Before you send out those Facebook invites, check out our list of the best party speakers below, and get yourself a set that’ll keep the party bumping.
Ion Audio Party Rocker Live
It’s a common misconception that bigger is better when it comes to sound production. With modern speaker systems, that’s not necessarily the case. At less than 20 pounds, this speaker is the epitome of ease in transportation and set-up, while still producing a powerful 50-watt sound. The Party Rocker is also Bluetooth-compatible for wireless streaming from a tablet, smartphone, or computer. As an added bonus, it comes with a built-in microphone for your MC or DJ (or if you’re in a karaoke mood) and a light show that changes patterns and pulses with your music, that can be controlled remotely from the Party Rocker app. It’s truly an all-in-one party center, and you can’t beat the price. This is among the best speakers for parties if you’re on a budget.
Seismic Audio SA-15t (2-speaker set)
Popular with professionals and amateur audiophiles alike for their affordability and durability, this pair of speakers delivers sound over an exceptional range, making them ideal for outdoor applications. Each one features a 15” woofer because—as we well know—it’s all about that bass, in addition to a 1.5” titanium horn tweeter driver and a frequency response of 45Hz to 20kHz. Portability is the only drawback of this model (see full specs), with each speaker standing 29” tall and weighing in at a whopping 52 pounds. If size isn’t an issue, though, these speakers produce a quality of sound unheard of in their price range and are among the best party speakers period.
Behringer Eurolive B212D
The Eurolive B212D is built with Class-D amplifier technology, increasing its efficiency and reducing the need for a large power supply. The end result is a speaker that can generate massive sound while remaining relatively light in weight. It’s super compact for ease of transportation and has a 550-watt 2-way PA system, making it useful for a variety of party applications. It has a 12” long-excursion woofer driver, giving it deep and powerful bass potential, and a 1.35” aluminum diaphragm tweeter driver for clarity in the upper frequencies.
A top choice of professional DJs, these high-powered 12” speakers have the power to keep any sized party rolling well into the night. Features a built-in amplifier and 12” woofer, with a frequency range of 50Hz to 20kHz and a 24 decibel per octave crossover. Though powerful, the speakers (see full specs) are surprisingly portable, sized for easy transportation and featuring a built-in handle—and while they’re on the heavier side, they still weigh in at less than 40 pounds. The ELX offers superior sound quality to other speakers in its price range, especially on the low end, with great clarity and almost no distortion. These are among he best speakers for house parties.
But What Does It All Mean?
If you’re not a techie or an audiophile, shopping for speakers can be an intimidating process. Luckily, understanding a few basic terms can help to demystify the world of audio equipment.
Woofers, Tweeters, and the Crossover Circuit
There are two drivers inside of speaker cabinets. The tweeter controls the high-end, while the woofer controls the low. The quality of the sound produced by the speaker is a direct factor of the size of these drivers. The crossover circuit inside a professional speaker directs treble (high) frequencies to the tweeter and bass (low) frequencies to the woofer. If the bass in your speaker is lacking, you can buy an external subwoofer to compensate, though most speakers designed for party use—including the ones on this list—have a sufficient built-in woofer driver, making extra purchases unnecessary.
Frequency response tells you the range of frequencies a speaker is capable of producing. Speakers with higher frequency responses come closer to producing the full range of audible sound. Frequency variation is also a factor; the most effective speakers produce every frequency at the same volume, while those of lower quality will be softer or distorted in the outer ranges of audible sound. For a party speaker, you’re looking for an ideal frequency response of around 50Hz on the low end to 20kHz on the upper.
Materials and Other Concerns
There’s more to the external casing, or cabinet, of a speaker than aesthetic value. Professional speakers come equipped with a grate on the front to prevent damage to the cones from impacts or during transportation. The size of the cabinet is also a factor. An enclosure that is too large for the drivers will allow the sound to bounce around inside the cabinet, interfering with the sound waves and distorting the resulting music. An improperly braced driver can also rattle inside the casing, causing excess noise and distortion.
The cones themselves can be made of a variety of materials, from aluminum to polypropylene and even glass and clay. While these cones typically move in a pistol-like motion, certain frequencies can cause them to flex and warp, and the best cone material depends on the purpose of the speaker. Rigid materials are better for a bass-heavy application as they’re less likely to warp, while polypropylene is better in mid-range drivers.
When discussing speakers, sound production is the bottom line, but when it comes to the best party speakers, there are a few other factors to consider. If you’re hosting a party in a reception hall or public park, a speaker that’s lightweight and easily portable might win out over one with a larger subwoofer. Similarly, the ease and convenience of a speaker with wireless streaming capabilities, like the Ion Audio Party Rocker, could make all the difference if there’s limited set-up time available. Regardless of your individual party needs, the speakers on this list will keep your guests dancing all night long.