Many people think boomboxes are relics of the past, but that’s simply not true. In fact, as tech has grown more advanced, they’ve actually gone from strength to strength. Whether you’re in an area without phone signal or you just want to play music louder than most speakers allow, a boombox is a great choice.
The first step is choosing the right boombox for you. There are a lot of low-quality products on the market, after all. To help out, we’ve found some the best boomboxes around and separated them by price range. Take a look below to see our recommended products.
Top 10 Boomboxes For 2019
|Best Budget Boombox||Jensen CD-490 Sport||Yes|
|Best Mid-Range Boombox||Sony CFDS70BLK||Yes|
|Best Premium Boombox||Aiwa Exos-9||No|
|Editor’s Pick||AXESS PB2704||No|
Now, before you go rushing into a decision, there are a few things you should know. Below, we’ll try to address some of the main concerns you might have about boomboxes. This will help you better understand what you’re buying, and save you from buyer’s regret down the line.
Are Boomboxes Still Relevant?
When most people picture a boombox, they imagine a huge, boxy product with a cassette deck. While some still include these, more modern boomboxes come with CD players, auxiliary inputs to connect iPods or amplifiers to, and sometimes even USB ports.
Much like vinyl, boomboxes are making a comeback. People enjoy the simplicity of them, and when coupled with the sheer output some models have, they can really help liven up a party. Don’t believe us? Connect a subwoofer and see if your phone speakers could do a better job.
Boomboxes VS Bluetooth Speakers
There is one simple difference between boomboxes and Bluetooth speakers: boomboxes don’t usually have Bluetooth capabilities. However, most Bluetooth speakers lack the raw power and distinctive sound profile that boomboxes have. So when should each be used?
A Bluetooth speaker is fine for a small gathering where you don’t necessarily want music to be too loud. If you’re outside, however, you’d be far better suited to a boombox – the volume becomes less of a problem, and the neighbors are less likely to complain
Best Budget Boombox
We’ll open with the least expensive boomboxes. Now, it’s important to note that a low price doesn’t always correspond to low quality. Don’t take our word for it, just check out the products below and see for yourself.
Jensen CD-490 Sport
Starting off, we have the Jensen CD-490 Sport. This is a slick looking red and black boombox with a price of around $35. As you might expect, it’s fairly compact. Despite its small size, however, it’s more than capable of producing very loud audio. So what kind of functionality does it have?
Well, all the usual suspects are here. There’s a CD player, as well as an AM/FM radio. You can choose to program in specific stations if you’d like, which allows you reach them with the press of a button. There’s also an auxiliary jack so you can connect your phone or whichever device you like. A headphones jack is also available if you’d prefer.
All in all, the Jensen CD-490 provides decent performance given its low price. It’s certainly loud enough for most occasions, and we particularly liked the modern design. This model proves boomboxes don’t have to look old-fashioned.
If you’re looking for the most portable boombox around, look no further than the Magnavox MD6923. This model costs around $30 and features two 0.8W RMS speakers. It’s absolutely tiny, at just 8.5” tall and 8” wide. Now, what would make it even better?
How about a CD player that plays not just store-bought, but home-made disks? How about a programmable AM/FM radio that makes it easy to find your favorite station in no time at all? What if we told you this model could run either on mains power or batteries? That’s pretty good, right?
This boombox provides a good balance between versatility and raw, floor-shaking bass. It’s loud enough for parties, but likely won’t be enough for larger, outdoor gatherings. Still, if your budget is extremely tight, this model is one of the best around.
Let’s close this category by examining the Memorex Boombox. This one costs just under $30 and comes with a CD player and AM/FM radio built-in. Like the others we’ve seen so far, it’s programmable. It can be powered either from an outlet or with six C batteries, which aren’t included.
We liked that this model forgoes the flashy appearance in order to focus on providing the highest quality audio possible. The inclusion of an auxiliary jack is a welcome one, although there’s no headphone jack available. So is this the perfect low-cost boombox?
Almost. We found that the radio tuner dial was a little sensitive, which made it hard to lock onto a particular station. That said, it’s a small complaint for a product with such a low price tag. In every other aspect, we were suitably impressed, making this one of the best budget models around.
Best Mid-Range Boombox
If your budget has a bit more wiggle room, you might be interested in a boombox with a little extra oomph. The following products are an excellent middle-ground between price and functionality. They provide the best of both worlds while avoiding the drawbacks of low-end and high-end systems.
The Sony CFDS70BLK costs around $50 and offers everything you could need: a programmable radio, CD player, and even a tape deck so you can record straight from the radio, like in the old days. Combined with a retro design, this model appeals to people who were around when boomboxes were first popular.
