Best Tailgate Speakers 2020: With Editor’s Choice

Are you ready for your next tailgate party? Besides the burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and sodas, music is another must-have ingredient. One of the best solutions over stock truck or car speakers is tailgate speakers. This can deliver high sound quality and booming bass for the big party. We’ll share our picks for the top 10 best tailgate speakers, key features when buying a unit, and some FAQs.



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Altec Lansing ALP-XP400

Sony GTKXB90



Aiwa Exos-9 

ION Audio Block Rocker Plus

Pyle PSUFM1035A

Raptor Portable 100 ION

LG PK5 Xboom


Best 10 Tailgate Speakers Reviews

1. Altec Lansing ALP-XP400 Xpedition 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Tailgate Speaker

"All in one package", this statement fits really well for the Altec Lansing Xpedition 4. This small speaker is powerful enough to compete with other high end competitors. Altec Lansing has always been a reliable brand when it comes to buying audio equipment and other parts. From Xpedition 4, you can expect high bass and clear sound. For more best performance, switch on its Beast Mode. 

Xpedition 4 is exactly what you need for powerful performance along with lightning effects, make it yours now. Before that, let go through its features.


Casing/Materials. This durable speaker is made of strong material which makes it ideal for using in debris, dust and harsh environments. Take the party with you. The outer covering is made of tough plastic that can bear the drops also. 

It charges using DC power source and goes on for 24 hours without any lag. It's designed in such a way that it can float on the water without drowning. This absolute powerhouse measures 16 x 8.6 x 7 inches in size and weighs 10 pounds. The handle on top lets you pick it up with one hand and carry it anywhere. XPEDITION 4 comes with a shoulder strap also. 

Buying this speaker will change the way you used to enjoy listening to music.

Power/Loudness.  This durable speaker is powered by power of 200w, dual 4 inch woofers and two 1 inch tweeters for explosive sound delivery. 

To improve sound, you always have the option to switch on the beast mode. It adds more richness to the sound or links another Xpedition to create a strong stereo pair. By doing this, you can take this tailgater speaker to another level and enjoy beast level performance.

Features. Other impressive features it has is LED lightshow with 12 dynamic color combinations. The lights dance along with the sound beats, isn't it amazing?. Bring your party to life and make everyone dance along. 

Further you have the option to customise this piece according to choice. The IP67 rating of this speaker denotes its waterproof, dustproof and shockproof, it can stay submerged in water upto 1 meter for 30 mins. This rugged speaker can work in all environments without compromising audio quality.


This portable bluetooth speaker comes with the seamless bluetooth connectivity to connect it with other bluetooth devices. The inbuilt bluetooth become ready for pairing in one touch and its also NFC enabled. The aux inputs let you plug in directly to the other devices. 

ALP XP400 comes with a long battery life of 24 hrs to enjoy continuous music streaming after charging one time. The power port can also charge your smartphone. 

Are you ready to party hard? yes then pick Altec Lansing ALP-XP400 Xpedition 4 now and make it yours.


  • IP67 Rating
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • Bluetooth pairing
  • Beast show
  • LED light show
  • Powerful sound
  • Best for parties


  • No cons

2. GTKXB90 Portable Bluetooth Speaker by Sony

Best for booming bass and lighting effects


Casing/Materials.  You’ll get better portability from the built-in handle. This makes it easy to transport the speaker wherever the next party is.

Power/Loudness. The GTKXB90 delivers extra bass for a powerful sound quality. So if you want your next party to have thumping bass, this is a good option. You just have to press the button to activate this feature and get ground-shaking bass.

Features. You can create a party atmosphere with infinity mirror lighting. This is a pair of parallel mirrors that produce a series of smaller reflections that seem to move away into infinity. The mirrors bounce light around, which creates an energizing ambiance so your guests will want to get up and dance.

The Sony music center app allows you to control both sound/light effects using your mobile device. This provides more flexibility through the remote control panel.

You can also use the Fiestable app for adding DJ effects, samples, and lighting effects like the color of speaker lights. This improves the party mix and helps create a festive atmosphere.

One key feature is intuitive motion control that lets you play smartphone playlists and cue songs by simply clicking your wrist. You don’t even have to be sitting at the DJ booth.

Wireless Party Chain lets you connect 10 wireless speakers that include various compatible units. This allows everyone to listen to the same music playing through the GTKXB90.

You can even become a party MC by plugging in a microphone. This allows you to DJ the tailgate party instead of just sharing playlists.

You’ll also have varied options for playback. There’s wireless Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC) tech. You easily stream your favorite songs wire-free.

The USB port also allows you to connect a USB smartphone/tablet. The speaker works with various file formats like MP3 and WMA. You can even charge your playback device after it’s plugged in.

