The Best Party Speakers

So you’re looking for the best party speaker currently on the market? We’ve got everything you need to know to make an informed decision right here. The first thing to consider is what type of speaker you are looking for. Bluetooth party speakers come in all shapes and sizes, but we’ve broken our list down into three categories: Portable party speakers, large & loud party speakers, and finally, outdoor party speakers.

Our Pick!

Sony SRS-XP700

The Sony XP700 is the full package, an attractive speaker with enough lighting effects for any party, as well as excellent sound quality.

Our Top Choices


Best Portable Party Speaker

The Sony SRS-XP700 offers everything that we look for in a party speaker. The audio quality is excellent as is the volumes that the XP700 can be cranked up to. The lighting effects are a nice addition and something that really makes it shine (no pun intended) as a party speaker. Do note that while the XP700 is portable, it’s a heavy and fairly large speaker that could arguably also fit in our large & loud selections.

Loudest Party Speaker

The Soundboks 3 is an absolute monster that doesn’t need any fancy lighting to dominate a party. Instead, the Soundboks 3 brings a massive 126dB of volume, as well as high quality sound that is enough to rock any party. The Soundboks 3 isn’t the most portable, despite its relatively moderate weight but can still be moved between venues without much effort.

Most Rugged Party Speaker

The newly released Turtlebox Gen 2 is the ultimate outdoors party speaker. Rugged enough to be tossed into your kayak, boat or jeep. Despite the window-rattling volume levels that it brings to the party, it’s also small and light enough to carry around with you. If you’re not about the lights and ambiance and instead prefer a speaker that can take a knock, this IP67-rated speaker is the one for you.

The Best Lighting Effects

The PartyBox Encore Essential is specially designed as a party speaker. This cubed design brings the volume needed for a small house party and offers some more impressive lighting effects that will sync with your music. Just note that there is a trade-off with lighting effects, which impacts the overall battery life.

Our Budget Choice

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better party speaker on a budget than the Soundcore Trance from Anker. The Trance costs a fraction of some of the competitors on this list but still manages to support small to moderate-sized house parties with ease. The inclusion of IPX7 waterproofing in conjunction with the speaker’s lighting effects speaks to its versatility too.

Our selection of the best portable party speakers is made up of speakers which allow for relatively easy transportation and can be carried to events or BBQs without too much trouble. These options are still extremely loud but fall short of our ‘large and loud’ selection.

For our large and loud party speakers selections, we went with products that offered a whole lot of volume but weren’t particularly the most portable of speakers. While you can still carry these around, the increase in weight or awkward dimensions may make transportation slightly more challenging.

Finally, we’ve put together our top choices for the best outdoor party speakers. For these selections, we’ve chosen speakers that could fit into the category of portable party speakers but have a focus on added portability as well as weather-proofing. We believe the best outdoor party speakers are the most rugged ones, with lighting effects taking a back seat.

The Best Portable Party Speakers

Our selection of the best portable party speakers. These products are selected based primarily on how much they can offer while still being considered portable. We’ve also got a list on the loudest portable Bluetooth speakers if you’re not too concerned about lighting effects.

The Sony SRS-XP700 is the ultimate all-around party speaker

The Sony SRS-XP700 Bluetooth speaker is loud, portable, and packs loads of party-friends features. Louder, stronger, and more versatile than the previous model, the XP500. 

Housed in an easily transportable and eye-catching enclosure, the SRS-XP700 Sony Bluetooth speaker can withstand some gentle splashes and sounds great indoors and out. The speaker can be placed in an upright or horizontal position, while the onboard adaptive equalizer analyzes the speaker’s surroundings to provide consistent sound quality and characteristics wherever you are. 

As for output levels, the Sony SRS-XP700 at maximum volume reaches an average reading of 99dB- enough to power a medium-sized house party with people talking over the music. More importantly, the sound quality remains tight, clear, and punchy at all volume levels, where some encounter distortion territories. 

Supporting Bluetooth, USB, microphone, and guitar inputs, the SRS-XP700 will entertain your guests for up to 25 hours on a single charge, and a 10-minute recharge will provide 3 hours of entertainment should you find your party going a little longer than expected. Sony’s Fiestable App gives you control over the speaker’s built-in mesmerizing lighting show, as well as other functionality including playlist building and custom equalization. 


