the best boombox jbl

The Best Boombox

The boombox was commonly heard of in the 70s, 80s, and 90s and was originally designed for on-the-go music. Its suitability depended on its compact size, weight, battery life, and last but not least – the style.

This ‘booming’ device is now back in fashion. But while its predecessors were briefcase-sized, the modern-day boomboxes have advanced to slightly more lightweight versions. Boomboxes, today, are loudspeakers in small enclosures with loud bass. Bluetooth and rechargeable batteries are some of the functions classic boomboxes did not have.

This article will discuss the ten best boomboxes on the market by analyzing their technical and practical specifications. Be sure to read our buyer’s guide and FAQ section to help you decide which boombox is best suited to you.

The Best Boombox 1
JBL Boombox 2

JBL products are characterized by their timeless design and great features – and this JBL Boombox 2 has all the good specs. It has a warm sound, great frequency response, and is versatile enough to bring to any setting, whether indoor or outdoor – at the beach, on a hike, or by the pool.

jbl boombox 2 the best boombox

What is a Boombox?

As mentioned, the boombox is a portable music player that used to be very popular around four decades ago, before Walkmans replaced it. It was introduced to the American market in the late 70s. During this time, a lot of music was traded around by cassette in the post-vinyl era. 

The boombox played a significant role in helping music be traded around, and music was for the first time mobile. Before better car stereos came into the picture, or Walkmans for that matter, this was the only way to share your music and listen on the go.

The rise of the boombox specifically helped hip-hop culture grow. It was a significant contributor to not only the hip-hop aesthetic, but its influential booming bass inspired many of the early hip-hop acts of the era to come up with that sort of music. It was not only a recording machine. Many hip-hop artists were seen carrying a box on their shoulders, and some even wrote songs about the boombox. 

What did the Boombox Feature

It featured one or two cassette tape recorders, an AM/FM radio, and further down the line, it also featured a CD player. Because the desire for heavier bass increased, so did the boombox’s size and shape. The heavier and larger the boombox was, the louder the bass got. 

Initially designed for portability, it often came in a single plastic or metal case with a handle, much like a briefcase. In this article, some of the boomboxes take on the retro style. Today, the look of the older Boombox designs is of much interest to collectors who seek out the bulkier, more briefcase-looking models.

Cultural Significance 

The 80’s boombox had a cultural significance. It became closely linked to hip-hop culture, including street dancing and the rise of hip-hop music in the US. If you wanted to take your music on the go, the old-school boombox was the “must-have” accessory.

A boombox, or sometimes referred to as a “Ghetto Blaster”, was made up of: 

  • Two loudspeakers or more
  • Radio tuner
  • An amp
  • Last but not least, a cassette player

Modern boomboxes have many new functions and specs that the older ones did not have – Bluetooth capabilities are one.

Bluetooth boomboxes have filled the same function that old school Boomboxes did – a shared collective experience of portable music. The Bluetooth boomboxes incorporate designs of the 80s boombox. 

Some of today’s Bluetooth boomboxes have AM/FM tuners, can double as a guitar amp, and even have cassette functionality – which you can read about further down in this article.

Our Top 10 Best Boomboxes

To help you decide on the best boombox, we’ve written in-depth reviews on the ten best models. We looked at key features of each boombox, such as power output, weight, and waterproof ratings. We have also listed some very affordable options of the best boomboxes. 

1. JBL Boombox 2

jbl boombox 2
  • Power: 2 x 40 W RMS
  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Waterproof Rating: IPX 7
  • Dimensions: 12.76” x 9.33” x 21.97”

The JBL Boombox 2 is the successor to the super-popular original JBL Boombox. Compared to the original, this is the largest of the JBL Boomboxes. It can pump out massive sound for up to 24 hours before it needs a recharge, and its IPX7 waterproof rating makes it great to use fearlessly in different outdoor environments.

