ION Audio Tailgater Express Review

ION Audio Tailgater Express Review

The Low Down

If you are looking for a fun speaker system for your next backyard gathering, tailgate or pool party, the ION Audio Tailgater Express might just be the perfect choice. It is a portable, water-resistant tailgate speaker

The ION Audio Tailgater Express is one of the best tailgate speakers you can buy at an affordable price. With its Bluetooth receiver, you can listen to audio wirelessly and carry it with you wherever you go. It is also a great speaker system to use for pool parties, given the fact that it is IPX4 waterproof. Its battery life lasts extremely long and only takes a few hours to charge. Given its long battery life, it is the perfect speaker to take with you on a day out.

Connection Type: The ION Audio Tailgater Express supports Bluetooth, as well as NFC Pairing.

Total Power Output: 20 Watts 

Frequency response: 75 Hz to 16,000 Hz

Bluetooth range: 30.5 meters 

Weight: 2.6 kg

Dimensions: 18.3 x 20.8 x 20.6 cm

Battery: The speaker comes with a rechargeable built-in battery that provides 30 hours of use. The battery takes around 7.5 hours to recharge. 

Water-resistant: Yes. IPX4 provides resistance from splashes of water for at least 5 minutes. 

Input: 3.5 mm mono input and 6.35 mm stereo input.

Warranty: 1 year

Woofer: 10.16 cm

Tweeter: 2.54 cm

Radio: 10 presets

USB: Charge port (+5V, 1A)

Power Adapter: 15V DC, 2A center pin-positive

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Input voltage: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz 

Radio frequency range:  FM: 87. 107.9

AM: 520 1710

Design and Features

ION Audio Tailgater Express Design

The ION Audio Tailgater Express is a compact, portable, two-way speaker system.  It has a lightweight design and comes with a built-in handle to make it easy for you to carry around.  The 20-watt amplifier makes it loud enough to use at small to medium gatherings. It is perfect to use at pool parties as well!

The Tailgater Express is IPX4 water-resistant so it can be used safely near your pool or at the beach. It will also not get damaged during times when it rains unexpectedly or gets splashed by water, for at least 5 minutes. It has a woofer of 10.16 cm and a wide dispersion tweeter

This sound system supports NFC pairing and Bluetooth. With the Bluetooth function, you can stream your music from up to 30.5 m away. It has a USB charging port, so the Tailgater Express doubles as a power bank so you can charge your cellphone, tablet or any portable music player whenever is battery dies. The Tailgater Express also has an AM/FM radio that can store up to 10 stations, so you never have to miss a live event.

Furthermore, it features an aux input to connect non-Bluetooth cellphones. While it does not include a microphone, the Tailgater Express has a mic input that can be used for karaoke or when you need to make an announcement or speak in public or at a party. 

Its 30-hour battery life is one of its best features. With its lightweight design and long battery life, the ION Audio Tailgater Express is the perfect speaker to take with you when you go to a party or even camping.

ION Audio Tailgater Express vs ION Audio Tailgater Plus

ION Audio Tailgater Express vs ION Audio Tailgater Plus

The Tailgater Plus was released two years after the release of the Tailgater Express. The Tailgater Plus has a few extra features but is quite similar to the Tailgater express.

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Unlike the Tailgater Express, the Tailgater Plus comes with a high-quality microphone and a special bass boost button. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 50 hours, which is 20 hours longer than the Tailgater Express. It has a 50-watt amplifier with two-way speakers, while the Express only has a 20-watt amplifier. 

When comparing the two, the ION Audio Tailgater Plus is definitely superior to the Tailgater Express.  


Since the ION Audio Tailgater Express is advertised as being waterproof, can the speaker be submerged in water? 

No, it cannot be submerged in water. IPX4 means the device is protected from splashing water coming from any direction or from unexpected rain. It cannot be submerged in water without extensive damage. 

Can I insert an SD card or external drive to play music from on the ION Audio Tailgater Express?

Unfortunately, the USB port is only for charging your cellphone, tablet, external music player, etc. You cannot use a thumb drive or SD card to play music from on the Tailgater Express. 

Will I be able to transmit my voice and play music at the same time? 

Yes. You can speak into the microphone and play music at the same time. 

How do I pair the Tailgater Express to my Bluetooth device?

First, turn on the device that you want to connect the Tailgater Express with. Then power on the Tailgater Express. Look for the Bluetooth button and press on it to search for the Bluetooth device. After that, go to your device to find the Tailgater Express and connect. You can now play your music!

What is included when you purchase the Tailgater Express?

Included is the Tailgater Express, a 3.5 mm stereo aux, power adapter, safety and warning manual, and a quick start guide.


The Tailgater Express can be used indoors or for small outdoor parties. Users even say the speaker makes for great entertainment when going camping. It is waterproof, so it is great to use around the pool or at the beach. But be careful not to submerge it in water. 

Reviews by past buyers show that it also has good AM/FM reception.  Of course, this depends on which area you are in. The sound and bass are decent. It is affordable, compact, and powerful for its size. Any person looking for an ultra-portable, small, and affordable Bluetooth speaker with a last-longing battery life should consider the Tailgater Express to stream their favorite music wherever they go!

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Categorized as Speakers

By Chane Henney

Chane holds an LLB and is currently in the process of completing an LLM. She enjoys writing tech product reviews in her spare time.