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Best budget Bluetooth speaker 2022: Upgrade your audio with these awesome affordable options

Matt Reed
4 Oct 2022
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Enjoy great sound for less with our pick of the best budget Bluetooth speakers, all of which are available for under £100

The best budget Bluetooth speakers enhance your ability to enjoy audio both at home and on the go. By removing the need to connect to your audio source physically, they provide freedom their wired counterparts simply can’t match. That freedom doesn’t always come cheap, but there are plenty of great options out there that won’t cost you a small fortune.

Budget Bluetooth speakers come in all shapes and sizes but have one common goal - to deliver engaging audio at an accessible price. Sound quality fluctuates from product to product, however, and there are some cheap options out there that should be avoided at all costs unless you want your eardrums assaulted by overexaggerated bass or piercing treble.

To help you avoid that kind of sonic nightmare, we’ve put together a list of our favourite options under £100, all of which have been tested extensively by our team of audio experts. Most of them offer a lot more than Bluetooth connectivity too: some are rugged and waterproof for all-action listening; others are equipped with smart voice assistant functionality, while some simply offer an upmarket aesthetic for reasonable money.

The very best cheap Bluetooth speakers provide a heady mixture of features and there’s something for everyone in the selection below. If you’re not sure what features to look for, we’ve included a handy buying guide detailing the important factors to consider before making a purchase.

READ NEXT: The best Bluetooth speakers to buy no matter your budget

How to choose the best budget Bluetooth speaker for you

What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology that facilitates the transmission of data. It’s been available on phones, laptops and tablets since the mid-2000s and does away with the need for physical cables connecting speakers to their audio sources. New Bluetooth versions are released over time and these can impact your listening experience in several ways.

How important is the Bluetooth version?

The newer the Bluetooth version your speaker operates over the better. Most budget Bluetooth speakers being sold today typically support version 5.0 or above, with more recent models supporting Bluetooth 5.2 or 5.3. There are various advantages to newer versions of the technology, the most notable of which are maximum operating range, connection stability and data transfer speed.

Newer versions are also more energy efficient than their predecessors, meaning you can expect longer battery life, which is always very welcome. You’ll be fine with anything from Bluetooth 5.0 onwards but for the best experience possible, look for speakers running the latest version of the technology.

How portable are budget Bluetooth speakers?

Given the wireless nature of Bluetooth connectivity, most Bluetooth speakers – especially at budget price points – are made to be easy to carry around. They are often lightweight and small enough to be held in one hand, sport rugged builds to prevent them from being damaged if dropped, and some level of waterproofing, which we’ll discuss in greater detail below.

You do occasionally find options that require mains power to operate, and these can still be picked up and moved around the house easily enough but are designed to be used in situ rather than on the go. They’re typically larger than their battery-powered counterparts, don’t have a waterproof or rugged design, but their size often means they’re capable of delivering bigger, bolder sound.

What other features should I consider?

Battery life: A large majority of budget Bluetooth speakers house in-built rechargeable batteries that allow them to be used anywhere. Most top out at around 15 hours of audio playback, with the amount of battery on offer dependent on the size and power demands of the speaker itself.

IP rating: This refers to a speaker’s ability to prevent the ingress of particles and water. Because budget Bluetooth speakers are often portable, they need to be able to resist inclement weather conditions or use in places such as beaches. A device’s IP rating is composed of two digits: the first referring to solids (e.g. dust and dirt) and the second to liquids. For example, an IP67 rating – one of the more resilient ratings – is 100% protected against solid objects and can withstand at least 30 minutes submerged in 1m of water. You can find a full breakdown of what each IP rating means here.

READ NEXT: The best outdoor speakers to buy

Built-in microphones: Budget Bluetooth speakers can be used as speakerphones for calls if they house an on-board microphone. You won’t find one on every option on this list, but having one can prove very useful when making and receiving calls both at home and further afield.

Smart Assistant: Though most budget Bluetooth speakers don’t have integrated voice assistants, those with in-built mics can generally be used to summon popular smart assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri through your smartphone.

These assistants are a great convenience as they enable hands-free audio control, provide answers to common questions, allow you to set reminders or simply find out the time. For the smartest experience possible, you’ll want a dedicated smart speaker, and most of these support Bluetooth connectivity in addition to connection over Wi-Fi.

How much should I spend on a budget Bluetooth speaker?

Now, don’t fret – you’re on the budget Bluetooth speaker page, so all of the options recommended here are reasonably easy on your wallet. You can spend many hundreds of pounds on premium Bluetooth speakers, but if you want a healthy balance between cost and quality, we’d suggest sticking to a £100 limit.

With technology continually developing, what you can get with a budget of £100 is improving and the best budget Bluetooth speakers often come with most, if not all, of the features listed above.

