15 Best Cheap Bluetooth Speakers Under $50 In 2018

If you are looking for a cheap Bluetooth speaker in 2018, you’ve come to the right place. You will find many great and affordable options on our list of 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50. We have tested more than 50 popular speakers, analyzed them, compared them, and made a list of 15 speakers offering the best possible performance for the money.

Every review you are about to read consists of three sections. The first one is unboxing. We are going to list all the equipment that comes with the speaker and give you some basic info on the speaker and driver size, the number of drivers, and list the important technical characteristics. The second and third sections are basically pros and cons – we have listed all the things we liked but also all the flaws we noticed and all the issues we had.

Before we present our favorites to you, let’s go through some important things that you should know about Bluetooth speakers.

Why Would You Need a Bluetooth Speaker?

Bluetooth speakers have become incredibly popular over the past 5-10 years. You can see people using Bluetooth speakers literally everywhere – in a park, at the beach, in the gym, while hiking, cycling or walking, in the office, or at home.

Best Bluetooth Speaker Under 50

There are many reasons for having a Bluetooth speaker. Bluetooth speakers are much more convenient and that’s the first and the most important reason. They are usually completely wireless and battery-powered so you can use them anywhere. You don’t need a wall socket and you don’t need an audio cable to connect them to your phone or any other audio source. The only thing you need is some Bluetooth-enabled device (iPhone, Android smartphone, laptop, tablet, PC, or any other Bluetooth-enabled device).

Bluetooth speakers are also very portable. Most of them are quite small and lightweight (especially the cheap ones) and since they are battery-powered and wireless, you can take them with you wherever you go. There are some large Bluetooth speakers that are less portable (some of them are not battery-powered) but they are much more expensive.

So, if you need more freedom, if you like the concept of cable-free environment, and if you want something that you can take with you wherever you go, Bluetooth speakers are the right thing for you.

What Are the Limitations of Bluetooth Speakers?

There are many good things about Bluetooth speakers but there are also some limitations that you have to be aware of.

First of all, the battery life is limited. The battery life depends on the size of the speaker and battery capacity. It varies with the price, too. Some more expensive speakers can offer up to 20 or 30 hours of continuous playback per one charge while cheaper (and smaller) speakers can offer up to 10 hours.

The Bluetooth range is also limited. Bluetooth speakers allow you to move around the speaker with more freedom but that doesn’t mean that you can go as far as you like. The range is usually around 30ft (under ideal conditions and without obstacles) which means that you shouldn’t go further than 15ft away from the speaker when there are walls or some other objects blocking the signal. Some more expensive speakers have a significantly larger range (up to 100ft) but when it comes to cheap speakers, you can’t expect more than 30ft (if you are lucky). Also, the signal quality varies depending on the Bluetooth version. Some cheap speakers can’t offer uninterrupted playback without signal loss even if your phone is only 5ft away from it. This can be quite frustrating. So, in general, you should be looking for a speaker with a newer Bluetooth version (4.0 or better).  

Bluetooth version also affects the battery life and the same rule applies here – newer versions have lower power consumption and enable longer playback time.

There are certain limitations when it comes to sound quality, too. Audio can’t be transmitted via Bluetooth without compression because of the limited bandwidth. Depending on the Bluetooth version, there will be more or less compression but if you compare two speakers from the same price range, and if one is wired and the other is wireless (Bluetooth), the wired speaker will deliver better sound quality in 9 out of 10 cases. The difference is not huge and most of you won’t even notice it but the fact is that audio transmitted via Bluetooth is compressed and this compression inevitably affects the sound quality.

Best Cheap Bluetooth Speakers Under $50 – Comparison Table

Cheap Bluetooth SpeakersRatingPriceReview
DOSS Touch4.4Check PriceRead Review
OontZ Angle 34.4Check PriceRead Review
Anker Soundcore4.5Check PriceRead Review
APIE4.4Check PriceRead Review
AOMAIS Sport II4.3Check PriceRead Review
AmazonBasics4.1Check PriceRead Review
ZoeeTree S14.2Check PriceRead Review
Vtin4.5Check PriceRead Review
JBL Clip 24.4Check PriceRead Review
Photive Hydra4.4Check PriceRead Review
Photive M904.6Check PriceRead Review
JBL GO4.5Check PriceRead Review
BLKBOX POP3604.3Check PriceRead Review
Anker SoundCore Mini4.5Check PriceRead Review
Tribit XSound4.7Check PriceRead Review

When you click on “Check Price” you will be redirected to Amazon.com.


What to Expect When Buying a Cheap Bluetooth Speaker?

Since you are going for a cheap option, you have to prepared for certain additional limitations. Cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50 are usually small and can’t offer big room-filling sound. Size, quality of construction, battery durability, sound quality, loudness, and other characteristics vary depending on the price. For less than $15, you can get a simple, usually plastic speaker with one 3W of 5W driver. It won’t be rugged or waterproof, the battery will last 10 hours max (at moderate volume), and the Bluetooth range won’t be greater than 20-30ft.

If you are prepared to invest more, you can get more. For around $50, you can get a nice-looking, rugged, waterproof speaker. Unfortunately, you will hardly find a bigger speaker for that kind of money (unless you get some nice discount).

Most of the speakers under $50 are no-name speakers made by less-known (usually Chinese) manufacturers. They can’t compete with popular branded speakers but they can offer more than satisfying build quality, great battery, and decent Bluetooth range.  

So, to conclude, for less than $50, you can get almost everything but you can’t get big, mind-blowing sound. Some speakers can deliver great sound for their size and price but that’s about it. These speakers will never sound as good as UE MEGABOOM, UE MEGABLAST, JBL Charge 3, or some other branded Bluetooth speaker.  

If you need some nice, portable, and cheap Bluetooth speaker that you can simply toss in your bag and bring with you to the beach, to the park, or to your office, you should check out our list of 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50. If you want something better and stronger, you can take a look at our list of 15 Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speakers In 2018.

Now that you know what to expect when buying a cheap Bluetooth speaker, we can move onto the list of 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers in 2018. These are our favorites:


1. DOSS Touch Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker

DOSS Touch

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DOSS Touch Bluetooth speaker might be the best choice under $30. For that kind of money, you can’t get too much but if you’re realistic, you will be happy with this little device. We loved the design, construction quality, and touch-sensitive controls. Battery life, quality of the Bluetooth connection, and sound quality are more than satisfying. The speaker is not waterproof or rugged, and it doesn’t support NFC pairing. You can read our detailed review below.

 What’s in the box?

DOSS Touch comes in a simple white box with all the important features listed on the front side of the box. Inside the packaging, you will find your speaker, 3.5mm auxiliary cable, USB to micro USB charging cable, small carrying pouch (you have to pay additional $8 if you want sturdy carrying case), user manual, and 1-year warranty card.

The speaker features a simple boxy design. It’s almost completely wrapped in a strong aluminum grille. Control buttons are on the top panel. All the buttons are touch-sensitive and backlit. You will find five buttons there – MODE button (use it to switch between Bluetooth, AUX, and micro SD card), play/pause/call button, forward and rewind buttons, and a stylish circular volume button. On the rear panel, you will find the on/off button, 3.5mm AUX input, micro SD card slot (you can use it to play the music from your SD card and to install firmware updates), micro USB charging port (with tiny LED indicating that the unit is charging or that it’s charged).

The unit is not too large but it’s also not the smallest on the market. It’s 6.6 inches wide, 2.9 inches high, 2.7 inches deep, and it weighs 1.2 pounds. It features 2 6W drivers and they are both on the front side. The speaker doesn’t feature a passive bass radiator and it doesn’t deliver 360-sound.

 Things we like

We loved the design of this little device. It’s nothing flashy, but it’s simple and classy with smooth edges and matte finish. Backlit control buttons also look nice and stylish but maybe just a little bit too bright. DOSS Touch comes in 4 colors – black, blue, red, and white. In our opinion, black is the best choice but that’s just the matter of taste.

Construction quality is more than satisfying. The speaker is made of hard plastic. Front, back, left, and right panels are completely covered with strong and inflexible aluminum grille. DOSS Touch is not really rugged and it is definitely not waterproof but it still offers great durability for the price. You can’t expect much better price/quality ratio for less than $30.

Controls are simple and intuitive. They are touch-sensitive and look really nice but you might need to press them harder to change the song or play/pause the song or answer call.

The speaker features Bluetooth 4.0 with a maximum range of up to 30ft without obstacles. When there are walls and other objects you can’t get more than 15ft. The signal was strong within the advertised range and we haven’t experienced connection issues. Pairing is simple and quick and it takes 5 seconds. You can’t pair multiple devices simultaneously with the speaker. The speaker is compatible with all the Bluetooth-enabled devices. Even if you have some non-Bluetooth device, you can use that AUX cable that comes with the speaker to connect the device to the speaker.

There is one 2,200mAh battery inside the speaker. The battery is rechargeable. You can get around 14 hours at 50% volume (DOSS claims 12 hours of music playback at 75%) and you will probably get up to 8 hours at maximum volume. Recharge takes up to 4 hours.  

Sound quality is quite good for the price. The emphasis is on the treble. The midrange is clean, it’s not too detailed but it is articulate. You can’t expect a perfect bass response from such a small unit but there will be some bass and it won’t be distorted at moderate volumes. Stereo separation is quite poor and unimpressive (drivers are too close to each other). The speaker can get pretty loud – it can definitely fill a small room with sound but it’s not the best choice for mid-sized or large rooms. You will notice some distortion at maximum volume.