Design and Build

Boombox 2 looks similar to the JBL Boombox original. The majority of the speaker is covered in fabric for wear and tear, control buttons on top, and a robust built-in carrying handle for easy transportation. 

The passive radiators on the JBL Boombox 2 have a cool style, and the overall look has improved compared to the original JBL Boombox. It is also a touch larger, both height-wise and weight-wise, but the difference might only be noticeable once you carry the speaker around. 

Sound and Performance

It can last you a full day of high-volume listening. When playing off its built-in battery, the new Boombox 2 is a 30 watts speaker and is louder than the original speaker. It has a great signal-to-noise ratio of >80dB. 

The radiators shoot out when the speaker is playing music – which is a cool touch. The Boombox 2 is one of the best Boomboxes because of its great audio quality. Deep and powerful bass, prominent highs, and great frequency response of 50Hz – 20 kHz, able to transmit all those low and high frequencies of your favorite songs. 

Drivers and Technical Specs

It has a built-in power bank. So while the JBL Boombox 2 can handle up to 24-hour playtime, your phone might not. Just plug your phone into the power bank to keep the music going all day and night. It has dual 4-inch woofers and dual 0.8-inch tweeters, and the signature dual passive radiators on each side. It comes with a JBL branded power adaptor, and the battery has a charging time of 6.5 hours.

Audio Connections

The JBL Boombox 2 features a 3.5mm audio cable input, Bluetooth version 5.1, JBL PartyBoost, and more. PartyBoost allows you to link multiple JBL PartyBoost compatible speakers should you wish to crank the volume up even more. 

Bigger is better, right? The only thing the Boombox 2 is missing in terms of ports is the USB C port, which most devices have these days. It does have a USB A port for charging your phone and other devices.

Why should you buy the JBL Boombox 2?

  • Fully waterproof! 
  • Rugged and stylish  
  • Built-in power bank
  • PartyBoost compatibility

2. Bumpboxx Flare8 Bluetooth Boombox

Bumpboxx Flare8 Bluetooth Boombox
  • Power: 200 W
  • Weight: 17 lbs
  • Waterproof Rating: None
  • Dimensions: 28” x 8” x 16”

The Bumpboxx Flare8 Bluetooth Boombox speaker, coming from the Bumpboxx brand – the #1 Retro style Boombox brand in the world – is a retro feel Boombox but with a modern design. It has a 12-hour playtime and a rechargeable battery suitable for those looking for a more on-the-go retro box.

Design and Build 

This boombox has a stylish design, comes in a variety of colors, and is a step up from the previous Flare6 model. Additionally, it comes with remote control for easy access to its functions and to skip through any boring songs and keep people on their toes at the party.

There is an ergonomic handlebar and a carrying strap, making it extremely easy to take with you. This speaker is quite large with a 28-inch length and 8-inch width but a true party starter and looks good with the LED VU display. On the front of the speaker, there are 9 LEDs that move in time with the music, paired with your Bumpboxx logo and the classic “B” that lights up. The bottom of the box has two nice rubber stoppers to keep it in place. 

Sound and Performance

Deep bass and crystal highs could describe its audio performance—a great boombox with high sound and build quality. The Bumpboxx Flare8 is louder than other boxes and would suit perfectly for outdoor usage. The bass, however, could be deeper. It has a tendency to distort – which could become a huge issue when wanting to turn the volume up. 

It has 5 EQ settings that allow you to customize your sound – this is a great feature, especially if you want to use a mic or guitar, as it will enable you to customize your sound, similar to the function of a mixer at a live event. The 200 watts of power does bring a lot to the table, so if you want a loudspeaker, this is the one to go for – it can go as loud as 118dB.

Drivers and Technical Specs

It has two 8-inch woofers and a 3-inch tweeter. Besides the lithium rechargeable battery and its 5 EQ Settings, it also has a “power saving mode”. Using it with the power saving mode will decrease the output but make the battery last longer. This could be useful when you are far away from a charging point. 

