Table of Contents
- 16 Loudest Bluetooth Speakers – Comparison Table
- Max SPL (Loudness) Comparison Table
- 1. The SOUNDBOKS 2
- 2. Aiwa Exos-9 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- 3. Peachtree Audio deepblue3 Bluetooth 3-Way Speaker System
- 4. DiamondBoxx Model XL
- 5. Marshall Woburn Bluetooth Speaker
- 6. Bose SoundTouch 30 Series III Wireless Speaker
- 7. BRAVEN BRV-XXL Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- 8. ION Audio Road Warrior Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- 9. NYNE ROCK Bluetooth Speaker
- 10. Fluance Fi70 Bluetooth Speaker
- 11. Sony GTKXB90 High Power Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- 12. Altec Lansing ALP-XP800 Xpedition 8
- 13. JBL Boombox Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
- 14. ION Audio Tailgater (iPA77)
- 15. ECOXGEAR GDI-EXBM901 – Eco Boulder
- SPECIAL MENTION
- 16. Teufel Rockster
If you are searching for the loudest Bluetooth speakers on the market you’ve come to the right place. If you tried to find the right Bluetooth speakers without any previous knowledge of what you should be paying attention to when buying Bluetooth speakers, this article is designed for you. Since we are going to present to you some of the loudest Bluetooth speakers, the most of our article will be related to SPL (Sound Pressure Level), power, their correlation, and their influence on speaker’s loudness. First, we are going to explain what technical specifications you should be taking into consideration when determining how loud is some speaker. After a short introduction, we are going to present to you our list of top 16 loudest Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Most people don’t really know what to look for when buying Bluetooth speaker, and the most common thing they want from speakers is to be powerful (and when they say that they usually mean they want speakers to deliver strong, loud, and clear sound). The word powerful implies, in a way, that you should be checking the power rating of the speaker (the amount of power that speaker can handle), which is not completely wrong, but it is also far from being completely correct. Choosing the right (or in our case – the loudest) Bluetooth speaker is slightly more complicated than comparing different power ratings, and if you base your decision only on this fact, you are in danger of making the wrong decision.
If you are interested in buying loud Bluetooth speaker, you should pay attention to at least two things – one is speaker’s power rating and the other is speaker’s sensitivity (or efficiency, to be precise). Only by combining these two features, you will understand how loud some specific speaker can be.
The efficiency of some speaker describes the effectiveness of transforming power into sound. It is expressed in dB of SPL per 1W, and it basically shows how loud sound some speaker can produce for given power of 1 Watt. Manufacturers often give efficiency values in their specification lists, but they mistakenly call it sensitivity (or simply SPL) and express it in dBs instead of dB/W. In order to keep it simple, we will use the same terminology like the manufacturers, but you should be aware of this common mistake. Efficiency is measured with a microphone in a soundproof room at 1m distance (between the speaker and the mic). If you want your speakers to be loud you should be looking for anything above 85dB (or even 90dB). This kind of speakers can be considered pretty sensitive.
The power rating of a speaker, as we already said, describes the maximum amount of power that can be handled by that speaker. Power rating is a bit trickier than sensitivity, and it is probably less important, although it might seem different, and the explanation follows.
Now when we established what is sensitivity and what is power rating, we should determine what kind of correlation exists between these characteristics, and what kind of influence they have on loudness. To simplify things, we can say that sensitivity describes nominal loudness of a speaker, and power rating combined with sensitivity will tell you what is the maximum loudness of a speaker. We will try to explain this through the following example.
Let’s assume that we have a speaker with 90dBs sensitivity and power rating of 500W. The most important thing you should know is that doubling the power increases loudness by 3dBs. So, 1W of power will be transformed into 90dBs, 2W into 93dBs, 4W-96dBs, 8W-99dBs, 16W-102dBs, 32W-105dBs, and maximum power of 500W will be transformed into 117dBs.
Based on what we said, you can probably understand that neither sensitivity nor power rating could describe maximum loudness of some speaker if you observe them separately. Bigger wattage doesn’t have to mean louder sound – if you have, for example, 300W speaker with 93dBs sensitivity, and 1000W speaker with 85dBs sensitivity, 300W speaker will be, in fact, louder (as you can see from the table).
If you want to buy really loud speaker you must take into consideration both values – sensitivity (or nominal SPL) and maximum power.
To conclude, out of two speakers with the same wattage, the louder will be the one with higher sensitivity, and if they have the same sensitivity, the louder will be the one with greater wattage. If two speakers have different sensitivities and wattages, then you can make your own tables and charts and determine maximum loudness on your own, just like we did in the previous example.
16 Loudest Bluetooth Speakers – Comparison Table
|Loudest Bluetooth Speakers||Rating||Price||Review|
|The Soundboks 2||4.4||Check Price||Read Review|
|Aiwa Exos-9||4.8||Check Price||Read Review|
|Peachtree Audio deepblue3||4.4||Check Price||Read Review|
|DiamondBoxx||5.0||Check Price||Read Review|
|Marshall Woburn||4.5||Check Price||Read Review|
|Bose SoundTouch||4.4||Check Price||Read Review|
|Braven BRV-XXL||4.5||Check Price||Read Review|
|ION Road Warrior||3.8||Check Price||Read Review|
|Nyne Rock||3.9||Check Price||Read Review|
|Fluance Fi70||4.6||Check Price||Read Review|
|Sony GTKXB90||4.3||Check Price||Read Review|
|Altec Xpedition 8||4.0||Check Price||Read Review|
|JBL Boombox||4.6||Check Price||Read Review|
|ION Audio Tailgater||4.3||Check Price||Read Review|
|ECOXGEAR GDI-EXBM901||4.1||Check Price||Read Review|
|Teufel Rockster||4.5||Check Price||Read Review|
When you click on “Check Price” you will be redirected to Amazon.
Max SPL (Loudness) Comparison Table
|Speaker||Max SPL||Playtime (at 50% volume)|
|The SOUNDBOKS 2||122dB||Up to 40 hours|
|Aiwa Exos-9||100dB||Up to 9 hours|
|Peachtree DEEPBLUE3||102dB||No battery/Not portable|
|DiamondBoxx Model XL||120dB||Up to 30 hours|
|Marshall Woburn||110dB||No battery/Not portable|
|Bose SoundTouch 30 Series III||110dB||No battery/Not portable|
|BRAVEN BRV-XXL||104dB||Up to 14 hours|
|ION Audio Road Warrior||113dB||Up to 14 hours|
|NYNE ROCK||107dB||Up to 10 hours|
|Fluance Fi70||103dB||No battery/Not portable|
|Sony GTKXB90||104dB||Up to 16 hours|
|Altec Xpedition 8||106dB||Up to 14 hours|
|JBL Boombox||101dB||Up to 22 hours|
|ION Audio Tailgater||99dB||Up to 35 hours|
|ECOXGEAR GDI-EXBM901||112dB||Up to 20 hours|
|Teufel Rockster||122dB||Up to 30 hours|
Just two more things before we present to you our list of top 16 loudest Bluetooth speakers – In case you already know how loud you want your speakers to be (exact or approximate value in decibels), there is this simple table below, which shows you for how many decibels will be increased nominal SPL for certain maximum allowed power. So, if you have some speaker with nominal SPL (sensitivity) expressed in dBs, and you have the maximum allowed wattage of, let’s say 500W, then you can simply sum the nominal SPL and the increase of SPL from the table (in this case 27dBs), and get the maximum SPL (maximum loudness).
The other thing you should know is that perceived SPL drops as the distance from the speaker increases. Studies showed that by moving one meter away from the speaker decreases SPL by 6dBs. You can see the correlation between the SPL and the distance on the chart below. This is useful to know when installing your speakers – you don’t want them to be too close (especially if they are extremely loud), but also, you don’t want them to be too far because of significant loss in SPL.
You should be aware that loudness is not everything, and that there are some other, equally important features you should pay attention to when buying Bluetooth speakers, but we will talk about that later.
The basic criteria we were using for making this list was combining sensitivity and maximum power and determining maximum loudness based on these two characteristics, but we also paid attention to the price, sound quality, design, and quality of connection (since these are all Bluetooth speakers). We hope you’ll find this list helpful.
Here is our list of top 16 loudest Bluetooth speakers in 2020.
1. The SOUNDBOKS 2
SOUNDBOKS 1 was our previous favorite. It was a perfect speaker for all kinds of outdoor events (backyard parties, barbeque parties, tailgate parties, etc.). It was one of the loudest and one of the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers on the market. Now, we have an upgraded version that’s even better. The successor is simply named SOUNDBOKS 2. It is 40% louder than the first version, it has a better battery, the design is slightly improved, and the sound is more detailed and clearer. This is not a cheap speaker – it’s priced around $900.
What’s in the box?
The packaging is pretty large. The size and weight of SOUNDBOKS 2 is pretty much the same as the size and weight of the SOUNDBOKS 1. Along with the SOUNDBOKS 2, you will get one easily removable/replaceable battery (you can buy a spare battery separately), AUX cable, charging cable (with adapter), instruction manual, and a 2-year warranty.
The speaker is quite hefty and you might need some help to carry it around. It weighs 33 pounds, and the dimensions are 17x26x13in (WxHxD).
The front side is fully covered with a hard, semitransparent metal grille. The SB logo is located in the top left corner. The rest of the grille, as well as the speaker itself, is completely black.
The frame is made of brushed aluminum and it covers all the edges while the corners have an additional aluminum protection.
The enclosure is made of plywood with a matte black finish. On the left panel, you will see one large battery compartment and a strong carrying handle. On the right panel, there are 2 knobs (volume and power/mode button), charging port, and AUX input. Also, there’s another carrying handle. That’s about it – the manufacturer really wanted to keep it simple. There are no additional buttons (no play/pause, forward/rewind, no bass and treble knobs, or anything like that).
SOUNDBOKS 2 features 3 drivers – two 10-inch woofers, 1 soft-dome tweeter, and two bass reflex ports. They are powered with 3 class-D amplifiers (72W each).
Things we like
Simple and functional design
The speaker features simple boxy design. There are no fancy details or excessive branding. It’s a simple box with two carrying handles on the left and right panels.
Great Build Quality and Durability
SOUNDBOKS 2 is very rugged. It can definitely withstand all the rigors of outdoor use. The only problem is – it’s not fully waterproof and dustproof (not IPX certified), so you should keep it away from water and other fluids.
The controls are super-simple, maybe even too simple. Some people like speakers with bass/treble knobs and a few playback buttons, but this speaker doesn’t have any. There are only two knobs – volume knob with 11 levels of loudness and power/sound mode knob. You can choose between two sound modes – indoor and outdoor.
The first SOUNDBOKS had the max SPL of 119dB, but the new version can go up to 122dB, which is more than enough for a big outdoor party. This is, if not the loudest, one of the top three loudest Bluetooth speakers on the market. The only speaker, that we know about, that’s capable of reaching these SPL levels is Rockster made by the German audio manufacturer called Teufel. Unfortunately, Rockster is not available in US stores but you can order it from the German Amazon or from the manufacturer.
The battery on this thing is pretty impressive. The capacity is rated at 7.8Ah which is enough for 40 hours of continuous listening at moderate volumes (40-50%). You will get 8h at full volume which is more than enough, even for the longest parties. If that’s not enough for you, you can buy an additional battery. Replacing/removing the battery is incredibly simple and takes just a few seconds. The recharge takes approx. 4 hours.
Bluetooth connectivity + AUX input
SOUNDBOKS 2 features Bluetooth 3.0 which is not something we were delighted with. The first SOUNDBOKS had the same Bluetooth version and we have expected an upgrade. After all, that should be one of the cheapest upgrades. The Bluetooth connection works as advertised (33ft advertised range, 20ft actual range) and the pairing is simple, but you won’t get any of those nice additional Bluetooth features (NFC pairing, automatic pairing, multipoint pairing, etc.). If you don’t want to use Bluetooth or if you want to connect a non-Bluetooth device, you can use the standard AUX input.
Powerful bass – perfect for outdoor use
Loudness alone is simply not enough. This speaker also delivers pretty clear and detailed sound, even at high volumes. The bass is definitely the greatest highlight, especially when the outdoor mode is enabled. The outdoor mode basically boosts the bass frequencies and improves the loudness a little bit. The sound is just a little bit clearer in indoor mode. In the outdoor mode, bass tends to bleed into the midrange and makes some lower midrange frequencies muddy. The distortion is not a huge issue, but you can notice it if you crank up the volume (if the volume is set at 9,10, or 11).
