Looking for the loudest Bluetooth speaker for your next party? I’ve got you covered!
Over the past few months, I’ve tested 30 biggest, most powerful, loudest Bluetooth speakers from all over the world and made a shortlist of the loudest and best-sounding speakers for every budget and every use case.
My primary criterion for this list was the max loudness of the Bluetooth speaker (aka max SPL or max Sound Pressure Level), but I also considered other features like sound quality, battery life, design, build quality, dimensions, weight, etc.
Let’s start with a quick breakdown – my selection of the Loudest Bluetooth Speakers looks like this:
- Loudest Overall – JBL PartyBox 1000
- Loudest Retro Boombox – Bumpboxx Uprock
- Loudest PA Bluetooth Speaker – Teufel Rockster
- Best-Sounding – DiamondBoxx XL3
- Best for Outdoor Parties – SOUNDBOKS GEN3
- Best Portability/Loudness Ratio – SOUNDBOKS Go
- Loudest Compact Bluetooth Speaker – UE HYPERBOOM
- Best Compact PA-System – Bose S1 Pro
- Battery-Operated Party Speaker with Built-in Lighting – Sony SRS-XV900
- Compact Speaker for Outdoor Use – JBL Boombox 3
- Budget Speaker for Tailgating – ION Pathfinder 280
|SPEAKER||Max SPL* (dB at 1m)||Power Output||Battery Life (50% VOL)||Dimensions (W x H x D)||Weight|
|JBL PartyBox 1000||N/A (126 dB)||1100W (PEAK)||No battery||15.6 x 43.3 x 15.9 in||34.7kg/76.5lb|
|Bumpboxx Uprock||127 dB (125 dB)||1000W (PEAK)||12h||7 x 36 x 23 in||22.7kg/50lb|
|Teufel Rockster||121 dB (121 dB)||450W (RMS)||8h||22.8 x 34.3 x 18.5 in||31.5kg/69.5lb|
|DiamondBoxx XL3||122 dB (121 dB)||600W (RMS)||20h||28 x 19 x 12 in||18.6kg/41lb|
|SOUNDBOKS GEN3||126 dB (117 dB)||216W (RMS)||40h||17 x 25.6 x 13 in||15.4kg/34lb|
|SOUNDBOKS Go||121 dB (107 dB)||144W (RMS)||40h||18 × 12 × 10 in||9.2kg/20lb|
|UE HyperBoom||100 dB (99 dB)||N/A||24h||7.5 x 14.3 x 7.5 in||5.9kg/13lb|
Max SPL* – the first value is the advertised SPL, while the second value (in the brackets) is the actual SPL I measured.
Max SPL** – To measure the MAX SPL, I used the REED Instruments R8050 SL meter. The instrument was placed 1m from the speaker, aligned with the speaker’s horizontal axis.
Loudest Bluetooth Speakers – AudioGrounds’ Favorites
While all the speakers listed above meet the most important criterion (they are all extremely loud), I don’t like them all equally. Some of them lose clarity at high volumes or don’t have all the features I expect at a certain price point.
JBL PartyBox 1000 is one of the best large Bluetooth speakers I’ve heard with so many exciting features but there’s one big flaw – it doesn’t have a built-in battery. Adding a powerful battery able to provide at least 5 hours at max volume would make this speaker so much better.
Considering all the specs and performance, my top choices for outdoor parties are SOUNDBOKS GEN3 and DiamondBoxx XL3. DiamondBoxx XL3 sounds the best, while the SOUNDBOKS GEN3 sounds great and has the most powerful battery.
For general outdoor/indoor use, you may want something more compact and portable. My top recommendation in this segment is the SOUNDBOKS Go.
What Is Loudness?
Loudness is a term we all use colloquially because it’s simple and intuitive. The more accurate term, however, is the sound pressure level (SPL). It’s measured in decibels (dB). 1dB is the smallest change in sound pressure an average human ear can perceive.
0dB is considered the threshold of hearing. Anything above the threshold can be perceived by an average ear. 10dB is the sound of normal breathing, and 60dB is the SPL of a normal conversation. A lawn mower produces 90 dB, while an average SPL at a concert or a club is around 120 dB. A gunshot produces 150 dB.
CDC estimates that a 2-hour exposure to noise between 80 and 85dB could cause hearing damage. As the SPL increases, the recommended exposure times shorten. At 100dB, some kind of hearing damage is possible after just 15mins of exposure.
Depending on the source, sound pressure levels between 120dB and 130dB are considered the threshold of pain, meaning you will immediately experience pain when exposed to these sound levels.
Half of the Bluetooth speakers included in my selection can go beyond 120 dB. If you ask me, that’s extremely loud.
