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Inexpensive & good: comparison of five Bluetooth speakers under 50 euros

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Inexpensive, robust and loud: Even Bluetooth speakers under 50 euros are really fun in everyday life. TechStage compares five models with five clever special features.

Expensive Bluetooth speakers sometimes offer impressive sound quality. In the price segment below 50 euros, the howling cubes can often not keep up. That is why audio manufacturers rely on sometimes extraordinary functions to make them something special. Below we compare five loudspeakers which, in addition to a rock-solid sound, also offer special functions such as built-in FM radios or integrated jack plugs. If you are explicitly looking for a Bluetooth speaker for outdoor use, we recommend our comparison test Eleven Outdoor Speakers with Bluetooth in comparison. Also worth reading: buying advice bluetooth speaker – rich sound.

Finding the right Bluetooth speaker is not that easy. Because while some take the speaker with them as a sound system for cycling, Bluetooth speakers rest on bedside tables to quietly play a podcast. Therefore, in addition to songs from various genres, we also recorded a podcast in our playlist. The different songs can be listened to using the Spotify account. Click here for the playlist.

Xanny by Billie Eilish, for example, is extremely bass-heavy and shows how much power is really in the Bluetooth speakers. The songs Borderlands by Devin Townsend and Love is only a feeling from The Darkness are powerful rock songs, Frank Zappas Inca Roads and Jacob Collier ‘s interpretation of Moon river however, more complex pieces. With these you can hear many subtleties on good speakers.

In addition to the music playback, we used each speaker to make calls, played YouTube videos and films and simply tossed the speakers from hand to hand or dropped them into our backpack. Overall, this creates a practical impression that we consolidated in several hours of use.

model

Anker Soundcore Mini

Anker Soundcore 2

JBL clip 2

Blaupunkt BT7

JBL Go 2

Wattage

5

2 x 6

3rd

6

3rd

Battery life in hours

15

24th

8th

6

5

Water resistance

No

IPX 7

IPX 7

No

IPX 7

Price in euros (06/20)

19th

40

40

39.95 euros

25th

connections

Bluetooth, 3.5 mm jack, FM radio, microSD card

Bluetooth, 3.5 millimeter jack

Bluetooth, 3.5 millimeter jack (integrated)

Bluetooth, 3.5 millimeter jack

Bluetooth, 3.5 millimeter jack

particularities

Radio and micro SD card slot

long battery life and volume

Carabiner and fixed jack cable

Stereo pairing with a second box

Very compact and robust

Recommendation for

Use without smartphone

Sound quality

Outdoor use

Stereo sound

robustness

The inconspicuous Anker Soundcore Mini has several surprises when you take a closer look. Because at the very bottom in the circular housing of the speaker, in addition to a micro USB and AUX input, there is also a micro SD card slot. Music files can be played without a smartphone. Since the memory card is almost flush with the housing after a clear click, it can remain installed during transport. In this way, the smartphone battery can be protected without being silent. Many expensive models remain silent without an external music source.

If you can no longer find MP3 files on the hard drive, the Soundcore Mini has another ace up its sleeve: Plug-in micro USB cables act as an antenna for the integrated FM radio. The reception is tidy and ensures noise-free radio reception including clear speech and music reproduction even in buildings – clever!


Our outdoor picture without rain shows: The speaker is not waterproof.

In terms of sound, however, you have to accept compromises with the tiny speaker. Bass heavy songs like Xanny from Billie Eilish quickly overwhelms the passive subwoofer and the sound begins to blur. The 5-watt driver lacks power here. We also miss a little clarity in the test. In more complicated pieces like Frank Zappas Inca Roads the instruments merge too much. The sound quality is okay for the size. The Soundcore Mini reproduces melodiously, but slight noise and mumbling at low volume could disturb podcast fans. This is not particularly difficult in phone calls, but here our opposing party complained about a slow playback on our part, in which whole words were swallowed up. The battery life is excellent at 15 hours and Anker promises a guarantee of 18 months. At a price of around 20 euros, the Soundcore Mini is a clear recommendation.

From the most inconspicuous to one of the most popular Bluetooth speakers under 50 euros: Because the Anker Soundcore 2 (test report) appears at the top in many sales charts and leaderboards. A placement that we can confirm after extensive testing. On paper, the loudspeaker is initially completely convincing. With a battery life of 24 hours, the Soundcore 2 is a real endurance runner. The housing is protected against water and dust according to IPX7 and Anker installs two 6-watt drivers in a robust housing for 40 euros.


The Anker Soundcore 2 is waterproof and can also be used in the rain.

These make the Soundcore 2 louder than all other speakers in comparison. However, the speaker begins to scratch at maximum volume. In addition, volume alone is not everything. When switching through our test playlist, it quickly becomes clear in which genres the speaker shines. Filigree and playful pieces like Jacob Colliers Moon river resound clearly in the room. The polyphony is nicely separated and the ears quickly forget that the music source only costs around 40 euros. In the end, the loudspeaker lacks strength when it hits a bass. Bombast rock like The Darkness ’Love is only a feeling sounds a little boring. In addition, the two drivers of the speaker are attached to the front and thus send the sound in one direction. Sitting behind the Soundcore 2 is unsatisfactory in the long run.

The gradation in the lower volume range is fine enough for quiet podcast listening, but if you listen carefully you will notice a slight noise. Films and series sound beautiful due to the clear speech and sound reproduction and the speaker is also suitable for telephony. However, only if the participants sit like chickens on the pole in front of the speaker.

