Are you a music lover but tired of messing around with a wired speaker? It might be time to switch to a wireless Bluetooth speaker instead. This cutting-edge technology allows you to wirelessly link your phone to one or more speakers so you can have all the music you want without the hassle of plugs or cables.
This buying guide will give you a good idea of what kinds of speakers are on the market, what kind of features you can expect, and what kind of quality these little wonders can deliver.
Also, we’re looking at Bluetooth speakers under $200, which means these are high-quality products for people ready to make an investment in superior mobile sound. Cheaper speakers can be bought for $50 or less, but you’ll sacrifice significant quality and durability at that price point.
Read on to learn more about the best Bluetooth speakers for under 200 bucks.
What is a Bluetooth Speaker?
If you’re reading this guide, you probably already have a good idea of what a Bluetooth speaker is, but for those who don’t, here’s a quick explanation.
Bluetooth is a wireless technology designed for short-distance communication between mobile or fixed devices and wireless peripherals.
For our purposes, it allows our phone, tablet, or laptop to link up with a wireless audio device so we can get all the sound we want without needing a rat’s nest of cables.
A Bluetooth wireless speaker is a small, portable audio device with a built-in rechargeable battery and a USB port for charging. These speakers are often water-resistant, so you can use them safely in a wide variety of environments.
All the speakers on this list are Bluetooth compatible. You can easily link to your Bluetooth-enabled devices and you’ll be listening to music in no time.
A Note on Water Resistance
All the speakers on this list have been given an Ingress Protection (IP) rating, which is an indicator of how resistant the device is to water and debris.
IP ratings are typically written with the letters “IP” followed by two numbers. The first number indicates the debris (e.g. dust) protection level, and the second number indicates the water protection level. If the unit isn’t rated for debris protection, it will be denoted with an “X.”
For example, a device with IP67 is protected at level 6 against debris (dustproof) and level 7 against water (safe to submerge). A unit rated IPX4 is not rated against debris and has level 4 protection against water (safe from direct splashes).
Now that we know the basics, let’s get on with the list.
Verdict: Best For Home Workouts
The first best Bluetooth speaker under 200 bucks on our list, the SoundLink Color II by Bose is the perfect audio companion for your home workouts. If you like to listen to music while exercising or follow along to guided workouts, this is the perfect speaker for you.
This speaker delivers bold, clear audio quality wrapped up in a compact silicone package, so it’s easy to grip even if you’re sweating. This way, you don’t have to worry about dropping it if you suddenly need to grab it mid-workout.
The connection range on this device is about 30 feet, so it’s perfect for use indoors or while exercising out on your porch or patio. With 8 hours of battery life, you’re sure to run out of energy before the speaker does.
As for waterproofing, this speaker has a rating of IPX4, which means it can withstand splashes of water but cannot be safely submerged. This means it should survive just fine in case you accidentally sweat on it but don’t try taking it for a swim.
The device also provides a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and voice commands, so you can answer calls and have access to your virtual assistant, even while you’re working out. This helps you make the most of your limited free time.
Of course, the unit is Bluetooth compatible so it can link up with any Bluetooth-enabled device.
- Manufacturer: Bose
- Battery Life: 8 hours
- Waterproofing: IPX4
- Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 2.2 x 5.0 x 5.2 inches
- Color: Soft black
- Bold sound in a small package
- Soft silicone exterior makes it easy to grab and go
- Voice prompts for easy Bluetooth pairing
- Built-in mic for hands-free access to phone calls and virtual assistant
- Average sound and poor bass
- Several reports of battery charging problems
- Low-quality instruction manual
Verdict: Best For Small Parties
The latest FLIP by JBL is a great speaker choice for providing music during a small get-together at your place. You can count on impressive sound from a trusted brand like JBL.
The speaker provides 20 watts of power and impressive bass quality for a unit of such a small size. Plus, you can pair two of the speakers together, which should provide the powerful sound you need for a party in an apartment or small home.
If you keep the speaker inside and plugged in, there’s no need to worry about the battery, but just in case you want to take your party outside, the 12 hours of battery life should be more than enough to keep your guests entertained well into the night.