Human Reaction to Different Sound Pressure Levels
How Is Loudness Measured?
Most speaker manufacturers don’t publish the max SPL levels of their speakers. This particularly applies to passive speakers. Instead, they will publish speaker sensitivity and speaker wattage (RMS and PEAK power outputs). Based on these two values you can calculate the max SPL of a speaker.
Those manufacturers that actually publish the max loudness of their speakers in the specs lists use a similar procedure as the one used to measure speaker sensitivity.
The speaker sensitivity is measured with a calibrated SPL meter placed 1m from the speaker. When measuring sensitivity, the speaker is supplied with 1W or 2.83V and it usually reproduces just one frequency (1kHz). Ideally, the measuring is done in an anechoic room to avoid sound reflections that could mess up the results.
Now, when it comes to loudness, the same SPL meter is used and it’s placed the same way. However, instead of supplying only 1W or 2.83V, the speaker volume is cranked all the way up. There’s no information on whether they measure max SPL at 1kHz or just play the song and read the max SPL results.
How I Measured Speaker Loudness?
As I don’t have a professional measuring setup in my home, I did my best to soundproof my workroom and used a fairly accurate REED Instruments R8050 SPL meter.
My SPL meter was placed on a tripod and the distance between the speaker and the SPL meter was exactly 1m. I did my best to align the microphone with the speaker’s horizontal axis. Also, I did a real-life test with actual music, not just a single tone.
Here are my results, along with the advertised max SPLs.
|SPEAKER||Advertised max SPL||Measured max SPL|
|JBL PartyBox 1000||N/A||126 dB|
|Bumpboxx Uprock||127 dB||125 dB|
|Teufel Rockster||121 dB||121 dB|
|DiamondBoxx XL3||122 dB||121 dB|
|SOUNDBOKS GEN3||126 dB||117 dB|
|SOUNDBOKS Go||121 dB||107 dB|
|UE HyperBoom||100 dB||99 dB|
Loudest Overall – JBL PartyBox 1000
Introducing JBL PartyBox 1000
What I Liked About JBL PartyBox 1000
PartyBox 1000 comes from a reputable brand that knows its way around audio equipment. This speaker is the perfect example of what JBL is capable of.
PartyBox 1000 is an epitome of a party speaker – loud, powerful, distortion-free, and with built-in lighting.
The speaker also comes with a DJ pad on the top allowing you to play with keyboard, piano, and drum sounds that you can record and loop. I’m not a fan of this feature but it might be useful to DJs.
PartyBox 1000 comes equipped with a number of inputs. You can play the music from your phone via Bluetooth or you can connect audio sources using 3.5mm AUX or RCA cables. 6.35mm mic and guitar inputs are also present.
Oh, I almost forgot – you also have a USB port that you can use to charge your devices or to play music from a USB stick.
The best part about this speaker, as it should always be, is the sound. It’s not on par with professional PA speakers but it’s close. The sound is incredibly powerful and loud with lots of rumbling bass, but I wouldn’t say that PattyBox 1000 is a bassy speaker. It’s just big. The sound actually has a nice balance to it with clear mids and a bit airy treble.
If you need an even louder sound, you can link two of these speakers together.
JBL PartyBox 1000 – Video Review with a Sound Test
Where JBL PartyBox 1000 Should Improve
The biggest issue I have with this speaker is the lack of a built-in battery. I understand that a speaker of such power would require a huge battery and would’ve been even heavier than it is, but I still think that battery would make it even more versatile.
If you like the JBL’s sound signature but want something with a battery and more portable, try JBL PartyBox 310 or JBL PartyBox 110. Note that these two speakers, especially PartyBox 110, are much smaller and not as loud as PartyBox 1000 or other speakers on this list.
Without the battery, you have two options – to use it indoors only or bring a power generator with you for outdoor parties.
Another thing that makes PartyBox 1000 unsuitable for outdoor parties is the lack of an IPX rating. Some level of water ingress protection would make this speaker better.
Finally, with such a big and powerful sound comes appropriate weight and size. PartyBox 1000 is big and heavy, so transporting it from one location to another will not be easy. The speaker does have a handle at the top as well as wheels on the bottom.
|JBL PartyBox 1000||Key Specs|
|Power Output:||1,100 W (PEAK)|
|Max SPL:||126 dB|
|Connections:||Bluetooth (V4.2), 3.5mm IN x1, RCA IN x1, RCA OUT x1, USB IN x1, 6.35mm Mic IN x1, 6.35mm Guitar IN x1|
|Battery Life:||No Battery|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||15.6 x 43.3 x 15.3 in|
|Driver Arrangement:||1 x 12” woofer + 2 x 7” mid-range woofers, 1 x compression driver|
|Frequency Response:||30Hz-20kHz (at -6dB)|
Loudest Retro Boombox – Bumpboxx Uprock
Introducing Bumpbox Uprock
What I Liked About Bumpboxx Uprock
While this classic boombox design is not my favorite, it wouldn’t be fair to leave it out since it meets the first and most important criterion for this selection – it’s extremely loud. The advertised max SPL is 127 dB, while I measured 125 dB.
