Cheap Bluetooth speakers are one of the best affordable pieces of technology you can get, giving you a quick and easy upgrade to the sound on your phone, laptop or various other things.
They are the simplest way to boost sound quality if you're not planning on using headphones. There are countless on the market and while many cost hundreds, not everyone has that much to spend on a speaker.
Luckily, there are loads out there that don't cost the earth and still provide a decent amount of boom - and they're not all unknown brands. We've featured Denon and Ultimate Ears (UE) here to name two.
We've set a price limit of around £100 here but many of these Bluetooth speakers come in at under £50 if you have a tight budget. If you are looking for something a little more expensive and premium, head over to our best high-end Bluetooth speakers chart.
Best cheap Bluetooth speakers 2021
EarFun Uboom - Best Overall
- Modern features
- 360 sound
- No aptX or AAC codecs
It doesn't quite manage to get under the £50 mark but the EarFun Uboom is worth the money, offering all the key things we look for in a cheap Bluetooth speaker.
For starters, it has an attractive and compact design with an IPX7 waterproof rating and easy to use buttons on the top. It's slightly surprising to see both a USB-C port for charging and an aux input just in case you need it.
There might not be aptX and AAC codecs but sound quality is good and like the UE Wonderboom 2, there's a dedicated outdoor mode. It offers a 360-degree sound and really only lacks in the top-end due to there being no tweeters.
The Uboom has Bluetooth 5 giving it good range and battery life is solid, too. Furthermore, latency is low making it suitable for video, there's a microphone so for hands-free calls and you can create a stereo pair if you buy two.
Read our full EarFun Uboom review
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 - Best Design
- Compact & durable design
- Solid battery life
- Excellent sound
- No aux input
Ultimate Ears is one of the Bluetooth speaker brands that keeps smashing it out of the park. The second edition of the Wonderboom might look similar to the original but it has various design and feature upgrades that make it even better.
This is still very much pint-sized and now comes with two-tone fabric and new buttons. Namely, a playback button on the top which means you don't need to fumble around for your phone when you want to pause or skip a track.
Despite being tiny, the Wonderboom 2 has a lot of power and the battery life is even longer than before at 13 hours - that's a 30% improvement. Being small, it's not got the most bass around but that's the nature of this kind of speaker and it's still better than most rivals and its predecessor.
You can pair two speakers together for a proper stereo pair if you like but the new Outdoor Boost mode is more interesting. This uses an equalizer to give you a sound profile more suited to outdoor spaces, where otherwise these speakers can struggle to cope and end up sounding muddy.
There's only really one thing that might put you off the Wonderboom 2 and that's the lack of an aux input.
Read our full Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 review
JBL Clip 4 - Best Under £50
- Portable & durable
- Integrated carabiner
- Powerful bass
- No jack input
- No microphone
- No previous track
The ever-reliable JBL has made yet another desirable Bluetooth speaker and the latest version of the Clip is a brilliant speaker for travelling everywhere with you without breaking the bank.
The palm-sized design has an integrated carabiner meaning you can clip it onto almost anything whether that's a rucksack, bike or something else. The buttons are easy to use and the speaker now has an IP67 waterproof rating making it fully dunkable.
The buttons are easy to use but it's odd that you can't go to the previous track with a triple-click. There's also no microphone or aux input if that matters to your usage.
However, solid sound quality is excellent and battery life is decent, too with USB-C now the port of choice. The affordable price makes this a worthwhile purchase.
Read our full JBL Clip 4 review
Tronsmart T6 Plus (Upgraded Edition) - Best Features
- Great connectivity
- Power bank feature
- Great sound
- Slow charging
Tronsmart's T6 Plus (Upgraded Edition) is one of the smartest non-smart budget Bluetooth speakers we've tested.
Not only is this rugged waterproof speaker capable of pumping out room-filling, 360-degree audio from its two 20W drivers, it can also function as a 6600mAh power bank for emergency recharging of your phone or devices, and let you connect to your phone's voice assistant with a tap of its click wheel.
For the money sound quality is outstanding, benefiting from Tronsmart's own SoundPulse algorithm and a dual-passive radiator to deliver balanced and clearly defined audio, with no sign of distortion. And getting audio to the speaker couldn't be easier, with support for microSD, USB flash drives and Bluetooth streaming.
This upgraded model adds NFC connectivity, taking all the hassle out of pairing your smartphone. Battery life is also decent, offering up to 15 hours playback at 50% volume.
