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Dossier: 3 bluetooth speakers up to 100 euros compared – which is the best?

Dossier: 3 bluetooth speakers up to 100 euros compared – which is the best?
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We recently discussed which cheaper speakers are useful for throwing in your bag but you might need a little more power. We compared three bluetooth speakers from 50 to 100 euros, so you can bring the best sound to the camping site, the beach or simply your garden.

Three bluetooth speakers to 100 euros compared

There are many aspects to to consider when purchasing a bluetooth speaker. First, of course, there is the quality of the sound. Does hip hop sound nice with a good bass? Is the sound rich enough to make an entire orchestra sound good? Isn't rock music too shrill? In addition, it is useful if a speaker has a good battery. Although they are very convenient to use indoors, they are very suitable for on the road or outside and there is usually no outlet available. We include these and other aspects in our comparison.

Sony SRS-XB32

In addition to sound and endurance, there is another thing that clearly separates one speaker from another: appearance. Sony's XB32 does it well. In principle, this speaker has a fairly traditional speaker look, namely a kind of elongated cylinder shape that you place vertically. One part is made of hard plastic, the rest of fabric with the 48mm drivers.

However, this speaker comes with some extras, namely a microphone to take telephone calls. But also in appearance: it has a cheerful LED strip with all kinds of colors of light and a kind of strobe lights. You can influence the LED strip via the Sony app, so you can constantly set the same color of your choice or have it colored according to the music. You can pair a device via bluetooth (4.2), but it is also possible to switch on the nfc chip in your Android phone and run it along the top of the speaker.

 Sony XB32

Although the LED strip is a great addition that makes the loudspeaker a real pacemaker, the strobe lights are actually somewhat disturbing. They are placed under the fabric part of the speaker. There is one on both sides, so you can peer straight into the lights when you view the speaker. Moreover, they don't add much to a party, precisely because they are quite small. As far as we are concerned, this should have been omitted. An original idea, though.

The speaker has an IP rating of 67, which means that it can withstand dust and will survive a splash of water to a certain extent. With its weight of 900 grams, it is easy to take with you, although it takes up quite a lot of space with its size of 23 by 10 by 10 cm. The way SRS-XB32 charges is a bit old-fashioned, because it still uses micro-USB. Something that is acceptable for cheaper speakers, but with a price point of 100 euros we would have expected at least a USB-C charger for this modern speaker.

 Sony XB32

The sound , this is important. This speaker has an option that we see more often on Sony speakers: extra bass. In our test period, we mainly listened with this option on, because it simply adds a little more body to the audio experience. In addition, Sony's XB32 can give a big sound. It is precisely because of its large size that it has more space to make sound bigger and that is noticeable. The battery does deteriorate considerably if you indeed turn it so loud and have all the lights on: you will then use it for about 10 to 12 hours. When you are done, Sony promises to listen to music for 24 hours.

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Source: kieskeurig.nl

JBL Flip 5

JBL Flip 5 has considerably less bells and whistles compared to Sony's XB32. It has a somewhat cooler look and no lights, but also no microphone. It is a robust speaker that can best be compared to a can of soda. At least when it comes to looks, because the sound from this fully cylindrical loudspeaker is certainly not tinny.

The loudspeaker consists mainly of a rough, fabric material, combined with rubber. On the sides you can see where the bass is coming from, because there is an exclamation mark on one side to warn you to keep that section free from the vibration. Thanks to the string, the speaker is easy to attach to something and gets a somewhat sportier appearance. With its weight of over 500 grams it is light anyway and thanks to its compact shape it is very easy to take with you, even if you are going to do something sporty.

 JBL Flip 5

Swimming, for example, with an IPX7 -Rating, this speaker is especially good at a swimming pool, although it has more problems with dust. Precisely because it is made of rubber, sand is more likely to stick to it. So pay attention to this if you want to take it to the beach or if you have some sand or crumbs in your bag, for example. It also fits well in your bag: it is 18 by 7 centimeters. You can also take two, because if there is something that JBL speakers can do well, then it is working together to make music sound from both sides at a party.

