The Best Portable Tailgate Speakers: Review and Guide
Need some music for the weekend? Or maybe you are planning on playing some soft music over dinner with friends? How about lighting up your gathering with party music? Well, you will need the best tailgate speakers to enjoy the night!
Tailgate speakers are an excellent media device that you can use in many events. The portable ones can be easily transported anywhere. The extra-portable versions can even fit inside your bag! Professional grade tailgate speakers can serve as your party speakers and can also be used to address your guests!
Now, because of the sheer number of brand and models, getting the best on that fits your definition can be quite tricky. The specs can be confusing and for people who are not that much familiar with audio electronics may not understand what they mean. Well, I can help you with that!
First, here’s the list of the tailgate speakers of 2020 that you can get your hands on. Read until the end of the article to learn more about choosing a tailgate speaker that serves exactly what you need!
The Top-rated Tailgate Speakers 2020
1. ION Audio Tailgater iPA77
ION is a consumer electronics brand that was established in 2003. This brand is under inMusic Brands that owns many other electronics and audio equipment. Some of the most known brands under iMusic are Alesis, Akai Professional, Numark, and many others.
ION’s iPA77 is a portable tailgate speaker fitted with a 6.5-inch subwoofer. The speaker unit is enclosed in a sealed black box with the front made of wire mesh. Two big knobs are located at the top of the unit that controls the mic volume and the master volume. It has five buttons at the middle used to track and Bluetooth controls. A small LED display is situated above the buttons that show how much battery is left and the frequency of the radio channel dialed.
This unit has one ¾ jack mic input and one 3.5mm jack auxiliary input. It has an antenna attached at the top of the unit for FM/AM radio frequency. This device accommodates Bluetooth connectivity that enables you to play music from other Bluetooth enabled devices.
This speaker has a 50watt peak power rating and boasts 50hour long playtime for every single battery charge. The large battery capacity can share power through a USB port that can be used to charge Android, IOS, and other devices. Lastly, this device is ready to use and comes with a microphone.
For you Useage
The portability of this device makes this an ideal weekend party speaker that can be used outdoors. Although, it may only be effective within a limited range outdoors. This device can fill a 100ft room without a problem.
- This speaker can play music wirelessly from Bluetooth enabled devices.
- The 6.5-inch subwoofer packs decent bass for its size.
- This device has a small LED display that shows the current function of your speaker.
- This speaker can continuously play music up to 50 hours for each cycle.
- It comes with a free microphone.
- This speaker may not be the greatest device outdoors with a huge number of people.
- May not be the most effective for large halls.
2. JBL Charge 3 (Best Waterproof Speakers)
James B. Lansing is the founding father of JBL Company. James is an audio engineer that spent his life designing loudspeakers. The company is known for making top-quality audio applications with stylish appearances. Recently, their portable tailgate speakers gained popularity for the quality of sound they produce with such small pieces of hardware.
Charge 3 follows the success of JBL’s Charge 2. This model is slightly bigger than Charge 2 and weighs around 800 grams. This model looks like a miniaturized version of the JBL extreme. It is just over 8-inches long and about 3.5 inches diameter at the thickest point. This unit is available in red, blue, black, teal, gray, and camouflage. Whatever your style is, there is a color that would fit your character.
This portable tailgate speaker housed in a cylindrical tube made of plastic and fabric-based mesh cover. The ends of the tube are adorned with the insignia of the company. The design of the speaker is quite simple, but packs style. There are 5 LEDs at the base of the speaker that indicates the battery left.
You can find the Bluetooth button at the far-left section at the top of the device. The volume up, down, and the next button can also be found here. Located at the center is the power button and the JBL connect feature. The JBL connects feature allows you to pair multiple speakers and play music through them in sync.
The charging port is located at the back of the unit covered with a rubber cap that protects it from water damage. On the left of the micro USB port is a 3.5mm input if you need to connect your media device through your speakers manually. On the far right, you will find a USB output that can be used as a charger. Now, this device doubles as your speakers and a power bank.
To make this product more interesting, JBL made sure that it is waterproof up to 3ft and can be soaked up to 30 minutes without sustaining damage. This device also floats, so, in case you accidentally drop it in water, it will not sink and can be easily fished.
For you Useage
This device is not the loudest speakers you can use outdoors, but when it comes to pool parties, you can rely on this nifty device. You can rest assured that your speakers will work fine even when it gets splashed or dropped in water.
- This device is waterproof up to 3ft of water.
- For its portable pocket size, this device packs loud music with it.
