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The 5 Best Boomboxes of 2018 (Reviews & Guide) - Armchair Empire

The 5 Best Boomboxes of 2018 (Reviews & Guide)

Best Budget

jensen cd-490

Editor's Pick

pyle-street-blaster-x

Best Midrange

photive-m90

Thomas Boxtiger

 Thomas Boxtiger​​​ 

 Head Music Editor 

Boomboxes have been around for quite some time, and there are quite literally hundreds of decent choices out there when it comes to buying one.  To help you make a decision, we've put together a list of the best boomboxes available today, followed by a comprehensive buying guide filled with advice, tips, and tricks. Enjoy!


The Top 5 Boomboxes Reviewed

1. Pyle Street Blaster Boombox Stereo Speaker

pyle-street-blaster-x

The Pyle Street Blaster is a powerful stereo designed for outdoor use. It comes with a 1000-watt boombox that uses rechargeable lithium-ion for a decent 5-hour life battery lifespan.

It comes with the standard configuration for the volume, microphone, bass, treble, and guitar volume. It can connect to devices via Bluetooth and NFC connection. An additional feature includes audio recording, LCD display screen, auxiliary audio in-jack, and flashing strobe light LED effects.

Pros

  • Flashy and eye-catching design.
  • Compatible with most smartphone and devices via Bluetooth.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Sound quality tends to deteriorate at max volume.

2. Sony Stereo Cd and Cassette Boombox

sony-CFDS70BLK

When it comes to audio devices, Sony has always been one of the premier brands. The Sony Boombox is an all-in-one portable stereo that features CD, cassette, and MP3 player capabilities. This boombox read CD-R/RW discs which are an important feature considering most CDs today use this type of format.

It features 3.5 mm aux port for external audio sources and a port for headphones as well. It also has an AM and FM tuner for those who want to listen to their local radio stations. This boombox is battery powered and uses 6 C-size batteries.

Pros

  • Great all-around boombox with CD, cassette, MP3 player, and AM/FM radio capabilities.
  • Affordable price.
  • Decent radio signal reception.
  • Bass quality is pretty good.

Cons

  • The plastic exterior feels cheap.
  • Volume is relatively weak.

3. Jensen CD-490 Sports Stereo CD Player

jensen cd-490

If you are looking for something more budget-friendly, I would suggest you take a look at the Jensen Sports Stereo CD Player boombox. This comes with the standard top-loader design for its CD player and is compatible with CD-R/RW discs.

It comes with an AM/FM receiver, a good quality telescopic antenna, headphone jacks, auxiliary input jacks for smartphones and other digital audio players, and a programmable memory. It is powered by 6 C-size batteries.

Pros

  • Affordable price tag.
  • Decent speaker quality for the price.
  • Lightweight and compact design.
  • Plays CDs quite well.

Cons

  • Overall durability is not as good as you would expect.

4. Toshiba Portable Wireless CD Boombox Speaker

toshiba-wireless-bluetooth-boombox

The Toshiba Portable CD Boombox comes with both a top-loader CD player and Bluetooth connectivity for a wider range of the audio source.

This boombox also comes with a decent Am and FM radio receiver functionality, 3.55 mm auxiliary input, USB port connectivity, and SD card port. One nifty little design inclusion that customers will enjoy is the disco LED strobe effect that will undoubtedly be a nice feature for parties.

Pros

  • Sound quality is pretty good considering the affordable price tag.
  • Radio capabilities are clear and easy to use.
  • Solid Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Good quality CD player.

Cons

  • Audio quality takes a noticeable dip when the volume is cranked to maximum.
  • Larger than other portable boomboxes.

5. Photive M90 Portable Bluetooth Boombox

photive-m90

The Photive M90 Bluetooth Boombox is designed for portability and it definitely shows at first glance. The compact and lightweight design perfectly hides a powerful 20W output. This 20W power output is further enhanced but the acoustic drivers combined with a passive subwoofer and amplifier to produce high-quality bass frequencies.

The M90 is also constructed amazingly well and is a shockproof and waterproof boombox designed for outdoor use. The battery life of the M90 boombox clocks in at around 10 hours from a single charge.

Pros

  • Long battery life.
  • Provides 20W power which is enhanced by built-in acoustic drivers.
  • Sound quality is consistent.

Cons

  • The extra durability comes at the price of added bulk.

2018 Buying Guide

Introduction

The boombox is a classic stereo system that has surprisingly withstood the test of time. It has evolved throughout the years which is why it managed to stay relevant even with the advent of extremely compact and portable music device.

