Most Bluetooth speakers cost hundreds.
And some are even valued at $3400 per model.
At first, I thought audio companies just want to rip off their customers.
But throughout the years, as I continued to learn about Bluetooth speakers…
I discovered there are legit reasons for the heft price tags.
Continue reading to find out:
- 7 interesting reasons why Bluetooth speakers are so expensive.
- Which features make Bluetooth speakers as valuable as their price.
- How a Bluetooth speaker’s price affects its company’s customer service.
- And a lot more…
Why are Bluetooth speakers so expensive? 7 real reasons
#1: Battery quality
Most portable Bluetooth speakers can last 10-20 hours on a single charge.
And this is only possible because…
Companies include high-quality batteries in their audio devices.
Naturally, better materials are pricier in comparison to low-quality ones.
So, to ensure that they’re still making a profit despite spending more to build their products…
Speaker companies increase the prices of their Bluetooth audio devices.
JBL’s Bluetooth speaker, Flip 6, only costs $100.
On the other hand, the brand’s Charge 6 model costs $135.
Now, there are several differences between these 2 speakers…
However, the most obvious one is the battery quality of both devices.
See, the cheaper model lasts only 13 hours on a single charge.
And in comparison, the Charge 6 speaker can last for 20 hours.
Clearly, Bluetooth speakers are so expensive because they have long-lasting batteries.
#2: Thick and heavy cases
Compared to fully wired models…
Portable Bluetooth speakers are more prone to being:
So, to make their audio devices last longer…
Speaker brands usually use thicker and more durable cases for their Bluetooth speakers.
For example, instead of plastic, the company JBL uses:
But these sturdier materials aren’t just for protection.
See, if companies don’t use heavy cases…
Their audio devices will most likely vibrate when they’re playing.
Now, vibration negatively affects the sound quality of an audio device.
Plus, this also causes the speaker components to get loose over time.
So, to protect the lifespan and audio quality of their devices…
Audio brands use expensive yet durable materials for their speakers’ cases.
#3: Sound quality
Bluetooth speakers used to sound bad compared to wired models.
But now, most people can’t distinguish the audio quality of both speaker types.
That’s because decently-priced modern Bluetooth speakers have excellent sounds. Especially the models from reputable brands like:
This is all thanks to companies constantly improving their devices’ codec. Or the technology that compresses and decompresses audio data.
And drivers, the part that converts audio signals to audible sounds inside speakers.
But of course, Bluetooth audio devices with the best sound quality are also pricier.
For example, models that support the aptX HD codec are usually expensive.
That’s because they can handle 24-bit audio streaming. Which is better than the 16-bit setup most speakers have.
Note: Bit means bitrate, and it measures the amount of data from audio. So, the higher the bit value of a speaker, the better its sound quality.
Fun fact: Unlike iOS gadgets, Android devices support aptX HD codec.
#4: Smart home functionality
Most Bluetooth speakers aren’t just audio devices.
Because, like your phone, they can also make your life convenient by:
- Sending messages or calls.
- Setting schedules or alarms.
- Controlling your smart home devices.
Now, this is only possible because many Bluetooth speakers have these voice assistants:
- Amazon Alexa.
- Google Assistant.
So when you connect your audio device to your phone or PC…
You can also use your Bluetooth speakers to control other Smart gadgets nearby.
However, companies pay more to add voice assistants to their Bluetooth speakers.
That’s because they have to put a built-in microphone in their speakers.
Otherwise, the AI won’t be able to hear commands.
Of course, this increases the production cost of each speaker unit.
So, companies have no choice but to increase the prices of their products.
Moreover, these voice assistants…
Speaker brands also need an official partnership with Amazon or Google.
And this also adds to the total cost of developing Bluetooth speakers.
You might also want to know: Top 7 Alexa Compatible Bluetooth Speakers (Updated)
Speakers and water used to be mortal enemies.
But now, that’s not always the case.
See, most companies create Bluetooth speakers that are water-resistant.
So, you can freely enjoy your favorite playlist even when you’re in the middle of the pool.
“How do I know if my speakers are water resistant?”
