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The Bluetooth speaker world is a huge place, so how do you tell what speakers are full of hot air and which are the real deal? In this article, we’re going to get you up to speed with all the best Bluetooth speakers between under $100 but above $50 and talk about what makes each of these great devices stand out.
Ask yourself, are you outdoorsy, the life of the party, shopping on a budget, or a beach bum? If you are any of these, or any combination of these, there is a speaker on this list that could be perfect for you.
Related: The Best Bluetooth Speaker Under $50
What should you expect for $100?
Let’s take a good look at what you can expect to get when buying a Bluetooth speaker for less than $100. You may be surprised at how much power and quality you can get for such a reasonable price, depending on brand and model. To truly understand your expectations while shopping, I recommend you take a look at our guide at the end of the article to brush up on your audiophile vocab!
Current $100 Benchmarks
Power (Benchmark = 35W) You will see the mean power output for speakers within this price range are around 35W. It varies quite considerably with some 50W and 12W options on the list.
Waterproofing (Benchmark = IPX7) IPX4 to IPX7 are all common in this price range, with most speakers trending toward the maximum waterproof rating of IPX7. Interestingly, this price range sees the addition of dust-tight designs rated as IP67, meaning those speakers are waterproof and completely immune to dust penetrating the speaker’s body.
IPX Rating Refresher
Battery Life (Benchmark = 24 hrs) Between $50 and $100 you start to see longer battery life, and therefore playtime, advertised in product descriptions. Some speakers even advertise up to 40 hours at moderate volumes. That being said, some speakers still have shorter battery lives, 12-20 hours, these devices usually make up for it with other features.
You can expect an overall increase in build quality with better user interface feedback, more unique design layouts, better quality materials used in the speaker’s construction, and hardier handles, straps, and fasteners as you look at more expensive speakers. There are certainly expensive speakers that are made of cheap materials and feel shoddy, but we haven’t included any of those on our list.
Best Bluetooth Speaker Under $100 Overall
The JBL Flip 4 is our Bluetooth speaker king; it sounds great, it’s portable, waterproof, and looks sleek. You can take calls, hook up 2 phones via Bluetooth (+1 more with a line input) and listen for up to 12 hours at moderate volumes.
This speaker has everything we look for in a reliable Bluetooth speaker under $100, it is a versatile everyday speaker that you can take with you to the beach or play at home. The sound is crisp, clear, and present, and the bass tones sound awesome.
Best Value For Money Under $100
The Tribit MaxSound is an impressive speaker, it sounds amazing, and not just for the price. This budget speaker competes with the big dogs and many times comes out on top. Some of us aren’t looking for anything fancy, just solid audio quality for a great price. If this sounds like you, you’ve met your match.
Best Speaker to Take to The Beach
The Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is the speaker you want to be taking to the beach with you. It is compact, highly portable, sports an IPX7 waterproof rating and floats! On top of that, this little speaker sounds good, just looks cool and screams “summer vibes”. Crab your cooler-box.
Loudest Bluetooth Speaker Under $100
The AOMAIS Go is an impressive affordable modern-day take on the boombox that kicks out 97 dB when it matters. There a reason this is such a popular choice amongst outdoor party-goers. The AOMAIS Go made it onto our list of “loudest Bluetooth speakers” in its category, and that’s no small feat in itself.
Best Bass Speaker Under $100
The BUGANI M83 Bluetooth speaker has a huge sound with impactful bass, perfect for outdoor use like barbecues or pool parties. The bass-heavy sound signature accompanies a rugged design and long battery life, making for a solid outdoor listening experience.
Design Trends and Features
The Design Trends in the sub-100 dollar price range are pretty similar to those found in the under 50$ price range, meaning you will see some familiar shapes and designs in this list. There are a few notable differences though, for instance: this price range has a few speakers that look like larger, nicer versions of certain budget speakers, but also introduce different design types like boombox inspired devices (the AOMAIS and BUGANI, for example). Overall, the higher the price range the more variety there is in the designs in general.
