore app lets you customize their colors and designs to set the mood at your next party. Its default sound is suitable for listening to lots of different audio content, including music, podcasts, and audiobooks. However, if you want a different sound or want to crank up the bass, the graphic EQ in the app lets you customize its sound, which is handy.

    Also, this speaker's small and lightweight design means you can bring your favorite tunes wherever you go. It's easy enough to carry in one hand, and its IPX7 rating for water resistance protects it from light exposure to elements. If you host a lot of pool parties, though, you might want to check out the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 instead. Available at a similar price, it's much more suitable for outdoor use since the manufacturer says it can float in water and withstand small bumps and falls along the way. If you prefer a more customizable device, the Anker is the better 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 the best budget speaker with a small design and is 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 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

    If you love to blast your favorite tunes at the loudest volume possible, you'll want to check out the DOSS SoundBox Plus. This budget-friendly pick gets plenty loud, so you don't have trouble filling your room with sound. As you crank up the volume, the speaker's audio reproduction remains clean and pure, so you don't notice any pumping or compression artifacts to distort the sound. Available in several color variants, this speaker's boombox-like design includes RGB lights around each driver, and you can customize their colors and patterns to match your mood.

    This speaker is a good choice for music and podcasts, with a clear and accurate reproduction of voices and other instruments right out of the box. You won't notice as much rumble in the bass range as with more premium models, but it does a decent job for the price. And, since it lasts over ten hours off of a single charge, you can keep the party going all night long without worrying about a recharge. There's even an IPX4 rating for water resistance to protect the speaker if you bring it outdoors. However, there aren't any tools on hand to customize its sound like with the Anker Soundcore Flare 2—but if you just want a plug-and-play device, it's a solid pick.

    See our review

  4. Best Cheap Smart Speaker

    Smart speakers are a great addition to your home, with built-in voice assistant capabilities to allow hands-free control over your device. Whether you're cooking dinner, folding laundry, or chilling on the couch, you only need to ask Alexa to activate the speaker's controls. The Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 is a great wallet-friendly option, and its voice assistant performance is so good that it rivals some of the more expensive options on the market. Whether you're further away from the speaker or in a noisy environment, this device has no trouble hearing your commands. For more private moments, you can mute Alexa's microphone, too.

    This speaker is a suitable pick for listening to music, podcasts, and more within the comfort of your home—since it's a wired device, it's not meant for on-the-go use like the Anker Soundcore Flare 2. Its clear and accurate reproduction of voices and other instruments ensures that you don't have any trouble following along with the action, and you can even adjust its bass and treble to switch up its sound. Its stylish design makes for a great addition to your home, too, with several colors available to meet your needs.

    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 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. Mar 17, 2023: Picks remain the best products for their uses. Minor text updates for clarity.

  2. Jan 17, 2023: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

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

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

  5. 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.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cheap Bluetooth speakers 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.