The microphone is far from perfect but it’s usable if there is no too much noise around you. Your voice will sound distant on the other end but it will be comprehensible.

When it comes to additional features, you will be happy to know that this speaker features micro-SD card slot that you can use to play the music from your micro-SD card or to perform firmware updates.

 Things we don’t like

The speaker doesn’t come with wall adapter and you have to use USB port on your computer or some powerbank for charging.

The speaker doesn’t feature IPX rating. It’s not even splash-proof, so it’s not a good idea to take it with you to the pool or to the beach. You should also avoid direct exposure to the sun for longer periods of time.

Some people might find annoying the fact that you have to press and hold the on/off button for about 2 seconds if you want to turn off the speaker. Another thing you might not like are the control buttons. They are extremely bright and there is no way to turn off the lights. Some people don’t like loud voice prompts but you can eliminate them by installing the firmware update.

Comparison Table


2. OontZ Angle 3 by Cambridge SoundWorks – IPX5 Splash-proof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

OontZ Angle 3

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Oonz Angle 3 is a nice-looking small and portable speaker. This is another affordable option that can be yours for less than $30. We loved the design of this little speaker as well as its durability and ruggedness. The speaker features IPX5 water-resistant rating, it has decent battery life (up to 12 hours at 65% volume) and connection quality (30ft without obstacles). The sound is a bit tiny, but that’s expected considering the size of this thing. The speaker features a built-in mic which is usable but not great. You should have in mind that the speaker is not completely waterproof (not IPX7, only IPX5) so it can’t be immersed in water.

There is also an improved version called OontZ Angle 3 ULTRA. This upgraded version features stronger drivers, it delivers slightly better sound quality and cleaner sound, and the battery is better (4,400mAh capacity and up to 20h at 65% volume). It also features IPX6 water resistant rating (instead of IPX5), longer range (up to 100ft) and Bluetooth 4.2. Oontz Angle 3 ULTRA costs $15 more than Oontz Angle 3.

 What’s in the box?

Angle 3 comes in a simple box with the Cambridge SoundWorks logo on it. The presentation is not impressive but considering the price, it’s satisfying. Along with the speaker, you will get an auxiliary cable, micro USB to USB charging cable and a short quick start guide. There is no carrying case or pouch and you have to buy them separately.

Angle 3 features an aesthetically appealing triangular shape. Front and back are covered with a strong aluminum grille and the sides and edges are rubberized. All the controls are on the right side. There are four rubberized buttons – Bluetooth/call multifunction button (with a small LED Bluetooth indicator), volume up and down buttons, and play/pause button. Micro USB charging port, 3.5mm audio port, and on/off button are located on the rear panel. Micro USB port and audio port are protected with a rubber flap.

Speaker is quite small and portable. It’s 5 inches wide, 2.6 inches tall, 2.8 inches deep, and it weighs less than 10 ounces. It features 2 5W drivers and one passive bass radiator at the bottom.

 Things we like

The speaker has simple but unusual and visually appealing triangular design. It’s small and portable. The only available color is black, so you don’t get to choose.

Angle 3 looks quite strong and rugged. The drivers are protected with a metal grille and the left and right sides are rubberized. The speaker also features an IPX5 water resistant rating which means it can survive splashes of water or even small jets of water but it can’t be submerged and it can’t withstand strong water jets. Some customers complained about the micro USB port and you can read all about this issue in the next section.

Controls are simple, intuitive, and easy to use. The buttons are responsive and functional. The only problem is that there are no dedicated track buttons (previous/next track) – you can use the volume buttons to change the track (press and hold for 2 seconds to play the next/previous song) or you can use your phone.

Angle 3 features Bluetooth 4.2. The pairing process is simple and quick. Connection quality is satisfying – the signal is stable within 30ft range (without obstacles). If there are walls or some other obstacles, you will get up to 15ft. The speaker is compatible with all kinds of Bluetooth-enabled devices (iPhones, Android phones, laptops, PCs, etc.) and if you want to connect some non-Bluetooth audio source or if you don’t want to use Bluetooth connection, you can use that auxiliary cable that comes with the speaker and connect them. Angle 3 won’t be water resistant in wired mode.

Battery life is decent. It’s not impressive but you can’t really get much more at this price point. The battery has the capacity of 2,200mAh. When the battery is fully charged, you can get up to 12 hours at 65% volume (about 7 hours at max volume). Recharge takes 3 hours.

The sound is tiny but that’s expected considering the size of the speaker.  The bass is present but not amazing. Highs are nice and clear. The mids are muffled and unfocused especially when there is too much bass. The speaker will also jump around the table if some bass-heavy music is being played. Angle 3 is really loud for its size. Stereo separation doesn’t exist since the drivers are too close to each other but that’s the case with all small Bluetooth speakers.

The built-in mic is a nice additional feature. It’s usable in quiet environments (your office, home, or some other indoor space) but if there is too much noise around you, the person on the other end won’t hear you loud and clear.

 Things we don’t like

Angle 3 is not completely waterproof (no IPX7 rating) but only water resistant. It cannot withstand submersion or strong waterjets. It can be used as a shower speaker and you can bring it with you to the beach but you have to be careful and try not to drop it in the water.

Angle 3 doesn’t have dedicated track buttons and you have to use volume buttons if you want to play the next/previous song. There are dedicated buttons on the upgraded version (Angle 3 ULTRA) we’ve mentioned earlier.

Some customers complained about the micro USB charging port and charging cable. It’s like the port is too small and the charger doesn’t fit the port as it should and it doesn’t stay in place. A few customers even broke the plastic around the port while trying to connect the charging cable. We didn’t experience this issue.

Comparison Table


3. Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker

Anker Soundcore

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Anker Soundcore is another extremely popular small Bluetooth speaker. Just like the previous two speakers on the list, it’s really affordable and it can be yours for less than $30. It’s maybe not the most durable or rugged speaker on the list but there are a lot of things to like about Anker Soundcore – it looks really nice, it features strong battery and Bluetooth 4.0 with 60ft range (without obstacles). It also delivers pretty good sound quality for its size and price (don’t raise your hopes too high – the sound won’t blow your mind but you can’t expect that for less than $30). The speaker is not waterproof nor splash-proof, so it’s not the best choice if you want something that you can take with you to the beach or to the pool.

There’s also an upgraded version – Anker Soundcore 2. Soundcore 2 is water resistant (IPX5 rated), it’s more rugged, and it delivers better bass response and better overall sound quality than Anker Soundcore. It also costs $15 more.

 What’s in the box?

Anker Soundcore comes in a nice little box with some important features listed on it. Inside the box, you will find your speaker, one auxiliary cable, one USB to micro USB charging cable, user manual, and 18-month warranty. Carrying case is not included and you have to pay an additional $6 for it.

The speaker has that simple boxy look with soft edges just like many other portable Bluetooth speakers. It’s entirely made of plastic. The front side is covered with an aluminum grille which protects the drivers. All the control buttons are on the top panel. You have five buttons there – power button, 2 volume buttons (also used to play next/previous song), play/pause button, and Bluetooth/mode button. On the left side of the speaker, you will see an AUX input, micro USB charging port, a built-in mic, and a small LED charging indicator.

Anker Soundcore is 6.5 inches wide, 2.1 inches high, 1.9 inches tall, and it weighs 0.8 pounds. It features 2 3W drivers.

 Things we like

There’s nothing flashy about the design of this speaker. It’s minimalistic and simple but it still looks attractive. It has a nice matte finish. The front side is covered with an aluminum grille. The speaker is available in three colors – blue, red, and black.

This is not the most rugged cheap Bluetooth speaker on the market but considering the price, the build quality is satisfying. The speaker is not waterproof, it doesn’t feature IPX rating, and it probably won’t survive light rain, so you should handle it with care. If you like the design but want something more rugged, you can always buy that upgraded version (Soundcore 2).

Control buttons look really nice and stylish. More importantly, they are easy to use. The buttons are not backlit and that’s a minor drawback. There are also no dedicated track buttons – you will have to use your phone to play next/previous song or you can use the volume buttons.

Anker Soundcore features Bluetooth 4.0. The pairing is not complicated and if you have ever used some Bluetooth speaker, you will know how to do it. The advertised range is 60 ft but you will get that range only if there are absolutely no obstacles between the speaker and your phone. If you are using it in your home or office and if there are obstacles (walls, objects, etc.), the range becomes shorter (less than 25ft). The signal is stable within 20-30ft range. We haven’t experienced signal loss or any other connection issue. The speaker will pair automatically with the last paired device.

The battery is, along with portability, Soundcore’s best feature. This speaker has a 4,400mAh battery and it can offer up to 24 hours of continuous playback at 70-80% volume which is quite amazing. Recharge takes almost 5 hours.

When it comes to sound quality, this is not the best Bluetooth speaker on the list. It’s not even the best speaker under $30. Those previous two speakers on the list (Oontz Angle 3 and DOSS Touch) offer much better sound quality. Soundcore is also not as loud as the previous two speakers. The greatest issue is the bass which is practically nonexistent. Mids are nice and articulate but not detailed enough and highs lack some clarity. The sound doesn’t get distorted at high volumes which is a good thing but have in mind that Soundcore is not as loud as other speakers on the list. Stereo separation is minimal.

The built-in mic is usable in a quiet environment but it becomes completely useless if there is too much noise around you.

 Things we don’t like

The speaker doesn’t feature track buttons (play next/previous song). If you want to change the song, you can use your phone or you can use the volume buttons.

