REVIEW: Get Karaoke Ready With Wave Audio’s Party Speaker

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Rating
7

Wave Audio’s Party Speaker gets the job done, but nothing more. It gets so much right but suffers quite a lot where it counts – audio. Is it a bad purchase for someone looking for a budget friendly party speaker? Not at all! In fact, Wave has filled a gap in the market for people needing something loud and fun for under $400. It does however show it’s budget side in a few ways, most starkly with its audio quality.

- Cheaper than competitors
- Comes with microphone
- Light and portable for the size
- Easy to connect to
- Long battery life

- Horrible start-up sound
- Tinny audio with lack of bass
- Microphone caked in reverb and echo
- No power supply, only short USB-C cable

Wave Audio, Australia’s newest audio brand, are set to take on audio giants Sony, Samsung and JBL, entering into the party speaker market with their aptly named ‘Wave Party Speaker’, with the hopes of taking “the party anywhere.”

Where Wave Audio differs however is in price. Where JBL’s bottom party speaker, the PartyBox 110 will run you $495, Wave Audio’s party speaker is only $349.95. So, is it worth spending the extra $150?

Out Of The Box

As it was with the with its Immersive Pro Earbuds, Wave Audio has been thorough with it’s packaging. In the box you get the speaker, a microphone, a USB-C charging cable for the speaker, a Micro USB cable for the microphone and a super comprehensive user guide, which seems to be a company staple.

On first glance, the speaker is sturdy and surprisingly lighter than you’d expect, which alongside it’s built-in handles, is a massive tick for portability. The inclusion of a microphone too is a great party feature too that transforms the speaker into a karaoke machine/PA, making me question why other companies don’t include one themselves.

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What did disappoint me however was the lack of charger pack. While it’s common place that a phone or set of earbuds doesn’t come with a power supply for a charger these days, I was expecting a charger for something big like the party speaker. The USB-C cable provided isn’t exactly long either, meaning playing music with it plugged in requires pushing it into the corner.

Setup and Connectivity

As with many speakers and audio devices, pairing mode was activated upon being turned on for the first time, making connection super simple. The lights came on straight away and did their thing, as did the microphone once I turned it on.

Wave seemingly wants you to get this speaker out of its box and get straight into party mode.

Sound

The main goal of a party speaker is of course to be loud and fun and Wave Audio’s 60W Party Speaker passes with flying colours. However, I was a little disappointed with the sound quality.

Straight away after putting on Cornflake by The Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, I found that a track that is usually full and heavy became a little lifeless and hollow, with tinny highs and a lack of mids. It wasn’t long before I reached for the bass boost feature, which unfortunately, made very little difference.

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I found that audio playback was best with the bass boost feature on, however as the feature makes very little difference, I actually found myself second guessing if bass boost was on or not and toggling between the two to check.

The lack of mids and bass became even more obvious in tracks like Zenith by Kavinsky, where what is usually a low pumping rhythm became transparent and thin.

At a party where there is people talking and dancing and moving around, this is going to be much less noticeable, however the small amount of bass may find itself struggling to carry through. It can be paired with another party speaker to up the bass, but when you’re buying a budget party speaker, its to save money, not to have to spend more.

My least favourite part of the sound, however, has to be the devices start-up noise. Starting with a hearty alien gurgle, it then changes to a piercing whirl that increases in volume until it stabs you quickly right in the ear drums, causing me to pull a face every time it happens. It’s just unpleasant.

The good news is that you won’t have to hear it all that often, as an 8-hour battery life means you can party all night. However, when it finally dies and the party ends, you’re going to be doubly disappointed as your eardrums explode.

Lighting

If a party speaker has one job, its to ‘bring the party’ so to speak. The Wave Audio Party speaker, like many of it’s competitors, does so with bright interactive lights. These were great fun to play around with and absolutely bring a party atmosphere to a room which would otherwise be without it. I expected it to have the same affect as one of those rotating multicolored disco balls you used to see at kids birthdays, but the lights are more than that.

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The 7-colour LEDs move and pulse to the beat of the track you’re playing, or to your own singing with the connected microphone.

Microphone

Speaking of the microphone, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Wave Audio has fully embraced the fun of karaoke. At least I was until I turned the mic on.

The mic input is drizzled in heavy reverb and echo, making it super muddy and distracts from what is being said. To make matters worse, just by holding the mic, it picks up every single little movement of your hand and more, which gets annoying very quickly.

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While you could use this as a PA if you really needed to in a pinch for speeches or announcements, you might find your message comes across a little bit messy.

The Wave Audio Party Speaker is available for pre-order from the Wave Audio website for $349.95.

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Rating
7

Wave Audio’s Party Speaker gets the job done, but nothing more. It gets so much right but suffers quite a lot where it counts – audio. Is it a bad purchase for someone looking for a budget friendly party speaker? Not at all! In fact, Wave has filled a gap in the market for people needing something loud and fun for under $400. It does however show it’s budget side in a few ways, most starkly with its audio quality.

- Cheaper than competitors
- Comes with microphone
- Light and portable for the size
- Easy to connect to
- Long battery life

- Horrible start-up sound
- Tinny audio with lack of bass
- Microphone caked in reverb and echo
- No power supply, only short USB-C cable