The boombox or the device that was specially designed to raise the roof on the 80s and 90s parties is making a comeback nowadays. Many say it started with Guardians of the Galaxy (the movies) where the main character listens to his favorite tunes using a Walkman, or a portable cassette player.
This sparked young people’s interest in old technology and they discovered the joy of flipping the cassette and using analog controls. As such, the hunt for the best boombox started and is still going strong.
Now, whether you want a boombox to remember your youth or you’re just curious about the old ways of technology, there are some modern devices worthy of your attention. This is why today we’ll review some of the best on the market, but first, we’ll go through the features that make a great boombox.
How to Choose the Best Boombox?
Given that the idea of a boombox can puzzle many young people, let’s have a look.
While it is fun to have a cassette tape and CD player, modern boomboxes must offer other options as well. For instance, such a device should have at least one Aux 3.5mm port and one USB 2.0 connection!
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have BT with good range and even NFC!
The main purpose of a boombox is to deliver booming sound quality with enhanced low-frequency notes. As such, a high-performing device must be able to deliver a satisfying experience even at loud volumes.
The best boombox usually features a combination of active and passive speakers for the best bass quality. Still, you’ll notice that the pricier designs come equipped with more speakers in higher wattage power and bigger sizes. So, yes, it is a matter of budget after all.
AM/FM Radio Tuner
The AM/FM radio feature is characteristic of this type of devices. However, it looks a bit different than what you have on your phone.
Analog radio tuners have a knob and an antenna (that can be extended to reach higher) that let you fine-tune the reception and look for other stations. On a positive note, these tuners are a lot more efficient in areas with low phone reception and can be quite useful when camping or hiking.
If you don’t know what a cassette is or you haven’t seen one in ages, you probably don’t need a boombox with a cassette player. Still, you may want one with a built-in CD-player since sound quality is crystal-clear.
Style & Portability
Boomboxes are portable wireless speakers of the 80s and 90s generations so they should be easy to move around. Of course, modern devices should have a better battery life and should be made from more durable and lightweight materials.
Still, for an authentic experience, look for big retro designs, LED lights that synchronize with the beat, and large speakers.
10 Best Boomboxes
Toshiba TY-CWU500 Bluetooth Boombox Speaker
The Best Portable Boombox for your Parties
Whenever you want to start an impromptu party, make sure to have the TY-CWU500 available! This boombox is tiny and lets you stream music wirelessly from all sorts of Bluetooth-enabled devices (smartphones, tablets, and more).
We love the fact that the design makes you think about the old boombox devices, the ones with huge speakers and a cassette player. But now, you get more power in a smaller box, with more connectivity options (USB, Bluetooth, and a 3.5mm aux), and a CD player at the top. You even get AM/FM radio, and you can use it as a PA system and amp due to the two 6.3mm connectors for microphones or guitars.
Sound quality is impressive for its size, with crystal clear notes and two passive speakers to amplify the bass and 4 EQ modes.
Lastly, the boombox can be used in wired and wireless (using 8 D size batteries) formats and comes with a remote control so you can control it from a distance.
- Compact and portable
- Sturdy strap for transportation
- CD-player at the top
- Bluetooth connectivity
- USB, SD, and 3.5mm aux ports
- Wired and wireless
- Impressive sound quality
- Bass response is not too great
- The batteries are a bit difficult to install
- Doesn’t get too loud
Panasonic RX-D55GC-K Boombox
Live the 90s Music Experience
If you miss the old-style cassette players, this little device from Panasonic may do the trick! It’s not too big, and it looks just like most music players in 90s movies. Moreover, it has a carrying handle, a CD player, and an AM/FM connection.
The front panel features a small display and controls that let you control the music. You’ll also find the USB and other available ports, and the two 2-way 4-speakers that deliver quite the sound power. In terms of quality, the sound is due to the MP3 Re-Master & Sound Virtualizer technology.
Overall, the RX-D55GC-K is a great little boombox that can be controlled from a distance via the included remote!