Pairing the speaker with your phone is quite simple but if you want to pair it with some other phone, you will have to disconnect your phone, turn off the Bluetooth on your phone, turn off the speaker, and then turn it back on, and turn on Bluetooth on that other phone.

Soundcore doesn’t feature IPX rating of any kind (it’s not even splash-proof) and it’s not a good choice if you need something that you can bring with you to the beach. Soundcore is not shockproof and it’s not as rugged as some other speakers on this list. If you want something sturdier, you should check out Soundcore 2 or some other speaker on this list.

Comparison Table


4. APIE Portable Wireless Outdoor IPX6 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

APIE

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APIE is a nice-looking military-style portable Bluetooth speaker. This is another under 30$ speaker and it delivers quite amazing performance for that kind of money. When it comes to ruggedness and durability this is one of the best speakers under $30. We liked the design, of this speaker, its size, build quality, as well as connection quality. Battery life is decent (but could be better) and sound quality is pretty good considering the fact that this is a small Bluetooth speaker. Control buttons look nice but some customers complained about them being unresponsive.

 What’s in the box?

The speaker comes in a simple white cardboard box with all the important features listed on it. Along with your speaker, you will get an auxiliary cable, USB to micro USB cable, and user manual.

The speaker looks really nice. It almost looks like a piece of military equipment. This type of design implies (in a way) that this speaker can withstand heavy use. And it really can. It’s one of the most rugged speakers under $30 and it’s one of the most durable on our list of 15 cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50. Front and rear panel are covered with an aluminum grille. The speaker is made of plastic but it’s reinforced with rubber (especially the edges). All the control buttons are on the top panel. There are five buttons – power button, play/pause button, call/mode button, and volume up and down buttons (you can also use them to play the next/previous song). There are also a built-in mic and a small LED indicator on the top panel. On the right side of the speaker, there is a rubber flap. This flap protects the micro USB charging port and 3.5mm audio port. In the top right corner, there’s a metal carabiner (D type hook) that you can use to hang the speaker or attach it to your backpack.

APIE is quite portable. It’s 7.3 inches wide, 2.8 inches deep, 4.6 inches tall, and it weighs 11.5 ounces.

It features 2 5W drivers (front panel) and one passive bass radiator (rear panel).

 Things we like

We love the military look of this little thing. It is simple, boxy, and rugged. It’s not flashy or stylish but you can bring it with you wherever you go. It looks like it can be used in any situation.

The speaker looks and feels incredibly sturdy and durable for the price. We are more than happy with the build quality. APIE is shockproof, dustproof, and water resistant. It features IPX6 waterproof rating which means it can withstand strong water jets but it can’t be fully immersed in water. If you need something cheap, wireless, and rugged, this is one of the best choices. You will have to make some compromises (other characteristics are not equally impressive) but if you need your Bluetooth speaker to be rugged and durable, APIE is a great choice.

Controls are simple and intuitive but there’s one issue – a few customers complained about control buttons being unresponsive and you can read about this issue in the next section.

APIE Bluetooth speaker features Bluetooth 4.1. Pairing is simple and fast. The connection is stable most of the time but we have experienced occasional signal dropouts. It’s nothing alarming, it happened twice during our 6-hour testing but this is a potential issue. You will get 33ft of range if there are no obstacles but only 10ft (maybe 15ft) if there are walls or other objects.  

The battery is not the best but it’s still decent for the price. It has the capacity of 2,200mAh. You will get up to 12 hours of playback at 50% volume (7 hours at maximum volume). Recharge takes less than 3 hours.

Just like any other small speaker, APIE delivers tiny sound. Compared to other cheap portable Bluetooth speakers (especially those under $30), APIE delivers a surprising amount of bass but those bass tones are not perfectly accurate and rich. Mids are articulate and highs are quite clean. This is not the best sounding speaker on this list but you will hardly find such a rugged speaker with the same (or better) sound quality for less than $30.

The built-in mic is far from perfect but it’s usable. Even if you are outdoors and there’s a lot of noise, you will be able to make/take a call, and the person on the other end will hear everything. It won’t be loud and clear but the person on the other end will hear every word.

 Things we don’t like

Control buttons are unresponsive and it is sometimes necessary to press them harder to play/pause or adjust the volume. The buttons are definitely stiff and hard to press and it would be nice to see some improvements in that department.

Some users complained about occasional volume drops and jumps. Apparently, these drops and jumps are happening for no obvious reason. We haven’t experienced this issue during our testing.

Comparison Table


5. AOMAIS Sport II Portable Wireless IPX7 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

AOMAIS Sport II

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AOMAIS Sport II is one the best cheap Bluetooth speakers for a reason. In fact, it’s one of the best for many reasons. This is one of only a few speakers under $30 with an IPX7 waterproof rating. It doesn’t really look stylish or classy, it looks more like a toy. AOMAIS Sport II is very portable but not the smallest on this list, it has a decent battery life and great connection quality (thanks to Bluetooth 4.0). We were more than happy with the sound quality. This is one of the loudest speakers under $30 and it delivers a decent amount of bass for its size and price (but the sound is still far from what you can get from some more expensive JBL or UE Bluetooth speakers). One of the great things about AOMAIS Sport II is the fact that you can chain two AOMAIS Sport II speakers and get a nice stereo sound, more loudness, and much better stereo separation. We don’t like the fact that AOMAIS Sport II doesn’t float which means that you have to be careful and try not to drop it when you are around the pool because it will go straight to the bottom.

If you like the design of AOMAIS Sport II, but you want something with better battery life and greater range, there’s an upgraded version called AOMAIS Sport II+ (20 hours of playback at moderate volume, 100ft range).

If you need something smaller or cheaper, there is also AOMAIS Sport II mini. Unfortunately. this one features only IPX4 rating (it’s splash-proof not waterproof) and it has smaller drivers but it can be a great choice if you need a shower speaker.

 What’s in the box?

The speaker comes in a nice little box with AOMAIS logo on it. Along with the speaker, you will get USB to micro USB charging cable, an auxiliary cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty card. A year ago, you would also get some kind of floating device but AOMAIS discontinued the production of these devices. You won’t get a carrying case/pouch and you will have to buy it separately.

Even though it looks like a toy, AOMAIS Sport II is quite rugged and durable. The drivers on the front panel, as well as passive bass radiator on the rear panel,  are protected with an aluminum grille. The speaker is made of plastic and then completely wrapped in rubber. There are quite thick layers of rubber on the top and on the bottom. The control buttons are on the top panel. You will see 4 control buttons – two volume buttons (also used to play the next/previous song), play/pause/call button, and power button. There are also three LED indicators on the top – power indicator, charging indicator, and Bluetooth indicator. Micro USB port and AUX port are on the left side and they are protected with a rubber flap. The flap has to be in place or else the speaker won’t be waterproof.

This is not the smallest speaker on the list but it’s still very much portable. It’s 7.7 inches wide, 1.8 inches deep, 2.95 inches tall, and it weighs 18.8 ounces.

AOMAIS Sport II features 2 10W drivers (front panel) and one passive bass radiator (rear panel).

 Things we like

AOMAIS Sport II does look like a toy but it’s really likable. And it’s definitely not a fragile toy. The speaker comes in two colors – orange and green. Both versions are mostly black (grilles, rubber reinforcements) and only the edges are green/orange.  

We were quite happy with the speaker’s build quality. It looks and feels sturdy and durable. There is a lot of rubber parts, the drivers are protected with an aluminum grille. The speaker features IPX7 waterproof rating (it’s one of only a few speakers under $30 with IPX7 rating). It’s also shockproof and dustproof. This speaker can definitely survive heavy use during long periods of time.

Controls are simple, responsive, and easy to use but there are no dedicated track buttons (previous/next song).

AOMAIS Sport II features Bluetooth 4.0 with up to 30ft range without obstacles (up to 15 ft if there are walls and other obstacles). Pairing is simple and quick. Bluetooth connection is stable and flawless. We haven’t experienced signal loss during our testing. The speaker is compatible with all kinds of Bluetooth-enabled devices. If you have some non-Bluetooth device or if you don’t want to use Bluetooth connection for some reason, you can use the auxiliary cable and connect your phone/player to the speaker.

The battery has the capacity of 2,500mAh. You will get up to 12 hours of music playback at moderate volume (50%) and less than 7 hours at max volume. Recharge takes up to 4 hours.

Sound quality is more than satisfying for a portable cheap Bluetooth speaker but you really have to set reasonable expectations. You can’t get the perfect balance between lows, mids, and highs and mind-blowing bass for this kind of money. You can’t compare this cheap speaker with much more expensive UE or JBL speakers. You can only compare it with speakers from the same price range and AOMAIS Sport 2 is one of the best under $30. There will be some bass but it won’t be perfectly accurate and punchy enough. The mids are nice and articulate at moderate to high volumes, but they will become muddy and overpowered by the bass at maximum volume. Highs are quite clear. The speaker can be really loud. In fact, it’s probably the loudest speaker under $30. You can even pair two AOMAIS Sport II speakers with one audio source and get even louder sound with much better stereo separation. There are some issues regarding this kind of connection and you can read about them in the next section.

The built-in mic works nicely in a quiet environment but it will be useless if there is too much noise around you.

The speaker is compatible with Alexa and can be paired with Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.

 Things we don’t like

The speaker features IPX7 waterproof rating but it doesn’t float and if you drop it in the pool it will go straight to the bottom.

There is some kind of static noise at low volumes and when there is no music. If you increase the volume, you won’t hear that noise.

Voice prompts are a bit too loud and that can be annoying. There is no way to lower the volume of voice prompts.