Uprock comes with a wireless microphone and a remote, which is not something you see often. Usually, you have to buy the mic separately.
It’s equipped with all kinds of inputs including 3.5mm AUX input, RCA input, two USB ports, a micro-SD card slot, mic input, guitar input, as well as LINE IN/OUT inputs for daisy chaining.
The speaker has a built-in battery that can provide up to 12 hours of playtime at moderate volumes. At max volume, you will get 2 hours max.
Sound-wise, Uprock is not spectacular. It lacks clarity at lower volumes and the bass gets a bit boomy at higher volumes. At moderate volumes (from 25-75% VOL), it sounds decent. The bass is there and it’s punchy, the mids are a lot cleaner, while the highs are somewhat airy and lack in detail.
Uprock has built-in EQ knobs, so you can adjust the sound to your liking.
Bumpbox Uprock V1 – Video Review and Sound Test
Where Bumpboxx Uprock Should Improve
While it has a built-in battery, installing a bigger one would make the Uprock better.
My biggest issue with the Uprock speaker was the sound quality. I guess I expected a little bit more at this price point. It doesn’t sound completely bad and the good thing is that you can fine-tune the sound signature, but I believe there’s still room for improvement.
|Bumpboxx Uprock||Key Specs|
|Max SPL (Advertised):||127dB|
|Max SPL (Measured):||125dB|
|Power Output:||1,000 W (PEAK)|
|Driver Arrangement:||8” woofers x4, 4” mid-woofers x2, 4” tweeter horns x2|
|Connections:||Bluetooth, 3.5mm AUX IN x1, RCA IN x1, USB x2, micro-SD IN x1, Mic IN x1, 6.35mm Guitar IN x1, 6.35mm Line IN x1, 6.35mm Line OUT x1|
|Battery Life (50% VOL):||12h|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||36 x 23 x 7 in|
Loudest PA Bluetooth Speaker – Teufel Rockster
Introducing Teufel Rockster
What I Liked About Teufel Rockster
Teufel Audio is a German audio company. It’s quite popular in Germany and Austria, but most people in the US haven’t heard of it. As far as I’m aware, Teufel does not have official dealers here in the US, but you can order it directly from the manufacturer.
I am lucky enough to have friends in Germany who sent me their speaker for testing purposes.
Rockster is a semi professional PA Bluetooth speaker that can also be used as a party speaker for both indoor and outdoor events.
The design and build quality are quite impressive. It’s exactly what you would expect from a speaker made in Germany.
Connectivity is one of the biggest highlights. Aside from standard inputs (3.5mm AUX input, 6.35mm stereo input), it also has XLR mic inputs and guitar input. For wired daisy chaining, you have XLR IN/OUT ports. You can link multiple Rocksters together (up to 5) and play them in MONO or STEREO mode.
Rockster has a built-in battery, but can only deliver 8h at moderate volumes. At max volume, you can’t expect more than an hour. The good news is that you can also power the speaker using a car battery or plug it directly into an AC outlet.
Like all the previous speakers, Rockster is very loud. The sound signature is definitely bass-oriented. Of all the speakers on this list, this one has the biggest woofer (15 inches). Since there’s no dedicated midrange woofer, you can expect mids to get muffled, especially at high volumes
Also, I would recommend reducing the bass response (through bass EQ) when playing it at high volumes.
On the top, you have a DJ panel with gain knobs and EQ controls.
Where Teufel Rockster Should Improve
Teufel Rockster does have a built-in battery, but I think it’s too small for such a huge speaker. Adding a bigger battery would reduce the portability, but it would still make it better.
The lack of a dedicated mid-woofer does have an impact on the sound quality. Mids are particularly affected by such a huge woofer.
Teufel Rockster/Rockster Air LoudnessTest
|Teufel Rockster||Key Specs|
|Max SPL (Advertised):||121dB|
|Max SPL (Measured):||121dB|
|Power Output:||450W (RMS)|
|Driver Arrangement:||15” woofer x1, 1” tweeter x1|
|Connections:||Bluetooth 4.0 (with Qualcomm aptX), 3.5mm AUX IN, 6.35mm stereo IN, 3.5mm headphone OUT, XLR OUT x2, USB Charging port x1|
|Battery Life (50% VOL):||8h|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||22.8 x 34.3 x 18.5 in|
Best-Sounding – DiamondBoxx XL3
What I Liked About DiamondBoxx XL3
DiamondBoxx XL3 is definitely not the best-looking big speaker or the most feature-rich speaker, but believe me – it deserves your attention. Mainly because of the sound.