Audio Connections

The Flare8 Boombox does have long-distance Bluetooth connectivity as well as 3.5 mm aux input. You can also use a USB drive to play music or use it as a charging port. It even has True Wireless Stereo (TWS) Pairing and audio in/out for linking units to it.  

Another addition that makes this a special Boombox is its microphone input and the wireless mic that comes with it. If that was not enough, the Flare8 doubles as a guitar amp. It has a knob for an echo effect that you can use with the microphone or your guitar.

Why should you buy the Bumpboxx Flare8 Bluetooth Boombox?

  • Stylish in a variety of colors
  • Doubles as a guitar amp
  • It comes with a Bumpboxx wireless microphone

3. QFX J-220BT ReRun X Cassette Player Boombox

QFX-J-220BT-ReRun-X
  • Power: 9 W
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Waterproof Rating: None
  • Dimensions: 14.37” x 4.8” x 7.76”

This is a lightweight Boombox with a cassette player, and its sound is easily customizable by utilizing the 3-band equalizer. You have a wide range of listening options with its 4-band radio as well as recording options.

Design and Build

QFX came up with an authentic vintage-looking boombox. It has a swivel carrying handle, analog buttons, and a four-band radio cassette recorder. It comes in a classic black color and has four times “D” battery support. You can run it on batteries and by plugging it in for regular at-home use.

Sound and Performance

This radio offers a 3-band graphic equalizer that allows for some sound customization of the bass, middle and treble. It also has a 4-band radio – AM/FM/SW1&2 – and dual 3-inch speakers. The QFX values great radio signal reception, and this J-220BT ReRun Boombox player is meant to give just that.

The sound is boxy, but it does get loud enough. The bass is lacking slightly; however, the top frequencies sound better. The built-in microphone works for recording audio at the touch of a button, but playback is of less quality, which is a budget-friendly option.

Drivers and Technical Specs

The boombox has two 3-inch speakers as well as a built-in microphone to make for easy recording. The two mono speakers for 9 watts total output make this speaker softer than others, but it does the trick for an at-home radio listening experience. You can bust out old cassette tapes or even record over – which is pretty rad. 

Audio Connections

The J-220BT has a Bluetooth range of up to 30 feet. A cassette, USB, and SD player/recorder. It has a USB slot and an SD slot, and you can plug and play your mic in the microphone input. Other functions include a tape and radio USB switch, DC jack, and AC socket. It can not record on Bluetooth, unfortunately. It has AM/FM/SW1 and SW2 4-band radio.

Why should you buy the QFX J-220BT ReRun X Cassette Player Boombox?

  • Cassette compartment
  • Analog and authentic style 
  • Budget-friendly

4. Studebaker SB2145B 80’s Retro Street Bluetooth Boombox

Studebaker SB2145B 80's Retro Street Bluetooth Boombox
  • Power: 10 W RMS
  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Waterproof Rating: None
  • Dimensions: 5.5” x 18” x 10”

The Studebaker SB2145B is a true party speaker with a multi-color LED EQ that should excite everyone at the party. It is portable and has several connection types for music streaming – for instance, 3.5mm auxiliary and Bluetooth connectivity. This boombox looks authentic with Studebaker’s effort to bring it back to the 1980s.

Design and Build

Nostalgia, nostalgia, nostalgia! This is the speaker of choice for sparking memories. Studebaker built a vintage Bluetooth Boombox with this Retro Street version. The multi-colour LED EQ lights up in conjunction with the music playing, making it a great party speaker. 

It comes in 4 colors: black, silver, red or rose gold. The 80s style has returned with this SB2145B Retro Street; it has a convenient carrying handle and a built-in rechargeable lithium battery. The dimensions are 10-inches in height, 18-inches in width, and 5.5 inches deep.

Sound and Performance

It plays CDs and CD-R/RW and is a fun speaker with good sound performance. On its front, you have a master volume, treble and bass controls, and control for your mix’s left/right balance. The FM radio works well. The sound coming out of this radio is decent and would boost the mood at any gathering. Why not load your old CDs and simultaneously add a nostalgic touch to the party.  

