After graduating college, one of the first things I did upon arriving in Los Angeles was to start remixing tracks for other artists. As an electronic musician with experience playing synthesizers during my Berklee days, I was good at creating dance tracks.
Once I had a few remixes released and found some moderate success, I began playing many DJ shows. I found that the most fun and rewarding DJ experiences came from playing house parties.
For all you aspiring DJs out there who want to eventually play at big events like Calvin Harris at Coachella or Kaskade at EDC, here's a tip: many of these guys started out playing house parties. I even attended a few of Kaskade's early sets.
I continued to play out quite a bit, and I can tell you that besides a great turntable, the most important thing is the sound system you choose. Here are my tried-and-true favorites for DJing house parties.
The Best DJ Speakers for House Parties
Table of Contents
1. Bose S1 Pro
I have to admit, I'm not usually into HiFi brand speakers, except when I'm DJing live. At house parties, you want to get people excited and don't need that neutral studio reference monitoring. You want to blast the bass and highs.
The Bose S1 Pro has an auto EQ function that lets you tune the sound of the room to the speaker automatically, so you don't get any hotspots. This is essential for house parties because there can be a ton of hotspots where all you hear is the sub-bass, which is annoying.
When I'm playing live, I'll sometimes bring up a vocalist for certain tracks if I'm playing stems of my own productions. These monitors have a feature called ToneMatch, which lets you have a preset ready for the vocalist, so you can just bring them up, and they'll sound amazing.
Two other things I love about these speakers are their weight and the fact that they can also double as practice amp speakers when I'm rehearsing my DJ set. They weigh about 15 pounds each, with a carry handle, so I can easily pop them in and out of the car for any gig. They're also battery-powered for remote gigs.
If it's a house party where other musicians are involved, there are three mixer channels, so you can bring up a guitar player or another vocalist and have a fun jam session. I've done that plenty of times before, and it's a blast.
The only thing I wish these speakers had were more effects. They have reverb for the vocals and some EQ, but nothing like some cool delays or vocal specific modulation.
2. JBL Lifestyle PartyBox 310
I recently DJ'd a house gig for an award show after-party and used the JBL Lifestyle PartyBox 310 speakers. Let me tell you, they're the real deal. These speakers are not only loud, but they also come with an incredible light show!
The lights and music worked together to create a vibe that was absolutely amazing for all the guests.
What I really liked about these speakers is how portable they are. They're like a suitcase with smooth glide wheels and a retractable tow handle, which makes it a breeze to leave a party at 4 AM without worrying about lugging around huge speakers.
JBL has always been known for producing speakers with good bass. I've used JBL speakers in studios before, and I was blown away by how much bass can come out of those small woofers.
These speakers have 6.5-inch woofers that are more than enough to pump out some sick hip-hop and dance tracks.
Another important feature when it comes to house party speakers is Bluetooth connectivity. A lot of times, I share the bill with other DJs, and being able to test the system around the room and try different tracks wirelessly is key.
Even during the party, there were moments when I could use the wireless connectivity to help out another DJ and change the playlist on the fly or tweak the settings remotely if the highs were getting a little too much or if the volume of one of the inputs was too hot.
The only thing that I found a bit limiting on these speakers is the mixer. It only has two usable channels at a time and really doesn't have any effects, which isn't ideal if you're bringing up vocalists.
3. Sony SRS-XV900
If you're planning to DJ at a house party that will last for several hours, or even all day and night, then the Sony SRS-XV900 is a must-have speaker.
This speaker is capable of playing for a whopping 25 hours and charges very quickly, making it ideal for pool parties or remote locations.
One of the best things about Sony speakers is their clean and powerful sound. Other speakers may claim to go down to subregions like 45 or 40 Hz, but then they start to distort way before that.
While this may not be noticeable to everyone, it can be irritating. Sony speakers don't have that problem.
These are great speakers for house parties because they're easy to move around with built-in handles and wheels. Plus, they've got some cool lights to make things even more fun. They're direct competitors of JBL speakers, so you know they're good.
I've used these with Sony's Music Center app, but to be honest, it's a bit disappointing. Sometimes apps made by Japanese companies can be overly complicated, and this is one of those cases.
