Every party needs to have music. Thankfully, because of the popularity of Bluetooth speakers, you don’t need to spend a fortune in order to upgrade the sound of your phone. Below, you’ll find three portable sonic powerhouses that sound spectacular despite their relatively low cost. Spend no more than $70 when you get the Doss SoundBox Touch, Ultimate Ears Wonderboom, and Sony SRS-XB21 on Amazon. And here are more cheap Bluetooth speaker deals that are worth a look.
— $30, was $40
The first thing that we noticed about the Doss Soundbox Touch is its visually appealing, high-end look. For its price, it doesn’t scream cheap. Even the aluminum grill surrounding it seems pretty sturdy. Although the entire speaker is wrapped in the grill, the sound doesn’t fire from all sides. The backside has no audio projection components, but that is hardly an issue.
This speaker is super compact so you can easily slip it inside your bag. The elegantly designed touch controls found on top includes a sensitive circular button with a laser carving finish that lets you play, pause, or skip your music with your fingertips as well as answer incoming phone calls. Easily adjust the volume using the top ring by rotating it clockwise to increase the volume or counterclockwise to decrease.
Bluetooth pairing is a breeze. Just make sure that your device is within 33 feet from the speaker. You also don’t have to constantly pair the speaker to your device as it automatically reconnects to it once you turn it on. Another major draw is the inclusion of a micro SD and Aux input which gives additional versatility to the Doss Soundbox Touch.
For a speaker at this price range, you usually have to lower your expectations in terms of its audio performance. However, much to our surprise, the sound quality is pretty good. Tones sound sharp and clear across many music genres, and it emits a surprisingly good bass. Not house-shakingly good, but good. Even if you turn up the volume, which goes way up to shockingly loud, the quality doesn’t become garbage.
With continuous use, the Doss Soundbox Touch lasts a terrific 12 hours on a single charge. The speaker houses a Lithium-ion 2200mAh rechargeable battery that takes as little as three to four hours to fully charge.
Great design, easy to operate touch controls, super affordable, and most importantly, excellent sound quality. What more can you ask for in a Bluetooth speaker? Get the Doss Soundbox Touch on Amazon for just $30 — $10 off its normal retail price of $40. By the way, this speaker is not waterproof, so don’t put it anywhere near the pool. For something you can confidently place near water, take a look at the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom and Sony SRS-XB21 below.
— $49, was $100
The Wonderboom sits somewhere in the middle of Ultimate Ears’ line of rugged Bluetooth speakers, between the company’s cheaper, more portable models, and its bigger, louder, more expensive ones. It is cylindrical like the rest of its brethren, albeit shorter and stouter. Capping its top and bottom are slip-proof rubberized plastic, and a hard mesh grille of waterproof fabric surrounds its circumference. The power button and an all-in-one “UE” button are located on the top, while the instantly recognizable giant volume buttons are on the side. Inside the 15-ounce Wonderboom are two 40mm drivers supported by two passive radiators, which allow the speaker to project its so-called 360-degree sound output. The USB micro port is protected by a small tab on the bottom of the speaker, although Ultimate Ears assures that water won’t enter and wreak havoc on this speaker’s internal electronics even if this little door is left ajar. Finally, you’ll find a tiny bungee loop on top of it so you can hook it up to your backpack.
This speaker boasts buoyancy and an IPX7-waterproof rating. This means it can float and stay in water for not more than 30 minutes and remain unscathed, making it the perfect poolside companion. Furthermore, it can easily survive up to five-foot drops.
Despite its diminutive size, the Wonderboom can get incredibly loud, thanks to its 40mm drivers. Furthermore, its 360-degree sound design guarantees you’ll be able to hear music from any angle. What’s even more amazing is the Wonderboom’s ability to remain audible when used while driving, effectively drowning out a car engine’s rumbling. This speaker will have no difficulty competing with a neighbor’s lawnmower or mechanical pool pumps. However, we did hear some slight distortions when we pushed the volume to its maximum level, but not enough to ruin our listening experience. Battery life lasted an excellent 10 hours at 75% volume, and as for connectivity, the Wonderboom can maintain a connection up to 100 feet.
The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom may be tiny, but it’s extremely durable and sounds terrific. Get it for a huge $51 off its original price on Amazon. Instead of $100, get one for just $49.
— $70, was $100
The Sony SRS-XB21 sports a similar design as many other Bluetooth speakers. It is shaped like a capsule, like the Beats Pill+, but with a flat top and bottom. This speaker has a predominately plastic build, including the grille and accents. The hardened plastic lends it a certain level of sturdiness, earning a 516.5 Shock MIL-STD 810 F standard, which means it can survive a drop of over one meter. Further, it is covered in a dust- and water-resistant mesh. With an IP67 rating, you can take the SRS-XB21 with you near a body of water and even submerge it for fewer than 30 minutes. Sony even claims that you can wash this speaker with detergent, although we strongly discourage you from trying this. Buttons include the power button, volume buttons, battery check button, and the Bluetooth pairing button. There’s the standard micro-USB charging port at the back that’s protected by a rubber flap. Finally, you’ll find a couple of LED light strips along the edges that pulsate and change color to the beat of the music.
Over the years Sony has made quite a name for itself making top-notch audio devices, ranging from speakers to headphones. The SRS-XB21 delivers on this promise, providing an exceptionally clear and rich sound even at high volume. And with Sony’s emphasis on bass, the drops really kick and it’s bound to be brilliant for parties. The bass can be a tad excessive at times though, drowning out the highs and mids especially with genres that don’t really require that much low-frequency love, but overall this is probably the best speaker you can buy at its price range.
Further control of the SRS-XB21 can be achieved by downloading the Sony Music Center app. Through it you can tweak the audio using the digital equalizer or by choose a sound preset, as well as change the effects and color of the LED strip. Another great feature is Sony’s “Party Chain” mode which allows the SRS-XB21 to pair up with other compatible Sony speakers to play using simultaneously. Finally, battery life is pretty impressive at 12 hours with the party lights off and six hours with them on.
The Sony SRS-XB21 Bluetooth speaker offers superb sound quality and impressively loud volume that rivals more expensive speakers. Get it for just $70 on Amazon today, an awesome $30 off its normal retail price of $100.
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