XL3 features a simple boombox design with six 5.5” woofers and four 1” tweeters. At the top, you have 5-band EQ controls along with master volume and balance knobs.
In terms of connectivity, XL3 is a modest speaker. It only supports Bluetooth and 3.5mm connections. No mic or guitar inputs.
The built-in battery delivers a satisfying performance. You will get more than 20 hours at moderate volumes (2-3h at max volume).
One area where XL3 excels is the sound quality. I honestly think this is the best sounding of all the loud Bluetooth speakers I have tested.
XL3 delivers a balanced sound with punchy bass, sparkling highs, and perfectly clean mids. It does lack that really deep rumble but you can’t expect that from 5.5” woofers.
It goes without saying that XL3 gets painfully loud at max volume. I measured 121 dB, which is just 1 dB lower than the advertised SPL.
The best thing about the sound is that it doesn’t distort at all at max volume.
DiamondBoxx XL3 – Video Review and Sound Test
Where DiamondBoxx XL3 Should Improve
While I love the sound of this speaker, adding a few more inputs wouldn’t hurt.
Also, I would love to see a new version with even bigger woofers.
Finally, the biggest issue for most people will be the price of this speaker. At $1,999, XL3 is the most expensive speaker on this list.
|DiamondBoxx XL3||Key Specs|
|Frequency Response:||35Hz-22kHz (at +/- 3dB)|
|Max SPL (Advertised):||122 dB|
|Max SPL (Measured):||121 dB|
|Power Output:||600 W (RMS), 1000 W (PEAK)|
|Driver Arrangement:||5.5” Woofers x6, 1” Tweeters x4|
|Connections:||Bluetooth 5.1 (with aptX), 3.5mm AUX IN|
|Battery Life (50% VOL):||20h|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||28 x 19 x 12 in|
Best for Outdoor Parties – SOUNDBOKS GEN3
Introducing SOUNDBOKS Gen. 3
What I Liked About SOUNDBOKS GEN3
The manufacturer calls this speaker a Bluetooth Performance Speaker, which is supposed to mean that it combines the best features of a regular Bluetooth speaker and a PA speaker.
While it may not be the loudest Bluetooth speaker on the market, SOUNDBOKS Gen. 3 (also known as the NEW SOUNDBOKS), packs a fantastic combo of features important for outdoor use.
SOUNDBOKS Gen. 3 – Unboxing and Initial Setup
The speaker is big and heavy, but not as heavy as previous party speakers. The most sensitive parts are reinforced to prevent damage. All the internal components are coated for water resistance. The speaker is IP65-certified.
Connectivity is one of the great things about SOUNDBOKS Gen 3. Besides Bluetooth 5.0, you also have 3.5mm AUX IN, as well as combo XLR/6.35mm guitar and mic inputs.
Thanks to the SKAA technology, you can pair up to 5 SOUNDBOKS Gen. 3 speakers together wirelessly. You can also link SOUNDBOKS speakers using an AUX cable.
When it comes to battery, SOUNDBOKS is the absolute champion. With 40 hours at 50% volume and 5h at max volume, this speaker beats any other party speaker on this list. Plus, you can buy an extra battery for $100.
You would assume that there has to be something wrong with this speaker, but there isn’t. Even the sound is quite amazing. Ok, it’s maybe not on par with JBL PartyBox 1000 or DiamondBoxx XL3, but it’s close.
The bass is punchy and well-controlled at all volume levels. It doesn’t bleed into the midrange – it leaves it clean and detailed. The treble is well dispersed and doesn’t get too sharp or anything like that.
SOUNDBOKS Gen 3 – Video Review and Sound Test
Where SOUNDBOKS GEN3 Should Improve
While the overall sound quality is great, the bass seems a bit too controlled. I don’t know if this even makes sense. Sometimes, when you expect some serious rumble during a bass-heavy track, you don’t get that. Instead, you get a very tight and punchy bass with minimal distortion. That’s not necessarily bad, but it’s also not what I expected.
