The 10 Best Party Speakers

The evolution of Bluetooth speakers over recent years has been one of the more exciting technological developments, especially within the audio sphere. Party speakers is one of the areas where we’ve really seen a lot of progress, with some party speakers on the market now providing almost everything we got from traditional home stereo systems, as well as loads of additional features. We’ve carefully put together our list of what we believe are the best party speakers on the market these days.

Our Pick!

Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8 Bluetooth Party Speaker

Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8

The EXPEDITION 8 is the best party speaker for both indoor, outdoor or even in the pool!

Quick Pick – Our Awards!

1. Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8 Bluetooth Party Speaker

Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8 Bluetooth Party Speaker

If you’re looking to take your party into “beast mode” then there’s only one speaker for it, the Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8. The XPEDITION 8 actually has a BEAST MODE button so you know it’s legit.

Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8 Features

The XPEDITION 8 features 2 x 8” subwoofers with 3 x 1” tweeters delivering an impressive 420W of power output. This is the second loudest Bluetooth speaker we feature in this year’s best party speakers. The XPEDITION 8 also has a BEAST MODE button to give you added bass and volume. And believe me, it DOES! When in BEAST MODE, the XPEDITION 8 speaker drivers vibrate and, if you’re on a wooden floor, the ground is sure to vibrate as well. Big sound, big bass, very impressive.

The XPEDITION 8 has a linking feature so you can pair two XPEDITION 8 speakers together. This will give you a powerful stereo sound system delivering an earth shaking 840W of sound!

The XPEDITION 8 lights up in time to the music with strobes and 12 multi-colored LEDs. The strobes are located left and right of the speaker (or top and bottom when positioned upright) while the LEDs light up the speaker grille and drivers. The lighting effect is awesome, especially for night time parties.

The XPEDITION 8 is rated as “Everything-Proof”. With a heavy-duty plastic enclosure and waterproof rating (IP67) which allows the speaker to be submerged to a depth of 1m, the XPEDITION 8 certainly comes close. If you drop the XPEDITION 8 in water, the speaker will float upright with the music still playing. The speakers sit above the water so the sound can still be heard perfectly.

The XPEDITION 8 can be placed on the side or upright. Rubber feet are fitted to prevent the speaker from sliding or vibrating no matter the position you choose.

You have the choice of charging the EXPEDITION 8 via 110V socket power or, 12V DC from your vehicle. Great if you plan to that this party speaker tailgating There is a USB output for charging mobile devices. All these connections are located behind a watertight seal at the rear of the speaker.

The only input available on the XPEDITION 8 is Bluetooth. Pairing is easy and there is an NFC tag so you can instantly pair any NFC enabled device.

Altec Lansing XPEDITION 4

If you love the features on the XPEDITION 8 but it’s perhaps a little too big or out of your budget, there is the option of the XPEDITION 4. The XPEDITION 4 includes most of the same features (included BEAST MODE) but with two 4” speakers at a quarter the size of the XPEDITION 8. The EXPEDITION 4 can easily fit in a backpack and comes with a shoulder strap you can carry it easily. If you want a compact yet powerful party speaker, the XPEDITION 4 is an excellent choice.

What’s in the box?

  • Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8 Bluetooth Party Speaker
  • Power Cable
  • 12V DC Car Charger Cable

Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8 Conclusion

The EXPEDITION 8 is the best party speaker for both indoor, outdoor or even in the pool! At 25lbs it’s not considered lightweight but anyone should pick the speaker up and move it around. There are a total of three handles XPEDITION 8 so you can grab it from any corner. With lights and sound, the EXPEDITION 8 is perfect for all party occasions.

2. Aiwa Exos-9 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Aiwa Exos-9 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

The Aiwa Exos-9 is one of the best Bluetooth party speakers on the market. Aiwa is so confident in the Exos-9 they offer a 60-day, risk-free satisfaction guarantee or your money back (Aiwa even pay return shipping) when you purchase from Amazon. Big sound, a battery so you can take the Exos-9 anywhere and easy connectivity.