Portability/Batteries. The unit’s rechargeable battery offers a maximum of 16 hours. of playback. This offers enough juice for an all-day party from morning to late evening.

Whenever the speakers aren’t connected to an AC outlet the unit switches to battery power. Even at maximum volume, you get up to 3 hours and 30 mins of playback. That figure is boosted to 5 hrs. if you activate the Bluetooth speakers’ Stamina Mode.

Extras. The GTKXB90 is bundled with AC cord, instruction manual, and warranty card. This is everything you’ll need to get started with the wireless speakers.


  • Good speaker for parties
  • Good value for price
  • Enough power for various applications
  • Good for classical music
  • Intuitive Bluetooth connection


3. GDI-EXBLD810 Portable Bluetooth Speaker/PA System by ECOXGEAR

Best for water resistant/wired/wireless speakers


Casing/Materials. The GDI-EXBLD810 is dust/waterproof and meets industry standards. In other words, it can stay submerged in 3 ft. of water for half an hour without incurring any damage.

This allows the unit to function even when it’s compacted with dirt, rain, and snow. In fact, the unit floats so it will keep functioning in swimming pools.

The unit is also shock resistant, so you can keep the music going even if the speakers get bumped by party-goers.

Power/Loudness. The GDI-EXBLD810 delivers 100 watts of peak power for huge sound quality and dual-band bass/treble equalizer. There are 5 preset equalizer settings and in-house audio digital signal processor (DSP) chip. This is critical since it helps improve the speakers’ sound quality.

 The system includes 3 speakers including 8-inch full-range speaker, 3-inch tweeter, and 8-inch woofer.

Features. Several audio sources are available including Bluetooth, AM/FM radio, and wired connection. You can also power the speakers through AC outlet or battery life. The rechargeable battery offers 10 hours at full volume and 100 hours at low volume.

A removable storage compartment lets you keep your phone/accessories dry. You can keep the items connected to EcoBoulder or bring the whole waterproof bag with you.

The Talk button activates the voice assistant so you can easily give commands to the best tailgate speakers. You can connect the speaker to Siri or OK Google.

The speaker includes some perks that will keep the party going. They include 2Yeti cup holders and built-in bottle opener.

The built-in USB port lets you connect your smartphone/tablet and recharge it at the same time. You can even share your favorite jams/playlists stored on your mobile phone.

If you want to play radio stations, you can use the 5 preset buttons to store a maximum of 5 channels for your indoor/outdoor use or event.

Portability/Batteries. The unit includes telescopic handles and wheels, so it’s easy to transport the unit either indoors or outdoors.

Bluetooth 4.1 has a maximum range of 100 feet. You can also get 2x the sound through EcoConnect that connects EcoBoulders (mono/stereo) within 30 feet.

The EcoBoulder+ outdoor tailgate speakers let you bring music to any indoor/outdoor event. That includes backyard parties, tailgating, restaurant patios, and the beach.

The GDI-EXBLD810 offers 50+ hours of continuous music playback on a single charge. This makes it ideal for 2-day events like weekend beach parties.

This rechargeable battery delivers 100 hrs. of standby time. So you’re guaranteed to get a full day’s worth of juice before you have to recharge.


  • Big portable bluetooth speaker
  • Good sound quality
  • Very waterproof
  • Ideal for tailgating events
  • Good for sports events


  • Heavy weight
  • Doesn’t produce much bass
  • Not loud far from the speaker

4. PBX-61081BT/RD Portable Bluetooth Speaker by QFX

Best for powerful speakers with Bluetooth connectivity.


Casing/Materials. The unit’s reinforced corners help the Tailgater to withstand bumps whether you’re lifting it off a truck bed or hauling it through the woods.

Power/Loudness. Like other cheap party speakers, the PBX-61081BT/RD includes a powerful woofer and dispersion tweeter that deliver high sound quality. This will improve your party whether you’re playing rock, dance, R&B or house at your indoor/outdoor event.

Features. The speaker offers wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and NFC-enabled drives for a maximum distance of 100 feet.

You can also use the iOS/Android app for remote control. You can play your favorite jams stored on your mobile device.

The USB port can be used to charge your mobile device like smartphone, tablet, or media player. This adds functionality to the speaker system since you won’t have to use a separate charger.

The PBX-61081BT/RD includes FM/AM radio that’s shown in bright/clear display. The 6 presets let you store your favorite stations on the speaker. You’ll also get excellent reception via the rubber antenna.

Portability/Batteries. The rechargeable battery is built-in and delivers a maximum 50 hours of continuous use. This provides enough juice for a 2-day party.

Extras. It comes with a microphone that lets you DJ an event or use the speaker for karaoke night.

