If you’re headed out to the big game this week, then a tailgate party ought to be on your radar. Get to the stadium early, find the right spot, and then start grilling away. Don’t forget to bring your favorite tunes to play on the best tailgate speakers.
Some of the best tailgate parties are thrown at home however, with the right speakers, you can create an equally memorable experience for your family and friends.
If you have a data or internet connection and a mobile device, then you have access to endless music. These are the speakers you’ll want to use to make sure everyone can hear your favorite songs.
What Are the Best Tailgate Speakers?
Tailgate speakers come in a variety of sizes, but most are wireless and can connect to a network or be paired through Bluetooth through your mobile device. Some speakers work more consistently and provide a better audio quality than others. These are the top-rated models you’ll want to consider first.
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Usable Time Per Charge||Price|
|ION Audio Tailgater iPA77|| 4.5 ||50 Hours|| $$
|MPOW Bluetooth Speaker w/ Power Bank|| 4.4 ||22 Hours|| $
|Kegbomb KB2001 Portable Wireless Speaker Corona Edition|| 4.9 ||8 Hours|| $
|WinBridge Rechargeable Handheld All-in-One Speaker|| 4.9 ||8 Hours|| $$$
|Pyle PSUFM1035A 2-Way Speaker System|| 4.3 ||A/C Outlet|| $$$
|ION Audio Road Warrior|| 4.0 ||12 Hours|| $$$$
|Ecoxgear GDI-EXBM901 Waterproof Portable Speaker|| 4.6 ||10 Hours|| $$$
|JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth|| 4.6 ||20 Hours|| $$
|VAVA Voom 20 Bluetooth IPX5 Portable Speaker|| 4.5 ||8 Hours|| $
|Big Blue Party Indoor/Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker|| 4.6 ||4.5|| $$$
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Usable Time Per Charge||Price|
Features to Consider with the Best Tailgate Speakers
Every tailgate speaker has its own unique feature that lets it stand out from the rest of its competition. These characteristics are important, but if you want the best tailgate speakers, then you need to go back to the basics when examining the features that are being offered.
The best speakers for tailgating should offer a premium user experience in these 3 specific areas.
- Size. A tailgate speaker needs to be small enough that it isn’t burdensome to take with you to the stadium. It must also be large enough to offer high-quality sounds for your party. Everyone has their own preference here, but a pocket speaker will struggle to compare its audio output to the larger speakers in this category.
- Charging Capacity. Tailgate speakers are almost always rechargeable since you need to take them with you. Some models may require you to run them through your DC connection in your vehicle. The rechargeable speakers should have a USB port and a large charging capacity so the speaker can operate 4-8 hours at a time.
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. You need a way to stream your music to your speaker. Bluetooth is the most common method, but a Wi-Fi connection for home use can give you a better-quality audio stream. Look for a speaker that offers both connection options for the best results.
Even when you get the best possible features out of a tailgate speaker, this category is notoriously bad for its overall sound quality. Small speakers can sound tinny and lack outputs in the bass frequencies, especially when a Bluetooth stream is being used. Look for a speaker that has a guaranteed audio output quality in the best tailgate speaker reviews.
Life is too short to tailgate with poor-quality music playing the background. Even a bad playlist is better on a great speaker than a great playlist on a bad speaker.
Why Bluetooth Speakers Are So Popular as Tailgating Speakers
Bluetooth speakers give you the option of starting a party wherever you happen to be. The audio in most Bluetooth tailgating speakers is crisp and clear and can fill the space where the party happens to be. With plenty of sizes and colors available, you can find one that matches your needs right now.
Some manufacturers even produce speakers with a housing that has your favorite team’s logo on the product. These speakers tend to be priced about 15% higher than similar tailgate speakers, but that’s because you’re paying for an officially licensed product.
Bluetooth speakers are incredibly popular because the best ones in this category do not sacrifice sound quality. If you’ve used Bluetooth speakers in the past and found yourself feeling disappointed by the audio, you’re not alone. Any speaker that is Bluetooth 4.0 compatible or higher minimizes the tinny outputs that plagued this category in the past.
Some entry-level speakers still sound a bit “off” with their audio, but this only applies to the pocket-sized speakers that are intended more for personal use than a full tailgating party.
