No family vacation is complete without a bangin’ playlist of tunes. Whether in the car on a national park road trip, on a cruise ship, or at a campsite, music makes an indelible mark on family travel. To hear those mixes properly, you should have one of the best sounding Bluetooth speakers in your backpack or suitcase. Here are the best budget Bluetooth speakers for travel, each hand-picked for portability, value, performance and style.
1. JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Available in an array of arresting color schemes, from camouflage to teal and ocean blue to pure snow white, this powerful JBL speaker is one of the best Bluetooth speakers under $100. It’ll make you feel like you have a front row seat to your favorite band’s next concert. This is true whether you’re at home packing for vacation, on a catamaran in the Caribbean, or tucked into a mountain cabin surrounded by black diamond ski trails. And because the Flip 4 is waterproof, you won’t worry about a bit of splashing around the hotel pool or a few inches of fresh snowfall while The Go-Go’s “Vacation” soundtracks your family getaway.
2. TBIPro BANG X7 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Small enough to fit in a purse but powerful enough to play your music for 24 hours straight before needing a charge, this budget Bluetooth speaker is ideal for families looking to go off the grid during vacation. Thanks to an SD card slot, you can leave your phone, and with it, the real world, far behind, and spin your playlists the new old-fashioned way, with a memory card and a pair of 10-watt speakers pumping out the jams with a deep bass that’ll make your heart flutter. Of course, you’ll most likely be rocking that strong Bluetooth connection, which will allow you to make and take phone calls through the speaker, but don’t let your boss know about this feature!
3. Bose SoundLink Micro Portable Bluetooth Speaker
On the downside, you get only six hours of playback with the Bose SoundLink over a Bluetooth connection. But the trade-off is stellar Bose sound quality in a tiny package, and for a relatively small price. The best sounding Bluetooth speaker you would expect from a world leader in audio tech is a soft, yet rugged, palm-sized speaker that’s resistant to dents and dings. Whether strapped to the handlebars of your bike or dangling from your hiking backpack, the Bose SoundLink Micro is one of the best Bluetooth speakers under $100 and your perfect travel companion no matter where you and your family are heading next.
4. JBL Clip 3 Waterproof Bluetooth Travel Speaker
Attached to your beach bag, backpack, belt buckle, or backseat of the family car, this might mini JBL Clip 3 is the best waterproof Bluetooth speaker thanks to a fully integrated metal carabiner, IPX7 waterproof technology that’ll stand up against a downpour, and accidental immersion into any body of water. Ten hours of battery life will keep your tunes and podcasts playing during every single day of your family vacation adventures.
5. Axloie Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Colorful Lights
You’ll appreciate the deep bass and stereo sound that’ll play your family’s favorite tunes with the utmost clarity and without any distortion, even at high volume. Your kids, on the other hand, will be interested mostly in the colorful light show emanating from the top of this Axloie Bluetooth speaker. Whether you’re having a family dance party around the fire pit as Disney’s The Descendants II soundtrack plays or simply want to pretend you’re falling asleep beneath the Northern Lights, this colorful sounding Bluetooth speaker will make everyone at your campsite happy into the wee small hours.
6. Sony SRS-XB12 Mini Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Sony’s smallest Bluetooth speaker weighs less than 9 ounces and yet still delivers the audio quality of a full Sony sound system. Thanks to its diminutive stature, the XB12 can be carried around in your hand or hung from a branch with the detachable strap while your family plays Frisbee on vacation or in the backyard at home. This waterproof Bluetooth speaker is also dust-proof, so whether on horseback or poolside, you have nothing to worry about as the music plays with a mighty extra bass boost for up to 16 hours straight before needing to be charged.
7. MIFA F10 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Ten hours of playtime, a built-in mic, enhanced stereo bass, resistance to both water and dust, and a Micro SD slot make the MIFA F10 Portable Bluetooth speaker a favorite under $50. The aluminum alloy metal housing is shock-proof too, allowing everyone in your traveling caravan to safely use the carabiner to clip this affordable Bluetooth speaker to their backpacks, belt loops, bikes, trikes, or tackle boxes.
8. DIKAOU LED Flame Bluetooth Speaker
One of the most unique Bluetooth speakers on the market, as well as a great budget Bluetooth speaker, this tiki torch-style LED table lamp speaker is both portable and elegant. With the DIKAOU LED Flame Bluetooth speaker, you can immediately make any hotel room, tent, or picnic table feel (and sound) like home. With 96 LEDs, the flame locked inside this powerful device is realistic as it flickers and dances, emanating a warm, natural yellow light while the music plays. So whether you’re putting on some Leon Bridges to stoke a romantic flame once the kids have gone to bed or cranking up some Jack Johnson as your kids play on the beach at dusk, this travel Bluetooth speaker with a 33-foot range needs to be in your suitcase for your next vacation.
9. KNX Goduo Portable Magnetic Bluetooth Speakers
True audiophiles will love to travel with this Bluetooth speaker under $100 because the KNZ Goduo uses spatially separated left and right channel speakers to deliver honest stereo effect. And thanks to being magnetized, the left and right speakers can easily be positioned to bring a concert-like atmosphere with you wherever your own touring family band travels! A built-in subwoofer boosts the volume and the driver in each speaker provides a vibrant, fuller sound. Additionally, this Bluetooth speaker is IPX5-certified waterproof to withstand rain or snow, plays for up to 18 hours on a full charge, and comes complete with a carrying case.
10. LMP Portable LED Work Light Bluetooth Speaker
We are alive in a world where refrigerators double as television screens and we routinely talk to our house to have the lights turned on and off, so why shouldn’t the LMP Portable LED Work Light Bluetooth Speaker also serve as a flood light for cooking dinner on the grill during a family camping trip? This super-bright LED work light shines a 4000K natural white, the most comfortable lighting temperature range, all while pumping out your songs, podcasts and audiobooks for up to 17 hours on a single full charge (three hours if the light and speaker are used simultaneously).
11. Bugani M99 Travel Bluetooth Speaker 5.0
A remarkable range of 100 feet lets you use this bluetooth speaker for under $50 literally anywhere you and your kids travel, and the 16-watt dual driver audio processor provides the kind of top-notch sound quality diehard music lovers demand. A bike bracket is included to easily attach the Bugani M99 Bluetooth speaker to your ride while streaming music via any device over the Bluetooth 5.0 connection. If a call comes through, you can field that using the built-in microphone or let it go right to voicemail as you make new family vacation memories.
Jeff Bogle lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his two teen daughters, two cats, one dog and six (yes, six) guinea pigs. He is an award-winning photographer and respected travel journalist with bylines on Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, PBS, Esquire and more. Jeff (probably) spends too much time in England watching football and far too many hours plotting his family’s future travel adventures. Find Jeff on his own site, Out With the Kids.