There is nothing cooler than music and that is why I was very excited when I was given the chance to check out the best speakers under $100. I have always been a huge music fan and the last few years, gotten really into my vinyl collecting. I have used speakers at all points of the pricing spectrum and today we are looking at more budget priced speakers under $100 bucks. Speakers that will not break the bank, but speakers that will still allow you to listen to your favorite tunes in style!
A Few Things To Know About Speakers Under $100
Breaking In: Even very expensive speakers will have what is referred to as a “breaking in” period. This is basically the speakers getting to their full potential, so when you first get a set of new speakers you may find that it takes a few hours for them to really get going and to allow you to hear the best sound that they produce. So in other words, you do not want to get a new set of speakers and turn the volume to max right away!
Wired vs Wireless: Some people will tell you that in order to get the very best sound possible your speakers have to be physically connected to your stereo/home receiver, turntable or whatever it is you are using. This is not actually true. It is not the fact that the speakers are wireless or wired that is going to decide the quality of sound. It is the quality of the speakers themselves.
These Are Budget Speakers: We are looking at the best speakers below $100 so it is important that you set your expectations just right. I had a buddy who was going crazy that the speakers he spent $25 on did not sound great…. He paid, $25 what did he expect? There have been some great strides made in the sound quality of budget priced speakers and that is why we are looking at the best of the best today. Just know that at this price, you will most likely have to spend a little time working with the bass, treble and any other settings your device may have to get the best sound.
The 8 Best Picks Under $100 Reviews
As I said in the intro, I was recently sent what are regarded as some of the best budget priced speakers on the market right now. I gave each set of speakers a really good workout and tried them all on both my stereo setups that I have in my house. I have also picked a couple of speakers that while I did not get the chance to test them out, I felt they were worth taking a little closer look at.
- Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers
- JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
- Jabra Speak 510 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers
- Mackie CR Series CR3 – 3″ Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors
- AOMAIS GO Bluetooth Speakers,
- ART+SOUND AR1004 Wall Powered Bluetooth Tower Speaker with Lights
1. Micca MB42X Bookshelf Speakers
- They have a pretty cool look
- Setting them up is very easy
- Sound quality is far better than you would expect
- Price is not bad at all
- Compact size
- Not ideal if you want to stream music from your phone
- You will have to break them in just right
The first set we are looking at are often regarded as some of the best speakers below $100. To start with they have a wonderful design. They have a very elegant and classy design and they will look awesome on your wall or as part of your entertainment center. Also at around 90 bucks, the price is just right. I was very impressed with how solid these felt and the build quality is awesome.
These are wired speakers, so you will have to connect them directly to your stereo, or your home theater/stereo receiver setup. Do not worry though as this could not be any easier to do. Just make sure that you have the right length of speaker cable so you can place these wherever you want.
Of course this does mean that you will not be able to stream music direct from your phone to the speakers. Of course many people just want their speakers connected to their turntable or stereo so for those people that will not be an issue.
The sound quality is actually very impressive out of these. When turned up really loud, there can be a little distortion, but at regular volumes, they sound very nice. Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet (a real classic) was what I first tested these out with and the sound was certainly good enough. There is certainly some kind of breaking in period with these, but if you take the time to do that and get your settings just right, you have a wonderful set of wired speakers on your hands here.
With a modern design and a great sound, these speakers are very easy for me to recommend.
2. JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Rechargeable battery lasts around 12 hours
- Sound is very loud and clear
- Only costs around 80 bucks
- It is waterproof
- Body is very robust
- Can design may not be to everyone’s taste
- Sound is loud, but some songs can lose a little clarity at max volume
The JBL series of Flip portable speakers are some of the most popular Bluetooth speakers on the market and I can see why they are so popular when it comes to the best speakers below $100. It has that can look that these speakers are known for, the one I was sent is black and I think the black mesh design does look really cool.
You connect this to your phone via Bluetooth (although a cable does also come, which can help charge your phone as well) doing so is very easy. Once it is paired with your phone, you can then of course use something like Spotify to stream the music to your phone.
One thing that I did like was how there was controls on the actual speaker that allow you to change the volume, pause and skip tracks. This was pretty cool and I had no trouble getting it to work at all. It really could not be any easier to use and the fact it is waterproof means you can have with you next to the pool or the bathtub!
