Our Top Pick for 2018: QFX SBX-412300BTBL Speaker with Built-In Amplifier Bluetooth
Read our full review.
When this research project fell on our desks, we got excited. Finding the best party speakers means a lot of “rigorous testing” in real-life situations, right? We took our list of candidates and started testing them for sound, features, lights, and overall design. We came up with the best-of list after hours of fun mixed in with some serious grading of products. In the end, we found that the QFX SBX-412300BTBL was our gold product. The Monoprice Bluetooth party speaker was our silver product. The Sharper Image SBT1009BK On-The-Go Bluetooth party speaker was our bronze product. And our budget pick went to the Ion Audio iPA77 Tailgater Portable Bluetooth speaker. Any one of them will offer the best of sound, build and overall quality to your next party setting whether it’s indoors or out!
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
|QFX SBX-412300BTBL Speaker with Built-In Amplifier Bluetooth - Blue||74 Reviews||from $249.90||Buy on Amazon|
|Monoprice 10951 Bluetooth Party Speaker||21 Reviews||$133.68||Buy on Amazon|
|Sharper Image SBT1009BK On-The-Go Bluetooth Party Speaker with Disco Ball Light Show, Tailgate,...||99 Reviews||Currently not available||Buy on Amazon|
|ION Audio Tailgater (iPA77) | Portable Bluetooth PA Speaker with Mic, AM/FM Radio, and USB Charge...||2,351 Reviews||$119.00||Buy on Amazon|
#1. QFX SBX-412300BTBL Speaker with Built-In Amplifier Bluetooth
We number one gold product is the QFX SBX-412300BTBL Speaker with Built-In Amplifier Bluetooth. We loved the look of these speakers, but what sold us on them was the sound and the lights. With any party you want something that dazzles and these definitely do.
These speakers are powerful and the design is fun. They stand at 17.8-inches by 40.2-inches by 15.2-inches and they weigh 66-pounds. What we liked about that particular design is that they are high enough to be seen and big enough to project a lot of sound. They have three 12-inch woofers and three 1-inch tweeters. These are able to create 4,000W PMPO to the room as you play your favorite songs. This is a great advantage for any party going on. If you like to make the most of your music, then these are the perfect speakers for you.
On top of the build, the sound coming off of these speakers is great. We always put products through a lot of testing to make sure it will perform in a wide variety of settings. We had our speakers set up in large rooms with lots of furniture, large rooms with a few pieces of furniture, small rooms with high ceilings and small rooms with dropped ceilings. Our goal was to test the sound quality everywhere so that we could confidently tell our readers what speakers truly were the best ones. We found that the QFX’s were the best at projecting rich and full sounds.
When it came to sounds, we played a wide variety of party songs—everything from slow-dance songs to heavy-bass rap. We wanted to be sure that the products we promoted could handle any kind of party they were stationed in. The QFX held up perfectly—whether we were playing Drake or The Macarena—and maintained the right sound vibe we were looking for.
So the QFXs passed on our sound test and on our size test. The next criteria we focused on was their look. Because these were specifically “party speakers” we didn’t want the normal black case. We wanted something more exciting. The QFXs have exactly what we were looking for—a RGB LED speaker lighting system pulses to the beat of music projected. We found that the lights were clear and aligned perfectly with the beat. In the rooms we tested them in, they were able to easily stand out and create the party-vibe we were looking for. We also took them outside- there are plenty of parties that happen in the yard, at the park or tailgating. We wanted to be sure that these speakers would perform just as well out in the open as they did in a tight room.
On top of all this, the QFXs also have Bluetooth technology built in. That allows for playlists on your iPod, iPhone, or android to be broadcast easily through them. You won’t have to create special song lists but can conveniently just connect to the ones already existing. The speaker has USB/SD playback and an additional FM tuner to use also. An added bonus is that if your source device is low on power, you can easily connect it via the USB to the QFX and not only can you play its music, but you can charge it also.