You also get an auxiliary input so you can plug in a CD player.


  • Loud and flexible speaker
  • Overcomes ambient noise like traffic
  • Battery long-lasting on a single charge
  • Good for events like weddings
  • Portable bluetooth/rechargeable


  • Not built to last a long time
  • Buttons don’t always work
  • Bluetooth/radio might have issues

5. Exos-9 Portable Bluetooth Speaker by Aiwa

Best for powerful wireless bluetooth speaker.


Power/Loudness. The Exos-9 uses 200 watts to power 5 drivers including a 6.5-foot dual-voice coil subwoofer. This is actually Aiwa’s loudest speaker in the portable Bluetooth category.

The Aiwa speaker is different from others on the market with no active subwoofer and/or less power. The 200 watts of peak power is also significantly higher than many other best tailgate speakers on the market.

The Bluetooth speaker system offers punchy bass, balanced mids, and clear treble. There’s also no clipping even at the highest volumes. This makes the Exos-9 ideal for applications like:

  • Garage work
  • Tailgate parties
  • Beach parties
  • Block parties
  • Fishing/camping
  • Backyard barbecues

Features. These one of the best tailgate speakers from Aiwa offer a better music control panel with onboard graphic equalizer with 5 bands. You can use 4 presets to tweak your EQ. This makes the speaker ideal for various music genres, audiobooks, and podcasts.

You can connect the Bluetooth speakers to various devices including:

  • iPhone/iPad
  • Android phones/tablets
  • Kindle tablet
  • PC/Mac
  • Windows device
  • NFC-enabled devices

You can either share control of the Exos-9 or use the Bluetooth lock to pair it with one device. This provides more flexibility and control if your friends have bad tastes in music.

Portability/Batteries. The portable speakers feature a home stereo sound system but can be used indoors/outdoors. The lithium-ion battery offers 9 hours of continuous music.

Extras. The Exos-9 includes a 1-year warranty and 60-day satisfaction guarantee. The company will even provide a full refund if you’re not 100% happy with the speaker.


Shareable contro

  • Built-in EQ
  • Powerful Bluetooth through walls
  • Replaceable battery
  • Good sound/bass


  • Battery doesn’t hold charge well
  • Might have connectivity issues
  • Might malfunction after several months

6. ION Audio Block Rocker Plus

Bow down, Ion Audio Block Rocker Plus is here to take your tailgate party to next level and blast lifelike music. Whether you are organising a small event, party or get together, Block Rocker can keep the party going for 50 hours non stop, isn't it amazing?. 

Talking of performance, at a price tag of just $150, you get every sought after feature to enjoy vibrant and clear sound. Apart from this, using Block Rocker Plus is far easy and uncomplicated. This speaker is built to deliver impeccable performance and produce clear highs, lows as well as mids.


Casing/Materials. This black, sleek and rectangular shaped tailgate speaker measures 9.85 x 17.33 x 14.57 inches in size and weighs 20.7 pounds. It comes with telescopic handles and in built wheels for carrying it from one place to another without any hassle. This feature make it portable. 

Overall, the speaker looks like a trolley suitcase. Its designed in such a way which make it convenient from every aspect. The 8 inch woofer and broad dispersion tweeter is capable enough of producing clear sound with deep bass. Block Rocker is all you need to enjoy club like parties.

Power/Loudness. Never settle down for less, if you can get everything you need at a price tag of just $150. This portable and powerful speaker has inbuilt 2 way speaker, wireless connectivity and integrated 100 watt amplifier. For outdoor parties, it has great controls like it comes with playback trac settings, audio inputs, AM/FM capability, high quality microphone, cable and 2.0 port for enjoying like an outdoor party. Plug it now and crank up the volume to enjoy the incredible sound. 

If you are not satisfied with the sound delivery then you always have the Bass Boost Function which delivers deep bass and punchier sound. This speaker is worth your money and a total game changer.

Features. AKeep the good times going with Rocker Plus. The speaker has controls on the front and a bright LCD display. It also has 15 AM/FM presets to enjoy music on favorite stations or game commentary.

Portability/Batteries. This wireless rugged speaker through 3.5 mm aux input can connect with other non bluetooth devices. The speaker supports many wired and wireless connections along with NFC connectivity. Once it gets connected, you can control the music streaming using playback buttons. Along with this, it has microphone cable which make it karoke and presentation friendly. The inbuilt USB 2.0 port connect let you charge your smartphone.

Talking about battery life, Rocker plus last for 50 hours after charging once. After running out of power, you can charge it using power cord and begin partying again. The inbuilt bluetooth functionality let you easily pair speaker with other devices like Ipad, Smartphone, tablet etc. For connecting non bluetooth devices, it has the auxiliary input.