So, what can you get for $100, as opposed to $50?
When you bump your budget up to $100 from $50, you can expect to see an increase in design types/varieties and better-integrated software features like dynamic EQs, companion apps, & TWS stereo pairing. Additionally, the extra 50 dollars in your budget can get you larger, louder, more durable speakers that have better IP ratings, longer battery life, and a higher wattage.
Different speaker varieties change depending on their style or niche. For example, a more expensive outdoor speaker may have a more durable body and a better IP rating like IP67, whereas the Amazon Echo improves on the Echo Dot strictly in audio quality, this is because nobody really needs a durable Amazon Echo… yet. Looking at you Amazon.
Here’s a list of features that only start to commonly appear on a $100 budget:
- Dust Proofing: In the sub-$100 price range, you start to see items rated IP67, meaning they are dustproof in addition to waterproof. Waterproofing also sees an IP rating increase.
- Multiple Bluetooth Connections: Bluetooth speakers that allow more than one source device connection at a time are more common in the sub-100 dollar price range.
- External Device Charging: charging your phone or tablet with your Bluetooth speaker’s internal battery is a more common feature among ~100 dollar speakers than ~50 dollar ones.
A more expensive speaker does not always mean it sounds better! Sound signature is notoriously subjective, so take a listen to lots of speakers to narrow down what brands and styles of speaker suits you best.
If you want to see a more extensive $50 Bluetooth speaker budget guide, check out our list of the best Bluetooth speakers under $50 here.
How did we select these speakers?
We listened to quite a few speakers in our search for the best speakers you can buy. After evaluating as many as we can get our hands on we created a list that captures a variety of niches so that our lists have various products that catch the eye of lots of different people.
The Bluetooth speaker market is extremely saturated, so these speakers are selected based on their versatility, ease of use, sound quality, visual looks, durability, practicality, and brand identity with the end goal of providing a list where every product has its own strengths and potential target audience. We are certain that something here will pique your interest.
Editors Note: We constantly curate our content to keep it fresh and relevant. This list was created on June 4th, 2020 because everybody likes a good value for money Bluetooth speaker, and we’re cool like that! Click here to see the full update history.
The entire JBL Flip series of Bluetooth speakers have benefitted from glowing reviews in many different corners of the internet for years now, from amateurs to audiophiles, these speakers cast a broad net and catch a huge audience thanks to their simplistic design and great sound quality. The Flip 4 is the pinnacle of JBL’s flip series and will make a for a fantastic listening experience under 100 dollars.
The Flip 4 can connect to two Bluetooth compatible devices at once wirelessly, and also has a 3.5mm line-in auxiliary port for wired listening. This speaker uses a Micro-USB port to charge, and thanks to JBL’s Connect+ technology, you can pair this speaker with any other JBL speaker that has integrated Connect+ support to listen in stereo.
What does the JBL Flip 4 sound like?
The JBL Flip 4 benefits from the high quality and clarity that many of us have come to expect from JBL’s products. The Flip 4 has a semi-strong bass presence, beaten only by a few speakers in this price range, but its true strength is in the clarity and quality of the signal, specifically in the case of modern pop, hip-hop, and EDM music. This speaker sounds a lot more expensive than it is and it will sound noticeably clearer than other ~$100 speakers, but it definitely favors certain genres of music and moderate volumes.
Why the Flip 4, and not the Flip 5?
You might be wondering why we picked the 4th generation Flip speaker for our list, and the reason is that the Flip 5 doesn’t add much to the Flip 4’s features, and in some ways takes a few steps back from the Flip 4’s design.
The JBL Flip 4 supports Google Assistant and Siri because the speaker has an internal microphone, whereas the new Flip 5 does not. Also, the Flip 5 has no 3.5mm line-in aux port, so no wired listening. The Flip 5 has an updated version of the Flip 4’s connect+ speaker chain functionality that is compatible with way fewer speaker models, so you have less speaker pairing opportunities. All of these features are taken away when you move from generation 4 to 5, and all the Flip 5 adds is a meager 4 watts of power and another $50 more on the price tag.
