Whether you’re hanging out in the parking lot before the big game, planning a camping trip, or getting everyone together for a block party, no event is complete without a tailgate speaker. A speaker can set the mood or set everyone up for a round of karaoke. Regardless of what you need it for, you are sure to be excited about our picks for best tailgate speakers.
WHY TAILGATE SPEAKERS ARE IMPORTANT
There are several reasons why a tailgate speaker is an excellent choice for outside entertainment.
Perhaps the best thing about tailgate speakers is that they are portable. You can take them anywhere. Today’s speakers come with either built-in or rechargeable batteries that can hold a charge for 5 to 40 hours. This gives you plenty of time to play your favorite music.
Portable tailgate speakers can follow you around wherever you go. If you leave the vehicle and want to take the music with you, grab the speaker and go. Portable speakers offer more than just a tailgate experience. You can use them for a wide range of events.
Another reason why tailgate speakers are important is that they often provide a more powerful and targeted sound than your truck’s speakers. Even if your truck has a great system, the sound is still confined inside the cabin. A tailgate speaker produces a higher-quality sound that can project in any direction.
BEFORE YOU BUY
Before you purchase a tailgate speaker, there are a few things you should think about.
First, consider the durability and design of the speaker. If you’re looking for a tailgate speaker, then you need a system that can handle the outside elements, including rain, wind, sunlight, and moisture. You may opt for a waterproof speaker so that it can withstand rain and spilled drinks. If you are around a lake or pool, a waterproof speaker may come in handy.
Second, think about your answer to the following question: How meticulous are you about sound quality? While your sound preference may depend on the style of music you listen to, it can also depend on whether you like more bass or high end. Super bassy speakers can create a massive low end, but fail to produce quality mids and highs. Likewise, some speakers are not equipped to handle the low end. Or you may prefer a more balanced sound throughout.
Third, consider the battery capacity of your system. Some speakers can last for more than 10 hours without having to recharge them. However, most speakers have an average battery life of five to six hours. Furthermore, the battery life can decrease substantially if your speaker contains several features such as a karaoke mic, lights, a powerful amp, or loud volume. The more power you draw out of the speaker, the less charge it maintains.
OUR PICKS FOR BEST TAILGATE SPEAKERS
Although the JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker may not technically be categorized as a tailgate speaker, it makes the list for two reasons. First, it’s famous for its portability. Second, it has an impressive output worthy of a small gathering around the tailgate. Furthermore, the Charge 3 is weatherproof and durable. You can take it anywhere.
Once fully powered, the Charge 3 can play music continuously for 20 hours without a recharge. If the unit doesn’t give you enough bass, then there are numerous options for connecting up to three devices or other speakers. It may also be the most affordable tailgate speaker on this list.
If you truly want a ‘block party’ sound from your system, then Soundboks 2 Bluetooth Speaker may be a top choice. The speaker can keep going for up to 40 hours after the initial charge at a moderate volume and eight hours at high volume. The Soundboks 2 can produce a volume of up to 122DB, making it arguably one of the loudest tailgate speakers on the market.
Critics and consumers alike give the speaker high marks for the quality of sound and dependable Bluetooth connection. The metallic grill handles and all connections provide a solid unit that can handle outdoor activity. Weighing in at 33 pounds, it is surprisingly lightweight and compact.
Packed with components, the Pyle PSUFM1035A Bluetooth Speaker offers a premier party experience. It features quality sound, flashing lights, a remote, display screen, and seamless streaming from services such as Spotify or Apple Music. It offers a fully wireless experience through Bluetooth connectivity.
The Pyle speaker generates 1,000 watts of power and gives you the low end with a built-in 10-inch woofer. However, the bass doesn’t overpower the sound, giving you a more balanced high- to low-end listening experience. It also comes with FM radio and an SD card reader. The only downside is that the Pyle speaker does not come with a rechargeable battery.
The first thing you notice about the QFX PBX-61081BT Portable Bluetooth Party Speaker is the speaker arrangement. In the center of the component lies an 8-inch woofer surrounded by standard horn speakers and topped off with a tweeter above the woofer. This provides a balanced sound with enough bass to fill the area.
The QFX speaker features Bluetooth capability, FM radio, and two ports – USB and SD card. You can also connect additional devices through the AUX port. Battery life averages five to six hours when fully charged. If you want to do karaoke, then QFX also added a mic input. The portable handle completes the speaker’s design.
As the name suggests, the Ion Audio Party Rocker Max Speaker is ideal for almost any social event, party, or outside gathering. You can add karaoke to any event with the built-in mic input. The powerful party rocker pushes 100 watts, giving you plenty of power without distortion. Simply turn it up, and you experience the same high-quality sound.
The Ion speaker allows you to play music for up to 75 hours of music alone and five hours if you add the lights. It also offers AC power if you want to plug it into the wall. The 8-inch speaker offers powerful bass and a full EQ top to bottom. Ion added a microphone and remote to the system.
The Ecoxgear GDI-EXBM901 Portable Bluetooth Speaker is a high-end system that delivers exceptional battery life, balanced sound, and portability. Bluetooth is built into the system, which allows you to connect to any device or streaming service. The Ecoxgear speaker offers lots of control options to help you refine your sound.
The sound quality is as good as any system on our list. Furthermore, it’s 100 percent waterproof and floats on water. Features include built-in EQ settings, remote control, full wireless capabilities, and a sturdy frame. It’s perfect to use in any outside setting.
If you prefer finesse over ruggedness, then you may want to consider the Aiwa Exos-9 Portable Bluetooth Speaker. Rated high for both its design and sound, the Exos-9 is as stylish as it is functional. Aiwa integrates high-end components to create a brilliant sound in the highs, mids, and lows.
Coming in at just 13 pounds, the convenient system contains five high-quality speakers, a 200-watt amp, onboard controls, a remote, and a fully-customizable EQ. However, the EQ can be difficult to set, so make sure you read the user manual. Otherwise, the Exos-9 is perfect for your tailgate event.
When it comes to bass, the Sony GTKXB90 High Power Portable Bluetooth Speaker delivers superior low-end sound, capable of handling bass-driven music such as electronic, hip hop, dubstep, club, or trap. However, with all the bass, the Sony speaker also provides a clear mid and high range to balance out the sound.
Furthermore, you can turn the GTKXB90 up without losing the quality of sound. The speaker is loaded with lots of features such as fully customizable EQ, five hours of battery life, flashing lights, two woofers, and three tweeters. Careful, though, the speaker is not waterproof. So, play it on the tailgate in favorable weather conditions.
This content was created in partnership with TrueCar. Each and every product featured here is selected by our editorial staff of TrueCar car enthusiasts, and anything you buy through our links may earn TrueCar a commission. Although the prices are accurate and items are in-stock at time of publication, offers are subject to change without notice.