This portable PA system isn’t for the home karaoke enthusiast unless you’re looking to seriously upgrade your karaoke setup or like to party on the cul-da-sac. On the other hand, if you own a karaoke bar or convention center, are a DJ, love tailgates, or frequent any other such large gathering of music-loving people, the ION is a gift straight from heaven. I can’t sing this speaker cabinet’s praises loudly enough, so let’s jump into the review!
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I’m not kidding when I say the Party Rocker Max machine has every feature out there. From a karaoke machine standpoint, the ION setup features a high fidelity 100 Watt speaker system that can fill large rooms and venues with ease and power to spare. As a reminder, 100 watts translates to right around 106 decibels or so. This is an audio level similar to someone shouting directly in your ear, from inches away. In other words, this thing can power some awesomely loud karaoke sessions with superior sound quality. This is only at max volume though – you can obviously turn down the volume to a suitable level for your surroundings.
We’ll jump to the most obvious part of the system next – planted smack dab in the middle and sitting on top of the Block Party Live unit is a huge half-disco ball that puts on a fantastic light show. Even better, the light show automatically moves in time with your music! Wait, not done yet – even better, ION Audio’s Block Party Live comes with a free app, compatible with both Android and iOS, that provides you with real-time control over the light show’s speed and color palette. I really don’t think you guys understand how cool this feature is – it’s hard to get it until you see it in action for yourself. I’ve always thought that karaoke machines with integrated light shows were sort of gimmicky and never really lived up to the hype, but this one blows the hype out of the water with its premium light show capabilities.
Moving forward, the entire Block Party Live system is Bluetooth-enabled. It doesn’t matter if you’re using the ION Audio setup as a karaoke machine or just as an awesome speaker – you can stream your favorites tunes directly from any tablet, smartphone, or Bluetooth enabled device out there. Bluetooth is another one of those things I didn’t really buy into until I finally gave in and tried it out. Once you get used to the simplicity and ease of use that Bluetooth affords you, you’ll be loathed to give it up in the future.
The PA system is equipped with a heavy-duty internal rechargeable battery that promises 75 hours of uptime if you’re only playing music, and 6 hours of use if you’re playing music and having fun with the light dome on top. The battery charges up with a standard AC adapter that you can plug into any wall outlet. Keep in mind that you can also opt to purchase a stripped-down and slightly cheaper version of the Block Party Live that doesn’t come with the rechargeable battery.
ION Audio’s system comes with one high quality, a wired microphone that’s absolutely perfect for intense karaoke sessions – it plugs right into the setup’s 1/4” jack, which you can also use to hook up instruments. If you want to play music off of a device that doesn’t have Bluetooth, the Block Party Live also has a 3.5mm input that you can hook your device up to with any standard auxiliary cable. The rest of the control panel is home to individual master volume and microphone volume control knobs, as well as a series of LED status lights that correspond to battery level, active peripherals, and so on.
The unit itself is rather large and not necessarily easy to carry around or transport in a car – it weighs 26 pounds and measures 10 x 15 x 20 inches. But, once it’s at home in a venue, at a tailgate, or anywhere else, it does feature a telescopic rear handle and recessed wheels. It’s extremely easy to wheel this karaoke-in-a-box setup around, which makes it fantastically portable as long as you don’t actually have to lift it off of the ground. The long-life rechargeable battery ensures you can move the Block Party Live around at will, without worrying about plugs and cords.
Please note that there are two versions of this PA system – the slightly more expensive portable version includes the previously mentioned battery, wheels, and handle, while the slightly cheaper “standard model” version does not.
This thing is as rugged as they come. ION obviously designed the Block Party Live with…well with a block party in mind, and they knew they had to make it sturdy and resistant to jostling and pushing of drunk patrons and boisterous friends. I’m pretty sure I could take a hammer to this thing with no effect whatsoever. The sidings and speaker grill are thick and expertly fitted together, and the metal caps on each corner are a truly nice touch to ensure that accidental tumbles have no effect on the PA system.
ION Audio’s cabinet speaker was made for the express purpose of being as versatile as possible. It’s essentially a universal audio receiver that spits out loud, high-quality sound at your beck and call. Karaoke? Check. Plug your mic in, hook your phone up via Bluetooth, and put on the most premium karaoke show of your life. Band practice? Check. Plug your instruments directly into the speaker system and get jamming! Weddings, community gatherings, and conventions? Triple check! Swap that microphone right back in and get talking. Or, if you just feel like relaxing to some music, hook your phone up via Bluetooth or with an auxiliary cable and relax with your favorite beats.
If you couldn’t tell already, I love this system. The sheer potential of its many features astounds me, even though I use it almost exclusively for awesome, immersive karaoke shows. It’s not the most portable PA system in the world, but it will do anything you need it to and more. It also might be a bit overkill for at-home karaoke hobbyists, although some may find it the perfect way to take their karaoke performances to the next level. From a professional standpoint – as a DJ, wedding planner, bar, or other venue owners – you simply could not ask for a more fitting audio setup.
This “karaoke machine” is truly a top-of-the-line, professional solution to your karaoke (and all other general audio) needs. If you’re outfitting your venue, tailgate, or next performance with reliable, affordable, premium equipment, look no further than the ION Audio Party Rocker Max Speaker System. This speaker cabinet is also perfect for those serious about their karaoke. With a little tweaking, you can turn just about any room into an immersive karaoke experience, between the system’s superior audio and professional-grade light show capabilities.