The Flip 4 looks and feels great, it has an extremely simple user interface and design based closely on the popular, previous generations of the JBL Flip. The speaker is highly waterproof, so don’t worry, it will survive plenty of falls into the pool.
The Flip 4 is our top pick because it is a fully-featured device, one so great that it even outperforms its own “upgrade”.
I can confidently declare the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 the UE BOOM killer. Considering the better price and the clearer and more neutral sound signature, in contrast to the smaller size, this compact version of the Ultimate Ears BOOM could pretty much be considered an upgrade in many ways. The visual design impression I got from this speaker is very fun and carefree, definitely a compact party speaker; the WONDERBOOM looks great and the controls are straightforward and simple.
A cool feature the WONDERBOOM 2 has is it’s IP67 rating, meaning unlike most Bluetooth speakers under 100 dollars, this speaker is dustproof in addition to being waterproof, so consider this speaker if you spend time on dusty job sites or outdoors.
The UE WONDERBOOM 2 charges via Micro-USB, but unlike other speakers, this speaker does not have a 3.5mm line input. You can pair two WONDERBOOMs to get a fuller simultaneous sound, but be aware that this isn’t a true stereo setup, so each speaker will play both the right and left signals of the audio source.
What does the UE WONDERBOOM 2 sound like?
The UE WONDERBOOM 2 sounds crisp and clear, but I would note that the dynamics can be somewhat lacking. Depending on the type of music you prefer listening to, this could be a great speaker or somewhat of a disappointment.
If you tend to listen to modern pop, dance, hip-hop, or rock, you may not hear any distortion with this speaker’s dynamic signal processing. If you listen to very dynamic music like orchestral music or jazz you may notice changes to frequency ranges depending on what volume you have the WONDERBOOM set to. Arguably, highly compressed modern music like EDM won’t sound bad, but for other genres, this can cause issues.
The UE WONDERBOOM 2 is a clear upgrade to the larger UE BOOM in my opinion. It is smaller, cheaper, and still very rugged with an IP67 dustproof/waterproofing rating. The sound quality is totally passable but struggles to properly represent some music at lower volumes specifically, but in the end, you’ll have to hear the music for yourself to truly decide if the sound signature and signal processing fits your tastes.
When I first got my hands on a NYNE Boost, I instantly thought it looked like a middle ground between a 360-degree cylindrical speaker and one of those horizontally oriented triangular speakers I tend to see all over the place, especially at lower price points. The cool thing about the NYNE Boost is that it doesn’t look, sound, or feel like the other speakers, it touches on something new and unique in every aspect.
I love how this speaker looks. The NYNE Boost looks like a hybrid speaker that takes small design aspects from common speaker styles and creates something unique, it gives off an effortless sci-fi vibe that isn’t over the top eccentric like some other speakers on this list (looking at you BUGANI.) The buttons are not as tactile as other speakers and don’t have great feel or feedback, but that’s just a nitpick. Rated as IP67, this speaker is quite durable, dust-tight and waterproof.
To connect audio to the NYNE Boost, you can, of course, use Bluetooth – but you can also connect using a 3.5mm line input. You can also charge other devices with the Boost’s USB port and charge the speaker itself using micro-USB. Additionally, you can pair two of these speakers together via TWS to double up on your sound.
What does the NYNE Boost sound like?
I had never heard of NYNE before trying out their Boost speaker, so I am embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t expecting much from this speaker. That being said, brand recognition didn’t mean a thing because this speaker sounds great and has astonishingly bright treble for a speaker around 60 dollars.
This speaker has a solid signal range and clarity, I didn’t hear any skips or distortion while listening. The sound signature is pretty neutral with a little bit of a ‘pop’ filter that boosts the high middle range. The only criticism I have is that the bass is pretty lacking, I wouldn’t consider this a bass-heavy speaker by any means but for general listening, I have no problems with the sound.
