Bluetooth speaker volume
November 17, 2023 2:52 PM   Subscribe

How loud a bluetooth speaker do I need for background music in my event? Is there a useful model you can recommend?

The space will rent me a speaker, but for about the same price I can just buy a smaller portable speaker, and while I don't think I'd get a lot of use out of it necessarily (we have a Sonos set up), I might be able to find an occasional use in the tub or on the balcony or on my bike.

The goal is not to have a dance party or to drown out people or impress audiophiles; it's to have a little background music on for a dinner of 25 seniors so it doesn't feel awkward if there's pauses.

I've been looking at things like the Anker Soundcore, JBL Flip 6 and JBL Go 3, Tribit XSoundGo, etc. Smallish portable speakers. I think those would probably be enough?

Is wattage the most useful measure? And if so, how many watts do I need? (I repeat, I do not need DJ type power; I just probably need more than the speakers on a laptop can provide.)
posted by Superilla to Technology (8 answers total)
Depending on which Sonos speakers you have, you might just be able to use one of those.
posted by ssg at 3:11 PM on November 17

Best answer: I've been looking at things like the Anker Soundcore, JBL Flip 6 and JBL Go 3, Tribit XSoundGo, etc.

You should be fine with any of those - there's a lighting tech I work with regularly who brings these kinds of Bluetooth portables to gig load in & warehouse days, and we often have to tell him to turn it down so we can talk to each other. And these are in pretty big spaces, like a stage 60' wide by 40' deep. Background music for a senior dinner should be a piece of cake.

Your Sonos might be fine, I don't know much about them.

One tip would be to try to get the speaker above ear level, like on a mantel or a shelf or something - that way the sound can spread through the room better and the person closest to the speaker isn't complaining that it's too loud while the folks on the opposite end of the room can't hear it.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:22 PM on November 17 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: To clarify - I can't use the Sonos stuff because I won't have wifi access; it's in a hotel meeting room.
posted by Superilla at 4:25 PM on November 17

With two devices, one a phone used as a mobile hotspot and another like a tablet or a second phone to control the Sonos, you can definitely use it without wifi.
posted by ssg at 4:50 PM on November 17 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Any of those should be fine, especially with a group of seniors. You probably shouldn't have it very loud so those with hearing loss will have an easier time understanding without background noise.
posted by advicepig at 6:11 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]

The Sonos Move allows you to connect via either Bluetooth or as part of a Sonos network. It is designed for battery based outdoor use but can also be used as part of your system. If I had a Sonos system I would consider this as a potential purchase. It is, as someone who owns one, plenty loud enough for your use case.
posted by rongorongo at 4:24 AM on November 18 [1 favorite]

I picked up a Soundcore Motion X600 on Prime Day. Figured I'd probably end up sending it back because I'm picky about my sound. But it won me over. It's a nice piece of kit. I most recently used it to play horror movie soundtracks for trick-or-treaters. Good volume, good bass, decent spaciousness. Recommended.
posted by kindall at 7:33 AM on November 18

Response by poster: Thanks for the reality check, folks; my Anker Soundcore arrived yesterday and after a quick test ("In Your Eyes", Lloyd Dobler would have found life a lot easier with this little guy), it pumps out plenty of sound for what we need. Thanks!
posted by Superilla at 7:53 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

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