Things we don’t like
You have to use your phone for everything – there are no control buttons on the speaker
As we have said, some people might like those simple volume and power/mode knobs, but others want more control. If you prefer the speakers with more control buttons, this one is not for you. If loudness and sound quality are your only concerns, SOUNDBOKS 2 is one of the best options.
It lacks USB charging port
There’s a bunch of big speakers on the market with built-in USB charging ports (powerbank ports). Unfortunately, SOUNDBOKS 2 is not one of them.
You can’t pair two/multiple SOUNDBOKS 2 speakers in Bluetooth mode
We have already mentioned this. You can’t pair two or more SOUNDBOKS 2 speakers wirelessly and play them in stereo or party mode (due to older Bluetooth version). If there’s going to be the third SOUNDBOKS version, updating the Bluetooth version should be one of the manufacturer’s top priorities.
2. Aiwa Exos-9 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Aiwa was once Japanese company established in 1951, and it was bought by Sony in 2002. It existed as part of Sony Corporation for 4 years but since it didn’t prove to be a good investment, Aiwa brand was discontinued. In 2014 Joe Born bought the rights to use Aiwa brand and formed new audio equipment company that operates under old and well-known name. The speaker we are going to present to you is one of the trademarks of this new Aiwa company.
What’s in the box?
Aiwa Exos-9 come in a pretty big black box along with one Li-Ion battery, audio cable with 3.5mm gold-plated jacks (in case you want to use speaker in wired mode), and power supply cable. Exos-9 speaker is pretty large for something that is considered portable – it is 11.7 inches high, 19.4 wide, and 7.5 inches deep, and it weighs 13 pounds, so it is much larger than some Bose or JBL portable speakers, but it can still be carried around, although you have to be a little bit stronger.
On the front side of the speaker, there is aluminum grill that protects the drivers, and there are volume knob and screen with equalizer. On the back side, you will find bass reflex port which is right in the middle and in the bottom right corner you will find ON/OFF switch, power input, AUX input, USB port for charging your phone which is a nice addition, and micro USB port for updating the firmware. On the top, you can find touch-sensitive controls which you can use to play/pause songs, adjust the equalizer, and link two Exos-9 speakers, but we will talk about that function later.
Inside the speaker, there are 5 drivers – one 6.5 inches large bass driver (subwoofer) which is right in the middle, two 3 inches large midrange drivers (bottom left and right), and two 1in large treble drivers (tweeters). There are also integrated class D bi-amplifiers.
Things we like:
Maybe it’s just nostalgy, but this speaker irresistibly reminds us of old-school cassette boombox, which brings up some memories, so we kind of have to be subjective and like this mixture of old very recognizable design and some new technology. It might be a little bulky compared to most of other portable speakers, but it still looks really stylish and simple.
Although it is mostly made of plastic and has some really sensitive parts (like touch screen on the top) there have been no complaints regarding durability of this speaker. Our first impression is that it looks robust and compact, and previous users’ experiences allow us to say with certainty that this speaker is really durable.
EQ screen and EQ controls
If you want some specific type of sound you can use EQ control buttons to adjust different frequency bands – you can emphasize bass, mid-tones, or highs. There are 4 preinstalled EQ settings, and 5 frequency bands you can control separately. All the adjustments you make can be seen on the EQ screen on the front side of the speaker next to the volume knob.
This is the point where Exos-9 goes well beyond any expectations. This speaker delivers well-balanced sound with punchy bass, full mids, and clean highs. There is almost no distortion (less than 0.1%), and you will be able to enjoy your music without annoying sound ‘’deformations’’.
With numerous big drivers comes loud sound, and that’s the thing you can expect from this speaker. The manufacturer claims that the maximum SPL is above 100dB, which is much less than maximum loudness of the previous model we were talking about, but we may have raised the bar a little bit too high with Soundboks 2. If you compare this speaker to a bunch of smaller models made by Bose or JBL (which are the most popular portable speakers), you will get significantly louder sound. The loudness won’t make your ears ‘’bleed’’, but it is more than enough for home parties (up to 30 people), and probably still not good enough for bigger outdoor events. If you need more loudness, there is one interesting feature we are going to explain in the next passage.
Possibility of pairing two Exos-9 speakers
So, as we mentioned above, if you want more loudness, you can buy 2 Exos-9 speakers, pair them and double the loudness. Pairing is very simple, you just tap the LINK button on the touchscreen which is positioned on top of the speaker and you’re done. There are two modes of pairing – you can choose double stereo mode (each speaker reproduces the same sound), or separated-stereo mode (one speaker acts as the left and the other as the right in order to get great stereo sound). Depending on the position of the speakers and their purpose, you can shift from one to another mode.
Exos-9 speaker uses Li-Ion battery that allows you up to 9 hours of constant listening to music at 85 dB of SPL. You should know that battery won’t last that much if you crank up the volume to the max. There is also an option to buy separately ‘’extended battery’’ which offers up to 18 hours of listening to music. Although this is not even close to Soundboks 2 (which is probably the best on the market when battery is concerned), 9 hours seems just enough for this kind of speaker.
Bluetooth connection and NFC pairing
Bluetooth connection works really well on this one – it allows you to control the playback from as far as 50ft, and there were no reported problems regarding connectivity or signal loss. There is also that option we mentioned above, to pair two speakers via Bluetooth, which is nice thing to have. If you want even faster pairing there is NFC function, so if you have an Android phone, you can just tap the speaker with your phone and pair them in a second.
USB and mini USB port
These ports on the rear panel are really helpful additions – you can use standard USB port to charge your phone (which is a great thing if you are outside), and mini USB port is there for installing firmware updates. The mini USB port is great stuff and it was extremely useful in the past. When Aiwa started producing this model, there was a certain number of small glitches and flaws (there was also one major flaw called ‘’speaker hijacking’’), and based on customers’ complaints people from Aiwa made a couple of updates which fixed all the bugs. That’s why Exos-9 speakers that are produced today don’t really have any significant flaw that would make you wonder if this is a good deal.
Things we don’t like:
As we already said, Exos-9 speaker doesn’t have any major flaws, or at least we didn’t manage to find some. All the important bugs from the past are fixed thanks to firmware updates, but there are some small improvements that could make this speaker even better.
Design of the controls
Although control screen looks really nice, it would probably be better if Aiwa placed EQ screen next to the controls, since you have to tap controls on the top and look at the EQ screen on the front side, and you can easily press the wrong button while looking at the EQ screen.
Sensitivity (responsiveness) of the touchscreen
Sometimes you have to tap control buttons twice or three times or tap them just a little bit harder before you get response (before the music starts playing for example).
No volume level indicator
Since there is already EQ screen on the front side, it would be nice to have a volume level and battery status indicators on the screen. That would be small but really useful additional feature.
No remote control included in the package
Although you can buy it separately and it doesn’t cost too much, it would be fair to get a remote for the money you pay. The same thing applies to carrying bag, which is also available separately.
3. Peachtree Audio deepblue3 Bluetooth 3-Way Speaker System
Peachtree Audio deepblue3 is the upgraded version of a very popular deepblue2 Bluetooth speaker. The biggest issue with the deepblue2 was the Bluetooth connectivity – the connection range was relatively short and the connection was unreliable. You won’t be experiencing any of those issues with the new deepblue3 speaker. All the good things about the deepblue2 remained the same.
What’s in the box?
The deepblue3 comes in a nice box along with all the accessories you could possibly need. That was really careful and we have to praise the manufacturer for that. Besides the speaker, you will get a set of audio cables (standard AUX cable, 3.5mm to RCA, digital optical cable), the power cable, IR remote, owner’s manual, and 1-year warranty.
The speaker doesn’t look big, but it’s hefty. It weighs 16 pounds, and the dimensions are 14.2×9.1×6.5in (WxHxD).
Deepblue3 features 5 drivers, just like deepblue2. There is one 6.5in woofer, two 3in midrange woofers, and two 1in tweeters.
The whole front panel is covered with a black inflexible grille. On the grille, there are some gray details as well as the deepblue3 logo in the middle and Peachtree logo at the bottom.
There are 5 capacitive control buttons on the top panel – Bluetooth/pairing, input, power, volume +, and volume –. The buttons are backlit. Also, you will see 5 LED Bluetooth/input/volume indicators.
On the rear panel, you can find all the inputs as well as carrying handle. The speaker is not incredibly versatile when it comes to connections, but the good thing is that both analog and digital inputs are covered. You have one AUX input and one digital optical input.
Things we like
This is another boombox-like Bluetooth speaker. The front panel is not completely flat – the sides (left and right) are slightly angled backward. That kind of design is supposed to improve the dispersion of the sound and provide better stereo separation.
Deepblue3 is entirely made of plastic, but it looks and feels very solid. Nothing looks cheap or flimsy and that is definitely reassuring. The grille on the front panel is very hard. It’s not transparent and it’s not flexible. The top panel is rubberized.
Simple and responsive controls
The control panel is very nice. All the buttons are backlit and they are all responsive. You will know how to use them even without the manual – everything is pretty much self-explanatory.
You don’t even have to get up if you want to change the source – the remote is included in the package and it’s a really convenient detail. The remote is simple and easy to use. One thing you can do with the remote but cannot do with the control buttons on the unit itself is the bass adjustment. You can boost or decrease the bass level by pressing the Bass+/Bass- buttons. There are no treble and mid adjustment buttons.
Deepblue3 can get really loud for its size. The speaker can reach 102dB. It can actually go even higher, but that’s the moment when the distortion becomes really obvious. Still, 102dB is pretty impressive for a speaker of that size.
Digital and analog inputs
You will find an AUX input on almost all the speakers, even the cheapest ones, but you won’t find digital optical input on that many Bluetooth speakers. That’s one of the advantages of deepblue3. You can connect it to your new TV if you are not happy with your TV speakers, or you can connect it to any other digital audio source.
Improved Bluetooth connection
The previous deepblue speaker had some Bluetooth issues, but deepblue3 is much better when it comes to Bluetooth connectivity. The range is significantly longer. If you are in line of sight, you can be more than 70ft away and you won’t experience any drop-out or signal loss. If there are walls, furniture, and other obstacles between your phone and the speaker, the range is shorter. The connection is perfectly stable and the audio quality is pretty impressive. You can pair up to 5 Bluetooth-enabled devices with the speaker. The speaker will pair automatically with the last paired device when you turn it on.
Good sound quality + smart volume feature
The sound quality is surprisingly good for the size. The bass is impactful and thick, but can’t be compared to an actual 8-in or 10-in subwoofer. If you prefer powerful, extended, or even overemphasized bass, this thing might sound tiny to you. The midrange is nicely fused with the bass. It’s well defined and very detailed. The highs are a bit brighter but not harsh.
The separation between the left and right channels is pretty impressive, especially considering the size of the speaker.
Depblue speakers also feature something called smart volume. This feature basically brings the balance into your music. It will elevate the bass response at low volumes in order to add some definition to your music. It will also recess the bass and treble levels and remove most of the peaks at high volumes in order to prevent distortion and make your music more balanced and more natural.
Things we don’t like
Volume and bass reset
When you turn off the speaker, the bass and volume levels will reset to default values. Ironically, the speaker will remember all the Bluetooth devices (5 of them) and it will reconnect to the last device, but it won’t remember your customized volume/bass settings.
It lacks battery – It’s not portable
This thing has to be plugged in all the time. There’s no battery and it can’t be used on the go. Deepblue3 is supposed to be a desktop speaker.
No EQ presets or EQ settings (only bass adjustment)
You can only adjust the bass levels. You won’t be able to adjust the treble with your remote. Surely, you can always install some EQ app on your phone and play with sound, but having two additional treble level buttons (and maybe a few EQ presets) would be a more convenient solution. After all, Aiwa Exos-9, which is the biggest rival of the deepblue3, has multiple EQ presets and it allows you to make your own EQ adjustments. Hopefully, the next upgrade will include these features.
4. DiamondBoxx Model XL
DiamondBoxx was established in 2014, in California. Although it is one of the youngest audio equipment companies on the market, the people involved in making their most famous models (M, L, XL) have huge experience in manufacturing audio equipment. All their speakers are completely handmade so you can expect first-class quality and only the best materials. Their speakers are indeed premium and they cost a lot, but when you hear the sound, how accurate and loud it can be, you will maybe understand why they cost that much. We decided to present to you their biggest, loudest and most expensive Bluetooth speaker – DiamondBoxx XL. This is probably the loudest speaker on our list, and the reason why we decided not to present it first was the price – we didn’t want to scare you away with the priciest model right at the beginning.