Extras - What are you thinking of? If you are low on budget and want a speaker with every required function then look no further than Ion Audio Rocker Plus.


  • Handy, Robust and Powerful
  • Long battery life
  • Wired and Wireless
  • Powerful tweeters and woofer
  • Has microphone cable
  • Portable and USB charge port


  • Distort at high volumes

7. Pyle PSUFM1035A Disco Jam Tailgare Speaker

A powerful 1000 watt tailgate speaker for those who love partying and is packed with various exciting features. Do you want to experience ground shaking performance and enjoy it to the fullest? Then look no further than the Pyle PSUFM1035A Disco Jam Speaker. 

This versatile, easy to use, lightweight and powerful speaker is popular among DJ's and others who want to use it for beach parties, birthday parties, get-togethers, small weddings etc. The people who bought it rave about its powerful performance, bass response, sound quality, DJ lights and frequency range. 

This portable speaker is affordable and readymade to blow your mind.


Casing/Materials. It's a versatile speaker with plenty of options for streaming music. This disco jam model come with 35 mm speaker stands, two 10 inch subwoofers and two 3 inch tweeters. Its impressive power output of 1000 watt for better sound production. The speaker measures 13.6 x 15.2 x 36.8 inches in size and weighs 48.75 lbs. All the controls like knobs and buttons required are placed on top.

Besides this, it's convenient and is made using high quality material which is robust and lasts longer. Under $210, its the best speaker you can pick. The built in handles let you easily lift and carry it anywhere from one place to another. The remote controller eradicate the need of standing up time and again to operate it. The sturdy stand refrains the speaker from tossing down and is easy to place even on the uneven grounds. Pyle PSUFM1035A speaker comes with 1 year warranty.

Power/Loudness. Talking of sound quality, It has got in built amplifier to amp up the sound and deliver peak output of 1000 watts along with 500 watts rpm @ 4 ohm. The sound delivery is clear, crisp and detailed. Listening music at PSUFM1035A is in itself an incredible experience. You will feel the bass crossing your ears so neatly. The lows, mids and highs are perfect. This speaker is available in both the formats namely passive and active. 

As you are now familiar with its quality of sound and loudness, you can use it at home, auditorium, events, theatrical events, small parties, parks, beaches etc.

Features.  This portable tailgate speaker is easy to use and come with flashing disco lights. These DJ lights make the overall ambience party friendly. Its one of unique feature that you may not find in other speakers at same price tag. 

Those sparkling lights excite the DJ as well as the audience. Dj lights add great effects and also dance according to the beat, what else you want? 

Another great feature is Display Screen which lights up and let the other person clearly see track name, number, play time, freq and speed. Light up display also help to enable the DJ plan rest of the songs for the show to keep the party going.

Portability/Batteries.  For connections, it comes with 3.5mm aux input, RCA input, MP3 player, USB flash drive, SD card reader and 2.25" microphone which act as input for guitar and karaoke. 

This disco jam speaker is bluetooth compatible which allow wireless bluetooth streaming. You can easily connect the speaker with the other bluetooth devices like Ipad, tablet, PC, smartphone, Iphone etc. Its best for indoor as well as outdoor usage. No rechargeable battery, you have to plug in the speaker for using. 

The top control panel come with controls to manage bass, treble, volume, echo, mic volume level, EQ switch and mode control. What else you are looking for? 

Extras. It also has a USB port for charging the smartphones simulatenously. If you want a 2 way speaker with every sought after feature then Pyle PSUFM1035A can turn to be a profitable investment.

The Tailgater Plus also includes speakers, amp, AM/FM radio, and audio inputs.


  • Available in both active and passive mode
  • Bluetooth compatibility
  • SD card reader and USB port for charging phones
  • Loud and powerful
  • Portable and easy to use


  • No rechargeable battery
  • International shipping not possible

8. Raptor Portable Wireless Speaker (100-watt) by ION Audio

Best for aesthetics and powerful speakers/ great battery


Casing/Materials. The ion audio Raptor includes a tire-inspired tread boy that produces the look and feel of a Ford pickup. It offers the style/durability of the iconic truck. The unit meets IPX4 water-resistant standards so it won’t get damaged in the rain.

Power/Loudness. The Raptor produces a sky-high 100 watts of power so you can pump up the volume.

The unit offers a pretty loud sound system with robust woofer and clear tweeter. This provides an audio quality that’s deep/vibrant.

Features. You can easily connect the ion audio Raptor to a Bluetooth-enabled device then send music from your mobile device like smartphone, tablet, or media player. If you don’t have Bluetooth, you can use the 3.5mm auxiliary input to connect the speakers to non-Bluetooth devices.