SOUNDBOKS Gen. 3 VS Teufel Rockster
|SOUNDBOKS GEN3||Key Specs|
|Driver Arrangement:||10” Woofers x2, 1” Compression Driver Tweeter x1|
|Connections:||Bluetooth 5.0, XLR/6.35 Combo Input x2 (for mic or guitar), 3.5mm stereo IN x1, 3.5 stereo OUT x1.|
|Battery Life (50% VOL):||40h|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||17 x 25.6 x 13 in|
|Power Output:||216W (RMS)|
|Max SPL (Advertised):||126 dB|
|Max SPL (Measured):||117 dB|
JBL PartyBox 1000 VS SOUNDBOKS Gen. 3
Best Portability/Loudness Ratio – SOUNDBOKS Go
What I Liked About SOUNDBOKS Go
SOUNDBOKS Go is a mini version of the SOUNDBOKS Gen 3. The recognizable design and build quality are still there, but some features are missing and the sound is not as loud. Still, for the size of this speaker, the sound is plenty loud.
Like its bigger brother, SOUNDBOKS Go has a huge battery and amazing battery life – 40h at 50% volume and up to 10 hours at max volume.
It also supports wireless daisy chaining of up to 5 speakers using SKAA technology.
The sound is surprisingly loud for such a compact enclosure. The advertised max SPL is 121 dB, while I measured 107 dB. It’s still much louder than most other speakers of the same size.
The sound, compared to its bigger brother, is not as powerful, but there’s a nice balance with a good amount of bass.
SOUNDBOKS Go also comes with the SOUNDBOKS app that allows you to customize the sound to your liking, play with EQ presets, or link multiple speakers together.
SOUNDBOKS Go – Video Review and Sound Test
Where SOUNDBOKS Go Should Improve
SOUNDBOKS Go is not as versatile as its bigger brother when it comes to physical connections. It only has one 3.5mm AUX input and that’s it. No XLR inputs, no line IN/OUT inputs for wired daisy-chaining.
SOUNDBOKS Go VS SOUNDBOKS Gen 3
|SOUNDBOKS Go||Key Specs|
|Power Output:||144W (RMS)|
|Max SPL (Advertised):||121 dB|
|Max SPL (Measured):||107 dB|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||18 × 12 × 10 in|
|Connections:||Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm stereo IN x1|
|Driver Arrangement:||10” Woofer x1, 1” silk dome tweeter x1|
|Battery Life (50% VOL):||40h|
Loudest Compact Bluetooth Speaker – UE HYPERBOOM
Introducing UE HYPERBOOM
What I Liked About UE HYPERBOOM
If SOUNDBOKS Go is too big for you, you should try UE HYPERBOOM. It’s slightly smaller but significantly lighter. It may not be as loud, but it can still fuel a party.
The design is simple and minimalistic. You have controls on the top panel and a handle on the back. The unit feels sturdy and well-built. It even has an IPX4 splash-proof rating.
HYPERBOOM, like all the other UE speakers, has a great battery life (up to 24h at 50% volume).
The connectivity is pretty good with one surprising input. Besides Bluetooth, you have a 3.5mm AUX input as well as a TOSLINK input (I didn’t expect that). It also has a USB port for charging phones.
The speaker comes with the BOOM app, which allows you to adjust advanced settings, play with EQ presets, and adjust EQ bands independently.
PartyUp is a feature that allows you to connect multiple HYPERBOOM speakers together. You can also connect other compatible speakers (BOOM and MEGABOOM speakers).
The sound signature is fairly neutral and well-balanced. The speaker struggles to deliver really deep bass notes, but that’s perfectly understandable considering the size of the drivers. HYPERBOOM does pack a nice punch – it’s just not on par with those huge party speakers.
Thanks to the specific driver arrangement, sound dispersion is quite impressive.
UE HYPERBOOM – Video Review and Sound Test
Where UE HYPERBOOM Should Improve
I don’t think UE could do much to make this speaker even better. Actually, there are two things. First, they could try adding Wi-Fi connectivity to it. Second, they could reduce the price a little.
One more thing – if you prefer a slightly bassier sound signature, you may want to check out JBL PartyBox 110. It’s slightly cheaper and some people consider it more fun to listen to.
|UE HYPERBOOM||Key Specs|
|Max SPL (Advertised):||100 dB|
|Max SPL (Measured):||99 dB|
|Driver Arrangement:||4.5” Woofers x2, 1” Tweeters 2x, 3.5x7.5” passive bass radiator x2|
|Connections:||Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm AUX IN x1, TOSLINK IN x1, USB Charge OUT x1|
|Battery Life (50% VOL):||24h|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||7.5 x 14.3 x 7.5 in|
UE HYPERBOOM VS JBL Boombox 100
Other Speakers Worth Considering
Best Compact PA-System – Bose S1 Pro
S1 Pro is the biggest portable Bluetooth speaker made by BOSE. It’s a great multipurpose speaker/PA system for parties and other indoor and outdoor events. It’s also a good choice for street musicians and performers. The max SPL is 99dB.