What’s in the box
Diamondboxx XL comes in a huge 50-pound package, while the speaker itself weighs some 40 pounds and its dimensions are 28 inches (width), 19 inches (height), and 11.2 inches (depth). Along with the speaker, you will get big battery charger, audio cable with 3.5mm gold-plated jacks, and the extension power cable.
Most of the features can be found on the front panel of this massive speaker. There is no protective aluminum or plastic mesh like with most of other speakers, and you can see all the drivers immediately. There are 6 5.5 inches mid-range woofers made of neodymium magnets, 8 1in drivers for high frequencies (tweeters) also made of neodymium magnets with heatsink, and 2 3in ‘’wind throb’’ bass ports which enable the sound to go as low as 42Hz. Inside the speaker, there are also 12 separate amplifiers with combined max power of 960W (this refers to peaks, while the RMS is 560W). In the middle of the front panel you will also see power button, volume knob, mode button (there are two modes – SQ and SP), AUX input port for 3.5mm jack, standard USB port (for charging your phone), and there is also one small diamond (actual diamond) and under the diamond there is preinstalled LED light. Depending on the color of the diamond, you will know the status of your battery – when diamond is white – battery is full, when diamond is yellow – battery is low, and when diamond changes its color to red it means that battery is going to die soon and you should recharge it. Near the top, you will see 10 LED ‘’output meters’’. These 10 LEDs also show battery level when you turn on the speaker, and every dot represents 10%, so you can have more precise info on battery status. After you pair your phone or any other Bluetooth device with the speaker and play the first song, LEDs become VU (volume unit) meter that shows peaks of sound in decibels (each dot represents 3dB in SQ mode or 6dB in SP mode). On the rear panel, there is battery charger port, and ¼ inch RMS audio input and output ports which you can use to connect 2 or more DiamondBoxx XL speakers. On the top there is carrying handle made of premium leather, it is very well-made and durable so you don’t have to worry it will snap during transport, although there will be not much carrying around because of the 40 pounds weight.
Things we like
Quality of construction (durability)
Only the best premium materials were used to build this gigantic model – there is a lot of metal, wood (practically without plastic parts), and many titanium reinforcements. Front and rear panel are made from aluminum with Duratex finish. You can even sit or stand on this speaker, and you won’t damage it. DiamondBoxx XL is, without any doubt, made to last and to withstand heavy use during many years, and when you pay that much this is the only normal thing to expect. The speaker also comes with 2-year warranty, while many other speakers come with only 1-year warranty.
Bluetooth connection works like a charm. You can pair DiamondBoxx XL with literally any Bluetooth enabled device (iPhones, Android phones, tablets, PCs, etc.) within 50ft range (it is a little bit shorter in practice, but we won’t make big fuss about that). There were no connection problems (loss of connection, interference) and all the users had only words of praise for Bluetooth connection.
With all the effort involved in combining 16 drivers, it would be a shame not to get incredible result. DiamondBoxx XL is perfect example of well-crafted speaker with perfect sound with no (or minimum) distortion even at extremely loud volume. You can almost feel lows, mids, and highs working together to produce perfectly accurate natural sound.
We have already mentioned that this speaker is loud. The loudness goes to the point where you can consider it insane. Single XL speaker can produce 120dB output sound, and if you are crazy enough and you don’t think that’s too much, you can pair 2 DiamondBoxx XL speakers for combined 126dB output, or you can connect multiple (up to 25) XL speakers, if you really have that kind of money and you don’t care about your ears at all.
SQ and SP modes
Depending on what you need from your speakers you can choose SQ (sound quality) or SP (sound pressure) mode. If you are at your home SQ mode will provide just enough loudness (probably more than you need), but if you are having outdoor party and you need your speaker to be as loud as possible, you can shift to SP mode and get maximum loudness.
3D gravity sensor
3D gravity sensor constantly tracks the changes in position of the speaker and makes adjustments to the sound depending on relative position to earth. Thanks to this sensor, you can even place the speaker vertically and get the same quality of sound, although DiamondBoxx XL has rubber feet only at the bottom, and it will be unstable if you place it vertically (you can always buy additional set of feet from the manufacturer’s website).
DiamondBoxx XL uses new-generation Li-Ion batteries, the exact type that use Tesla cars. The battery is very durable, and it can last for up to 30 hours (at low to moderate volume). If you raise the volume up the battery drains faster, and at maximum volume, it can last for 4-6 hours. You can also buy more powerful battery (462Wh) separately which can last twice as much. Recharge takes 3 hours, and you can use the charger to power the speaker while the battery is charging. The battery is built-in, so you can’t take it out or replace it. One battery can survive 1000+ cycles with minimum losses.
Things we don’t like
Well, this is the matter of taste – we don’t find this speaker as appealing as some others we have mentioned, even though we usually like this kind of old-school boombox design. Bear in mind that this speaker is more about sound quality, loudness, and quality of construction than about the looks.
As we mentioned earlier, this is one really expensive piece of equipment. We don’t want to say that it is overpriced especially because it is handmade and offers incredibly good sound and insane loudness. This speaker is worth that kind of money and if you can afford it, you should definitely buy it.
5. Marshall Woburn Bluetooth Speaker
Everybody knows what kind of brand is Marshall. This London-based company has been an integral part of audio and music industry for 55 years, and it has become famous for producing amplifiers. Seven years ago, people from Marshall decided to expand production and start making not only amplifiers but also some other pieces of audio equipment. In 2010 they launched the first Marshall headphones, and that was a big success. Two years later Marshall launched the first speakers called Hanwell and Stanmore. Both models were highly praised for their sound quality and classic Marshall design. We decided to present to you their latest and loudest Bluetooth speaker called Woburn. We honestly think that this speaker deserves place among top l0 (probably top 5) loudest speakers on the market, and it is probably among top 3 when design and construction quality are concerned. To conclude, you can’t go wrong with this speaker, unless you need something portable because this one is not.
What’s in the box
Marshall Woburn comes in a pretty large box, not as large as Soundboks 2 or Diamondboxx XL, but it is still larger and heavier than most of others. The box itself looks like some kind of user manual since you have bunch of instruction and presented features on the side and on the back of the box. In this box, you will find Woburn speaker (it weighs 17.5 pounds, and it is 11.4 inches high, 15.75 inches wide, and 7.8 inches deep), coiled audio cord with gold-plated 3.5mm jacks on both sides, user manual, and two power cables (one for European and one for US customers).
Protective mesh covers the front panel of the speaker, and all the controls are located at the top. On the gold-plated control panel, you will find AUX input, 4 LEDs showing the selected input (Bluetooth, Optical, Input 1 – AUX, Input 2 – RCA), 3 knobs for volume, bass, and treble, SOURCE/WAKE and PAIR buttons, and retro Power ON/OFF switch. On the rear panel, there is standby switch with two modes – Powersaver and Standard. This switch is there because the EU legislation requires that any device made for European market have at most 0.5W power consumption in standby mode. Whichever option you chose, power consumption will be the same while the speaker is in use – speaker goes to standby mode if it’s not been used for 20 minutes, and if it is in Powersaver mode, your electricity bill will be slightly lower. There is, unfortunately, one annoying thing about this standby switch and you can read about that in ‘’Things we don’t like” section. On the rear panel there are also RCA input for connecting your DVD player or any other device that can be connected through RCA cable (you should know that there is no RCA cable included in the package), optical digital input (for Apple TV or any other TV with optical output), and power jack.
Inside the Woburn speaker there are 4 drivers – 2 5.25 inches woofers and two 1-inch tweeters, and at the back, there are 2 bass reflex ports. Speaker also has 3 class D amplifiers – one with rated power of 50W (for woofers), and two amplifiers with rated power of 20W (for tweeters).
Things we like
The speaker has classic Marshall design, it has nice retro vibe, and it’s really stylish. The manufacturer took care of every detail in order to make incredibly visually appealing speaker. Everything looks just like you would expect from Marshall. One more thing you should know is that Woburn is available in two colors – black and cream.
Construction quality and durability
Marshall has made its name by making robust and durable amplifiers, and Woburn speaker is not an exception. Quality wood and vinyl finish were mostly used and there are also some metal parts and reinforcements. There were no complaints in the past regarding speaker’s durability, and based on that and our experience, this is one sturdy, compact, and really durable speaker.
It’s no surprise for some speaker made by Marshall to produce incredible sound. This speaker excels in this department. The sound is crisp and clear, you can practically hear every individual tone, there is nice balance between lows, mids, and highs (you can also adjust bass and treble, but we will talk about that later), and the sound is natural and pleasant.
Since this is the most important criteria for making this list, you can probably guess how loud Woburn can be. This speaker has maximum SPL of 110dB, which is incredibly loud for home use and you are going to use it mostly at your home since there is no battery. One more important thing you should know is that there is a certain amount of distortion at maximum volume (THD is 3%).
Bass and treble knobs
When the bass and treble knobs are at medium level you will get the sound quality we were talking about, but if you want more bass, or you want to emphasize highs, you can use these knobs and adjust the sound to your preferences. Knobs are really nice touch by Marshall and they are probably inspired by all the Marshall amplifiers made in the past. This is one of only a few Bluetooth speakers on the market that has bass and treble controls – some speakers have bass knob, but treble knob is something that you can find on Marshall’s and just a couple more speakers.
Woburn uses Bluetooth V4.0 technology which allows pairing with any Bluetooth-enabled device (iPhones, Android phones, PCs, tablets, etc.). Marshall didn’t make statements on connection range, which is in our opinion, a smart move since it’s pointless to claim that it can be connected to any device within 33ft or 50ft range when it happens so often that the range is shorter than that. This way, you know that there is Bluetooth connection and you can check yourself what’s the maximum distance between the Bluetooth-enabled media device and the speaker. There were no complaints regarding Bluetooth connection in the past, and we also didn’t experience any problems. Pairing is really easy – you just have to choose Bluetooth input by pressing source button, then press pair button, and find Woburn among available Bluetooth devices on your phone. The speaker can memorize up to 6 different devices, so when you connect your phone for the first time you don’t have to repeat the connection procedure every time – the phone and speaker will be paired automatically whenever they are in range.
Optical digital input
If you have TV with optical output or Apple TV, you can easily connect it to Woburn speaker via optical cable and get even better sound quality.
Things we don’t like
Not really portable (no battery)
Although it’s not that big (like DiamondBoxx XL for example), this speaker is not portable, and can’t be used outside, unless you have some power socket nearby. Woburn doesn’t have battery, and it is dependent on external power source, so you can’t take it with you to the beach, or to a picnic. This speaker would probably be even more popular if it would have battery.
Waking up the speaker in Powersaver mode
This is not really an issue, and it’s not something that Marshall doesn’t already know. We explained why is Powersaver mode present, and the thing with Powersaver mode is that whenever you want to stream some music from your phone and the speaker is on standby, you have to ‘’wake up’’ the speaker first by pressing source/wake button. You don’t have to do this when the speaker is in Standard mode.
6. Bose SoundTouch 30 Series III Wireless Speaker
Bose is an American audio equipment company established in 1964, in Massachusetts. Bose became famous for producing speakers, audio systems, and headphones. The guiding idea of Bose corporation for the last decade or so was combining great sound with the latest hi-tech inventions and new functions. Unlike some companies with more traditional approach (taking care of the sound, design and build quality), Bose is trying to add new functions and gadgets to their devices all the time. Soundtouch 30 wireless Bluetooth speaker is the product of that kind of approach, and it is probably the only speaker on this list that could offer you one-click connection to bunch of music libraries, online music services, and internet radio stations. This is also one of only a few speakers that could be controlled by an app. One thing we don’t like about Bose is the fact that they are not completely transparent when technical characteristics of the devices they make are concerned – if you want to buy Bose speaker or headphones, you really have to dig hard to find technical specifications, and there is always possibility that you won’t find what you’ve been looking for. If you want to find out what’s the maximum SPL of this speaker or some other specs, keep reading this article and we will provide you with all the information you need.
What’s in the box
Bose Soundtouch 30 speaker comes in a large box along with power cord, USB to micro USB cable (for installing updates and setting up the speaker), remote, and user manual (you can consider it your bible for the next few minutes after unboxing, since you really have to read the instructions in order to connect the speaker to the network). Speaker is kind of heavy, it weighs 18.5 pounds, and it is 9.7 inches high, 17.1 inches wide, and 7.1 inches deep.