Aiwa Exos-9 Features

The Aiwa Exos-9 is one of the most powerful Bluetooth speakers we feature in this article. With a total of six speaker drivers, the Exos-9 delivers 200W of power output and around 100dB of sound. More than enough to get the party started.

If that isn’t enough power, you can wirelessly link two Exos-9 speakers together to give yourself a powerful 400W stereo PA system. The Exos-9 speaker linking is more than just your basic speaker link. Once paired, you can choose to have the two speakers work as a left/right PA system or, two independent speakers each with their own internal stereo routing. Why is this useful?

If you having a BBQ with people inside and outside, you can have one Exos-9 playing music inside and the other outside with the same music and audio quality. If you want both speakers in the same place, you can set them up as a left/right stereo PA system for double the sound.

The Exos-9 features a 6.5” bass driver in the center of the speaker with a bass reflex port out the rear for improved bass performance. To produce a stereo sound, the Exos-9 includes  2 x 3” mid-range drivers and 2 x 1” tweeters.

The Exos-9 comes with 4 pre-programmed equalizer presets suited to specific genres of music. The internal 5-band graphic EQ can be manually adjusted giving you the control to tailor the speaker’s sound to meet your sound preference.

Inputs on the Exos-9 include Bluetooth and a ⅛ inch AUX. Bluetooth is simple and quick to pair with an NFC sensor for instant pairing with NFC enabled devices. The Exos-9 has a Bluetooth locking feature so you can lock a single device to the speaker. This prevents other devices connecting to the Exos-9. A great feature if you have “that one friend” with terrible music tastes.

There is a USB output on the rear so you can charge your phone, tablet or iPod. This is great if you’re camping or away from socket power and need to charge your device. Just keep in mind this will reduce the battery life of the Exos-9.

The battery life on the Exos-9 gives you around 9 hours. This is continuous play at 85dB or less. There is also a battery saving mode which disables the 6.5” subwoofer giving you an extra 20% of battery life. Even with the subwoofer off, the Exos-9 still sounds great. You can purchase extra battery packs from the Aiwa website. This would obviously give you more battery life. A great idea if you plan to use this party speaker in exotic locations away from power.

At 13lbs the Aiwa Exos-9 is lightweight making it easy to carry. There is a handle on the back of the speaker so you can easily pick the Exos-9 up and move it about.

What’s in the box?

  • Aiwa Exos-9
  • Removable Battery
  • Power Cable
  • ⅛ inch AUX cable

Awia Exos-9 Conclusion

The Aiwa Exos-9 is a great Bluetooth party speaker with enough power for a party in the house or around the BBQ. The speaker is lightweight and easy to move around making it suitable for trips to the lake, camping, and other outdoor activities. It’s a little bulky to carry so you wouldn’t want to walk long distances with the Exos-9.

3. Sony GTK-XB7 Bluetooth Party Speaker

Sony GTK-XB7 Bluetooth Party Speaker

Sony has taken the Bluetooth Party Speaker to another level with the release of the GTK-XB7. This is a party speaker on steroids with so many cool party features. With lights, controlled by a remote control and app plus big sound, the GTK-XB7 is a disco in-a-box.

Sony GTK-XB7 Features

At 470W the Sony GTK-XB7 is an absolute beast of a Bluetooth party speaker. This massive power is produced by 2 x 6” subwoofers and 3 x 2” tweeters. The sensitivity is unspecified but at a guess, I’d say the GTK-XB7 can easily push out a little over 100dB. If that’s not enough power, you can daisy-chain multiple XB7 speakers together to essentially build a PA system. We’ll get to this in a bit…

What’s a party without lights? The XB7 has you covered. There are strobes left and right of the speaker, an LED strip going around the edge of the grille and the drivers also light up all in time to the music. The lights can be switched between RAVE and CHILL mode via the XB7 remote control. In RAVE mode obviously being the party mode and CHILL a more relaxing lighting effect. You can make color adjustments via the SongPal app. As I said, disco in a box.

The SongPal app also allows you to access DJ effects and EQ settings. One of the best SongPal app features is the ability to access playlists and tracks from a USB device inserted in the XB7. Most Bluetooth speakers with USB only allow you to play/pause or skip tracks so the fact you can access the playlists on XB7 via the SongPal app is a game changer.

