10 Best Boomboxes in 2021

The boom box is a beast dispersing bass in a compact bundle, based on their retro ancestors who saw their peak success in the early eighties. As we explore the 10 best boomboxes in 2020, we have collected some of the best new reincarnations to study.

It was not long after transistor radios, tape cassette players, and CD players were born that we saw them becoming as compact and lightweight as a Walkman tape cassette that was almost palm-sized. Nevertheless the drive for better bass meant that there was a 'time of mullets and perms' between which were better portable players that were larger.

Business-suitcase sizes were the typical ghetto-blaster and many a 'cool-kid' lugged one over one shoulder like a log of lumberjacks. Fortunately, in modern times, cutting edge audio-electronic advances have allowed us to place loudspeakers in smaller enclosures using mathematical formulas to produce bass in a small space that is more flawless than ever before.

View The Best Boombox Below

1. JBL Waterproof

A Bluetooth-enabled carry-around option from JBL's range of waterproof wireless speakers is first on our list. For their superb water-resistance, impressive battery life and link up possibilities, we have reviewed some of the range before. This package aims to cope with heavier bass in the lower frequency range and its 4 active transducers along with dual bass radiators offer optimised sound at maximised volume levels.


They have the same JBL Connect+ capabilities that allow them to connect for extra amplification and surround sound to more than 100 other JBL speaker designs. With preset equalisation settings, they have indoor and outdoor modes that can be conveniently switched between at the touch of a button.

They have a 24-hour life and charge through USB and are IPX7-certified, which means they are sufficiently waterproof. They are able to simultaneously attach to 2 devices and recognise previously paired devices.

The design is very sturdy but lightweight, making it simple to carry and extremely durable.

Pros:

  • + Wonderful battery life.
  • + Modern comforts.
  • + Splendid drums.
  • + Durable compilation.

Why We Liked It :On the JBL outdoor wireless cables, we love the 2 separate listening modes and the link-up functionality. With a widely spread presence, the outdoor environment offers punchy bass. In the premium modules, the standard of quality is top-notch and each has been carefully engineered and carefully crafted to be absolutely waterproof, IPX 7 is basically as good as it gets.

2. Sharp GX-BT9X

The GX-BT9X is about half the price of the JBL and some pretty impressive specs are still offered. It is compatible with Bluetooth, too, allowing users to stream from a variety of paired devices. It has a solid build and with its driver and enclosure design, also features bass enhancement technology.

It is side shooting, and for a distortion-free listening experience, the Bass X optimizations raise the bass frequencies and fight cancellations.

It is battery-operated, but it doesn't recharge, so the best alternative in the long run will be to invest in a package along with a charger.

In addition to the USB, it has a nifty range of inputs, you can attach a mic and guitar to this one, making it a perfect boombox travel amplifier choice for musicians who liked to bust out a few tunes in the park.

Pros:

 

  • Capabilities + Wireless.
  • + Switch bass boost.
  • + Durably made.
  • + Interesting choices for feedback.

Why We Liked It:Although it does not have the JBL boombox's waterproof technology, it offers well-driven bass that is not lost in an outside space and will not set you back half as much. We like the inputs of the mic and jack, which basically give it mini-amp capabilities.

3. Jensen CD-555

We will next compare a few side-by-side Jensen CD versions, the first being the 555, which is a lightweight compact cuboid CD player. It is much more affordable and comes in a variety of colours that are fashionable. The CD player is top-loaded and is compatible with CD-R/RW.

It has auxiliary inputs for direct communication to iPods and MP3 players and has integrated Bluetooth networking, as well as FM radio, making it functionally diverse.

With its front-mounted x-bass button, it also benefits from a bass boosting feature and offers excellent audio for outdoor use at loud enough volumes.

Again, it will need batteries, and figuring out a rechargeable package appropriate for it with its own charger is more practical for long-term usage.