The front side is covered with protective mesh and there are wi-fi connection indicator, OLED panel, and Bose logo in the middle. The control buttons are placed at the top– there are power button, source button (for shifting between AUX and Bluetooth inputs), 6 preset buttons, and 2 volume buttons. All the other controls are on the remote (2 buttons for skipping tracks, thumb up/down buttons, and play/pause button), and the best way to completely control the playback is to use the Soundtouch app which is available for all Apple and Android phones, and bunch of other devices. On the rear panel you can find ethernet port (for wired internet connection), micro USB and USB ports (for setup), AUX input, and power jack (the only way to power this speaker is through an external power source (wall socket) since there is no battery).
Inside the speaker, there are two 50mm Twiddler speakers with 4 Ohms impedance and one 116mm woofer with 1 Ohm impedance. Bose decided to go with sealed enclosure without bass reflex ports. The bass is not affected too much, and it is still very much booming.
Things we like
When design is concerned there is no doubt that you can’t go wrong with any Bose device. Bose takes care of every detail, and what you always get is stylish and elegant-looking product. This speaker is no different from any other Bose device, and it is nicely designed with much patience and attention to details. Speaker is available in two colors – black and white.
Soundtouch 30 is a sturdy, well-constructed, compact speaker. The enclosure is made of welded plastic, and most of the parts are also made of plastic, but it seems really durable, and there were no complaints regarding build quality.
This speaker delivers nice balanced sound with strong bass, articulate mids, and clean highs, although when you compare it to the sound that DiamondBoxx XL or Woburn produce, it sounds a little bit unnatural (and rather shallow), and we like more the other two. Soundtouch 30 is still much better than most of the speakers on the market, and we don’t think that the sound is bad, only that there is some room for improvement. One more thing you should know about the sound is that you can adjust the amount of bass through the app.
Soundtouch 30 can be really loud, much louder than you need for home use. Maximum SPL is approximately 110dB, and because of multiroom functionality you can combine two or more Bose systems (there are unfortunately some problems regarding this feature but we will talk about that later), and get even louder sound. You should be aware that mids and highs get muffled at maximum volume, and it is probably better not to go above 85-90% with the volume.
Bluetooth connection is somewhat neglected due to presence of wi-fi connection which is advertised more than any other feature. Bluetooth works really well if your device is 20ft away from the speaker or closer. Pairing is very easy, and you will be able to stream your music in no time. Speaker is able to memorize devices, so whenever Bluetooth connection is active your device will be automatically paired with the speaker.
Dual-band Wi-fi connection
Wi-fi connection is the most popular function of this speaker, and bunch of other functions is dependent on wi-fi. Speaker can be connected to your home network via ethernet port or via wi-fi. Before using your speaker, you need to connect your speaker to your PC (use the USB cable that comes with the speaker) and set up the speaker. The other option is to install Soundtouch app and use it instead of your PC for setting up the speaker. Soundtouch app is also the best way to control the speaker after the initial setup. On the front side of the speaker, there is wi-fi LED indicator (it will be solid white when the speaker is connected to your home network, solid amber when the system is in setup mode, and blinking amber when the system is disconnected). The connection is stable, although the speaker can sometimes get confused when your MacBook and iPhone, for example, are near the speaker, so if you are streaming something from your phone, it happens sometimes when you turn on the MacBook that the speaker connects automatically to it instead of staying connected to your phone. Bose should make some software improvements to avoid this interference between different devices using the home network (adjusting priority list would probably do the job).
Bose decided to include 6 buttons for presets, which you can use to memorize some of the music services, libraries, or internet stations you are using. That way, you can play the music you like just by pressing one of these buttons and you don’t have to use your phone to access these services at all. Let’s say that you are using Soundtouch app to listen to one of thousands internet radio stations, and you really like the music. If you want your speaker to memorize this station so you could listen to it without searching through the list of available stations every time, you can simply press and hold one of six preset buttons (you can either press the button on your speaker, on the remote, or you can do that with your app). Once the station is memorized, you can simply press the button whenever you want to listen to that station and the music will start – you won’t have to use your phone, access the Soundtouch app, etc. The same goes for any service you use – Deezer, Pandora, iTunes, Spotify, music libraries. Some people complained about the number of presets saying that they need more than six, but we think that 6 is just enough.
Remote is a nice touch, but you are probably going to use your phone and Soundtouch app to control the speaker more than the remote. Remote can still be useful if you want to change, play, or pause the track quickly without taking out your phone, or if you want to include some song among your favorites (thumb up/down buttons).
Things we don’t like
This speaker doesn’t have battery, so you can’t use it outside if you don’t have power socket nearby. This one is designed to be used at home, and it is also very sensitive to rain (Bose even advises their customers to clean it only with dry mop without any chemicals or water).
This is probably the most annoying issue we’ve experienced. If you connect your TV to your speaker (by using Bluetooth) and you start watching a movie, you will notice this sound delay, which is not too big (less than a second) but it is just enough to annoy you. The same thing happens when you connect more Bose speakers together, but it is less annoying when you are streaming music than when you are trying to watch a movie.
Setup takes some time
Although Bose did its best to make the setup as easy as possible with step by step setup procedure, it still takes some time to start using the speaker, and you really have to read the instructions to get the basic idea what to do.
Bose Soundtouch 30 can’t play high-resolution audio files (anything above 16bit/44.1kHz), and if you try to play some high-res WAW, FLAC, or ALAC file, you will get an error message.
7. BRAVEN BRV-XXL Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Braven is an American audio equipment company established in 2011. It makes, almost exclusively, wireless audio devices, and it is probably one of the fastest growing companies in this specific field of audio industry. Braven BRV-XXL is their latest and loudest speaker. It is one-more boombox-like device on our list, but it definitely has some new features that we haven’t seen on other speakers that we’ve mentioned. The most noticeable feature is IPX5 rating, which means it can survive some water splashes (not much though – it certainly wasn’t designed to be used under water, but it won’t get damaged by some light rain).
What’s in the box
Braven XXL is one more large and heavy speaker on the list – it weighs 18 pounds, and it is 20.2 inches wide, 8.25 inches deep, and 8.2 inches high. Based on the contents of the package, you can see why Braven is so popular internationally. Braven was careful enough to include in the package not one or two, but even four power cords, so no matter where are you from, you will be equipped with just the right power cord for your wall socket. You will find in the package one power cable for US customers, one for European customers (TUV), one for British customers, and one for Australian customers. You will also get one AUX cable with 3.5mm jacks on both ends, shoulder strap which can be attached to speaker so you can carry it around (although it is still quite heavy), and battery adapter. On the strap, there is bottle opener attached, which is a nice touch and could come in handy.
Front and rear side of the speaker are practically the same, they are completely covered with protective aluminum grid, on the bottom there is also the same grid that protects the subwoofer, and on the top, you will find rubberized grip which can be used for placing your phone. There is also strong rubberized handle, so you can wear it around if you don’t want to use the shoulder strap. On the right side of the speaker, you can find all the controls. There are 4 buttons – power button, play button, and +/- buttons, and you will also see there 3 LED indicators for bass, treble, and volume, as well as LED meter which shows the volume level, and bass and treble adjustments. You must use only these four buttons for all the functions, so it takes some time to get used to the controls. To turn on the speaker you have to press and hold the power button and when it turns on you will hear short beep. After you turn it on, if you want to adjust the volume, bass, or treble, you have to press and release power button, until the LED indicators for one of these three functions turn on, and then use +/- to adjust the volume, bass, or treble. If you want to pair speaker with some Bluetooth enabled device, you have to press and hold play button until you hear specific sound, and after that, you should just find Braven speaker in the list of available Bluetooth devices, and pair them. On the left side, there are four LEDs which indicate battery status, and below battery indicator, there is rubberized cover. Under this cover, there are AUX input, mic input (if you want to use this speaker as a PA system, or for karaoke party), USB port for charging your phone, and charging port for battery adapter.
Inside the speaker, there are 4 HD drivers, 2 of them are on the front side, and 2 on the back side. On the bottom, there is low-frequency resonator which provides bass. HD drivers are in the corners, of the speaker, and the idea was probably to achieve good stereo separation. Since the drivers are on both sides, so you can get nice 360-sound.
Things we like
As we said, this is one more boombox-like speaker, with quite unusual lines. This speaker isn’t boxy like many others and the shape of the speaker is very interesting, but similarity with old-school boomboxes is still noticeable. It’s available in only one color – black with silver aluminum mesh.
This is one of the most noticeable features of Braven XXL speaker (aside from sound quality and loudness). It is designed for outdoor use, so you can expect lots of reinforcements. The whole speaker is covered with some rubbery material, which makes it shockproof and waterproof (be aware that it has IPX5 waterproof rating), all the ports are also protected with rubberized cover. Braven XXL doesn’t look cheap or fragile, but after all, for the price you pay you shouldn’t be expecting cheap-looking product. It is very sturdy and compact, and it is without any doubt, made to last.
Braven XXL uses Bluetooth 2.1 technology with EDR (which should enable better data transfer and improve sound quality). In theory, this Bluetooth version allows you to pair this speaker with your phone or any other Bluetooth-enabled device within 33ft range, but the things are different in reality and you can read about this issue in ‘Things we don’t like’’ section. Still, if you place your phone on the rubberized grip at the top of the speaker, Bluetooth connection will work just fine, and there will be no connectivity problems.
NFC function is often used today for pairing devices (if they have this function), and it is always nice addition since it is much easier way of pairing than Bluetooth. Braven XXL has this function and it works great – pairing takes just a second or two.
Braven XXL provides great sound quality with emphasis on lows on highs. At high volumes you will hear slightly muffled mids, and there will be some amount of distortion. The good thing about the sound is that you can adjust bass and treble to your preferences by using control buttons, so if you are into techno music you can crank the treble up, or if you are into drum and bass you can add some bass.
This speaker is not as loud as some previous models, but it is definitely not quiet. It can reach max SPL level of 104dBs, which is probably more than enough for most people. Thanks to 360 stereo-like sound and maximum loudness of 104dBs, this speaker is great choice for picnics, smaller beach and pool parties, or outdoor events in your backyard. It is also more than loud enough for any indoor use.
Braven XXL have built-in lithium-ion battery with rated charge of 15,600mAh, which allows up to 14 hours of listening to music at moderate volume level. If you crank the volume up to the maximum, the battery drains much faster, and it can last up to 5-8 hours. It takes some 3 hours to fully recharge battery. If the battery drains, the speaker can be powered through the battery adapter, and you can listen to music while the battery is charging.
Things we don’t like
Works only as a standalone speaker
There is no way to connect two or more Braven XXL and create stereo sound impression or get louder sound, while many other Bluetooth speakers have this feature, and some speakers allow connecting up to 25 units. Having this in mind, we have to consider lack of this feature a flaw.
We’ve already mentioned that Bluetooth works well when your phone is close to the speaker, but the maximum range is significantly shorter than what Braven claims. It is at most 15-20 feet, and some customers had problems even at 10 feet distance. You should be aware of this issue before buying Braven XXL. There is a lot of pros, especially the sound quality, loudness, and construction quality, but you have to take into consideration all these negative things we noticed also.
8. ION Audio Road Warrior Portable Bluetooth Speaker
ION is US based audio equipment company established in 2003. ION is not really known for making high-end equipment, but rather decent-quality products that don’t cost much. They are known for combining old-school design and new technology. ION makes DJ equipment, microphones, turntables, Bluetooth speakers, lighting equipment, etc. The speaker we decided to present to you is one more from the BEAST category, at least when loudness and dimensions are concerned. If we observe only these two features, this speaker could be compared with DiamondBoxx XL or Soundboks 2, and it is much less expensive than they are. But, of course, there is always a catch. Although it is very loud there are some pretty big deal-breakers, especially when sound quality and battery durability are concerned. Keep reading our review, and we will try to mention all the good, but also all the bad things about Road Warrior.
What’s in the box
Road Warrior comes in a huge box, along with AUX cable with 3.5mm jacks, AC power cord, DC power cord (for charging the battery through your car charger), and user manual. The speaker itself is very heavy, it weighs almost 30 pounds, and it is 27 inches wide, 13 inches high, and 9.75 inches deep.