If you do take it outside and it ends up getting rained or splashed on, you don’t need to worry about this speaker. With an IPX7 rating, this speaker can be safely submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. So even if you accidentally drop this speaker in the pool, it will survive.
This speaker is Bluetooth compatible, so it can easily connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device.
- Manufacturer: JBL
- Battery Life: 12 hours
- Waterproofing: IPX7
- Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.1 x 2.7 x 2.9 inches
- Color: Black
- Premium JBL sound quality in a durable compact design
- Great bass despite small size
- PartyBoost technology allows you to pair two speakers for party mode
- 20-watt power output
- USB-C quick charge capability
- Difficult to link two units for stereo sound
- Several complaints about poor battery life
- Cannot link with previous generation JBL speakers
Verdict: Best For Big Beach and Pool Parties
Editor Tip: The JBL Charge 5 is available now. I have the Charge 4 and love it. If you want to save a few dollars there is nothing wrong with buying the Charge 4. It sounds amazing!
The Charge 5 is another great product from JBL. These outdoor speakers are great for a pool party or for taking along on a beach trip. This version of the Charge has dual radiators for crisp and clear sound, and more power and bass compared to previous versions.
With the JBL Connect+ software, you can link up more than 100 speakers to create the ultimate outdoor surround-sound setup. Plus you have a 20-hour battery life off a single charge, so the speaker will last all day and into the night.
Basically, you can create your own night club right at your pool.
You can also link two separate devices to the speakers, so your digital DJ can switch back and forth between devices to mix up the music.
You don’t need to worry about these speakers even if your party gets crazy. These waterproof speakers are certified to IPX7, so they can safely fall into the pool and survive.
As for durability, this unit’s rugged design is protected by tough fabric and rubber so you can count on it to stay alive, even if it takes an unexpected fall or two.
This speaker is Bluetooth compatible, so it’s ready to connect with any Bluetooth-enabled device.
- Manufacturer: JBL
- Battery Life: 20 hours
- Waterproofing: IPX7
- Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Dimensions: 9.8 x 4.3 x 5.8 inches
- Color: Blue
- Connect two devices to take turns playing music
- Dual passive radiators deliver clear and loud sound
- Link up with more than 100 JBL speakers for massive sound output
- More power and improved bass over previous versions
- Many other colors also available
- Mono-directional speaker
- Some users complain about signal lag
- Quality degraded from previous version
Verdict: Best For Camping and Nature Events
The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 by Logitech is just the speaker you need for heading out on a camping trip or other nature adventure. This speaker delivers full 360-degree sound from twin drivers and two passive radiators. It’s a lot of sound in a small package.
This durable design features an IP67 rating, which means the unit has strong dust resistance and can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water (but the speaker floats, so that shouldn’t be an issue).
Plus, this tough unit is basically indestructible, so you can take it anywhere and be confident it will survive the journey.
With 15 hours of battery life, it’s enough to last through several evenings of playing music around the campfire. When you get back to civilization, you can quickly charge it up on the wireless charging dock (sold separately) or with the included USB charging cable.
If you’re planning an epic camping get-together, this speaker also features a special app that allows you to link together more than 150 speakers to create the ultimate listening experience. You can create your own surround-sound theater in the middle of the woods.
This speaker also features an innovative one-touch button system that allows you to operate the speaker with a single button.
The Boom 3 is set up for Bluetooth connectivity, so you should have no problem linking it to your phone.
- Manufacturer: Logitech
- Battery Life: 15 hours
- Waterproofing: IP67
- Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 2.9 x 2.9 x 7.3 inches
- Color: Lagoon blue
- Delivers bold and clear 360-degree quality sound
- Virtually indestructible
- Highest ingress protection rating on our list
- One-touch button controls all functions
- Pair over 150 speakers for total sound immersion
- Intrusively opens app on every use, which pauses the music
- Several users complained about low battery life when used at high volume
Verdict: Best For Home Entertainment
If you’re just looking for a great portable speaker to use in the comfort of your own home, the SoundLink Revolve is an excellent choice. This best Bluetooth speaker under 200 dollars delivers 360-degree immersive sound that’s deeper and louder than should be possible from such a tiny device.