- This speaker can be paired with the other JBL speakers with JBL Connect feature for stereo mode.
- This product doubles as a power bank.
- This speaker is housed in a stylish cylindrical tube enclosure.
- This portable speaker can play more than 20 hours at 50% volume.
- The sound only comes from the front end of the speakers.
- This speaker is a little expensive.
3. VavaVoom 20
Vava was born in 2015 and have been crushing the market since their establishment. They are most notably known for their portable Bluetooth speakers with a simple and stylish design. After their initial success in 2016, they strived harder to become the best in the market. Aside from their audio devices, they also manufacture small home electronics such as diffusers, electric kettle, milk frother and many others.
VavaVoom 20 is a portable speaker that features Bluetooth and NFC connectivity. It offers deep and resonant bass response. The speakers are enclosed in a curvy rectangular box with wire mesh covers. The rubberized top panels are engraved with buttons used to operate the unit. On the far-right side of the top panel, you will find Vava’s logo and the power button. Opposite this side, you will locate the control and connectivity buttons.
This speaker is made to withstand splashes of water and makes it a great companion on areas where it might be exposed to water. At the back of the speakers, you will find a rubberized backdoor that covers the charging port and a 3.5mm jack input. You can also find a USB power output that enables you to charge your mobile devices. This speaker doubles as a power bank too.
This speaker is light and portable. It can easily fit your bag and can play your music on demand wherever you are. It can continuously play music for 8 hours at 50% volume with every full cycle of its battery.
This speaker has multi-point Bluetooth connection and can accommodate two separate devices at a time and seamlessly switch music playing from either.
The sound quality is quite admirable for a device this small. It packs huge volume for its relatively small size. The mid-section of the speaker is equipped with front and back facing passive subwoofers that helps it project excellent bass.
For you Useage
This splash resistant speakers will serve you well at a pool party. However, you want to be careful not to dip this speaker in water as they are not water resistant. The deep bass response will be easily heard in enclosed rooms. This can be a good speaker for a party in small rooms and will work fine outdoors.
- This speaker is splash resistant and would resist rain.
- The passive subwoofers produce excellent bass.
- It packs loud music for its relatively small size.
- This speaker doubles as a power bank.
- This device features NFC and can easily connect to your NFC enabled devices.
- This wireless speaker can support two Bluetooth connections simultaneously.
- This speaker won’t cost you a fortune.
- The 8-hour battery life at 50% volume is quite short and would require you to recharge often.
- The sound may be easily drowned by people socializing around it.
4. Mpow Bass Bluetooth Speaker (Toughest Bluetooth Speaker)
MPOW is a consumer and audio electronics brand that specializes in manufacturing top-tier Bluetooth speakers. They also offer headphones, other cellphones accessories, and car accessories. They are relatively new in the market but have they have already made a name for the company. They are known for quality Bluetooth speakers with long battery life.
MPOW’s Armor Plus is enclosed in a rugged rectangular finish with wedged corners. The rubberized metal sides offer excellent protection for the internal parts of the speakers itself. The front and back are made of wire mesh covers that house the speakers inside.
This portable Bluetooth speaker weighs around 2lbs and is quite heavy. Although, the size easily fits in your go bag. It comes with a braided nylon rope that can be used to hang your speakers. It also comes with a mesh bag to protect the exterior finish of this speaker.
The control panel can be found at the top of the speakers. This speaker has a built-in equalizer preset that suits every type of music you play with it. On the right-hand side of the speakers, you will find a rubber door covering the charging port and the 3.5mm input jack. It comes with a 3.5mm jack that you can readily use with your mobile device. You can also find a USB out that can charge your mobile devices. This speaker doubles as a power bank in case your source of music runs out of power. Four small LEDs are located in this small compartment that shows lights up to show how much power your speakers have left.
This device is water resistant and can withstand splashes and some amount of rain. However, it can get damaged when soaked in water. MPOW boasts that this model can play music for more than 22hours at 50% volume. This means that you don’t have to charge this device frequently.
For you Useage
With its splash-proof and rugged design, this model easily suggests that it can take quite a beating and still play without a hiccup. This speaker can serve you well outdoors with decent volume when cranked at maximum. It will also be a great speaker for pool parties since it’s splash resistant. You just have to be careful not to dip it in water.
When used indoors, it could fill a small to medium room with its loud volume projection. However, it may lack some bass response when used in open spaces.
- This speaker has built-in equalizer presets that optimizes your musical experience depending on the genre you play.
- This device has enough juice to fully charge your average mobile device twice.