AOMAIS Sport II doesn’t work flawlessly with Echo and Echo Dot. Pairing them can be tricky and complicated.

Pairing two AOMAIS Sport II speakers is not an easy task and even when you pair them, you will experience occasional signal loss and you will have to pair them again.

Comparison Table


6. AmazonBasics Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

AmazonBasics

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AmazonBasics is one of the cheapest on our list of 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50 in 2018. The price varies depending on the color but you can get the red one for less than $20. This speaker is not among the best speakers on this list and it wouldn’t be our first pick but it’s really cheap, it’s super-portable and it offers decent performance for the money.  

The speaker is simple and easy to use. Battery life is decent. Bluetooth connection works fine but this speaker features Bluetooth 2.1 and we were not happy about that. The Bluetooth version doesn’t affect the range or connection quality but it definitely increases power consumption (battery would be more durable if some newer Bluetooth version was used). We are not impressed by the build quality but you can’t really expect much more for less than $20. The speaker is not waterproof nor shockproof. Sound quality is average at best.

 What’s in the box?

AmazonBasics portable speaker comes in a simple cardboard box. There is nothing fancy or stylish about the presentation. Along with the speaker, you will get a short USB to micro USB charging cable, AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty card.

The speaker looks minimalistic. It has that common boxy design. It’s completely made of plastic. The drivers are on the front side and they are protected with an aluminum grille. There are 4 control buttons on the top panel – power/pairing button, play/pause/call button, and 2 volume buttons. AUX port, micro USB charging cable, and on/off switch are located on the rear panel.

The speaker is really small – it’s 6.3 inches wide, 1.5 inches deep, 2.6 inches tall, and it weighs 8 ounces. It features two 2.5W drivers. It doesn’t have a passive bass radiator or anything that would improve the bass response.

 Things we like

As we have said, there is nothing flashy about this speaker, but it still looks kind of stylish. AmazonBasics is available in 3 colors – black, blue, and red. The red model is the cheapest one and you can have it for less than $20 while the other two are more expensive. You can’t find many better choices for less than $20 but if you are prepared to spend $30 or more, there are better options.

The build quality is not amazing. The speaker is mostly made of plastic. The grille is made of aluminum but our general impression is that this speaker is not durable. It looks and feels fragile, it’s not shockproof, it doesn’t feature IPX rating, it’s not dustproof, and you should use it with care.

Controls are really simple and easy to use. That’s one of the good things about AmazonBasics. We’ve had no problems with the control buttons.

The speaker features Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) which is not the best choice. This old Bluetooth version doesn’t affect the Bluetooth range (standard 33ft without obstacles, less than 15ft with obstacles) or the connection quality but it definitely affects the battery. Pairing is simple and quick. The unit is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices (iPhones, Android phones, PCs, laptops, etc.). If you want to connect some non-Bluetooth device (mp3 player or any other audio source) you can use the auxiliary cable that comes with the speaker.

The battery life is decent but far from impressive. You will get up to 8 hours at 70% volume, and 5-6 hours at maximum volume. Recharge takes up to 3 hours.

Like most portable speakers on the market, AmazonSpeaker delivers tiny sound. We were not impressed. The bass doesn’t exist. You will be able to hear some upper-bass frequencies and that’s it. Mids are articulate but not detailed or dynamic, and highs are quite clean. Stereo separation is nonexistent. If you can’t spend more than $20, this speaker might be a good choice but if you are prepared to spend more, there are many better choices and you can find them on this list.

The built-in mic works fine but it will be useless if you are in some noisy environment.

 Things we don’t like

As you already know, AmazonBasics is not waterproof or at least splash-proof. This speaker is not a good choice if you want something that you can take with you to the pool or to the beach.

The speaker is simply not loud enough for outdoor use. Two small 2.5W drivers can’t deliver satisfying loudness.

The charging cable that comes with the speaker is really short (approx. 6 inches) and you might need something longer.

Comparison Table


7. ZoeeTree S1 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

ZoeeTree S1

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ZoeTree is another really cheap option. You can have it for less than $20. It’s kind of similar to AmazonBasics, especially when it comes to build quality (mostly plastic and kind of fragile). ZoeTree S1 features slightly stronger drivers than AmazonBasics. It also features a newer Bluetooth version (4.0) and has some nice additional features like USB slot, micro SD card slot, and built-in FM tuner. Just like AmazonBasics (and many other speakers on the list), it features AUX input and handsfree function. The only thing that’s worse on ZoeTree S1 than on AmazonBasics is the battery. S1 offers up to 6 hours at 65% volume and AmazonBasics offers up to 8 hours at 70% volume. S1 is super-cheap and it offers decent performance for the money but there are many better choices on our list of 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50. It all depends on your budget – if your limit is $20, S1 is one of the best speakers.

 What’s in the box?

S1 comes in a nice little white box with some illustrations on it. Nothing fancy about the presentation but it still looks decent. Inside the box, you will find your speaker, USB to micro USB charging cable, AUX cable, user manual, and 2-year limited warranty (we were surprised by this kind of warranty – this little thing doesn’t look like it could last for more than a year).

Like previously mentioned AOMAIS Sport II, S1 looks like a toy. But this is a much more fragile toy compared to AOMAIS Sport II. Flexible metal mesh covers the front panel while the rest of the speaker is made of plastic. Most of the control buttons are on the top panel. You will find there 5 buttons – 2 volume buttons (also used to play the next/previous song), play/pause button, mode button (use it to switch between Bluetooth, AUX, micro-SD card, and USB), and phone button. A small LED indicator is on the front panel, behind the mesh. USB port, micro USB charging port, AUX input, on/off switch, and micro-SD card slot are on the rear panel.

The speaker is really small – it’s 7 inches wide, 1.7 inches deep, 2.5 inches tall, and it weighs 11 ounces. It features 2 3W drivers and one passive bass radiator.

 Things we like

This is another speaker on the list that looks like a toy. There is nothing flashy or stylish about it, and it looks cheap and fragile. The speaker is available in 2 colors – blue and black.

Construction quality is not impressive. The plastic is thin and it feels fragile, the mesh doesn’t seem strong. S1 doesn’t look like a durable product but this is the kind of build quality you get for such a low price. We can’t really say we were surprised by the build quality. All in all, it’s good for the price.   

Control buttons are simple, intuitive, and easy to use. Those multifunction buttons can be tricky. You have to use track buttons if you want to adjust the volume and you have to press that mode button multiple times to get to the mode you want to use.

S1 features Bluetooth 4.0 with a standard 30ft range without obstacles (less than 15ft with obstacles). Pairing is fast and simple. The speaker is compatible with most of the Bluetooth-enabled devices. It also features AUX input so you can connect any non-Bluetooth audio source to the speaker. The speaker also features micro-SD card slot and USB port that you can use to play the music directly from your micro-SD card or USB stick. On top of all that, there’s a built-in FM tuner so you can use the speaker to listen to the radio.

The sound quality is not impressive. Just like all the other small speakers, S1 sounds tiny, there is practically no bass, mids are articulate, and highs are clear. The mids are unfocused and muddy at high volumes. S1 is not incredibly loud but it’s good enough for smaller rooms. Stereo separation is quite poor.

The built-in microphone works fine indoors and when there is no too much noise. It’s much harder to use it in a noisy environment.

 Things we don’t like

The battery really needs to be better. S1 features a 1,800mAh battery. It can offer up to 4 hours of playback in Bluetooth mode (6 hours in wired mode) at 65% volume which is simply not enough. Recharge takes approximately 3 hours.

S1 doesn’t have dedicated volume buttons and you have to use track buttons if you want to increase/decrease the volume. This is not a huge deal breaker but dedicated buttons are a much better option.  

S1 is simply not loud enough for outdoor use especially if you are in some noisy environment.

Comparison Table


8. Vtin Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

Vtin

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Vtin reminds us of previously mentioned APIE Bluetooth speaker. Just like APIE, this one is incredibly rugged and sturdy. There’s a lot to like about this speaker –design, portability, build quality (ruggedness, IPX4 waterproof rating), connectivity (Bluetooth + AUX), battery (up to 25 hours at 70% volume), and sound quality. The speaker is really affordable and it can be yours for less than $30. When it comes to downsides, we have to say that Vtin is not completely waterproof and shouldn’t be submerged in water. The absence of dedicated track buttons is also a minor drawback.  

 What’s in the box?

Vtin comes in a nice little box. Along with the speaker, you will get one USB to micro USB charging cable, AUX cable, aluminum carabiner (D-ring), user manual, and 1-year warranty card. Carrying pouch/case is not included and you have to buy it separately.

The speaker looks quite rugged. Front and rear panels are covered with an aluminum grille. Top and bottom are covered with thick layers of rubber. There are also some aluminum reinforcements around the edges. You will find 4 control buttons on the top panel – volume down button, play/pause/call button, volume up button, and power button. On the right side, there’s a small rubber flap. When you remove the flap, you will see the charging port and AUX input.

Vtin features two 10W drivers (front panel) and one passive bass radiator (rear panel).

 Things we like

We really loved the design of Vtin speaker. It’s rugged and sporty but it’s also stylish. It features that familiar boxy design with some interesting modifications. All in all, it’s a nice little speaker.

We were quite impressed with the speaker’s construction quality. Along with APIE, this is one of the most durable and rugged speakers under $30. Vtin features IPX4 rating and it’s splash-proof (but not fully waterproof). The speaker is also shockproof and dustproof. It’s a great choice for all kinds of activities. You can take it with you to the beach, to the pool, to hiking, to a picnic, basically, you can take it wherever you go. There is also that useful carabiner, so you can attach the speaker to your backpack or hang it somewhere.

