Holiday Gift Guide 2016 – 2017: Top 10 Best Speakers Over $100

Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker II

Those looking for a good, powerful and brand-recognized speaker would do well to check out the Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II. This is a small speaker which does only measure 2-inches in height, 7.1-inches in width and 2.3-inch in depth (and only weighs 1.5 lbs). However, it is also a powerful speaker and one which comes with a battery that is listed to offer up to 10 hours of continuous playback and can connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices by as much as 30 feet (10 m) away. To add to the mix, there is also a 3.5 mm auxiliary (AUX) port on offer too - for connection of non-Bluetooth devices.

UE BOOM 2 Bluetooth Speaker

The UE BOOM 2 will likely need little introduction to some people, as UE is a very popular brand and the UE BOOM 2 is a very popular speaker. One of its main selling points is its design which comes in the form of a fully-round speaker experience. Which means you can expect a 360-degree type of sound. However, this is also a speaker which is meant to be used away from the home as it does come with a battery which is listed to offer up to 15 hours of continuous playback and an IPX7 waterproof rating which means it can survive being submerged in water for a maximum of 30 minutes and to a maximum depth of one 1 meter.

B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beolit 15

If the options so far haven't really been to your level, then there is always the B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beolit 15. This is a very nice and very powerful speaker as it is one which comes with a total peak power of 240-watts. Not to mention the battery is listed to offer up to 24-hours of continuous playback. That is in addition to the B&O PLAY by Bang & Olufsen Beolit 15 adopting a ‘True360’ sound which is designed to increase its ability to fill the room even more. Top that with a very premium build and you do have a very good speaker. Albeit, also a very expensive speaker and certainly much more than the rest of the speakers on this list.

JBL Charge 3 Bluetooth Speaker

Up next is the JBL Charge 3 and this is another speaker which looks to offer the owner a powerful, yet portable and yet, affordable Bluetooth audio experience. The JBL Charge 3 adopts a typical JBL design and comes encased within a rugged and IPX7 waterproof certified cover. Combine that with a battery which is listed to offer up to 20 hours of continuous playback, the ability to connect simultaneously to 3 devices, as well as the ability to connect to other JBL speakers through JBL Connect.

JBL Xtreme Bluetooth Speaker

Sticking with JBL for the moment and those looking for a similar sort of experience to the Charge 3 but much more power only need to look as far as the JBL Xtreme. This is the bigger sibling to the Charge 3 and as a result makes use of much of the same features and abilities as the Charge 3, although as well as being more audibly powerful, the JBL Extreme also comes packing a massive 10,000 mAh battery capacity. Keeping in mind that these JBL speakers also contain the ability to power smartphones, a battery this size will be able to keep your devices charged and the party going.

BRAVEN BRV-Pro Bluetooth Speaker

If the durability of the speaker matters then one option in the above $100 price range worth checking out is the BRAVEN BRV-Pro. As well as being a great sounding speaker, this also happens to be one which is extremely durable thanks to its built-to-last outer casing. Add that to a 2,200 mAh battery which is listed to be able to offer up to 15 hours of continuous playback and this is one speaker that is designed to last without composing on the sound quality.

Fugoo Sport Bluetooth Speaker

Another good option for those looking for a durable speaker is the Fugoo Sport. This is designed to be a portable speaker and one which can endure just about all environments. The design of the Fugoo Sport means that as well as being waterproof (to a depth of 1 meter and for a duration of 30 minutes), it is also snow proof and sand proof. So wherever you find yourself, the Fugoo Sport is designed to be able to keep going. This is also a speaker which comes with a nice sound thanks to its six included drivers, a good level of battery life (listed as 40 hours at 50% loudness) and even comes loaded with support for Google Now.

Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker

If you do not know about the Amazon Echo then it is about time you do. This has been a massive hit product for Amazon and with good reason. As well as being able to playback music from a wealth of connected apps including Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn, this one also comes with a ton of additional features. None more so than its ability to connect and control various connected products in your home. As well as its ability to make use of Alexa Voice Service so that all of its actions (and more) can be controlled by simply taking to the Amazon Echo. If you are looking for a speaker which is far more than simply a speaker, then the Amazon Echo is worth checking out.

UE MEGABOOM Bluetooth Speaker

We already have one UE speaker on the list and now it is time for another, the UE MEGABOOM. This one also makes use of a very similar design to the UE BOOM 2 and as such the same level of 360-degree sound is on offer. As is an (IPX7) waterproof rating and a general durable build. In fact, the main difference with the UE MEGABOOM is that this one is a far more powerful speaker for increased audio output and bass. That and an increased level of battery life with the UE MEGABOOM coming with a listed 20-hour battery.

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 3

Closing out the list today is the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 3. While most of the other speakers on the list adopt a modern speaker design, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 3 takes on much more of a traditional speaker design. As well as more of a traditional speaker sound. This one comes loaded with two 75 mm drivers and two 20 mm tweeters and so the quality on offer here is great. The only downside with this one is that it is designed to not last as long as some of the others with the battery life listed as 5 hours of conscientious playback. However, for what you lose in battery life you do gain in sound quality. A good option for those looking for a very clear and heavy sound without spending too much above the $100 marker.

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About the Author
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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]
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