The NYNE Boost lacks a couple of the features I like to see in Bluetooth speakers, but overall I think this is a very affordable and feasible choice for a general listening and everyday use speaker. I wish the buttons felt nicer to use and the sound had more bass, but that is just me personally, and if those aspects aren’t important to you the clear bass and durable build of this speaker are as good as you’ll find for the price.
Most of the Anker speakers I have listened to have that ‘impressive factor’ to them, it’s a specific effect where the speaker seems to deliver audio that doesn’t sound like it’s coming from the speaker in front of me. The Anker Soundcore Boost pretty much nails that effect; it is a simple black box designed to pack an impressive punch.
With solid build quality and great sound, the Soundcore Boost is one of the best ‘bang-for-your-buck’ purchases on this list. Anker managed to build a speaker that provides exceptional audio without compromising other common features that appear within this price range, a feat uncommon in the super-saturated Bluetooth speaker market.
The Anker Soundcore Boost has a micro-USB port for charging, but also has a USB port that allows you to charge other devices with the Boost’s battery! You can also play audio via a 3.5mm line-in input for better latency.
What does the Anker Soundcore Boost sound like?
The Soundcore Boost has a really clear and neutral sound signature that will make any song shine, regardless of genre or dynamics. The speaker isn’t the loudest or bass-heaviest out there, but it is absolutely a contender for the best overall listening experience among all Bluetooth speakers under 100 dollars. The sound signal’s latency is faster than some other speakers out there making this speaker a little bit better suited for watching youtube videos or movies on a laptop or phone than other speakers.
I really enjoyed the Boost’s sound signature and found it sounded like an enhanced, deeper Anker Soundcore, which really explains the name ‘Soundcore Boost’.
Anker is an affordable and practical brand that offers quite a few speakers that nail the ‘everyman’ speaker, I have noticed a no-frills design philosophy and commitment to great sound quality that the company adheres to, and this ethos is perfected in the Soundcore speaker series.
Mid-grade water-resistance means it is fine to use outside, the bass is deep and clear (thanks to Anker’s BassUp tech) but not overwhelmingly huge, and the speaker’s size, looks, feature list, connectivity options, and battery life are fairly average; this leaves room for the actual audio quality to shine, and it does!
The Tribit MaxSound Plus is a powerhouse of a speaker that provides a killer listening experience for a fraction of the price of the competition. Tribit’s philosophy is to provide great audio to as many people as possible, so among budget speakers, it’s very hard to beat the value you get with the MaxSound Plus.
This speaker is discrete and simple in appearance but don’t be fooled, this is a highly optimized piece of gear that is made to do one thing and one thing only, play music at amazing quality for an unbelievably low price, it even boasts as long a battery life and as much waterproofing as you can reasonably expect at this price. No compromises were made in the design of the MaxSound Plus.
The Tribit MaxSound Plus is charged via a DC 5V power port at the rear of the speaker, next to it you can find a 3.5mm aux input for wired listening.
What does the Tribit MaxSound Plus sound like?
Even at max volume, this speaker has an extremely smooth and clear sound signature, my favorite tracks sounded open and seamless with my environment in a manner you’d expect from a speaker that costs a hundred dollars more than the MaxSound Plus. This speaker lacks the bass-heavy signal processing that many comparable speakers adopt to make up for the small speaker size, so the MaxSound essentially eliminates that ‘canned’ or ‘metallic’ mid-frequency sound you tend to hear from budget speakers and provides a fantastic listening experience no matter what genre you are playing.
This speaker sounds impressive. It is always a treat when a speaker surprises you with its performance, and the Tribit MaxSound Plus beats so many speakers I’ve heard strictly in terms of the listening experience and sound quality, especially when listening to music with more dynamics like jazz or funk.