We found that the QFX SBX-412300BTBL speaker was the best party speaker out there. We loved the look, the sound quality and the complete ability for these speakers to turn a party into an exciting location for fun. If you are looking for party speakers, these have everything you need to create a party setting to remember.
#2. Monoprice Bluetooth Party Speaker
Our second place winner when it comes to best party speakers is the Monoprice Bluetooth party speaker. Not only is this one a speaker, but it also is a PA system…more on that later though. The Monoprice is the perfect accompaniment to any party because of its easy-to-transport built and fantastic sound quality.
We liked the design of this speaker. It is built for portability and bringing it to any party location is easier than ever. It weighs 32-pounds and its dimensions are 20.2-inches by 13.9-inches by 20.4-inches. This is the perfect speaker to take on the road—it’s not too big and not too small. We found it to be the perfect weight and design. Plus, built into the back it has a slide-down handle for easy transport. The handle is just like the one on luggage and the case of this speaker also has wheels at the back. You can easily tip it back and push it anywhere you need it to go.
In addition to the design, it also has a great flexibility when it comes to playing music. You can connect a USB to it with mp3s or wma files. You also can use an SD Card with source files to play. You can connect a line-input to the 3.5mm TRS jack at the back or into the two RCA jacks. We loved how many options this speaker had to input music. You can use just about any device to source your music. It also has three individual volume control knobs to work with for the various music sources. There is a main volume control also that handles the amp output. You can play around with the sound options to create the perfect level of music for the setting. Whether you’re playing music or using the system as a PA, having the multiple volume options is going to let you customize for the best projected sound possible.
When we tested each one of the, we found that the sound quality was great no matter what source we used. We also did the same room testing with this speaker that we did with our other brands. We put it into a variety of different rooms to see if it would project well—this one definitely did.
We loved the amount of power this speaker has. It projects via its 8-inch woofer and its ½-inch dome tweeter. It has a frequency of 50Hz
20Hz. There is a built-in amp that can blast up to 50watts of power through the setting. It also has an AC power connector but you also can use its additional built-in rechargeable lead-acid type power battery. If you are on the battery-power option, you can project up to 18watts of power. We found that regardless of the setting, either power source was fine and offered pumping dance/party music at a great volume.
An added bonus of the Monoprice is that it is also a PA system. It has two ¼-inch mic jacks so you can have a DJ or easily incorporate karaoke into your party. We loved this added feature and it is what solidified its place on our list as the silver pick product. We tested out the mic quality and it worked at a much higher level—in fact, it worked as well as a professional karaoke machine or mic box. To find it in one speaker is pretty fantastic.
This is the perfect partner at any party because of its many features. Not only is it a great speaker with the ability to project sound across an entire room or outdoor gathering, but it can double as a PA system. It’s easily transportable and can be easily connected to a wide variety of music sources. For your next party, consider using the Monoprice. You will love its performance and flexibility as a sound system.
#3. Sharper Image SBT1009BK On-The-Go Bluetooth Party Speaker
Our number three bronze pick is the Sharper Image SBT1009BK On-The-Go Bluetooth party speaker. We chose this as one of the top speakers because of its flexibility: it’s a speaker, it’s a PA system and it can act as an amp. Here is why we decided it deserved to be our bronze choice for party speakers.
The Sharper Image speaker is a lot of fun because of its design. It has a disco ball lighting system at the top, so this is perfect for a high-energy party. When you turn it on, it projects multicolored LED lights around the room. We used it in our test areas and whether big or small, it was able to light up the entire room as the music played. We even used it outdoors and found that the 60-watt lights were bright enough to project the span of our dance area. The lights are a great option for any party- indoors or out.
The sound quality with the Sharper Image is also one of the best we found. It works with any device you have with a playlist including your iPhone, iPad, or android by plugging directly into the AUX-in. This is convenient because you can either put together a playlist, or have a friend do it, and then easily connect the device directly to the Sharper Image. Any device plugged into the speaker also is charged so you won’t have to worry about running out of power, even after long sessions of musical playback. We found the sound to be full and rich as we tested it. Again—we tried it out in a wide variety of settings: indoor, outdoor, large room, small room, high-ceilings, etc. We wanted to be sure that the sound would carry in any setting it was put into. Happily we were more than satisfied with its performance.