So what else did we like about this product? Well, it comes with a bass boost button. You can power it with batteries too, for up to 19 hours of playback. That’s not half bad! There’s also an auxiliary jack so you can connect your more modern devices and use this system as a speaker.
The CFDS70BLK is capable of playing homemade CDs, making it ideal for music enthusiasts who haven’t gotten round to digitizing their collections yet. In many ways, this product emulates all the things that made boomboxes popular initially, but without many of their flaws.
Simply put, it’s one of the most powerful speakers around. It has a 2.1 speaker setup and believe us, you’ll feel the bass the second you turn it on. There’s even a selection of EQ presets to choose from in case the default sound profile isn’t to your liking. There’s one more thing we found very appealing, however.
This product has a very rugged design, making it resistant to the inevitable bumps and shocks it’ll experience. Further, it has a rechargeable battery with around six hours of life. For a product that costs around $80, this is exceptional value.
Lastly, in this category, we have the Pyle PBMSPG190, another boombox/speaker hybrid. It costs just under $100 and features a bold design with color-changing LED lights and metal mesh panels. There’s a rechargeable battery built-in, but how’s its connectivity?
Well, there’s Bluetooth, a USB port, headphones, 2 1/4” and auxiliary jacks, and an FM radio. The sound quality is excellent, thanks to the twin 2.5” speakers and 6.5” subwoofer. One thing’s for sure: if you like your music loud, this is the model you need to get. Remote control operation makes changing tracks in a busy setting particularly simple.
The only issue with this product is that the FM radio reception isn’t great. It’s far better suited to playing music from a connected device. Still, if the radio isn’t important to you, this may be one of the best products on the market right now.
Best Premium Boombox
Okay, so you’ve got a little more money to spend. However, as your budget increases so too does the risk of buying something flashy looking that doesn’t actually do what you need. To prevent this, we’ve identified some of the best premium boomboxes and listed them below.
Take the Aiwa Exos-9, for instance. This is a big speaker for people who won’t accept tinny, quiet music. It boasts a 6.5”, dual-coil subwoofer, two 3” speakers, and two 1” tweeters for the best, most balanced sound profile around. That’s all well and good, but what can you connect to it?
Really, any device that has Bluetooth compatibility or a headphones jack will work. There’s no radio or CD player included, but this is a small price to pay. You can also choose to add extra speakers if you’d like, for truly memorable experiences.
This speakers supports NFC connections and comes with a rechargeable battery offering up to nine hours of music. There’s also a one-year warranty and 60-day money back guarantee so you can get a full refund if it doesn’t live up to your high expectations. If all your music is digital and you like it loud, choose the Exos-9.
Let’s not forget the Sony ZSRS60BT. This product is a boombox that has it all: programmable radio, CD player, Bluetooth, NFC, and auxiliary jack. This is pretty good considering the unit costs less than $100! More importantly, though, is the sound profile. So how does this product hold up?
Very well indeed. This boombox uses dual 2W speakers to provide thumping bass without isolating or muddying the treble at all. Better still, you can expect up to 26 hours of battery life, although playing from a CD or over Bluetooth will reduce this to some degree.
In all honesty, the only thing this boombox is missing is a remote control. This would have made it perfect, but it’s not a massive problem. After all, the two most important things are sound quality and connectivity, two things this model has in spades.
We’ll close this category off with the Panasonic RX-D55GC-K. For a little more than $100, you could have a boombox with a radio, CD, player, tape deck, USB port, and remote control operation. It has four speakers, with around 10W RMS output. How does it sound, though?
Believe it or not, the sound quality is exceptional. Many boomboxes focus primarily on bass, and while this model does accentuate the lower frequencies, the mid-range and treble come through crisp and clear. As such, this model is well-suited to performances or situations where high audio quality is necessary.
There are a couple of compromises though. There’s no way to run this product from batteries, and it doesn’t look particularly stylish. This may not be an issue for you, though, since it relies heavily on personal preference. Either way, this is a versatile product and we highly recommend it.
In this section, we decided upon a boombox that will be suitable for most users while providing a high level of audio quality. It was a tough decision, but we eventually chose the AXESS PB2704 – a futuristic red and black model that retails for around $50
This boombox has an AM/FM radio, CD player, USB port, aux input, and, surprisingly, even a slot for an SD card. This is something none of the other products in our list has and really speaks to the flexibility of this product. Simply, there are very few situations where this boombox wouldn’t work.
Audio comes across very well and can be turned up very loud. That said, it may not be suitable for large outdoor gatherings, due to its relatively small speakers. We did like that it offered the ability to use either mains power or batteries, though.
Electrician and DIY specialist Justin deleted his own successful tech blog to write expert product reviews and buying guides together with his friend Robert.