Best Bluetooth Speaker Under 500 in 2022

by Alex.   Last Updated On September 25th, 2022.
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Let’s face it: Bluetooth speakers are not cheap, and although you may be able to find decent ones under $200, most of the best Bluetooth speakers are typically more expensive. For most users, the sweet spot is under $500. When you limit yourself to $500, you get to spend just enough to get a branded party speaker or a portable wireless speaker without breaking the bank.

So, for anybody who’s got their budget cut out to just under $500, here is a lucky find because I’ve listed some of the best Bluetooth speakers that will fit your price range.

So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Table of Contents
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Comparison of the Best Bluetooth Speaker Under 500

Best Multi-Room SpeakerSee On Amazon
photo of the Audio Pro  Addon C3Audio Pro
Addon C3
Best Wired-Only Multi-Room SpeakerSee On Amazon
photo of the Audio Pro Addon C5Audio Pro
Addon C5
Most Compact Bluetooth SpeakerSee On Amazon
photo of the Bang and Olufsen Beosound A1Bang and Olufsen
Beosound A1
Best Stereo Smart SpeakerSee On Amazon
photo of the Bose Home Speaker 500Bose
Home Speaker 500
The Best Bluetooth Speakers in terms of Battery LifeSee On Amazon
photo of the Bose SoundLink Revolve+Bose
SoundLink Revolve+
Best Bluetooth Speakers for the Rugged OutdoorsSee On Amazon
photo of the FUGOO ElementFUGOO
Element
Best Looking Bluetooth SpeakersSee On Amazon
photo of the Marshall Stanmore IIMarshall
Stanmore II
Best Bluetooth Speaker with Voice Control FeatureSee On Amazon
photo of the Sonos MoveSonos
Move
Best Sounding SpeakerSee On Amazon
photo of the Sony SRS-XG500Sony
SRS-XG500
Best Wireless Bluetooth Speakers OverallSee On Amazon
photo of the JBL Boombox 2JBL
Boombox 2

Reviews of the Best Bluetooth Speaker Under 500

The Audio Pro C3 is not the biggest and not the most portable Bluetooth speaker. Nonetheless, it’s compact, spits out highly detailed sound, and would look a lot cooler on your bookshelf, entertainment center, or workstation.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: Approx 12 hours at medium volume
  • IP Rating: No official rating
  • Connectivity: BT 4.0, Wi-Fi, Aux, Ethernet (RJ45)
  • Dimensions: 8.4″ x 5.3″ x 4.5″ (LxWxH)
  • Weight: 6.6lbs

The speaker has a rectangular design with a 3.5″ woofer and two 0.75″ tweeters on either side and for more efficient bass reproduction, it houses a bass reflex port on the rear panel.

On the top panel, there is the carry handle and the controls. The controls are well designed, allowing you to switch between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and aux inputs. Also, there are indicator LEDs for the input source and battery levels.

Speaking of the battery, this rectangular boi can last up to 15 hours at 50% volume or 9 hours at 100%. However, unlike the previous iterations, it doesn’t feature a USB port, so you cannot use it as an external power bank. Meanwhile, the included wall socket adapter takes around 2.5 hours to recharge.

The sound quality is surprisingly decent, with many users mentioning that it has a more open soundstage. Unfortunately, the speakers cannot create a 360° listening experience, but when positioned at one end, they will fill up the room.

What We Like

Impressive Battery Life

Aux and Wi-Fi streaming

Impressive bass response

Know Before Buying

Lacks 360° reproduction

No USB charging port

Lacks an official IP rating

See On Amazon

If you’re looking for a hard-wired yet portable solution to the Audio Pro C3, the C5 is what you need.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: None, direct-powered
  • IP Rating: None
  • Connectivity: RCA input, Sub out, BT 4.1, Wi-Fi 2.4GHz
  • Dimensions: 9.8″x5.9″x5.1″
  • Weight: 7.13 lbs

This chunky boi might not have rechargeable batteries, but it’s louder and better at filling up a room than most of the other wireless devices on this list.

The design is basically the same, with some minor adjustments. You’ve got the same rectangular box, but now with a bigger 4″ woofer with 25W of power. Connectivity options are switched around a bit and include an RCA input, subwoofer output, Bluetooth devices, Wi-Fi, and USB for charging smaller devices. The control setup is slightly different but follows the same formula.

