In the park, on the subway, or even in school hallways, boomboxes were status symbols among young audio aficionados from the late 1970s through the 1990s. Lauded for their complex acoustic capabilities, boomboxes let consumers play personalized, high-quality sounds wherever they desired, bombarding the world with their musical tastes at the loudest volume possible.

Beginning with the first portable radio-and-cassette players developed around 1977, the typical boombox incorporated an AM/FM receiver, an amplifier, two speakers, and a cassette or CD player, all built into a single carrying case. Sometimes called ghettoblasters, these devices often came with large handles or shoulder straps for easy transportation, though it was coolest to sport a boombox on one shoulder, leaving the other hand free to give high fives or the middle finger, as the occasion warranted.

Most boomboxes were powered by multiple D-size batteries, and like other audio electronics of the era, the big boombox names were Aiwa, Marantz, JVC, Sanyo, General Electric, Panasonic, Sony, and Sharp. However, forgotten brands like Lasonic, Crown, Yorx, Tecsonic, Helix, Conion, and Lloyd’s made popular boomboxes, too.

Eventually, boomboxes included more extensive features, such as input and output jacks or detachable speakers that could be set up in far corners of a room, making the players more attractive to DJs since they could connect microphones and turntables for live mixing. Some boomboxes, like Sharp’s VZ-2500, even integrated a vertical turntable into the player’s body, while others featured a row of colored dance lights, like the Breakdancer BD-8000, which earned the nickname the “Disco Lite.”

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob is an extensive resource on all types of audio electronics organized by manufacturer, from Aiwa to… [read review or visit site]

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Aiwa Cs-880 Vintage Boombox Ghettoblaster Radio Stereo From 1981Vintage Lloyds Pt003 (ghetto Blaster) Boombox Very Nice Cond,works Great!Vintage Large 70s Lasonic Trc 931 Cassette Deck Radio Boombox Stereo Audio RareVintage Lasonic Trc-931 (ghetto Blaster) Boombox Sweet!!Jvc Boombox Boom Box Rv-nb1 Cd Mp3 Guitar Amp W/remote,strap,home/car Pwr CordsAiwa Csd-md1 Boombox Stereo Mini Disc Md Cd Compact Disc Radio Cassette RecorderHelix Hx-4636 Vintage Ghettoblaster Boombox Fm Am Sw Dual Cassette Works Great!!Lego Am/fm Cd Stereo Boombox Radio Ac/dc RedJawbone Jambox BoomboxBose Wave Cd Radio Model Cd-3000 With Portable Carry Case Makes Boom BoxVintage National Panasonic Boom Box Cassette Radio Very SharpVintage Unitech Cx-1400 Dual Cassette Boom Box Big W/burgler Alarm Built InMagnavox D8443 Boombox 5 Speakers Am/fm Stereo Tape Sw1 Sw2 Short Wave - Works !Vintage 80s Realistic Scr-8 Boombox Stereo Ghettoblaster Am Fm CassetteVintage Panasonic Rx-5300 Boombox Ghettoblaster Fm/am Stereo Cass Made In JapanBosch Pb10-cd Power Box Jobsite Cd Radio Am/fm Stereo Boombox With AntennaRare Vintage Randix Black 1957 Chevy Am/fm/cassette Boombox RadioVintage Sanyo Boombox Ghetto Blaster Radio Cassette Very Sharp StereoVintage 80s Lasonic Boombox Trc-920 Stereo Cassette Player Old School Hip-hopJvc Kaboom - Boom Box Rv-b550 With Remote & Power Cord1970's Lasonic Trc-931 Boom BoxVintage Sanyo 9970k Boombox Am Fm Sw1 Sw2 Parts Repair Coaxial Cassette RadioComplete Set Of All 17 1976 - 2000 First Press Ac/dc Cd 's Mint Uk Boom Box !Sony Cfd-s01 Cd Player Cassette Recorder Am/fm Radio Boombox Works GreatVintage - Tatung Tcr-8190 Boom Box - Radio -double- Cassette- Recorder- Spirit Of St Louis Field Boombox Cd & CassetteSirius Xm Radio Stratus Sv3tk1 - Receiver - Boombox - Car Kit - Cords -antennas Bosch Pb10-cd Cd/radio BoomboxRandix 57' Chevy Cheverolet Am/fm Radio & Cassette Player Boombox ** Read **Vintage General Electric Am / Fm / Cassette Player Recorder Boombox Md: 3-5251aSirius Boombox Subx2 - W/adapter,antenna,headphones,remote,car Mount-19" X 7"Boomphones Phantom Earphones Rechargeable Headphones Boombox Polished WhiteVintage Sanyo M6420 Am Fm Stereo Radio Tape Cassette Recorder Boombox PlayerBosch Pb10-cd Cd/radio Power Box Jobsite Boombox With Antenna!!Vintage Vector Research Vmc-100 Am/fm/cassette BoomboxSony Cfs-914 Sports Vintage Portable Am Fm Stereo Cassette Boombox!!Sony Cfd-470 Am Fm Cd Dual Cassette Recorder Boombox / Bookshelf Stereo Vg++Sony Zs-e5 Cd/radio Fm/am - Personal Audio System/boombox/music Station - RareVintage General Electric Ge Portable Ghetto Blaster Boombox Receiver 3-5262d Lot Of 3 Jvc Boom Box Speakers Sp-mxgt88 Transformers ~ 1984 Hasbro Blaster Boombox ~ Generation 1 AutobotHello Kitty Pink Portable Boombox Cd / Cassette Player + Recorder / Radio / GirlSony Zs-d10 Cd/radio/cassette Boombox Cd-r/rw W/ac Adapter Used Pink/white Memorex Cd Mp3 Boombox With Digital Am/fm Radio - Fast Shipping!Fisher Boom Box*vintage Working* Ge 3-5264a Cassette Player Boombox Radio General ElectricSirius Boombox Jensen Cd-472-bk Portable Boom Box Cd Player Am/fm Radio Vintage 1991 Jvc Rc-x610 Boombox! Cd-cassette --- Loud!Sony Cd Radio Cassette Player Speakers Boom Box Sound SystemA Tribe Called Quest Anthology Cassette Boom BoxGhetto Blaster (vhs)Insignia Ns-b4111 Cd/radio BoomboxBbu1360w Dj Boom Box Stereo Radio Rock N Roll Chrome Belt BuckleSony Cfd-v177 Cd Am/fm Radio Cassette Boombox Mega Bass Port Portable Stereo Gpx 7" Lcd Display Portable Hdtv Dvd Boombox SystemJvc Rc-xc1 W/remote Boombox Triple Tray Cd PlayerVintage General Electric Boombox Model 3-5252d - Very Nice!Delphi Skyfi Sa10001 Xm Sirius Radio/cd Boombox By DelphiVintage Veration Cassette Player / Recorder / Radio / Tv Boom Box - No Antenna