Vtin features only four buttons. The controls are simple, intuitive and easy to use but there are no dedicated track buttons and you have to use volume buttons if you want to play the next/previous song.

The manufacturer doesn’t offer info on Bluetooth version but you will get standard 30ft range without obstacles or 12-15ft if the signal has to go through walls. The signal is stable within this range and we haven’t experienced connection-related issues. Pairing is simple and fast. The speaker will pair with any Bluetooth-enabled device (iPhone, Android phone, tablet, PC, etc.). If you don’t want to use Bluetooth or if you want to connect some non-Bluetooth audio source, you can use the AUX cable that comes with the speaker.

The Vtin portable speaker has a strong battery with a rated capacity of 4,400mAh. You will get up to 25 hours of playtime at 70% volume (but only 8 hours at max volume). It takes 8 hours to fully charge the battery.

When it comes to sound quality, Vtin is definitely better than those cheaper options like AmazonBasics or ZoeTree S1 but it won’t deliver the same kind of quality as more expensive JBL or UE portable speakers. It can produce a certain amount of bass, but it’s not perfectly accurate or punchy. Mids are articulate and quite detailed and highs are clean. The speaker can get really loud for its size which is a great thing since it’s designed for outdoor use. The sound gets slightly distorted at maximum volume. Stereo separation is quite poor, almost nonexistent.

The built-in mic is quite good and it’s usable even in a noisy environment. You will have to be a few feet away from the speaker and your voice won’t be loud and clear but the person on the other end will understand you.

 Things we don’t like

Vtin doesn’t have dedicated volume buttons. You have two multifunction buttons that you can use to adjust the volume and to change tracks. This is not a huge deal breaker but two additional buttons would be a nice improvement. The buttons are also a little bit stiff and hard to press.

Vtin is no completely waterproof. It features an IPX4 rating which means it is splash-proof. So, it will survive a few splashes of water or a few drops of rain but not more than that. If you need a waterproof speaker you should be looking for a speaker with IPX7 rating (like AOMAIS Sport II).

Comparison Table


9. JBL Clip 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

JBL Clip 2

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JBL Clip 2 is a cheap and portable JBL speaker but since this is a list of cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50, this is one of the most expensive ones here. The price varies from $35 to $45 depending on the color of the model.

This is a beautiful and durable speaker. It’s incredibly rugged, it is also waterproof and shockproof. Its durability is probably the best thing about this speaker. It also offers decent connection quality and battery life. Sound quality is not perfect – you can find more than five cheaper options with better sound quality on this list (but not all of them are as durable as JBL Clip 2). We didn’t like that undetachable audio cable and the fact that you can’t use JBL Connect to pair Clip 2 with other JBL speakers (like Clip 3).

 What’s in the box?

Clip 2 comes in a simple box with a transparent front side. This speaker’s presentation is not as premium as the presentation of some more expensive JBL speakers. Inside the packaging, you will find your speaker (with undetachable aux cable), micro USB to USB charging cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty card.

The speaker is circular and it looks really nice. The control buttons are located on the rim of the speaker. On the left side, there are volume up and down buttons and call button. On the right side, you will see the Bluetooth button, power button, and a small rubber flap between them. Flap protects the charging port. 3.5mm audio cable is attached to the bottom and wrapped around the speaker. It’s an awkward solution and we are not happy about it. On top of the Clip 2, there’s a metal carabiner which is really nice little detail and makes the speaker even more portable.

The speaker has 5.5 inches in diameter, it’s 1.6 inches thick, and it weighs 6.5 ounces. It features only one 40mm 3W driver (you shouldn’t expect incredibly loud sound or great bass response).

 Things we like

JBL really pays attention to the design of every product. You can really see the difference between JBL branded speaker and other cheap speakers made by less famous manufacturers. Those cheap speakers are not awful but this one looks much better. It’s sporty and it’s elegant at the same time. The speaker is available in many colors and color combinations – black, blue, camo, Malta, mosaic, teal, grey, and red.

Construction quality is where Clip 2 really excels. Rugged waterproof fabric protects the driver while the rest of it is made of plastic and wrapped in silicone which gives it a nice grip. It is completely waterproof (IPX7 rating) and it floats which is a great feature in case you accidentally drop it into the pool.

Control buttons look and feel nice. It’s really simple to pair the speaker with your phone, control the playback, answer calls, etc. The only problem is that there are no dedicated track buttons. You have to use your phone or volume buttons on the speaker (press and hold) to change the track.

Clip 2 features Bluetooth 4.2. This little unit doesn’t really excel when it comes to Bluetooth range. You will get up to 30ft without obstacles but only 10ft max if the signal has to go through walls. The connection is stable within 10ft range and if you take your phone further away, you will definitely experience some signal loss. If you don’t want to use the Bluetooth connection or if you want to connect some non-Bluetooth device, you can use that permanently attached AUX cable wrapped around the speaker and use the Clip 2 as any other wired speaker.

The speaker features a relatively small battery with a rated capacity of 730mAh. JBL claims that you can get up to 8 hours of music playback (at unknown volume level). Based on our testing you will get almost 20 hours at 50% volume but only 5 hours (or less) at maximum volume. Recharge takes 3-3.5 hours.

Sound quality is not the best feature of Clip 2. This speaker is more about quality than quantity. You shouldn’t expect some crazy punchy bass. The bass is present (only those upper-bass frequencies) and it definitely lacks some body and definition. The mids are clear and pronounced and highs are pretty clear for a small speaker. There is no distortion at high volumes. Clip 2 is loud for a small one-driver speaker under $40 but you can find much louder and cheaper speakers on our list of 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50. Since there is only one driver inside, there is no stereo separation. You can connect two JBL Clip 2 speakers together and get more loudness but they will not act as left and right channels (they will play the same audio track).

The built-in mic works quite well if you are no more than four feet away from it. It’s easier to use it in a quiet environment but it’s not completely useless even if you are in a noisy environment.

 Things we don’t like

There is no battery status indicator on the speaker. You won’t hear any voice prompt telling you the battery status if you press volume up and volume down buttons together.

You can pair one Clip 2 with another Clip 2 but not with some other JBL speaker because it doesn’t feature support for JBL Connect.

That undetachable AUX cable is an odd solution and we don’t like it. It would be much better if the cable was detachable.

Comparison Table


10. Photive Hydra Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker with Enhanced Bass

Photive Hydra

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Photive Hydra is another affordable, waterproof and shockproof speaker on this list. You can have it for less than $40, so it’s not the cheapest one on the list but it’s still very much affordable. We like its design and build quality. It offers great connection quality and decent battery life. The sound is kind of tiny with almost no bass. We didn’t like the fact that on/off button is located under the protective rubber cap and we have some concerns about micro USB charging port. Photive Hydra is one of our favorites when it comes to speakers under $40 and you won’t regret buying it, especially if your main concerns are ruggedness and overall build quality and if you are ready to make some compromises when it comes to sound quality.

 What’s in the box?

The speaker comes in a nice cardboard box. The presentation is not flashy or premium but it’s decent. Along with the speaker, you will get one USB to micro USB charging cable, AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year limited warranty.

The speaker looks like a bottle. It’s quite interesting and visually appealing. There’s a metal grille on the front side protecting the drivers. The speaker is made of plastic and then completely wrapped in silicone. There are 5 control buttons on the top panel – multifunction button (play/pause/call/Bluetooth), volume up and down buttons, and two track buttons (next/previous song). There is a rubber cap on the right side of the speaker and beneath that cap, you will find the on/off button, micro USB charging port, and AUX input.

The speaker is quite portable. It is 7 inches wide, 2 inches deep, 2 inches high, and it weighs 15 ounces.

Photive Hydra features two 3.5W drivers and one passive radiator. They are all located on the front panel.

 Things we like

Photive Hydra has really nice and recognizable design. It looks like a bottle and it’s completely black with a nice matte finish. Black is the only available color.

The speaker excels in the durability department. It looks and feels really sturdy. The speaker is made from plastic and then completely covered with silicone. The drivers are protected with an aluminum grille. Hydra is water and dust resistant (IP66 rating). It can survive strong jets of water but it cannot be immersed in water. It is also shockproof. If you need a strong, durable speaker that you can use on many occasions (indoors or outdoors), this is one of the best cheap choices.

Controls are simple, they are easy to use and responsive. There are some issues regarding button design and you can read about these issues in the next section.

Hydra features Bluetooth 4.0. Bluetooth range is standard 33ft without obstacles and you will get up to 20ft if there are some obstacles. The connection stays stable within the advertised range and it’s reliable. We haven’t experienced any connection-related issues with this speaker and we are quite happy with the connection quality. The speaker pairs in just a few seconds, it’s compatible with all kinds of Bluetooth-enabled devices and it can also be used in wired mode in case you want to connect some non-Bluetooth audio source (like an mp3 player).  

Hydra’s battery has the capacity of 2,600mAh. It can offer up to 8 hours of playtime at moderate volume (60%) and less than 4 hours at maximum volume. Recharge takes 2-3 hours.

Sound quality is not amazing. Hydra is poor when it comes to bass response and if you want something with a nice punch, look elsewhere. This speaker can deliver only upper-bass frequencies and it lacks some serious impact in the bass department. Mids and highs are much better and nicely balanced. Mids are articulate and detailed and highs are pretty clear. The speaker can get pretty loud for its size but it can’t really compete with more expensive portable Bluetooth speakers. In fact, some cheaper speakers on this list are louder than this one. Stereo separation is quite poor.

