The sleek, portable design and the fact that it's waterproof makes this boombox perfect for outdoor use. Stands out for its 24-hour battery life and ability to plug your device into it to charge. Great bass output and crystal highs.
A bit pricier than similar products.
Compact and modern design. Plays CDs, FM radio, and Bluetooth-connected devices. Impressive bass. Affordable. Headphone jack. Carrying handle. Available in several colors.
Unable to pick up AM radio stations.
Features 4 quality surround sound speakers. Built in cassette player, CD player, AM/FM radio with digital tuner, and MP3 player. Convenient fold-down handle. Balanced sound.
A little pricey, but it includes plenty of great features.
Affordable. Built-in AM/FM radio and CD player. Compact. Simple LCD display. Includes auxiliary jack for playing music from smartphones and other devices. Available in several colors.
May not be able to read some CDs.
Offers a 2.1 speaker configuration with dual rear-firing bass ports and EQ settings. Strong and sturdy design built to be taken out and about. Features a rugged rubber base to prevent wear. Built-in rechargeable battery with six-hour life.
Some users report it doesn't hold charge if it has not been used for a few months.
The boombox is back! The relic from the 1980s has made a comeback with modern music fans, breathing new life into digital music collections – and it’s picked up a few other modern upgrades along the way. If you’re looking to pump some tunes in your backyard, at events, or even at the beach, it’s time to revisit the classic stereo.
At BestReviews, we’re on a mission to provide the trusted reviews and product insights you need to make wise purchases.
Read our shopping guide for boomboxes to get a sense of the options and features available. Then, when you’re ready to start shopping, check out our most recommended models in the table above.
The boomboxes of the 80s never had compact disc players – they came with cassette decks and FM radios. But when CDs took off as a format, CD boomboxes did too, bringing digital music to the classic form factor. Thankfully, most modern boomboxes still include CD players. Here’s why that’s a big deal.
CDs play uncompressed digital audio. There’s no way around it: the audio quality from a CD is superior to the common compressed audio formats of today, such as MP3s. If you’re a music purist, or if you just want to hear your music with the highest quality possible, get a boombox with a CD player.
Boomboxes have come a long way in the last 40 years, and many models include useful modern conveniences. Here are the ones we love the most.
Bluetooth: Most boomboxes support the most straightforward method of connecting to your phone: Bluetooth. With a Bluetooth connection, you can stream from any audio source on your phone or tablet – whether that’s Spotify, Pandora, TIDAL, or even your personal music collection – directly to your boombox.
Water resistance: If you plan to take your boombox to the beach, or even if you just want to keep it poolside, get one that’s water resistant. Water-resistant boomboxes are just plain durable: they can typically withstand a decent amount of abuse in addition to the occasional spill or splash, so getting a waterproof model is never a bad investment.
Built-In subwoofers: This is where boomboxes mop the floor with the competition in the portable speaker category. Many boomboxes include bona fide subwoofers that crank out a window-rattling amount of bass. If you need to have excellent bass, get a proper boombox.
While there’s no such thing as a “smart boombox” – yet, anyway – boomboxes can be a terrific addition to any smart home setup when paired with a digital assistant like Amazon’s Echo or Google Home. When paired with a digital assistant, you can use your boombox for things like the following.
Streaming music: The speakers on your boombox will likely sound much better than your digital assistant’s built-in speaker. If you’re ready to use voice commands to call up your favorite tunes and then hear them through your boombox speakers, pick up a model with an auxiliary port so you can easily connect it to your digital assistant.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a solid boombox. But if you do, there are some perks that may make it worth the money for you. Here’s what to expect when looking at boombox price tags.
Between $50 and $74, you’ll find adequate models from both name brands and no-name companies. Boomboxes in this price range are competent with the basics, but they aren’t likely to include perks like Bluetooth or a subwoofer. If you need a boombox that will get the job done (but not much else), don’t spend more than $75.
Between $75 and $149, expect to see the best values and the strongest performers. Models in this price range strike a good compromise between features, sound quality, and price. Unless you’re an audiophile, or you absolutely need the latest and greatest tech, you won’t need to spend more than this.
Before buying a boombox, consider these tips.
If you expect to carry your boombox with you places, buy one with a shoulder strap. Even the lightest boombox can be tough to carry around after a while. Some boombox models include a shoulder strap, so you can carry them across your back, keeping your hands free. Consider how portable you want your boombox to be, and buy a model with a shoulder strap if you’ll use it. Your muscles will thank you later.
If your boombox takes C or D batteries, always keep a spare set around. Most boomboxes don’t have battery life indicators, so you never know exactly when the music will die. Many boomboxes support bigger batteries you can find anywhere, so keep a spare set around and always be prepared to keep the party going.
Q. How long will my boombox last before it needs new batteries or a re-charge?
A. It depends. Most boomboxes that use C or D batteries will last anywhere from six to 12 hours on a single set. Boomboxes with internal lithium-ion batteries typically last much longer on a single charge – up to 24 hours on some models.
Q. Can I use a streaming music service with a boombox?
A. You can if you’re supplying the music with a smartphone or tablet. Boomboxes don’t typically have WiFi, so they rely on you to have a device they can connect to. If you have a device and a streaming service subscription, it’s easy to connect to a boombox and enjoy your music in high fidelity.
Q. How heavy are boomboxes?
A. The typical boombox weighs between five and seven pounds. Models with bigger speakers and more powerful subwoofers can weigh up to 15 pounds.
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