Pros:

  • + Boost button for bass.
  • + Wide function set.
  • + Choice for low rates.
  • + CD/Radio/MP3.

Why We Liked It :It is pretty trendy and up-to-date, despite being designed for an older technology, it has an enticing price tag and is easy to drag around. The selection of I/O links makes it excellent value for money and while it does not have some of the premium components of the more expensive boombox options we highlight today, it is extremely capable of a cheaper piece.

4. Jensen CD-575

The 575 is now another Jensen stock CD player that is a limited edition model, priced less than ten dollars more than the 555 cube. The extra cash will get you a built-in starter rechargeable battery that saves some faffing around.

Like older typical models, it is a much larger CD player in general, except for its angles and edges that offer a sleek contemporary face-lift, making it look more modern. It is sold as a boombox for sports and we believe it is well suited to a gym class boom.

With its on-board Bluetooth, its auxiliary inputs, and radio feature, which is AM as well as FM responsive in contrast, it has all the multi-functions of the first we looked at it.

All controls are top-mounted around the disc compartment, so the design makes it possible to devote speaker space to the entire front. It features a large wrap-around grille and houses a set-up series of loudspeakers that provide rich full-range sound. The very capable bass drivers remove distortion and the audio is spread in a wider radius by the curved open 130 degree front.

Despite being a lot more bulky than some of its rivals, it has a powerful handle and is easily portable.

Pros:

  • + Variety of positions.
  • + Set-up of loudspeaker.
  • + Maximum Sound Spectrum.
  • + Connectivity wireless.
  • + Rechargeable battery built-in

Why We Liked It :The built-in battery is a major bonus, as keeping track of disposable batteries is a hassle, as well as less environmentally friendly. It is a great CD playing boombox option. For someone teaching a class in several areas, this is a perfect go-to boombox because it is easy to lug around and has a great tone.

5. Omnigates Aeon

If you're on the smaller side after something and you don't need to play CD's, then the Aeon boombox could be your model. It is made like a wall, basically brick-shaped and comes with a clip in the style of a heavy-duty carabineer to suspend it. Despite its robust industrial look, it is reasonably lightweight and can be worn over your person if desired.

It delivers shocking volume levels and great audio clarity with awesome bass with its dual 5W speakers. It features ultra-wide cones with more vibration space and a structure that helps to remove any unnecessary reverberations that can distort the bass.

Thanks to its updated 4.2 Bluetooth communication features, its built-in microphone, and its micro SD card reader, it is ideal for a wide range of applications. It is IPX6 approved, so it is waterproof enough to be used outdoors and on the go. It offers 10 hours of battery life with a charging period of approximately 3 hours from empty to complete.

Pros:

  • + Cordless.
  • + Strong battery life with rechargeable capacity.
  • + Mini reader for SD cards.
  • + Incredibly compact scale.

Why We Liked It :It is extremely compact, one of the smallest choices in the product reviews selected today. It's well made and has an affordable price, decent Bluetooth compatibility, and can even free up your hands to clip to your belt loop.

6. Panasonic RX-D55GC-K

This CD player/boombox by Panasonic is another more traditional boombox model from a business that has been around long enough to perfect its audio electronic engineering skills.

It is a wonderful 2-way class alternative that provides a variety of applications once again. Now, although it does not boast the Bluetooth features that other models might have incorporated, it can stream through its USB music port and auxiliary inputs. It has AM and FM radio, a top-loading CD player, and a host of on-board controls, including a sound visualizer and remaster feature.

Thanks to their directional nature, the 4 speakers (10 watts per channel) work in unison to provide full-range sound with great depth and dynamics with a stereo surround sound feel. Even at high outputs, they handle bass efficiently and are distortion free.

For simplified user interfacing, it comes with a remote control and is fairly priced because it performs very highly in its class.

Pros:

  • + Compact and lightweight.
  • + 2-way class drivers with high results.
  • + Uses selection.
  • + Visualizer with complex sound.
  • + Price affordable.
  • + Brand trustworthy.