The Ultimate Ears Hyperboom is a discreet, classy, and highly portable party speaker

The Ultimate Ears Hyperboom is rather subtle compared to most of the other Bluetooth party speakers on this list as it excludes the flashing lights, karaoke modes, and other party-focused features, but rather draws attention to its sound quality and elegant design. 

Shaped like a cube, the Ultimate Ears Hyperboom can be set up anywhere and sounds great in all directions. The adaptive equalization function helps the UE Hyperboom speaker produce high-quality sound in any setting, analyzing its surroundings and tweaking the sound signature to suit the obstacles around it, eliminating unwanted reflections and resonances. 

Thanks to this feature and high-quality materials and DSP, the Ultimate Ears Hyperboom is one of our favorite-sounding portable Bluetooth speakers. Volume-wise, the Hyperboom can reach reasonably powerful output levels, enough to power a small to medium-sized house party and the Hyperboom retains its punchy, full-bodied sound at all listening levels.  

As for additional features, the Ultimate Ears Hyperboom is splash-proof, and the onboard battery can provide up to 24 hours of playtime. The Hyperboom is reasonably lightweight considering its size and can easily be taken wherever the party takes you. 

While it excludes the fun, interactive party features, the UE Hyperboom is a reliable, powerful, portable, and great-sounding Bluetooth speaker that can be enjoyed in many scenarios. If you’re after something a little more interactive, I’d suggest reading further and taking a look at some of our other party-friendly options.    


JBL’s PartyBox Encore Essential offers great lighting effects

JBL’s PartyBox Encore Essential can be described as a portable version of the popular, powerful PartyBox speakers, which vary in size from larger tabletop speakers to colossal speaker towers. 

The PartyBox Encore Essential packs all of JBL’s classic PartyBox features in a smaller enclosure that can easily be carried around with you or stationed in your trunk. Protected by an IPX4 weather-resistance rating, the PartyBox Encore Essential can resist splashes from the pool or spilled drinks; other than this, I wouldn’t recommend using it in seriously threatening environments. 

One of the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential’s main selling points is the interactive light show, which pulses to the beat of your music and can be deactivated if you prefer. JBL’s signature sound characteristics are present here, bringing on thumping low-end, with the option to further enhance it using the bass boost function while maintaining the high-end clarity and midrange depth. The Partybox Encore Essential can also get reasonably loud, I’d say loud enough to power a medium-sized party, and the battery life is as reliable as always when it comes to JBL speakers.

For a party-focused speaker, I would have liked to see a speaker mounting option, like the other PartyBox speakers, especially since it is smaller. The PartyBox Encore Essential doesn’t have a hard time being heard, and projects sound powerful and retain clarity at higher listening levels.

The only concern with the PartyBox Encore Essential is the battery life. If you’re going to be hosting parties from home and can have it plugged in, this isn’t a problem with just 6 hours of battery life you may find yourself needing to plug it in to charge before your party is over.

The Best Large & Loud Party Speakers

These speakers aren’t as versatile as the portable selections above, but what they lack in ease of carrying, they make up for in massive sound and overall audio quality. These are the speakers you want to look at when hosting a larger party. We also recommend looking at our list of the loudest Bluetooth speakers if volume is what you’re after.

The Soundboks 3 tops the charts with 126dB of volume

The New SOUNDBOKS – Loudest Bluetooth Speaker

One of the largest, most powerful, and most impressive Bluetooth speakers on the market is the 3rd generation Soundboks. While it isn’t easily transportable, the monstrous volume levels make up for this. 

Built to resemble a PA speaker or bass amplifier, the Soundboks 3 is no joke of a Bluetooth speaker, and weighing just over 30 pounds, you’ll need a friend to help you carry this one! Pumping sound in one direction through 2 x 10-inch woofers and a 1-inch tweeter, the Soundboks 3 can get incredibly loud and sounds great even when the volume levels are maxed. If you’re having a larger party, up to 5 Soundboks speakers can be paired together, forming an extensive speaker network that’ll surely rattle some windows. 

The Soundboks 3 is rated IPX5 water resistant, so you can’t exactly leave it out in a storm or drop it in the lake, but the speaker will certainly survive the odd spilled drink here and there. Battery-wise, the Soundboks 3 offers up to 40 hours of playtime, and the battery brick is removable/exchangeable, so you can purchase others separately and reload when necessary to keep the party going. 