Drivers and Technical Specs

You should not expect hard-hitting bass from this device, but it is decently loud for its wattage. It has two 5-watt speakers. The driver specifications are not disclosed, neither is its frequency range. The power cord for the unit is 5 feet, and the SB2145B is also easily rechargeable and includes an AC adapter.

Audio Connections

It has a front-loading CD player, which is CD-R/RW compatible. It also has Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, so it is extremely portable and easy to connect and play from any device with Bluetooth Connectivity. Should you wish, you can use the headphone jack as well as the auxiliary input. Either for recording settings or for listening.. 

Why should you buy the Studebaker SB2145B 80’s Retro Street Bluetooth Boombox?

  • Attractive retro design
  • Simple to operate
  • Lightweight

5. DBSOARS  Bluetooth Speaker

DBSOARS  Bluetooth Speaker
  • Power: 60 W
  • Weight: 4.20 lbs
  • Waterproof Rating: IPX 7
  • Dimensions: 16.06” x 10.51” x 5.35”

This rugged portable speaker is what the brand DBSOARS suggests – simply a portable Bluetooth Boombox with quality audio and great specs. According to DBSOARS, it is made to endure dust, snow, and mud and is made to last in various settings. 

Design and Build

The DBSOARS Bluetooth Boombox has a sporty look with its square-shaped body and rugged handlebar. It is to transport, is small, lightweight and stylish as well. It is covered in protection; a mesh grill covers the speakers with the DBSOARS logo on them. It even has rubber stoppers at the bottom.

It comes in black, blue and orange colors. The dual passive subwoofers are located on its backside. The waterproof design makes it extremely durable – for both dust and water. It can be submerged up to 33 feet for about 30 minutes which is quite impressive. DBSOARS claims you can drop the speaker without incurring any damage whatsoever.

Sound and Performance

It has two 15 watts speakers – and contains a feature that allows for pairing up to another speaker. DBSOARS suggests purchasing an additional speaker to be able to use this feature. Pairing them up would get you 60W of true power. It is a cool option for louder and bigger sound – with a larger stereo sound image!

The low end sounds good but is not so-to-speak “larger than life”. The mids and the highs deliver clear audio, and it is an overall good speaker with full sound. 

Drivers and Technical Specs

The DBSOARS has about 3-4 hours of charging time, and the battery is rechargeable.
On a single charge, it yields up to 30 hours of play! And should you need more, there is a backup battery installed to prevent any losses in power during use. The backup battery is a great addition to an already well-rounded Bluetooth speaker. Its signal-to-noise ratio measures ≥70dB.

Audio Connections

The speaker uses Bluetooth 4.2 and can connect to any compatible device like a tablet, smartphone, or Bluetooth-enabled PC. You can sync with any device with at least Bluetooth 4.2, which is most devices these days. The connection lasts about 33 feet.

Another great function is that you can use the built-in power bank to charge your other devices – keeping the music playing non-stop. It comes with a USB charging cable and a 3.5mm aux cable if you want to play from devices without Bluetooth.

Why should you buy the DBSOARS  Bluetooth Speaker?

  • Waterproof and durable
  • Perfect for outdoor adventures
  • 30 hours of playtime

6. Victrola 1980s Retro Bluetooth Boombox

Victrola 1980s Retro Bluetooth Boombox
  • Power: 80 W
  • Weight: 7.4 lbs
  • Waterproof Rating: None
  • Dimensions: 16.06” x 10.51” x 5.35”

The Victrola 1980s Retro Bluetooth Boombox is a vintage vibe Boombox with modern features, a built-in cassette player, and all the needed controls. It can be versatile and makes for easy use, with great Bluetooth connectivity and great quality audio.

Design and Build

This stereo speaker comes in silver, has a telescoping antenna and carrying handle.
The cassette deck on the font takes pretty long to open, but this is a nice touch that makes it feel vintage – even though it was manufactured in 2019. 