The AM/FM radio is controlled using the clear/bright display.

The microphone input gives you the option to use the speaker system for DJing, karaoke, etc.

There’s also a multi-color light bar located on the Raptor’s front. It can stay steady, pulse to music, or switch off. This adds some pizzazz to the speaker and helps to keep the party going.

Portability/Batteries. This is a very portable wireless speaker with the telescoping handle, 2 side carrying handles, and wheels. The speaker is easy to move around both the outdoors and indoors.

The Raptor’s powerful battery delivers up to 75% of wireless sound. The charge indicator shows the battery is juicing up.

There’s also a 12V jack so you can power the speaker from your car/truck. This makes it easy to use the speaker after loading it on your truck bed, for example.

Extras. The ion audio Raptor also includes 2 cup holders. This lets you enjoy your favorite drink whether you’re outdoors in the mountains or beach, or in your own backyard. It also adds to the experience of Ford pickup trucks.


  • Long battery life
  • Very durable/waterproof
  • Good aesthetics/style
  • Excellent value for price
  • Loud/clear sound


  • No adjustable equalizer
  • Overall quality isn’t excellent
  • Heavy for portable speaker

9. LG PK5 Xboom Go Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Whenever you go to the market to buy a speaker, you find innumerable options. But if you are looking for a particular speaker which is portable, has voice assistant and weatherproof then LG XBoom Go PK5 can turn out to be the best choice. 

This affordable speaker falls in between the PK3 and PK7. It has borrowed the acoustics from Meridian Audio which is a renowned brand. This model is an ideal combination of the features of both predecessor and successor. Everytime you think of playing music on PK5, you will be left amazed for sure. Under $150 tag, it's the best bluetooth speaker available around to keep the party going for long.


Casing/Materials. This cuboidal shaped speaker measure 8.7 x 4.7 x 5.1 inches and weighs 1.2kg, thus its easy to pick. You may not find the overall look appealing but if you think from aesthetics point of view, you will find it nice. This model comes in two colors, black and white. Its distinctive handles are large as in PK7 to move it around easily. The casing is sturdy enough and done in a manner which keep the overall body protected. The casing provides stability to easily place it on the table without worrying about tossing down. Four rubber feets are available at the bottom to reduce any vibrations.

If you are thinking of fitting the speaker into your bag then that will be a hard chore. Its IPX5 certified means it can bear a few water splashes without getting damaged. Don't let the weather turn out to be an obstacle in the party.

Power/Loudness. In front the speaker drivers are encircled with LED lights which make it look like eyes of an owl and add more party-like ambience. These lightnings go well when you are partying at home or outdoors. Using LG Music Flow App, you can control the lightning effects and if you don't like it then remember you have the option to turn it off. As far as sound is concerned, it has two passive radiators and delivers 20 watt of power via the dual stereo speakers. The speakers are supported by Meridian Audio that deliver fine tuned sound. 

PK5 deliver in depth sound and handle the mids as well as highs neatly. On top of the speaker, you will find eight rubbery controls. When you press the voice assistant button, it activates the google assistant or Siri depending on your phone to let you play music of choice. An inbuilt microphone let you take calls and give voice commands. 

To know the sound quality, we tested this speaker by playing different genres on it from EDM to Rock. Without any disappointment, it delivered a rich sound with minimum distortion and great punch. The speaker is accompanied by an Enhanced bass button and Clear vocal option which stay on by default to experience better.

Features. At the speaker back, you will find a flap where the DC charger port, button for resetting and 3.5 mm jack is located. It comes with USB C and no port for charging gadgets like in other speakers. To charge the speakers, you need to use USB A to USB C cable. 

You can configure the speaker using the LG XBOOM Go Application that is available on Android. Through the app, you can update the firmware of the speaker and enjoy better sound production. If you got two PK5 then you can pair them in twin or stereo mode. The audio syncing is also excellent. The LG's Soundstage is broad according to speaker size. This speaker is meant to last longer and will make you fall in love with it.

Portability/Batteries. PK5 comes with long lasting battery that after charging once last for 17 hours without any lag. Once the battery is fully charged, the LED on top glow in green color to indicate you are ready to go. Otherwise, it glows red when battery level is low. Even when the battery is low, the speaker still lasts for one and half hour before completely draining. 

This portable speaker let you pair two devices via bluetooth and enjoy seamless music streaming. Along with this, the LED lighting dances according to the rhythm of song, just like you see in dance clubs.

Extras. There are plenty of speakers available around under same price tag, PK5 is still the tough recommendation. Talking overall, it don't turn out be the best of all and it do have some impressive features which we discussed above.


