The Ultimate Ion Pathfinder 280 Review And Buyers Guide

ION Pathfinder 280 All-Weather Speaker with Premium Wide-Angle Sound

I recently purchased two of these speakers, intending to sync them and use them for my projectors. Below is my Ion Pathfinder 280 review.

The Ion Pathfinder 280 Speaker is a portable Bluetooth speaker that can connect wirelessly with any Bluetooth-enabled device.

The speaker has a rechargeable battery and can be charged via USB.

ION iPA125C Pathfinder 280° 8-in. 120-Watt All-Weather Bluetooth Rechargeable Speaker with FM Radio and LED Lighting
  • 120 watts max
  • Frequency response: 65 Hz to 16 kHz
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • transmission distance up to 100 ft.
  • Wireless Stereo-Link syncs with 1 additional, compatible ION speaker

My Ion Pathfinder 280 Review

Why I like it:  The ion pathfinder 280 is Loud, durable, has clear sound, and has good bass. The Battery lasts a long time. I use it every day by connecting to either Alexa for music or movies on my mini projectors, and I didn’t have to charge them until a week later.

Key Features:

  • 120 Watts & Up to 100-Hour Battery Life
  • Its Water-Resistant so you can use it outdoor.
  • Download the Ion App to control the Audio & Lighting Effects on your phone.
  • It has a Built-In Bottle Opener
  • It has 280 Degree Wide Range Sound that Provides Premium Wide Sound to the Front, Left, and Right of the Speaker.
  • Can sync two Ion pathfinder 280 speakers together for stereo sound. (Keep reading on why I dont like this function)

ION Pathfinder 280 All-Weather Speaker with Premium Wide-Angle Sound

Pros and Cons


+ Battery Last a long time
+ Has built-in wheels and pull out handle for easy portability
+ Has Lighting effects that pulses differently depending on the music
+ Has a bottle opener
+ Has a small water-resistant storage area for your phone keys or wallets.
+ It has a built-in USB charge port and can charge your phone or other mobile devices
+ It has a “BOOM” button that can crank up the bass and volume when pressed.
+ It has a “stereo-link” button so you can easily connect 2 Ion Pathfinder speakers
+ It has an “FM” button to listen to the radio
+ It has 16 built-in preset buttons to save your favorite radio station.


Bulky and Heavy weighing in at 27.9 lbs.
Cannot connect a microphone to the speaker as it does not have a mic input.
No Karaoke
When using it with a projector, the voice doesn’t sync up with the characters talking (lip-sync issue).
– When pairing with a 2nd Ion Pathfinder 280 speaker, The 2nd speaker follower does not stay in sync and gets behind a little and sounds like an echo.

ION Pathfinder 280 All-Weather Speaker with Premium Wide-Angle Sound

My Experience With The Built-In FM Radio.

Using the Ion Pathfinder 280 has been a good experience, especially with the built-in FM radio. The reception was crystal clear, and saving the radio stations with the 16 built-in preset was a plus.

Syncing with a 2nd Ion Pathfinder 280 was easy as it has a “stereo-link” button where all you had to do was press the button on both the speakers, and it would sync up automatically. To unsync, you need to hold down the “link” button again.

When syncing it with a 2nd Ion Pathfinder 280 speaker, It would work well for a little bit; then, it would get out of sync. I don’t recommend getting synced up when listening to FM radio as you’ll start to hear echo on the 2nd speaker.

My Experience With Connecting To Alexa To Play Music

Connecting to another Bluetooth device was easy as the Ion Pathfinder 280 speaker has a “Bluetooth” button.

Once connected to Alexa, I was able to play songs no problem; I love using the “boom” button to get that extra bass and volume.

Pairing it to 2nd speaker causes the same problem where after listing for a while, the speakers would unsync and your hearing echo because one speaker is playing a bit slower than the other.

My Experience With Connecting To A Projector.

Connecting to a projector was the easy part.

Here’s where the problem arises. Lip-sync issues. The voice did not sync up to the characters talking on screen right off the bat. It reminded me of watching a foreign movie that was dubbed in English.

I’ve tried with both a Low-end mini projector and a High-end BenQ projector and the results were the same.

I’ve tried using each speaker separately and the results have the same lip-sync issue.

Pairing up to a 2nd speaker made it worse as both speakers couldn’t sync up well, and the characters were talking on the screen.

If your looking for a Bluetooth that will work with projectors flawlessly take a look at my recommended speakers for projectors.

Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs)

Are ion speakers any good?

If you’re using the speakers strictly to listen to music and have no need to pair them to a 2nd speaker for stereo sound then this speaker is really good.

Is ION Pathfinder 280 loud?

The ION pathfinder 280 is extremely loud. If you are planning a backyard party on a budget this speaker would definitely work for you. Press the “BOOM” button feature and the bass gets cranked up. I like this speaker for the simple reason as you turn up the volume the music doesn’t get degraded.

Can You Connect A Microphone To Ion Pathfinder 280?

If you’re wondering whether you can connect a microphone to this speaker or not, The speaker does not have a Mic Input. Therefore you cannot connect a microphone.

Can ion Pathfinder 280 do karaoke?

No microphone input means no Karaoke.

Some will bypass it and connect it to the auxiliary input; the result will not be as good. The sound quality will be low and very poor. The auxiliary input is intended for Audio sources such as an MP3 player or CD player.

If you’re looking for an Ion speaker with a Mic input so you can play karaoke, you’ll need to look at these two Ion speakers:

How many ion Pathfinder 280 can you Link together?

You can easily link up to 2 for stereo sound.

How do I connect 2 ion Pathfinder 280 speakers?

All you need to do is press the “stereo-link” button on each of the speakers and they will automatically link up.

Is the ion Pathfinder 280 waterproof?

The Ion Pathfinder 280 is IPX5 WATER-RESISTANT. IPX5 ratings mean it will be protected from low water pressure streams from any angle. Your Ion Pathfinder 280 is Safe to leave in the rain or near the pool.

How long does it take to charge ion Pathfinder 280?

The ion pathfinder 280 can take up to 10 hours to charge when the battery is drained.

Where are ion speakers made?

The ion pathfinder 280 speaker is made in China.


I am constantly in awe at what you get for the price. You could easily pay 3 times as much if buying another brand with the same specs. The sound is amazing and not having to charge constantly is a huge plus.

The Ion Pathfinder 280 speaker is awesome and highly recommended if you only use it for music. The Bluetooth connection is solid and will provide you with long listening hours.

The batteries are great, and you won’t have to worry about it going dead on you while at a beach or park.

That being said, I would NOT recommend you get a second Ion Pathfinder to pair up as they don’t sync up very well.

I also don’t recommend if your planning to use a projector as they don’t sync up with the characters talking very well.