Bluetooth Speakers Under $50
Nothing makes a party better than some music, and nothing makes playing music easier than a Bluetooth speaker, especially as more phone manufacturers omit the 3.5mm headphone jack. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a fortune get the best Bluetooth speaker for your needs, especially with fantastic options like the Anker Soundcore Flare+ to get the party rolling.
Best Overall: Anker Soundcore Flare+
These LEDs will keep up with the party as they pulse and glow with the rhythm of whatever music is playing. The included IPX7 rating will also keep your Flare+ safe from accidental splashes. Anker also made it possible to pair two Flares to create a stereo-sound situation.
You won’t need to watch the battery life too closely, either, as the Flare+ is rated for 20 hours of playback. The downside? You won’t be able to use a headphone jack to connect your phone, as there is no port available.
- 360-degree sound
- Bluetooth 5.0
- IPX7 Waterproof
- Connect two speakers for stereo sound
- 20 hours of battery life
- No auxiliary port
- Micro-USB charging
Anker Soundcore Flare+
Perfect for parties, the home, and anywhere else
The Soundcore Flare+ offers an attractive 360-degree design, along with the rhythmic-flashing LEDs and water resistance.
Best Value: Sony SRS-XB01 Portable Speaker
The XB01’s EXTRA BASS tagline holds true with punchy lows that, combined with the six-hour battery life, will allow you to listen to your favorite songs with plenty of bass for long periods. Sony also includes a strap that can be connected to the bottom of the speaker, in case you want to throw it over your shoulder or attach it to a bag.
On the downside, the SRS-XB01 doesn’t have a ton of extra features. There’s no dedicated app, meaning you’ll have to turn to your smartphone or tablet’s built-in audio tools if you want to adjust the EQ levels. The Micro-USB charging port also feels a bit dated these days, but these are often the sacrifices you’ll have to make to hit such a low price.
- IPX5 water resistance
- Add an extra speaker for stereo sound
- Outdated Micro-USB charging port
- Six hours of battery life
- No application integration
Sony SRS-XB01 Portable Speaker
Big punch in a small package
The SRS-XB01 has an awkward name, but you’ll remember it when you hear it for the first time.
Best 360-Degree Sound: Anker Soundcore Motion Q
The cylindrical design, combined with two drivers and 16 watts of power, makes for an impressive package. As for battery life, you’re looking at around 10 hours, which should be plenty long enough for pool parties and the like. Plus, there is a built-in microphone for accessing your voice assistant of choice.
Of course, you can also pair two Motion Qs wirelessly for stereo 360-degree audio, and each speaker is feather-light at just 14.4 ounces.
- 360-degree sound
- 16W of power with dual full-range drivers
- IPX7 waterproof
- Stereo pairing
- Built-in microphone
- Only 10 hours of battery life
- Charges over Micro-USB
Best 360-Degree Sound
Anker Soundcore Motion Q
Hear everything from everywhere
It’s important to hear your music, and the Soundcore Motion Q ensures that with its all-encompassing cylindrical design.
Best Smart Speaker: Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen)
In addition to pairing via Bluetooth, you have the option to use the 3.5mm auxiliary jack or even pair over Wi-Fi to other devices. With Alexa built-in, you can control your smart home with ease or get the answer to that question that is nagging at your friend during the party.
Sure, the sound isn’t the greatest, but you can pair this with another Echo Dot for stereo sound or another Bluetooth speaker. The other big downside here is that the Echo Dot isn’t entirely portable since you need to keep it plugged in at all times. This can be a bit frustrating, but its integrated voice assistant more than makes up for it.
- Amazon Alexa built-in
- Pair with another Echo Dot for stereo sound
- 3.5mm headphone jack included
- Must always be plugged in
- Not water resistant
- The sound could be better
Best Smart Speaker
Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen)
Impress your friends and control your smart home
The Echo Dot may not be the first speaker that comes to mind, but it should come close with its Alexa integration.
Most Unique Design: OontZ Angle 3 Ultra Portable Speaker
Source: Android Central
The OontZ Angle 3 Ultra changes that with its unique triangular design so that you can cover as much area as possible. Oontz also includes an IPX6 rating for splash-resistance, but we wouldn’t recommend taking the Angle 3 Ultra for a dive. However, the most significant benefit to this speaker is the 100-foot range, allowing you to keep your phone with you and not with the speaker.
While that 100-foot range is awesome, you’ll still be stuck in the past with the Micro-USB charging port. The OontZ Angle 3 Ultra is also a bit heavier than some of the other speakers on this list, so you may not want to carry it if you go for a hike.
- 100-foot Bluetooth range
- IPX6 Splashproof
- 20-hour battery life
- Unique design
- Micro-USB charging
- Bluetooth 4.2
- Heavier than other options
Most Unique Design
OontZ Angle 3 Ultra Portable Speaker
Forget leaving your phone behind
Other than the unique triangular design, the biggest benefit to the Angle 3 Ultra is the 100-foot range.
Best Battery Life: Anker Soundcore 2 Bluetooth Speaker
That brings us to the Anker Soundcore 2, which doesn’t have any significant features to “wow” you. However, this speaker does offer 24 hours of battery life, which is among the leaders on this list, along with IPX7 water resistance and Bluetooth 5.0. Take all of this, combined with the 12 watts of power, and you have a tried-and-true speaker that will work for every situation.
You may just want to keep a cloth nearby after the party is over since the Soundcore 2 is a fingerprint magnet. Additionally, you likely won’t want to play this at max volume if the sound gets a bit distorted.
- 12W of audio
- 24 hours of battery life
- Bluetooth 5.0
- IPX7 waterproof
- The sound may be distorted when played loudly
- Attracts fingerprints
Best Battery Life
Anker Soundcore 2 Bluetooth Speaker
This one goes for days
The Soundcore 2 is fantastic for those who want long battery life and some water resistance. Just don’t play it at max volume.
It can be tough picking the best Bluetooth speaker, but the Anker Soundcore Flare+ comes close. This speaker offers decent battery life, 360-degrees of sound, and some awesome LEDs that flash along with the music.
Plus, you can pair this with another Flare+ for a stereo sound setup, which is perfect for any party or situation. Just don’t expect to ditch your old Micro-USB cable; this speaker hasn’t made the move up to USB-C just yet. Nonetheless, the Flare+ will be capable of handling anything you throw at it, and then some.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Andrew Myrick is a regular freelancer at Android Central and iMore. He has been a tech enthusiast ever since the original iPhone was released and continues to flip-flop between devices. You might as well hook him up to an IV filled with coffee to get him through the day. If you have any questions, you can find him on Twitter, and he’ll get back to you.
Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and video editor for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman. Got a tip or inquiry? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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