The 10 Best Party Speakers of 2018

The best thing to ever happen to mobile parties – Bluetooth. Sounds like a weird conclusion but without Bluetooth, you wouldn’t be able to create a party wherever you choose. Party speakers are getting more advanced with longer battery life, bigger sound from smaller speakers and a whole host of other features. In this article, we look at the best party speakers of 2018.

How we Compiled the Best Party Speakers of 2018

I wanted to give you a quick breakdown of the points we took into consideration when compiling our choices for the best party speakers of 2018.

1. Price

The first consideration is always what the speaker costs. We have included party speakers to meet most budget constraints. We’ve considered the very best party speakers and then also looked at value for money within certain price brackets.

2. Power

Parties require some power and volume but, in some cases, you might need something a little more chilled. We have included some of the most powerful party speakers on the market as well as some choices better suited to a quiet BBQ or get together in an apartment.

3. Portability

Most of the speakers in our best party speakers of 2018 are portable and easy to move around. There are a couple which are not as quick to move around as others but still built tough for taking your party on the road.

4. Weather/Waterproof

Manufacturers have realized the necessity for weatherproofing their products. More and more Bluetooth speakers are coming out with some advanced waterproof protection. We have included two speakers which will survive being completely submerged and a couple more can handle a few splashes.

5. Battery Life

Up until around 2016, 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 have included a couple speakers with 20-25-hour batteries, one at 40 hours and another at 50 hours. A couple party speakers even offer the choice to purchase additional batteries, infinitely extending the life of your party speaker (depending of course how many batteries you purchase).

1. 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.

At a Glance

Power Output:
200W
Sensitivity:
Approx 100dB
Speaker Drivers:
1 x 6.5”, 2 x 3”, 2 x 1” Tweeter
Battery Life:
+-9 hours continuous
Inputs:
Bluetooth & ⅛ inch AUX
Bluetooth Range:
50ft
Weight:
13lbs
Weight:
9.7oz

 

Aiwa Exos-9 Features

The Aiwa Exos-9 is one of the loudest 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 Awia 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?

Here is what’s in the box when you purchase the Awia Exos-9.

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

Awia Exos-9 Conclusion

The Awia 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.

2. 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.

At a Glance

Power Output:
470W RMS
Sensitivity:
Unspecified
Speaker Drivers:
2 x 6”, 3 x 2” Tweeter
Battery Life:
+-9 hours continuous
Inputs:
Bluetooth & RCA + (RCA Output)
Bluetooth Range:
33ft
Weight:
26lbs
Weight:
26lbs

 

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 weather proofing 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?

Here is what’s in the box when you purchase the Sony GTK-XB7 Bluetooth Party Speaker.

  • Sony GTK-XB7
  • 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!

3. 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.

At a Glance

Power Output:
50W
Sensitivity:
Unspecified
Speaker Drivers:
6.5”
Battery Life:
50 hours
Inputs:
Bluetooth, ¼ inch mic/instrument, ⅛ inch AUX
Bluetooth Range:
Up to 100ft
Weight:
16.3lbs

 

ION Audio Tailgater Features

With a 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 have the Tailgater Flash. The Flash is identical to the standard Tailgater expect 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?

Here is what’s in the box when you purchase the ION Audio Tailgater.

  • 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.

4. SOUNDBOKS 2 Bluetooth Party Speaker

SOUNDBOKS 2 Bluetooth Party Speaker

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

At a Glance

Power Output:
216W
Sensitivity:
122dB
Speaker Drivers:
2 x 10” subwoofer, 1 x 1” tweeter
Battery Life:
40 hours
Inputs:
Bluetooth, ⅛ inch AUX
Bluetooth Range:
30ft
Weight:
33lbs

 

SOUNDBOKS 2 Features

SOUNDBOKS 2 is the loudest portable speaker one the market at the moment (August 2018). 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?

Here is what’s in the box when you purchase the SOUNDBOKS 2.

  • SOUNDBOKS 2
  • 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!

5. 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.

At a Glance

Power Output:
420W Peak
Sensitivity:
Unspecified
Speaker Drivers:
2 x 8”, 3 x 1” tweeters
Battery Life:
24 hours
Inputs:
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Range:
Up to 100ft
Weight:
25lbs

 

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?

Here is what’s in the box when you purchase the Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8.

  • 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.

6. Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 Bluetooth Speaker

The BOOM 2 from Ultimate Ears (UE) is the size and shape of a 17oz water bottle. The speaker fits in the palm of your hand but delivers a significant amount of power. Neither mud or water will stop the party with the BOOM 2 Bluetooth party speaker.

