When you want to take your music with you on the go or share music with your friends instead of shutting out the world with headphones plugged in, a Bluetooth speaker is a great way to get big sounds out of your mobile devices.
By using Bluetooth technology, you can play music and other audio wirelessly from devices like phones, tablets, laptops, and other computers. By pairing a Bluetooth device wirelessly with a Bluetooth speaker, you can listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks etc with a much bigger and louder speaker without getting sound distortion.
There’s a decent selection of Bluetooth speakers available at this kind of price range, with different features, design, and specifications, so here’s our roundup of the best Bluetooth speakers.
We’ve picked out a range of Bluetooth speakers in the under $100 range, all offering unique features and designs, suitable for different usage scenarios, and with different users in mind.
Some speakers are optimized for loudest and clearest audio output. These will be larger units that have a higher speaker power output. Others are more compact, designed for portability and use in active settings.
Regardless of how you want to use your Bluetooth speaker, one of the options we’ve included in this roundup will be bound to suit your needs.
We’ve compared the difference in these models, taking into account the size and design of each model, the quality and volume of the sound output, and what other useful features they include.
Best bluetooth speaker under $100
Excellent sound quality
Charges via USB-C
Solid build quality
Modest battery life
Too large to pocket
The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is a larger Bluetooth speaker that prioritizes audio performance. It’s compact enough that you’d be able to easily fit it on any but the most cramped desk, but it’s not going to be a portable speaker.
It supports Qualcomm’s Apt-X audio format for reliable high bandwidth audio playback and has an impressive 12-hour battery life.
It has a pleasant enough aesthetic design if a little bland. It conveniently uses the modern USB-C charging format, so you can use the same charger you use for other USB-C devices to keep this topped up with power. With IPX7, you know it’s safe from drops, splashes, or even being submerged in shallow water.
Of all the speakers in this lineup, this has the highest power output, so if your biggest priority is to fill a larger space with louder and clear music, this has got to be the top choice.
Fantastic battery life
Functions as a battery pack
MicroUSB charging connector
Color availability erratic
Somewhat large for portability
JBL is a popular brand of Bluetooth speaker, and this is one of their speakers designed for use in active scenarios on the go. It’s great for camping trips, days on the beach, barbecues and other trips away from the power mains.
It has an attractive circular design, with a rugged and durable build. It comes in a host of different color options to suit your style.
This is the battery champion in this lineup, offering up to 20 hours of music playback. It also has the added functionality of working as a battery pack, letting you charge your devices from it directly. It also has the option of a 3.mm input jack, for use with wired audio devices.
Perhaps the biggest drawback is using the dated MicroUSB charging format, as more and more devices are moving over to USB-C.
Very easy to take on the go
Huge selection of color options
No 3.5mm wired input option
Solid but not best in class battery life
Bass can’t match larger speakers
This is a slightly more compact speaker compared to the JBL Charge 3, and whilst it has made some compromises to fit into a smaller body, it is still a compelling option.
There’s no option for connecting wired audio devices via 3.5mm jack, and you can’t use this speaker as a charger pack for your phone, but it has switched to a more modern USB-C charging port and is one third lighter than the Charge 3.
This comes in a huge selection of different colors, with more options than the rest of the speakers in this lineup combined, so there’s sure to be some color configuration that matches your preference, or will coordinate with your other devices.
The battery life is slightly less in the Flip 5, at 12 hours, which is still solid battery performance. It shares the same classic JBL aesthetics and still offers fantastic, if slightly quieter, audio performance.
Powerful for such a small speaker
Modest battery life
Can’t match louder speakers for volume
This is an especially pocket-able device, designed to be used in any conditions. It’s fully waterproof, has a durable strap to connect to clothing, and supports voice commands with either Siri or Google Assistant for hands-free operation.
With just a speaker power output of just 7.5W, this isn’t going to blow anyone away compared to larger speakers, but you might just be surprised at how capable this smaller device is, whether indoors or outdoors.
This sadly uses the dated MicroUSB charging port, but that’s not a huge drawback for what is otherwise an excellent pocket-sized Bluetooth speaker.
Things To Consider
At this price range, there’s a lot of excellent Bluetooth speakers available, and the biggest factor you should take into consideration is the size of the speaker. The bigger speakers provide a more powerful sound, whereas the smaller speakers are much easier to take on the go.
If you’re just looking for a speaker to use on a desk, tablet and around the house, perhaps a larger speaker makes more sense. If you’re looking for a speaker to use when on the go, one of the smaller options will be a better choice.
What is IPX7 rating?
IP ratings are certified “ingress protection” designations that can be assigned to products depending on how well they can withstand exposure to the elements like dirt, dust and moisture. A rating of IPX7, like all the speakers in this lineup, means it is safe to survive a drop into water up to one meter’s depth. This is a great assurance that your speaker can withstand use in rain, bathrooms, by the pool, and other settings where moisture could be a factor.
How does battery life work?
The battery lives quoted in this roundup are based on normal usage, and actual performance will vary on a variety of factors, depending on what volume setting you’re using, whether using a wired or wireless connection, and what type of music you are listening to, but they are a good rule of thumb to base your decision on.
The powerful sound output and great build quality of the Anker Soundcore Motion+ made it our top choice. Anker does a great job of making practical and high-quality devices that are well made and reasonably priced, and this is another example.
This speaker is not so huge you can’t use it in a variety of different settings, and big enough to provide a great audio experience for music, podcasts and other types of audio, both indoors and outside.