The feel of the Boombox case is a bit plastic, but this only adds to the vintage style. It truly is a simulation of the old-school boombox and would make for a great gift. You can see the cassette tapes through its transparent window, which is a nice touch. There is a LED Clock display on the front of the box as well. It measures 17.87 inches x 5.31″ x 9.44″.

Sound and Performance

The boombox works well, and the sound quality is decent, and it has lots to offer loudness-wise. It is guaranteed to be the best-sounding CD Boombox with good bass under 200 bucks! It sounds like a great system, and the mids and highs are prominent.

For its price, this Bluetooth Boombox combines a great deal of nostalgia with quality audio.

Drivers and Technical Specs

It runs on 8 D-size batteries or 2“ AAA“ batteries and can also be AC Plug operated (8 D batteries not included).

Audio Connections

The Bluetooth range reaches up to 33 feet away, but if you are not up for streaming, you can also use a regular 3.5 aux-in, connecting straight to your Android, iPhone, computer, or other music streaming device. 

You can use cassettes in the front-load cassette player or enjoy the AM/FM Radio with its recording function. It also takes a USB that you can record directly to and an SD card player. It is portable and even offers a headphone jack on the side panel for playing music from various audio sources.

Why should you buy the Victrola 1980s Retro Bluetooth Boombox?

  • Wide-range Bluetooth connectivity 
  • Vintage vibe, modern features 
  • Affordable

7. Tenmiya Portable Bluetooth Speakers

Tenmiya Portable Bluetooth Speakers
  • Power: 20 W + 5 W *2
  • Weight: 3.86 lbs
  • Waterproof Rating: None
  • Dimensions: 14” x 6.3” x 8.3”

The Tenmiya A66 is a lightweight Bluetooth speaker and would suit any outdoor setting perfectly. It is not too big nor too sensitive to different environments. It has got a powerful sound that delivers great audio quality and a comfortable listening experience.

Design and Build

Size-wise it measures 14 x 6.3 x 8.3 inches and is portable. It has a great carrying handle and is equipped with a removable shoulder strap. It is truly perfect for adding to your outdoor activity, whether it be camping, hiking, or the beach.  It weighs just under 4lbs and is lightweight enough to take anywhere. The Tenmiya Bluetooth Speaker is a complete party-starting device with colorful RGB lights which truly sets the mood.

The loudspeaker cavity has a unique structure to help deliver a great acoustical experience.

Sound and Performance

This Bluetooth Boombox delivers deafening stereo audio with its three-speaker configuration. It has a passive subwoofer that can shoot out massive bass with little to no harmonic distortion, and there is richness in the mid and high-range frequencies. The A66 offers a great listening experience. 

You can connect a microphone to the jack and sing your favorite tunes – and while you are at it, make use of the EQ presets. The rechargeable battery allows for a playing time of around 10 hours straight, which is great news for those who want music throughout the entire day.

Drivers and Technical Specs

The speaker driver size is 4 inches, and the two tweeters are 2.5 inches. The packet includes a remote control, an aux audio cable, and one USB charging cable. It has an FM radio as well as an intelligent remote control – so that you can change tunes or radio stations wherever you are (but within 10 feet). The playing time of the Tenmiya A66 is 10 hours long.

Audio Connections

This Bluetooth Boombox has a 4.1 Bluetooth chip that allows it to easily connect with any other device with Bluetooth functionality, and it supports Bluetooth 4.2 wireless connection. It allows any iPhone, iPad, Samsung, and HTC devices to connect, and it also has an audio aux cable that you may use to connect with your laptop or TV or another non-Bluetooth device.

It also supports USBs for playing music off, as well as a jack for plugging in your microphone – because karaoke is still a thing, right?! 

Why should you buy the Tenmiya Portable Bluetooth Speakers?