At a Glance

Power Output:
Unspecified
Sensitivity:
90dB
Speaker Drivers:
2 x 1¾” Drivers, 2 x 1¾” Sound Radiators
Battery Life:
15 hours
Inputs:
Bluetooth, ⅛ inch AUX
Bluetooth Range:
Up to 100ft
Weight:
1.2lbs

 

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 loudest 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?

Here is what’s in the box when you purchase the Ultimate Ears BOOM 2.

  • 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 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 microphone.

At a Glance

Power Output:
100W
Sensitivity:
96dB
Speaker Drivers:
1 x 15” Drivers, 1 x 1” Tweeter
Battery Life:
N/A
Inputs:
Bluetooth, XLR, ¼ inch, ⅛ inch AUX, RCA
Bluetooth Range:
30ft
Weight:
Unspecified

 

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?

Here is what’s in the box when you purchase the Alphasonik 15″ BTS Speaker System.

  • 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 a 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. Brookstone Big Blue Party Indoor-Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

Brookstone Big Blue Party Indoor-Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

A quick glance and you might think the Brookstone Big Blue Party Speaker is a giant cheese grater. You’d be wrong. The Big Blue Party Speaker is one of the most exciting portable speakers on the market with stylish design, 360° sound, and cool blue lights.

At a Glance

Power Output:
72W
Sensitivity:
Unspecified
Speaker Drivers:
4 x Full-Range Drivers
Battery Life:
4.5 Hours
Inputs:
Bluetooth, ⅛ inch AUX
Bluetooth Range:
50ft
Weight:
14.7lbs

 

Brookstone Big Blue Party Speaker Features

The Brookstone Big Blue Party Speaker delivers 72W of 360° sound from 4 full-range speaker drivers. If you’re having a BBQ and your guests are all over the garden and patio. This means everyone can enjoy the same quality of music no matter where they are sitting.

The Big Blue Party Speaker features Bluetooth and a ⅛ inch AUX input. Bluetooth is paired by holding down the big blue power button until the blue light flashes. You’ll find the Big Blue on your phone and pairing is pretty quick. NFC enabled devices can pair instantly by tapping the NFC sensor. The ⅛ inch AUX input is covered by a rubberized water resistant flap to protect against dust and water. Below the AUX input is the AC input also covered by a similar waterproof flap.

Keep in mind the Big Blue Party Speaker is water resistant, not waterproof. So it can take some splashing but you wouldn’t want to push it.

The Big Blue Party Speaker gets its name from the big blue light around the power button and on the sides of the speaker. These aren’t party lights but definitely add some cool ambiance to the party. The lights turn on when the power is on and can be switched off via the “bulb” button on the bottom of the speaker. As the speaker on has a 4-hour battery life, you might want to keep the lights off if you are away from socket power.

The control panel of the Big Blue Party Speaker consists of three buttons, a function button, volume up and down. By pressing the function button, you can change bass and treble settings using the up and down buttons. An LED strip allows you to see the increments of how much you adjust volume, treble, and bass.

Between the ⅛ inch, AUX and power inputs is a button which when pushed, lights up the LED strip on top of the speaker indicating the battery life.

There is one minor downside to the Big Blue Party Speaker. The top of the handle has a high gloss chrome finish. It looks impressive however, fingerprints and scratches appear easily, a little annoying. I don’t see this as a reason not to purchase the Big Blue Party Speaker, just something to keep in mind, especially if you want to take the Big Blue traveling. I’d advise you keep the box to protect that chrome handle when transporting.

What’s in the Box?

Here is what’s in the box when you purchase the Brookstone Big Blue Party Indoor-Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker.

  • Brookstone Big Blue Party Bluetooth Speaker
  • Power Cable

Brookstone Big Blue Party Speaker Conclusion

The Big Blue Party Speaker is great for any party where people are spread out, like the backyard, around the pool, at a BBQ, tailgate party or even at the beach. The 360° sound means everyone can hear the same sound. The speaker has a big handle on top so it’s easy to carry and move around. You could also fit the speaker in a medium to large backpack for walking long distances. The Big Blue Party Speaker is one of the best speakers for music with friends, indoors or outdoors.

9. 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.

At a Glance

Power Output:
6W
Sensitivity:
Unspecified
Speaker Drivers:
2 x 4” Full-Range Drivers
Battery Life:
5 Hours
Inputs:
Bluetooth, ⅛ inch AUX
Bluetooth Range:
20ft
Weight:
4.55lbs

 

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 loudest 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?

Here is what’s in the box when you purchase the Sylvania Portable Bluetooth Speaker.

  • 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.

10. 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.

At a Glance

Power Output:
500W RMS Combined
Sensitivity:
94dB
Speaker Drivers:
1 x 12” Driver with 1” Tweeter per speaker
Battery Life:
+-9 hours continuous
Inputs:
Bluetooth, XLR, ¼ inch, RCA, USB and SD
Bluetooth Range:
30ft
Weight:
Unspecified

 

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?