Why We Liked It:This CD player/boombox has a range of input options that still make it a highly versatile piece of equipment, despite not being fitted with Bluetooth communication capabilities. Panasonic are at the top of their game and this is a portable CD player that is incredibly well built and produced.

7. Victrola VBB-10-SLV

We have a real old-school choice for grabs here that is still packed with some cutting edge comforts. Without being too oversized, the VBB model from Victrola has an iconic 80's vibe.

To play your mix-tapes, it features a cassette player. It has radio frequency receivers for AM and FM and an LED display with a digital clock. It has a classic retro theme, but it is also capable of Bluetooth wireless streaming as well as direct play from USB/SD and other auxiliary devices.

The 2-way setup helps provide good audio with a wide range, with a larger cone surface area and neodymium magnets used the drivers feature cutting-edge bass boosting technology. They are very efficient and true to the sound created by crisp highs and spacious lows at either end of the spectrum.

It is inexpensive and can otherwise be powered by AC, requiring batteries that are not included.

Pros:

  • + Player with tape cassette.
  • + Bluetooth-Activated.
  • + USB and SD Card Reader.
  • + Class 2-way.
  • + Drivers with high results.
  • + Terrific bass.

Why We Liked It:It is the ideal mix of technology-gone-by and new product evolution, and we love the retro character of this model. It provides excellent audio and is packed with some fantastic features and is also sitting just above the hundred dollar mark at a very fair price which makes it good value for money.

8. Sony Compact

So after looking at Panasonic's boombox, we have to look at what Walkman's makers, Sony, are serving up at a similar level. The top rivals of the original Phillips boomboxes that began being manufactured nearly 4 decades ago were Panasonic and Sony.

This portable CD player is once again a wired AC driven model without the Bluetooth bells and whistles on offer, but thanks to its bass reflexive enclosure design and Mega-Bass feature, it serves up some mighty, meaty bass. There is a warm richness to the stereo sound and the lows are hard-hitting.

It provides a range of input options through its auxiliary jack audio input from the physical CD and tape cassette decks to the digital MP3. It can be powered by C batteries that are not suitable for moving around, but because of its larger frame, it is fairly lightweight. For private listening, it also has a headphone auxiliary output.

It is well designed and much lighter than previous models and it sells with a few main goodies such as a CD lens cleaning disc, disc cleaning fluid, buffer, and much more as a package purchase.

Pros:

+ input on CD, tape, and MP3.
+ Durably made.
+ Bass-Mega.
+ Purchase kit.
+ Good money value.

Why We Liked It :It's a nice mix of modern and outdated technology designed by a reputable brand, we like you can record from CD or radio to cassette tape, and particularly given its smaller footprint, it has pretty good bass capabilities.

9. JENSEN CD-490

Before we start to draw a close to our reviews section, we are heading back to the Jensen CD range. Slightly cheaper than the other Jensen models we tested, the 490 model is. It provides its front-facing angled dual speakers with rich thick dynamic audio. They work to create well-balanced wide-range audio and give it a smiling bug-eyed look that is kind of adorable in their oval form. With contrasting highlights, the players come in a variety of vivid pearly colours.

Once again, it has a top loading disc compartment and top-mounted on-board controls, like the other two we tested. It is CD-R/RW compatible and fits with AC mains or 8 batteries, which are not included.

It has an auxiliary input for listening to all your MP3s, and an auxiliary output for attaching your headphones and accessing AM and FM radio stations once again. With its very durable fold-away handle, it is lightweight and easy to bring around.

Pros:

  • Simple to run choice + bare bones.
  • + Lightweight but resilient.
  • + MP3/Radio/CD.
  • + Lowest-priced item in ratings today.

Why We Liked It:It's a good no frills CD player with a high-volume MP3 player link that won't break the bank. It is comfortably compact and easy to use.