The XB7 allows for 3 inputs, Bluetooth, RCA, and USB. You can select your input using the FUNCTION button on the top of the XB7 which doubles as the Bluetooth pairing button. The remote control also allows switching between inputs with a button for each input. Those with NFC enabled devices can pair instantly by tapping the NFC sensor on top of the speaker.

One of the most exciting buttons is the EXTRA BASS which enables a bass boost. Usually, a bass boost button overpowers the sound and in some cases leads to distortion. Not with the XB7. With EXTRA BASS enabled the XB7 delivers a deep, thumping bass which, if you stand in front of the speaker, can feel hit you in the chest. It’s a jaw-dropping experience the first time you hear it. I can’t imagine what more than one of these XB7 party speakers would sound like daisy-chained together.

Rubber stoppers on the underside and at the bottom when the XB7 is upright means you can position the speaker to best suit your needs. When stood upright, there is a slot on top of the speaker behind the control panel. This slot is big enough for a phone or iPad to stand upright so you can easily see what’s playing and operate the device. Almost like a jukebox.

Unfortunately, the XB7 is not battery operated so you will need the power to run the speaker. As the XB7 is so impressive in other areas, I’d consider this a minor downside.

Another thing to keep in mind, the XB7 has no water or weatherproofing so you want to keep the speaker away from the elements. You can use the XB7 outside, just be careful of any moisture, dust, and other debris.

What’s in the box?

  • Sony GTK-XB7 Bluetooth Party Speaker
  • Remote control with batteries (AAA)
  • Power Cable

Sony GTK-XB7 Conclusion

The Sony GTK-XB7 is more than just a party speaker. With RCA inputs, the XB7 can be used as a speaker for your TV, a stereo system in the living room, and then a party speaker too. If you have more than one or, your friend has an XB7, daisy-chain together for a bigger system at your next party. The XB7 looks cool and sounds amazing. One of the best party speakers on the market!

4. ION Audio Tailgater Wireless Speaker (iPA77)

ION Audio Tailgater Wireless Speaker (iPA77)

Looking to get mobile with your party speaker? ION Audio is one of the leaders when it comes to loud Bluetooth speakers. The ION Audio Wireless Speaker System iPA77 can do it all from music to karaoke and even rap battles. The Tailgater has a long battery life to keep the party going all weekend (almost) without charging.

ION Audio Tailgater Features

With 50-hour battery life, the Tailgater is the best Bluetooth party speaker to take out on the road with you. The battery doesn’t just run the Tailgater but allows you to charge devices via a USB power bank. A recessed tray on top of the speaker lets you place any phone or device on top of the Tailgater without worrying about it falling off.

If karaoke is one of your reasons for purchasing a party speaker then the Tailgater has got you covered. The speaker comes with a cable microphone to go into the Tailgater’s ¼ inch input. There is a separate volume control for the microphone so you can get a balance of music and vocals. Useful if you plan to use the Tailgater for rapping or singing with backing tracks.

Other inputs include ⅛ inch AUX and Bluetooth. Bluetooth is pairing is simple and once paired you can control play/pause and skip tracks on the Tailgater’s control panel. Those with NFC devices can tap the NFC sensor for instant pairing.

The tailgater also features an AM/FM radio with an antenna so you can tune into your favorite radio station.

ION Audio Tailgater Flash

If you’re looking for some lights to go with your party speaker, ION Audio also has the Tailgater Flash. The Flash is identical to the standard Tailgater except you have an LED light panel behind the speaker grille which covers the entire speaker. The lights are multicolored and a button on the control panel allows you to select one of the many display options. The lights pulse and change in time to the music. The LED lights are not too bright so they are only effective when it’s dark.

ION Audio Tailgater Express

Another ION Audio alternative is the Tailgater Express. The Tailgater Express is a miniature version of the standard tailgater weighing in at 5.8lbs compared to the standard Tailgater’s 16.3lbs. The Express produces less than half the power of the standard Tailgater at 20W with a battery life of 30-hours which is still pretty impressive. One feature the Express has over the standard Tailgater is it carries a waterproof rating of IPX4 (protected from splashes).

