Portable speakers are must-haves for poolside parties, the beach, and outdoor fun in general, but you don't have to break the bank to be able to take your music on the go. You will find that the best portable speakers under $100 will have both the functionality and style you want — and still sound great. It's just a matter of knowing what to look for and where to shop.
But it's important to remember that the best speakers for hanging out at home might be different than for a day at the beach, so when you're choosing the best portable speakers for you and your needs, consider the following:
- Volume: To enjoy your playlist, you'll need a speaker with range. The sensitivity rating, as measured in decibels (dBs), will give an idea of how loud your speaker can get while still sounding great. For most situations, speakers with 87 dBs (about as loud as a blender) or higher are ideal.
- Durability: A good portable speaker, should be prepared for rain or shine — especially if you plan on taking it to the beach or pool. In those cases, look for at least a water-resistance rating of IPX7 to guarantee that the speakers will continue to work even after it's put under a meter of water for 30 minutes.
- Battery Life: For continuous playtime, you'll also want a long-lasting battery life. For most cases, look for a unit that can play non-stop for eight hours or more between charges.
And of course, a speaker is no good if it isn't easily compatible with your devices. That's why all of our top picks are Bluetooth enabled.
To make picking the best speaker easier, here's my list of the best portable speakers under $100 on Amazon!
1. The Overall Best Portable Speaker Under $100
JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Portable Stereo Speaker
The JBL Flip 4 is a portable speaker that offers stereo sound (a rarity) that's also durable enough for most uses, what you'd expect from a maker of stadium-quality sound equipment. The rechargeable battery gives you 12 hours of continuous playtime and the fabric cover keeps it safe in most situations. It's even water-resistant, with a IPX7 rating.
Beyond the basics, handy functions of this unit include being able to connect two smartphones or other smart devices at one time to alternate between your favorite playlists. And it's compatible with many other JBL wireless speakers, too, so it's easy to connect them all together for a truly epic party. And for those doing work on the go, or just want to loop someone in who couldn't make it, there's a noise- and echo-cancelling speakerphone for conference calls, which also comes in handy if you want to use Siri or a Google virtual assistant.
Testers have found that this portable speaker can get up to about 90 dBs loud but sounds best in the 85 dB and under range, still loud enough music for most situations.
2. The Best Affordable Portable Speaker For Bass
Sony XB10 Portable Wireless Speaker
The Sony XB10 Portable Wireless Speaker provides extra bass via its built-in passive radiator which works with the internal speakers using air pressure to deliver deeper bass and sound while keeping the unit small — it's less than 5 inches tall. This compact portable speaker is also lightweight (11.4 ounces), both near-field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth compatible, and available in a variety of bright colors ranging from cherry red to gold.
Like the others on the list, it’s water-resistant, though, with an IPX5 rating, it's ready to handle splashes or a light rain, but you want to avoid submerging this unit for any period of time. With a battery life of up to 16 hours, it's the perfect choice for those looking to easily start a party on the go, especially if you connect two units up to get stereo sound.
3. The Best Affordable Portable Speaker For Battery Life
Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
While most days out don't require more than 12 hours of battery life, if you're going on a multi-day hike or other long trip without easy access to a charger, there are still portable speakers that will suit your needs.
If that sounds like you, look to the Anker Soundcore 2 with a lithium battery that provides up to 24 hours of non-stop music between charges. With dual drivers that deliver 12 watts of stereo sound and Bluetooth 4.2 for a reliable connection as far as 66 feet away, you won't miss a beat.
It also features a unique spiral bass port design, the maker says increases low frequencies and enhance bass. This unit was designed to be resistant to dust and dirt, and also has a IPX5 rating, meaning it's safe in the face of splashes and light rain, so it's the perfect speaker to take along to an all-day outdoor event.
4. The Best Budget Speaker For Less Than $20
VicTsing Shower Speaker
If you're looking for something more budget-friendly, the VicTsing Shower Speaker is a great option that comes in at just under $20. This petite portable speaker, which is only about 2 inches thick, would easily fit into a bag and does more than just play music in the shower. With a hook attachment, hang it on your backpack when hiking or camping and the detachable suction cup backing sticks on tile, mirrors, and windows. And with Bluetooth 4.2 compatibility for up to 33 feet, it can easily be synced with most smart devices.
This speaker is also shock-proof and has a IPX5 rating to handle light rain and splashes. Plus, with its built-in microphone, you can take hands-free calls on the road, too.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.