10. Studebaker SB2145B

Our reviews are rolled up with another futuristic model that has the aesthetics of a true boombox of the eighties. It is briefcase-sized and features a wide array of mod-cons.

It is a portable (front-loading) CD player which accepts CD-R/RW. It features iPods and headphones with an FM analogue radio and auxiliary I/O. Bluetooth integration and its LED display provide a visual for the equalisation are some of its more current capabilities.

The integrated 5W stereo speakers are made up of premium components and feature neodymium magnets. The drivers are hard-working and can handle high and low-end delegations effortlessly with a large frequency response produced by a breeze. The mids have clear definition, and even when listening to the radio, the vocals have great clarity. To maximise the bass and keep it noise-free, the speakers are improved.

It has a rechargeable battery built-in with extensive battery life and is powered by AC/DC. With its extra-heavy-duty handle, it is very well made and easy to carry.

Pros:

  • + Capabilities for Bluetooth
  • + Rechargeable battery built in.
  • + Great standard of building.
  • + Style influenced by Retro.
  • + Fun visualisations with LED.

Why We Liked It :It looks very good and the bass is amazing. We like the EQ visualisation that adds to its vibe, has a variety of applications, and some of the best in its class is the music.

Boombox Buyers Guide

What to look for when buying a Boombox?

Despite their original stature, boomboxes were initially designed to take your music into consideration on the go. You are only looking for 3 main ingredients, a small size, a lightweight and good battery life to make anything appropriate for this purpose.

With regard to its mod-cons, such as Bluetooth and waterproofing, the market is riddled with items that seek to tick all three boxes and then battle for bonus points on top.

The consistency of the components used can be decreased by some of the ways they manage to minimise size and weight, such as exchanging heavy duty materials for cheaper, lighter plastics and other synthetics. Depending on your line of thinking, this can be seen as both harmful and beneficial to the product. The plastic would be less robust, but therefore less cumbersome, minimising the model's manufacturing costs, which helps to minimise the selling price without losing the most critical components.

Occasionally, in the attempt to undercut rivals, the more important pieces can be substandard, which is certainly something you want to be able to prevent. If you are buying a budget option, it is always best to go with a trusted brand because they have well-established manufacturing lines and can reduce production costs somewhere on such a large scale so that their consumers really reap the benefits.

By design, the majority of boomboxes have battery options, but some have more convenient built-in batteries which recharge between uses, as you would have seen from our cross-section of models, and this is ultimately better. Some of the rechargeable batteries last longer than others, but if the price gap is a real jump between 8 hours and 12, ask yourself if you really need to run it for those long periods and save money for yourself.

Apart from their portable existence, the other big attraction is their bass quality, the hint I guess is in the name because their listeners like their bass booming.

Usually we use dedicated woofers and subwoofer for better bass, which have much larger cones, which are rigid yet versatile enough to respond to electrical low-frequency signals.

It can be hard to serve up distortion-free bass with a good volume in a smaller speaker set-up. Therefore the design principle must include techniques to minimise and fight distortion-preventing wave cancellation. In order to improve driver output, the speaker enclosure may also have to use a port or vent.

Conclusion

Finding one that is retro or contemporary to suit your needs should not be a daunting task if a modern boombox tickles your fancy. You need to find one that is lightweight and compact, which has the best quality components and bass enhancing advances within your allocated budget, to summarise our buyer guide advice.

You might be wise to look at a more modern incarnation with waterproofing techniques used in its construction if you plan to use it outdoors a lot. In this day and age, boomboxes are capable of quite a lot of functions, so consider the flexibility and balance it against your needs.

Expert Tip

We suggest you set at least a few hundred bucks aside for your boombox purchase if you really like it noisy and enjoy the quality of audio you listen to.

Did You Know?

They were also the creative inventor behind the first ever audio compact tape, while tape cassettes sounded bad before Dolby put a finger in the pie, Phillips created the first boombox model. In Japan in the early 70's, they then gained attention and were brought to America by the end of the decade.