Admittedly, the JBL Clip 2 is a little older and with the Clip 3, the manufacturer belonging to Harman has already launched a successor. In this case, however, he deleted an important feature of the previous model: once around the loudspeaker housing, JBL wraps a permanently installed jack cable on Clip 2, which is about 35 centimeters long when unwound.


Thanks to a snap hook, the speaker can be hung almost anywhere.

In many situations, this can save musical entertainment. Because even if many smartphone manufacturers now do without a jack connection, the sound quality of notebooks, beamers or low-sound TVs (purchase advice) can be improved flexibly and without any cable search. Of course, a soundbar (buying advice) is better in this case. The older version of the clip loudspeaker is also convincing in terms of sound, and despite its small size it offers a surprising amount of bass power. Due to the construction, the JBL Clip 2 radiates the music upwards. This distributes the sound significantly worse in the room compared to the 360-degree sound of the Soundcore Mini.

The speaker may not have been designed for that. Because the permanently installed snap hook almost prompts you to hang the speaker on the belt loop or on the backpack. If you get into a rain shower, the speaker is protected against water according to IPX7. Only the battery life is quite weak at five hours and the Bluetooth speaker released in 2016 no longer looks very modern. Its current price of around 40 euros makes Clip 2 our outdoor tip.

The manufacturer Blaupunkt enables music enjoyment in stereo sound with the BT7. Two models of the speaker can be connected wirelessly and brought into harmony using the function christened by Blaupunkt True Wireless Stereo, or TWS for short.

The setup is easy and then the duo of the two speakers is a real pleasure. Frank Zappas Inca Roads flies from one speaker to another and back again. We never noticed any delays or asynchrony during the test.


Two models of the Blaupunkt BT7 can be connected wirelessly to a stereo pair.

In stand-alone mode, the BT7 proves to be a quite powerful speaker, which despite its similar shape cannot keep up with the Soundcore 2 in terms of sound. A rather tinny sound leads to the fact that high-pitched tones tend to pierce the eardrum. However, the speaker reproduces bass in a pleasantly clear manner. Billie shows Eilishs again Xanny but where is the end. Then the speaker overdrives and the sound loses quality. The BT7 best reproduces quiet tones in the test field. Podcasts can be played at low volume without noise. As with the Soundcore 2, the two 3-watt drivers are attached to the same side of the case. Again, the sound behind or next to the speaker becomes muffled and uncomfortable when listening for a long time.

The built-in battery is pretty tight with a capacity of 1800 milliamp hours. The manufacturer specifies the runtime as six hours. As a negative, there are also loud and annoying system sounds that made us startle when we turned on the first time. The BT7 is also not certified waterproof. To protect against high humidity, for example in the bathroom, Blaupunkt closes the loudspeaker connections with rubber knobs. However, since these are not connected to the case, it is only a matter of time before they get lost.

More offers in the Heise price comparison

In discount campaigns, the JBL Go 2 is now regularly available for less than 20 euros. For this reason, we have included the rectangular mini speaker as a price tip in our article. Because for the low price, the processing leaves nothing to be desired. Without hesitation, we poured water over the speaker with IPX7 certification during the photo shoot and then threw it back in the backpack. Alternatively, the small Bluetooth speaker fits easily in your pocket.


The robust JBL Go 2 is suitable as an outdoor speaker thanks to IPX7 certification.

In terms of sound, we don’t recommend the JBL Go 2 to all music fans. Because as soon as interpreters lay out a wide carpet of sound, individual instruments become blurred and the sound becomes mushy. In hip-hop songs, however, the speaker surprises with defined bass beats, in which the speaker does not tend to overdrive. Due to the construction, the JBL Go 2 is only 7 × 8.5 centimeters in size, but the bass performance is quite weak and the maximum volume is low. Overall, the music quality is the worst with the JBL Go 2.

For podcasts, however, that is more than enough. Voices sound natural and JBL prevents the radio voice effect, in which male voices in particular seem unnaturally deep. This also has a positive effect on the phone quality, although the built-in microphone is a little quiet. Together with hardly noticeable noise at low volume, the JBL Go 2 is also a tip for podcast fans.

Anyone who only expects compromises with Bluetooth speakers under 50 euros has been wrong. Because the inexpensive devices are really fun in everyday life, precisely because you don’t always want to touch cheap technology with kid gloves. The JBL Go 2 is so robust that you can safely throw it in the sand or take it with you in the shower. The loudspeaker is not really convincing in terms of sound.

As overall winner, the Anker Soundcore 2 is compared. Not only does it bring the highest nominal power with its two 6-watt drivers, it is also the loudest in practice. And with a battery life of 24 hours and IPX7 certification, the speaker lasts the longest even on the go.

Special functions such as the built-in FM radio and the SD card slot of the Anker Soundcore Mini may make the tiny speaker the most interesting model in our overview. The device shows that cheap Bluetooth speakers can even offer technical advantages over expensive alternatives. In our eyes, only the sound quality and the lack of water protection speak against a tender as a comparison winner. An ingenuity that is also found in the JBL Clip 2. Thanks to the integrated snap hook and the jack cable cord, this model is very suitable for use on backpacks or in the car.

If you are generally interested in the topic of BT speakers, we recommend our purchase advice Bluetooth speakers – rich sound. Should the Bluetooth speaker be special for outdoor use? Then reading our article helps eleven outdoor speakers with Bluetooth in comparison.

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