Loudest Bluetooth Speakers to Get the Party Jumpin

Bluetooth Speakers to Get the Party Jumpin

Most Bluetooth audio systems are designed for low-key individual use; the earliest examples weren’t loud enough to be heard in the next room with any clarity. Today, people expect that they’ll be able to share the music in their phones with a much larger audience, and the range of available products has changed accordingly. Whether you want to hear your tunes while washing your car or use a Bluetooth system to power a warehouse party, these are some of your best bets.

The Expert: I’ve been an audiophile for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been building home and automotive sound systems for more than 25 years. My experience with Bluetooth speakers spans more than a decade, from the first Jawbone Jambox a dozen years ago to modern systems from JBL and others. I have an extensive collection of equipment in my living room, including a Bricasti M12 Dual Mono Source Controller, which I used as a reference for my testing of the speakers I recommend here.

What to Consider if You Want the Loudest Bluetooth Speaker

There’s no way around it: The more volume you want, the more power you’ll need. This is because the louder a speaker is, the bigger it is. And the bigger it is, the more power it takes to operate. A few of these systems are best suited for wall power, and the ones that aren’t will see a decrease in battery life with each additional click of the volume knob.

The Bigger the Speaker, the More Power It Needs

There’s no way around it: The more volume you want, the more power you’ll need. This is because the louder a speaker is, the bigger it is. And the bigger it is, the more power it takes to operate. A few of these systems are best suited for wall power, and the ones that aren’t will see a decrease in battery life with each additional click of the volume knob.

Speaker Size Matters

All of the systems in this article produce sound the same way: by using magnets to move a cone that in turn moves the air. There are no shortcuts to this system, so don’t expect massive sound from small or light speakers. While some relatively small speakers can produce high volume, they do it by having a long “excursion,” or back-and-forth travel, of the speaker. This isn’t conducive to high-fidelity sound for the same reason that most people find it hard to sing in tune while also singing as loudly as they possibly can. So, if you want loud AND good, choose larger speakers.

 

Bigger Usually Means Heavier—and Less Portable

Buying a system that isn’t large enough will prevent you from getting the volume you want. But keep in mind that the bigger the speaker, the heavier and less portable it likely will be. Make sure you don’t buy something that you’ll end up leaving in the closet because it’s too much hassle to move and set up. Just as important, larger systems use a lot more power and will likely need to be plugged in if you are going to use them for any length of time.

Connectivity

The vast majority of Bluetooth speakers are meant to be paired with a single input source; that’s usually your phone, tablet, or other audio source. Some will also have ⅛-inch or RCA inputs that can let you connect a source via the appropriate cable, which is sometimes easier and more straightforward than a Bluetooth pairing. Last but not least, several of the speakers here can pair with other examples of the same speaker via their own Bluetooth or Wi-Fi systems; this lets you play the same music through multiple speakers at once.

How We Selected

In cases where I had access to the product in question, I listened to it with a High Definition Rip (HDRip) of VDP-27, the first Japanese MCA pressing of Steely Dan’s “Aja.” I then conducted additional listening with a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone, using the incomparable Qobuz streaming app for true HiDef and CD-quality recordings. To obtain a point of reference for the capabilities of these speakers, I listened using the same digital media with a Bricasti Dual Mono Source controller and Bricasti amplifier through Magnepan speakers.

In addition to my own experience using many of the speakers I recommend here, I also considered size, weight, portability, volume level, connectivity, and price, including both affordable and high-performance options. Having listened to and examined many Bluetooth systems over the years, I know what works and what doesn’t. These are the seven loudest Bluetooth Speakers I recommend.

Key Specification

Connectivity
Power Source
Max Decibel Leve
Dimensions (WxDxH)
Weight

Bluetooth, ⅛-inch input, XLR input
Wall, battery (up to 11 hours)
109dB
11.1 x 9.4 x 13.1 in
15.7 lb.

 

Review:

If you had to choose one Bluetooth speaker for all your patio-party needs, this is the one. In addition to having the capability to pair with phones and other audio sources, the Bose S1 offers XLR (balanced) and ⅛-inch inputs for guitars, microphones, and other musical instruments. A switch Bose calls ToneMatch lets you easily toggle between the inputs that use these specialty connections. Want to give your band a break? Change over to Spotify while they take five. The S1 can be tilted back or positioned horizontally, but due to the vertical-speaker orientation, don’t expect a big stereo “image” like you would get with a home theater system.

The Bose S1 is meant to be plugged into a wall, and it will be at its loudest when doing so, but an optional battery (the S1 is sold without one for $100 less) can keep the party going for approximately five hours at a modest volume (11 if you keep the party mellow). Larger than a Jambox or most JBL systems, the S1 is considerably smaller than the Bose L1 line of musician-oriented speakers and might also be a good choice for an acoustic guitarist who needs a little help to bring the vocals up.