Here is what’s in the box when you purchase the Rockville RPG122K Party Sound System.

  • 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 off your phone.

Buyers Guide for The Best Party Speakers of 2018

If you are still undecided, we’ve put together this comprehensive buyers guide with party speaker recommendations for specific applications, FAQs and some fun Top Tips to get the most out of your party speakers.

Best Recommendations

Here are some application specific recommendations when deciding which party speaker is right for you:

Best Party Speakers with Bass

If it’s bass you are after, then the Altec Lansing XPEDITION 8 is going to be your best friend. With BEAST MODE enabled the XPEDITION 8 kicks out some of the most powerful bass I’ve ever heard from a portable speaker. The speaker drivers vibrate and lit up by LEDs which adds to the bass vibe. Hip hop, drum, and bass or dubstep sound BIG on the XPEDITION 8. The XPEDITION 8 also comes with an excellent waterproof rating and 25-hour battery so you can take it anywhere.

Due to the XPEDITION 8’s weatherproof features, we’ve also rated is as the “best outdoor Bluetooth speaker”.

The Loudest Portable Speaker

The loudest portable speaker on the planet right now is the SOUNDBOKS 2. This powerhouse includes military grade technology to deliver 216W of power and 122dB of sound. The SOUNDBOKS 2 has an incredible battery life of 40 hours and can survive in some pretty brutal weather conditions. This is the ultimate die hard party speaker that will probably still be going long after you have fallen over.

Best Party Speaker System

If you need a party speaker system then the best recommendation would be the Rockville RPG122K. This PA system delivers 1000W of peak power output, comes with 2 speakers plus stands, microphone, and all necessary cables. You have multiple input options including an FM radio. The Alphasonik 15″ BTS speaker system offers similar features but with one less speaker and less power. The Alphasonik system does cost around $60 less, so if you’re looking for something cheap, the Alphasonik may be a better option.

Best Cheap Party Speaker

At under $30 the Sylvania Portable Bluetooth Speaker is our cheap party speaker. The Sylvania has similar features to the higher priced party speakers like Bluetooth, ⅛ inch AUX input and USB charging for your mobile devices Blue lights illuminate the speaker drivers adding a cool party vibe. The speaker is also one of the lightest party speakers available.

Best Party Speakers With Lights

The Sony XB7 is one of the coolest looking party speakers with all the lights going to the beat of the music. You have both strobe lighting and LED mood lights with either CHILL or RAVE mode. The speaker drive also lights up giving the XB7 an awesome party vibe. The RAVE and CHILL mode can be switched via the XB7 remote control and you can also adjust colors via the SongPal app. The XB7 is loud with plenty of bass and a lot of fun.

The Best Battery Life Party Speaker

The best battery life for our list of party speakers goes to the ION Audio Tailgater at 50 hours. The Tailgater includes a USB power bank so you can charge your mobile devices too. A close second is the SOUNDBOKS 2 with a 40-hour battery life. The SOUNDBOKS 2 and Aiwa Exos-9 both allow you to swap out battery packs which means you can extend the speaker’s battery life depending on how many additional packs you purchase.

Most Compact Party Speaker

Sometimes size does matter. Often when we think of small speakers we think small sound. Not the case with the UE BOOM 2. This powerful little party speaker fits in the palm of your hand delivers 90dB of sound! The BOOM 2 is also waterproof and can even be submerged in mud while playing. This is a little party speaker that can take a hammering and still play music like the day you bought it.

Party Speaker FAQ

What is power vs volume?

Power is measured in watts (W) and volume is measured in decibels (dB). The volume of a speaker is dependent on the power the amplifier is able to produce. The lower the power, the less volume your speaker will produce. In simplified terms, power watts equal the energy the speaker creates and volume is the result of that energy.

There is no hard and fast rule to the relation of watts to volume. For instance, we have the Aiwa Exos-9 with a power output of 200W and a sensitivity of +-100dB. The SOUNDBOKS 2 has a power output of 216W and produces 122dB. Lastly, the Rockville RPG122K produces 500W with a sensitivity of 96dB. These ratios will vary and it all comes down to the internal parts and how effectively a speaker can produce the power output.

Why doesn’t my Bluetooth 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 site like an open field with no obstructions. Trees, walls, people or any physical object can have an influence over 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.

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 which run down battery life quicker. Battery life ratings vary from speaker to speaker, however, most manufacturer base battery life off 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.

Some speakers, like the Exos-9, have a battery saving mode. The Exos-9 shuts down the 6.5″ subwoofer to save 20% of battery life. That’s a considerable amount of power used by one speaker.

When your battery is running low, turn the volume down to around 50-60%, turn off 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.

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