Budget speakers are budget speakers because costs were kept down during production with the intention of building a more affordable product, but in the case of the Tribit MaxSound Plus you are buying a cheap speaker that feels expensive. Impressive, portable sound that will wow your friends is what you get with this MaxSound Plus, and all for way cheaper than the competition.
If high-quality sound is your top priority and you want to save some cash, this is the speaker for you!
My first impression of the DOSS SoundBox XL was that the speaker looks super sleek and luxurious, and upon listening to the speaker I can attest that this is an elegant piece of audio gear that punches above its weight class.
The SoundBox XL is the highest-end model in DOSS’s SoundBox series of speakers, and the designers behind this speaker did a great job of achieving that expensive speaker look and sound for a very low price; usually sitting around 70 bucks.
DOSS’s SoundBox XL Bluetooth speaker has a 3.5mm line-in port and even has a Micro-SD port so you can store your entire music library on the speaker itself. This speaker charges via a DC 12V charging port on the rear of the device located by the other hardware connection ports.
What does the DOSS SoundBox XL sound like?
The DOSS SoundBox XL sounds big. The digital signal processing built in this 12-watt speaker is the main reason it pulls off such a crisp, open signal profile using relatively small and cheap hardware. In the case of the SoundBox’s quality, it’s all achieved in the processing.
The SoundBox XL is a more of an indoor speaker, given its fairly low IPX4 water-resistance rating and average bass and loudness. This wouldn’t be my first pick for an outdoor Bluetooth speaker, but with that being said, it is still highly portable and would not be inconvenient to travel with.
If you want great quality sound and don’t need a highly waterproof speaker, the SoundBox XL is a great choice. Tons of attention were paid to the internal circuitry of this speaker resulting in a surprisingly large and open sound from such a small speaker. In addition to the crisp sound, this is also the best looking speaker in DOSS’s SoundBox series, in my opinion. Its design philosophy is minimal, elegant, and effective.
The DOSS SoundBox XL offers the perfect listening experience for an indoor music listener with multiple devices to listen from that all connect in different ways, line-in, SD-card, and Bluetooth. If that sounds like you, this could be exactly the product you’re looking for!
The AOMAIS GO is a rugged modern take on one of the first and most beloved portable music trends in modern history, the boombox. This speaker has great build quality and includes a very sturdy handle that offers a much-needed bit of stability and portability given this speakers larger size.
This Bluetooth speaker offers most of the features you can expect from this price range but it’s quite a bit louder and cheaper than many of the competitors. The AOMAIS GO is a utilitarian take on a large but portable Bluetooth speaker that promises loud, clear sound at a really good price.
The AOMAIS GO offers quite a few more connectivity options than other similarly priced speakers. On one side of the speaker, you will find a micro-USB port for charging, a standard USB port for charging other devices like phones or tablets, and a 3.5mm line input for wired listening.
On top of that, the other side of the speaker has a second waterproof seal that protects a line input for a microphone, so you can use this speaker as a portable PA system! This is a very interesting and unique feature to see on a Bluetooth speaker, and I hope more speakers include these sorts of options in the future.
What does the AOMAIS GO sound like?
The AOMAIS GO is very loud, for indoor use you will barely get past half volume without going way overboard., but regardless of this, the sound quality is pretty decent and I heard no audible distortions even at very high volumes. The sheer loudness of this speaker paired with its durable build makes it a great option for outdoor use, I didn’t notice any loss of clarity or impact while listening outside.
AOMAIS created a super durable, waterproof beast of a speaker with the GO; there is a specific subset of people out there that I know will see this speaker and ultimately give it a try based on its utilitarian design. Suited for outdoor use, the battery life, loudness, and solid body make this speaker a great option for people who work or spend tons of time outdoors; a couple knocks, falls, or rainstorms won’t cause a skip in your favorite music.
Overall this is a great sounding speaker that sounds great and will survive whatever life throws at it.