The biggest issue I have with this speaker is its price. Depending on the seller, the price varies between $600 and $700.
Besides Bluetooth connectivity, S1 Pro features one AUX input and two XLR/6.35mm combo inputs for the mic and guitar. For each input, there’s a separate master volume knob. Mic and Guitar inputs also have dedicated REVERB/TREBLE/BASS controls.
The speaker also has a 6.35mm LINE OUT port allowing you to connect two S1 Pro speakers together or to connect your S1 Pro to a third-party mixer.
S1 Pro features a built-in rechargeable battery. It delivers 11h at moderate volumes.
The speaker can be used in various orientations thanks to the built-in sensors. These sensors will adjust the sound output based on the speaker’s position. It can be tilted back, placed on its side, elevated, or placed on the ground.
To get the most out of your S1 Pro, it is recommended to install the Bose Connect app.
The sound is refined and well-balanced. The emphasis is on the midrange clarity but it also delivers a good amount of punch.
|Bose S1 Pro||Key Specs|
|Driver Arrangement:||6" woofer x1, 2.25" full-range drivers x2|
|Connections:||Bluetooth, AUX, XLR/6.35mm x2, 6.35mm LINE OUT|
|Battery Life (50% VOL):||up to 11h (at 50% VOL)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||9.5 x 13 x 11.2 in|
Battery-Operated Party Speaker with Built-in Lighting – Sony SRS-XV900
SRS-XV900 is the biggest and most powerful portable Bluetooth party speaker made by Sony. It’s the upgraded version of the GTK-XB90 with better bass response, better battery life, and an improved design.
XV900 is louder than the UE HYPERBOOM but it didn’t make the cut because I wanted to make the list a bit more versatile and include at least one or two more portable speakers. The max SPL of XV900 is 104dB.
In a way, XV900 is a portable version of JBL PartyBox 710. Only not as loud. Also, XV900 is not as rugged as the JBL PartyBox speakers – it’s made of softer plastic and has a thinner grille on the front. While it has a built-in battery, I wouldn’t recommend it for outdoor use.
XV900, like most party speakers, comes with a bunch of connections and additional features. You can connect two Bluetooth-enabled source devices simultaneously. Besides Bluetooth, you have one AUX input, one TOSLINK optical input, a USB port (for charging and music playback), and two ¼” inputs for the mic and guitar.
On the top, you will find a touch-sensitive panel with lighting and playback controls. You can also use the controls on the top to select the audio source or enable the MEGABASS feature.
The built-in battery is supposed to deliver 25 hours, but that’s the advertised playtime at 30% volume and without the lights. The lights consume a lot of power – you should have that in mind. With the lights turned on, you may get up to 12h at 30% volume. At max volume, with the lights on, you can expect 3h max.
XV900 supports wireless daisy chaining. You can link it with other SONY speakers that support the PartyConnect feature. To pair them, you will have to use SONY’s Music Center app.
|Sony SRS-XV900||Key Specs|
|Driver Arrangement:||12.5” Woofer x1, 4.7” Mid-Woofer x1, 2” Tweeter x2 (Front), 1.5” Tweeter x4 (Side and Rear), Front-firing bass reflex ports.|
|Connections:||Bluetooth, 3.5mm IN, USB, TOSLINK IN, ¼” mic IN, ¼” guitar IN|
|Battery Life (50% VOL):||20h (at 50% VOL without the lights)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||16.25 x 34.75 x 17.38 in|
Compact Speaker for Outdoor Use – JBL Boombox 3
Boombox 3 is just perfect for outdoor use. It’s not as big or loud as HYPERBOOM or SOUNDBOKS Go, but it’s so much more portable. Besides, it’s plenty loud for small parties and other outdoor gatherings. The max SPL is 94dB.
JBL Boombox 3 is wrapped in that recognizable durable fabric used on many other JBL speakers. This protective fabric makes it IP67 dustproof and waterproof. The speaker is not very versatile – besides Bluetooth, there’s only one AUX input.
The built-in battery delivers pretty impressive playtime at moderate volumes. You will get up to 24h of continuous playback at 50% VOL.
Boombox 3 is fun to listen to. The sound is well-balanced with a nice warmth in the bass region. The vocals and instruments stay clean and articulate at all volumes. Even at max volume, the distortion is barely noticeable.