The first thing you are going to notice when you look at this speaker are definitely two huge 10-inch woofers on the front side covered with protective aluminum mesh. They really look impressive, and you will instantaneously get an impression that the sound is going to be really loud. In the top left and right corners of the front panel there are two small 1-inch tweeters, and in the middle, there is nice-looking round-shaped control panel with a small display. Control panel is really well-designed with simple and easy-to-use controls, with 9 different buttons – TUNE+ and TUNE- (for searching radio stations), VOL+ and VOL- (for adjusting volume), MIC+ and MIC- (for adjusting mic volume), SOURCE button (for shifting between radio and Bluetooth mode), Bluetooth button (only for disconnecting Bluetooth device), and LIGHT button (which is really nice addition and it is used to turn on nice flashing lights inside woofers to create real party atmosphere). Small display shows only battery status, volume status, and mode (FM or Bluetooth). On the left and on the right side of the speaker, there are 2 strong carrying handles. On the top panel, there are NFC logo (used to pair Android phones with speaker by taping it), USB port (for charging phones), and rubberized radio antenna. On the rear panel there are AUX port (for 3.5mm audio cable), ¼ inch microphone port, DC input (for charging battery and powering speaker through your car’s power outlet), AC input (for charging battery and powering speaker through wall socket), ON/OFF switch and small LED light which indicates that battery is charging, and when the charging is completed it turns off).
Inside the speaker, as we already mentioned, there are 2 10-inch woofers and 2 1-inch tweeters. On the rear panel, there are 2 bass reflex ports, which is always better option than sealed enclosure when there is huge amount of air moving, and when the speakers are this big. Inside the speaker, there is also built-in battery, which can’t be replaced (and this is not the biggest problem when battery is concerned, so keep reading).
Things we like
Design and flashy lights
This speaker has classic boxy design and it is visually appealing but there is nothing too special until you turn on the lights which can light constantly (not so interesting option) or follow the beat which is really fun option and makes this speaker really special, particularly during the night.
Build quality of the housing
Housing is really sturdy, it is mostly made of hard industrial plastic and wood, there are some aluminum parts, and some metal reinforcements (frames, handles). The whole housing really looks compact and seems like it could take some beating. You can be sure that this housing is made to last, and if everything was built as good as the housing, this would be one of the best speakers on the market, but it would probably be much more expensive.
The manufacturer didn’t provide the info on what version of Bluetooth was used, but claims that the maximum Bluetooth range is 100ft. In reality, it is much shorter than that, but the process of pairing and streaming music is very simple (you can practically intuitively pair your device with the speaker, without reading the manual), and we didn’t experience any problems regarding connection – no connection loss or interference.
NFC pairing works like a charm, you just have to tap the NFC logo at the top of the speaker with your phone and you are connected and ready to stream some music. There were no complaints regarding this function. This is probably the only function that works well on almost every Bluetooth speaker.
This thing can get really loud and that is the most important feature of Road Warrior. There is, unfortunately, one not so small problem. Drivers are not so great, and you can notice some distortion even when volume is at 60%. When you raise the volume up to some 85% the distortion becomes annoying. The good thing is that even at 80% volume, maximum SPL reaches 113 dBs, which is still incredibly loud.
DC power input and DC power cable
This is really nice feature, and we would like to see it more often, especially with this kind of monster speakers. It is really nice to have a backup option when you want to make some outdoor party and the battery is just not enough. DC power cable that comes in the package, and DC input on the rear panel really come in handy – party doesn’t have to stop, you just have to connect the speaker to your car’s power outlet and proceed.
Using radio is maybe not so popular today as it was 30-40 years ago, but still, you have one more option, at least in case your phone breaks and you are somewhere outside. ION made really strong rubberized antenna, which can pick up some radio signals wherever you are.
Things we don’t like
We have already mentioned this issue. The sound quality is at least questionable, and we think that ION should’ve done much better job. Mids suffer a lot because of strong bass, especially at high volumes. Even bass can get a little bit muddy when you crank up the volume. Highs are probably the best thing about the sound of this speaker, and they are pretty clean. The mids are definitely the biggest problem, so if you like bass-heavy music or techno music you might be satisfied with Road Warrior, but if you need well-balanced sound this one is not for you.
Drivers quality and durability
This is closely related to the distortion we mentioned earlier. Because of so much distortion at high volumes, we can only conclude that woofer and tweeter are not well-built, and it happened in the past that speakers got blown. Some previous customers complained about this exact issue.
The battery is the biggest issue along with sound quality. The manufacturer claims that battery can last up to 14 hours at moderate volume, and as you already know, higher volume means shorter battery life. At really high-volume, battery will last up to 5-6 hours, but only at first. It will weaken very fast, and after a couple of months it could become unusable – at least that’s something many customers complained about. The manufacturer says that this is lithium battery, but some customers expressed their doubts that this is, in fact, lead-acid battery.
No RCA ports
This speaker looks like something that DJs would like to have for some smaller gigs, especially because of the lights which really change the atmosphere. Unfortunately, ION didn’t include RCA port so there is no way to connect mixer or turntable.
9. NYNE ROCK Bluetooth Speaker
Nyne is another young American audio equipment company. Nyne headquarters are in California, but we assume that most of their models are made in China. That doesn’t have to imply that Nyne makes poor quality products, and in fact, we’ve found one model that looks and performs really well. We are talking about their latest and loudest model of outdoor Bluetooth speakers – Nyne Rock. This is one nice-looking (maybe just a little bit weirdly shaped), durable speaker designed for outdoor use, which means it is rugged, weather resistant and loud enough.
What’s in the box
Nyne Rock speaker is available in only black color. It comes in a pretty large box since this is not small and easily portable speaker, but it isn’t as big as some other ‘’monster” speakers on our list. It weighs 12 pounds, and it is 21 inches wide, 9.75 inches deep, and 6.75 inches high. Along with the speaker, you will get one AUX cable with 3.5mm gold-plated jacks (jacks are straight on one side and L-shaped on the other), power cable with battery adapter, and four different international power plugs.
The whole front panel, as well as the right and the left panel, are wrapped in flexible black aluminum mesh which protects the drivers, and on the sides, you will see rubberized bumpers which should provide additional protection. All the control buttons are located at the top – there are power button, speakerphone button (you can use them to answer/end calls), play/pause button, forward and rewind buttons (for skipping tracks), + and – buttons (for adjusting volume), and NFC pairing tag (for all the Android users). All the control buttons have bright LED backlights. On the rear panel, there is reinforced carrying handle at the top and rubberized cover at the bottom. Behind the cover there are AUX port (to connect your phone through 3.5mm audio cable), line out port (for connecting 2 or more Nyne speakers together to create a system), USB port (for charging your phone), Battery indicator button (when you press it, four battery status LEDs next to it will turn on), and in the corner, there is charging port.
Inside the speaker there are 4 drivers and large subwoofer – subwoofer is in the middle, 2 woofers are symmetrically positioned right and left from the subwoofer, and 2 small tweeters are below the subwoofer. All the drivers are grouped in the middle, so you won’t get illusion of stereo sound, and it would be a good idea to buy 2 speakers and use one as the left and the other as the right speaker. On the left and right sides of the speaker, you will find 2 bass reflex ports, designed to improve the low-end sound. The battery is also built inside the speaker, so there is no option of replacing it.
Things we like
Nyne Rock speaker has really distinctive design, and there is no chance that you could possibly mistake it for some other. It almost looks like a part stolen from the Batmobile or something like that. If you like unusual things, you will love the shape of this speaker. It is not simple, but it is unique, and from the moment you see it, you can’t help but imagine yourself somewhere outside, at some park or at the beach, lying out there and listening to music.
Durability and IPX3 rating
Nyne Rock is mostly made of rubberized plastic with some metal reinforcements, but in spite of all the plastic, there were no complaints regarding durability. Most of the plastic parts are covered with some rubber-like material which provides additional protection. Thanks to that rubber and aluminum mesh, this speaker got IPX3 weather resistant rating (resistant to dust and water, and could also survive fall from smaller heights). IPX3 rating doesn’t mean that you can swim with it, the speaker won’t survive some significant amount of water, but a couple raindrops or maybe even accidental spilling of smaller amount of water should not damage it.
Sound quality at low and moderate volume (up to 70%)
Nyne Rock offers decent sound quality. It is definitely bass-oriented, and it is great choice for all of the bass heads. Mids are articulate, but not perfect, while the highs are pretty clean. So, the sound isn’t perfect but it is more than acceptable for most people. If you are an audiophile, this really isn’t the best choice for you.
This speaker is one of the loudest in its price range (the same price range like AIWA EXOS9), although we don’t recommend cranking the volume up to the max since there is significant amount of distortion. Distortion isn’t unbearable, but it is noticeable, especially when you use it indoors. The maximum SPL reaches 107 dBs.
Possibility of connecting up to 4 Nyne speakers in a system
If you want even louder sound there is always an option to connect up to four Nyne Rock speakers together thanks to the line out port. This way, you will get nice surround sound, and enough loudness for bigger parties for up to 100 people.
Bluetooth connection and NFC pairing
Nyne Rock uses Bluetooth version 4.0, and it can be paired with any Bluetooth enabled device within 33ft range. The connection works just fine, there is no interference or signal loss, although the maximum range varies depending on the walls, weather conditions, etc. Speaker memorizes the last connected device and it will stream music automatically from this device whenever it is in range. Pairing is really simple, you just have to press and hold power button until the Bluetooth activates, and then find Rock speaker among the available Bluetooth devices and pair with it. There is also NFC function for Android users, so if you have Android phone just tap the NFC tag with your phone and you are ready to stream some music in 2 seconds.
Speaker has built-in lithium-metal battery which offers up to 10 hours of listening to music at moderate volume level. Duration of the battery significantly shortens if you crank the volume up, and it can last up to 5-6 hours at maximum volume. The battery is not replaceable, so if your battery stops working, you will have to either use the speaker only with AC adapter all the time or take it to some licensed repair center, so they could replace it for you.
Speakerphone button and built-in mic
This is one simple but handy additional function. Speakerphone button allows you to answer or end calls, and mic is built inside the speaker, and you can find it at the back, behind the rubberized cover. In spite of the odd position, the mic picks up voice just fine, and we haven’t experienced any problems in communication while using it.
Things we don’t like
Distortion at high volumes
We’ve given you a hint about this issue already while we were talking about sound quality. Whenever the volume level goes above, let’s say 80-85%, there is very noticeable distortion, which is not that annoying, but it is present, and we don’t really recommend listening to music at such a high volume because it will shorten the lifespan of your speaker a lot, and you definitely won’t enjoy that sound, especially if you are using it indoors.
10. Fluance Fi70 Bluetooth Speaker
Fluance is Canadian audio equipment company established in 1999. Fluance makes home theater systems, music systems, and turntables. The company made its name by making high-quality products from the best available materials and combining these materials with some hi-tech solutions. People from Fluance pay much attention to details and really work hard to make well-designed speakers. Fluance Fi70 Bluetooth speaker represents everything we said about Fluance. It is intriguingly designed speaker, with great sound quality and loudness, and great functionality. It is made for indoor use, and if you want to buy some home theater system or home music system this is truly great choice.
What’s in the box
Fi70 speaker comes in a large box, and when we say large we mean huge. The weight of the box with all the contents is well over 90 pounds, so you will probably need some help to get the box into your home. Speaker itself weighs 81 pounds, and it is 29.5 inches wide, 11 inches deep, and 23.2 inches high, and these are the dimensions without stand that comes in the package, and you can use the speaker with or without this stand. If you decide to assemble the stand and place the speaker on it, the height will be 36 inches. As you can see, this is one bulky speaker, and you will have to dedicate some space to it so if you have small house this speaker is probably not the best option. Along with the speaker and the stand, you will get remote, 3ft long AUX cable with 3.5mm jacks on both ends, radio antennas, user manual, and 2-year warranty.
On the front panel, there is black aluminum grid that is magnetically attached to the speaker and can be removed easily. You can choose to use this grid or not, whatever suits best your aesthetic criteria – majority of customers prefer the looks without this grid. Near the top, there is small display which shows only some basic info – selected source (BT, AUX, AM, FM, OPTI) or clock. All the controls are on the top panel, these are touch-sensitive controls and they are not backlit which would be a nice detail. There are 8 buttons on the control panel – power, source, settings, track management buttons (rewind, play-pause, forward), and volume buttons. All the input ports are on the rear panel – there are AC input (which is the only way to power this speaker since there is no battery), ON/OFF switch, AUX input, Optical digital input (for connecting Apple TV or any device with optical output), radio inputs (for FM and AM antennas), and USB port (which can be used only for charging phones, and you can’t play the music from USB storage).