  • Punchy Bass
  • Clear Sound tuned by Meridian
  • Connect with LG XBoom App
  • Voice assistant
  • Long lasting battery


  • Impractical design
  • IPX5 rated

10. GDI-EXBM901 Portable Bluetooth Speaker/PA System by ECOXGEAR

Best for waterproof/powerful speaker


Casing/Materials. The GDI-EXBM901 is 100% dustproof/waterproof and meets international standards. This helps to protect the unit from different weather conditions. You won’t have to worry about the unit dropping in pools, lakes, etc.

Power/Loudness. The amplifier generates 100 watt of dynamic power for big sound. This includes an 8-inch full-range speaker, 8 inch woofer passive, and 3-inch tweeter.

Features. These best portable tailgate speakers include digital FM/Am radio w/ 6 presets. This makes it easy to listen to your favorite radio station or catch a local sports game.

There’s a waterproof smartphone/storage compartment so you can keep your mobile devices close to you. There’s also a USB charging port to juice them up when needed.

Portability/Batteries. The GDI-EXBM901 includes an SLA rechargeable battery that delivers 10 hours of music at full volume and 100 hrs. of standby time You can also plug in the speaker system to an AC wall outlet for continuous power.

This portable speaker comes with telescoping handles and large built in wheels so you can easily transport the speaker.

Two EcoBoulders can be paired to create wire-free stereo surround sound.

You can also plug in an external mic for PC and karaoke use.


  • Loud/durable speaker
  • Can be paired with another speaker
  • Excellent overall value
  • Good speaker for parties
  • Battery is long-lasting


  • Bad radio reception
  • Not 100% waterproof
  • Might last a few months

Key Benefits of Tailgate Speakers

Why should you consider the best tailgate speakers over other options? Here are some of the top reasons:

1. Wind-proof

More specifically when you use outdoor speakers like tailgate speakers, you can avoid the “echo” that results from high winds. Even if you’re close to standard speakers, you’ll still get this unwanted effect due to gusts of wind.

The good news is outdoor speakers are designed to cut through the wind. This results in less interference with the speaker’s output. That, in turn, means better sound quality since you won’t have to deal with annoying echoes.

2. Outdoor Aesthetics

When picking a speaker system for tailgate parties form should always follow function. If the audio quality isn't good, then the aesthetics don’t mean much.

That said, Best Tailgate Speakers tend to have an outdoor vibe. This is partly related to features like waterproof functionality. However, designers also tend to consider that the speakers usually won’t be sitting indoors in the corner.

For example, one interesting design is speakers that have the look and feel of a pickup truck. This actually matches up well with the tailgate speaker niche since the speakers are by definition used on truck beds. This style offers some pizzazz to the speakers regardless of where you use them.

3. Volume/Bass

It’s safe to say that outdoor speakers like the tailgate variety are generally designed for bass/volume more than indoor speakers. Yes, you should still look for a unit that offers crisp/clear bass, mids, and trebles.

That said, volume and bass are critical for outdoor speakers mostly because there’s more open space. Events, where these speakers are used, tend to have more people than indoor events so this highlights the need to have louder speakers.

4. Weather-proof

You can find best tailgate speakers that are splash-proof and water-proof. This helps to protect the units whether there’s a rainshower or heavy downpour. In fact, some waterproof units can actually stay submerged for 30 minutes without getting damaged.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any outdoor speakers that are 100% waterproof. However, you can find some that will survive light to heavy rains. This helps to protect your investment and prevents the need to spend tons of money on repairs/replacements.

This highlights the need to learn just how water-proof a particular unit is. Some are splash-proof while others meet strict international standards that allow the speakers to be submerged.

5. Many Applications

You can use tailgate speakers for more than tailgate party. They’re ideal for pool parties, block parties, backyard barbecues, karaoke night, etc. You can even use them both outdoors and indoors.

This adds value to the units and makes them worth considering as a long time investment. If you pick a high quality speaker, there’s a good chance it will last for quite a while.

6. Work/Play

When we think of speakers for tailgate parties we tend to think about events like pool parties, backyard barbecues etc. These events will certainly be better with wireless tailgate speakers.

However, these units can also be a good option if you work outdoors. In that case, you’ll likely want to enjoy some tunes to help make your work less tedious. In fact, it can often make work not only more bearable but actually enjoyable since you can sing along to your favorite songs.

7. Better Sound

It’s safe to say that the iPod, in particular, revolutionized the music world. Today’s outdoor speakers continue to improve in terms of their game-changing technologies. You can find best tailgate speakers that aren’t just loud enough but also include clear sounds from low basses to high trebles.

Yes, there’s some variance based on the speaker’s overall high quality. That said, outdoor speakers and speakers, in general, have improved leaps and bounds in the past two decades.

