What Is a Boombox & Why Do I Need One? Tech Tips
Boomboxes laid the foundation for some of the 21st century’s biggest innovations. After all, before the boombox, the idea of a portable electronic music device was far-fetched, to say the least. But what is a boombox, exactly? These products took the 20th century by storm and have since been redesigned for the 21st century (albeit with a modern twist). Here’s everything you need to know about them.
What Is a Boombox?
A boombox is a transistor radio that also plays tapes or CDs. Lots of them have handles, so they can be carried around with ease. Audio is delivered through an amplifier and two or more integrated loudspeakers. Traditionally, many boomboxes were powered by batteries, making them great for listening to music literally anywhere.
A Brief History of the Boombox
The boombox was originally invented in the Netherlands by Philips, following the success of the audio compact cassette player. It was originally made in 1966, although it didn’t become truly popular until the mid-70s.
Boomboxes were remarkable as they allowed listeners to record radio broadcasts and make the classic mix tape without a complicated series of wires and mics. Early versions weren’t great in terms of quality, but it wasn’t long before companies in Japan started producing better more high-tech models. These eventually spread to America by the mid-70s and quickly became popular for their portability and sound quality.
Why Would You Want One Today?
Boomboxes have certainly come a long way over the last 40 or so years. Hipsters love tracking down retro old-school models, while modern music lovers can go for more advanced versions. Some popular 21st-century boomboxes include Bluetooth and some are extremely durable, so you can take them wherever you go.
21st-century boomboxes (with added Bluetooth) are a classic example of retro meets modern technology. Bluetooth lets you stream music from your favorite devices onto your boombox speakers. Two of the most renowned boombox brands are Bush or Sony, and both have started to produce Bluetooth devices.
Most modern boomboxes have rechargeable batteries, like those found in our mobile phones, that can hold a charge for hours. You can also purchase modern, waterproof boomboxes like the ION Audio Plunge, so you don’t need to worry if it gets knocked into the pool. Make sure to check whether your new boombox is waterproof, or just water-resistant, though. The first can work after a full dunking, but the second will only brush off splashes and rain.
Our Top Three Boomboxes
When shopping for a boombox, you should choose one that delivers quality sound with a strong, booming bass. It’s important to think about how and when you might use the boombox. For example, if you'd like to uses it for parties in remote locations, long battery life is key. Take a look at some of our top boombox picks: