Ion Raptor Portable Bluetooth Speaker, When Size Matters

Manly. Tough. Diesel. Heavy Duty. All-Beef Patty. Extra Cheese. Get out of my way. My truck is bigger than your truck. It has bumper stickers, lots of bumper stickers, all of them politically incorrect. And mudflaps. Say hello to my good buddy, the Ion Raptor.

The Ion Raptor comes in a big box that says, "a wireless, all-weather speaker with rugged truck design." That pretty much sums it up. What more do you want to know? It has Bluetooth with NFC pairing, AM/FM radio with six presets for each band, 2-way monaural playback with 3-inch tweeter, 8-inch speaker, and bass port. The amplifier is billed at 100 watts peak power. There's an Aux input and USB charging ports.

You can power it from the wall or vehicle battery (AC cord and cigarette lighter cable included). It also has its own rechargeable lead-acid battery with a claimed 75-hour capacity. Just for fun, there's also a 1/4-inch microphone jack (microphone included). And, what the heck - there's also a multicolored light bar on front that can flash to the beat of the music.

But it's the styling that seals the deal. The sides and back sport plastic panels with a tire tread design, the front grille is metal, there are two sturdy handles, and because this baby weighs a robust 26 pounds, there are two wheels on the bottom and a telescoping extendable handle. Hey, there are even two cupholder circles on top. It measures 18 x 11 x 18.5 inches (WDH).

A dilemma: This Raptor speaker, of course, is officially licensed from Ford Motor Company, proud maker of the Raptor truck line. Although there are no blue ovals on the speaker itself, it does say Ford on the front. If you drive a Chevy or a Dodge (those are the only other companies that I am aware of that make actual pickup trucks) can you still have a "Raptor" speaker on board? That is a difficult question, and I would answer it like this: Yes, Chevy and Dodge owners can carry a Raptor with them if it stays back in the bed, but under no circumstances can it ride inside the cab.

How does it sound? Not as good as a V8, but better than any 4-pot. More specifically, it's a speaker that is designed for fun, outdoors, preferably near a truck or possibly a motorcycle or ATV. Like when you're washing and waxing your vehicle, which is what you do every Saturday morning; the speaker is IPX4 water resistant. If you want to critically listen to Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic in Mahler's 7th, then this might not be the speaker for you.

It costs 300 bucks - about the same amount it costs to gas up your dually.

If you know what it means to "roll coal," then this is the speaker for you. If you don't know what roll coal means or you frown upon people who roll coal, then this is not the speaker for you. Stick to a pair of dainty white earbuds. And stay out of the left lane.