8. Device Pairing

You can often connect mobile devices like phones, tablets, and media players to speakers. This can be done wirelessly via Bluetooth and NFC. It allows you to stream your favorite jams to the speakers, which add more flexibility.

Auxiliary ports also give you the option to connect non-Bluetooth devices to your speaker. For example, you might want to connect an old-school cassette or CD player to your outdoor speakers. You can do that with the aux. port.

Some speakers also have other ports that let you use a truck’s cigarette lighter to power the speaker, for example. This is a plus since it’s a logical option when you’re using a tailgate speaker on your truck bed, for example.

9. Better Parties

It could be argued that any outdoor party is better with music. No-wire tailgate speakers can make a good party even better. It helps to create a positive/exciting vibe that can keep everyone in a partying mood.

10. Innovative Tech

Many outdoor speakers are Bluetooth-friendly, so they can be connected wirelessly with phones, tablets, and media players. Bluetooth 5.0 is now available and while not all tailgate speakers use this version wireless technologies for Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC) are some of the most innovative in the industry.

Even waterproof features can be innovative. Some speakers can actually float in water without being damaged. You won’t find too many indoor speakers with that feature simply because they’re not really needed for indoor use.

Tailgate Speakers Buying Guide

Here are some of the key features to consider when picking tailgate speakers:


When picking tailgate speakers, it’s advisable to consider wireless speakers for various reasons. The most obvious one is you won’t have to deal with a bird’s nest of wires. That can make your life miserable since you’ll spend more time untangling wires.

Another key reason is simply that wireless technology has improved dramatically in recent years. You can find many speakers that connect wirelessly to devices through Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC).

That said, it’s important to ensure the speaker can maintain a relatively steady connection via Bluetooth, for example. Some speakers tend to have issues in this area, which can have a negative effect when you’re streaming music from your phone and other actions.

Battery Life

Lithium-ion batteries are typically used for tailgate speakers. Make sure to research how much juice you can get from the battery on a single charge. For example, how many hours of music playtime can you get at average volume? How about maximum volume? How many hours of standby time can you get?

The problem is companies are often fast and loose about such figures. It’s critical to read some reviews to verify whether or not a product description matches up with customer reviews. In many cases it does, but sometimes it’s exaggerated.

Another key issue is how many hours the battery takes to charge fully. This is important because it will determine how much downtime you’ll have between charges. Yes, you should have a spare battery anyway, but it helps to know how much time you’ll need to juice up the power supply.

An X-factor is how well a battery holds its charge. If it doesn’t do that well, then it brings into question the company’s claims about getting long music/standby time.


This is based on various factors. Picking a speaker is the first step because it will be much easier/faster to set up and use the speaker versus a wired unit. If you’re having a true tailgate speaker you can unload the speaker from your truck bed, fire up the unit then you’re ready to rock!

Then there are features that help make the unit easier to transport. They include handles and wheels in particular. Ensure the handles are ergonomic, and the wheels are oversized to make the speaker easy to move around.


Warranties are usually valid for 1 or more years, and guarantees are usually good for 30 days. Make sure to find out if the warranty is limited or comprehensive and if it’s limited find out exactly what it covers.

Next, read about how many years the warranty is valid. Sometimes it’s for X years, and other times it’s for the lifetime of the speaker.

100% satisfaction guarantees might seem self-explanatory, but sometimes there are question marks. Make sure to find out exactly what the company is offering in terms of refunds, exchanges, and shipping.

Another key issue is whether or not a company will actually honor their warranty/guarantee. If you read some customer reviews, this is usually covered as well as the quality of the overall customer service. Unfortunately, some companies promise the world then deliver a goose egg.


Make sure to research these figures but keep in mind they indicate different things. A speaker’s watts tend to be related to how much power the amplifier produces. Meanwhile, the decibels is the unit’s maximum volume.

As a general rule, the “more is better” rule applies in terms of a speaker’s wattage. This is especially true if you’ll be using the unit in a large open area with lots of people. In that case, you’ll want the speakers to project far enough, and it’s only possible if the unit has enough wattage to achieve that goal.

Mic Input

This allows you to install a microphone for different applications like karaoke night and DJing. Sometimes a mic is even bundled with the unit, which is a plus. This feature adds more versatility so consider it when picking a new tailgate speaker.

USB Port

This is critical if you want to connect your phone, tablet, or media player to your speaker via USB. Its’ relatively standard for best tailgate speakers but is still something to look for when comparing products.

This feature usually offers the ability to charge your mobile device via the USB port as well. This is a plus since it prevents the need to haul around a standalone charger and also helps to guarantee you can keep playing jams from your phone or media player, for example.