He may not be fuss in the form of lights , he certainly makes up for that when it comes to sound. It is not overwhelmingly loud, but the sound is very strong with good bass, without shrill sounds. Especially for the size, it is almost bizarre how good the sound that comes from this gadget. Whether you want to listen to classical music, pop or dancehall: JBL Flip 5 does not give it away.

 JBL Flip 5

JBL Flip 5 costs an average of 90 euros. You can charge it via USB-C and it will last for about 10 hours, depending on how hard you put it. It therefore has a considerably less good battery than the Sony XB32. On the other hand, you will usually only use it for a few hours, or else you will probably be close to a power outlet, which certainly doesn't make battery life bad for this type of gadget. Source: kieskeurig.nl

Anker Soundcore Flare 2

We conclude this comparison with a speaker that takes it a bit easier: Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is both in size and price. Make no mistake, however. With a price of 80 euros, Soundcore Flare 2 is not a cheap bluetooth speaker, but it does not disappoint when it comes to sound quality.

The first thing you notice is its appearance, because it is slightly different from other speakers of its price range. A kind of cylinder shape, but slightly flared at the bottom, creating a cone shape. This is an interesting choice, because it makes the speaker look much more like an indoor speaker. Certainly because of the fabric that is used, which is less rough than that of JBL, it almost looks like a speaker that is only intended for indoor use.

However, do not be fooled by that. Like JBL Flip 5, it has an IPX7 rating, which means that it comes into its own at the edge of the pool, but prefers to stay away from dust and sand. Despite its somewhat more luxurious and less robust appearance, Anker Soundcore Flare 2 can have more than you would expect. with its weight of just under 600 grams you can also easily carry this speaker in your backpack.

 Anker Soundcore Flare 2

There is another big difference between the JBL and the Anker . In contrast to LED lights or no lights, Anker chose two rainbow-colored rings: one at the top and one at the bottom. These can be set via the Soundcore app. You can do it on all kinds of facets of the music you listen to, but you can also let a small ray of light pass through the rings, which is more suitable for a stylish dinner instead of a busy party.

The sound from the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is good, but not as powerful as the two described above. You can boost the bass, but it doesn't match the powerful bass of the above bluetooth speakers. Especially if you don't turn on the BassUp (extra bass), Anker Soundcore Flare 2 tends to sound a bit flat. Where this speaker with hip-hop does not fully stand out, it is just a hit with classical music and guitar music. High tones are clearly well spent on this speaker. Keep the volume a bit low, because it seems to get some noise on the line if you ask a lot.

The 80 euro Soundcore Flare 2 is about 16 centimeters high and 9 centimeters wide. So it is really a fairly small speaker, although it seems larger due to its light show and it certainly stands out in a room. It can be charged via USB-C and the battery lasts about 8 to 10 hours. In addition, it is equipped with a microphone, so you can also take telephone calls with it. Like JBL, Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is also able to work with other Flare 2 speakers.

 Anker Soundcore Flare 2

Conclusion – what is the best affordable bluetooth speaker?

if you want to invest in a bluetooth speaker than 60 euros, then it is wise to sit closer to the 100 euro speakers. While Anker Soundcore Flare 2 certainly has features we love, including its smarter looks, the Sony and JBL seem to give it just a bit more power and that remains the most important when it comes to on-the-road and outdoor speakers. We are not only talking about the power of the audio, but also of the battery.

So it is really between the JBL and the Sony. The Sony has a nice gimmick that you can make a complete light show, while thanks to its size and weight it is slightly less attractive to carry in your bag. On the other hand, the JBL is not too fond of dust and crumbs. The two are well matched in terms of sound and volume. The battery of the Sony, on the other hand, is better than that of the JBL, although you always need a micro-USB cable to charge it. Ultimately, the choice of one or the other speaker will probably come down to appearance or battery life, and then Sony XB32 is not only a more striking appearance, but also one that you can enjoy longer with each charge. We give the Sony XB32 at least the designation FWD Best Tested, because this speaker is the ultimate pacemaker of the three tested models that likes to continue into the late hours.

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Also view our archive with [19659048] reviews in which you will also find a large number of reviews of speakers. In addition, we recommend that you read our tips and advice for even more background articles on loudspeakers, televisions and other home cinema products.

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