Many Bluetooth-enabled speakers come with powerbank functions that allow you to extend the battery life of unit. Just connect the speaker by USB or another corded connection and you’ll have power that can last all day long.
How to Choose the Best Speaker to Meet Your Needs
The best tailgate speakers can make sure you and your guests stay entertained, whether you’re at home or chilling at the stadium parking lot. The type of speaker you choose for your next party should be based on the location you plan on throwing the party.
Here’s why this is a consideration that shouldn’t be ignored.
- Outdoor parties require speakers with weather resistance. Your stadium tailgate party will be much better if you can bring your speaker out of your vehicle. Look for options that are “weatherproof” for the best results If the speaker is “weather-resistant” or has an IPX rating of 5 or lower, then it may not survive your buddy dumping a beer on it if a bad song is played.
- Travel speakers require a lightweight design. If size doesn’t matter to you, portability will be your top priority. Tailgate speakers that are designed to be taken anywhere should have a lightweight design, be small enough that you don’t care where you go with it, and potentially have a clip or hook that makes it easier to take along.
- Home speakers should have a better sound quality. There should be style considerations taken into account when shopping for a tailgate party speaker that will be primarily used at home as well.
You’ll find that many speakers will also work with numerous Bluetooth accessories that can help to liven the party experience. Some accessories, such as a Bluetooth transmitter, can make any speaker become a Bluetooth-enabled tailgate speaker for less than $30.
Look for these accessories to enhance your experience.
- Charging Cradles. Some advantages tailgate speakers will let you keep your speaker charged while you’re playing music. This means less downtime for the equipment and lets you set the atmosphere for your party even if you forgot to charge the speaker.
- Travel Bags. This is a great accessory to have on-hand if you like to use the small, pocket-sized speakers in this category. It will simplify transporting the speaker and its charger while providing it with an extra layer of protection.
- Speaker Covers. If you purchase a premium Bluetooth speaker to use during your tailgating parties, then it makes sense to protect it. Speaker covers, both soft and hard, are available to snap in place around the housing of the speaker. Similar to a smartphone case, you’ll be able to customize the appearance of your speaker while preventing abrasions, scratches, and light impact damage.
You can also have your tailgating speakers double as one of the best portable party speakers thanks to tripod speaker stands and other features that allow you to distribute sounds more effectively.
The Problem of the Power Cord with Tailgate Speakers
You’ll find that the tailgate speakers that have the best features tend to require a power cord to operate. You may find features like an AM/FM radio, amplifiers, and audio inputs can give you a maximum level of versatility, but anchor you to an outlet.
There are some speakers that allow you to use a power cord or a rechargeable battery, letting you throw a party at home or at the stadium. These speakers are the best investments.
You’ll find that dual-power speakers tend to throw out inflated numbers for their cordless sound they can provide. Expect the best speakers to give you about 8 good hours of use on a single charge, especially if you’re using multiple features. The inflated use numbers (50 hours or more) can only be obtained if you’re using the radio or the Bluetooth component.
What Are the Prices of the Best Tailgate Speakers?
Portable speakers are an affordable investment to make for your tailgating plans. There are several brands that offer a speaker that is rated IPX6 or higher, with 10w drivers, Bluetooth 4.0 or higher, plus power bank functions that can provide up to 24 hours of audio for less than $50.
The one issue that plagues this category is inflated MSRP pricing. Many speakers intended for tailgating are initially priced at $100 or more, but then slashed to a price in the $30-$50 range. Speakers like this are classified as an entry-level product.
Premium speakers in this category can be priced above $200. These speakers provide the ultimate in audio quality and plenty of features to use. Look at brands like Bose for a tailgate speaker if this is what you’re looking to have for your next party.
Reviews: 10 Terrific Tailgate Speakers
With up to 50 hours of continuous use, there’s no excuse not to have beats at your next tailgater with this speaker by your side. It contains a USB power bank so you can charge your other devices at the same time too. An AM/FM radio, microphone input, and Bluetooth connectivity give you expanded entertainment options so everyone can have a little something they love. The speaker is a little heavy and doesn’t have wheels, but the easy controls and overall sound quality make up the difference. NFC-enabled devices are also compatible.