Best budget Bluetooth speakers to buy

1. Tronsmart T7: Best value Bluetooth speaker

Price: £60 | Buy now from Amazon

The Tronsmart T7 is the speaker to buy if you’re trying to make every penny count. It boasts twin tweeters and a woofer, and these provide stellar sound from every angle. Mids and highs are well-defined, while the bass packs a real punch. The broad soundstage also impresses, even outdoors. Plus, should you want to equalise the T7, the Tronsmart app lets you tweak levels to your taste.

Controls are easily accessible, the IPX7 rating certifies the speaker completely waterproof, while its wheel volume knob is so convenient you wonder why more speakers don’t replicate it. The 12 hours of battery life is also respectable, though you’ll need to turn off the RGB lights to reach that – battery life drops by two thirds when it's on.

The only other causes for caution are the weight (albeit still carryable), and lack of an AUX-in. But considering its other features, the Tronsmart T7 is exceptionally well priced, and to get better quality audio you’ll have to pay considerably more.

Key specs – Drivers: 3 (plus two passive); Inputs: Micro SD; Outputs: No; Wireless: Bluetooth 5.3; Voice assistant: Supported (via microphone); Remote/App: App; IP rating: IPX7; Battery life: 12 hours; Dimensions (WHD): 78 x 8.5 x 216mm; Weight: 870g

2. Edifier MP230: The most stylish budget Bluetooth speaker

Price: £99 | Buy now from Amazon

Should aesthetics be your primary concern, we recommend the stunning Edifier MP230. Inspired by 1950s and ‘60s radio sets, its wood-effect chassis has curves in all the right places and pairs beautifully with its copper-coloured grill. Bronze piano-style keys complete the look and are a joy to use, making audio playback simple and convenient.

It might look like a blast from the past, but inside, it’s distinctly modern. Twin 1.89in drivers with a frequency range of 70Hz to 13kHz deliver menacing bass at the low end and hearty highs at the top of a pleasingly balanced sound profile. There’s no accompanying app or EQ options, but we found it sounded great out of the box – bar the occasional treble distortion at high volume.

Battery life could be better at 10 hours and the stunning frame lacks an IP rating, which limits outdoor use, but you’ll struggle to find a budget Bluetooth speaker that looks as gorgeous in your home as the MP230.

Read our full Edifier MP230 review for more details

Key specs – Drivers: 2; Inputs: 3.5mm, micro SD; Outputs: 3.5mm; Wireless: Bluetooth 5; Voice assistant: No; Remote/App: App; IP rating: No; Battery life: 10 hours; Dimensions (WDH): 162 x 97x 85mm; Weight: 0.85kg

3. Google Nest Audio: Best Google Assistant smart speaker with Bluetooth

Price: £89 | Buy now from John Lewis

The Nest Audio is a Google Assistant speaker that also supports Bluetooth connectivity. This means you can hook it up to your home Wi-Fi to take advantage of its smart features or stream tunes from your phone over Bluetooth. Its wireless leanings mean it’s not designed to be carried around with you, but portability aside, it’s got a lot going for it.

Google Assistant integration is the star of the show, but audio quality from the 2.95in woofer and 0.75in tweeter is highly impressive and a significant step up from the original Google Home. When playing podcasts or other spoken word content, Google’s smart Ambient IQ tech comes to the fore by adjusting volume and EQ depending on background noise in your home. The only thing missing is an AUX-in port, but for a smart, wireless speaker packing Bluetooth connectivity, the Google Nest Audio is the best all-round package under £100.

Read our full Google Nest Audio review for more details

Key specs – Drivers: 2; Inputs: No; Outputs: No; Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Chromecast; Voice assistant: Google Assistant; Remote/App: No; IP rating: No; Battery life: N/A; Dimensions (WDH): 124 x 78 x 175mm; Weight: 1.2kg

Buy now from John Lewis


4. JBL Clip 4: Best budget Bluetooth speaker for travelling

Price: £50 | Buy now from Argos

A compact housing and crystal clear audio are the two key characteristics that make the JBL Clip 4 a standout budget Bluetooth speaker. Its diminutive frame can be attached to a rucksack via the carabiner clip and this makes it the most portable budget option we’ve tested. Add in its IP67 rating and it becomes the ideal companion for travelling outdoors. Especially given you’ve got around 10 hours of battery to play with.

The Clip 4’s main rival for the compact crown is its stablemate, the JBL Go 3. The Clip is marginally more powerful and delivers slightly deeper bass, so is the superior choice for audio quality. However, this only applies if it’s attached to a bag or belt - the Go 3 is a better option if you’re positioning the speaker flat on a desk. Its use case may be quite specific, but the Clip 4 is a superb budget speaker for on-the-move listening.