The monophonic sound system on this Bluetooth speaker operates like a regular bookshelf speaker; hence, there’s no 360° system. So where you set up the speaker matters, and if you find a good spot (and possibly set up stereo pairing with another multi-room Audio Pro speaker), you’ll definitely get to experience Hi-Fi sound quality with the best possible soundstage configuration.

What We Like

Excellent Sound Quality

RCA and Wi-Fi lossless streaming

It can connect to multiple speakers, including a subwoofer

Know Before Buying

No batteries

Bulkier than most portable Bluetooth speakers

Lacks an IP rating

See On Amazon

The Beosound A1 by Bang and Olufsen is a cute little monophonic speaker that’s got enough punch to set the mood or help you watch a quick video.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 18 hours (advertised)
  • IP Rating: IP67
  • Connectivity: BT 5.1, Alexa Built-in
  • Dimensions: 5.2″ diameter, 1.83″ height
  • Weight: 1.23lbs

At a glance, this battery-powered smart speaker looks very minimalistic. It’s like a short dome where the speaker grille takes up the crown. The controls are on either side (near the base), and there’s a stylish lanyard connected to it. The speakers weigh 1.23lbs.

The controls are simple: three buttons on either side for power, pairing mode, microphone, volume, and play pause. With different combinations, you can skip tracks, answer/hang up calls and even activate a TWS mode for setting up stereo pairing mode.

B&O advertises that this portable speaker has a battery life of almost 18 hours. However, considering the form factor and the maximum power of the speakers, this continuous playback time will significantly vary depending on the volume levels. I.e., the battery will drain faster (almost at half the promised rate) when listening at 100% volume.

Although it won’t compare to bulky speakers in terms of volume, the sound quality is pretty impressive for a speaker this size since the mids and highs are quite decent and organic. The bass is weak, but that is to be expected.

Regardless, the Bluetooth streaming is impressive, and thanks to its 5.1 version and AptXTM audio codec, there’s a better range and lossless streaming.

What We Like

Waterproof and dustproof IP67 rating

Impressive battery with 3 hours charging time via USB-C

360° monophonic sound

Know Before Buying

It doesn’t get very loud

Alexa integration is not up to par

Middling sound quality with a weaker bass response

See On Amazon

Bose makes some of the best headphones and loudspeakers, and the Bose Home Speaker 500 is one of the most well-designed Bluetooth speakers under 500, which will deliver HiFi audio with an impressive soundstage and Smart features.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: None, direct-powered
  • IP Rating: Unspecified
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm aux, BT 4.2, Wi-Fi
  • Dimensions: 8.01″ tall, 6.68″ long, and 4.31″ wide
  • Weight: 4.65 lbs

The speaker has an oval-like shape, and despite looking like a rice cooker, the speaker is somewhat more compact. It will easily fit on most tables and bookshelves without occupying too much space. The controls are on the top panel, with a cool-looking LCD screen at the side. (Which displays the time, playback information, and album art.)

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are built-in to this Smart speaker; hence, you can use your voice to control playback and other functions native to Alexa and Google Assistant. The controls are on the top panel and house the usual playback controls, six customizable presets (for playlists and radio channels), and an input switch between aux and Bluetooth devices.

The primary input options are Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 3.5mm Aux. You can connect to streaming platforms such as Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify.

The sound system is stereo-configured with two speakers firing at either side and although you might miss 360° monophonic sound, the stereo pair of speakers does an equally amazing job of filling up a closed room. You can also pair it up with other Bose smart speakers and soundbars for a complete multi-room experience.

This Bose Home Speaker 500 has a very detailed audio performance and a strong soundstage presence. Everything from the bass, mids, and highs is accurate and fills the room. It can get sufficiently loud, although some users have complained of slight distortion at higher volumes.