Buy two and you can take advantage of wireless stereo pairing.
Read our full Tronsmart T6 Plus (Upgraded Edition) review
Creative Muvo Play - Best Value
- Very cheap
- Easy to use
- Lacks bass
- Not as powerful as rivals
Even at one of the cheapest prices here, we have little to complain about with the Muvo Play. This pint-size pocket rocket has a lot going for it.
We like the compact design which means the Play is super portable and is even IPX7 waterproof, which isn't a given at this price point - the mesh just takes a while to dry out. It's got easy to use buttons and the 360 design, like many others, means you can pretty much plonk the speaker down anywhere and it will still sound good.
It's got a 3.5mm aux connection but you're better off making use of Bluetooth 5.0 which provides a decent wireless connection. You can also join two Muvo Play speakers together to create a stereo pair if you like.
Creative offers decent punchy sound for not much money here thanks to a pair of full-range drivers and a couple of passive bass radiators. Although the speaker is suited well to a lot of music and podcasts, it does struggle a little bit at the bass end, only able to reach down to 70Hz - when human hearing goes to 20Hz.
That's really the only downside to this otherwise excellent speaker.
Read our full Creative Muvo Play review
Tribit Stormbox Micro - Best for Travel
- Extremely compact
- Good bass
- Slow charging
- Limited battery life
- Stap not adjustable
Though the Tribit StormBox Micro comes in at a low price and a small size, it still produces a very admirable sound quality - especially when it comes to bass-levels.
Its portable design means that it can fit in the palm of your hand with ease, and the fixed strap is also handy for attaching it to your bike should you wish. Plus with an IP67 waterproof & dustproof rating, you'll be able to take it out and about in all weathers.
You do however only get a Bluetooth 5.0 connection. The USB-C port is for charging only, and there's no aux port. However, with an eight-hour battery life, a Bluetooth-only connection should suffice for most occasions.
The sound quality is loud enough to fill a room, though if you're hosting a large gathering we'd recommend purchasing two of these to use in stereo mode. Otherwise, this speaker is perfect for those who are on a budget and want a travel-sized speaker that doesn't compromise on crisp audio.
Read our full Tribit StormBox Micro review
Edifier D12 - Best Bookshelf Speaker
- Various input options
- Physical dials
- No auto Bluetooth switching
Most of the Bluetooth speakers we test at Tech Advisor are portable but the Edifier D12 is an interesting option if you have a shelf or desk space in mind.
Its wooden ends provide style and acoustic benefit and the three physical dials on top are useful. And you don't only have to use Bluetooth as the D12 has other inputs making it ideal as a dual-purpose for those with something like a turntable.
Sound quality is good but there's no stereo field and the speaker can't automatically switch between different paired Bluetooth devices.
Read our full Edifier D12 review
Lava BrightSounds 2 - Best Battery Life
- Epic battery life
- Power bank feature
- Built-in light
- Only splash proof
- Limited audio power
Smart light bulbs, power banks and Bluetooth speakers are all the rage at the moment, so it was only a matter of time before a manufacturer merged the three – say hello to the Lava BrightSounds 2 Bluetooth speaker/power bank/smart light hybrid.
Roughly three quarters of the IPX4-rated rectangular speaker is taken up by the light, housed in plastic. The brightness is adjustable, providing everything from a soft glow to bright white light, although there’s no option to change the colour of the light.
If Bluetooth isn’t for you, the rear of the speaker is where you’ll find ports for auxiliary connections, along with a charging port and a full-size USB port for charging smartphones and other mobile accessories while on-the-go.
With a lithium-ion battery inside, the Lava BrightSounds 2 Bluetooth speaker and smart lamp can offer a whopping 36 hours of music playback.
Despite the budget price tag, we had the Lava BrightSounds 2’s 5W ultra-wide stereo speaker on full-blast and didn't hear a hint of distortion. It's loud enough to fill a room with sound, and for a budget Bluetooth speaker, audio quality is more than acceptable with decent bass and a clear mid-range, although there’s a slight compromise at the top-end.
Read our full Lava BrightSounds 2 review
Tronsmart Force - Best Connectivity
- Digital assistant support
- Long battery live
- Slow charging
The Tronsmart Force is a Bluetooth speaker built for the outdoors, sporting a robust design with a shockproof grippy rubber surround and a black metal grille on the front and rear. It also boasts IPX7 waterproofing.