What’s in the box?

  • ION Audio Tailgater (iPA77)
  • Microphone with mic cable
  • ⅛ inch AUX cable
  • Power Cable

ION Audio Tailgater Conclusion

The Tailgater is one of ION Audio’s best party speakers. With multiple input options, a microphone, and built-in AM/FM radio, there isn’t a party occasion the tailgater isn’t suited for. The Tailgater is not just a party speaker. If you’re a little league coach, dance instructor, or just like yelling into a microphone, the speaker can also be used as a mini PA system.

5. SOUNDBOKS 2 Bluetooth Party Speaker

SOUNDBOKS 2 Bluetooth Party Speaker

SOUNDBOKS 2 is the upgrade from the original SOUNDBOKS, the most badass, powerful Bluetooth speaker on the market. The SOUNDBOKS 2 is built tough with the ability to survive some extreme weather conditions.

SOUNDBOKS 2 Features

SOUNDBOKS 2 is the most powerful portable speaker one the market at the moment. This impressive speaker features 2 x 10” subwoofers which are bigger than most portable speakers available. There is also a 1” tweeter for the high-end. SOUNDBOKS produces 216W of power and delivers a whopping 122dB of sound. Stand too close and you will go deaf! It’s that loud.

At 33lbs the SOUNDBOKS 2 is heavier than your average Bluetooth party speaker. There are two large handles on either side so two people can carry the speaker easily. If you plan to take the SOUNDBOKS on a bit of a walk, you can purchase a specially designed backpack from the SOUNDBOKS website.

You can quite literally take the SOUNDBOKS 2 just about anywhere, even with the harshest weather conditions. The speaker is rated to operate in temperatures from -4F to 122F!

The SOUNDBOKS 2 comes with a military grade battery. Now, I have no idea what that means, but for a party speaker, it sounds really cool. The battery last 40 hours and you can purchase additional batteries from the SOUNDBOKS website. This is great if you’re going away for the weekend and need the extra power. The battery can fully recharge in 3 hours and can be removed to charge separately. A 5-bar battery meter on the side shows the remaining battery life.

The control panel on the SOUNDBOKS 2 is one of the most simple we have seen. There is a volume control (which goes to 11) and a rotary knob to select between an indoor or outdoor sound profile.

What’s in the box?

  • Removable Battery
  • Power Cable

SOUNDBOKS 2 Conclusion

The SOUNDBOKS 2 is one of those speakers which brings the party to you. The big sound is sure to draw a crowd. Just don’t be surprised if you get a few complaints! If you want to make noise without bothering the neighbors, take the SOUNDBOKS 2 to the beach, desert, or forest where the 40-hour battery will keep the party going all weekend!

6. Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Bluetooth Speaker

SOUNDBOKS 2 is the upgrade from the original SOUNDBOKS, the most badass, powerful Bluetooth speaker on the market. The SOUNDBOKS 2 is built tough with the ability to survive some extreme weather conditions.

Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Features

The UE BOOM 2 features 90dB of 360° sound from a 7.1” Bluetooth party speaker. The BOOM 2 might not win any awards for being the most powerful party speaker but, still packs enough punch to get the vibe going. You can link two UE BOOM 2 speakers together to give yourself a mini PA system and a bigger sound.

UE has an awesome app which works with all their Bluetooth speakers. The UE app allows you to pair another UE device, choose from one of the several pre-programmed EQ presets or adjust yours on EQ settings on the 5-band graphic equalizer. You can also set an alarm through the UE app which will wake you up with music. Such an awesome feature.

Another great feature is the “tap”. If you tap the BOOM 2 on top of the speaker once it will play or pause a track. Tap twice and you’ll skip forward a track. The tap feature will only work when you are holding the BOOM 2. You won’t get this functionality when the speaker is on a table or other surface.

The UE BOOM 2 features Bluetooth and ⅛ inch AUX for inputs. The Bluetooth is simple and fast to pair and, if you have an NFC device, can tap to pair instantly. The BOOM 2 also allows for multiple hosting so you can have more than one Bluetooth device paired at the same time.

