Tuesday, March 15, 2022

iLive speaker gets the tailgate party started


The national college basketball tournament kicks into high gear this week and that means fans from Portland to Pittsburg will be gathering to cheer on their favorite teams.

Some will be sharing burgers and beer in their back yards while others will be tailgating football style outside the arenas where their teams will tip off. Wherever they gather, they’ll need a portable sound system keep the party rolling and the iLive Bluetooth Tailgate Party Speaker would like to be invited.

The Tailgate Party Speaker is a Bluetooth speaker blown up to the size of an airport travel bag. It even has a pair of wheels on it bottom side and a pull-out handle, making it easy to traverse a sprawling arena parking lot or even an actual airport terminal.

Unlike the bulky boomboxes of the 1980s, the Tailgate Party Speaker is powered by internal rechargeable battery, rather than big pile of expensive D cell batteries. The speaker refuels using a standard USB-C cable, making it more lightweight, environmentally friendly and far cheaper to maintain.

The front panel of the  Tailgate Party Speaker supports a wide range of audio sources, starting with a Bluetooth connection to any mobile phone. Got an iPod or other digital audio player that doesn't support Bluetooth? The speaker has a line in jack that accepts a 3.5mm audio cable. 

The panel also offers slots for a USB thumb drive or an SD memory card. And there's a built-in FM radio for tuning in a play-by-play game broadcast. There's no built-on antenna, but iLive says plugging in an audio cable will improve broadcast quality. 

A one-line display screen shows the speaker's battery level, audio source and track information, and FM radio frequency. And when music is playing, colored LED lights mounted behind the speaker grill begin to pulsate. 

Other features include buttons to pause or play, skip audio tracks for USB or Bluetooth sources, scan for FM channels or move between different audio sources. There's also an input jack for a large format microphone plug, in case party guests want to torture each other with their favorite karaoke songs, complete with echo enhancement.

That's a lot of features for a speaker with a booming bass that typically costs less than $70. You can find the iLive Tailgate Party Speaker on the iLive website and in several online catalog stores, including Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods. Look for model ISB380.


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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