What We Like

Significantly loud

Eight-sided microphone array for picking up your voice

Stereo configuration

Know Before Buying

No mention of an official IP rating

Doesn’t work with direct YouTube Music, Tidal, and Google Home integration

The Bose Music app needs more features

See On Amazon

When it comes to battery life, the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ is pretty amazing. You can charge it once and keep the party going for another 17 hours. However, if you’re not a party person, you can still use this to listen to music while working out, hiking, or relaxing.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: Approx 17 hours
  • IP Rating: IP55
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm audio input, BT 4.1
  • Dimensions: 7.25″ tall, 4.13″ long, and 4.13″ wide
  • Weight: 2 lbs

This portable Bluetooth speaker is not the smallest, but it is easier to manage thanks to its slim lantern-like design. The compact dimensions, flat base, and fabric carry handle make it a very manageable wireless speaker. (Compare to most other Bluetooth speakers on this list.)

To add to its versatility, this speaker also has an official IP55 rating, making it dust-resistant and splash-proof. Although that’s enough protection for a party, I would prefer to have complete IP67 waterproof protection, just in case.

Regardless, the speaker has great sound and build quality. The speaker feels looks and feels like a premium product and delivers audio comparable to some of the top Bluetooth speakers. Unfortunately, it cannot get sufficiently loud since it has smaller drivers.

This portable speaker emits 360° monophonic sound, and the soundstage is middling, especially when placed in the center of a closed room. If you want a stereo configuration or multiple speakers, you can set these up via the Bose music app. (Provided you have compatible Bose speakers.)

What We Like

Almost 17 hours of playback time

IP55 splashproof rating

Low-profile design with carrying strap

Know Before Buying

Micro-USB charging port

Not very loud

It’s a monophonic speaker

See On Amazon

Do you want a versatile speaker that can withstand some abuse while you’re rolling down steep hills or hiking through the woods? Then, you’ve come to the right place since the FUGOO element is built for the outdoors.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 40 hours advertised
  • IP Rating: IPX7
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm audio input, BT 5.0
  • Dimensions: 3.58″ tall, 9.45″ long and 3.58″ wide
  • Weight: 1.79 lbs

With its waterproof IPX7 rating and durable metal shell (that can also float on water), this portable speaker is the best for the outdoors.

This wireless speaker comes in a watertight enclosure with a futuristic and sturdy-looking design. There are two drivers on the front panel, a couple of tweeters on either side and passive radiators on the rear panel. The controls are on the top panel and include everything you need to manage playback and set up stereo pairing mode (with another FUGOO sport, style, or tough speaker).

The device charges via Micro-USB and can last up to 40 hours continuously (at a 50% volume level). It’s got a longer range thanks to Bluetooth 5.0, and there’s an omnidirectional microphone for you to answer calls and give out voice commands.

Unfortunately, this is not the best Bluetooth speaker in terms of audio quality. The promised 360° soundstage is completely bogus since the design of the housing and the placement of the drivers will not allow for this. Instead, you will only get front-firing mono sound. The mids, highs, and bass responses could be better, and there’s significantly noticeable distortion when you pump up the volume to more than 80%.

What We Like

IPX7 rating

Compact and rugged build

Impressive battery life

Know Before Buying

Distortion at higher volumes

Lacks true 360° sound

The overall sound profile is not up to par

See On Amazon

The Marshall Stanmore II is a notable standout from the other modern Bluetooth speakers on this list, mostly because it maintains the classic look of leather panels, brass plates, and analog control knobs.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: None, Wired
  • IP Rating: Unspecified
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm, RCA, BT 5.0
  • Dimensions: 13.78″ long, 7.68″ wide, and 7.28″ tall
  • Weight: 10.25lbs

The speaker is a front-firing stereo with a 50W woofer and two 15W tweeters. The top panel houses the controls and the 3.5mm headphone port, where there are analog knobs to control the volume, bass, and treble. Apart from that, you’ve got a button to switch between the input sources: BT, aux, and RCA. The RCA connectors are on the back panel, which also houses a bass reflex port.

The speaker works with Bluetooth 5.0, and this wireless connectivity system accepts SBC and Aptx audio codecs. The speaker needs to be wired directly to the mains via the adapter cable.

Since it’s directly powered, the speakers can get sufficiently loud. However, many users have complained about distortion at around 80% of the maximum volume. Apart from that, it’s got a weighty sound characteristic with powerful bass, clear mids, and (sometimes) tinny highs.

The controls at the top allow you to set the stage regarding bass and treble. However, if you want to set sound preferences more accurately, you can use the Marshall app.

