If you're looking for a speaker to use at your next party, it's important to have a speaker that can get loud enough to fill large, crowded spaces. Speakers designed for parties are often large and heavy since they tend to reproduce deeper and thumpier low-basses than smaller speakers. They also often come with RGB lights and inputs to connect external microphones and instruments to them. If you're looking for something you can use at an outdoor party, being battery-powered is a must, so you're not limited by power outlets when placing it. It's also good if it has an IP rating for water resistance to survive splashes and light rain.
We've tested over 85 speakers, and below are our recommendations for the best speakers that we've tested to use at parties. See also our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best Bluetooth speakers for bass, and the loudest Bluetooth speakers.
The best party speaker we've tested is the JBL PartyBox 310. While it doesn't produce a low-bass as extended as the JBL PartyBox 710, it's smaller, lighter, and more portable. It's also battery-powered and features a 12V DC In port to charge the speaker via your car's lighter port. This well-built speaker is rated IPX4 for water resistance, certifying it to be protected from small splashes of water, so you can use it at outdoor parties without worrying about it getting a bit wet.
With its Bass Boost button set to level '1', it has a boomy sound profile that can produce a deep, thumpy, and rumbling low-bass that's typically present in bass-heavy music like EDM or hip-hop. It can get loud enough to fill large crowded spaces and can even get louder while wired to a power source. It features 'Mic', 'Mic or Guitar' inputs, and karaoke-related settings that'll please musicians and karaoke-lovers. You can also connect the PartyBox to other compatible speakers when you want your audio to cover even larger spaces.
Unfortunately, it lacks sound customization features like a graphic EQ to adjust its sound profile to your liking. There are also some compression artifacts present at max volume that can degrade the quality of your audio as you bump up its volume. If you're looking for a good speaker to bring to your next party, it's the best Bluetooth party speaker we've tested.
The best Bluetooth party speaker that we've tested with a customizable sound profile is the Sony XP700. If you like having extra control over your speaker's sound, this large party speaker features a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound profile to your liking. Its lights are also customizable, and the speaker is compatible with the Fiestable app that's advertised to let you access and control extra party features of this speaker.
With its 'MEGA BASS' feature enabled, this stereo party speaker has a boomy sound profile that adds some extra bass to the mix. It can get loud enough to fill a large room, and it features mic and mic/guitar inputs that can please musicians and karaoke-lovers. It's also battery-powered, comes with built-in carrying handles, and is rated IPX4 for water resistance, so it can withstand small splashes of water, making it suitable for outdoor parties by the pool.
Unfortunately, while it has a boomy sound profile, it lacks some low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like hip-hop and EDM. There's also compression present at max volume that can affect the quality of your audio during louder listening sessions. If you're looking for a customizable party speaker to use at your next party, this versatile speaker is still a great choice.
The best tailgate party speaker we've tested is the SOUNDBOKS (Gen. 3). While it isn't as easy to transport as the ION Pathfinder 280, it comes with two XLR ports you can use to wire instruments like a guitar, microphone, and DJ mixer to it. Its metal grille is also removable, and you can switch it out or different colors that suit your style, which you can purchase from the manufacturer.
This speaker can produce the deep thump and rumble in low-bass that fans of bass-heavy music enjoy. There's even a graphic EQ and presets you can use to tweak its sound to better suit your preferences in its SOUNDBOKS app. It can get loud enough to fill a large crowded area. Also, its battery is replaceable and lasts an incredible 43 hours from a single charge, so you don't have to worry about it dying on you in the middle of your party.
Unfortunately, while you can connect it to another compatible speaker to create a stereo pair, it downmixes stereo content to mono when using it on its own, which isn't as immersive. There are also a lot of compression artifacts present at max volume that can degrade the quality of your audio as you increase its volume. That said, if you're looking for the best Bluetooth speaker for outdoor party use for your next tailgate party, this speaker doesn't disappoint.
The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is the best portable party speaker we've tested. This well-built, battery-powered speaker comes with an IPX4 rating for water resistance that certifies it as protected from small splashes of water, so you don't have to worry about it getting a bit wet from some light rain when bringing it outdoors with you. It also comes with a strap built into its side to help carry it.
There's a room correction feature that Ultimate Ears calls 'Adaptive EQ' that adjusts the speaker's sound according to the room it's placed in. With this feature turned on, its sound profile is neutral overall, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It lacks some low-bass, so you can't feel the deep rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM or hip-hop. Fortunately, you can customize its sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. This stereo speaker can also get loud enough to fill large crowded spaces with sound, with little compression present at max volume.
Unfortunately, unlike other party speakers we've tested, there aren't any inputs you can use to connect external instruments or a microphone to it. It also doesn't have any RGB lights. However, it's still a solid choice if you're looking for a portable speaker you can bring along to your next party.
If you prefer a portable speaker with RGB lights and other party features, check out the Sony XG500. Though it has more compression present at max volume than the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM, and its soundstage doesn't sound as spacious, this portable party speaker features customizable RGB lights on its sides. You can also connect an external mic or guitar to it via its mic/guitar input, and it's compatible with the Fiestable app, which you can use to access extra party features of this speaker. With its 'MEGA BASS' preset turned on, it has a somewhat boomy sound profile overall, though it lacks some low-bass, so you can't feel the deep rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM. Fortunately, you can tweak its sound to your liking, thanks to the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app.
Go for the Ultimate Ears if you're looking for a portable speaker that can get a bit louder with less compression at max volume and better soundstage performance. If you prefer a speaker with customizable RGB lights and a mic/guitar input, consider the Sony instead.
Apr 12, 2022: Updated text for clarity; no changes to product picks.
Feb 11, 2022: Added the JBL PartyBox 710 and the ION Pathfinder 280 to the Notable Mentions. Updated the text for consistency.
Dec 13, 2021: Made the Sony XP700 the 'Best Customizable Speaker For Parties'. Added the JBL PartyBox 100 and JBL PartyBox 110 to the Notable Mentions. Text was updated for consistency.
Oct 14, 2021: Verified picks for accuracy, and updated text for clarity.
Sep 23, 2021: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best speakers to use at parties and the best tailgate speakers for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price (cheaper speakers win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no speakers that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to see more products, here's the list of all our speaker reviews, filtered by maximum volume. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect speakers. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.