For the party-goers, one can connect using Bluetooth connections or 3.5mm auxiliary wired connections, and this latest Soundboks model includes a dual XLR/jack input for a microphone or electric instrument. The Soundboks app can also be used to perform firmware upgrades and control the speaker’s basic functions.


The Marshall Woburn II offers class, elegance, and a lot of volume

From one of the leading amplifier designers on the planet, the Marshall Woburn II provides killer sound quality in a classic, vintage-looking enclosure that compliments any home décor. 

I’ll start by saying that this speaker is not portable as it requires AC power. Because of the design of the Woburn II, it’s not a speaker we’d recommend for those looking to carry it from place to place, but as a dedicated speaker for your home – it’s a great subtle choice. The Marshall Woburn II supports high-quality Bluetooth streaming, as well as RCA connections and a 3.5mm auxiliary cable. 

The Marshall Woburn II sounds great straight out of the box, and if you feel the need to tweak the tonal qualities a little, there’s a bass and treble know on the speaker’s control panel to adjust the lows and highs, respectively. For further equalization changes, you can use the companion app to tweak the sound signature while also performing firmware updates. 

The Marshall Woburn II isn’t exactly affordable to all, though its price tag is certainly warranted by slick design, outstanding sound quality, and additional features with versatile connectivity options. If you’re a fan of the look and feel of the Woburn II, Marshall’s Stanmore and Acton speakers are available at slightly more affordable price points.


The Aiwa Exos-9 is one for the bass-heads

The Aiwa Exos-9 is another favorite of ours. Following a slightly more unique design that looks great on bedside tables, kitchen countertops, and home entertainment systems. Despite this speaker looking and sounding great in indoor situations, the Aiwa Exos-9 is durable enough for some outdoor usage, though it can’t be exposed to any rain or other dangerous materials. 

The Aiwa Exos-9 can get pretty loud, and sounds excellent at all volumes. Bass-heads will be pleased to know this speaker packs plenty of low-end thump, guaranteed to get your guests moving, and it’s refreshing to see a bass-heavy speaker that doesn’t cloud the remaining frequency range. 

The battery of the Aiwa Exos-9 is, in my opinion, where it falls short. Lasting up to 9 hours, it can certainly power a night-long house party, but pushing the volume limits will prove to shorten this battery’s lifespan, which is already incredibly low. To add to this, the battery has to be removed to be charged, so the speaker can’t be used while it refuels, unfortunately.  

As for connectivity options, Bluetooth connections are stable and high-quality, and for those who prefer wired connections, there is a 3.5mm auxiliary port on the Aiwa Exos-9, and using this connection could save some battery life, too. 

The Outdoor Party Speakers

These speakers were selected either for their ruggedness or waterproofing. If you’re an outdoors kind of person who wants a speaker they can take with them on their kayak or down to the beach, this is what you’re looking for.

The Turtlebox Gen 2 is the ultimate rugged Bluetooth speaker for parties

Probably the most durable Bluetooth speaker we’ve ever reviewed, the 2nd Generation Turtlebox speaker is reliable, extremely loud, and unique. 

Designed like a military lunchbox and constructed from hard plastic all-round, the Turtlebox Gen 2 can certainly take a hard knock, drop, and will function as normal when exposed to snow, sand, dust, or high-pressure water contact. For on-the-go partiers, the Turtlebox is easily transportable (though it is a little heavy, can still be carried in one hand) and perfect for beach parties, as it can simply be hosed down after a sandy day. 

The Turtlebox Gen 2 is capable of running for around 25 hours before you’ll need to get hold of a charger, though if you’re conservative when it comes to listening levels, you should get a little more out of it. That said, this speaker is astonishingly loud, so unless you’re hosting a large house party, you shouldn’t need to crank the volume too far. 

Volume-wise, the Turtlebox Gen 2 is one of the louder speakers on this list, reaching ear-shattering volumes with ease while maintaining its stellar audio quality. This speaker is designed to be played loud, as low-volume listening sounds rather muffled.


The JBL Boombox II is easy to carry despite its size and weight

Adopting the classic boombox design style with a modern twist, JBL’s Boombox II Bluetooth speaker provides the thumping low-end and characteristic loudness associated with boombox speakers. 

Protected by an IPX7 water-resistance rating, the JBL Boombox II can withstand some serious liquid contact, and the build quality is great. This speaker can certainly take a knock. While it isn’t the most lightweight speaker on this list, it’s not too uncomfortable to carry around with you, and it doesn’t occupy much space either. 

