Bооmbоxеѕ: How They Work

Boomboxes: How They Work

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The boombox is a great musical device that allows you to listen to your favorite jams anytime and anywhere without having your home stereo around. This device has been around for decades and the manufacturers have always grown with the technological changes and advancements.

The boombox has been modified to suit modern lifestyles and incorporates new technologies for the modern-day user.

How does the boombox work? If you have no knowledge of the functions of this great device, then you will be properly informed by the end of this article as we tell you all you need to know about boomboxes and how they work.

The Boombox

The boombox is used to describe a portable music player that features a cassette tape recorder/player, an AM/FM radio and most recently, a CD player. This device delivers quality sound through an amplifier and integrated loudspeakers. The device is capable of playing already recorded music from cassettes or CDs and also receiving radio stations.

With new technology, many boomboxes are now designed to record onto cassette tapes and CDs from the radio and other external sources. The boombox is designed to be very portable and is powered either by direct current or batteries.

These musical wonders were first introduced to the American market during the mid-1970’s and have been improving in features and design as the desire for more sound and the loud bass increased.

Components of the Boombox

The basic components of a boombox are the loudspeakers (usually two), an amplifier, a radio tuner and a CD player or a cassette component. All these components are housed in a single case made either from plastic or metal. The boombox is usually powered by AC or CD cables with the options for batteries.


As the years went by the boombox became very popular, leading to competition amongst the manufacturers. This has led to many boomboxes with complex designs and functionality.

From the simple music box to a larger box with separate high and low-frequency speakers and a second tape deck, equalizers, balance adjusters, Dolby noise reduction and LED lighting and sound gauges.

From the late 1970’s to mid-1980’s the boombox gained so much popularity amongst young music lovers which caused the demand for more stylish, extravagant boxes. With the increasing popularity and demand for compact discs (CD) in the early 1990’s, it led to the introduction of CD players in the standard boombox design.

Towards the late 1990’s the boombox started changing in design, smaller and more compact designs started flooding the market and the metal cases were rapidly replaced with plastic materials.

The rectangular box and static designs of the boombox models of the 1980’s were replaced with the black sleek plastics and modern designs characterized by curves and bends evolved, kicking out the old models known for their sharp right-angled designs.

The boombox has effectively replaced the cassette player with current MP3 technology, with some advanced boomboxes fitted with satellite radio tuners that can be removed.


The designs of various boomboxes vary greatly in size. The size of a boombox depends on the features and characteristics. Boomboxes with more powerful units require 8 to 10 size D batteries and can measure more than 800 millimeters in width while weighing more than 12 kilograms.

With recent technological developments, the boombox is designed to have less weight and size which increases its portability, without affecting sound quality. The average weight for a regular boombox today is less than 5 kilograms.


Boomboxes vary in their audio quality and sound production. High-end models can provide you with the sound and audio features similar to those found in a home stereo system.

With the improved bass system, the sound quality of boomboxes has been greatly enhanced with proper volume control and balance.

Also, with the rise in popularity of the recordable CD and the sharp decline of audio cassettes, it has led to the inclusion of high-density MP3 players in the design of boomboxes today. It is now very difficult to find high-end boomboxes with dual decked stereo and the dubbing which was popular amongst pirates, audiophiles, bootleggers and enthusiasts, as this is now done through digital means or analog to digital conversions.

The design of the modern boombox now includes a CD player compatible with CD-R and CD-RW. This allows users to compile their own collections of music files conveniently.

This also allows other musical devices such as the iPod and similar devices to be plugged into the boombox by the use of the auxiliary ports. Boomboxes now support Music formats such as MP3 and WMA.


The older boombox designs only allow users to connect to the boombox using cassettes. But with technological advancements, you can now connect other devices to the boombox using many available connections such as USB cables, removable USB drives, slots for various flash memory media such as SD cards, smart media, memory sticks, MMC or even a CD drive that is able to read MP3 files directly from the CD.

This allows for large and handy music storage space and an overall better musical experience.

From 2005 to 2010, new devices emerged with better connectivity using Bluetooth technology or the advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP) to stream audio files to the boombox from a compatible Bluetooth device such as a mobile phone, smartphone and tablets, or even an MP3 player with a Bluetooth connection.

With the modern hi-definition microphone you can even make and receive calls “hands-free” with your boombox while listening to your favorite tunes.


Older boomboxes have no display screen on them; the most you could get was a power indicator that shows if the device was on or not. With modern variations boomboxes now have plenty of display and indicator LED lights.

Some have lights emitting from the buttons, which allows you to effectively use them in the dark, while others have full LCD display panels which allows you to better control the function such as making adjustments to the volume, resolving connections to other devices, and other features of the boombox.

With all these great features fused together in a light, portable device, the boombox is a must have musical device if you desire to always have your favorite tunes playing with great sound quality. The features now make owning a boombox not just a luxury, but an efficient way to enjoy the music in your life.


Hey there, my name is Scott and I am the creator of this site. Being a kid from the 80s, I have a soft spot for boomboxes and want to let everyone know how cool they still are today.

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