On top of the great sound, this is another easily transportable case. It weighs 22-pounds and its dimensions are 12.4-inches by 23.22-inches by 14.37-inches. We found that its low-to-the-ground design worked well for it. Although it’s smaller, it still was able to project a lot of sound at a great quality with minimal distortion. It has wheels at the back of the case and a pull-out handle, just like our second pick. This makes it one of the easiest to transport models we looked at.
The Sharper Image speaker gets power from either a battery or AC power. We liked that the battery was long-lasting and rechargeable. In addition to being a speaker, you also can plug a guitar directly into the speaker to create an amp. We found this to be a fantastic option because a lot of musicians are looking for easily transportable and powerful amps. Here is a great option.
In addition, the Sharper Image comes with other options to get your party started and keep it going. On top of its premier music transmission, it also can act as an amp. You also can use it as a tailgater speaker to project easily over a parking lot, campground or sports venue. There is a mic-in to use it as a PA system and this model comes with a microphone included. Because of this, it is easier than ever to use this as a flexible tool for projecting sound regardless of how you want it delivered.
This model by Sharper Image is definitely one of the better party speakers we found and as a result it was named our bronze pick. If you need a powerful and flexible machine that can produce fantastic sound where ever you take it, this may be the perfect speaker for you.
#4. Ion Audio iPA77 Tailgater Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Our budget product for the best party speaker list is the Ion Audio iPA77 Tailgater Portable Bluetooth speaker. We loved this speaker because of its power and size. In fact, it’s one of the most powerful speakers we found considering its compact body. Here are details on all this product has to offer.
The Ion Audio is a powerful speaker. It lasts up to 50-hours thanks to its rechargeable battery power. It also boasts 50watts of power. We found that using it in a wide variety of locations had no effect on its ability to project. We connected a lot of music to the speaker and regardless of the genre, it was able to perform well. It can be connected to an iPhone or android via its Bluetooth capability. It also is NFC-enabled so all you have to do is tap your chosen device on the top and it will allow you to play music.
The top of the Ion Audio has an LED display to clearly show you what is playing. It has a skip, repeat and seek control panel. Built into the speaker is an AM/FM radio and you also control it from the LED panel at the front. We found the controls to be easy-to-use during a party. They are bright and sturdy. The main control is a large dial that can simply be adjusted.
The size of the Ion Audio lends itself well to transport. It weighs just 17-pounds and its dimensions are 13-inches by 9.21-inches by 12.5-inches. We transported all of our speakers via a flat-bed and in a truck to see if they would be on with the drive. This one, like our top winners, held up just fine. It also has a lot of sound power built into it. It has a 6 ½-inch woofer to blast music across a large area. The sound quality was good- we liked how well it handled different music.
This is definitely a speaker made for transport because of its tailgater feature. You won’t need any power source to keep the party going as long as you charge the battery. As stated, the battery at full charge can offer 50-hours of performance, which definitely played a factor in its pick as the budget product. We wish it had wheels though to make it truly transportable, but given its convenient side handles and the size of just 17-pounds, we were able to overlook this.
The Ion Audio also comes with a microphone and it’s easy to plug it into the speaker and use it as a PA system or as a karaoke machine. The auxiliary cable is included with the speaker so you won’t have to go out and buy one. It has 1/8-inch auxiliary output and it’s able to recharge your smartphone, or tablet via its back USB input.
If you want a great budget buy product that still offers a lot of value, consider the Ion Audio iPA77. It has a lot of features that will make your next party a success. It’s powerful, durable and a great helper if you want to be the DJ. Plus, it comes in at a great price so how can you go wrong?