The sound quality here is the same as most JBL speakers, one can expect a tight low-end response with the option to boost the bass even further, while the remaining frequency range retains clarity and detail. For parties, the JBL Boombox II is excellent at distributing sound in all directions and sounds pretty much the same no matter which angle you’re facing the speaker from. As for volume levels, the JBL Boombox II can reach some pretty impressive levels for its size while maintaining strong audio quality.

For party-goers, the Boombox II is an excellent on-the-go Bluetooth speaker, offering impeccable sound quality, durability, and a reasonably strong battery life of up to 24 hours. If you’re looking for something with slightly more interactive features, such as lighting functions, the JBL Boombox II does not offer any of this; it simply just works as it should and sounds great.


The Soundcore Trance brings life to the party on a budget

Incredibly loud for its size, the Soundcore Trance is lightweight, portable, and durable, making it an ideal outdoor speaker option for the beach, lake, or camping. That said, the Trance also makes for an excellent house party system, and its subtle and inoffensive design means it can be used around the house, too. 

The Soundcore Trance offers a premium Bluetooth speaker experience on a budget. One can expect strong battery life, high-quality sound reproduction, outstanding durability, and a few more fun, interactive features for parties or casual listening. The Trance offers various connectivity options, and the companion app is loads of fun, while it can also be used to control the speaker’s basic functions. 

For those concerned about this little speaker powering a party, I can assure you that this thing gets loud! Blasting over 100W of power through a 5.25-inch woofer and a pair of 2-inch tweeters, not only does the Trance sound loud and powerful but full-bodied and immersive sound quality can be expected here.

The Trance is the updated version of the Rave Mini speaker by Soundcore, though not many adjustments have been made between the two models, so although the Trance offers incredible value for money, you may be able to get your hands on a Rave Mini at an even better price, without sacrificing functionality and sound quality.

How We Selected Our Products

When we put together this list of what we consider the best party speakers currently available, we wanted to approach it a bit differently than just providing a list of products that don’t really give you much information as to which is best for you. In turn, we spent time trying to best break down these categories to make your buying process easier.

Budget

We didn’t want to simply provide a list of high-end devices that fall outside 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.

Portability

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.

Weather/Waterproof

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.

Party Speaker FAQs

Let us look at some of the most frequently asked questions by those looking to buy a party speaker. We hope this will be useful to you and help you make an educated purchase.

How loud does a party speaker need to be?

We recommend over 80dB of volume for any party speaker, for larger parties you should be looking at 100dB at least. If you’re looking to cover a large outdoors area or the floor of a house, look for a party speaker that has more than 115dB of volume.

Do I need light effects with my party speaker?

While we do value light effects on party speakers, this is entirely up to personal preference. For teenagers and younger individuals the additional lighting can alter their whole perception of the experience. Meanwhile, there are more discreet and perhaps what one could consider ‘mature’ choices in speaker. These are more subtle and blend into a home environment easier – but that’s not to say you can’t still throw a party with one.

Does my party speaker need to be portable?

If you’re someone who seems to always be over at someone else’s house, having a portable party speaker holds a lot more weight than someone who tends to host parties at their home. Similarly, if you tend to be an outdoors person or someone who wants to take their speaker with them outside of the home, portability will be extremely important.

Does my party speaker need waterproofing?

For regular use, an IPX4 rating and higher is typically just fine. However, for those who enjoy taking their speakers outdoors we recommend going for something a bit more sealed. An IP67 rating will protect you from both dust and water submergence, but even an IPX7 will work perfectly around the pool, without any real worries.

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.

Tip 3 – Waterproof Does Not Mean Invincible

I’ve read so many comments from people who have purchased waterproof speakers with higher IPX ratings who complain their speakers no longer work after too much water exposure. While these products have good waterproof ratings, they’re electronics devices, they don’t belong in the water.

The waterproof feature protects the speaker, not taking 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 products. These are for marketing purposes, not usage recommendations. Try to keep the speakers out of 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 to have the right playlist ready to go. When your friends ask 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 than Bluetooth taking 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 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!

Sony SRS-XP700

The Sony XP700 is the full package, an attractive speaker with enough lighting effects for any party, as well as excellent sound quality.


Written by
Bryn De Kocks

Bryn learned of the importance of quality audio through competitive gaming. Since then he's expanded his interest in the audio sphere, focusing primarily on the headphone market.

View all articles
Leave a reply

2 comments