The BOOM 2 has a built-in microphone with a speakerphone feature. The speakerphone is compatible with voice commands for Siri or Google Now.

The UE BOOM 2 is waterproof (IPX7) and can be submerged to a depth of 1m. You can also drop the BOOM 2 in the mud, hose it off and it’ll still operate as normal, even while still playing music.

Ultimate Ears are renowned for their minimalist, modern design and the BOOM 2 is no different. The speaker is covered in an acoustic woven material and features a large + and – on a rubber spine. The BOOM 2 is available in 9 stylish colors.

Ultimate Ears UE MEGABOOM

If you like the BOOM 2 but looking for some more power, you have the option of the UE MEGABOOM. The MEGABOOM looks identical to the BOOM 2 except that it’s 8.9” long and 3.3” thick compared to the BOOM 2 at 7.1” and 2.6”. The MEGABOOM is also significantly louder and produces a deeper bass sound when compared to the BOOM 2.

What’s in the box?

  • Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Bluetooth Speaker
  • USB Power Cable with USB Plug Adaptor

Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Conclusion

The BOOM 2 is one of those party speakers you can take anywhere. You could even place it on an inflatable in the pool for a pool party and not worry about the speaker getting wet. There is a clip on the underside of the BOOM 2 so you can attach it to a backpack to take on a walk. If you are walking with a group of friends, this is great, the party goes with you. The BOOM 2 retails for around $130 making it an affordable Bluetooth party speaker.

7. Alphasonik 15″ Party Speaker System (AKDJ155BTS)

Alphasonik 15" Party Speaker System (AKDJ155BTS)

If karaoke is your party method of choice, then the 15” BTS speaker system from Alphasonik is the way to go. The system comes with everything you need for a karaoke party including speakers, stands, and a microphone.

Alphasonik 15″ BTS Features

Alphasonik market the 15” BTS as a 2800W speaker. This is a little naughty and misleading as this is the speaker’s program output or P.M.P.O. This rating has no relevance to the power out of the speaker. The actual output is about 100W per speaker which is still respectable. The speaker comes with a with stand, microphone and cables. Good value for money.

The BTS system is made for karaoke. There are two microphone channels, each with its own XLR input and volume control. Each channel can take more than one input with a first channel allowing for a ¼ inch input and the second a ⅛ inch AUX or RCA input. You can only use one input per channel at one time, but the options are there. The BTS is also Bluetooth enabled with a separate volume control for the Bluetooth channel. There is a built-in FM radio and the speaker can take a USB or SD card. Many input and music options.

There is a control panel on the back of the speaker which allows you to control any paired Bluetooth device. You can also use the remote control to play/pause, skip through tracks, and control the volume.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Alphasonik 15″ BTS with Power Adaptor
  • 1 x Speaker Stand
  • 1 x Microphone + Cable
  • Remote Control

Alphasonik 15″ BTS Conclusion

The BTS system is a party in a box. The complete system includes a 15” speaker with speaker stand and necessary cables, a microphone plus cable, and remote control. I would only recommend the BTS system as a karaoke system for a bit of fun. This is a cheap speaker and not capable of massive sound. We have included the Alphasonik 15” BTS system as a cheap alternative if you are on a tight budget.

8. Sylvania Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Sylvania Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Looking for a cheap Bluetooth party speaker? The Sylvania Portable Bluetooth Speaker is a mini HiFi with some cool looks and enough sound to get any small gathering up and dancing. The Sylvania is ultra-compact, lightweight with a handle on the top so you can take it anywhere.

Sylvania Portable Bluetooth Speaker Features

The Sylvania is one of the best cheap speakers around. The two 4” speakers put out 6W which doesn’t sound like much but trust me, this little speaker makes some noise. It’s not the most powerful Bluetooth speaker, but enough for you and a few friends to chill and listen to some background music.

The Sylvania looks like a miniature old school HiFi complete with large silver knobs and plastic speaker grille. The silver knobs control bass and treble and there is a separate control for the volume. The speaker drivers are back-lit and illuminate blue when the Sylvania is turned on. The Sylvania’s style takes you back to the 90s for sure.