The easiest way to check is to figure out the IP rating of your speakers.
Note: IP means International Protection or Ingress Protection. And you can find this in your device’s user manual or specs sheet.
Here’s an in-depth explanation of IP rating:
Note: Bluetooth speakers with an IPX3 rating or lower shouldn’t have any contact with water. That’s because they almost have no protection against liquid.
“Then which speakers can I use with water safely?”
Speakers with an IP rating of 6 or higher are safe to use while showering or swimming.
And if you’re interested in what the numerical value stands for…
Here’s a chart of what the IP ratings (4-8) of speakers mean
|IP rating||Level of protection against water|
|IPX4||Safe to use beside the pool as long as there aren’t too many splashes|
|IPX5||Protection against limited direct water sprays or contact|
|IPX6||Can be safely used during showers|
|IPX7||Immerse ]underwater (1 m deep) with no problems|
|IPX8||Can withstand staying deeper than 1 m underwater|
Pro tip: Avoid exposing speakers with IPX5 or lower to water. They may have some protection against liquid, but they’re still prone to water damage.
See, having a high IP rating is great. But more water-resistant speakers are pricier to make.
That’s why not all Bluetooth speaker models are waterproof.
So, to make speakers with high IP ratings, companies have to:
Add conformal coating
This is the component that protects the speakers’ circuit boards from:
- UV rays and corrosion.
- Extreme temperatures.
Companies use small particles to make waterproof coatings. Because they can easily fit inside the smallest gaps of a speaker.
Add superhydrophobic coating
This is another layer of protection against liquid and is usually made with:
- Zinc Oxide.
- Manganese Oxide.
This layer makes a speaker “waterproof.” Because it makes water slide off of your speakers upon contact.
Now, these fancy components make Bluetooth speakers’ production costs higher. That’s why these devices are so expensive.
You might also want to know: Can You Use JBL Speakers In The Shower? 3 Surprising Facts
#6: Added functionality
Most Bluetooth speakers link with other devices wirelessly.
But this doesn’t mean they can’t connect to your gadgets through the AUX cord. Because many Bluetooth speakers still have input ports.
However, to add more slots to their models, companies need more:
- Complex internal designs.
So, for this added functionality, brands charge you more for their Bluetooth speakers.
Moreover, many audio devices also have the multi-room use function.
And it’s a system where Bluetooth speakers can pair with each other. So, you can play the same music across different rooms.
See, this feature is also complicated to make.
Thus, Bluetooth speakers cost a lot.
#7: Customer support
You’re not just paying for the physical product when you buy Bluetooth speakers.
That’s because you’re also investing in the customer support of your device.
This includes a warranty period for your speakers (usually a year long).
Plus, the ability to contact the brand whenever you have problems with your product.
For example, it’s not a secret that Bose speakers are expensive.
They’re also popular for their top-tier customer support.
That’s because you can contact the brand’s professionals through:
- Chat or text.
- Their physical stores.
Now, in general, you’ll notice that pricier speaker brands are easier to contact. Plus, their support team usually has longer available hours.
And to prove this point, let me compare the customer support of Bose and Anker.
Note: Anker’s Bluetooth speakers generally cost less than $50. On the other hand, most Bose models cost more than $100.
That said, here’s a simple table to…
Compare the customer service quality of Bose and Anker
|Brand||Number of active days per week||Call support (hours active)||Live chat support (hours active)||Text support|
|Bose||6||9 AM to 9 PM||9 AM to 9 PM||9 AM to 9 PM|
|Anker||5||6 AM to 5 PM||9 AM to 5 PM||Not supported|
Clearly, Bose has longer operating hours.
And since they invest more money for the customer support of Bluetooth speakers…
They also charge more for each of their products.
Bonus: Physical design
Bluetooth speakers are expensive because companies carefully design them.
See, brands must plan out every detail of their products’ appearance.
This way, companies can include all important features. But they won’t ruin their speakers’ aesthetics.
Now, brands hire professional engineers and designers to achieve this feat.
And these key employees usually have skyrocketing fees.
So, to secure profit…
Audio companies also charge more for the final versions of their speakers.