Admittedly this was one of our more fun research tasks. Finding the best party speaker was a welcomed job and our research team jumped at the chance to participate. We tested a lot of speakers to find the ones that had everything we wanted. Our list of desirable qualities with every party speaker included:
• Ease of use
We asked for a lot of features and only picked the ones that truly deserved to be top-of-the list. Our goal was to find the speakers that had everything. “No compromise” was our motto. We’re happy that we ended up with the best of the best. Here is more about our thought process for each one our criteria.
The first thing to consider with any speaker of course, is the sound. How well does it do the job for which it was intended? We used a variety of different rooms with different configurations. We wanted to be sure that our chosen speakers would perform in any indoor setting and bring the sound quality needed to get a party going.
Once we did the indoor research we took our party outdoors. Our speakers had to be able to handle set-up at a forest preserve, parking lot, outdoor venue or backyard. They had to be able to project just as much high-quality sound outdoors, as they did indoors. We asked for a lot of volume and multiple ways to monitor it. We are happy with all four of our final picks because beyond their many extras, they are solid and reliable sound options.
Next, we looked at the build. Considering these were speakers that would not be set up all the time, we wanted them to be easily transportable and durable. Each case was different but all of our top picks could take some hits. They are sturdy and strong. Loading them in and out of a van, trunk or trailer wasn’t a problem. We wanted the build to stand up to a lot of different applications and a lot of different settings. Extra points were awarded for the builds with wheels and with handles for transport.
We also looked at the build and how conducive it was to creating the sound we wanted. Build has a lot to do with the resulting sound quality, depth and richness. We wanted to be sure that the build played well to the resulting music projected from them in every setting.
On top of that, we also looked at the number of inputs and outputs each speaker had. We wanted people to be able to hook each speaker up to a wide variety of music sources- iPods, iPads, iPhones, Androids, pretty much any mp3-player. We wanted to know that consumers wouldn’t have to create a playlist on any one specific device, or in any specific order. We wanted the build of the party speaker to easily work with any source and any type of music. We are happy to say that is exactly what we got with our final list of choices.
Here’s the fun part…we also got to look at the lights and extra features each speaker was built with. The lights add to any party. Just imagine having the colored lights pumping as the music builds. Nothing can get a party started more than those lights flashing on the dance floor. We loved that some of our options had LED lights built in with multi-colors to them. They synced up with the sounds we were playing and made a fantastic showing.
In addition to the LEDs though, we also noted some extras. Some of our choices for party speakers were flexible enough to offer a PA system if needed. They had a guitar-in and/or a mic-in. If users wanted to hook up a guitar and have a live show it was possible. If they wanted to stop the music and make an announcement, that was possible too. Having the mic option also opened the door for some live karaoke sessions thanks to the party speaker. Being able to do all of this with one speaker was a huge advantage. We noted the machines that also came with their own microphones and gave them extra points.
In the end, the extras meant a lot to us. If a party speaker had the great sound and the great lights with extras, likely it made our list. There were a lot of contenders and we are happy with the resulting best-of list we came up with.
Ease of use
Finally, we also looked for party speakers that were easy to use. Not everyone is a professional DJ or a professional sound engineer. Most people (like us) just want a party speaker that will give us great sound at a get-together. Because of the non-pro using the speakers, we wanted to be sure that every one of our top selections was easy to transport and easy to set-up. We got the transportation part covered due to the size, wheels and handles. We moved on to scrutinizing the set-up.
With set-up, we wanted a few wire hook-ups to allow full functionality. Again- not everyone knows how to put together a complete sound system. With our selections, they don’t have to. All they need to do is plug in the machines, connect the input and let the speakers go to work. We want to always choose machines that can be used by a wide variety of people. They have to be good enough that a professional would use them but easy-to-set-up so a non-pro can handle them just as easily. All of our chosen designs are just that.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
In the end, we did what we set out to do: came up with the four best party speakers available in the market today. All of our choices are powerfully built, provide excellent sound, are flexible and useful in a variety of applications and are easy-to-use. For your next party, any one of them will easily bring you the fantastic excitement of great music and a load of extras that you need.