The Sylvania allows for Bluetooth and ⅛ inch AUX input. Bluetooth is quick and easy to pair. On the front panel, you can control any paired Bluetooth device with play/pause, volume and skip/search. There is also a mode button to switch between Bluetooth and AUX.

The built-in rechargeable battery will last around 5 hours fully charged. There is a USB output so you can charge any mobile devices straight from the Sylvania.

What’s in the box?

  • Sylvania Portable Bluetooth Speaker
  • USB Charging Cable (USB Adaptor Not Included)
  • ⅛ Inch AUX Cable

Sylvania Portable Bluetooth Speaker Conclusion

The Sylvania is small, lightweight, and at under $30, is the cheapest Bluetooth party speaker we’ve found. This speaker certainly isn’t the loudest but does a good job at a reasonable price. The Sylvania is perfect for small a get-together where you don’t need big sound.

9. Rockville RPG122K Party Sound System

Rockville RPG122K Party Sound System

If you need a sound system to use for DJs, karaoke nights, or even a singer with acoustic guitar, the Rockville RPG122K is an affordable choice. The Rockville RPG122K comes as a complete package with two speakers, stands, cables, and a microphone.

Rockville RPG122K Features

The Rockville RPG122K is a proper PA system with 2 x 12” speakers delivered a combined 500W RMS and 1000W Peak. This is definitely enough sound to disturb the neighbors. Each speaker comes with its own speaker stand, however, the speaker cabinet design allows for placement on the speaker’s side if need. This could be for an on-stage monitor for example. The primary RPG122K is an active speaker with a built-in amplifier to power both speakers. A speaker cable is provided to connect the two speakers.

The RPG122K allows for multiple inputs across 3 separate channels, each with its own volume control. Channels 1 & 2 give you the option of XLR for microphones or ¼ inch jack for instruments and microphones. The third channel can take RCA in. The volume control for the third channel also controls the SD/USB and Bluetooth inputs. Obviously, only one of these inputs on the third channel can be used at a time. Lastly, there is a separate master volume as well as bass and treble control.

A paired Bluetooth device can be controlled via the onboard Bluetooth control panel. The control panel also allows you to switch between the 5 pre-programmed EQ presets Pop, Rock, Jazz, Classic, Country, and Normal. The built-in FM radio frequency is displayed on the speaker’s LED display. You can save up to six FM stations on the RPG122K.  All the same, controls can be accessed via the RPG122K remote control including 6 buttons for your FM stations.

What’s in the box?

  • 2 x Rockville RPG122K Speakers (1 x Active + 1 x Passive with Speaker Cable)
  • 2 x Speaker Stands
  • 1 x Microphone plus Cable
  • 1 x ¼ Inch Instrument Cable
  • Remote Control

Rockville RPG122K Conclusion

The RPG122K sound system is great for those looking for a party speaker system for a bit of everything. With the two mic/line channels, you could even have a one-man-band with a microphone and guitar. The RPG122K is also great for DJs, karaoke, or just a party with a playlist on your phone.

How We Compiled Our List

I wanted to give you a quick breakdown of the points we took into consideration when compiling our choices for the best party speakers. , as we’ve seen other online sources simply gather a list of top-selling products and brand them as party speakers. The reality is that there are very specific features that we wanted to look for in a speaker before determining that it is the best option for a party environment.


We didn’t want to simply provide a list of high-end devices that fall outside of the average consumer’s budget. So while we didn’t shy away from expensive and high-quality party speakers, we also included some more moderately priced options which still perform to a level that we feel comfortable recommending. When it comes to party speakers, in particular, having a larger budget is going to afford you some benefits over the more affordable options.

Power / Volume

The term party is a bit subjective, what one person considers a party another may consider a small social gathering. Nonetheless, we believe that volume is important when choosing a party speaker. Our list focuses primarily on loud party speakers that are able to cater for gatherings of more than 50 people. That said, we have also included a few options for those who prefer their parties a little more tranquil, and perhaps aren’t looking for the loudest speaker available, for that you can take a look at our loudest Bluetooth speakers list.


