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CNET Top 5
Bluetooth Speakers Under $100The best, affordable wireless speakers for your smartphone or tablet.
Yes, your phone, tablet and laptop do have speakers, but, well you know what they sound like. Crap. That explains why separate Bluetooth-connected stereo speakers are trending real hot these days, but man can they be pricey. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m looking at you, Bose! ( IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Brian Cooley with the Top 5 Bluetooth Stereo speakers that cost UNDER $100. IÃ¯Â¿Â½ve ranked Ã¯Â¿Â½em by a matrix of CNET Rating score, street price and user popularity scores. Yeah, CalTech helped me. Lets go. -------- #5 Soundfreaq Sound Kick SFQ-04. One of the newer models out there. 7 hours of playback time, and you can charge your phone off its USB port. But the sound is a bit thin and it wonÃ¯Â¿Â½t function as a wireless speakerphone. is a good value, with an attractive design and good performance for its size. #4 Logitech Z515. This oneÃ¯Â¿Â½s interesting in that it includes a litte USB Bluetooth dongle so you can stream from a computer that may not have BT built in, as well as from your mobiles that do. Very flexible. 10 hour battery life is up there with the best, and it handles a wide range of music well. DoesnÃ¯Â¿Â½t work as a speakerphone, though. $78 street. #3 Logitech Mini Boombox. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m not sure anything than a toaster can be called a Ã¯Â¿Â½boomboxÃ¯Â¿Â½, especially when itÃ¯Â¿Â½s such a cute little bean-shaped thing. But its got cool, illuminated touch controls on top, 10 hour battery life and quite good sound, except with bass heavy tracks which is ironic for something called Boombox. But at a current street price of around $78 bucks #2 The iHome iDM11. Our reviewer calls this Ã¯Â¿Â½attractively designedÃ¯Â¿Â½. I call him Ã¯Â¿Â½highÃ¯Â¿Â½. but if you can keep from mistaking this for your Boxee box youÃ¯Â¿Â½ll find it puts out pretty good sound from such a small, lopsided package. Does BT speakerphone as well. Irksomely, when you want to just use an AUX cable connection to your portable, you have to use the speakerÃ¯Â¿Â½s proprietary cable, which you know youÃ¯Â¿Â½ll lose. Before we get to #1 hereÃ¯Â¿Â½s the most compelling reason of all to NOT spend more than $100 on BT speakers. Because Bluetooth streaming doesnÃ¯Â¿Â½t really deserve it. It sounds good, but not great, because the MP3 youÃ¯Â¿Â½re playing is converted and re- compressed as part of the Bluetooth streaming process, so think convenience here, not home theater. #1 Creative D100 Impressive bass - which you almost never hear us say about this category -- and it uses AA batteries, so youÃ¯Â¿Â½re never stuck without a charge. Those things make up for its lack of speakerphone ability. Plus it comes in 4 colors, uses a standard AUX jack for wired connection and unlike some on our list, doesnÃ¯Â¿Â½t look weird. It got the best CNET score and has the lowest street price of 60 bucks right now. Buy two.