These speakers can handle anything that comes their way at a house party though. They've got both microphone and guitar inputs, so you can even end the night with a karaoke session.
I recently used these at a smaller holiday party, and they sounded great. They're clean, punchy, and beautiful, but I think they do better with the high-end of the frequency range than the lows.
So I tend to use them more for non-dance or hip-hop-based sets.
4. Mackie Thump212
Let's talk about the Mackie Thump212 speaker. As the name suggests, it definitely lives up to the hype and has the oomph factor.
Mackie has always been known for their excellent bass distribution in the studio and live music world. I personally love using these speakers for parties and bringing along some of my gear to perform on top of my DJ set.
When I plug my Moog Subsequent 37 into these speakers, the bass is insanely clear and punchy. It's hard to believe such a sound can come from a speaker! It's definitely one of my go-to speakers for electronic music performances.
Keep in mind that these speakers are not exactly portable. They have a whopping 1400W of class D amplification to deliver that power, and they weigh almost 30 pounds, which is double the weight of the Bose S1.
It's not exactly fun lugging around my Moog Synth and this speaker, but the bass might just be worth it.
Mackie also has a proprietary built-in feedback eliminator, which is a godsend when using a microphone. Even if you're not bringing up a vocalist, sometimes you just want to hype up the crowd or greet them, or just shout out some credits to the host or whatever, and a feedback eliminator is key.
However, Mackie also added a ducking mode, which is meant more for public speaking events like speeches at colleges or public addresses. In my opinion, this was a mistake because if you happen to bring up a vocalist, the ducking mode can trigger the music to start pumping as well, leading to a messy situation.
5. Alto TS408
So, I just started using the Alto TS408 and I'm pretty impressed with how it handles bass. It has a 2000W amp and an 8-inch powered woofer, so you can definitely crank up some hardcore hip-hop sets and more.
Now, when you compare it to the Sony system, I think Alto really nailed their app. It comes with four speaker modes, custom EQ, and general streaming settings for using it with Bluetooth and true stereo wireless speaker linking.
Having an app is really cool because sometimes you just want to walk around the room and see how the music sounds. Rooms can be tricky, trust me, I've spent a lot of time perfecting and tuning my own studio.
And when you're playing at different house parties, having an app that lets you wirelessly play your set while you're checking out different hotspots is really important. It’s also super important for your speakers to distribute the sound evenly because otherwise, the energy in the room starts to fade.
These speakers pretty much have it all. They come with a custom EQ, a three-channel mixer with two XLR,s and instrument combos, and all of them have independent level control.
And speaking of dance and hip-hop parties, these speakers even have a sub-size selection. So if you're playing in a room with a lot of reflection and hotspots for bass, you can easily turn it down.
The only downside is that they didn't include a lot of effects, which is a shame because, with such a great app, it would have been cool to have more options to use on the mic.
6. Behringer Eurolive B115D
It's Behringer again crashing the house party! These guys seriously have their fingers in every pie, and the best part is that the Eurolive B115D speakers are actually really good.
What sets Behringer apart is their access to so many high-quality studio components. They really know how to use good parts for their products.
They have custom-engineered transducers, which make them stand out from other speakers in this roundup. These transducers balance the low and high end so well that the crossover is much smoother.
That's why I love using these speakers when I'm mixing a ton of vocal tracks in my DJ sets. These transducers bring out the space around the vocals, so no matter how much power is pumping through, all the vocals on the tracks come through clearly.
It's amazing for a DJ like me.
The speakers also have a really nice EQ and one of the best dispersion systems out there. Dispersion is important so you can spread the sound around a larger room without there being any phasing issues.
Speaking of high-quality parts, the mic preamps are directly ported from Behringer's higher-end mixers, so they're excellent if you're bringing a mic on stage. And since they're wireless, they work really well with the ULM wireless system that Behringer makes.
You can easily have a vocalist perform in front of the turntables with a wireless pack without losing any connectivity.
Two downsides to these speakers that might be a dealbreaker: they're heavy, almost 40 pounds! You better hire an assistant. The other curious thing is that they didn't put any effects in a speaker that has such great mic inputs. That's definitely an odd choice.