  • Big sound!
  • Convenient EQ presets 
  • A perfect travel companion

8. PHILIPS PX840T Bluetooth Boombox

PHILIPS PX840T Bluetooth Boombox
  • Power: 50 W RMS
  • Weight: 3.8 lbs
  • Waterproof Rating: None
  • Dimensions: 8.78” x 20.59” x 8.27”

The Philips PX840T comes as a portable and very rugged speaker. It is incredibly versatile as it both looks good in style and sounds good too. It is compact and easy to carry around and looks cool!

Design and Build

The Boombox design is futuristic – it combines classic black with gold and ocean blue and is a total game-changer style-wise. It looks modern and would fit in perfectly in a party setting or even with your home decor. The digital display even lights up as you play your favorite tracks. It has two front tweeters and four speakers in total. It measures 8.78” x 20.59” x 8.27”.

One negative aspect could be the small carrying handle – even though the speaker is lightweight and compact, an ergonomic handle would make it even more portable. 

Sound and Performance

It is a mid-range speaker, but it sounds great. It’s got 50 watts of power and a dynamic bass boost to deliver a warm audio experience with a deep low end. The sound quality slaps, and it can truly deliver clear and crisp audio. Philips is a trusted brand, and they have delivered with this Bluetooth Boombox. 

Play CDs or stream effortlessly from your phone. The AM/FM tuner works well, and the player can go quite loud. The Bass boost works but leaves some to the imagination. It, unfortunately, does not come with a remote. 

Drivers and Technical Specs

This speaker requires 8 D batteries, which are unfortunately not included.

Audio Connections

Wireless Bluetooth connectivity makes it easily paired with your laptop, tablet, phone, or other music streaming devices. Should you want, you can play music through a USB drive, use the 3.5mm auxiliary, or play CDs. Let go of cables and connection issues – this player has none of that.

Why should you buy the PHILIPS PX840T Bluetooth Boombox?

  • Great and modern design
  • Crisp sound
  • CD player option

9. Sharp GX-BT9X

Sharp GX-BT9X bluetooth boombox speaker
  • Power: 100 W RMS
  • Weight: 14.6 lbs
  • Waterproof Rating: None
  • Dimensions: 29.5” x 11” x 10.8”

The Sharp GX-BT9X is a large Bluetooth speaker with NFC options, providing well-driven directional bass for a low buck. Use it outdoors or indoors, and while it may not be suitable for the beach, it certainly is for a backyard party. It can even double as a mic or guitar mini-amp.

Design and Build

It comes in matte black, with a great and convenient carrying strap that makes for easy transportation. Though it is a larger build, this speaker makes up for it by providing great full quality sound. It looks modern and futuristic – though a bit bulky. Some might like the bulky style, and this is why we have included it on our list. There is something for everyone.

Sound and Performance

This Boombox has a full sound and offers bass-boosting technology through its  X-bass. It has different EQ modes for different genres and allows you to customize your music in whichever way you like—experience great bass, mid-range, and crisp highs. Distortion-free through its side-firing and bass boost optimizations. This speaker should not disappoint you. The device comes with a tuner allowing for more personalization.

Drivers and Technical Specs

The GX-BT9X is around half the price of the JBL, yet it offers up rather impressive specs. It is battery operated; however, the battery is not rechargeable, though the battery life of this boombox lasts many hours depending on what volume you are playing music.

Should you want to save battery, you could turn off the blue flashing woofer strobes. There have been bug fixes identified from the previous model – The GX-BT9- which is an upgrade from its predecessor.

Audio Connections

It features various inputs alongside the USB – NFC, Bluetooth, or audio in-port to connect to devices without Bluetooth. The USB port is invaluable and can be used to play music directly from your USB as it allows access to drives with over 65 000 songs on. Additionally, the USB port can be used as a charging hub for your phone. 

Why should you buy the Sharp GX-BT9X?

  • Bass boost switch
  • NFC technology
  • Very durable!