If you decide to remove the aluminum grid, you will see 6 drivers – 2 1-inch tweeters, 2 5-inch midrange drivers, and 2 8-inch subwoofers. At the back, there are 2 bass reflex ports in the upper left and upper right corners. Amplifiers are integrated and have rated power of 280W.
Things we like
Fi70 is probably the speaker with the most interesting design on this list, and it is one of the most interesting speakers on the market. This kind of elegant design have only some Harman-Kardon speakers and maybe some Bose speakers (although Bose prefers kind of futuristic design). You can consider this speaker not only a piece of audio equipment but also a piece of furniture. Speaker is available in three colors – black ash, lucky bamboo, and natural walnut.
Durability and quality of construction
Fi70 looks and feels very well made – it is compact, made mostly of wood, and there were no complaints regarding durability. It maybe looks slightly unstable when mounted on the stand, and you will have to be careful around it (not that it could fall if you even breed in its direction or if you accidentally push it, but you should still be careful).
This speaker provides incredibly clear and well-balanced sound. Bass is strong and punchy, mids are full (drivers need some time to burn in for better midrange-frequency response) and highs are clean and sparkling. There is also an option to adjust bass and treble, and you can find these controls on the remote (not on the speaker’s control panel). When sound quality is concerned, this speaker is definitely among the top 5 on this list.
This speaker is not as loud as some other huge speakers. Its loudness can’t be compared to DiamondBoxx XL or Soundboks 2 (or even some smaller speakers), and it is in disproportion to its size. Maximum SPL level reaches 102-103dB, which is not impressive for that size, but it is still not that bad, especially when you bring sound quality into the equation.
One more feature of this speaker is the onboard equalizer, but you can’t really control different frequency bands, only bass and treble through Bass+/Bass- and Treble+/Treble- buttons on the remote control. If you are a bass-lover this feature could be quite handy.
Bluetooth and NFC pairing
Fi70 uses Bluetooth version 2.1 with EDR, and it works pretty good when you are within 15ft range, but anything further than that, especially if there are walls, will cause the loss of signal. This is probably the feature that needs some improvements, and newer Bluetooth version would be good solution. If your device stays in 15ft range (maybe 20ft), you won’t be having any problems. There is also NFC function available for Android phones, so you can pair your phone even quicker with the speaker just by tapping the NFC tag.
Along with the speaker, you will get 2 antennas – one FM and one AM. You can search the stations by pressing forward and rewind buttons while you are in FM/AM mode, and you can even memorize the stations you like and set them as radio presets – whenever you find some station you like you can press the settings button until the MEM letters appear on the LED screen, and after that press forward-rewind buttons to choose the preset channel. When the screen start flashing, you should press settings button again, and you will have your radio preset.
Digital optical input
Since this speaker can be used only indoors as a music system or home theater system, it is only logical to connect it to your TV, so if you have optical output on your TV, this is the best option to connect these two devices and get the best possible sound. There is always an option to use Bluetooth for connecting your TV and speaker, but be aware that there will be some small sound delay (picture will be faster than the sound).
Remote is a nice touch, and it has also some additional buttons (bass and treble), so it is definitely not just a substitute for speaker’s controls, but really handy tool, especially when you consider control panel issue (read about this issue in ‘’Things we don’t like’’ section).
Clock, alarm, sleep timer
Even though these are really simple functions, no other speaker we mentioned has them, so we decided to give Fi70 some credit. Functions are really nice touch, and you can easily set the time, sleep timer, and alarm by using settings button and forward/rewind buttons.
Things we don’t like
Aside from disproportion between size and loudness (which is really not such a big issue), the only problem we experienced with this speaker is related to the controls on the top of the speaker. The idea to include touch-sensitive controls is not bad, and the buttons look really stylish but they seem not sensitive enough, or there is some specific way of pressing them that we haven’t mastered. Anyway, it is probably smarter to use the remote whenever you can, and not get annoyed by the control panel.
11. Sony GTKXB90 High Power Portable Bluetooth Speaker
GTK-XB90 is the best and the most advanced large Bluetooth party speaker made by Sony. It’s one of the coolest speakers on this list, mainly because of those crazy lights. The speaker has many useful features (mic and RCA inputs, USB port, built-in battery). It can also be wirelessly paired with any speaker from the XB series, but it’s preferred to pair it with other XB90 speakers. The best thing is the price. XB90 is priced under $400 and it’s in the same price range as Aiwa Exos-9, Peachtree Audio deepblue3, Altec Lansing Xpedition 8, etc. It’s much cheaper than the loudest speakers on our list SOUNDBOKS 2 and DiamondBoxx XL. In fact, you can almost buy 3 XB90 for the price of one SOUNDBOKS 2.
What’s in the box?
The packaging looks nice and stylish. Inside of it, you will find your speaker, power/charging cord, user manual and other paperwork, and 1-year warranty. You won’t get any accessories. Sony is not as generous as some other manufacturers and you will have to buy all the cables separately. The same thing applies to microphone.
The speaker is quite heavy and large. At 30lb, XB90 is one of the heavier speakers on this list. The dimensions are 13.3×26.5×13.3in (WxHxD).
There are 5 drivers inside the speaker (2 7.5in woofers and 3 2.4in tweeters) but not all five are active at the same time. Depending on the position of the speaker (you can place it either vertically or horizontally), 4 drivers will be active (two woofers and two tweeters).
The front panel is protected with a transparent aluminum grille. You can see all the drivers and all the lights. That was probably the point of the transparent grille – it’s supposed to protect the drivers but not to interfere with the lightshow.
On the left and right panels, you will see two embossed Sony logos.
All the control buttons are on the top. There are 9 buttons, which may seem too much at first, but you will learn how to use them in no time. Besides those standard buttons (power, volume, pairing, play/pause/call), you also have the buttons that activate those additional features (EXTRA BASS, Stamina (activates stamina mode which is basically the battery-saving mode), ADD and PARTY CHAIN buttons). Three LED source indicators are located next to the pairing button.
The inputs/outputs are located on the back. You have a set of RCA inputs and outputs (you can use them to connect some analog audio source or to connect two XB90 speakers together for stereo playback). There is also one mic input with the mic volume knob, party chain button, and a USB port (for music playback and for charging).
Things we like
XB90 is one of the best-looking speakers on this list, even when the lights are off. It’s boxy but the edges are nicely rounded and the whole speaker is slightly angled upward. When you turn on the lights, the shape and design don’t matter that much. All you can look at are those crazy lights.
Some of you might want something simple (like the SOUNDBOKS 2), but if you want more features, you will have to deal with more buttons. After a few days of use, you will get used to all those buttons.
XB90 utilizes Bluetooth 4.2 and the advertised range is 33ft. You can pair your phone with the speaker in no more than 10s or you can use the NFC quick pairing feature and you will be ready to play the music in less than 5 seconds. The Bluetooth connection works flawlessly as long as you are within the range. XB90 can also be wirelessly paired with another or multiple XB90 speakers and you can choose between stereo and party modes. The manufacturer also claims that you can pair it with other speakers from the XB series, but we have experienced some issues.
Besides the Bluetooth, there is one RCA input so you can connect any non-Bluetooth analog audio source. Also, there’s a USB port and you can use it to play the music from a USB flash drive. In the end, you even have a mic input. If you want to make a karaoke party, you will have to buy some microphone (it’s not included).
There is one 2,500mAh battery inside the speaker. This is not an impressive capacity for the speaker of this size. You can get 16 hours at moderate volumes, but only 3-4 hours at max volume. You can prolong the playtime by activating the stamina feature, but that will limit the max volume and make the speaker really quiet.
XB90 can go up to 103dB which is not comparable to SOUNDBOKS 2 or DiamondBoxx XL, but it’s pretty loud. If you are about to make a large party, you will need at least 2 (preferably four). The only problem is that the sound becomes distorted (because of too much bass) at high volumes. It’s still bassy but the mids are muddied.
Bassy sound – perfect for parties
This speaker is made for parties and it’s tuned to be bassy. Even without Extra Bass, the lows are punchy and powerful. The mids and highs are recessed and lack some clarity. The mids are pretty clear at low volumes, but when you crank it up, the bass becomes too strong and it tends to overshadow a great portion of the midrange.
Comes with 2 apps – Fiestable and Sony Music App
You don’t really need Fiestable. It’s used only for some DJ sound effects. I mean, it’s fun at first, but it’s not really useful. If you want to adjust the lighting (change colors) or make EQ adjustments, you should use the Sony Music app.
The speakerphone feature was not really necessary since this is a party speaker, but it’s useful and works as it’s supposed to.
Things we don’t like
Not as rugged as some other party Bluetooth speakers
To be honest, the construction quality is on par with the price and it’s pretty good when you compare it to other large speakers at this price point. We just don’t think it’s on par with other speakers of the same size. It’s not rugged, the grille doesn’t seem thick enough, and the speaker is not waterproof.
It lacks digital inputs and AUX input
You won’t find any digital inputs on the rear panel. Also, you won’t find AUX input (which is one of the most common inputs), but you can always connect your audio source with an AUX output (mp3 player, for example) to the speaker via 3.5mm to RCA cable.
You have to install the app if you want to control the lighting
There are no lighting buttons on the speaker itself and if you want to change the lighting mode or the color of the lights, you have to use the app. The same thing applies to EQ settings.
Wireless linking doesn’t work flawlessly
You can easily pair two XB90 speakers and play them in stereo or party mode, but pairing two different speakers from the XB series is problematic. For example, you can pair one XB90 with one XB60, but there will always be some sound lag (they won’t be synchronized). So, it’s recommended to pair your XB90 with other XB90 speakers.
12. Altec Lansing ALP-XP800 Xpedition 8
In many ways, Xpedition 8 is very similar to the previously reviewed Sony GTK-XB90. They both have similar design, the driver arrangement inside the housings is basically the same, and they also have many features in common. What makes Xpedition 8 better for outdoor use (outdoor parties, tailgating, etc.) is the IP certification. This unit is fully waterproof and dustproof (IP67) and it’s much more rugged than the XB90.
What’s in the box?
Inside a large package, you will find your Xpedition 8 speaker, two charging/power cables (one standard AC cable and one DC cable for car charging), instructions, and 1-year warranty.
Xpedition 8 is lighter but slightly larger than the XB90. The dimensions are 28x13x15 (WxHxD) and the weight is 25 pounds. Just like XB90, the speaker can be placed vertically or horizontally.
Xpedition 8 has 5 drivers – 2 8in woofers and 3 1in tweeters. Two out of three tweeters are active at a time.
All the drivers and controls are located on the front panel. Both woofers are protected with an aluminum mesh and they are both surrounded by lights. The strobe lights are located on the left and right ends (or top and bottom – it depends on how you place it). The control panel is located in the middle and it separates two woofers. There are 6 buttons (power, strobe, lights, link, beast, and pairing) and one multipurpose octagonal volume/lighting knob. Around the knob, there’s an intuitive LED ring divided into 12 fields. Based on this LED ring and on the number of lighted fields, you can tell the volume level and battery status.
Right, left, and top panels are all very rugged and there’s a very strong handle on each panel.
The rear panel is reserved for inputs. They are located right in the middle and covered with a waterproof cap. Underneath the cap, you will see one AUX input, one USB charging port, one AC and one DC input. On the back, you will also find two passive bass radiators protected with black grilles.
Things we like
The speaker has the same basic shape as the XB90 with a slightly upward-angled enclosure. In our opinion, XB90 has a little bit more sophisticated look, while the Xpedition 8 features more rugged and more robust design. What makes Xpedition 8 really interesting is the light show, which is basically the same as the XB90’s light show.
This is one of the features that make Xpedition 8 really special. Some of the previous speakers were rugged and durable, but Xpedition 8 is one of the rare speakers that’s actually completely waterproof and dustproof and it has IP67 certificate to confirm that. On top of all that, Xpedition 8 can float. So, if you accidentally drop it into the pool, or if you throw it intentionally, it won’t sink to the bottom.
The control buttons are nicely arranged, responsive, and very simple to use. You won’t be able to adjust the bass, treble, or midrange or to play with different EQ modes/presets, but you can always install some EQ app and change the sound signature with your phone.