The built-in mic is usable if you are at your home, in your office or some other quiet place. If there is too much noise around you, the mic will pick up that noise and it will make your voice less intelligible.

 Things we don’t like

Most of the issues we’ve had with this speaker are located under that rubber cap. First of all, the micro USB charging port looks fragile and the plastic around it is thinner than the plastic the speaker is made of. If this plastic part break, the speaker will become useless since you won’t be able to charge it.  

The second thing we didn’t like is the fact that the ON/OFF button is located under the rubber cap. So, if your speaker is soaked in water, you can’t simply turn it off because you have to dry it off first and remove all the water before you open that rubber cap and turn off the speaker.

The buttons on the top panel blend into the silicone and since everything is black and the buttons are not backlit, they are really hard to see, especially in low light.

Comparison Table


11. Photive M90 Portable IPX5 Water Resistant Bluetooth Speaker

Photive M90

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Photive M90 is one of the most expensive speakers on our list of 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50 and it’s one of the best on the list when it comes to sound quality and bass response. We liked M90’s design and build quality (although it’s not as rugged as some smaller and cheaper speakers). The battery life is quite impressive, the controls are simple and functional. The Bluetooth connection is not the best feature of this speaker and it’s one of the things that need to be improved.  

 What’s in the box?

M90 comes in a bulky box with all kinds of instructions written on it (some of these instructions confused us but we will elaborate on this topic later).  The speaker is nicely packed and protected. Along with the speaker, you will get one USB to micro USB charging cable, 3.5mm AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The speaker is not huge but it’s definitely bulkier than all the previously mentioned speakers. It looks like an old-school boombox. It’s made of plastic and then wrapped in silicone. The drivers on the front side are protected with a nice-looking aluminum grille. The whole speaker looks like it’s made to last. The control buttons are on the top panel. There are only four buttons – power, 2 volume buttons, and play/pause/call button. On top of the speaker, there’s nice rubberized handle so you can carry the speaker around. On the rear panel, you will see quite large passive bass radiator and a rubber flap near the bottom. This flap protects the micro USB charging port and 3.5mm AUX input.

M90 is 11 inches wide, 3.5 inches deep, and 6 inches high. It weighs 2 pounds. It’s the bulkiest of all the speakers on our list of 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers.

The speaker features two 10W drivers (front panel) and one passive bass radiator (rear panel)

 Things we like

If you like that boombox-like look and you don’t mind the bulkiness of M90, you will be quite impressed by the design of this speaker. It is not as portable as some smaller speakers but if you want better sound quality and more bass, you will have to make some compromises.

M90 looks quite rugged. It’s not really armored but we were more than happy with the build quality. The speaker is covered with silicone and the drivers on the front side are protected with a strong aluminum grille. This speaker will definitely survive some heavy use but we can’t guarantee that it could survive a fall from 5ft height. M90 is IPX5 rated which means it is water resistant and it can survive smaller jets of water, splashes of water, or light rain. The speaker is not fully waterproof (it’s not IPX7 rated) and it’s not supposed to be immersed in water. There is no info on the dustproof rating but the manufacturer claims that you can take it with you to the beach.  

Control buttons are simple and really easy to use. They are nicely designed and responsive. Unfortunately, there are no dedicated track buttons and you have to use volume buttons if you want to play next/previous song.

M90 features Bluetooth 2.1. We were not quite happy with the connection quality and you can read about connection issues in the next section. The good thing is that you can pair the speaker with any Bluetooth-enabled device. The pairing process is not complicated and it’s done in a few seconds. You can also connect any non-Bluetooth device to the speaker via 3.5mm AUX cable and we highly recommend this type of connection whenever it’s possible.

M90 features not one but two 2,600mAh batteries (5,200mAh combined). You will get up to 10 hours of playback time at 70% volume and it is really loud at 70%. Most of the time, you won’t need to crank up the volume above 50%. The battery is, along with the sound quality, one of the best features of M90.

Sound quality is quite amazing for a cheap speaker. Compared to all the previously mentioned speakers, M90 offers much better sound quality with much more bass. Don’t get this wrong – this speaker can’t compete with some more expensive and more powerful UE speaker or anything like that but it delivers great sound quality for the price. The bass is present and quite punchy but it gets distorted and it can destroy the overall sound quality at high volumes (above 80-85%). Mids are dynamic and quite detailed and highs are clear. All in all, the sound is nicely balanced at moderate volumes. If you crank up the volume, the distortion becomes more noticeable. Stereo separation is much better than on those smaller and cheaper speakers on the list.

The built-in mic is usable but far from perfect. Since this is not the main purpose of the speaker, we can’t really complain about the mic. Still, we don’t recommend using the handsfree function in loud environments.

 Things we don’t like

First of all, let’s talk about those warnings on the box we’ve mentioned previously. This speaker is advertised as water resistant but one of the warnings on the box says that you should try to avoid exposing the speaker to moisture, liquid, or rain. This is really confusing and Photive should do something about this. Either remove the warning from the box or stop advertising your device as water resistant. Some of these warnings look like warnings in BOSE manuals (clean it with a dry cloth). It’s like the speaker is going to stop working if it gets in contact with water and it is supposed to be water resistant. Photive should really do something about these warnings and clarify all these dilemmas.

Bluetooth connection is not perfect. M90 features Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) which is not the best possible choice. The range is shorter than advertised especially if there are obstacles. You will get 8-10ft range if there are walls, which is far from great. We have also experienced occasional signal dropouts. You have to leave the phone near the speaker if you want uninterrupted playback.

There are no dedicated track buttons. You can use your phone if you want to change the track or you can use the volume buttons (short press if you want to adjust volume, long press if you want to play the next/previous song). Two additional buttons would be a nice improvement.

Low battery warning starts almost 2 hours before the battery dies. It’s really loud, it doesn’t stop, and it is really annoying. You will hear this warning every 5 minutes.

Comparison Table


12. JBL GO Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

JBL GO

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JBL GO is the cheapest JBL speaker on the market. As you probably know, you can’t really get anything impressive for less than $25 especially when it comes to branded speakers. This is a small battery-powered speaker with one driver inside.

We liked that simple minimalistic design of this speaker, build quality is satisfying for the price, connection quality and battery life are decent. The sound is tiny and without any bass. We were not happy with the speaker’s loudness (it’s not great for outdoor use especially if there is too much noise around you),

 What’s in the box?

JBL GO comes in a transparent plastic box. The presentation is not as premium as the presentation of some more expensive JBL speaker (Flip 4, Charge 3, etc.) but you can’t really expect more for that kind of money. Along with the speaker, you will get one USB to micro USB charging cable, 3.5mm AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The speaker features that common boxy design. It’s made of plastic and then covered with silicone. There’s an aluminum grille with the JBL logo on the front panel. You will see a small LED indicator behind the grille. There are 5 control buttons on the top panel – power button, Bluetooth button, two volume buttons, and play/pause/call button. AUX input, micro USB charging port, and built-in mic are on the right panel and there is a carry strap hook on the left side of the speaker.

JBL GO is really small and portable. It’s 2.7 inches wide, 1.2 inches deep, 3.3 inches high, and it weighs 5 ounces. It features one 40mm 3W driver.

 Things we like

There’s nothing really special about the boxy design of JBL GO. It’s the most common shape, especially when it comes to cheap speakers. The great thing is that JBL GO is available in so many vivid colors. You can choose between black, blue, yellow, teal, gray, pink, orange, and red. They all look really nice.  

Construction quality is more than decent considering the price. You can’t really get extremely rugged waterproof branded speaker for that kind of money. The speaker is, just like many cheap speakers made of plastic. It’s covered with a thin layer of silicone which makes it more durable. The driver is protected with a sturdy aluminum grille and all the buttons are rubberized.

Controls are simple and easy to use. Control buttons are responsive and functional. The only problem is that you don’t get dedicated track buttons.

JBL GO features Bluetooth 4.1. The connection is stable and the range is 30ft (without obstacles). We haven’t experienced any connection-related issues. Pairing is simple and quick, there is nothing unusual about that. The speaker is compatible with all kinds of Bluetooth-enabled devices and it can also be connected to non-Bluetooth devices via 3.5mm AUX cable.

Sound quality is decent for the price and size of the speaker but, to be honest, you can definitely find a better speaker for the same amount of money. The bass doesn’t exist. You will only hear some upper-bass frequencies. Mids and highs are nicely balanced and there’s a slight accent on the high frequencies. Stereo separation doesn’t exist since there is only one driver inside (one channel).

The built-in mic works fine in quiet environments (you have to be no more than 4ft away from the speaker) but it becomes almost useless if there is too much noise around you.

 Things we don’t like

The battery is the weakest link of this speaker. It has the capacity of 600mAh which is enough for 5 hours of playtime at 60% volume (less than 2 hours at max volume). Recharge takes 1.5 hours.

The speaker is not loud enough for outdoor use especially if there is too much noise.

JBL GO is not waterproof or even splash-proof.

Comparison Table


13. BLKBOX POP360 Hands-Free Bluetooth Speaker

BLKBOX POP360

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BLKBOX POP360 is a nice and simple super-portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s a great choice if you need something slightly stronger than your phone speaker and nothing more than that. To be honest, this speaker is one of the quietest on the list, and it doesn’t really deliver great room-filling sound. It’s good for small rooms or for office use but it’s not the greatest choice for outdoor use since it’s not that loud. We liked this speaker’s pop up design, its size and portability. Connection quality and battery life are decent for the price. We were not amazed by the sound quality, and we didn’t like the fact that there are no control buttons on the speaker. The speaker is not waterproof or shockproof.