- Portable & lightweight
- Powerful speakers
- Looks like an old cassette player
- Plays CDs and supports USB devices
- Build quality is not the best
- No Dolby Noise Reduction
- Setup instructions are a bit confusing
One of the Best Bluetooth Boombox
It is compact, lightweight, and supports both Bluetooth 2.1 and NFC connectivity! So, if you need a device that can be carried around to stream music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more, the Sony MAIN-87930 is a fantastic option.
Furthermore, you also get a CD player (at the top) that works with both CD-R and CD-RW discs, including MP3 files. There’s also an integrated AM/FM tuner with 30 stations preset in memory and a USB port that lets you play and record.
The speakers manage to deliver a mega bass boost due to the bass-reflex housing that enhances low-frequency notes, while mid and high-frequency notes are clear and well-represented. Lastly, the boombox offers up to 26 hours of wireless playtime, which is quite impressive!
- Bluetooth and NFC connectivity
- USB play and record features
- A CD player that works with MP3 files
- Powerful bass and large speakers
- Easy to carry around
- Good battery life
- Not too efficient in large rooms
- No rechargeable battery
- No remote control
Pyle Bluetooth Boombox PBMSPG190
The Street Blaster Boombox
If you like throwing parties in the backyard or you want to lift the mood during your future car trips, the Pyle boombox is a great option.
While it is a bit bulky (L x W x H – 24.8’’ x 10.2’’ x 13.6’’), the boombox is designed to be carried around. The materials used are durable and lightweight, and there is a detachable carry belt for easy travel. Furthermore, the ported enclosure design helps amplify bass response even when outdoors.
The boombox supports Bluetooth 2.0 (32 feet range) and can be paired with any Bluetooth device within range. It also has one 3.5 millimeter aux input, one USB slot that can support MP3 files, a radio system to connect to FM, and two ¼ input jacks for microphone or guitar.
Unlike other models we reviewed, the PBMSPG190 comes with a built-in 2000mAh rechargeable battery that powers one 6.5 inch subwoofer and two 2.5-inch speakers. This way, the boombox can achieve full-range stereo sound system reproduction.
We also loved the modern design of this speaker since it features multi-color flashing LED lights that bounce & pulse to the music beat. You also get a digital screen and remote control, so there is no problem setting it up from a distance.
- Modern design with durable materials
- Impressive sound power and clarity
- Fantastic for outdoor parties
- A powerful rechargeable battery
- Supports a wide range of connections
- Can be controlled remotely
- Great value for the money
- Rather big and difficult to move around
- No CD player
- The LED lights can be annoying
- No memory for the settings
Brings Back the Nostalgy of Cassette Players
If you ever plan on recreating the iconic boombox scene from Say Anything, this is the best modern device to use! It’s big and light enough so you can hold it above your head, and it does work with cassettes (if you still have some laying around)!
Even though the 1980s weren’t that long ago, the buttons and overall vintage aspect makes the Victrola VBB-10-SLV look like a treasure from the old ages. And, when you get bored with the cassette player, you can return to modern days and use the USB, SD card, or 3.5mm AUX ports to play any audio you want.
Moreover, the boombox also supports Bluetooth connectivity with up to 33 feet range and a classic AM/FM analog tuner.
- Old school design
- Cassette player and analog radio tuner
- Powerful speakers
- Real switches and dials
- It delivers the classic boombox sound quality
- The build feels a bit flimsy
- Mostly worth it for the nostalgy it brings
The Best Boombox for Modern People
The Sharp GX-BT9X impresses a strong feeling on anyone who loves modern design. The bold curves, big lateral speakers, and sharp corners provide a futuristic look that can’t be ignored.
But there’s more to this boombox than just design! The speakers produce high-performance sound (100W total RMS) with impressive bass power (due to X-Bass technology), which means this bad boy will drive any party!
Moreover, it can be connected with a wide array of wireless devices due to Bluetooth and NFC capabilities. It also features one USB port, one guitar jack, a mic terminal with individual level controls, and audio in port.