What We Like

Excellent sound quality (at safe volumes)

Vintage aesthetic

Impressive control panel

Know Before Buying

Slight distortion at higher volumes

No battery needs to be plugged in

Slightly more premium

See On Amazon

If you’re a big fan of wire-tapping Alexa, then the Sonos Move Portable Bluetooth speaker is your best bet.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 11 hours continuous
  • IP Rating: IP56
  • Connectivity: BT 5.0, Wi-Fi
  • Dimensions: 6.29″ long, 4.96″ wide, and 9.44″ tall
  • Weight: 6.61lbs

There’s a built-in microphone array with Alexa support; hence, you don’t need to pair it up with your phone to issue voice commands or play your favorite music. (As long as you connect the speaker via Wi-Fi.)

The Sonos Move is a well-designed battery-powered smart speaker. It is the same size as a typical rice cooker, with almost half the weight. There are speaker grilles all the way around except for the rear panel, which houses a couple of buttons (power, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth pairing), and the hollow cut-out, which doubles as a carry handle.

The playback controls are on the top panel, but unfortunately, the controls can be a bit confusing. Both volume control buttons look the same, and to add to the confusion: you have to swipe left or right to skip tracks on the same pair.

The speaker comes with a cool-looking charging stand that draws power through a USB port (Type-C). It takes two hours to recharge, and the battery will last around 8-11 hours, depending on the volume level.

The sound quality is pretty decent, the bass might be a little lacking, but the mids and highs are acceptable. The speakers can get sufficiently loud, although it will drain the battery life much faster.

What We Like

Decent sound quality

Built-in Alexa with Wi-Fi

IP56 rated enclosure

Know Before Buying

Bulkier

Confusing controls

Doesn’t accept a 3.5mm headphone jack

See On Amazon

The Sony SRS-XG500 is featured in our list of the best Bluetooth speakers for parties and has many good things about it, and the most important is the excellent sound quality.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 30 hours continuous
  • IP Rating: IP66
  • Connectivity: BT 5.0, Wi-Fi, mic/guitar input, 3.5mm
  • Dimensions: 18.11″ long, 10.06″ wide, and 8.46″ tall
  • Weight: 6.61lbs

This portable Bluetooth speaker may not be able to push music at 360 degrees, but it does an amazing job of pumping out crisp stereo thanks to its 4″ woofers and 25mm tweeters on either side. (Along with passive radiators at the rear.)

Although it’s a battery-powered speaker with an integrated carry handle, this is a chunky boi that is almost one and a half feet long. Popping it into a backpack or hooking it up is impossible, and you’ll always need to transport it in your car.

The speaker has IP66 protection, which is midway between splashproof and waterproof. Regardless, I don’t recommend swimming with it but you can set it down at the edge without worrying about all the cannonballs.

The controls are at the top (near the carry handle) and include playback options and a button to activate Sony’s bass boost feature. The I/O panel is at the back and houses the DC charging jack, two USB ports (only one supports flash drives), a 1/4″ microphone/guitar jack, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There is also a set of buttons for managing the lights, battery, party mode, and guitar setup.

What We Like

Sony Music center app for more sound and lights customization

Impressive battery life

IP66 splashproof protection

Know Before Buying

Won’t get very loud

Bulky

Relatively expensive

See On Amazon

The JBL Boombox 2 is the best option when it comes to portable speakers. This bad boy is completely wireless but manages to pump out high-quality audio with surprisingly powerful bass.

See On Amazon

Tech Specs

  • Battery Life: 24 hours (advertised)
  • IP Rating: IPX7
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm audio input, BT 5.1
  • Dimensions: 12.7″ long, 9.33″ wide, and 21.97″ tall
  • Weight: 13lbs

This wireless Bluetooth speaker takes up quite a lot of space, and there’s no way you’ll be able to keep it on you during a hike. That said, you can easily pop it in your car and carry it a short distance to a party or picnic without any issues.

The housing on the JBL Boombox 2 includes a sturdy carry handle that runs along the entire length of the speaker, and the speaker grilles on the front and back are protected by a rough fabric-like material (to maintain the strength without muffling the drivers).

Despite its size, the JBL Boombox 2 has a simple control panel with buttons for managing playback and pairing mode. It also interfaces with the JBL portable app and allows you to pair it with multiple speakers (for party boost or stereo) and adjust the equalizer.