The BUGANI M83 is an all-around contender on this list of all the best Bluetooth speakers for less than $100, it is very loud, sounds great, it’s rugged, the battery lasts a long time, and the price is surprisingly good.
The M83 has a soft rubber body covering with metal grills over its speakers, and the general visual style of this speaker is a futuristic, unique take on utilitarian design. The controls are clearly labeled and easy to use. Be aware that this speaker’s IPX5 rating means it cannot survive being submerged, but splashes should be fine.
The BUGANI M83’s connection ports are; a micro-USB port for charging, a standard USB port for charging external devices, a TF/micro-SD card slot, and a 3.5mm line input for wired music playing. This speaker support TWS pairing, so you can double the sound by pairing two M83 speakers together.
What does the BUGANI sound like?
BUGANI’s M83 Bluetooth speaker had a huge sound with impactful bass, perfect for outdoor use like barbecues or pool parties. The bass-heavy sound signature accompanies the rugged design and long battery life well making for a solid outdoor listening experience. This speaker’s sound signature, depending on volume and environment, varies from favoring the low-end at very high volumes to sounding pretty neutral at low and mid-level volumes.
Overall this speaker’s sound is very appealing to me since I listen to very bassy music, and the bass this speaker provides is awesome and really shines at loud volumes.
The BUGANI M83 is a powerful speaker with a rugged utility design that looks and sounds fantastic. The battery life alone makes this speaker a great purchase, you can expect 40 hours of listening at moderate volumes, which is as high as you can hope for among most speakers around this price.
This speaker favors outdoor use since it has that long-lasting battery, a charging port for your phone, a water-resistant design, and loud booming bass that will bring the party wherever you want it to go!
I have no idea what the ‘W’ in W-KING means, but I think it should mean WILD, because this speaker is ideal for roaming the untamed wilderness and scaring the local critters away with booming bass. It is durable, it’s loud, it has a great battery life and signal range, and the hardware for carrying this portable speaker wherever you go is second-to-none.
The W-KING D8 is built like a brick house and sounds just as robust as it looks. This speaker is larger than many of the other speakers on this list, but the handle is fantastic and one of my favorite unique parts of this device. The IPX5 rating means this speaker cannot be submerged but splashing shouldn’t cause any issues, so take the music you love with you unless the party is underwater!
The W-KING D8 can be charged with a USB type C cable, and you can charge other devices you own with the D8’s battery via its standard USB port. The W-KING also has a 3.5mm line input for wired listening. The D8 also offers TWS support so you can double the output by pairing two of these speakers together.
What does the W-KING sound like?
The W-KING D8 is loud, bassy, and crystal clear. I have heard of landscapers, machinists, and oil field workers using this speaker on the job without any issues hearing their music playing from up to 20 yards away.
I love bass-heavy music and being in the outdoors, and this is definitely a speaker that appeals to me. Still, the sound signature of this speaker was clearly designed with both indoor and outdoor listening in mind, and I didn’t hear much of a difference in the sound’s coloring between different volume levels. The impact and volume of this speaker is almost unmatched within this price range.
ATV trails, workshops, manufacturing floors, oil fields, you name it – the W-KING D8 is a durable powerhouse of a speaker that won’t break down and will cut right through all the background noise to provide you with your favorite music for upwards of 12 hours at max volumes on a single charge. You can pair two together for a very loud and clear listening experience, but one speaker should be completely adequate for most people.
Outdoorsman, tradesman, and anyone who needs a loud, portable, and durable speaker; this one could be perfect for you.
Similarly to our best Bluetooth speaker under 50 dollars article, we’ve decided to include a smart speaker in our list of all the best Bluetooth speakers under 100 dollars.
Smart speakers are in their own league, they act as personal assistants on top of being your typical Bluetooth speaker, so choosing a smart speaker over a typical Bluetooth speaker is trading sound quality, portability, and durability for smart functionality.
In the smart speaker world, Amazon reigns supreme, and the 3rd generation Amazon Echo is our pick for the best smart speaker under 100 dollars.