The outdoors-y design doesn’t mean it skimps on smarts though; you can access Siri or Google Assistant, and there’s a number of ways to connect too. Alongside Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC support, the speaker sports a 3.5mm jack for non-Bluetooth devices and a microSD card slot for standalone music playback.
It lasts around 15 hours on a single charge and packs audio power with a total output of 40W. The speaker offers a built-in EQ with three modes; 3D Stereo, Extra Bass and Standard.
Generally, the Tronsmart Pulse provides deep bass, clear mids and crisp highs, although that crispness is sometimes sacrificed in favour of overpowering bass tones, and the sound starts to distort at max volume. But for the price, you’ll struggle to find something with this much prominence.
Read our full Tronsmart Force review
Kitsound Diggit - Best Outdoor Speaker
- Indoor/outdoor design
- 360 sound
- Lacks bass
The Kitsound Diggit combines sleek and lightweight style with impressive sound – as well as an impressive price. It’s portable, offers IP55 dust and waterproofing, and comes with a removable stake so you can plant it in the ground.
Design aside, the Diggit produces a clear and balanced sound and can be stereo paired with a second. While the tone goes on the sharper side when the volume is blasted, this doesn't make for an unpleasant listening experience, especially when the music is mostly for ambient purposes. Otherwise, the mid-range come across clearly and vocals sound crisp.
The Diggit is ideal for outdoor gatherings, like barbecues and picnics; though it's versatile enough to be used for indoor shindigs too, like in a dorm or living room. This makes it a particularly good option for students who are on a budget.
Read our full KitSound Diggit review
Your buying guide to the best cheap Bluetooth speakers
So, what should you look for when in the market for a portable Bluetooth speaker?
A popular feature that seems to be cropping up in Bluetooth speakers is '360-degree audio'. What is 360-degree audio? Well, it's (usually) a tube-shaped Bluetooth speaker that has drivers facing every direction, opposed to the traditional front-facing speaker, to enable better audio projection and produce 'room-filling audio'.
It's definitely a nice feature to have, and one we actively look out for when buying new speakers. It was once exclusive to high-end speakers, but we've since seen it appear on a number of budget speakers.
What about battery life? While not too long ago the standard battery life for a Bluetooth speaker was around five hours, we've reached a golden age in Bluetooth accessory battery life. With many budget speakers offering upwards of 10-20 hours per charge, we wouldn't recommend buying a speaker that offers anything less.
Also, it's worth keeping an eye out for speakers that double up as portable battery chargers, as it'll probably come in handy when using your smartphone to play music.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
Some Bluetooth speakers also offer Wi-Fi capabilities, so which connection should you opt for? Traditionally, using a Bluetooth connection (5.0 is the latest version) will give you a 10m range, which means that you'll only be able to play music from a speaker in the same room as you - any further and you'll probably experience the audio cutting out.
Some speakers offer a wider range though, so it's worth taking a look at the specifications of the speaker you're interested in.
Wi-Fi has a much wider reach, and could allow you to play music from anywhere in the house. With this being said, the Wi-Fi setup process can be quite stressful and require users to install a specific app on their smartphone in order to do so, whereas Bluetooth setup takes 30 seconds, even less if it supports NFC setup.
Every now and again, you'll come across a Bluetooth speaker that offers a remote. While a remote can be useful in certain environments, especially if the volume of the speaker is controlled independently instead of mirroring the input volume, it's not essential.
This is especially true if you intend to play music from your smartphone via Bluetooth, as you'll already have the media controls you need in your hand.
Water and dust resistance
If you plan to take your Bluetooth speaker to the park or beach with you, it's probably a good idea to find a speaker that has some kind of water/dust/shock resistance.
While it doesn't need an IPX7 rating to be used outside, it's always a good idea to have some kind of protection against spills, rain, and general damage or you'll quickly find yourself buying another!
Bluetooth speakers for students
A Bluetooth speaker is a great purchase at any age, but it's especially popular among students. While sound quality is still important, there are arguably other things you'd look for first when buying one for young people.
A Bluetooth speaker should provide you with multiple days of moderate usage, while it must be durable enough to be thrown in a bag or on the ground without too many issues.
If you're willing to be out in all weathers, also consider a speaker which has some form of IPX rating for water and dust resistance.
Adding NFC will also allow people quickly and seamlessly control the music that's playing, although it could cause some disagreements!
Find out how we test audio.