10. Toshiba TY CWU500 Wireless Boombox Speaker

Toshiba TY CWU500 Wireless Boombox Speaker
  • Power: 25 W
  • Weight: 7.28 lbs
  • Waterproof Rating: None
  • Dimensions: 19.7” x 7.9” x 8.3”

This wireless boombox lets you stream music from any device and can be used as a PA system or amp by plugging your guitar or mic in. It has all the modern features you could wish for but in a boombox shell. It is easily controlled through remote control and is straight-up multi-functional with stereo FM, CD player, and Bluetooth.

Design and Build

This matte black Bluetooth boombox features a digital display and a sturdy top strap for easy carrying and disco LED light with flashing modes that you can turn on and off. The size is not as small as expected, and considering its portability and weight, it is a great find. It comes in two options; with rechargeable batteries and without. 

The ideal option is to purchase the one with rechargeability, but should you choose a more affordable option, go for the non-rechargeable. The only object this gadget is missing would be a cassette deck for a true boombox feel – however it is an addition more vintage boomboxes have.

Sound and Performance

Toshiba hit a home run with this portable boombox – it has clear highs and really deep bass with two additional passive speakers to boost it. The EQ functions with pre-sets consisting of 5 EQ modes: Flat, Rock, Jazz, Classic, and Pop, and does just what a preset should do. Meaning you can easily tailor it according to what genre of music you are listening to. It is a mid-range system but great for the buck. 

Drivers and Technical Specs

This speaker has everything you wish for and more. It has 2 12.5 W speakers and requires 8 “D” size batteries to run. It has two passive speakers to enhance bass and a great signal-to-noise ratio. The battery life is approximately 10 hours, and the CD playback is approximately 3 hours. The radio unit receives FM radio, and the Bluetooth is version 3.0.

Audio Connections

Features include Bluetooth Version 5.0 and the ability to use Aux, phone jack, or the CD Player. The top-loading CD player on this unit is multi-compatible with CD, CD-R, CD-RW. It also has an AC cord and remote control, and besides the Bluetooth and aux connectivity, you can play your music through a USB input. Having a remote control makes access very easy as you can control the speaker from anywhere in the room.

Why should you buy the Toshiba TY CWU50i0 Wireless Boombox Speaker?

  • Multiple listening options
  • Dynamic audio
  • Includes remote control

A Comparison Between Bluetooth Speakers, Modern Boomboxes and 80’s Boomboxes

The modern Bluetooth speaker has many things in common with the modern boombox; however, some things are worth mentioning to differentiate them.

Boomboxes are more like portable music players paired with a cassette tape recorder, and the output loudness of a modern boombox can be just as loud as a full audio system. The addition of Bluetooth to boomboxes has made them more similar to a standard Bluetooth speaker, and the boombox has become more portable than ever, not needing to be plugged in to play.

It usually has a rechargeable battery just like any other modern Bluetooth speaker, and the playtime is similar, depending on which boombox you are comparing, of course. Therefore, you could even call the boombox a Bluetooth speaker, seeing it normally has Bluetooth pairing and other connectivity options. A modern Bluetooth speaker is normally available in all sizes – whereas the boombox would typically be a larger build.

The 80’s boombox was a low-price music system that initially developed in Japan in the early 70s. It aimed to provide high-fidelity sound in small packages. The boomboxes usually included a stereophonic radio receiver with a cassette tape recorder and player, AM/FM radio, and CD player – and the big deal about these so-called “Ghetto Blasters” was that they were portable.

Back in the day, the boombox used to be pretty standard – either a silver/grey metal case or, in some cases, black cases. They did not offer much in terms of design – moreover, that was also why they became popular. They were heavy and rugged and looked a little bit like a briefcase, but that was the point. Carrying around a boombox on your shoulder was like saying, “Let’s get the party started!”. 

A modern-day boombox, on the other hand, has all these functions – and more. Thanks to rechargeable batteries, Bluetooth, and other pairing options, boomboxes are more portable than ever. They can even include a power bank to recharge any other devices – iPods, phones, and so on. Their designs vary vastly, and you can find anything – no matter what your preference of color or material is. 

