Must-have Bluetooth speakers for students under $75

It is difficult for me to choose a favorite from this list of speakers -- but one of these will hit the spot for sure, delivering decent sounds when you are back at college.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Sure, Bluetooth speakers won't help you get homework done. But they're great for parties or relaxing in your dorm room, and if they support an assistant, such as Amazon Alexa, you can use it set reminders to study or even alarms to get up for class. 

There are several to choose from out there, so to help you narrow down the field and get something perfect, either for yourself this school year or for someone you know who is headed to college in the fall, here are our hand-curated Bluetooth speaker picks.

And the best part is each of these cost under $75. 

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Best back-to-school Bluetooth speakers

Back to school Bluetooth speakers ZDNet

DOSS Soundbox Pro for $45  

The Soundbox Pro Bluetooth speaker from DOSS delivers 20W stereo from its two drivers. It has a good range of sound across all types of music, and its extra bass button gives the decent bass range an extra depth. The speaker can use TWS (True Wireless Stereo) to give a surround sound feel.

It is only rated IPX5, which means it is splashproof, but should not be immersed in water. Its 2200mAh battery will give a playing time of up to 12 hours. It is compatible with Alexa, and it supports hands-free calling.

This speaker has lights, which, if you press the mode button for one second, change to a different color. The lights do cycle colors, but this is not mentioned in the user manual. Press the mode button until the lights cycle. Its dimensions are 6.6 x 2.9 x 2.7 inches, and it weighs 1.23 pounds. 

Back to school Bluetooth speakers ZDNet

DOSS Soundbox Plus for $40

The Soundbox plus speaker from DOSS delivers 16W stereo from its two speakers. It doesn't have as much bass sound as the Soundbox Pro has, nor is it waterproof, but it has some nice features. Most functions are carried out from the smooth touch top panel, and the touch response is good.

This is certainly a desktop or home speaker rather than an outdoor speaker. Its dimensions are 7.4 x 3.3 x 3.1 inches, and it weighs 1.98 pounds. Its 3200mAh battery will give up to 20 hours playtime at medium volume. You can connect another speaker with TWS and use the speaker with Amazon Alexa.

You can answer calls during playback, and you can switch modes to voice activation using the mode button. This speaker sounds equally as loud as the Soundbox Pro, which has a 20W output. An impressive speaker.

Back to school Bluetooth speakers ZDNet

EasyAcc F10 for $30

The F10 from EasyAcc is a real party speaker. A cascade of configurable flashing lights and crisp sound from its dual 10W stereo and enhanced bass makes this a very attractive speaker. It delivers sound up to 90db and supports synchronous play through its TWS  functionality. 

It is IPX7 waterproof too, so there is no need to worry about it accidentally falling into water (for up to 30m at 1m depth). The 5,000mAh battery will deliver up to 10 hours playing time. It is triangular with dimensions of 8.8 x 2.8 x 2.5 inches, and it weighs 1.94 pounds.

Call answering works well, and the response is good. You can pair two speakers together with TWS (True Wireless Stereo) mode. There is a 40% discount at the moment with the code SDY2L8F9 until the 31st August meaning that this speaker is a steal at $29.99.

This will not be your favorite speaker -- if you love deep booming bass, but as an excellent all-round speaker, this certainly hits the spot.

Back to school Bluetooth speakers ZDNet

Tronsmart Element Force for $57

The Tronsmart Element Force speaker is solid-looking. It's cuboid shape has a simple design, with soft rubber controls on top. The speaker is IPX7 waterproof so that it can be immersed in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes.

It has 2 x 20W speakers giving this device a massive sound with excellent bass. It has two 3300mAh batteries giving up to 15 hours of playtime at medium volume. Its dimensions are 8.03 x 2.51 x 3.14 inches, and it is quite a heavy speaker weighing 1.7 pounds.

You can also connect to this speaker using NFC. Like the Element T6 Plus, this speaker uses one key to activate the voice assistant such as Siri or Google Assistant. It also has an equalizer key to give three modes: 3D, extra bass, and standard sound. It is not the prettiest in the list in terms of looks, but if you want a perfect bass sound, the Element Force would be hard to beat.

Back to school Bluetooth speakers ZDNet

Tronsmart Element T6 Plus for $70

The Tronsmart Element T6 Plus Bluetooth speaker packs 40W across two speakers and deep bass into its compact cylindrical form. This speaker can be paired to get TWS with another T6 Plus. It supports hands-free voice calls and voice assistance using Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

This speaker is rated IPX6, which is splashproof -- not waterproof. Make sure this one never drops into the water. This 6600mAh battery will even deliver an emergency charge if your phone needs a top -p, and has a playing time of up to 15 hours. Its dimensions are 9.4 x 3.5 x 4.5 inches, and it weighs 2.2 pounds

I like the fact that it has one volume control knob on the top of the speaker, which also will invoke hands -ree calling and Alexa. it is a fabulous looking speaker -- but for rich bass  sound, I do prefer its sister, the Element Force

Back to school Bluetooth speakers ZDNet

Tribit XBoom for $70

The XBoom from Tribit certainly delivers superb bass. It is loud, with its 24W speakers are powered by 2 x 12W drivers with a 360-degree range of sound. Its Xbass feature gives the sound and extra bass kick, too.

It is IPX7-rated so that it can be immersed in water into 1m deep for up to 30 minutes. Its dimensions are 7.08 x 2.68 x 2.68, and it weighs 1.2 pounds. 

The Xboom also has mobile phone integration for hands-free calling, and you can also use voice commands with Alexa. It does not have a TWS feature, but the speakers can easily be daisy-chained. It delivers up to 20 hours battery, which is more than enough for your hectic lifestyle. I like the deep rich bass sound on this one -- and its long battery life.

Back to school Bluetooth speakers ZDNet

Tribit XSound Go for $33

The Tribit XSound Go Bluetooth speaker does not have the deep booming bass I like, but the dual 6W drivers give this speaker has a good range of sound for up to 24 hours at mid-volume. It is IPX7 waterproof so can stand immersion in water at up to 1m for up to 30 minutes.

It has mobile phone integration for call handling. Its dimensions are 6.7 x 2.2 x 2.3 inches, and it is the lightest of these speakers at 0.84 pounds. It works with Alexa Siri and Google Now, and I like its portability and compact shape, but I do prefer the sound of the XBoom.

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