 What’s in the box?

POP360 comes in a nice little black box. Along with the speaker, you will get one USB to mini USB cable (not micro USB), user manual, and 1-year warranty.

The speaker is very small. It’s 3 inches tall and has 2.5 inches in diameter. You won’t find many control buttons on the speaker. If you want to turn it on, you just have to press the button on the top and the speaker will pop up. Near the bottom, you will find one mini USB charging port and a MODE switch (you have to options – Bluetooth or AUX). The AUX cord is attached to the speaker and cannot be detached. When you don’t use it, you can wrap the cord around the speaker.

 Things we like

Design of this thing is really interesting. It’s shaped like a truncated cone and has a nice matte finish. The speaker is available in 6 colors – black, white, blue, purple, green, and gray.  

POP360 is completely made of plastic and then covered with a thin layer of rubber. It doesn’t look incredibly rugged or durable and you can definitely find something sturdier for a few bucks more but considering the price, the build quality is decent.

The manufacturer doesn’t offer any info on Bluetooth version. Based on our testing, the range is less than 30ft if there are no obstacles (10-15ft with obstacles). Pairing is quick and simple. You don’t have to press some Bluetooth button on the speaker to start pairing, POP360 is in pairing mode the moment you turn it on. It’s compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices (iPhones, Android phones, PCs, etc.). You can also connect the speaker to a non-Bluetooth device via AUX cord.

Battery life is decent for the price. You will get up to 8 hours at moderate volumes (60-70%) and less than 3 hours at max volume.

There is nothing amazing about the sound quality. There is no bass at all. The mids and highs are nicely balanced and quite clean at moderate volumes. The sound gets slightly distorted at high volumes. This speaker is maybe loud enough for its size but you can find a much louder speaker for the same amount of money. If you need something for outdoor use, this one is not the best option but if you need a small and portable speaker that you can use in your office, POP360 is a good choice.

 Things we don’t like

The speaker doesn’t have any control buttons on it. If you want to adjust the volume, change track, play/pause the song, you have to use your phone.

The speaker is not waterproof or even splash-proof (no IPX rating) and it’s not shockproof, so you should handle it with care.

POP360 doesn’t have a built-in mic and you can’t use it to answer or make calls.

The auxiliary cable is not detachable and you have to wrap it around the speaker when you don’t use it.

POP360 has mini USB charging port and not micro USB like most of the other Bluetooth speakers on the market.

Comparison Table


14. Anker SoundCore mini Super-Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Anker SoundCore mini

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Anker SoundCore mini looks like a cheaper version of SONY’s popular mini Bluetooth speaker XB10.

SoundCore mini is really small and compact speaker. It is visually appealing and incredibly well-built. We are quite happy with its battery life and connectivity (Bluetooth 4.0, AUX, micro-SD card slot, FM tuner). The sound is more than satisfying for the price and size (it’s not better than SONY XB10, but it’s pretty close). SoundCore mini also features a built-in mic and it’s compatible with Siri and Google Assistant. The only drawback is the lack of IPX rating. SoundCore mini is not even splash-proof.

This is one of the best choices if you are looking for a mini Bluetooth speaker under $30.

 What’s in the box?

SoundCore mini comes in a simple cardboard box with all the important features listed on the box. Along with this mini speaker, you will get one USB to micro USB charging cable, user manual, and 18-month warranty card. Carrying case is not included and you will have to pay extra for it. Auxiliary cable is also not included.

The speaker looks really attractive and visually appealing. It’s shaped like a cylinder and has soft edges. On the bottom, there’s a rubber ring that keeps the speaker in space. On the top, there’s an aluminum mesh protecting the upward-firing driver. Volume up and down buttons and play/pause/call button are on the front panel. All the input ports (AUX input, charging port, micro-SD card slot) as well as mode button (for switching between AUX, Bluetooth, micro-SD card, and FM tuner), power switch, built-in mic, and LED battery indicator are on the back panel.

Soundcore mini is really small. The diameter of the base is 2.6 inches, it’s 2.6 inches tall, and it weighs less than 8 ounces. It features one 5W driver. The driver is faced upward.

 Things we like

When it comes to design, we have only words of praise for the Soundcore mini. It’s simple, small, but still incredibly elegant. We loved the look of this little thing. The speaker is available in 4 colors – silver, black, gold, and pink.

Build quality is really great. Unlike many other cheap speakers on the list and on the market, this one is made of aluminum alloy and it looks really durable. The driver is protected with a strong and inflexible aluminum grille. This little speaker can definitely survive heavy use. The only drawback is the lack of IPX rating (not waterproof).

Control buttons are responsive and easy to use. You have three buttons on the front panel (play/pause/call and two volume buttons), and two on the rear panel (mode and power button).

SoundCore mini features Bluetooth 4.0. It offers great connection quality and range. Pairing is quick and simple and it takes only a few seconds. The unit is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices (iPhones, Android devices, etc.). If you have some non-Bluetooth mp3 player, you can connect it to the speaker via AUX cord (AUX cord is not included and you have to buy it separately). The Bluetooth range is quite amazing – it’s almost 50ft without obstacles and it shortens to 20-30ft if there are walls and other objects. The signal is stable within this range. We haven’t experienced any signal loss or any other connection-related issue during our testing.

The battery is quite impressive. It has the capacity of 1,800mAh. You can get up to 15 hours of playtime at moderate volume (6-7 hours at max volume). It takes up to 3 hours to fully recharge the battery.

Sound quality is pretty good for a speaker of this size. Just to be clear, most of the speakers under $30 on this list sound better than this one but they are also larger and some of them have two drivers instead of one. So, if you need slightly better sound for the same price, you should buy one of those larger speakers but if you need something really small, portable, and cheap, the SoundCore mini is a great option. This speaker can’t offer great loudness, but it can deliver a nicely balanced sound. The bass is the most problematic area. Mids and highs are clean and articulate.

The built-in mic is surprisingly good but you will have to be close to the speaker. If there is too much noise around you, the mic will pick up a huge portion of that noise and it will become useless. The speaker features support for Siri and Google Assistant and you can use it to make calls.

There are also some nice additional features like micro-SD card slot and FM tuner. Micro-SD card is useful while the FM tuner doesn’t work flawlessly.

 Things we don’t like

The speaker is nicely built and it looks durable but it’s not waterproof. It’s not even splash-proof.

There are no dedicated track buttons. You can use your phone or the volume buttons on the speaker if you want to play the next/previous song.

Comparison Table


15. Tribit XSound Go IPX7 Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers

Tribit XSound Go

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Tribit XSound Go is one of the greatest budget Bluetooth speakers on our list of 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers and it’s one of our favorites. It’s really hard to beat the overall performance of this little speaker, especially at this price point. You can have Tribit XSound Go for less than $40.

There’s a bunch of things to like about Tribit XSound Go. It has a nice and stylish design (reminds us of beats Pill), it’s very rugged and sturdy, it features IPX7 waterproof rating (it’s fully waterproof), connection quality and battery life are more than satisfying. The speaker is compatible with Google Assistant and Siri and it can be connected to Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. The sound quality is great for the size and price, but don’t expect mind-blowing bass and incredible loudness. The sound is great compared to other cheap speakers under $50 (it’s better than all the speakers under $30) on this list but it doesn’t sound better than UE BOOM 2 or JBL Flip 4. The only thing we didn’t like is the lack of track buttons.

 What’s in the box?

The speaker comes in a simple cardboard box along with USB to micro USB charging cable, user manual, and 18-month warranty card. Carrying case is not included and you have to pay an additional $10 if you want the case. The speaker features an AUX input but it doesn’t come with AUX cable.

As far as the design is concerned, we were impressed by Tribit XSound Go. As we have said, it reminded us of Beats Pill. On the front panel, you will see a strong aluminum grille with Tribit logo on it. The control buttons are located on the top panel. There are five buttons – power button, Bluetooth button, play/pause/call button, and two volume buttons. There’s a carrying strap on the left side of the speaker. You can use it to hang the speaker in your bathroom or anywhere else. On the back panel, you will find a small rubber flap. This flap protects the AUX input and micro USB charging port.

Tribit XSound Go is not the smallest and lightest on this list but it is very much portable. The speaker is 6.7 inches wide, 2.2 inches deep, 2.3 inches tall, and it weighs 13.4 ounces.

The speaker features two 6W drivers and one passive bass radiator.

 Things we like

There is nothing we would like to change regarding the design of this speaker. It’s sporty and elegant and we love it. It comes in two colors – black and blue.

Build quality of this little speaker is very good. The drivers are protected with an aluminum grille. The rest of the speaker is made of hard plastic and wrapped in silicone. The speaker is IPX7 rated and it’s fully waterproof. It is also dustproof and it can definitely withstand heavy use. Tribit is not extremely rugged and you can probably find some more rugged speaker on the list but that doesn’t change the fact that this is an incredibly durable speaker.  

Controls are simple and easy to use. Buttons are responsive and look really nice.

The speaker features Bluetooth 4.2. The pairing could not be simpler. The advertised range is 66ft but you can get 50-55ft without obstacles (less than 20ft if there are obstacles like walls, trees, etc.). The connection is stable if the phone is within the range. We haven’t experienced any interference or signal loss within the 20ft range. Anything further than that could cause some interference and signal loss. Tribit is compatible with the majority of Bluetooth-enabled devices and it can also work with non-Bluetooth devices thanks to AUX input.

