You don’t go to a tailgate for the conversation. (Okay, maybe you do; football fans love to talk about their team.) You go for the food and the beer, and not always in that order.
So you’ll need something to do while you’re standing around eating and drinking and, possibly, talking. And that’s where the music comes in, because a party isn’t really a party without it.
You probably don’t want to drag a whole DJ setup out to the parking lot. But luckily you don’t have to. Tailgate Fan has the portable music options to keep the tailgate rockin’. Read on, fellow tailgaters.
Photo Credit: Edifier
Sound To Go Plus ($52)
Your laptop’s screen is big enough for everyone to crowd around, but the speakers are too puny to be heard. Edifier‘s Sound To Go Plus plugs into the USB socket for plenty of battery-powered stereo sound. There’s even a passive subwoofer inside this little guy to add a little heft to those tunes. A full charge on the lithium battery will give you six hours of music. The magnetically shielded aluminum case is tiny, but tough, with a mini-jack to connect it to your phone if you’d rather.
Buy the Sound To Go Plus.
Photo Credit: Grace Digital
Eco Terra Waterproof Boombox ($150)
All the music’s on your new iPhone. But you’ll be damned if you’re going to leave it just sitting around. Tailgates mean beer, and drunk people mean spills. The Eco Terra Boombox from Grace Digital comes with a waterproof compartment, so let the beer flow! Now your smartphone or mp3 player is completely safe. Run this thing off batteries or plug it into an AC outlet. There’s internal storage for keeping your keys, wallet and cash out of sight too. And yeah, the whole thing even floats.
Buy the Eco Terra Waterproof Boombox.
Photo Credit: SuperTooth
Disco Bluetooth Speaker ($150)
Everyone and their mother has a smart device, but no one ever remembers to bring the cord. The digital age creates more problems… and solutions. Enter the Disco Bluetooth Speaker from SuperTooth. It works with a wide range of devices, from phones to tablets to computers, letting any of your guests share their playlists and play wireless DJ. Crank up the 28 watts of volume to 11; the sound is incredible and the rechargeable battery can handle it.
Buy the Disco Bluetooth Stereo Speaker.
Photo Credit: Accessory Power
GOgroove Pal Bot ($70)
This little green guy may seem partial to Android, but he won’t balk at connecting to any iPhone or iPad. Stand the GOgroove Pal Bot from Accessory Power so the side speakers can show off his impressive range. The passive subwoofer underneath mixes in the bass. The six hours of USB-charged battery life — more if you don’t crank up the volume — means you won’t be recharging anytime soon. But if you’re curious, just check his glowing LED eyes to see how much power is left.
Buy the GOgroove Pal Bot.
Find more cool gear for your next tailgate.
Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology, gadget and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast.