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The Loudest Bluetooth Speakers to Get the Party Jumpin’

pop loudest bluetooth speakers 1644502590Most Bluetooth audio systems are designed for low-key individual use; the earliest examples weren’t loud enough to be heard in the next room with any clarity. Today, people expect that they’ll be able to share the music in their phones with a much larger audience, and the range of available products has changed accordingly. Whether you want to hear your tunes while washing your car or use a Bluetooth system to power a warehouse party, these are some of your best bets.
The Expert: I’ve been an audiophile for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been building home and automotive sound systems for more than 25 years. My experience with Bluetooth speakers spans more than a decade, from the first Jawbone Jambox a dozen years ago to modern systems from JBL and others. I have an extensive collection of equipment in my living room, including a Bricasti M12 Dual Mono Source Controller, which I used as a reference for my testing of the speakers I recommend here.
What to Consider if You Want the Loudest Bluetooth Speaker
The Bigger the Speaker, the More Power It Needs
There’s no way around it: The more volume you want, the more power you’ll need. This is because the louder a speaker is, the bigger it is. And the bigger it is, the more power it takes to operate. A few of these systems are best suited for wall power, and the ones that aren’t will see a decrease in battery life with each additional click of the volume knob.
Speaker Size Matters
All of the systems in this article produce sound the same way: by using magnets to move a cone that in turn moves the air. There are no shortcuts to this system, so don’t expect massive sound from small or light speakers. While some relatively small speakers can produce high volume, they do it by having a long “excursion,” or back-and-forth travel, of the speaker. This isn’t conducive to high-fidelity sound for the same reason that most people find it hard to sing in tune while also singing as loudly as they possibly can. So, if you want loud AND good, choose larger speakers.
Bigger Usually Means Heavier—and Less Portable
Buying a system that isn’t large enough will prevent you from getting the volume you want. But keep in mind that the bigger the speaker, the heavier and less portable it likely will be. Make sure you don’t buy something that you’ll end up leaving in the closet because it’s too much hassle to move and set up. Just as important, larger systems use a lot more power and will likely need to be plugged in if you are going to use them for any length of time.
The vast majority of Bluetooth speakers are meant to be paired with a single input source; that’s usually your phone, tablet, or other audio source. Some will also have ⅛-inch or RCA inputs that can let you connect a source via the appropriate cable, which is sometimes easier and more straightforward than a Bluetooth pairing. Last but not least, several of the speakers here can pair with other examples of the same speaker via their own Bluetooth or Wi-Fi systems; this lets you play the same music through multiple speakers at once.
How We Selected These Speakers
In cases where I had access to the product in question, I listened to it with a High Definition Rip (HDRip) of VDP-27, the first Japanese MCA pressing of Steely Dan’s “Aja.” I then conducted additional listening with a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphone, using the incomparable Qobuz streaming app for true HiDef and CD-quality recordings. To obtain a point of reference for the capabilities of these speakers, I listened using the same digital media with a Bricasti Dual Mono Source controller and Bricasti amplifier through Magnepan speakers.
In addition to my own experience using many of the speakers I recommend here, I also considered size, weight, portability, volume level, connectivity, and price, including both affordable and high-performance options. Having listened to and examined many Bluetooth systems over the years, I know what works and what doesn’t. These are the seven loudest Bluetooth Speakers I recommend.
If you had to choose one Bluetooth speaker for all your patio-party needs, this is the one. In addition to having the capability to pair with phones and other audio sources, the Bose S1 offers XLR (balanced) and ⅛-inch inputs for guitars, microphones, and other musical instruments. A switch Bose calls ToneMatch lets you easily toggle between the inputs that use these specialty connections. Want to give your band a break? Change over to Spotify while they take five. The S1 can be tilted back or positioned horizontally, but due to the vertical-speaker orientation, don’t expect a big stereo “image” like you would get with a home theater system.
The Bose S1 is meant to be plugged into a wall, and it will be at its loudest when doing so, but an optional battery (the S1 is sold without one for $100 less) can keep the party going for approximately five hours at a modest volume (11 if you keep the party mellow). Larger than a Jambox or most JBL systems, the S1 is considerably smaller than the Bose L1 line of musician-oriented speakers and might also be a good choice for an acoustic guitarist who needs a little help to bring the vocals up.
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