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.
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
A Colorful Wireless Karaoke Boombox Bluetooth Speaker
This is a powerful (up to 500 Watt power) BT Boombox speaker that can deliver full-range stereo sound and liven any party. It’s also equipped with large drivers, for thumping bass and soul-piercing performance.
Furthermore, you can use it by the pool or at the beach (it has an IPX5 waterproof rating) and it accepts a wide range of devices. As such, you can connect it with your favorite playlist on your phone (accepts both Android and iPhone), but it also accepts auxiliary input via the 3. 5mm Aux Input, USB drive, or the micro SD port (supports MP3/AMR/WAV/WMA/APE). Lastly, it is also equipped with FM radio.
The speaker can accept voice commands for your favorite voice assistants and can last for up to 6 hours on battery alone (fitted with a solid built-in 7.4V Li-iOn rechargeable battery).
- Powerful bass and full-range surround stereo
- 500-watt peak power / 250W RMS
- IPX5 waterproof rating for use at beach, poolside, or on the boat
- Can be paired with Google Assistant and Siri
- Supports other connections as well
- No remote control
- You can’t turn off the LED lights
- The flash pattern is standard regardless of rhythm
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
Philips Portable Boombox CD Player Bluetooth FM Radio
Classic Boombox Design with Modern Features
If you like the look of a classic boombox and want to enjoy music from several storage formats (like CDs, USB storage devices, and via BT), this is the perfect device! The design is quite stylish and reminds you of the old-style boombox speakers.
It is also portable, although it doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, and can be paired with a phone or tablet via NFC and BT. The boombox accepts CDs and has a digital FM radio module with 20 preset stations.
Overall, the sound is clear and powerful, and it doesn’t get distorted on higher volume levels. Furthermore, due to the built-in stereo headphone jack, you get to enjoy your tunes discreetly, regardless of your location.
- BT and NFC pairing
- Powerful bass due to the Bass Reflex Speaker System
- Can play MP3-CDs, CDs, and CD-R/RW
- Digital FM radio and 20 station presets
- Stereo headphone jack
- Doesn’t have a built-in rechargeable battery
- Could be a bit louder
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
Old-School Boombox with CD and Cassette Player
If you’re looking for an old-school boombox that keeps it real, this product does the job quite nicely. Starting with the design and ending with the CD and cassette player (with the respective mechanical buttons), this device shows users what life used to be like before BT and NFC.
In addition, it has AM/FM radio and works on removable batteries. It is compact, cute, and quite loud (depending on the environmental sound) and it can be a fun companion on a picnic trip. Also, since there are no modern-day modules, you don’t have to worry about patchy connections or your phone’s battery running out.
Just pop in a cassette or CD and keep on living!
- AM/FM radio, CD, and cassette player
- Portable and compact
- LCD display
- Stereo speakers with a metallic grill
- Works with AC power and 6 C batteries (not included)
- No BT connectivity
- The volume could be better
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!