Key specs – Drivers: 1; Inputs: No; Outputs: No; Wireless: Bluetooth 5.1; Voice assistant: No; Remote/App: No; IP rating: IP67; Battery life: 10 hours; Dimensions (WDH): 86 x 46 x 135mm; Weight: 0.24kg

Buy now from Argos


5. Poly Sync 20 speakerphone: Best budget bluetooth speaker for office use

Price: £85 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re after an affordable Bluetooth speaker via which you can hold professional calls, this is the option for you. Call clarity is impressive on both ends, with the Poly Sync 20’s three microphones and noise reduction technology providing intelligible audio even from 15 metres away.

Buttons for answering calls, muting your microphone and using a voice assistant are pretty handy too, as is the ability to set a ringtone. It’s also light and compact which is ideal for any hybrid worker – especially since the battery lasts a whopping 20 hours.

Use the Poly Sync for listening to your favourite playlist and you might be a little disappointed – the soundstage is narrow and there’s a distinct lack of bass. Setting the EQ to ‘Bass’ in the Poly Lens app remedies the latter issue somewhat, and perhaps this will prove enough for most office workers – after all, you don’t want to get too distracted from the day job.

Key specs – Drivers: 1; Inputs: USB-A; Outputs: USB-A or USB-C; Wireless: Bluetooth 5.1; Voice assistant: Supported (via microphones); Remote/App: App; IP rating: IP64; Battery life: 20 hours; Dimensions (WDH): 34 x 182 x 95mm; Weight: 0.36kg

6. JBL Go 3: Best compact budget Bluetooth speaker

Price: £35 | Buy now from JBL

Should you desire an ultra-compact budget Bluetooth speaker befitting any occasion, the JBL Go 3 is our pick. It edges out its stablemate the JBL Clip 4 thanks to a boxy design that allows it to perform better in a greater number of situations than the oval-shaped Clip 4.

The ability to stand the Go 3 on flat surfaces is a big advantage and audio performance is truly impressive given this is a speaker you can fit in the palm of your hand. Sound is crisp, well-balanced and possesses a decent low-end thump, though bass lovers will find the Clip 4 delivers a slightly more satisying punch.

Still, that difference is very minor and unnoticeable across many genres of music, and the Go 3 both weighs and costs less, too, while still offering a rugged frame that’s certified completely waterproof thanks to its IP67 rating.

Key specs – Drivers: 1; Inputs: No; Outputs: No; Wireless: Bluetooth 5.1; Voice assistant: No; Remote/App: App; IP rating: IP67; Battery life: 5 hours; Dimensions (WDH): 86 x 40 x 69mm; Weight: 0.21kg

Buy now from JBL


7. Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen): Best budget Alexa speaker with Bluetooth

Price: £30 | Buy now from Amazon

Amazon has been releasing Echo Dots since 2016 and they’re some of the best-selling smart speakers on the market. Alexa is of course the voice assistant of choice, and while she may not be quite as smart as her Google rival, she still comes in very handy around the house.

The fourth-gen Echo Dot boasts Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection options, along with an improved design and better sound quality than its predecessors. There’s a 3in woofer and a pair of 0.8in tweeters inside the speaker’s housing and these deliver audio that’s noticeably richer and fuller than previous Echos. Instrument separation is superior, too, and the Echo Dot happily avoids distortion at high volumes.

The lack of an internal battery means you won’t be taking the Echo Dot with you on trips out of the house, but few cheap speakers are more useful when situated in your living room or kitchen.

Read our Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) review for more details

Key specs – Drivers: 1; Inputs: 3.5mm; Outputs: 3.5mm; Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1; Voice assistant: Yes; Remote/App: No; IP rating: No; Battery life: N/A; Dimensions (WDH): 100 x 89 x 100mm; Weight: 328g

8. Edifier D12: Best budget mains-powered Bluetooth speaker

Price: £100 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re not bothered about portability, but still desire Bluetooth connectivity to make your listening life easier, then the Edifier D12 offers a lot of bang for your buck.

Since it can draw on mains power, it’s able to produce 70W (RMS) of audio output from its pair of 4in woofers and two 0.75in tweeters, which is significantly more than the other entries on this list. Those drivers are housed in a sophisticated wooden cabinet and audio quality is equally appealing. Bass has a richness and robustness to it, while the mids and treble are clean and crisp. Each can be adjusted via top-mounted knobs and there are EQ options for music and movies available via the included remote, too.

Given its size, you’ll need a decent amount of desk or shelf space to accommodate the Edifier D12. But as long as space isn’t at a premium, this is a room-filling budget Bluetooth speaker well worth considering.

Key specs – Drivers: 3; Inputs: 3.5mm; Outputs: 3.5mm; Voice assistant: No; Remote/App: Remote; Wireless: Bluetooth 5.0; IP rating: No; Battery life: N/A; Dimensions (WDH): 359 x 204 x 195mm; Weight: 4.6kg

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