We consider portability to be an important trait of a good party speaker. While some speakers on our list may not be the lightest products out there, they are still easy enough to carry between locations with relative ease. Having this versatility ensures that your party speaker can be taken to your friend’s BBQ or moved easily between different rooms of your home.


While waterproofing is not a must-have on every party speaker, if you plan to use the speaker a lot outdoors it’s something very important to have. In turn, we’ve included speakers that all offer some form of waterproofing. IPX4 can be found on most party speakers and should do the trick for typical use as it will allow for protection from light rain without a problem.

If you like to have your party speaker placed close to your pool or down at the lake, we recommend being a bit more strict in your waterproof rating. An IPX7 device will protect from water submersion, while an IP67 rating will also protect from dust in addition to submersion.

Battery Life

Previously, the battery life in party speakers was not great. In recent years manufacturers have made significant improvements to Lithium-ion technology resulting in incredible battery life in portable Bluetooth speakers.

We excluded speakers which didn’t offer what we deem to be a reasonable amount of battery life for a party speaker. Of course, battery life isn’t always that important if you tend to host parties in the same area of the house where they can remain plugged into a power source.

Lighting Effects

Light effects are often thought of as gimmicky and in some cases even tacky, but when it comes to the best party speakers on the market, you’ll find that it is somewhat of a core feature. We agree, that the last thing you want next to your wood-finished vinyl player is some RGB speaker lights, but in a party environment, the inclusion of LED lighting effects can add a whole lot of value to the atmosphere, especially when pulsing to the beat of the music. We have primarily selected products that offer some form of LED lighting effects.

Sound Quality

Different from the volume, sound quality is determined by how good a speaker sounds in terms of its frequency response and clarity. It’s easy to find speakers that are loud, but lack in audio integrity and also to find speakers that have great audio quality, but don’t have the required volume.

We’ve selected products that find the balance between these two aspects. Of course, if we solely focused on audio quality we’d only have high-end products which remain unaffordable for most. So we’ve carefully attempted to find that balance between affordability and sound quality, while we have also selected a couple of products that while on the pricier side, justify their price with higher audio integrity.

Understanding Party Speakers

What is power vs volume?

Power is displayed as watts (W) and represents how much power the speaker uses. This value has a relation to volume, which is measured in decibels (dB), but there is no direct conversion from one to another. A speaker that is efficiently constructed is able to provide more volume at a lower wattage.

We recommend paying more attention to the dB than to the wattage. Speakers that tend to have louder volume will more traditionally advertise the dB performance, while cheaper brands with less efficient designs may opt to push the output as the most valuable metric in suggesting volume.

Why doesn’t my Bluetooth performance match the manufacturer’s rating?

Bluetooth is a wireless technology and therefore can vary depending on many circumstances. This is why you’ll often see a Bluetooth rated as up to 100ft for example. This distance is usually tested where there is a direct line of sight like an open field with no obstructions. Trees, walls, people, or any physical object can have an influence on a Bluetooth connection. If you are too close to a cell phone tower, power plant, or other energy-producing device or structure, Bluetooth can be severely affected. The more expensive Bluetooth speakers will have better Bluetooth transmitters and will, therefore, outperform cheaper ones.

I recommend doing a controlled test out in the garden with a clear line of sight in order to get a better idea of how your Bluetooth is performing. There are occasionally defects in products that can cause the Bluetooth coverage to be less than advertised. If your line of sight tests are still not what you expect, reaching out to the manufacturer can be beneficial.

Why doesn’t my battery last as long as the manufacturer’s rating?

Battery life on party speakers is getting more and more impressive every year. With that, manufacturers are adding more features that run down battery life quicker. Battery life ratings vary from speaker to speaker, however, most manufacturers base battery life on running the speaker at around 60-75% volume or less. The closer you get to full volume, the quicker your battery will run down. This is because the speaker’s amplifier is working harder which requires more energy from the battery.

For example, if you drive a vehicle at 50 miles per hour, you will drive for a lot longer, likely further, than if you drive at 80 or 100 miles an hour. This is because at higher speeds you run the vehicle at higher revs which guzzles gas faster. The same principle applies to battery-powered speakers.