Basically, boomboxes offer the sound quality and power of home system stereos with the portability of modern Mp3 players. It is a power contained within a compact frame and is designed to be brought anywhere you want. It can definitely add some enjoyment to outdoor activities such as picnics or while playing games.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this all-time classic portable stereo you have come to the right place. This buying guide will give you all the important factors to consider as well as a shortlist of the best-rated boomboxes in the market at the moment.

Types of Boomboxes

First, let us go through the various iterations and types of boomboxes. Each of these boomboxes utilizes technologies from different generations.

As you will see, the boombox has evolved with the times which is why it has stayed relevant even after decades of its initial release. Now then, let us take a peek at the different version of boomboxes, shall we?

The Cassette and CD Boombox

 If you have a treasure trove of CDs and cassette tapes at home one option you can take to make sure it all does not go to waste is by getting a boombox. Of course, you can use a cassette to MP3 converter but if you also want to go old-school then a CD and cassette boombox is an affordable solution as well.

You can still find boomboxes that have the CD and cassette combo feature at certain electronics stores. If you will be buying one, I suggest you get a boombox that can play CD-R/RW formatted discs. This allows you to listen to rewritable CDs. You can also get boomboxes that have a multi-CD feature which allows you to load a couple CDs for continuous play.

Docking Station Boombox

A great solution for those who generally listen to music via their smartphone or MP3 player. A docking station boombox is basically a speaker and charging station for your smartphone.

You connect your smartphone to the boombox which then allows you to play music using the powerful stereo. It also doubles as a charging station which is extremely convenient.

Wireless Boombox

This is the most common boombox on the market today. As the name suggests, it is a wireless boombox that connects to other devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This allows the user to play every single music in their smartphone directly from the wireless boombox without the need to physically connect the devices.

It is easy to use and anyone with a Bluetooth device or in your Wi-Fi network can use this boombox as well.

Satellite Radio Boombox

This is basically a docking station designed for use with a satellite radio. If you are going to get this type of boombox, I advise you make sure that the boombox is compatible with your satellite radio system.

Boombox for Kids

This type of boombox is designed specifically for younger music lovers. They are lighter, more compact, and comes in a variety of fun and bright colors that usually incorporate recognizable pop culture characters.

This boombox comes in all forms as well; you can find one that has the cassette and CD combo player or wireless ones for digital files like MP3s.

Choosing A Boombox

Looking for the right boombox is relatively simple, given of course you know what you are looking for. In that regard, I have listed some important aspects to look for when you are shopping for a boombox.

Read the checklist below to help you track down the best boombox that will fit your need:

Compatibility – This is the most important and should be the first factor you check if you are getting the current docking station boombox. You have to make sure that the boombox and your smartphone is compatible with each other.

Durability – Boomboxes are often used outdoors, with that said, always check to see if the construction of the boombox is designed to withstand more than a couple bumps and impacts. It needs to be sturdy enough to survive a decent fall. Of course, you should handle your boombox with care but you never know what could happen when you are outside. Better be safe than sorry.

Power Output – I highly recommend that you choose boomboxes that provide at least 5 to 10 watts per channel. This guarantees that the speaker will have more than enough power to produce decent volume when outdoors.

Speakers – I would also suggest you choose boomboxes that utilize detachable speakers. This gives you more flexibility when it comes to sound separation and is an ideal feature if you will be using the boombox inside the house.

Connectivity – With modern technology focusing on wireless features, you should get a boombox that is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth ready. This gives you more option as to what other devices can be connected to your boombox.

Antenna Strength – If you will be listening to radio stations you should look for a boombox that has a high rating in terms of antenna strength. Having one with above average antenna strength guarantees you will be able to pick up most, if not all, radio stations available.

Maintenance Tips

Of course, one sure way to make sure your boombox stays in tip-top condition for a long period of time is via proper maintenance.

Below are some tips for maintaining the quality of your boombox and lower the risk of it breaking down.

  1. Follow the instructions and guidelines written in the manufacturer manual.
  2. Keep magnets away from the boombox. Magnets can damage speakers.
  3. When cleaning the CD lens, use cotton swabs with ethanol.
  4. Do not leave your boombox at the mercy of natural elements. Keep it away from the liquid material as well.
  5. When cleaning the exterior, use a slightly damp cloth.
  6. If possible, avoid playing your boombox at maximum volume which may cause the speakers to deteriorate faster.
  7.  Use compressed air to clean the speaker grills.

Conclusion

Boomboxes never really did go out of style. It's easy to see why it managed to remain relevant throughout the years.

Their adaptability is one major component of the longevity boomboxes have seen. For music lovers, a boombox is almost a necessity in order to bring home stereo level quality audio with them anywhere.

Hopefully, this article has helped shed some light as to what factors you need in order to land on the best boombox to suit your style.

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