- This product is designed to withstand a beating with its rubberized metal frame.
- It comes with a mesh bag, braided nylon cord, and 3.5mm jack.
- It has a decent sound and loud volume for a relatively low priced speaker.
- This device doesn’t feature NFC connectivity.
- The rugged design is not something everyone appreciates.
5. Sharper Image SBT1009BK
Sharper Image is a company that designs and manufactures home electronics and other lifestyle products. They aim to make shopping easy with their website and provide users with their electronics needs in one shop! Sharper Image is known for their excellent customer support that provides comprehensive assistance for every transaction.
Sharper Image’s tailgate speaker is not your average Bluetooth speaker that fits inside your bag. It’s about the size of small luggage which makes lugging it around quite difficult. Thanks to the wheels attached to the base of the speakers, transporting this unit become easy. The huge is compensated by the quality and loud sound projection of the speakers.
The telescopic handles can be extended to avoid straining your back while towing this speaker box around. The control panel is located at the right side of the unit when you are facing its front. This speaker has a maximum of 60watt power output. That is more than enough to cover a 200sqft room.
The 6.5inch subwoofer gives out a decent bass and clear sound. This party speaker has a rotating disco light at the top and easily turns your regular weekend party to a rave party!
The battery takes about half a day to charge and can for 20+ hours for every charge cycle. This device features Bluetooth connectivity for hassle-free broadcasting of your playlist. If you are up to a karaoke party, this device has mic inputs and comes with one microphone. It also has an instrument input in case you want to play live for your guests.
For you Useage
This portable Bluetooth speaker will not fit your bag. However, you can tow it around to reposition it. The 60watt peak power rating means that you can use it in a large room and have no problem filling it with music. Because of its high power rating, this speaker is ideal for outdoor use and would not easily get drowned by white noise. However, this is not splash, and weatherproof and caution must be taken when used near a pool or other bodies of water.
- This device is equipped with wheels for easy transport.
- The handles can be extended to avoid back strain while towing the unit.
- This speaker has a maximum of 60watts peak power rating that projects loud party music even outdoors.
- The 6.5 subwoofer spews excellent low frequencies.
- This product has a high value for its price point.
- This device is not water resistant and may get damaged when splashed with water.
- Can be quite heavy and not easily transportable.
- It doesn’t support NFC connectivity.
6. Brookstone Big Blue Party Speaker (Best 360 Speaker)
Pierre de Beaumont, the founding father of Brookstone, opened his store in 1973. Looking back, their inspiration roots as early as 1965 when they published their advertisement on a mechanics magazine. They offered a way to acquire tools that are difficult to find during those times. Eventually, they got their hands on consumer electronics and found success in their endeavor
This silver portable Bluetooth device has four full-range speakers installed inside this upright rectangular enclosure. A handle is affixed at the top of the speakers so you could carry it around easily. You will find three buttons at the top that adjusts the volume up, down, and one for cycling between modes. Also, you will find LED indicators there. The power button is located at the center of the mesh grill with a circular light indicator around it.
Inside the metal mesh grill are four full-range speakers that face four different directions for a 360 sound coverage. The Charging port can be found at the back, and it is covered by a rubber flap. Above the charging port is and 3.5 auxiliary input that lets you manually connect your media device. Between the flaps that cover the auxiliary in and the charging port is a button that triggers the LED battery indicator.
This speaker is advertised as splash resistant, but it may get damaged when dipped long enough on water. If in case you are not happy with the light that surrounds the power button, there is a switch at the bottom that lets you turn it off.
For you Useage
This product would be a bit too big to fit inside your backpack or your favorite go bag. However, the sound it projects is enough to fill a large room when placed in the center. The 360 sound output livens up your indoor party without trouble. You can also use this outdoor and give everyone nice music while enjoying the pool or water activities. However, it doesn’t have a high water resistance rating and must be placed far away from the body of water.
- For its size, this speaker projects a loud sound.
- It features four speakers facing in four different directions for 360 coverage.
- This product can be easily carried around.
- Great for outdoor use.
- It has a total peak power of 72watts.
- This product is rated to be splash resistant.
- This product has a short battery life compared with other speakers its size.
- Does not offer NFC connectivity.
7. Pyle PSUFM1035A (Best Outdoor Speakers)
Pyle Audio started out in the 1960s and had become one of the chosen brands that many people in the United States have enjoyed. They manufacture audio equipment for home, for professionals, and even for vehicle use. Today, they have evolved, and offer many other household electronics and craft it with the same Pyle quality standard.