Sound wise, this model of speaker is known as one of the best budget speakers. For something so small, the sound has quite punch. There is a lot of bass to it and I am sure that people will be very happy with the sound. Just make sure when you first fire it up the sound is not too loud! If you want a speaker that you can take anywhere with you or even as a spare, you will fall in love with this.
The JBL Flip series is one of the most popular and with a strong design and great sound, you will love this speaker.
3. Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
- Really cool style
- Sound quality is very, very good
- Could not be easier to set up
- You can adjust the treble and the bass
- Very well made
- They are wired only
- Very close to the 100 buck price limit
I am a huge fan of Edifier speakers so I was stoked when I opened up this box. The design of these is really cool. they have the black front, but the actual “box” of the speaker has a woodgrain style. I have an older, retro woodgrain style turntable upstairs in my house and these speakers fit in perfectly. Of course if you have a modern setup they may not fit in quite so well.
I really liked how easy these were to setup. These are wired so you will need to connect them directly to your device which I do not have a problem with. These speakers though allow you to mess around with the bass and the treble which is something I always like to do. This allows you to get the sound just the way you want and it is very easy to do. It comes with a remote control, but there are also dials on the side of the speakers so you can do it this way if you want.
These are right around that 100 bucks mark, but the sound you are getting makes these excellent value for money. I am sure many of you will buy these, plug them in and be happy with the sound. But if you take the time to get the bass and treble just right, you will be blown away by the sound quality, especially considering the price. I used these with a few different live albums and was very pleased with how good the vocals sounded along with the actual music.
With a cool, retro kind of style and some awesome sound. These are fantastic speakers.
4. Jabra Speak 510 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Pretty cool and modern design
- Very easy to connect your phone to
- It is great for things like taking calls
- Very popular for offices
- Comes with a carrying bag
- Not the best for music
- Some people reported disconnection issues
This speaker is one of the more interesting speakers and one I was interested to test out. It has a very interesting style. It looks like a black circle and it certainly does have a very modern design to it that I am sure some people will like. It does come with a carrying case, so it is clearly designed with portability in mind.
This is a Bluetooth speaker, what is interesting about it is that while I was testing this for music. This is actually one of the best speakers below $100 when it comes to speakers for making calls. While that is of no interest to me, it may be a selling point for you.
I connected this very quickly to my phone, you power the actual speaker via USB so that is easy. I did read that some people had issues with this dropping connecting when listening to music., However, I listened to a few albums via Spotify and never had any dropout.
The sound quality is not the best. It is not horrible, but you will certainly not want this as your main speaker. However for a spare room, office or even a place like the kitchen. It is ideal as it is small and gets the job done. I was not horrified by the music, but I would put it on the same kind of level as a set of speakers you would find on a laptop. If you want a speaker that as well as offering you a way to listen to music, also works great for calls, you are the kind of person this is aimed at.
It works great as a speakerphone and will also allow you to steam music right from your phone so it could be ideal for you!
5. Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers
- Sound at this price is amazing
- Design is pretty cool
- Polk have used very strong materials
- Easy to connect to your device
- Compact design
- Close to 100 bucks
- No Bluetooth
Next up we have a great set of speakers from the folks at Polk. These have that classic speaker design and I really, really like it. They are actually much smaller than the images suggest and they will fit on a shelf or even go on the wall and not really stand out which I am sure many of you will like. If you do not like black speakers then the style may not quite float your boat.
These are wired only and hooking these up to my stereo receiver that I have in my living room took no time at all. Just make sure that you have the right length of speaker cable so that you can have them exactly where you want them to go. As I was moving them around, I did drop one and it did not phase it at all. This is because they have that solid Polk quality that you expect.
As far as the sound goes, the sound that these produce is amazing. When you look at the best budget priced speakers and speakers under 100 bucks. These will often show up and that is because the sound quality is great. I ended up listening to some of my favorite vinyl records into the early hours of the morning with this and I can tell you that once properly broken in, the sound is even better!
If you want high quality sound and a cool, but solid design. These are the ideal speakers for you!