The manufacturer claims that you can get up to 24h of continuous playback per one charge which is a little bit too much. You can get up to 22 hours but only at 50% volume. Battery life is significantly shorter if you increase the volume (up to 7 hours at maximum volume). It takes 4 hours to fully recharge the battery.

Sound quality is pretty impressive for the size and price of the speaker. This little thing can actually produce some bass. It’s not much but it’s better than most of other cheap and small Bluetooth speakers. Mids and highs are clean and detailed. The sound gets distorted at 80% volume and at 100% the distortion is really noticeable. Stereo separation is not impressive (the drivers are too close to each other). Tribit XSound Go is quite loud for its size. It’s not louder than UE BOOM 2 or UE MEGABOOM, but it’s still a great option if you need a cheap Bluetooth speaker that can be used anywhere and anytime.

The built-in mic doesn’t offer incredible performance but it’s usable if you are no more than 5ft away from the speaker.

The speaker features support for Siri and Google Assistant, and it can be connected to Echo and Echo Dot.

 Things we don’t like

The only thing we didn’t like is the lack of track buttons. You can play the next song by pressing the play button twice or you can play the previous one by pressing it three times but it would be much better if there were two dedicated track buttons.

Comparison Table


This was our list of 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50 in 2018. The number of cheap Bluetooth speakers on the market is huge but not all of them offer decent performance and searching for the right one can be frustrating. Our list was designed to help you and shorten your search. Hopefully, you have found something you like.

Before the end, let’s just go through some important things you should consider when buying a cheap Bluetooth speaker.

What are the Most Important Things You Should Pay Attention to When Buying a Cheap Bluetooth Speaker?

Buying a cheap speaker is much riskier than buying some branded speaker made by some reputable manufacturer like JBL, Sony, UE, etc. The market is flooded with all kinds of cheap no-name speakers. Some of them are good but some are simply awful. So, if you don’t want to waste your money, you have to be really careful. We have made a list of things you should consider when buying a cheap Bluetooth speaker. This list is supposed to help you set reasonable expectations and get the best performance and quality for your money.

Price

We’ve already discussed the price at the beginning but it doesn’t hurt to repeat. The general rule is that you get what you paid for and it applies to everything you buy, not only speakers. For $10 or $15, you can’t get anything impressive. These speakers are made of thin plastic, they look cheap because they are cheap, and they usually have only one driver. You can’t expect any additional features, you can’t expect them to be rugged or waterproof, and you can’t expect big sound. You will get a small portable speaker that will sound better than your phone speaker and that’s about it. If you are prepared to pay $10-$20 more, you can get much better build quality, maybe even waterproof speaker, probably stronger battery and slightly better sound quality. For $40 or $50, you can get more than satisfying build quality, pretty good battery, decent Bluetooth range (but still under 30ft), and more than satisfying sound quality for the size and price. The problem is that you can always end up disappointed with your speaker, even if it costs $50. Buying a cheap no-name speaker is always tricky and that’s why you should read our reviews as well as other reviews you can find online and try to find out all about the speaker you want to buy.  

Sound quality

Since we are talking about speakers, the sound quality is one of the most important things. Before we even start discussing this topic, you should know that you cannot get mind-blowing sound for less than $50. That’s simply unreasonable. If your limit is $15 or $20, you can buy something that’s slightly better and louder than your phone speaker. For $50, you can buy something much stronger, with richer and punchier bass, and nicely balanced sound. But don’t be mistaken, these speakers will never be able to deliver the same sound quality as some $100 or $200 JBL or UE Bluetooth speaker. The most important thing is to set reasonable expectations.

Battery

When it comes to battery, you can expect up to 20 hours of continuous playback at moderate volume (but significantly less at maximum volume). It’s actually not that bad when you think about it. For example, UE BOOM 2 (approx. price – $130) offers up to 15 hours, the smallest UE speaker called WONDERBOOM (approx. price – $70) offers up to 10 hours, and JBL Flip 4 (approx. price – $80) offers up to 12 hours. It’s probably not fair to compare more expensive speakers with cheap ones and the only idea is to help you understand what to expect regarding battery life.

Durability, Ruggedness, Waterproofness

Well, the overall construction quality varies a lot depending on the price. Those really cheap speakers (under $15) are usually made of thin plastic, they are fragile, and don’t look like they can withstand heavy use. For $30 or more, you can get quite impressive build quality. Some of these speakers are rugged with some metal and rubber reinforcements. Some of them are even waterproof. Speakers under $30 could feature IPX4 splash-proof rating (or IPX5 or IPX6 water resistant rating) but they are usually not completely waterproof. For $40 or $50, you can get a fully waterproof speaker with an IPX7 rating.

Connection Quality – Bluetooth Version and Range

When it comes to connection, you should always pay attention to Bluetooth version and Bluetooth range. Newer Bluetooth versions (4.0, 4.1, 4.2) offer better connection quality, better range, better sound quality, and greater battery life. So, you should be looking for speakers featuring Bluetooth 4.0, 4.1 or 4.2. These speakers are usually more expensive. If you don’t want to spend more than $20, you will probably get a speaker with Bluetooth 3.0 or even Bluetooth 2.1 version. The advertised range is usually 30ft but you will get a shorter range in reality. And it’s not always about the price – some really cheap speakers have a great range and stable connection but there are some $40 and $50 speakers with awful connection quality. The best thing you can do is to test the connection quality in a local audio store. If you don’t have the opportunity to do that, the next best thing is to read our reviews and other customers’ reviews and find out everything you need to know about connection quality.

Technical Specs

Technical specs are not always useful when it comes to cheap Bluetooth speakers but you should at least have some basic understanding of these characteristics.

Frequency response – to put it simply, it tells you how high and how low the speaker can go. You will see two numbers (something like 50Hz-22kHz). Since you can’t really hear anything below 20Hz or above 20kHz, if the frequency response is larger than that, you won’t be able to hear all those low-end and high-end tones. So, this info is not really useful unless the manufacturer gives you the frequency response curve which tells you if there is a nice balance between lows, mids, and highs. Unfortunately, you will almost never see this curve in the specs list. So, the frequency response will tell you if the speaker can produce deep bass and high-end tones but it won’t tell you if the sound is balanced or is there an emphasis on certain frequencies.

Number and type of drivers – This one can be pretty useful. First of all, you should pay attention to the materials the drivers are made of. This will determine the quality of the sound but it will also affect speaker durability. Drivers made of paper (coated or uncoated) are the cheapest and deliver the worst sound quality (usually mid-centric sound) and have poor durability. Drivers made of hard but flexible materials are a much better option (basically, any other material is better than paper).

Sensitivity – Sensitivity (along with wattage) tells you how loud the speaker can be. Since we are talking about cheap speakers, anything above 90dB can be considered great but you should also know the speaker’s THD (True Harmonic Distortion) and it’s good if THD is less than 1%. Loudness doesn’t mean anything if there is too much distortion.

Additional Features

Additional features are always desirable. Most of the Bluetooth speakers on the market (even those really cheap speakers) feature handsfree functionality and built-in mic. This feature is usually very easy to use but if the microphone quality is poor it can be pretty much useless. You won’t be impressed by the microphone quality on those really cheap Bluetooth speakers (under $20) but for $50 you can get more than decent mic quality.

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Some Bluetooth speakers feature 3.5mm AUX port and micro-SD card slots. Even if you don’t use them often, they are nice backup options. So, if your mp3 player doesn’t feature Bluetooth, you can use that 3.5mm AUX port and if your phone battery dies, you can insert micro-SD card from your phone and play the music directly from the card.

Some Bluetooth speakers can also be connected to multiple devices at the same time and some can even be chained with another speaker for stereo sound (usually with the same type of speaker or with some other speaker made by the same manufacturer).

This is the end of our article on 15 best cheap Bluetooth speakers under $50 in 2018. Hopefully, you have found something you like on our list. If you need some advice or you want to know more about some speaker from the list, feel free to ask.

Your AudioReputation Team

 



Transparency Disclosure – AudioReputation.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. To put it simply, we have an affiliate relationship with Amazon. In our reviews, you will find links that will redirect you to one of the Amazon’s websites (usually amazon.com). These links are called ‘’affiliate links’’ and they help us fund our work. So, basically, when you click on some link and buy the speaker/headphones/soundbar/home theater system or any other piece of audio equipment, we get a small percentage/commission. You don’t have to pay extra if you click on our links – there are no additional costs.

When we recommend some piece of audio equipment, it’s not because we are under an obligation to do so. It’s because our evaluation and research have shown that certain product deserves to be recommended.

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Hello, my name is James Longman.

I’m a writer and editor at AudioReputation. I disassembled my first portable AM/FM radio when I was only 8. At the age of 11, I burned the circuit board on my old boombox cassette player. I’m not going to explain how but it was reckless and stupid.

Since then, I have become much more careful around radios, boomboxes, and other audio devices (at least, I like to think so) but I have never lost the passion for audio equipment. Throughout 20 years of my professional career, I’ve been working for various audio equipment manufacturers and even started building speakers on my own in my little workshop.

I love the work we do here at AudioReputation. Testing, comparing, and evaluating all kinds of audio devices (speakers, soundbars, headphones, home theater systems, etc.) is something I truly enjoy. I try to be unbiased and give you my honest opinion on every piece of equipment I test. Still, you should take my reviews with a pinch of salt and always be just a little bit skeptical. The fact that I liked some speaker or soundbar doesn’t mean that you are going to love it. If you have the opportunity, you should test it/hear it before buying it.

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