This towering tailgate speaker is equipped with two 3-inch piezo tweeters that give out clean, crisp, and clear trebles. Pyle equipped this tower with two 10” subwoofer to make sure that every party music you play will compel everyone to dance!
This speaker towers at 3ft high and dominates even the outdoors with its 1000watt output. The enclosure is adorned with a carbon fiber weave design and accented with silver speaker covers. The control panel can be found at the top and below it is a large panoramic display screen. This screen lets you view the mode you are at, and it can also display disco lights that help achieve a disco party mood.
This speaker offers Bluetooth connectivity, SD card slot, and auxiliary input. It has two ¼ inch jack inputs that can be used for microphones and other instruments. If you are in the mood for karaoke, this speaker will surely impress your guests.
For you Useage
- This product has two subwoofers that will give you excellent low-frequency sounds.
- The 1000watt peak power output is suitable for outdoor use.
- This product has two ¼ inch output for microphone or instrument.
- Th large screen display shows you the mode you are at.
- This device does not operate on battery and needs to be beside a wall socket or requires an extension cable.
- It doesn’t have wheels for easier transport.
8. The Soundboks 2
Soundboks is the proud designer of the famous Boominator that is popular in the party world. The people behind the company were a bunch of high school friends who made testing their DIY speakers and excuse to throw parties. With a goal of making sure that their speakers are the loudest and drunk-people proof, eventually, they came up with models that can withstand tough environments.
Soundboks 2 is a battery-operated speaker that weighs about 33lbs. The manufacturers fitted this speaker with military grade batteries that can play party music up to 40 hours with every single charge cycle. The corners are fitted with tough aluminum joints that can withstand a tremendous beating.
The ported rectangular box houses two 10” subwoofers that offer an excellent bass response. They set up Soundboks 2 to provide astounding party music for hundreds of people. This device is easy to set up and connects to your mobile device via Bluetooth.
You can manually connect your music player using 3.5mm jack. The modular battery pack allows you to replace the drained battery for non-stop party music! Soundboks boasts that this unit can be as loud as 122dB without distortion.
They offer a backpack carry module, separately sold, that allows you to lug the speakers on your back for easy transport and party wherever you are!
For you Useage
This speaker can play music via Bluetooth or manually connected directly using a 3.5 mm jack. The sturdy design makes it a good outdoor party speaker. The modular battery pack allows you to play music over the weekend even without access to electricity! This product can be mounted to a separately sold back-carry attachment that allows you to lug it wherever you would party.
- This product has an astounding 40hour battery life at 50% volume.
- The modular battery pack allows you to replace the battery and play music indefinitely.
- This speaker is built tough to withstand a beating.
- The quality of craftsmanship is excellent.
- This product has a high price point.
- This speaker is quite heavy.
9. ION Audio Road Warrior
In 2002, ION was founded and established to bring excellent home and professional audio equipment to the public. With their dedication, they managed to design and impress their clients with the products they manufacture. Aside from manufacturing audio devices, they also specialize in converting analog formats to digital formats.
This speaker is fitted with two 10 inch speakers that allow it to play music with excellent bass response. With 500watts of peak power, this speaker easily fills large rooms with loud music with crisp definition. It has Bluetooth and NFC connectivity that enables you to stream music wirelessly from your media device.
The large speakers are housed in a rectangular enclosure with a trapezoidal profile. This profile gives an excellent listening angle when this speaker is placed on the ground. It has a microphone input and a 3.5mm jack auxiliary input that lets you play music from a manual source.
A single charge of this battery operated speakers lasts up to 12hours at 50% volume. It has a USB power out that lets you charge your mobile device as a power bank does. If you love music and want to bring it with you everywhere, you can simply leave it in your vehicle’s trunk.
For you Useage
This product is quite bulky, but it packs loud music. It’s an excellent choice for outdoor parties. Because it’s battery operated, you can easily move it around the place to find the perfect position. This 500watt powered speaker will fill large rooms with party music without a hiccup.
- This 500watt speaker can operate for 12hours at 50% volume.
- The trapezoidal profile gives the right angle for music listening pleasure.
- This product features Bluetooth and NFC connectivity.
- It has a manual 3.5mm auxiliary input and 1/4inch jack microphone input.
- This product is great for the outdoors.
- This speaker system is not splash and water resistant.
- It can be quite heavy and hard to move around.
10. ION Explorer Outback (Best All Around Speakers)
ION witnessed the transition from analog to digital and saw an opportunity to provide services and innovate analog devices. In 2002, ION was established to provide their clients with the latest consumer electronics they could ever get their hands on. Their speakers are built tough and feature the latest technology that plays at loud volume without losing its clarity.