7. Philips X5206
Okay, so the Philips X5206 speaker is hands down the cutest of the bunch. Whenever I'm hired for a party that's going to end with karaoke, I definitely use this one the most.
I have to admit, I'm a total sucker for those lights around the woofers - they just look cool. I'd say the X5206 is more for regular folks rather than pro-level DJs, but Philips still makes some high-quality gear.
Now, the thing is, these speakers are definitely designed to play modern music, especially since most karaoke picks are current hits. And let's be real - today's hits sound like dance music anyway. Just look at Dua Lipa - those are electro tracks she’s singing on!
So, props to Philips for adding some serious low-end bass to these speakers - it sounds pretty huge. There's lots of Sub so you get that bouncy kick-bass relationship going.
I use these a lot for weddings and parties that are geared more towards younger crowds - like a birthday bash or a bar mitzvah.
Now, I'm usually a bit of a sound snob when it comes to effects, but I have to say, there's just something about built-in karaoke effects that just work. And these speakers are perfect for that - they've got that reverb sound that makes everything instantly more fun.
Transporting these speakers is a breeze, even though they're not the lightest. They're still easy for one person to haul around.
The only downside is that the battery only lasts for 14 hours. Now, that might seem like a lot, but the thing is, since these speakers are meant for both karaoke and DJing, they can get used day and night at the same time in some cases.
Choosing the Best DJ Speakers for House Parties
I know I know, I've said this multiple times, but seriously, how do you choose between so many speakers that all have something different to offer? It's much easier when the choices are only slightly different.
From my personal experience of using every single speaker on this list, I must say that when it comes to DJing and throwing house parties, one must balance practicality with showmanship.
Here are three crucial factors that I believe can help you make your decision on which speaker to choose:
Weight and Portability
Picture this: It's 4 AM and maybe you've had a few drinks. Now, you have to haul not just one, but possibly two massive 30 or 40-pound speakers, a synthesizer, and stands to your car. It's enough to make you want to give up on this whole DJing thing.
And don't even think about relying on your friends or hired help - they always seem to disappear right before your late-night gig ends.
If you plan on doing gigs outside of your living room, look for gear with a long battery life and lower weight. Some of these have wheels and fancy handles, but those won't be much help on grass or dirt where many outdoor gigs are held. Keep that in mind.
Also, try to get the speaker with the most mixer features included if you don’t want to carry extra effects for vocalists too. Every piece of gear just adds to the haul.
Bass and Low End
Of course, the type of music you play determines the equipment you need. However, let's be honest, We all play some contemporary pop music at some point, or at least remixes of it.
When it comes to modern music, it's mostly dance music, from Carly Rae Jepsen to Justin Bieber, and even Drake is influenced by either hip-hop or EDM. The common denominator between all these styles is a strong bass.
The energy at a party comes from the bass. If the bass isn't thumping, it's not worth it. Therefore, I would strongly recommend the Mackie speakers for their bass capabilities.
The Bose S1 Pro also has a more refined-sounding low-end but is still powerful.
Mic Inputs vs. Effects
Adding effects pedals to a portable DJ speaker system without good built-in effects can be challenging. It's difficult to blend external hardware with mastered mixed tracks without a proper professional mixer.
Whenever I've tried to hook up an effects unit or a pedalboard for a guitar player to a DJ-based performance PA like these, I've experienced headroom overloading. This means that the speaker can't handle both well.
If you plan to do a lot of live singing on top of tracks, I recommend getting speakers with a decent mic input and built-in effects that are easy to set. In such a scenario, the Behringer would not be suitable.
Investing in a good set of DJ speakers is a wise move for your career. Personally, DJing has always been a great way for me to earn extra cash.
As many of us know, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music do not pay artists what they deserve. Unfortunately, this also means less money for budgets, which results in producers being paid less.
DJing and performing live are fantastic ways to supplement your studio work. They are also great ways to test your tracks and see how people react to them.
If the crowd is dancing and vibing, you know you have something good. If they are scratching their heads, it may be time to make some tweaks.
Overall, my advice to you is to get your music out there as much as possible. Blast your tracks at house parties with speakers that pack a punch. Trust me, it is worth it for all aspects of your career.