Your average portable speaker is probably good enough for some mellow background music while out and about, but for a serious tailgate party you need volume. In addition to volume, a good tailgate speaker should be able to deliver quality audio as well. Being loud means nothing if everything sounds clipped or distorted. Of course, a good looking design is always a plus for a tailgate speaker as it will be in the public eye.
Some people prefer light, compact party speakers that are easy to transport around in their vehicle, while others prefer something that looks as impressive as it sounds. Below we have the five best portable tailgate speakers and a quick review for each:
1. Ion Audio iPA77 Tailgater Portable Bluetooth Speaker PA System with Microphone, AM/FM Radio, and USB Charge Port
If you plan on throwing an all-night tailgate party and want a speaker that is going to last, then the iPA77 is the one to take along. This tailgate speaker features a 50-hour rechargeable battery with enough power to spare that you can use its USB power bank to recharge your other devices, such as tablets and smartphones. It features Bluetooth to connect with other audio devices and can even link up via near field communication. For playback from non-Bluetooth devices you can use the auxiliary input instead. In fact, you don’t even need any external devices for audio as the speaker has an integrated AM/FM radio. If any of your guests are in the mood for some karaoke, they can make use of the microphone that is bundled with this speaker to sing along.
This speaker is also compatible with a free app for iOS and Android that allows you to adjust its EQ settings amongst other things. Although it doesn’t have wheels like the SBT1009BK, this speaker can be transported with ease using its two side handles. It is also a pretty rugged device and has reinforced rubber corners, so you don’t need to worry about damage when shifting it around.
When it comes to sound quality the iPA77 is no slouch either as it has a robust woofer as well as wide-dispersion tweeter. Even in wide open outdoor areas this speaker is able to make itself heard. For a speaker with a solid build, great audio quality and enough battery power to last the whole night you can’t go wrong with the iPA77. It doesn’t have any fancy gimmicks, like spinning disco balls, but will still impress everyone at your next tailgate party.
Available at: Amazon.
2. Big Blue Party Indoor-Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker
If you’re looking for a bluetooth speaker that is both stylish and delivers some serious beats at a volume that would make the neighborhood dogs cringe, then the Big Blue Party Speaker should be your weapon of choice.
Weighing in at just 14.7 pounds it is light enough to haul onto the beach or up to your impromptu rooftop party. 4 Speaker drivers, a subwoofer and a passive radiator kicks out a solid 72 watts (18 watts per channel, 36-watt sub). Audio quality is very good and it is often compared to higher-end BOSE speakers – while a lot of reviewers on Amazon simply think it’s louder!
As the Big Blue Speaker was primarily designed and constructed to be a party speaker, rather than just another tailgate speaker hidden in the trunk of your car, it is arguably also the best looking speaker on our list of popular tailgate and party speakers. The construction is solid, sturdy and durable. Nothing about this speaker looks or feels cheap or tacky. The design is stylish and hip yet timeless enough not to go out of fashion with every change of the season. Simply put, it’s s a solid high quality product that comes highly recommended.
Finally, it’s primary an preferred method of connection is via bluetooth of course. No need for wires and no need to dock your phone or iPod. Simply pair your devices and let the party begin!
Available at: Amazon.
3. Sharper Image SBT1009BK On-The-Go Bluetooth Party Speaker with Disco Ball Light Show, Tailgate, Karaoke and Microphone
To get a tailgate party started, and keep it going, the SBT1009BK is hard to beat. This Bluetooth speaker packs everything you need from a good tailgate speaker and then some. While it might look pretty sizeable the speaker is actually fully transportable thanks to its retractable handle and built-in wheels. It is also lightweight enough that it can be carried around using the attached handle.
With this speaker you don’t need to worry about being close to a power source either as it is rechargeable and able to last for hours. To ensure that everybody in the area can see that you have a party going the SBT1009BK features a disco ball right on top of the speaker. The disco ball actually rotates and uses multicolored LED lights to light up its surroundings for a great effect.
Another feature of this speaker that will make it a firm party favorite is its karaoke function, which comes complete with an included microphone. Whether you want to broadcast a message to everyone that is gathered around or simply sing along to your favorite tunes, this speaker will make it happen.
As this speaker features Bluetooth you can connect it to any compatible audio device to play music or make use of its aux-in plug for a direct connection if needed. It even has inputs for a guitar and microphone for those who want to make their own music at the next tailgate party. The sound quality doesn’t disappoint either with crisp, clear audio that can be cranked very loud.
Anyone looking for a great tailgate speaker that is easy to transport to where you need it and can double as an amplifier should definitely add the SBT1009BK to their wish list.
Available at: Amazon.
4. Sony RDHGTK37IP Portable Party System with Bluetooth and NFC Technology
The RDHGTK37IP from Sony sports all the latest features, such as Bluetooth and NFC technology for connecting your audio devices, but doesn’t leave older devices out in the cold either. Thanks to the front USB input you can also attach older devices, such as Walkman players, previous generation iPod or iPhone products or USB thumb drives to it. If this wasn’t enough the RDHGTK37IP also comes with an AM/FM antenna that can be plugged into the rear panel in order to listen to radio stations. Its EQ presets will also allow you to find the best match for your favorite genre.
The speaker is portable, but can deliver very loud audio and enough bass for any tailgate party. It features a 2-way speaker system with dual woofers and tweeters for great audio quality even at high volume. This is a speaker that isn’t simply loud, but can be cranked up all the way to deafening. The volume knob goes up all the way to 50, but unless you don’t care about noise complaints you’ll probably leave it at much lower levels. The downside is unfortunately that while this speaker is portable, it does not run off batteries, but require being plugged in to a power source to work. This puts it at a slight disadvantaged compared to truly portable tailgate speakers, but it does deliver audio quality that is simply not possible on battery powered speakers.
One thing is for sure, the RDHGTK37IP is a good looking speaker that doesn’t fail to impress with its design. It features LED lights that has 14 different patterns and can pulsate in tune with your music. Its sleek, glossy look definitely adds to the visual appeal and it can be used in a horizontal or even vertical position. Then there are the built-in DJ effects that allow you to add your own twist to the tunes.
The RDHGTK37IP is big, impressive and sounds great, so if the fact that it doesn’t run off batteries is not an issue it is definitely the one to get.
Available at: Amazon.
5. BOSS AUDIO ATV20 Powersports Plug and Play Audio System with Weather Proof 6.5 Inch Component Speakers, Built in 450 Watt Amplifier
For the committed fans who won’t let a bit of bad weather spoil their tailgate party, the ATV20 from Boss Audio is worth looking into. It doesn’t look as flashy as the other tailgate speakers, but makes up for it with great sound quality and exceptional durability. The 6.5” poly injected cone speaker and 1.5” high performance soft dome tweeter are both weather proof and water proof, so you can keep the music going even if the elements are not cooperating.
This speaker features a 450 watts max built-in amplifier and can be installed or removed with ease thanks to its plug and play design. The auxiliary input allows you to connect it to any audio device with an auxiliary output in order to play your tunes. To keep the party going the ATV20 is powered using the cigarette lighter port of your vehicle and can even be hard wired to the battery.
While the Boss Audio ATV20 is a favorite amongst ATV owners its durability and sound quality, not to mention how portable it is, has won it plenty of fans among the tailgate crowd as well. Anyone looking for a great party speaker that can take a beating and still keep going and don’t need all the flashy accessories will love what the ATV20 has to offer.
Available at: Amazon.