Home Party Speakers
The home party speaker systems came out of the karaoke market of the last decade. There was a need for better quality, higher power handling, and more features over the relatively toy like units that were available to the public. Home hi-fi units had gotten smaller, even being replaced completely with micro units or ipod style docks, which just aren't suitable for larger gatherings.
Unlike anything else, the party speaker systems provide a completely self contained entertainment system, featuring built in amplifier (active), 2 and 3 way speaker drivers, full function mp3 control from USB and SD input, microphone inputs with EQ, and hard wearing and eye catching cabinet designs. Many also include built in lighting effects which respond to the music.
They come in a variety of sizes and power ratings, with the emphasis on home usage, so are smaller in size than normal PA speakers. They are designed to be as lightweight as possible for easy storage and placement, and are made from materials that can be easily cleaned.
There are generally two types of party speaker system available, the first being a singular, trolley style unit with built in castors and pull up handles, and the most popular being a two box set up, which features an active unit with all the electronics, and a passive unit which is connected with a standard speaker cable. This allows a proper stereo spread of sound compared to the mono output of a singular unit.
These systems, though powerful enough, are not suitable for professional use as PA, as that is simply not what they are designed for. They are specifically made for the home market, and this should be taken into account when deciding if they are suitable for your requirements.