The sound quality is pretty decent, especially for a wireless Bluetooth speaker. The bass is relatively powerful (as advertised), while the mids and highs have decent sound quality. I wouldn’t call it a Hi-Fi experience, but it will make do for a party or picnic with lots of friends around.

What We Like

Doubles as a power bank

Can reach higher volumes and pump out strong bass

IPX7 rating

Know Before Buying

Lacks a mic or speakerphone for phone calls and voice control

No standalone stereo option

Bulky

See On Amazon

Best Bluetooth Speakers Under $500 Buying Guide

Portability

One of the main reasons you would go for a Bluetooth speaker instead of wired counterparts is when you need something portable. Bluetooth speakers come in all shapes and sizes, but unless they are in-ceiling speakers, they are portable (sort of).

However, that doesn’t mean you can clip a bookshelf speaker onto your backpack and enjoy the trails. You need speakers with a smaller form factor.

From my perspective, there are two form factors: the smaller backpack speakers and home speakers. Home speakers are larger and very rarely moved around. Usually, if you can’t lift these “portable speakers” with one hand and carry it around without straining yourself, it’s meant to be a home speaker.

When picking out a Bluetooth speaker, consider your use cases and how easy it would be to carry around.

Battery Life

If you want to keep the party going (responsibly) for hours on end, you need a wireless speaker with a good battery. The continuous playback time or battery life depends on the power of the drivers and the capacity of the battery itself. If you use larger speakers (at higher volumes), the batteries will drain at a faster pace.

Luckily almost every portable Bluetooth speaker on this list has appropriately-sized batteries to maintain a continuous playback time of at least 8 hours. Most of the high-end options have an extended battery life which can make it last up to 20+ hours on a single charge (at 50% volume).

IP rating

The IP rating is another important aspect that can save your speakers from spilled drinks and accidental splashes from the pool. Ideally, you would want the speakers to have an IP67 rating.

But unfortunately, speakers with this waterproof rating are either too expensive or won’t sound as good as their more vulnerable counterparts.

For home speakers, the IP rating is not that important. However, if you’re looking for something to play some tunes while you’re out camping, a set of portable speakers with an official splashproof (IPX4) or waterproof (IP67) rating is very much recommended.

Sound quality

The overall sound quality is also important since a good set of speakers can make or break a party. Thankfully, most of the speakers on our list have decent sound quality with the home speakers sounding more natural and occupying a wider soundstage presence. In contrast, some portable speakers may sound okay, but won’t be able to push music at a higher volume.

Comparing the sound quality without testing the speakers is not an easy feat. However, you can get a basic idea by checking the frequency response of speakers and reviews left by other people.

Sound channels

Most portable speakers are designed to put out 360° mono sound, while a select few will be able to replicate a stereo system. A monophonic system with 360° sound might be great for parties but not for enjoying a movie.

To set up a stereo system with these mono speakers, you must pair it with another compatible speaker. (Provided the support software allows for stereo pairing.)

Some speakers will do some false advertising regarding this, so if you see a Bluetooth speaker with only front-facing woofers, tweeters, dual passive radiators, etc. These might be a stereo or mono system without 360° capabilities.

Connectivity

Since we are talking about some of the best Bluetooth speakers here, the Bluetooth version, Wi-Fi band, and wired connectivity options do matter.

Bluetooth range and latency depend on the BT version of either device, so you’re most often limited by the device with the lowest Bluetooth version. Also, some speakers can only handle 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and will not offer a wired 3.5mm aux port.

Extra Features

A Bluetooth speaker with extra features is a plus, and it’s something that makes them stand out.

Having the ability to issue voice commands and charge your phone is handy. Apart from that, good support software with customizable sound presets and the ability to set up either stereo or party mode are also important.

Final Thoughts

Best Wired-Only Multi-Room Speaker

Bluetooth speakers have come a long way. Nowadays, there are tons of options, each with a different form factor, protection rating, and optional features. Other Bluetooth speakers even have an alarm clock making it hard to pick one out. Nonetheless, as long as you consider the portability aspects and the overall sound quality, you’ll have an easier time picking out the best Bluetooth speakers under $500.