Boombox Buyers Guide

Size and Weight

They can vary in dimensions and be either too compact like a cube or oval box, mid-sized like a standalone speaker, or large ones like a barrel-shaped boombox. Depending on its size, the weight is also to consider. A boombox is a speaker you want to be able to take on-the-go.

Connectivity Options and Formats

Consider your preferred connectivity option – for instance. Not all boomboxes support Bluetooth. A boombox should support a variety of digital and analog formats – even cassettes and CDs. Before purchasing, think about what type of boombox you need and for what use. Some of our boomboxes are compatible with the following:

  • Cassette tapes (Play and Record)
  • CD/CD-R/CD-RW 
  • AM/FM radio reception 
  • Mp3 and WMA file formats
  • SD Card & MMC readers
  • USB & Memory stick readers
  • Bluetooth 
  • HDMI port
  • Aux-In port for connecting audio devices

Suitability and Portability

Many look for a portable Bluetooth boombox, and in this case, the suitability depends on how well the speaker can handle dust or water – should you wish to bring it with you on an adventure. Waterproof ratings are usually mentioned as IPX ratings. X refers to the dustproof rating – or rather, X means it does not have a dust rating – which is a good thing. P refers to the waterproof rating.

IPX 7 is a high rating and means the device can tolerate submersion to depths of 3 meters for about 30 minutes. IP stands for International Protection or Ingress Protection.

Some boomboxes do not have rechargeable batteries and require a wired AC power supply, making them less portable than others. Some have a combination of AC power plugs together with rechargeable batteries.

What are Equalizers, and Why are They Important?

Equalizers, also known as EQ, allows you to change the audio coming from your loudspeaker by boosting or subtracting different frequency bands. This is so that instead of simply boosting the volume while playing music, you can boost the specific frequencies you would like to hear more of. Do you feel the music lacks bass? Simply boost the bass setting on your EQ.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
There are different types of equalizers – some of which are simple and others more sophisticated. Some allow control of volume to a specific frequency band; these are called fixed EQs. If the EQ has three knobs – it is called a 3-band equalizer and essentially has one knob for bass, one for the mids, and one for treble. These are very common.

EQs are used in mixing music and come in different forms. Typically, these EQs are more sophisticated and target specific frequencies that could make or break a mix. EQs on Boomboxes or other loudspeakers are generally simpler and straightforward and allow the user to adjust the music according to taste rather than mix. 

Remember – if the music you listen to does not have much bass, turning the bass knob up will not magically make bass appear. So be smart with your EQ choices. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Boomboxes Still Worth the Money?

A boombox is an investment for your spare time. It allows you to bring the party with you wherever you go, whether to a pool, the beach, or a house party – check out the waterproof ratings if you plan to bring it to the beach. It also works well for at-home use or in your office.

Can You Connect a Boombox to Your Laptop?

The short answer here is: yes. You can easily connect your boombox to your laptop, usually through Bluetooth connectivity if your laptop supports Bluetooth, but also through an auxiliary 3.5mm cable. Simply plug and play!

How Well does the Radio Work on Boomboxes?

The radio on a boombox works as well as any radio. But what do you do if the boombox you have chosen includes a radio, but the signal is poor? There are a few simple ways to improve the signal. One of these options is to plug in a 3.5mm cable to your boombox and simply tune the radio. 

A tip: a longer cable can offer better reception than a shorter cable. Another option would be to use the power cable, which works as an antenna receiver in some cases. 

The Best Boombox 1
JBL Boombox 2

JBL products are characterized by their timeless design and great features – and this JBL Boombox 2 has all the good specs. It has a warm sound, great frequency response, and is versatile enough to bring to any setting, whether indoor or outdoor – at the beach, on a hike, or by the pool.

jbl boombox 2 the best boombox
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Written by
Rebecka Lundqvist
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