4 of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers to soundtrack your summer

A mans hand holding a black Sony XB100 speaker, with the Sony logo written up the side of the speaker, and the multipurpose strap draped over his thumb.
(Image credit: Future)

Summer, we've made it! The season of brighter weather and longer days is (for most of us, at least) here and the outdoors is calling for us. But as you grab your sunscreen and sunglasses, another essential summer accessory is needed – a good Bluetooth speaker. 

The best Bluetooth speakers are the perfect companions for any summer gathering, be that a garden BBQ, an afternoon in the park, or a small gathering before you hit up the local beer garden (UK readers, you catch my drift). Since there are copious options for a good Bluetooth, it can be difficult to narrow it down to find the best one for you – that's where we come in. 

It goes without saying that some Bluetooth speakers can be pretty big and therefore, quite pricey. But you don't need to splash out; there are plenty of great compact speakers available that offer the same features for a fraction of the price, and with the added bonus of being travel-friendly. 

To get you into the summer swing, we've compiled a list of four speakers we think will succeed in soundtracking your long days and into the short nights. Each of our selections boast good features for the money, but they've been grouped for their compact size, affordable price, and audio quality for playing the best music streaming services

Including audio brands Sony, Tribit, and more, these are our four affordable Bluetooth speaker picks that will offer quality listening experiences to elevate your summer 2024. 

Ikea Vappeby 

IKEA Vappeby Bluetooth speaker in a shower

(Image credit: Future)

Surprisingly, IKEA has really pulled through in the audio department following its knock-out Sonos Symfonisk lamp and bookshelf speaker. But its Vappeby Bluetooth speaker has made a lasting impression on us – and given its cheeky $14.99 / £10 / AU$25 price tag, how could it not? 

Price aside, we praised this entry-level Bluetooth speaker for its compact size (three inches square, two inches deep) and IP67 waterproof rating which even comes in handy for soundtracking your shower. And if you take in-shower concerts seriously, you can stereo-pair two of them, going from shower time to showtime. 

While its audio quality may be slightly behind the class-leaders, it makes up for it with an incredible battery life of 80 hours – and that's just at 50% volume. Basically, you can have it as your dedicated shower speaker and keep it there for a good few weeks before having to recharge. 

Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 

Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 held in a hand over a yellow table

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 speaker is small but mighty, and we've gone as far to say it's the most fully-fledged mini Bluetooth speaker we've tested – even two years since its launch. And for a speaker that can double as a power bank, a $59.99 / £54 price is very reasonable indeed.

With this particular mini model, Tribit takes all the useful features from the original Micro and elevates them, notably its Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity providing a 120ft range. Compared to its first-gen model, the Stormbox Micro 2's battery adds an additional four hours of stamina, taking its total playtime up to 12 hours, so you can rely on it to last a whole day while you soak up the summer sun. 

For a Bluetooth speaker of its size, we commended its impressive audio quality, particularly its bass performance. It's certainly powerful enough to accompany the vibes of a beach day, park picnic or garden party, provided you don't go crazy with the volume, as it can distort slightly when it reaches 80%. 

Sony SRS-XB100

3 quarter view of the Sony Xb100 in black. The multipurpose carry strap is attached to the side nearest to the camera. It is photographed against a pink background and is sitting on a sand-coloured stone surface.

(Image credit: Future)

In May 2023, Sony unveiled the SRS-XB100 speaker and it's one of the most recent Bluetooth speakers we've reviewed. We described it as a good BBQ companion, praising its 16-hour battery life and compact size. 

If you're after a Bluetooth speaker that just covers all the basics, then the Sony SRS-XB100 can help add clear-sounding background music to your summer gatherings. Not to forget that its IP67 rating will protect the speaker from rainy weather (a bonus if you're in the UK). 

It's designed to offer an omnidirectional audio output, and for the most part, it delivers just that. Volume-wise, it also surprises, giving you enough clout to fill the background for small gatherings. We were surprised by the bass performance and pleasant-sounding mids, but think it could do with adjustable EQ settings. However for a price of $44.99 / £44.99 / AU$66, we still have faith in its ability to provide a decent listening experience. 

Cleer Audio Scene 

Cleer Audio Scene on wooden table

(Image credit: Future)

For a mid-range Bluetooth speaker, Cleer Audio Scene is a JBL rival that really packs a punch when it comes to price and sound quality alike. While we gave its wavy design an adequate score, this didn't get in the way of our praise for its other features. 

First and foremost, Cleer Audio Scene takes its sound quality seriously with dual 48mm drivers projecting sound with clarity and balanced bass and treble. Because Cleer Audio Scene is evenly defined across all areas of sound output, this works wonders when switching between genres - especially if you have a collaborative playlist on the go. 

Similar to other options in this list, its playtime of up to 12 hours is more than enough to provide a decent listening session wherever you opt to use it. And with a built-in microphone, taking calls is just as seamless and clear as its music playback. There's just one slight downside and that is its IPX7 rating meaning that water protection is guaranteed, but dust not so much. 

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Editorial Associate

Rowan is an Editorial Associate and Apprentice Writer for TechRadar. A recent addition to the news team, he is involved in generating stories for topics that spread across TechRadar's categories. His interests in audio tech and knowledge in entertainment culture help bring the latest updates in tech news to our readers.