How much would you spend on a Bluetooth speaker? Today, Bluetooth speakers come in all shapes, sizes, and with a host of great features. You can go for a speaker that offers the bare minimum, or you can spend more money to end up with a high-quality speaker.
As a rule of thumb, you need to go for best quality affordable. However, there are so many other factors to consider when shopping for a Bluetooth speaker besides cost. Factors such as the styling, compactness, strength of connectivity, and audio quality matter in a speaker more than its cost.
How Much Does A Bluetooth Speaker Cost?
Bluetooth speakers cost as little as $15 and as much as $3,000 with most speakers retailing under $100. If all you need is a small Bluetooth speaker with a compact design, then you can go for those that cost below $50. However, if you need the highest quality sound, and you have an interest in loudness, then a more expensive speaker will come in handy.
For a speaker that plays loud enough to entertain guests, you may need to spend more than $100. What is in a speaker that determines its cost?
What Determines The Cost of a Speaker?
Modern speakers work almost the same. Granted, they have almost the same components only that some have better quality components than others. If you take apart a speaker, you will see magnets that convert electric signals to sound.
Some of the parts you find in most speakers include a magnet, yoke, diaphragm, and a voice coil. They also have a Bluetooth adapter to receive signals from Bluetooth devices. When the speaker is on, the electricity flowing in it makes the voice coil and the magnet repel and attract rhythmically to produce sound.
Bluetooth speakers have more components than ordinary speakers. These components are available in both more affordable and expensive models. For starters, these speakers have a casing or housing that encloses all the other components.
There is also the surround, which is the material that connects the cone to the chassis. Inside the chassis is a cotton spider and suspension, which hold the voice coil in position for the best quality audio. There is also a front plate that creates complete magnetic circuit so that the audio is high quality.
All speakers feature a dust cap that ensures foreign particles do not get into the speaker and damage the voice coil. The more expensive speakers have better quality components and additional features. For instance, a speaker that goes for $1,000 or more will be smart and connects to the internet and to other devices.
The speakers also allow other forms of connection and will have a USB port and some even a HDMI port. With each extra feature, the cost of a Bluetooth speaker goes up.
For most speakers, the Bluetooth module costs between $15 and $20 to produce. From there, the manufacturer produces the speakers, which cost between $10 and $4. The wiring, amplifier, and other connecting components will cost between $15 and $30.
Battery holder and battery pack will cost between $3 and $40 while the case will be between $5 and $50. These production costs places most speakers between $50 and $200. Sure, there are speakers that cost less and still have high quality audio.
These cheaper speakers have been stripped down to the bare minimum.
There are also speakers that cost way more than $200 and these have additional features and top quality ingredients. Such speakers will offer more convenience as most might access the internet.
During the mass production of speakers, the costs will go down significantly. You could buy the components separately and produce your own Bluetooth speaker, but that will only drive the cost up. These parts include an assembled amplifier module, wires, speakers, Bluetooth receiver module, and battery holder and battery pack.
Once you have the parts, you need to modify a case to fit your components. You can create the speaker you want, but the cost of buying components and assembling them will be higher than that of buying a ready-to-use speaker. With speakers retailing at $15, there is no use buying components, which might go for as high as $50 for a basic Bluetooth speaker.
Already assembled speakers are not only more affordable but also work better than DIY speakers. In most of these speakers, the system’s design allows components to work excellently with each other. The manufacturers program the microcontrollers so that the speaker components work in harmony – this is something that a DIYer may not accomplish.
Which Other Factors Determine the Cost of a Bluetooth Speaker?
Most Bluetooth speakers today are portable and weigh no more than a bar of soap. Others are heavier with designs meant for home us. If you want a travel speaker, there are many options for you.
Manufacturers strive to give speakers a good balance between sound quality, portability, and loudness. Other factors that determine the cost of a good speaker include:
This applies to portable speakers. Most speakers have a battery that lasts between six and 10 hours. Better quality batteries will last longer than that with some offering up to 24 hours of audio time with a single charge.
The battery charge time also matters as others offer quick charge and others take many hours to full charge.
The first version of Bluetooth launched more than 20 years ago. Today, most speakers offer Bluetooth version 4, version 4 point something, or version 5. These versions might feel like they offer the same quality, but there is a huge difference between them.
Speakers with version 5.0 offer a range of up to 120 meters while version 4.2 only offers 30 meters. Again, version 5.0 is faster than all other earlier versions. Version 5.0 offers about 2 Mbps while version 4.1 offers only 1Mbps. If you have smart home devices, version 5.0 will work better with them.
If you go for a speaker running Bluetooth version 5.0 module, you will pay more than someone who chooses version 4.0. Most smart devices today offer Bluetooth 5.0, and this allows people to pair multiple devices to the same one speaker.
Not all speakers are waterproof, but those that are will cost higher. Waterproofing a speaker makes it better for travel, and you can tell how waterproof a speaker is by checking its IP rating.
Speakers rated IPX4 will survive a water splash, but nothing more. Speakers rated IPX6 or higher will survive a downpour and hard knocks. These are the speakers you need in a home that has children or when you need a travel companion.
Some speakers also float on the surface of water. These speakers will cost a little more – but you can still find some at below $100.
Smart speakers are Bluetooth speakers that can access the internet. Most of these smart speakers retail at more than $200 although others such as the Echo Dot still retail at below $50.With a smart speaker, you can access virtual assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.
You do not have to go for Google’s Home Series, Amazon Echo, or Apple’s HomePod as there are many third-party Bluetooth speakers with virtual assistants such as JBL Speakers.
When you need more speakers in a room, Bluetooth and WiFi technologies make it possible. There are some speakers that allow you to pair them and use them in multiple rooms, but others do not have this feature.
When you need a multi-room speaker set, you will have to spend more than you do with a basic Bluetooth speaker.
Features such as the aux input are common with most speakers. These are speakers that you can connect to an audio source such as a TV or smartphone. This feature comes in handy when you have a device that produces audio, but is not Bluetooth compactible.
If you have a Bluetooth speaker with a limited range of 30 meters or shorter, there is no harm with using cables.
You can also go for a speaker that supports aptX HD when you need high-resolution audio. This feature supports 24-bit audio streaming and ensures there is little to no distortion.
The more the features in a Bluetooth speaker, the higher the cost of that speaker and the more the convenience the speaker offers. Again, speakers with high quality components offer better sound quality and last longer. For instance, a speaker rated IPX7 will cost more than one rated IPX4 or lower.
A higher price tag is not always a measure of better quality audio. You have to consider so many other factors when shopping for a Bluetooth speaker. Your needs and your budget should inform the best speaker for you.
The best speaker should combine all the great features such as high-quality audio with portability, waterproofness, smartness, and Bluetooth 5.0 and still be affordable. If you overlook all other features, ensure you get high quality audio with no distortion even at high volume.