You can pair your phone with the Xpedition 8 wirelessly via Bluetooth. The advertised range is around 100ft (it gets shorter with obstacles and interference but you should be able to get at least 50ft). If your phone features NFC, you can simply tap the NFC logo on the speaker and you will be paired in seconds. The speaker also supports daisy chaining. You can pair two Xpedition 8 speakers and get a louder sound. You cannot pair multiple speakers together and you cannot choose between stereo and party mode when two speakers are paired together.
The battery capacity is 5,000mAh. It’s significantly larger than the battery inside GTK-XB90 and it can deliver 14h of playback at moderate volumes (40-50%) if the lights are turned off. You can get up to 5 hours at 80% volume (with the lights on), which is pretty good. It’s not recommended to go over 80% or 90% volume – the distortion becomes really noticeable, especially in BEAST mode.
USB charge out port
This is a nice and useful feature. It’s not the most important one, obviously, but it’s better to have it than not to. In case your phone runs out of juice, you can always open that waterproof cap on the back side, and charge it.
Who doesn’t like the lights? The light show is similar to XB90 and it’s really fun to look at. If you don’t want to buy or rent lighting equipment for your parties, buying a speaker (or speakers) with built-in lights is a convenient and cost-effective option.
When it comes to loudness, this one doesn’t come close to SOUNDBOKS 2 or DiamondBoxx XL, but it’s still pretty loud. We’ve pushed it to 106dB. That’s the point when the distortion kicks in really hard. There was 10-15% of volume left and you can definitely get a few more dBs if you crank it up, but the distortion is really noticeable.
Xpedition 8 is a bass-heavy speaker which is not a surprise considering the fact that it’s designed for parties, especially for outdoor parties. The bass is massive and very thick. Unfortunately, it tends to overshadow the low midrange, which is particularly noticeable when the BEAST mode is active.
The rest of the midrange is slightly elevated and pretty detailed. Most of the voices are perfectly clear and dynamic.
The treble is there and it definitely has some impact, but it lacks some detail and clarity.
To conclude, this is not an audiophile speaker with a perfectly flat response. This is a party speaker and the most important thing for a party speaker is the bass. Xpedition 8 can deliver plenty of it.
Things we don’t like
It lacks mic input
If you are into karaoke, this is not the speaker for you since it doesn’t have a mic input. If you are looking for a large, loud, and portable karaoke speaker with lights, you should check out Sony GTK-XB90.
The playtime is shorter than advertised
The advertised playtime is 24h and you can maybe get those 24 hours if the volume never goes over 30%. At 50%, you will get up to 14hours but only if the lights are off. Since this is a party speaker, the manufacturer should offer some real playtime numbers at high volumes. You will get up to 5 hours at 80% which is decent (better than XB90) but it’s far from the advertised 24h.
13. JBL Boombox Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
Along with the JBL PartyBox 300 (introduced a few months ago), JBL Boombox is the biggest and loudest portable Bluetooth speaker made by JBL. If you want something louder than your old JBL Xtreme or UE MEGABOOM, and you are into bassy sound, JBL Boombox is a great choice. There are a lot of good things about this speaker, but the greatest highlights are 20Ah battery, build quality, wireless connectivity and, of course, loudness. JBL Boombox is priced under $400. The greatest rivals at this price point are Aiwa Exos-9, deepblue3, Marshall Woburn, and BRAVEN BRV-XXL. Each of these speakers has its own strengths and weaknesses, but if you are looking for something that can be used outdoors, that’s very rugged and waterproof, then you should choose either JBL Boombox or Braven BRV-XXL. Some other speakers can be used outdoors, too but they are not waterproof.
What’s in the box?
The speaker comes in a recognizable JBL-branded box along with charging/power cable and adapter, user manual, and a warranty card.
The speaker is kind of heavy, but it’s not something that an average person can’t handle. It weighs almost 12lb, and the dimensions are 19.5x10x7.7in (WxHxD).
The speaker has 4 drivers – 2 4in woofers and 2 0.8in tweeters. It also has two passive bass radiators that look the same as passive bass radiators on smaller JBL portable speakers.
The speaker is very compact and looks quite stylish. It’s almost entirely wrapped in that recognizable waterproof fabric we’ve seen on other JBL speakers. The speaker is placed on a rubberized stand.
On the front side, you will see 6 buttons (Bluetooth, 2 volume buttons, power, JBL Connect button, and play/pause/call button). In the middle, there’s a small JBL logo and, at the bottom, you will see five small LED battery indicators.
On the back, you will see the indoor/outdoor switch and a rubber flap protecting the inputs. When you open it, you will see the charging port, AUX input, 2 powerbank ports (for charging phones and other devices), and one micro USB port for firmware updates.
Things we like
JBL Boombox is basically a supersized JBL Charge. It basically features the same kind of recognizable cylindrical shape. The only difference is that the Boombox has a handle. It’s very likable, just like all the previous JBL portable speakers.
Impressive construction quality (IPX7-certified)
As we’ve said, the whole speaker is wrapped in waterproof fabric which protects the drivers and other internal components. This fabric makes the speaker fully waterproof (IPX7-certified). It also makes it perfect for pool parties and outdoor parties in general. It’s maybe not as rugged as Xpedition 8, but it looks solid and very durable.
The control buttons look the same as control buttons on other JBL speakers. They are responsive and simple to use. You don’t even have to read the manual – everything is pretty much self-explanatory.
JBL Boombox utilizes Bluetooth 4.2 with a 50ft range (under ideal conditions – line of sight). The connection is stable and strong. The pairing is done in a few seconds. Quick pairing (NFC) is not supported.
Wireless daisy chaining
In case you have two or more JBL Boombox speakers, you can pair them wirelessly and play the music in stereo or party mode. Theoretically, you can connect more than 100 JBL Connect+ speakers (not only 2 or multiple JBL Boomboxes).
Additional AUX input for non-Bluetooth devices
If you want to connect your mp3 player or some other non-Bluetooth device, you can use that AUX input located beneath the flap. It’s important to remember that the speaker is not waterproof if the rubber flap is open.
Very large battery – excellent playtime
This is one of the biggest highlights of this speaker. The manufacturer packed a huge 20Ah battery inside the Boombox. Thanks to such a large battery, you will get approx. 22h at 50% volume and up to 10h at max volume. The recharge takes 6-7 hours.
USB powerbank ports
JBL Boombox features 2 powerbank ports, which means that you can charge two phones and listen to music at the same time.
The speakerphone feature is not really that important for a party speaker, but it can be useful sometimes. The mic delivers satisfying performance.
It comes with the JBL Connect app
You can use this app to choose between stereo and party mode when two speakers are paired wirelessly. Also, you can use it to pair multiple Boomboxes together and you can use it to control the playback and change/select the sound mode (indoor or outdoor).
JBL Boombox can’t compete with the monster speakers (SOUNDBOKS 2, DiamondBoxx XL), but it can be pretty loud and it’s comparable to other speakers within the price range. We have managed to get 101dB at approx. 90% volume. Anything higher/louder than that will cause too much distortion. Even before you reach 90% (somewhere around 70%), you will notice some distortion.
It’s the kind of sound that’s great for parties but not so great for casual listening. The outdoor mode is particularly bass-heavy. The bass tends to overpower the low mids at high volumes. The treble is also emphasized and, in some cases, a bit too bright and even harsh.
There are two sound modes (2 EQ presets) – indoor and outdoor. Outdoor mode elevates the bass response (upper bass and low mids) and makes it punchier, while the indoor mode flattens the frequency response and removes bass and treble peaks.
Things we don’t like
It doesn’t deliver 360-degree sound
In a way, the shape of this speaker implies that it can deliver 360-degree sound, but that’s not going to happen because all the drivers are located on the front panel.
You can’t change/adjust the EQ settings through the app
You can only shift between indoor and outdoor modes. You can’t customize the EQ settings or choose some other preset.
14. ION Audio Tailgater (iPA77)
This is one of the highest-rated ION speakers, probably because of the price/performance ratio. This speaker really offers a lot of features and a pretty loud sound at a reasonable price (priced under $150). As the name implies, this unit is perfect for tailgating and other outdoor events.
What’s in the box?
iPA77 comes in a large 19-pound box. You will also get one audio cable (3.5mm to 3.5mm), charging cable, wired microphone, user manual, and 1-year warranty.
The speaker is boxy and kind of heavy. It weighs more than 16lb, and the dimensions are 9.4×12.8×12.5in (WxHxD).
The speaker has one 6in woofer and one tweeter.
80% of the front panel is covered with an aluminum grille. The grille is very hard and inflexible. Right above the grille, there’s an angled control panel with a small LED screen. All the control buttons and inputs are located here. You have 5 buttons (Bluetooth, radio, 2 track/tuning buttons, and play/pause button), 2 volume knobs (one for mic and the other for speaker volume). You will also see AUX and MIC inputs and a USB powerbank port. The LED screen gives you some basic info – battery status, radio frequency, Bluetooth status.
Two strong carrying handles are located on the left and on the right side, while the AC/charging input and power switch are located on the rear panel.
Things we like
Simple boxy design
There’s nothing flashy about the design. It’s black and it’s boxy. If you prefer something fancier or something with lights, you should look elsewhere and, you should probably pay more.
Pretty good construction quality
iPA77 is not the most durable speaker on the market but it’s pretty rugged. The enclosure is thick and hard, and every corner is reinforced with aluminum which is a simple but important detail. Unlike some other outdoor speakers, this one is not waterproof/dustproof which could be a deal breaker for some buyers. All in all, the build quality is actually quite impressive considering the price.
iPA77 utilizes Bluetooth 4.0 with up to 100ft range. The speaker also supports fast pairing (NFC feature). It doesn’t support multipoint pairing and you can’t pair two or multiple speakers together for louder sound, but that’s not you should expect at this price point.
AUX input for non-Bluetooth devices + MIC input
If you want to connect a non-Bluetooth device, you can use the AUX input and if you want to throw a karaoke party, you can connect your mic to the MIC input. The manufacturer was thoughtful enough to include one wired microphone. It’s not the best mic you could get, but it’s good enough for occasional use.
The battery is pretty good. It has the capacity of 5Ah and it can deliver up to 35 hours at moderate volumes. You will get less than 8h at full volume. Our only complaint regarding the battery is that the manufacturer used Lead-acid battery and not Li-ion (we will discuss this in the next section).
USB powerbank port
There’s one powerbank port on the control panel and you can use it to charge various devices.
AM/FM tuner is one of the common features of ION Audio speakers. Most of us are probably more into internet radio and podcasts than into old-school radios, but there’s at least 5% of people that like doing things the old way and they will know to appreciate this feature.
iPA77 is pretty loud for its size. It can go up to 99dB without too much distortion. It can actually be a little bit louder than that, but the distortion becomes really noticeable, almost distracting around 100dB.
Sound quality is on par with the price. The sound is punchy and bass-driven. The rest of the frequency spectrum is clear and dynamic (but not detailed enough) at moderate volumes but it gets pretty muffled and overpowered by the bass (especially the low midrange).
If you can’t pay more than $150, this is the speaker for you. You will hardly find something louder at this price point.
Things we don’t like
No EQ presets/settings
This is not a big issue since you can always download and install some EQ app from the App Store and play with sound.
Poor AM/FM reception
Well, this actually depends on your location. There’s a lot of static noise, especially in the AM spectrum. FM is significantly better and we’ve been able to find 15 perfectly clear stations.
iPA is rugged but it’s not IPX certified (it’s not fully waterproof). It would be smart to keep it away from the water.
Instead of Li-ion batteries, all the ION speakers use Lead-acid batteries. The problem with Lead-acid batteries is that they are less durable and have a shorter lifespan. You will eventually have to buy a replacement battery.
15. ECOXGEAR GDI-EXBM901 – Eco Boulder
Just like iPA77, ECOXGEAR GDI-EXBM901 is a great choice for tailgating and outdoor use in general and it’s also quite affordable (priced under $250). In terms of durability and construction quality, Eco Boulder is even better than the iPA77 (it’s fully waterproof and dustproof). It is also significantly louder (112dB), and has some nice additional features we are going to discuss in this review.
What’s in the box?
Eco Boulder comes in a large 30-pound box along with a charging cable, user manual, and 3-year warranty. The speaker features mic input but the microphone is not included. Also, audio cables are not included.
The speaker weighs 27lb and its dimensions are 15.5×19.8×11.3 (WxHxD).
