Looking for recommendations on a portable speaker that will hook to my iPod for use in parades. The kids thought it’d be fun to play some “uni music” while we ride around by having a speaker “attached” to one of us. There are about 5 or 6 I’ve found on Amazon, but they all seem very similar. Thanks for any thoughts.
Whatever you do, PLEASE don’t make it “Entry of the Gladiators” by Julius Fucik!
For outdoor use, what you need is a lot of amplification. For a parade, you need A REAL LOT!
No backyard karaoke devices, or boomboxy things. Nobody will be able to hear it from over 30’ away. You’re looking for something that might need a car battery (or car), and a powerful amplifier.
Beyond that, I’m afraid I don’t have any specific product recommendations.
I think john has it nailed. You could probably cobble something together, and run it off of a bi LiPo battery for a lighter setup. Car batteries are heavy.
I would get a small d-amp like
. That amp is nice with the bluetooth connection, but if you wanted to drop some cost there are decent options. Also, you may be able to go with a lower wattage amp, like 15-20/ channel. I just usually get a bigger one and turn it down.
Then you would need a decent battery. Here is a 6s, 22 volt, 5.8ah lipo for $70. I don’t know how long it will crank the tunes, but it should be able to drive that little amp pretty well. You could do the math, or find a calculator that would give you a discharge rate based on wattage draw, and then find a battery that fits your needs.
Then for speakers you can pick up anything cheap and small since this isn’t going to be an audiophile rig. For this sort of thing I might even wire my own, and sew them into pockets on the side of a backpack.
I have a couple of different d-amps, and they have surprisingly food sound. One is hooked up to some very high end studio monitors, and the sound is incredible. So, you may find a use for the rig beyond parades.
Depends on your goal
If you’re trying to put out enough sound to be heard a ways off over the various noises of the parade, John is right.
But if you just need enough to entertain those around you and add some energy for your own sake, many of the moderately priced ($100 - $300) Bluetooth speakers have worked fine in my experience. I’ve enjoyed the JBL Charge and the Braven BRV-X. The Braven is waterproof, which is a plus, but has the irritating characteristic of not automatically shutting itself off, so the battery runs down if you forget. I love the new Beats Pill+, which is fundamentally better than the old, smaller Beats Pill and puts out a lot of sound, but I’m not convinced it has the durability if you drop your unicycle much.
Several of the speakers will pair together if you have two, so that one speaker is left and one is right. I’m not sure what the range is, but that might be fun if you’re staying close enough together that they’ll stay synced.
For a “Cadillac” system you need something like this:
That’s what the Berkeley Critical Mass group uses for their monthly traffic-slowing ride. They are nice enough to loan it out annually for the Berkeley Juggling/Unicycling Festival. It lives on a bike trailer. The battery (and amp, I presume, live in that plastic bin, to keep them dry in bad weather. Then it’s all run by an iPod, which normally lives up on the handlebar of the bike doing the towing.
Those simpler, more affordable Bluetooth speakers Moron described should be good for an intimate outdoor event, such as a small crowd without a lot of background noise. But for a parade you’ll need a lot more oomph. Never underestimate the power of the outdoors to make your audio seem weak, especially when there are bagpipes or marching bands nearby!
Thanks for all the input…
I ended up getting: http://www.sharkk.com/sharkkreg-sup2o-8w-rugged-waterproof-bluetooth-speaker
I think it will be the best overall as I can use it in other ways besides parades (like sitting outside in my driveway )…we don’t do that many. A lot of the music, too, is for us as it helps with the riding…
Hey, that looks pretty cool. I might even want one of those for the back yard. But it’s tiny. It should serve you well in the driveway, but you may as well not bother for the parade, nobody will hear it.