Ion Tailgater review: Ion Tailgater

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 6.0

Average User Rating

2.5 stars 1 user review
Review Date:
Updated on:

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

The Bad The Tailgater is a monophonic system; the iPod dock doesn't offer much protection; there's no remote; the system is heavy; the battery is slow to recharge; and its design isn't pretty.

The Bottom Line The Tailgater isn't for audiophiles, but it succeeds as a great all-purpose portable speaker system with a big sound and a rugged design.

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When it comes to speaker systems, sometimes you need something small to fit on a night stand, sometimes you need something big and impressive to fill a living room, and sometimes you just need something to throw in the back of the truck for getting loud. As the name would imply, the Ion Tailgater ($199) is specifically designed for the later example, providing a rugged, all-purpose solution for amplifying an iPod, or just about anything else you feel like plugging in.

If the Tailgater looks familiar, you might be thinking of its older cousin: the Ion Block Rocker . The Tailgater is essentially a miniaturized version of the Block Rocker, packing nearly identical features in a more portable design.

Like the Block Rocker, the Tailgater shares more in common with a guitar amp than an iPod speaker. The backbone of the system is a single 7-inch woofer with a 2-inch tweeter, powered by a 16-watt amplifier. Before you turn up your nose at the Tailgater's monophonic music playback, rest assured that its deep, powerful, and punchy sound exceeds the quality you'll find in most sub-$200 systems.

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Where to Buy

Ion Tailgater

Part Number: Tailgater Released: May. 1, 2009

MSRP: $269.99

This product is available directly from the manufacturer's Web site.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date May. 1, 2009
  • Speaker System Type portable speakers with digital player dock
  • Amplification Type active
  • Crossover Channel Qty 2-way
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Type Speakers