- Modern design with quality materials
- LCD screen & LED lights
- Powerful bass and good sound quality
- Portable due to the side carrying handles
- Varied connectivity options
- A bit too bulky to be highly portable
- The batteries aren’t rechargeable
- The price tag is a bit high
The Best CD Boombox for your Nightstand
It is cute and portable, but it looks like it something 80s teenagers would have placed by their bedside to enjoy the latest tunes! As one of the most interesting Bluetooth speakers under $50, the CD-555 model is also a top-loading CD-player, compatible with CD-R/RW discs, that supports A2DP, AVRCP formats.
You also get a programmable FM tuner and the possibility to use it via the Aux 3.5mm port that lets you connect an iPod or MP3 player.
- Cute and compact design
- Controls are analog
- Built-in carrying handle
- X-bass technology for more energy
- The batteries aren’t rechargeable
- Sound quality is not impressive
Sony CFDS70-BLK CD/MP3 Cassette Boombox
Ideal for Remote Locations
If you still have some cassettes laying around the house, this boombox may be the right choice for your needs. It is compact, portable, and works with both cassettes and CDs. It also comes with a built-in AM/FM radio with digital tuning and the 30 preset stations.
The boombox promises to keep going in wireless mode for up to 19 hours, so you can take it outside without worrying it will die on you. Moreover, the cassette tape deck also supports recording, which is a feature that may come in handy at some point.
Lastly, the big speakers and MEGA BASS boost circuitry that enhances low-frequency bass performance, manage to create a pleasant audio experience for everyone. Overall, this Sony boombox is perfect for locations where Internet and TV aren’t reliable services.
- Impressive design
- Good build quality
- Cassette player with recording function
- Analog controls
- AM/FM tuner
- Good sound quality
- Good battery life
- No USB port
- Build quality could have been better
- No rechargeable battery
The Ideal Boombox for a Pool Party
Everyone knows that JBL produces some of the best wireless speakers on the market, but this time they decided to create the modern version of a boombox in their characteristic style.
As such, the JBL boombox can deliver monstrous sound and hard-hitting bass for up to 24hours. This is due to the four active transducers and two JBL bass radiators incorporated in this interesting-looking speaker.
It supports Bluetooth connectivity and is IPX7 waterproof, which makes it perfect for those summer pool parties. Moreover, the 20,000 mAh battery with dual charge out can be used to charge other devices, so it’s the perfect speaker to have on a camping trip!
- Durable build and waterproof design
- Supports two simultaneous BT connections
- Connects with other JBL Connect+ enabled speakers
- Powerful bass and crystal-clear sound quality
- 24h battery life
- It can be used to charge other devices
- It can get very loud
- Price tag is a bit high
- The material shows wear (scratches) very well
- It is rather heavy
AOMAIS AS F5 MINI
Perfect for Outdoor Parties
Equipped with 4 high-performance drivers, two 10W Tweeters, and a professional audio processor, the AS F5 Mini is a very powerful boombox for its size and price.
Furthermore, it is IPX7 waterproof and comes with a cool flashing light with a multi-colored line that can be turned on and off as needed. As such, this is the speaker to consider when you don’t want to carry one that’s heavy and bulky.
One cool feature is that you can connect two speakers to the same device to create a wireless stereo experience and double the volume. Also, it has a built-in microphone for hands-free calling features and connectivity with your favorite voice assistant (Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant or Bixby).
Lastly, the boombox supports Bluetooth 4.2 with 100 feet range, and the 3.7V/5000mAh rechargeable battery is enough to provide you with a lengthy and fun audio experience!
- Solid design and IPX7 rating
- Good sound quality
- Impressive value for the money
- Two devices can connect to the same phone
- Built-in microphone
- Good BT range
- The lights drain the battery faster
- It’s easy to tip it over
- It doesn’t remember lights settings
As you can see from our reviews, modern boomboxes don’t quite resemble the original ones. Still, they manage to bring a nostalgic note while providing an amazing party experience regardless of location. So, whether you want to impress your guests, or you just want to remember the good old days, don’t hesitate to have a look at the products we reviewed!