 
Positive
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Key Specification

Connectivity
Power Source
Max Decibel Level
Dimensions (WxDxH)
Weight

Dual Bluetooth, USB
Wall, battery (up to 18 hours)
101dB
7.05 x 6.97 x 13.35 in
7.72 lb

Review:

Anker’s Soundcore line of audio products is now popular enough that Anker is dropping the company name. This is, therefore, merely the Soundcore Trance. Why “Trance”? It could be the variety of light patterns and colors available, some of which are positively psychedelic. Or it could be a claimed 101dB volume level, which is theoretically louder than a snowmobile or car horn

A dual Bluetooth connection lets you pair it with two phones at once to share DJ duties, or another Trance to provide a stereo image or to simply pump up the volume. For best results, plug it in, but there is an included battery that claims up to 18 hours of play time. There’s even a built-in USB port to keep your phone charged.

A flexible handle on top makes it easy to carry your Trance to the pool, and an IPX7 water-resistance rating means it’s safe once it gets there. The Soundcore phone app offers three party games, including Truth or Dare and Spin the Bottle. Parents beware!

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Negative

Key Specification

Connectivity
Power Source
Max Decibel Level
Dimensions (WxDxH)
Weight

Bluetooth, USB
Battery (40+ hours)
94dB
10 x 7 x 10.5 in.
5.4 lb

Review:

If you demand the best of everything, and you like having a boutique product made by people who answer the phone personally, the DemerBox is for you. It’s made in the United States in a crush-proof and waterproof Pelican enclosure, the same brand cases used by the military, law enforcement, first responders, and other industries for their durability and protection.

Inside the DemerBox case, you’ll find enough storage for a phone, wallet, and other personal items. The box floats, can be thrown or dropped, and will provide 40+ hours of music and 94dB of volume at 10 feet. A port plug keeps water out, making the DemerBox 100 percent waterproof, and a USB port lets you charge your phone or other devices while you’re listening to tunes.

It’s not the loudest speaker out there, but the DemerBox may be the best way to bring beats to rugged situations. Plus, if you want more volume, just get another DemerBox—you can pair multiple speakers at once.

Positive
Negative

Key Specification

Connectivity
Power Source
Max Decibel Level
Dimensions (WxDxH)
Weight

Bluetooth, ⅛-inch input, RCA input
Wall, battery (up to 18 hours)
110dB
12.2 x 12.5 x 27.16 in.
33.77 lb.

Review:

If you’ve been an audiophile for a long time like I have, then the relationship between how JBL approaches its products and how Bose does won’t surprise you. Compared to the Bose S1 (above), the JBL PartyBox is much larger, much heavier, much more powerful, offers more features, and costs a little less. Like the Bose, however, the PartyBox offers inputs for guitar and microphone in addition to the Bluetooth pairing options. It can connect to another PartyBox wirelessly or via an RCA cable to create a stereo soundstage or increase overall volume.

This is a large item, just over two feet tall, and it has large speakers to go in that large box. Two woofers and three tweeters mean the PartyBox will maintain sound quality at a higher volume than much of the competition. It can be plugged in or operated on its batteries.

Want to go even larger? The PartyBox 1000 is essentially a wireless variant of the massive JBL speakers that dominated the Seventies, plus a 12-inch subwoofer. It’s hard to imagine a more powerful way to add music to your party.

Positive
Negative

Key Specification

Connectivity
Power Source
Max Decibel Level
Dimensions (WxDxH)
Weight

Bluetooth, USB, ⅛-inch input
Wall, battery (up to 25 hours)
105dB
9.37 x 8.19 x 18.11 in.
9.31 lb.

Review:

Want the features of the Soundcore Trance, with a little more volume at a slightly lower price? Then the W-KING 80W T9-2 is for you. It claims a 105dB volume level, can pair with a second W-KING T9-2 for stereo sound or additional volume, and offers a light show that is programmable via a phone app to keep the tempo with your music.

A carry handle makes it relatively portable despite its foot-and-a-half height. It can be used with wall power or the included batteries, which claim 24-hour life on low volume. It is primarily designed for Bluetooth sound but can also accept USB or ⅛-inch analog inputs. A pair of 4.5-inch woofers won’t provide the clean punch of the JBL or Ultimate Ears units but should provide sufficient clarity for most listeners.

Positive
Negative

Key Specification

Connectivity
Power Source
Max Decibel Level
Dimensions (WxDxH)
Weight

Bluetooth, USB, RCA, ⅛-inch
Battery (up to 24 hours)
110dB
16.5 x 4.25 x 11.75 in.
7 lb.

Review:

Hey, native New Yorkers: Are you nostalgic for the days of subway “boom boxes”? Me neither. If you’re feeling sentimental, however, Bumpboxx is here for you, with a range of portable, battery-powered Bluetooth and USB boom boxes ranging from the sensible Ultra (shown here) all the way to the $899, eight-speaker, 48-pound UpRock boasting 1,000 watts. This Ultra has 140 watts to power two 5.25-inch drivers; that should be enough to keep things nice and loud.

Capable of accepting RCA and ⅛-inch inputs as well as Bluetooth and USB, the Bumpboxxes are versatile and claim high battery lives of up to 24 hours. Perhaps best of all, they’re available in a variety of colors and finishes that recall the glory days of portable speakers. Volume is the point here, not sound quality, so leave your Rachmaninoff at home when you head out to the subway.

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