Product Type: Bluetooth Speaker | Manufacturer: Brookstone | Price: $249.99 (£199.34) | Where to buy: Brookstone | [et_social_share]
The Brookstone Big Blue Party is easily one of the best Bluetooth speakers we’ve ever tested, with a huge soundstage and plenty of volume.
Every now and then, we get a product at What Mobile that completely amazes us. It happened with the KEF Gravity One and it’s the same story here. The Brookstone Big Blue Party is a definite contender for best Bluetooth speaker. Based in the United States but shipping to over 200 countries and territories globally, the company was kind enough to send one over for review.
The first thing you’ll notice when taking this out the box is just how huge it actually is. Standing almost 16-inches tall by 6-inches wide, it’s the first speaker we’ve ever reviewed that managed to give an error reading on our scales. Build quality is stellar, with a rock-solid combination of metals and thick plastic. A handle is included on the top for lugging the thing around, however you probably won’t enjoy carrying it for long periods. It’s also fully water resistant, meaning it should be good for a few splashes. Connectivity offers up plenty of options, with WI-FI, Bluetooth and an Aux-In port for hooking up devices via cable. The absence of a charging port for juicing your phone off the internal speaker battery may disappoint some, though personally I have a power-bank for this issue anyway.
The inclusion of Chromecast really helps to make the speaker stand out against competition, with setup being very straightforward thanks to the included manual. The Brookstone Big Blue Party uses Google Home and a WI-FI connection in tandem to cast music within your home network. It’s even possible to setup multiple speakers for a multi-room experience, handy if you’ve got a party going throughout your house.
Sound quality on the Big Blue Party is pretty incredible, with a smooth response straight out of the box that doesn’t accentuate either side of the spectrum offensively.
Sound quality on the Big Blue Party is pretty incredible, with a smooth response straight out of the box that doesn’t accentuate either side of the spectrum offensively. Everything is well catered for thanks to an internal design which targets high, mid and low frequencies independently. The soundscape is fantastic, with a full 360-degree field that encapsulates the room no matter where you place it. Another thing to note is the inclusion of full stereo playback, which a lot of Bluetooth speakers fail to include.
Brookstone has achieved this excellent sound by incorporating a total of six speaker drivers inside the Big Blue Party. Four 2.5-inch drivers sit around the top portion of the speaker in a 360-degree array, flanked by a 5.5-inch subwoofer and even larger passive radiator measuring 7-inches by 5-inches.
It’s a smart setup that allows it to both project sound and go really deep in the lower frequencies. During our bass testing, it reached down to the 40Hz claim quite comfortably before there was any substantial roll-off. We found that it’s possible to get even lower than this when cranking the volume up to max, with the speaker still outputting a nice rumble at 35Hz. For those of you who are big fans of dance music, this is going to be a major plus point. On the topic of max volume, it’s no slouch in this department either. Outputting a total of 72 watts, it should be able to handle the average house party without any issues.
Battery life is rated at 4-6 hours which isn’t that long, but it’s worth taking into account the monolithic size of this thing. We wouldn’t expect a speaker of this size to last as long because more power is required, so the estimated figure isn’t too disappointing. It won’t get you through a full evening on battery alone but the ability to use mains power does at least mean it will last in a party scenario.