Lighting Effects

This can include different options that add value to the speaker. There are basic LED lights that blink on/off to the beat of the music. You can adjust them, so they’re either steady or off.

Another option is “infinity mirror lighting.” This includes mirrors that continuously bounce light back and forth. This creates an energetic environment and party atmosphere.


These are all very important factors to consider when picking a speaker for tailgate party. The maximum decibels a speaker can produce indicates the top volume. In general, you’ll want the option to blast the speakers so make sure the unit has a powerful amp to pump up the volume.

You should also consider the quality of the speaker’s bass and treble in particular. Yes, Look for units with booming bass and crisp treble. This combination will improve the speaker’s overall sound quality when combined with good mids.

Make sure to consider both the quantity and quality of the bass and treble. This synthesis will help to produce the best results.

Mobile Apps

Sometimes companies offer free apps that can be used for their speakers. They provide controls related to DJ effects, lighting effects, music samples, etc. If you own an iOS/Android phone or tablet, this is a great perk that adds value to your


When picking the best tailgate speakers here's another factor to consider. Look for speakers that are dust/shock/water resistant. This will maximize its durability in different weather conditions.

Make sure to watch out for the wording in product descriptions. It's splash-proof and water resistant. These are different classifications that sound similar but are quite different.

Can a USB port always be used to charge mobile devices?

No, it depends on how powerful the USB power bank is. In some cases, the speaker can operate the device but not charge it.

Splash-proof units can withstand a little water from rain showers or pools, while some water proof-speakers can actually float in water for 30 minutes without getting damaged.

The key is to look for speakers that meet industry/international standards for water resistance. This is the only objective way to determine that a speaker is truly waterproof. Otherwise, it’s basically a term manufacturers can take liberties with their product descriptions.

Auxiliary Input

This is another common feature on Bluetooth speakers but is definitely a plus when you connect non-Bluetooth devices to your speaker. You could even connect old-school CD or cassette players if you’d like.

Tailgate Speaker FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about tailgate speakers:

How much time is required to charge a battery?

This is based on various factors including the battery’s capacity. Sometimes you can fully charge a battery in 5 hours and other times it takes twice that much time. The most important step is to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

How can poor AM reception be fixed?

Try disconnecting your Bluetooth device. Sometimes you’ll need to move the speaker to improve reception.

What is the biggest issue when using microphones?

Feedback is the main one. The good news is there are some basic steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem.

In general, you must prevent the mic from “hearing itself.” This involves minimizing how much amplified sound the speaker produces and goes back into the mic. One way to think of it is the mic’s head, and the speaker's face must “see” each other to prevent feedback.

What’s the cause of distorted sound?

This is often related to the volume of the sound source like a phone or media player, or the speaker itself.

What factors can affect the Bluetooth connection?

There are actually several factors starting with a weak Bluetooth connection. This is the most obvious factor yet there are others. If you’re experiencing interference or audio dropouts, then make sure to search for things that could be causing it.

Is it OK to replace internal batteries?

It’s important to follow a manufacturer’s instructions for replacing built in battery. As a general rule, you should allow a trained professional to do the task.

How far are Bluetooth connections?

This differs for various speakers although 100 feet or so is generally more than enough. Keep in mind these figures are based on factors like no obstructions between the source and speaker, and the audio source isn’t moving.

It’s also important that the audio device like phone or tablet shouldn’t be covered or emit signals from a shirt/pants pocket.

Another factor is the Bluetooth chip in the audio source. A high quality chip will support a longer Bluetooth connectivity, for example.

Is it easy to connect speakers to Bluetooth devices?

The process is usually quite simple. It usually involves the speaker searching for Bluetooth devices automatically. You might have to reset the module, but the process is usually fast/easy. After the speaker connects with a Bluetooth device, a light will indicate the connection is complete.

Can batteries be swapped out?

In some cases, you can do that when operating tailgate speakers. This is a plus if you want a spare battery for long events or technical issues, for example.

However, oftentimes the speaker comes with the rechargeable battery in built so you’ll have to charge the battery each time it’s drained. This will cause downtime, which is the biggest issue.

On the other hand, batteries for tailgate speakers tend to be fairly long-lasting. Sometimes you can get up to 100 hours of standby time. When picking a speaker, it really depends on whether you want the convenience of being able to swap in a fresh battery.


If you want flexible outdoor speakers, you should consider the best tailgate speakers. They’re available with various features like Bluetooth connectivity, AM/FM radio, USB charging port, water resistant/dust/shock-proof design, booming bass/clear treble, and smartphone/tablet-compatibility.  These speakers are outstanding options not only for tailgate party but also at a pool, beach, or backyard.

About the Author Christina lee

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