If you want a louder sound, you can link your Boombox 3 with other PartyBoost-compatible JBL speakers. For this, you will need the JBL Portable app (Android/iOS). You can also link two Boombox 3 speakers and play them in stereo for better separation.
|JBL Boombox 3||Key Specs|
|Power Output:||160W (Peak)|
|Driver Arrangement:||7.4” x 4.5” Subwoofer x1, 3” Mid-Woofer x2, 0.75” Tweeter x2|
|Connections:||Bluetooth, 3.5mm IN|
|Battery Life (50% VOL):||up to 24h (50% VOL)|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||19.0 x 10.1 x 7.9 in|
Budget Speaker for Tailgating – ION Pathfinder 280
If you’re on a budget but still want something fairly loud, try the ION Pathfinder 280. Compared to other speakers on this list, this one can be considered cheap. At $120, Pathfinder 280 packs a bunch of features including LED lighting, FM radio, an IPX5 water-resistant rating, and a powerful battery.
The speaker is rugged, with rubber and plastic reinforcements along the edges. It’s IPX5-certified, which makes it great for outdoor use. Transporting it should not be a problem since it’s not too heavy and has two carrying handles, wheels, and a telescopic handle.
This thing doesn’t sound as refined as other speakers on this list, but you can’t expect the same performance at a much lower price.
Pathfinder 280 supports Bluetooth connectivity with a great Bluetooth range of up to 100ft. You can also link two wirelessly. Besides Bluetooth, there’s a 3.5mm AUX input and a built-in FM tuner with 16 presets.
The speaker features one 8” woofer and three 3” tweeters. One tweeter is on the front, while the other two are strategically positioned on the left and right panels for better sound dispersion.
The built-in battery is supposed to provide up to 100h of playback, but that’s the advertised playtime at moderate volumes (approx. 40%-50%) and without lighting.
Besides being quite loud (I measured 99dB), Pathfinder sounds decent. The low bass is lacking, which is expected considering the woofer size. Mid-bass and high-bass are slightly elevated but not too much. This bass elevation gives it a nice punch. The midrange is still present and fairly clean. The vocals may sound a bit hollow. High frequencies are somewhat dull.
|ION Pathfinder 280||Key Specs|
|Power Output:||120W (Peak)|
|Driver Arrangement:||8” Woofer, 3” Tweeter x3|
|Connections:||Bluetooth, 3.5mm IN, USB Charge OUT, FM radio|
|Battery Life (50% VOL):||100h|
|Dimensions (W x H x D):||14.8 x 17.58 x 10.63 in|
Power Output VS Loudness
Many people think that power output is the main indicator of a speaker’s loudness. This is not entirely correct. Power output does play an important part, but it’s not the only important factor affecting a speaker’s loudness. Only when you combine the power output with sensitivity, you can get the exact max SPL of a speaker.
As explained earlier, sensitivity tells you the loudness of a speaker when supplied with 1W of power. Based on this info, assuming that you know the speaker’s max power output, you can calculate the max SPL.
So, if the speaker’s sensitivity is 88dB (measured at 1W/1m), you will get 91 with 2W, 94dB with 4W, 97dB with 8W, 100dB with 16W, and so on.
So, if you see a speaker with 1000W power output, you shouldn’t assume that it is louder than a 500W speaker. The 1000W speaker will be louder only if the speaker’s sensitivities are exactly the same or if the 500W speaker has lower sensitivity than the 1000W speaker.
If the 500W speaker has a 3dB greater sensitivity than the 1000W speaker, they will be equally loud at max volume (the same max SPL). If the difference in sensitivity is greater than 3dB, the 500W speaker will be louder than the 1000W speaker.
Finally, it’s important to note that you should always compare the same power outputs – either RMS (continuous power output) or PEAK (maximum power output). You can’t compare RMS with PEAK, only RMS with RMS or PEAK with PEAK.
You will rarely (or rather never) see sensitivity ratings in Bluetooth speakers’ specs. When it comes to power outputs, some manufacturers will publish only RMS power outputs, and others will publish PEAK outputs.
So, there’s practically no way to calculate the loudness of a Bluetooth speaker based on its sensitivity and power rating.
Some manufacturers are kind enough to publish their speakers’ max SPL values, which is helpful, but since they use different equipment, maybe even different procedures to measure the max SPL, you can’t get the best idea of which speaker is the loudest.
The best way to compare the speakers is what I decided to do. You must gather all the speakers you want to test, use the same equipment, and test them under the same conditions.
Distance VS Loudness
To decide what kind of loudness you need from a speaker, you should consider the distance between the speaker and the listener.
You probably know this intuitively – the SPL (perceived loudness) drops as you move away from the sound source (your speaker). More precisely, doubling the distance reduces the SPL by 6dBs.
So, if your speaker’s max SPL is 126 dB (measured at a 1m distance), the SPL measured at an 8m distance will be 108dB, which is still pretty loud.