You also need to take into consideration features like the speakers lights, bass boost, charging devices from the USB output, and using Bluetooth over an AUX cable. All these factors influence how quickly your speaker battery is used up.

When your battery is running low, turn the volume down to around 50-60%, turn off the lights and use the AUX cable. This will save power and prolong your battery life.

I think my speaker is blown, how can I tell for sure?

With bass boost features and Bluetooth speakers able to produce excessive levels, speakers tend to blow. Unfortunately, with cheaper models, you’ll have to purchase a whole new unit. The speaker cabinets are fixed closed and cannot be opened without breaking the enclosure. High-end manufacturers can change the speaker driver but you will usually have to check the speaker into a service center to be fixed.

If your tweeter is blown you won’t hear any high frequencies. The speaker will sound dull with less vocal clarity than before. If you blow a woofer, it may still produce some bass but will distort or even vibrate unnaturally, even when music is played at lower volumes. If the bass driver is blown completely you won’t hear anything at all.

If you have a 3-way system, so subwoofer, mid-range, and tweeter, it can be harder to tell. At first, something will sound off but you might not figure it out straight away. Vocals won’t have any bass notes in them, almost like what a cheap car stereo system sounds like, loads of treble.

Party Like a Pro – Some Top Tips!

We’ve put together some top tips to help not only get the most out of your party speakers but your party vibe too.

Tip 1 – Make Sure it’s Charged

The battery lives on party speakers are getting longer and longer which often leads us to forget to charge them up. Even if you’re having a party where there is socket power, make sure the battery is fully charged. Should the power go down or, you want to move things to another location, you can keep the party going. If your portable speaker allows you to swap out the battery, purchase extra batteries from the manufacturer so you’re already ready to go.

Tip 2 – Don’t Over Do It

Speakers have limitations and we tend to push our party speakers to the max. This can damage your speaker which means the party is over early. Running a speaker at 80% is less likely to cause damage than running at 100% all night. If you’re having a big party, make sure you have some big speakers. Having something powerful like the SOUNDBOKS 2 is great for big parties but you could also consider the Sony XB7, Aiwa Exos-9 or Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8. All of these speakers have a link option so you can double up on sound. It can be expensive to purchase two speakers so get a buddy to purchase the same model then you can throw bigger parties together.

Tip 3 – Waterproof Does Not Mean Invincible

I’ve read so many comments from people who have purchased waterproof speakers like the XPEDITION 8 or UE BOOM 2 who complain their speakers no longer work after too much water exposure. While these products to have good waterproof ratings, they’re electronics devices, they don’t belong in the water.

The waterproof feature is there to protect the speaker, not take it into new frontiers. Of course, the manufacturer will use pictures of the speaker in a pool or the surf. This is to sell more product. These are for marketing purposes, not usage recommendations. Keep the speakers out the pool and DEFINITELY out of the sea.

Tip 4 – Make More Playlists

Playlists are like digital DJs keeping the party going without having to pay someone. The downside is, as the night goes on, people get a little tipsy and the party needs to go in a new direction. The quickest way to change gear is having the right playlist ready to go. When your friends start asking for more of a certain genre, you just start the new playlist. Create different playlists for genre, year, generation (80s, 90s, etc) and maybe even a mood like chill, acoustic, upbeat, dance and beast mode. Let your party speakers do the work while you have fun with your friends.

Tip 5 – Bluetooth Locking

There is nothing more annoying the Bluetooth take over. There’s always that one girl or guy who must play a track from some new lame indie band. If you have this problem, get a Bluetooth speaker with Bluetooth locking. The Aiwa Exos-9 allows you to lock your the speaker to your Bluetooth device so no other device can be paired. Great for parties where you don’t want people messing with the Bluetooth speaker or taking over.

Our Pick!

Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8 Bluetooth Party Speaker

Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8

The EXPEDITION 8 is the best party speaker for both indoor, outdoor or even in the pool!

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Audiostance Author - Matt Hallowes
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Matt is a sound engineer and self-confessed vinyl-junkie! His work as a sound engineer includes both live production and venue installations. While traveling the world, Matt shares his knowledge and expertise with us!

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