The BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker is big and bold, and that’s very much the point.
|Gets VERY LOUD INDEED||Won’t suit some home décor choices|
|Bluetooth plus USB plus microSD plus AUX input||RGB panel sync isn’t as good as claimed|
|Included mics make it karaoke-ready (or busker suitable)||Some buttons feel a little cheap for a speaker at this price|
Calling a Bluetooth speaker a “party speaker” immediately brings to mind a certain kind of atmosphere and setting. The BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker makes it entirely clear that your mental picture of what it can do – and, critically where it’s best suited – was entirely correct.
It’s a decent model for filling a larger room with sound, or perhaps for karaoke parties or street buskers in need of a portable amp solution, but its large size also means that it won’t work quite so well if all you want is, indeed, just a Bluetooth speaker. Again, that’s totally the point.
The BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker measures in at a shade over 62x25x25cm or thereabouts; BlueAnt doesn’t have specific measurements for it on its web site and its rounded shape means that there are some bulges there. The point is that it’s a big old speaker that is in no way subtle. If anyone has any doubts as to where the music at your party is coming from, it’s coming from here.
That’s also going to be doubly evident, as, like some of its smaller speakers, BlueAnt has opted for a front-facing RGB LED panel with 15 different light patterns to choose from. Again, not subtle.
The top of the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker is also where you’ll find a rather complex array of buttons for a Bluetooth speaker; after all most of them don’t go much further than play/pause and volume buttons.
They’re present, with the volume dial at the top very obvious, but there’s also controls for the LED lighting, bass boost function, microphone volume and echo settings, guitar volume and even pairing to a secondary BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker for seriously loud stereo sound.
Behind those there’s inputs for guitars, microphones, auxiliary inputs – two are included in the box – and USB and microSD card slots. The basic idea here is that the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker can be more than just that humongous speaker you get out for birthdays, but also a karaoke or busking machine, and one that can get its musical inspiration from multiple sources.
At the back of the speaker there’s a standard figure 8 style power input, power switch and standard stereo RCA type output jacks. This kind of bugs me, simply because I wish they were input jacks instead, or at least were bidirectional, so I could throw some of my retro gaming inputs at it. It’s there, I presume for recording purposes if you’re a budding rock act.
It’s also, as you might expect from a speaker of this size, not particularly light, weighing in at 8.84kg. One very welcome design touch here is that the front top of the speaker forms a carrying handle, making it feasible to lug the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker around as needed. It’s not exactly “portable” in the way that smaller speakers, are, but it’s certainly feasible to move it to where you need it to be with minimal fuss.
The one party area where you would have to be careful with the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker is in terms of liquids. Some portable speakers these days carry IP-rated water resistance so they’re technically safe in all weathers or around pools. The BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker isn’t one of those, with the manual specifically noting that you should not expose it to liquids while playing or charging. So make sure you don’t spill that Kahlua on it, OK?
All reasonably so good so far, but I do have one nit to pick with the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker’s design. This isn’t an entirely low cost (or low level) speaker, but some of the buttons do feel a tad cheap and plasticky. If you were considering it as an effective amp for your street busking, or your parties tend on the more rambunctious side, I’d have some concerns about their long term durability.
Switching on the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker does rather reveal its Australian-designed origins, given the didgeridoo sound it starts up with. It’s a cute touch. It’s then a question of Bluetooth pairing, or switching modes over to the USB, microSD or auxiliary inputs as needed.
The small LCD display at the front always displays the current connection mode so that it’s clear, but this does mean for most users it’s simply going to say “BLUE” all the time. It probably wants you to stare at the RGB lights instead anyway.
Pairing with devices is your absolute stock standard Bluetooth affair in every single way.
There’s no support for multi device pairing or indeed putting the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker into direct pairing mode. That does mean that if you’ve got an already paired device you’ll need to get it to forget the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker before you can pair a new one. I guess that does stop anyone from hijacking your party by forcing their own pairing and blasting Barbie Girl at full volume.
We’ve all been there, right?
A party speaker needs, above all else, to fill a busy room, and the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker can certainly handle loud, with a claimed top output of 110dB. I like my hearing in my tiny home office just a little bit too much – and don’t want to start rows with my neighbours – but I can certainly attest that the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker can throw out some serious volume without much in the way of distortion.
The bass boost feature does add a little thump, though it’s worth deciding if you want it active or not before the music starts, because changing that mode involves a brief music pause and a voice indicating that you’re either in Bass Boost or standard modes.
A party speaker needs party music, so I threw a variety of genres at the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker. It did well with Jimi Hendrix’s Come On (Let the Good Times Roll) and equally across C+C Music Factory’s Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) to pick just a few simple party starters. If your party is quieter and more subtle it’s OK, with tracks like Art Garfunkel’s Bright Eyes presenting well.
The BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker is absolutely a unit that you want to throw against a wall or in a corner, because its sound is quite directional; again that serves its function as a party or karaoke speaker quite well.
If you’re after true high-fidelity sound this won’t quite be your speaker of choice, at least by itself, though it does support pairing with a secondary unit if you opted to buy two of them.
Then there’s the front RGB panel, which the manual assures me will “move in time with the music”. Sounds very high-tech, right? It ain’t so, or at least my own testing suggests that this is a slightly optimistic way of putting it.
There’s a selection of 15 different patterns, and they appear to be set to some pretty standard timing beats, so they look like they’re matching up to what you’re listening to.
Switching from a slow paced track – in my case I used Louis Armstrong’s classic What A Wonderful World, because why not, switched to the Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic to get some faster beats in there. And yeah, because the contrast there amused me.
But the point here was that the pattern did not change in any way. If you’re not a fan of bright blinking lights on your speaker you can disable it by pressing the LED button down for three seconds.
Looking at the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker you might figure that it’s a speaker that absolutely requires connection to a wall socket at all times.
You’d be wrong. You absolutely can run the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker from a standard wall socket, but it’s also designed to be a portable – or at least luggable – speaker with a switch at the back that either puts it in direct power mode or battery power mode. BlueAnt’s claim here is that the BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker is good for up to eight hours of playback time at 50% volume.
My own ears wouldn’t have handled testing at full volume just to see how low I could get it – and there would likely have been police complaints from my neighbours – but at more moderate volumes I could certainly reach that eight hour figure. If your parties do go longer than eight hours at a stretch, you’re going to have to rely on a wall socket at some point, however.
BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker: Alex’s Verdict
The BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker is very much a tool for a job. If you’re after portability or low pricing, it’s not the speaker for you.
However if you’re after a party speaker, and especially one that could also double as a karaoke machine or busking or simple gig speaker, then it’s suitable enough for the task.
BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker: Pricing and availability
The BlueAnt X6 Party Speaker retails for $579.