This speaker is a good all-around choice if you need audio at several different parties. At the tailgate party, the HD acoustic sound, with two 8W acoustic drivers, will blow everyone away with the clarity and depth of the audio spectrum. It offers a 5200 mAh battery so you’ll get 22 hours of playback while being able to charge a phone if necessary. It’s incredibly portable, rugged, and comes with an IPX5 rating. A hand strap and pouch are also included. It even has a built-in microphone for hands-free calling and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. You’ll want to give this fun speaker a closer look.
Part of the fun in throwing a tailgate party is giving everyone something they have never seen before. With this portable Bluetooth wireless speaker, you’ll be able to show off a speaker that looks like a Corona keg. Help everyone find their beach before the big game as you control music directly from the speaker or through your Bluetooth-enabled device. It offers a Lithium-polymer battery for up to 8 hours of music per charge. It’s a little small, but super fun, and that makes it a great speaker to consider owning today.
If you want a little bit of everything for your tailgater, then this is the speaker you’re going to want to own. It can operate as a PA speaker, giving you 60W of power and it can pick up to 300W. With sound coverage of up to 3,000 square meters, everyone will know that the party is jumping by you. It offers a UHF karaoke system for synchronous music and offers Bluetooth connectivity for your compatible devices for music. With up to 8 hours of life for music, this is a great investment for those who throw parties on a frequent basis.
This 2-way speaker system offers the benefit of an SD card reader, giving you more versatility when it comes to playing your favorite tunes. It has an FM radio as well and a 3.5mm AUX input. The flashing lights at the top of the speaker are a nice touch, but more for aesthetics than atmosphere. You’ve got access to a USB charging port for mobile devices and Bluetooth compatibility for streaming music. You’ll notice the difference that dual 10-inch woofers make for your tailgate music almost immediately. You’re going to want this speaker for your next tailgater.
This 500-watt Bluetooth stereo speaker must be heard to be believed. You can pair it with an NFC-enabled smartphone as well to get several hours of music per charge. It comes with an AC power connection as well so you can just plug this speaker into your entertainment system if you prefer. There’s an FM radio with this speaker and an AUX input for non-Bluetooth equipment if you need it. The best feature for us, however, was the recessed handles that make it easy to take this speaker wherever you need to go. It’s a definite investment, but one that will take your tailgate party to the next level.
With an IP67 rating, this tailgate speaker couldn’t be ignored. It delivers 100 watts of power that are amplified to create a surprisingly mighty sound. It can play for up to 10 hours on the rechargeable battery or you can plug it directly into an outlet with the AC cord. There’s a storage compartment built into this speaker to keep your devices powered and close, but out of sight, while the party is going on. You can connect a microphone to this speaker for karaoke if you wish and it has 5 preset equalizer settings to personalize the audio output. Easily one of the best buys in this category.
With the ability to handle 3 simultaneous Bluetooth connections, you and your buddies can take turns playing songs to this little speaker with a big sound. It comes equipped with a lithium-ion polymer battery, providing up to 20 hours of playback. It’s been given an IPX7 rating and has hands-free calling features built into it as well. If you have other JBL speakers, this one can be networked to others for a complete stereo sound. With 5 available colors and a price that is 50% less than other premium models in this category, you’ll want to give it a look.
This speaker came the closest to providing a true HD audio experience. It’s compatible with Bluetooth and works with apt-X and Vava Voom so the music is crisp and clear all the time. Bass is emphasized in the audio output with a noticeable thump that you can feel in the chest when the volume is loud enough. It’s been assigned an IPX5 rating and the rubberized design gives you a limited amount of impact resistance. There’s a power bank to use with this speaker and you’ll receive up to 8 hours of playback time per charge.
If you want to have the best Bluetooth speaker on the market today for your next tailgate party, then this is a speaker you must consider. With 4 full-range speaker drivers in this design, you receive 360 degrees of sound from this portable speaker. It’s only 15.8 inches high, so you can place it almost anywhere to get great sound. The battery is somewhat limited, with a maximum 4.5-hour playback, but that’s still long enough to get you beyond the pre-game show. We loved it and think you will too.
The best tailgate speakers will get you pumped up for the big game. No matter how you may define the word “fun,” grab one of these speakers today and you’ll be able to spread joy to everyone.