Science & Technology



Sound Advice: Turn up the fun with Bluetooth party speaker

Don Lindich, Tribune News Service on

Published in Tech Advice

Q. Our daughter is graduating college and we are planning a party. We hired a DJ for her high school graduation party but would like to avoid that this time. She said she can create a custom playlist for the party and stream it via Bluetooth. Is there some kind of streaming speaker available that can cover an outdoor 12-by-14-foot dance floor? She loves singing and karaoke, so karaoke functionality would be a plus.

—T.E., Ridgeland, South Carolina

A. What you described is a Klipsch Gig XXL Party Speaker. The Gig XXL is a large Bluetooth speaker with eight hours of battery life playing at full volume. One Gig XXL would be enough to cover your dance floor, but two of them can be paired together in stereo to cover a large area with spacious sound. It also provides colorful lights that pulse to the beat. The light show can be turned off, leaving you with a big, great-sounding speaker that can get quite loud if necessary.

As I researched your answer I saw the Gig XXL has an input for guitars and other musical instruments and includes a wired microphone for karaoke or PA duties. It is a perfect fit for your situation, and musicians are sure to love it, too. Even if you’re not a musician or hosting a party, the Gig XXL will be at home on the porch, around the pool, at tailgate parties, working outside or anywhere else you want to fill an area with full, satisfying sound.

At the speaker sells for its regular $349 retail price, which is a good value for the capability it offers. My research showed the Gig XXL on sale on Amazon for $169.99 with a 5% checkbox coupon, bringing the price down to $161.49, over 50% off the original $349. That is phenomenal for such a large and capable speaker from a top brand. For only $161.49 you might want to order two speakers and have your dance floor covered and then some. I am unsure how long the promotion will be running, but hope it is long enough that everyone who reads this is able to get one at the discounted price. I suggest visiting to check out the speaker for yourself, then head over to Amazon to order it for over 50% off. Enjoy your new speaker (or speakers)!

Q. I read your recent piece about the Ortofon 2M cartridges. I remembered I bookmarked the 11-cartridge shootout you did online in December 2017. The bookmark took me to some gambling site on the other side of the world. I wanted to find the article because I’m looking for a cartridge for my Technics SL-D2 turntable and was considering the 2M Blue.


—D.W., Lawrence, Pennsylvania

A. Some time ago I experimented with the idea of expanding to several different specialized websites, such as Sound Advice Vinyl and Sound Advice Headphones, to complement Sound Advice News. I came to realize it best to keep everything under one roof and let the other websites and domains expire, and the domains promptly got snapped up once I stopped paying for them. After receiving your email I republished the shootout on I will be doing the same with the rest of the sites in the near future.

Check out the $189 Goldring E3 as a 2M Blue alternative. It’s my favorite cartridge under $200, and is very musically satisfying.

At a higher price point the $279 Nagaoka JT-80LB is an outstanding performer. Nagaoka does not have a U.S. site but is sold by many online vendors.


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