This 100watt square tailgate speaker features 100hours of continuous play time at lower volumes. This speaker has wheels and telescopic handles for easy transportation. You could easily tow it if you want to place it somewhere else.
The 100watt peak power rating makes it an ideal speaker for outdoor use. It will not have a problem with up to 300sqft rooms. It has an 8inch subwoofer that supports excellent bass and a 3inch tweeter that boasts clarity and crisp sound. Aside from Bluetooth connectivity, ION enabled this device with NFC connectivity. This speaker comes with 3.5mm jack that lets you connect your 3.5mm jack devices to it. In case your mobile device runs out of juice, you can use this as a power source and recharge your handheld device.
It comes with a microphone for karaoke nights and can be used as a speaker output for electric instruments. The rugged enclosure is built with astounding craftsmanship and is rated waterproof. This makes it an ideal companion outdoors that would not easily get damaged by the weather.
For you Useage
This portable battery-operated speaker will serve you well on your trips. The waterproof feature allows you to use this near the pool or any body of water for that reason. However, it doesn’t have a high waterproof rating and may get water damaged when exposed to extreme weathers.
This product has long battery life for its peak power rating.
This device is built with excellent craftsmanship.
This speaker has a waterproof rating and may be used outdoors.
You can easily move this speaker around with its wheels and telescopic handles.
It features NFC that allows you to pair other NFC enabled media players.
If your phone runs out of power, you can use this speaker as a power bank.
- This device does not come with a microphone.
- This product is a little pricey.
Choosing the Portable Tailgate Speakers
If your old tailgate speaker gave up on you and you need replacement, you probably have an established parameter of the specifications and features you want. However, for those of you who will be buying a tailgate speaker for the first time, the vast selection is plain confusing.
The sheer number of the available speakers in the market makes it hard to decide which one to get. The competitive products that emerging companies provide challenges in the price range of the top brands. However, not all the new contenders provide high-quality speakers.
So, to help you decide, here are some of the features you might want your tailgate speakers to have. I know you want something to play music and party with. All the speakers on the list are capable of doing that with high quality. However, there are some features that you are specifically looking for. Let’s take a look at them.
- Watts and Room Size
The general rule of thumb is to have 1watt for every square meter (about 3.3sqft) of space. This is good enough for enclosed venues and rooms. However, outdoor setups require a higher power rating because the sound can be easily dampened by surrounding stuff. And if we are talking about party music, more power means louder music!
Some party speakers can easily slide into your backpack. However, if you have more guests, you will need larger speakers. Depending on where and how you would use your portable tailgate speakers, there’s a right size for you.
If you are always on the go and party most of the time indoors, small portable Bluetooth speakers will work fine. However, if you are always partying outdoors, you would probably want a tailgate speaker that has sturdy handles and wheels for easier transportation.
When choosing a tailgate speaker, battery life is one of your main concerns. Well, a single charge cycle would probably cover your entire party. However, having more juice when you are away from a power source is a huge plus. Most speakers today doubles as power banks, so, that extra power can be put to good use.
- Sound Quality
Of course, your premium concern is how the device sounds. You want excellent sound quality overall. It’s not the size of the speakers that matter. Cheaply made speakers may sound crappy even with large diameter speakers. It’s better to listen to it first before you finally make that decision to buy.
If you look at 10 of the top-rated tailgate speakers of 2020, it can be quite challenging to decide. All of them have excellent quality and have been chosen from a large selection of tailgate speakers. Among that selection, these 10 has the excellent feature that you may want to get.
However, not all of them may fit your need. If you don’t do hardcore rave parties, a 1000watt speaker might not be a good idea for you. But if you host rave parties every week, Pyle’s PSUFM1035A would be your best bet. However, they are not the most portable device out there and moving it around would require at least two persons. But, the sound quality is astounding and does not get distorted even at high volume.
For those who don’t party that hard, maybe ION Explorer Outback is what you are looking for. It boasts more than a hundred hours of play time at 50% volume and can be easily towed and lugged around the area. It may not be the best for outdoor use, but, when used indoors, you will definitely have a great karaoke night with your friends.
For people who love to jam with a few friends without having to shout at each other, portable Bluetooth speakers would serve you well. Brookstone’s Big Blue offers astounding sound quality with and features 360 sound projection. This means that everyone in the room would hear the same quality of music!
Now, what are you waiting for? Define your parameters and choose one of the ten great tailgate speakers of 2020!