Eco Boulder has two drivers – one 8in woofer and one 3in tweeter (on the front panel) and one passive bass radiator (on the rear panel).
Eco Boulder is incredibly compact and very rugged. The whole front panel is covered with a strong aluminum mesh.
On the top, you will see two carrying handles and a large control panel with a small LED screen in the middle. There’s a bunch of buttons (18 to be precise) and they are all backlit. It takes some time to get used to the controls, but it’s not that hard – the controls are pretty much intuitive.
On the left panel, you will see two waterproof caps. The first one protects the inputs (AUX, MIC, powerbank USB port) while the second one protects the charging port.
On the right panel, there’s a large waterproof compartment where you can leave your phone or your documents or money if you don’t want them to get wet. Inside this compartment, you will find one more AUX input and one more USB powerbank port. So, in total, you have 2 AUX inputs, 2 USB powerbank ports, and one mic input.
On the back panel, there’s one large passive bass radiator and a retractable handle.
On the bottom, you will see two rugged wheels which is a nice and thoughtful detail. So, you don’t have to carry the speaker around you can simply extend that handle and pull it like a suitcase.
Things we like
Eco Boulder is a simple, compact, and boxy speaker. The way this speaker is made implies that it’s very durable. There are a lot of reinforcements and metal parts. The manufacturer decided to put the carrying handles on top – that’s a simple detail that makes this speaker recognizable.
Eco Boulder is very solid and incredibly rugged. We have absolutely no complaints regarding construction quality. You may or may not like the design, but it’s impossible not to appreciate this kind of durability. The speaker is IP67 certified – it is fully dustproof and waterproof.
Controls/backlit control buttons
The control panel is maybe a bit confusing, but once you get used to all those buttons, it will become much easier. The buttons are responsive. There’s a nice icon on each button that explains its function. All the buttons are backlit so you don’t have to memorize their positions. In the middle of the control panel, you will see a small LED screen with some basic information (battery status, source, radio frequency, etc.).
Portability – built-in carrying handles as well as telescopic handle and wheels
The manufacturer really did everything to make this speaker portable. You have those standard carrying handles you can find on every large speaker, but you also have a telescopic handle and strong wheels. So, if you are not strong enough or don’t want to waste your energy, you can easily extract that handle and pull the speaker like a suitcase.
The speaker utilizes Bluetooth 4.1 with up to 100ft range (under ideal conditions and without obstacles). The pairing is fast and simple as always. NFC quick pairing is not supported.
You can wirelessly pair two Eco Boulders in Bluetooth mode (ECOCONNECT feature) and get a louder sound. You can’t pair multiple speakers together (party mode is not supported).
Two AUX inputs + MIC input
If you want to connect some non-Bluetooth device, you can use one of two AUX inputs and if you want to throw a karaoke party, you have a mic input. You will have to buy that mic separately – it’s not included in the package.
Eco Boulder has a large 7Ah Li-ion battery. You will get 8h of playback at full volume or up to 20h at 40-50% volume. The recharge takes almost 8 hours.
Eco Boulder can be really loud. We have reached 112dB at full volume, but you should keep the volume at 80-90%. The distortion becomes really noticeable around 80%.
It’s not on par with durability and construction quality, but it’s not awful. The bass is punchy but not incredibly powerful. It’s maybe even a little bit recessed. The mids are clear and dynamic but not perfectly detailed. The highs are nicely balanced with the mids. They are not bright or painful.
Things we don’t like
Poor AM reception
Reception depends a lot on your location, but we’ve been struggling to find some clear AM station. We have managed to find some with a small amount of noise. The FM tuner worked fine.
ECONCONNECT doesn’t work in AUX mode
You can pair two speakers and play them together only in Bluetooth mode. You won’t be able to pair two speakers together and play the music from a non-Bluetooth audio source via AUX input.
16. Teufel Rockster
We have decided to mention one more speaker. It’s made by the German audio manufacturer called Teufel. The speaker’s name is Rockster. We didn’t test it and that’s why it’s not on the list. But, based on the reviews, sound tests, and comparison test (SOUNDBOKS 2 VS Rockster) we’ve seen on YouTube, this speaker deserves to be mentioned.
Rockster is one of the largest and heaviest Bluetooth speakers on the market. It’s larger than the SOUNDBOKS 2 and heavier than DiamondBoxx XL. It weighs 70 pounds and it’s 22.8in wide, 34.3in tall, and 18.5in deep. The enclosure is made of plastic and MDF.
Rockster has 2 drivers – one 15in woofer and one 1in horn tweeter. RMS output power is 440W and the max SPL is 122dB.
The speaker features 3.5mm and 6.3mm inputs as well as headphone (3.5mm) output and RCA inputs. It also features XLR mic input and two XLR outputs (for connecting two or 3 Rockster speakers together). You will also see one USB powerbank port for charging.
This speaker gives you more control over the sound than any other speaker on our list. On the top panel, you will see 11 knobs including low, mid, and high knobs for two channels.
The speaker has a built-in battery that delivers 30h of playtime per one charge (probably at 50% volume).
You can connect multiple Rocksters together, but you will need some cables to do that (sold separately). You can connect up to four speakers together (in so-called slave mode).
The speaker features Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX support.
There are a few things to think about before you buy this speaker. First, you should know that it’s made and sold in Europe. You can order it from German Amazon or from the manufacturer’s website, but the shipping costs will be high. It’s currently priced under $1,200 but you should also consider all the additional costs. You will have to think about the shipping price and about duties and taxes. Also, you will have to buy some voltage transformer since this speaker supports only 230V power supply. If you are ok with all these additional costs, then go for it.
This was our list of top 16 loudest Bluetooth speakers. We have tried to present to you all their important features, but also some flaws we managed to discover. Although we were guided by the loudness of the speakers we didn’t neglect other characteristics like sound quality, connectivity, and available ports, and you shouldn’t also. Loudness is definitely not everything, and there are many other things you should pay attention to when buying Bluetooth speaker. Just like we explained all the important things about loudness and speakers’ power ratings in the introduction, we are now going explain some other things you should look for in a Bluetooth speaker depending on your needs.
So, let’s now list all the possible purposes Bluetooth speakers could have.
The majority of people are looking for portable Bluetooth speakers that could be carried wherever they go. If you want a speaker that could be used outside, at picnics or when camping, you should be looking for a lightweight speaker, with durable battery, good sound quality, and stable Bluetooth connection (like Peachtree DEEPBLUE2 and NYNE Rock). All the other functions can be considered a plus, but these we mentioned are absolutely necessary. If you need the speaker for outdoor use, and not for some smaller events (like picnics) but for parties (pool parties, beach parties, barbeque parties) you should add loudness to the list of required features and probably remove lightweight, since really loud speakers tend to be really bulky (like Soundboks 2 or DiamondBoxx XL). Great additional feature for any loud (party) speaker is any kind of IPX splash-proof/waterproof/dustproof rating, and IP67 would be the best you can get (completely waterproof and dustproof). When the speaker has only IPX3 or IPX4 rating, it’s a good thing, but it means that the speaker could only survive small splashes of water or some light rain. Speakers with IPX7 rating are perfect for pool parties since they can even survive serious immersion, but for beach parties you should have speaker that is also dustproof.
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If you are planning to use your Bluetooth speaker indoors, then the weight, battery durability, or waterproof/dustproof rating are not really that important, but the sound quality and connection quality become even more important, along with loudness. You can use your indoor speakers as a music system, home theater system, or multi-room system. If you want to use your speakers as a music system, then Bluetooth speakers might be really good option, but if you want to use them as home theater system or multi-room system Bluetooth connection might not be the best option. If you have Apple TV or some other modern HDTV, and you want to buy Bluetooth speakers and use them as home theater system, you should be looking for speakers with digital optical input, since you will get much better sound and no sound delay. In case you connect your TV and your speaker via Bluetooth, you will definitely get some sound delay (picture will be faster than the sound), and depending on the Bluetooth version delay can be really noticeable and annoying (newer versions are of course better than the old ones, but we will elaborate on that later). For the same reason, Bluetooth connection is probably not the best option for multi-room system since there is great possibility that you won’t be able to synchronize all the speakers (you will experience delay issues again). So, if you want to install multi-room system, it would be better to use speakers with wi-fi connection (like Bose SoundTouch 30).
Important features you should be looking for when buying Bluetooth speakers (depending on the purpose)
Is the Bluetooth version important?
You have probably noticed that we’ve been mentioning Bluetooth connection quality quite a lot, and in case you’ve been wondering why, here is an explanation. Every audio that comes out of a Bluetooth speaker has to be compressed to some extent, and as a result of that compression, the audio quality gets diminished. Newer Bluetooth versions have higher data transfer rates, and as a result of that, less compression is applied and audio quality is better. The oldest Bluetooth version that is still in use is V2.1, and it has the ability to transfer data at speeds of 2Mbps, and the maximum distance between the Bluetooth enabled device and the speaker must be less than 33ft. The newest Bluetooth version that is in use is V4.2, and it allows much faster data transfer and transmission distance (up to 100m). In 2017, version 5.0 was released, and this version should allow even faster data transfer and larger transmission distance. One more thing that depends on Bluetooth version (except the audio quality and connection range) is battery durability (or power consumption). Older Bluetooth versions have higher power consumption, so if your Bluetooth speaker is battery-powered, the battery will last longer if your speaker uses newer Bluetooth version. Based on what we’ve said, it is always better option to buy speaker with newer Bluetooth version – audio quality will be better, connection distance will be longer, and power consumption will be smaller (battery will last longer).
What are tweeters, woofers, and subwoofers?
These are the terms that we have also mentioned more than once. So, in case you’ve been wondering what are tweeters, woofers, and subwoofers, here comes the explanation.
All three of them are speakers, and you can differentiate them by their size and by the sound they produce. Tweeters are the smallest (usually 1-inch or a little bit larger) speakers and they are in charge of producing high-frequency sound, usually everything above 2kHz or 3kHz. Woofers are much bigger speakers (the size can vary from 4 inches to even 15 inches in diameter), and they are in charge of producing low-frequency sound (from 20Hz to 2kHz or 3kHz). Woofers must be enclosed in their own housings in order to increase low-frequency sound quality and reduce distortion by preventing sound waves from crossing and ensuring that woofers can always get enough air for all the movement they do. These enclosures can be divided into two groups – sealed and ported. In sealed enclosures, the air that woofers produce stays inside, and you will usually get cleaner and crispier sound with sealed enclosures, but speakers with sealed enclosures can’t get really loud. Ported enclosures allow air to escape through the ports (usually at the rear panel of the speaker), and speakers with ported enclosures usually produce muddier bass, but they can be much louder. Some speaker systems have one more speaker called subwoofer, which is in charge of producing only really low-frequency sound (from 20Hz to 200Hz). The subwoofer can be essential component of a well-balanced speaker system, and can add impact and depth to the bass (so if you are watching a movie and you have your home theater system hooked up to your TV, you will really feel the explosions or earthquakes if you have good subwoofer). In order for all these speakers to produce the sound appropriately, there is one more device called crossover inside the speakers. Crossover ‘’decides’’ which speaker should produce which sound. They are basically electronic circuits with set border frequency, and they assign the signal with lower frequency than the border to a woofer, and the signal with higher frequency to a tweeter. The border frequency is usually set at 2 or 3kHz.
This concludes our article on top 16 loudest Bluetooth speakers. We hope that after all the things you’ve read, you have at least slightly better understanding of what are the most important features to look for when buying loud Bluetooth speaker.
Hello, my name is James Longman.
I’m a writer and editor at AudioReputation. I disassembled my first portable AM/FM radio when I was only 8. At the age of 11, I burned the circuit board on my old boombox cassette player. I’m not going to explain how but it was reckless and stupid.
Since then, I have become much more careful around radios, boomboxes, and other audio devices (at least, I like to think so) but I have never lost the passion for audio equipment. Throughout 20 years of my professional career, I’ve been working for various audio equipment manufacturers and even started building speakers on my own in my little workshop.
I love the work we do here at AudioReputation. Testing, comparing, and evaluating all kinds of audio devices (speakers, soundbars, headphones, home theater systems, etc.) is something I truly enjoy. I try to be unbiased and give you my honest opinion on every piece of equipment I test. Still, you should take my reviews with a pinch of salt and always be just a little bit skeptical. The fact that I liked some speaker or soundbar doesn’t mean that you are going to love it. If you have the opportunity, you should test it/hear it before buying it.