It’s important to have this in mind when trying to fill out larger spaces with sound. For parties of up to 100 people, you won’t need more than two of those large and loud party speakers (PartyBox 1000, SOUNDBOKS GEN3, DiamondBoxx XL3, etc.). In fact, for most parties, one big speaker will be just enough.
Interesting Fact About Loudness
Another important fact to remember when looking for a loud party speaker is that a relatively small increase in SPL is perceived as a significantly louder or quieter sound.
For example, an increase in SPL of just 10 dBs is generally perceived as twice as loud.
If you compare the first and last speaker on my list, you can conclude that JBL PartyBox 1000 (126 dB) is almost 8x louder than UE HYPERBOOM (99 dB).
Is Loudness the Only Thing You Should Care About?
No, it’s never just about the loudness. Loudness is quite important, especially for party speakers, but there are so many factors one should consider before buying a Bluetooth speaker.
Sure, we don’t all have the same priorities, but you should at least think about the following characteristics.
Most people don’t look for a perfectly balanced audiophile-grade sound in a party Bluetooth speaker. More often, the main priority is powerful bass.
However, you should avoid speakers that get too bassy, boomy, and uncontrolled at max volume. Numerous party speakers, especially cheap ones, tend to do so.
While you don’t need perfect clarity and balance, you still don’t want vocals and instruments completely drowned by the bass.
My top picks when it comes to sound quality, especially at high volumes, are JBL PartyBox 1000, DiamondBoxx XL3, and SOUNDBOKS GEN3.
Indoor or Outdoor Use
While it’s not the most important thing, you should definitely pay some attention to the potential use cases.
A speaker for outdoor parties should be more rugged, preferably IPX-certified, it should have a decent battery life, and it shouldn’t be huge.
All these things become less important if you’re buying a speaker for indoor use.
Ideally, an outdoor speaker should be rugged, with some reinforcements. Some level of protection against water ingress is definitely recommended.
If the speaker is not water-resistant, it should at least be made of high-quality materials.
Extremely loud Bluetooth speakers require lots of power. That’s why they usually have large batteries. Still, even with these batteries, most of the speakers from my list will not deliver more than 5h at max volume.
SOUNDBOKS GEN3 and SOUNDBOKS GO are the absolute champions when it comes to battery life. They will play for 5-6 hours at max volume. With these speakers, you can get up to 40 hours at 50% volume.
|SPEAKER||Battery Life (50% VOL)|
|JBL PartyBox 1000||No battery|
Size and Weight
You can’t get really loud sound from a tiny Bluetooth speaker. Most importantly, you can’t get that heart-pumping bass you expect from a party speaker. So, don’t expect a very loud Bluetooth speaker to be small.
Still, some speakers are simply too big to be carried around. For some speakers, you may even need two people to carry it. These speakers are technically portable because they have built-in batteries, handles, sometimes even wheels, but carrying them around is still a hassle.
If you are looking for a loud but fairly portable Bluetooth speaker, my top recommendation is the SOUNDBOKS GO. UE HYPERBOOM is also compact and easily portable, but not even close to SOUNDBOKS GO when it comes to loudness.
|JBL PartyBox 1000||15.6 x 43.3 x 15.9 in||34.7kg/76.5lb|
|Bumpboxx Uprock||7 x 36 x 23 in||22.7kg/50lb|
|Teufel Rockster||22.8 x 34.3 x 18.5 in||31.5kg/69.5lb|
|DiamondBoxx XL3||28 x 19 x 12 in||18.6kg/41lb|
|SOUNDBOKS GEN3||17 x 25.6 x 13 in||15.4kg/34lb|
|SOUNDBOKS Go||18 × 12 × 10 in||9.2kg/20lb|
|UE HyperBoom||7.5 x 14.3 x 7.5 in||5.9kg/13lb|
You can never neglect the price, especially when it comes to these big party speakers. Buying one is an important decision – it’s not like buying a cheap $25 portable speaker.
Most of the speakers on my list are, unfortunately, quite pricey. I could’ve included cheaper speakers, but my primary criterion, as explained earlier, was the speaker’s loudness.
I did consider some cheaper party speakers made by Anker (SoundCore Rave Party series, SoundCore Motion Boom Plus), as well as Monster Audio tailgating speakers, but the truth is – they don’t sound as loud or as good as the speakers on this list. They are not even close.
Finding a loud Bluetooth speaker for parties and similar indoor/outdoor events is not an easy task. I hope this article and my list of the loudest Bluetooth speakers helped you find the right one for your needs and learn a thing or two about speaker loudness in the process.
I encourage you to share your impressions and opinions in the comments below. Tell me what you like or don’t like about these speakers. Also, feel free to suggest speakers I should test and include in my selection.