The Sharp PS-949 is a large and loud speaker with some fantastic party features, including LED and strobe lights, a microphone and DJ effects.
- Portable designIncludes wheels and a handle
- Party featuresKaraoke mic, strobe lights and DJ sound effects
- Duo ModePair two speakers for stereo sound
- Wired and wireless inputsUSB, aux-in and Bluetooth supported
The PS-949 is part of Sharp’s Party Speaker line-up that’s arriving in the first quarter of 2023.
The speaker is the big and bulky sibling to the catchily-named PS-919 and PS-929, delivering many of the same features including LED and strobe lighting, portability and even a karaoke mic, in a more imposing – and much louder – package.
I had the opportunity to see and listen to the PS-949 in person during Sharp’s 2022 Xperience Roadshow. Here are my first impressions of the party speaker.
- The PS-949 is the biggest speaker in the series
- It has wheels and a handle
- Built-in microphone and a phone/tablet slot
The PS-949 is the largest of the three speakers in Sharp’s Party Speaker series. However, while it’s significantly bigger and bulkier than the PS-919 and the PS-929, I didn’t find it to be overly heavy. I don’t consider myself particularly strong but I was just about able to lift the speaker with one hand, so I’d say the average party thrower wouldn’t have an issue lugging it around either.
The speaker also includes a handle, along with wheels on the rear edge, making it very easy to drag from one place to another if you don’t feel like lifting it.
With a water resistance rating of IPX4, it should be able to withstand a splash of water if you take it to the pool or spill a drink on it. This is a bit lower than the IPX5 rating on the PS-919, but still higher than the PS-929 which doesn’t have an IP rating.
Appearance-wise the speaker has the same no-frills matte black plastic finish as the PS-929, with the coloured lighting the main event here. I didn’t mind the slightly plain design as it allowed the LED and strobe lights to stand out more in contrast in the dark listening room.
The speaker comes with a number of inputs and accessories, including two guitar/mic inputs with a reverb effect and a microphone for karaoke sessions.
It also includes a handy phone and tablet slot on the top of the speaker, so you can prop up your mobile device, add songs to your Spotify queue and even charge it without awkwardly laying it atop the speaker and covering any of the physical controls.
Speaking of the controls, there are a large number of buttons on top of the speaker, including playback controls, a volume ring, EQ and lighting options.
- The speaker has coloured lights that can be controlled by an app
- There are also DJ effects you can play
- Inputs include USB
The main upgrade on the PS-949 (aside from its bigger sound) is the addition of app support, which comes as an alternative to the physical buttons on top of the speaker.
Where on the PS-919 and PS-929 you had to manually adjust the flashing LED and strobe light buttons, you can now access these controls through an app on a smartphone or tablet.
Along with the party lights, the PS-949 features six DJ effects you can play during and in-between tracks, including Airhorn, Laser and Scratch. The example I heard was a countdown, which I could see coming in handy on new years eve or just to build up to the next track.
When it comes to sound input, the speaker supports wireless streaming via Bluetooth, as well as wired connections with both USB and aux-in. You can also pair two PS-949s in Duo Mode to enable left and right channel stereo sound from a single Bluetooth source.
Finally, the speaker comes with a 13-hour battery for when you want to take it out and about. This also doubles as a USB charger for a phone or tablet, so you shouldn’t need to worry about your phone dying as you stream from Spotify.
- The PS-949 is the loudest of Sharp’s party speakers
- It has a wide soundstage
- The bass is weaker than that on the brand’s Sumo Box speakers
Because Sharp had the three party speakers lined up in its listening room, I was able to listen to them all in succession. For this reason, I can say the PS-949 is the loudest of the three speakers.
Where the PS-919 managed to offer an impressively large noise for its compact size thanks to its 2.1 channel set-up, and the PS-929 delivered more in both volume and clarity, the PS-949 definitely pushed the audio further in both these regards with a big, room-filling sound with a wide soundstage and a high amount of detail.
While the low end fell short compared to the rumbling bass produced by Sharp’s semi-professional Sumo Box and Sumo Box Pro speakers (which were also in the showroom) the PS-949 offers enough bass that I think it could cut through the noise of a party easily enough. However, I’d need to hear the speaker perform in this environment to determine that for sure.
The above is just my first impression of the speaker. I didn’t get the opportunity to listen to a wide variety of music or to play around with all of the effects available, and is this is just a first impressions, I’d want to spend more time with the speaker before offering any final verdict.