The seamless Aluminum body is rated at IPX4, so it can easily handle a spilled drink courtesy of your curious cat or unruly dog.
The best part about the Revolve’s body is the sleek and minimalistic look that will fit in seamlessly wherever you decide to position it.
The speaker also includes a microphone so you can operate it with voice commands as well as answer phone calls, so you can have a conference call from the comfort of your couch; and with a 30-foot range, connectivity won’t be an issue.
The Bose SimpleSync app gives you the option of linking two speakers together to create balanced sound and a stereo entertainment experience.
As with all the units on this list, the SoundLink Revolve is Bluetooth-enabled, so it can easily link up with almost any mobile device.
- Manufacturer: Bose Corporation
- Battery Life: 12 hours
- Waterproofing: IPX4
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 3.3 x 3.3 x 6.0 inches
- Color: Lux gray
- Excellent sound with 360-degree coverage
- Durable and seamless aluminum body
- Built-in microphone for taking calls or accessing virtual assistant
- SimpleSync technology allows for easy pairing with other Bose devices
- Included app helps you maximize the benefits of the speaker
- A few reviewers reported dysfunctional batteries
- Several users complained about poor customer service
Best Bluetooth Speaker Under 200 Bucks: Buying Tips
Before you decide which speaker to buy, make sure you consider some key factors that could affect your user experience.
Those factors include:
The first thing you want to consider when picking out a Bluetooth speaker is the size, weight, and dimensions of the device. Are you just going to mount it in the cockpit of your boat, or are you planning to carry it around in your pocket? This can affect which one you choose.
Make sure to check out the dimensions because the size, shape, and weight of the speaker can help you decide if it’s the right one for you.
Another major factor to consider when choosing a speaker is battery life. If you plan on using the speaker at home or otherwise near an electrical outlet, the battery life might not matter to you because you can just keep the device plugged in all the time.
However, if you’re planning to take the speaker out on a camping trip, for example, you want to be sure it will stay charged for the duration of your trip.
While the battery life ratings of the speakers on this list range from 8 to 20 hours, just remember that volume settings significantly affect battery usage.
If you’re going on a particularly long trip, you might want to consider bringing a backup powerbank so you can recharge your speaker as necessary.
If you plan on taking your speaker near water, you should consider buying one with a higher IP rating. All the speakers on this list are at least water-resistant, which means they can safely survive a splash of water or some rain.
But if you plan on taking your speaker out on your jet ski, be sure you pick one rated IPX7 or better. These units can be safely submerged, which will help the device survive in case it falls off your boat or into the pool.
Remember, Bluetooth is designed for short-range communication, so there are limits to how far you can take your speaker away from your broadcasting device.
Most Bluetooth devices can connect at distances over 100 feet, but this is over an open area. When you factor in walls, trees, rocks, and other obstacles, the connection range decreases significantly. This isn’t a limitation of the device but rather just the reality of physics.
If you plan on using your speaker indoors, there isn’t much need to worry about long connection distances, but if you’re in a large area and are trying to link several speakers together, the connection distance becomes more of an issue.
Bluetooth Speaker Buying Guides
Here are some buying guides to help you make the best picks. If you want to know my ultimate favorites regardless of price, it’s the JBL Boombox model 1, 2 or 3. I own the Boombox 2 and love it.
My wife absolutely loves the Bose SoundLink Revolve and Revolve+. We have one of each and these are the most used speaker in our house.
As for my daughters, they want to be able to charge their phones, get their speakers wet and play their music loud (really loud). For this reason, they are always switching between the JBL Charge (model 4 or 5) and the JBL Flip 5. The Flip is smaller but the Charge is probably used the most so they can charge their cell phones.
If you want to read about a lot of speakers at different price points, here are some bluetooth speaker buying guides to help you buy the perfect speaker for your needs!
Now you should have a basic idea about what the Bluetooth speaker market looks like in the under $200 price range and the benefits Bluetooth speakers provide. If you’re looking for the best Bluetooth speaker under 200 bucks, you should now know where to start.
We hope this guide has been helpful. If you’re interested in learning more about Bluetooth and other gadgets, please check out our other reviews, buying guides, and informational articles.