Ion Tailgater Speaker

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Ion Tailgater Speaker

Ion Tailgater Speaker

Donald Bell spent more than five years as Senior Editor reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently spends his time producing weekly episodes of How To Content and a Top 5 video series.

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When it comes to speaker systems, sometimes you need something small to put on a stand, something big and impressive to fill your living room, and other times you need to throw it behind a truck for great sound. As the name suggests, the Ion Tailgater ($199) is specifically designed for the latter, providing a rugged, versatile solution for anything you want to amplify or plug in your iPod.

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The Ion Tailgater is a portable powered speaker system that includes an iPod dock, professional microphone and instrument inputs, and a rechargeable battery.

Tailgater is a mono system. The iPod dock doesn’t offer much protection. There is no remote control. The system is heavy. Battery charging is slow. And the design is not beautiful.

The Tailgater isn’t meant for audiophiles, but it has succeeded as a great, versatile portable speaker system with great sound and a rugged design.

Ion Tailgater Sport Portable Bluetooth Speaker

If the Tailgator looks familiar, you’re thinking of its older cousin, the Aeon Block Locker. The Tailgater is essentially a smaller version of the Block Rocker, packed with almost the same features in a more portable design.

Like the Block Rocker, the Tailgater has more in common with guitar amps than iPod speakers. The backbone of the system is a single 7″ woofer with a 2″ tweeter powered by a 16 watt amplifier. Before you turn to Tailgater’s monophonic music reproduction, be sure that its deep, powerful and punchy sound surpasses the quality commonly found on sub-$200 systems.

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You’ll find tons of audio inputs on the tailgator, including an iPod dock, RCA stereo jack, XLR microphone input, and a 1/4″ instrument jack for connecting to your guitar. Tapping the iPod dock over the tailgator isn’t the safest way to carry your iPod, but dock designs are fairly common for portable speakers in this price range. All other audio inputs are located on the front of the tailgator with large plastic knobs for adjusting the input gain and volume output.

Ion Tailgater Speaker

The standard three-prong power cable input is located behind the tailgator (with the power cable) and is used to provide direct power or recharge the system’s internal battery (it takes about 12 hours to reach a full charge, so about 8 hours of continuous playback) ). On the rear of the Tailgater there is also a power switch, an output link for pairing with other speakers, and a battery level indicator.

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Ion Tailgater Review: Ion Tailgater

It’s nice to know that all of Tailgater’s audio inputs can be used simultaneously, allowing the iPod to be paired with a mic or instrument input (karaoke anyone?), and each input can be adjusted independently, making it easy to balance levels. . The Tailgater also includes a light karaoke-style microphone.

Tailgator is a unique product among iPod speaker systems, and it is difficult to give an exact rating. Given its rugged design and monophonic sound, it’s definitely not the type of iPod speaker system I’d recommend as a living room or bedroom stand. I think Tailgater offers great value when you understand that it’s for outdoor parties, family karaoke nights, and practicing musicians.

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