6. Mackie CR Series CR3 – 3″ Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors
- Really cool design (I love that green)
- Very good sound quality
- Comes with cables
- They fit in small spaces
- High quality build
- There is no Bluetooth
- They do cost close to 100 bucks
The last set of speakers I tested are the smallest set that Mackie offer in their CR series. At only around 8 and a half inches high, these are perfect if you are short on space. The green outline that Mackie have used is actually pretty cool and something that I really like, it makes the speakers have that little bit more personality.
The more expensive and bigger CR speakers do have Bluetooth, but these ones are wired only. You simply connect these to your turntable, stereo receiver or whatever. A Nice surprise was that included in the box was a set of cables which I actually used to connect these to my stereo receiver and they worked like a charm. So if you are worried about connecting these, do not be. These could not be any easier to set up and you will be listening to your tunes in no time at all.
I was happy with the sound quality. I do feel that at close to 100 bucks, there could have been a way to change the bass and treble on the actual speaker. But in general, the sound is great out of these. I feel that these are the perfect speakers for a person who wants a sound that is good quality, but who also wants to make sure that the money they are spending is not too much over that 100 bucks mark.
With a compact size and pretty neat design. If you want speakers for a small space, you will really like these.
7. AOMAIS GO Bluetooth Speakers
- Really cool and different design
- Only costs slightly over 50 bucks
- Available in different colors
- Sound is said to be very good
- Might not be the kind of thing you want in the house
- Design is rather unusual
Full disclosure here my hard rocking amigos. I did not actually test this speaker, but in looking at budget priced speakers. This one has a ton of great reviews and is regarded as one of the best speakers below $100. The design is very weird, but I do like it. It has a kind of old school ghetto blaster look to it and I really think it stands out. It has a nice large handle so portability is clearly the aim of this.
This is all about Bluetooth and you simply connect your phone to it and then use the music that is either on your phone or via something like Spotify. I read that if you play this thing on only 50 percent volume (but who the heck does that?) you can get as much as 30 hours of playtime off a full charge! That is pretty amazing and I am sure that is a huge reason as to why this is so popular.
People seem to love the sound that this pumps out. While I have not used it, I can see that the drivers in this are pretty powerful so even if you have it loud, there should not be much in the way of distortion. As this is waterproof, I get the feeling that this is aimed at those folks who want a speaker that they can take anywhere with them, the beach, party or whatever. I really would like to try this one out as I have not read anything bad about the sound quality.
I think this is a great speaker for those who want something wireless and portable.
8. ART+SOUND AR1004 Wall Powered Bluetooth Tower Speaker with Lights
- It puts on a light show!
- Cool tower design
- Has a USB and a AUX port
- Bluetooth connectivity
- You can place your device in the groove
- Might not be ideal for a living room
- It is only one speaker
The last speaker I want to talk about (and hopefully will get to test out one day) is this showcase speaker right here. It is a tower style speaker and it stands at 41 inches high. I love a good tower speaker and this one here puts on a lightshow while it is playing your favorite music so for a game room or a man cave, I think it would love great. Notice I said “it” that is because this is for just one speaker.
They are really marketing this as a Bluetooth speaker, but it has a USB port and a AUX port so that does give you some extra connectivity options. What I really like is how on the of the speaker there is a groove where you can place your iPad, phone or whatever device it is you use to stream music. I really like this and think that it is something some other Bluetooth speakers should offer.
At around 70 bucks and with a pretty nifty light show, you may think that corners were cut with the sound quality. However, from what I have read, the sound quality is actually pretty good with, this. Of course, at this price range, you are not going to be moved to tears when you listen to Nirvana Unplugged on this thing, but I have not read many complaints about the sound quality at all.
If you want a showcase speaker that also puts on a lightshow, you have to check this out.
What Is The Best Speaker Below $100?
I had a great time testing these speakers out and to be honest with you nearly all of them produced a sound quality that was much higher than I felt I would be getting at this price range. I am having a real tough time picking just one speaker as a winner here so I will cheat and pick two. I loved the Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers. The sound quality and the fact they let you play with the bass and treble is awesome.
However I will also pick the JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker for a wireless speaker. I know the design may not be to everyone’s taste. But the sound quality and the way this is made make it ideal for someone who wants a speaker that they can use on the go. As far as the best budget priced speakers go, these two are my favorite. If you are a vinyl vintage lover, also check out the 5 Best Vintage Speakers for Vinyl.