ION Audio Tailgater Review

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Ion Audio Tailgater Detailed Review

If you’re looking for a karaoke machine that has a booming sound and can run with just batteries, then we recommend you ION Audio Tailgater. It sports a 50-watt PA speaker which outputs clear and clean sound.

This unit is one of the most purchased musical product online even if it lacks the bells and whistles of a full-fledged karaoke machine.

Read the rest of the review and find out if you’ll be actually bothered by these missing features. Let me tell you from the start, though, that its performance far outweighs the lack thereof. In fact, we even included it on our list of the best professional karaoke machines this year here at KaraokeHQ.

ION Audio Tailgater Review

ION Audio Tailgater Review

ION Audio Tailgater, also known as ION Tailgater IPA77, is actually a PA sound system with Bluetooth and NFC connectivity. It includes a microphone and has an auxiliary input to plug in your devices through cable if you don’t have wireless connectivity.

Being a PA speaker allows it to output your voice clearly and on the same level as the music being played. Compared to other models, IPA77 can operate either with AC power or with a battery. Its battery life between charges is extraordinarily long, which is around 50 hours.

In the next sections, I will be expanding on the features and benefits of this karaoke system. By the end of this review article, you should be able to easily decide if this is the right buy for you.

Music Sources

This ION Tailgater does not come with built-in songs. However, it allows tablets, smartphones, and laptops to connect easily via Bluetooth or NFC. With the trend nowadays, you can always play your favorite karaoke songs using YouTube and output the sound through the speaker.

If you are offline, you can still play your karaoke songs provided you have downloaded it on your device. The Karaoke Channel is one such website which allows you to download music in MP3+G format.

You can also play a CD from your laptop and have the sound output to the Tailgater’s speaker, together with your voice.


Comes with a microphoneA microphone with a cord of around 7.5 feet long is included upon purchase. IPA77 also has only one mic input plug. However, if you find it quite restricting, you can always use a wireless mic instead.

You can plug in a wireless mic receiver and use more than one microphones at the same time. The Pyle-Pro Wireless Handheld Microphone System works perfectly well with this karaoke machine. This is also a better setup since you’re not limited to just using one mic for duets.

Sound Quality

The 50 watts speaker offers powerful sound output, much like those boom boxes powered by 10 D batteries. However, this one is a lot louder. This is the perfect karaoke machine if you want to go tailgating or sing with your crew around the bonfire on the beach.

It doesn’t have any 5-band equalizer feature, though. You can only adjust the microphone volume and the speaker volume separately.

For more control on the treble and bass, you can always download the ION Block Rocker App. If the music player on your laptop or device has its own equalizer, that will definitely work as well.

Additional Features

Has built-in radio tunerAside from being able to play your songs, karaoke or otherwise, it can also play music from the radio. It can store up to 6 FM and AM channels each, plus the antenna gives an amazing coverage.

With its powerful lead-acid battery, ION Audio Tailgater can hold a charge for up 50 hours. To make sure that your charged power wouldn’t go to waste, you can use the Tailgater as a power bank. It has a USB slot to plug your smartphone or tablet in, keeping you from getting low-batt.

However, the USB slot is only for charging. You cannot use it to load songs on your USB drive.

Setting Up

Easy to set upThere are a number of ways to set up this unit and it will all depend on what you want to accomplish. It may not have a video out but you can still display the lyrics on your TV.

The first method is the simplest and the best setup for outdoor singing. You’ll only need to connect your device via Bluetooth or NFC. You can also use an audio cable connected to your device’s headphone jack and ION Tailgater’s audio in jack.

This setup will allow you to play your songs on your device and have the sound output through the speakers. You can play karaoke songs from YouTube and read the lyrics from your device. Your voice and music will come out together through the PA speaker.

The second method is for indoors setup like hosting a karaoke house party. Basically, you will need to connect your device to your TV and connect your TV to the Tailgater. You can have your lyrics come out from the TV and the sound coming out from the karaoke machine.

If you have karaoke CDs, you can play it on your laptop and use ION Tailgater as an external speaker. You can also pair it with a sound mixer so that you get to have more functions like voice cancellation, reverb, etc.


Tailgater IPA77 includes a microphone with a mic cable, a 3.5mm audio cable, and power cable upon purchase. It also has a quick start guide and a manual.

This karaoke machine has a dimension of 12.5 x 9.4 x 12.8 inches (L x W x H) and weighs around 16.3 pounds. It makes it very easy for you to load up to your vehicle and bring with your outdoors.

When you receive the unit, it already comes partially-charged. You can either use it right away and make the initial charge after the battery has almost drained out. It can remain constantly plugged into a wall outlet without damaging the batteries.

When the battery is fully charged, it works just off of AC power and bypasses the battery completely.

Consumer Ratings

Consumers who bought this from Amazon gave ION Audio Tailgater a very high rating. It is perhaps one of the reasons why people just continue to choose this model over the rest. They love how it can be used in almost any gathering imaginable including tailgating, beach party, and reunions.

Most bad reviews were from those who complained not having the microphone included on the box. It’s a packaging issue that is easily sorted out, though. We recommend that you check other customer reviews from Amazon if you still need more info about this product.

ION Audio Tailgater

  • Connect devices easily via NFC, Bluetooth, or cable
  • Can run on battery for 50 hours
  • Has built-in AM/FM radio
  • Powerful 50-watt speaker
  • Sturdy and heavy-duty for outdoor use
  • No built-in effects like voice cancellation
  • No CD Player for Karoake CDs

Final Words

Even if this karaoke system does not have nifty features like digital pitch control or built-in LCD monitor, it remains to be a crowd favorite. That is because of the powerful speaker and versatile connectivity of ION Audio Tailgater are more than enough to have you singing like a pro. In case you’re looking for more systems to choose from, be sure to check our buying guides here at KaraokeHQ.

8.8 Sing Anywhere

Who says you need to be stuck on a room to go karaoke singing? This system allows you to belch out, or rock on even outdoors. It has a long battery life, a good speaker output and has a number of connectivity options. Perfect for your own backyard concerts.

  • Price 9
  • Connectivity 9
  • Ease of Use 9
  • Features 8
  • Sound Quality 8
  • Durability 10

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