The Amazon Echo needs to be plugged in an outlet to use, if you want your device to be portable you will need to buy a 3rd party battery base.
The Amazon Echo also has a 3.5mm line in/out port, so you can play music on the Echo with a wired connection and connect the Echo’s output to another speaker.
Something cool to note, the Echo is compatible with other Bluetooth speakers, so if you want, you can get another speaker on this list and use your Echo personal assistant to play music on that speaker!
What does the Amazon Echo sound like?
In terms of sound quality, the experience is lacking compared to the other speakers on this list. The designers of the Echo did not prioritize the power or clarity of the Echo’s sound, they paid much more attention to the device’s smart functionality. If you just want to listen to music and not use Amazon’s personal assistant, Alexa, go with another speaker.
If you have 100 dollars or less to spend on a smart speaker the Echo is a no brainer, but if you simply want to listen to your music from a speaker this is not my pick for you.
The Echo can be used with other Bluetooth speakers, so buying a W-KING or Flip 4 alongside an Echo, while way more expensive than 100 bucks, will grant you access to an integrated experience with Amazon Alexa and a great portable Bluetooth speaker to boot.
The Echo is a great Smart speaker that offers access to Alexa, a very complex AI personal assistant that will help you control smart home devices like security and lights, plan your day, shop, and voice control your music listening, but the speaker’s sound quality itself is nothing special.
What should you look for when buying a Bluetooth speaker?
Just like in our ‘Best Bluetooth Speaker Under $50’ list, there are specific things you should be paying attention to while you look for your perfect speaker.
Power Output (Wattage)
While the Wattage of your speaker won’t necessarily tell you exactly how loud your speaker can get, a measurement in watts is commonly used as a rough way to estimate a speaker’s loudness. A speaker rated for 30 watts (30W) will definitely be louder than a 12W speaker.
Among speakers under $100, you will see 50W speakers at most. With the wattage increase in this price range, the speakers trend a bit larger than cheaper alternatives.
Dust-proofing, Waterproofing, and IP Ratings
An ‘IP rating’ is the standard measurement of waterproofing/dust-proofing for speakers. Cheaper speakers tend to only have a waterproofing rating, denoted by the 4th digit in the rating. (IPXX) However, a few speakers in the sub-100 dollar range do have a dust-proofing ratings, this is denoted by the 3rd digit of an IP rating (IPXX). If a speaker has a dustproof rating of 6, and a waterproof rating of 7, the rating will be written as IP67.
Any X in an IP rating means there’s no available info, meaning that the device was not tested for the relevant rating.
Design, User Interface, and Connectivity
Generally speaking, the more expensive a speaker gets, the more they vary in design. This means you have more layout and user interface options to choose from, and this can be a blessing or a curse!
A great tip is to look at user images to see a real-world perspective of the speaker you are interested in. Take note of where the connection ports are located, the button’s layout, and the size and shape of the speaker relative to real-life environments.
If you are reading this article you’ve probably already decided a price limit for your potential speaker, but there is a huge difference between a $100 speaker and a $60 one! Bluetooth speakers go on sale very regularly, so keep an eye out for steals.
As we approach the $100 limit, speakers start to pop up that have crazy long battery life. This is another reason why more expensive speakers are larger, and sometimes have a USB port to charge your phone with on the device.
Battery life is normally rated for moderate listening volumes, so if you blast your speaker you can expect about a third of the total battery time advertised, so keep that in mind if you are someone who cranks their music all the way up.
Sound Signature, or Sound Profile
The terms ‘Sound Signature’ and ‘Sound Profile’ are layman’s terms for discussing the way a speaker sounds in general. Audio ‘bros’ are known to use vague words to describe sounds like tinny, warm, heavy, and crisp – what does all that mean anyway?
For you, it’s not important. What is important is that you like the specific distribution of frequencies that a speaker uses to render your favorite music. If your favorite song doesn’t sound right on a given speaker, that speaker isn’t for you.