Best UK Boombox
Update: September 2020
These are our top ranked selections in the category of best boombox to buy right now in the UK.
#1 Selection: Overall Rating = 95%
#2: Top Ranked Alternative
#3: Best Deal Right Now
Boomboxes: A Buyer’s Guide
Are boomboxes outdated? Has digital music and streaming consigned them to history? The answer is, thankfully, no! Boomboxes offer a fantastic, flexible way for you to take your favourite tunes along with you on the go. Popularly used in working conditions, a boombox will give you everything you need from a simple, portable sound system in one handy package. Therefore, while many people have moved towards using phones, tablets and Bluetooth speakers, there are still plenty of us out there who want to tune into radio and play CDs wherever we like.
That isn’t to say boomboxes haven’t moved with the times. Ultimately, they still offer the reliable, durable tech and playback functionality they always have. However, newer models will likely allow you to connect wirelessly and to take advantage of more contemporary music playback standards. This is no bad thing! If anything, modern boomboxes are moving with the times pretty swiftly, and in the right direction.
Perfect and convenient if you work in a manual job and need some entertainment which is unlikely to distract you from the task at hand, a boombox is a great investment in the long term. However, there are a few things you need to know about these music players before you go ahead and buy one. In this buying guide, we will take you through everything you need to know, and we will also help you consider what you need to look for from your perfect music player on the go.
If you’re finding streaming a little unwieldy while at work, or if you simply prefer the older standards, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is actually more choice available now than there ever has been. Check out our guide as well as our frequently asked questions to start narrowing down your choice.
Why Buy a Boombox?
To many people, a boombox system might seem a bit old-school. The fact is, they are! They came into prominence around the early 1980s, and since then, the technology has really refined itself. You may want to play music in an outdoor location without having to fuss around with MP3s or streaming. You might also want some decent amplification to your music without the need for you to attach separate speakers and other pieces of kit. The fact is, everything you need from a music system is right there in your boombox.
Boomboxes are perfect for holidays and for work environments. They are easy to move around and, for the most part, are pretty durable. You can actually buy specialist boomboxes, too, which are dust and waterproof to a degree. This makes them perfect for use in a variety of heavy duty working environments.
Beyond all this, boomboxes are versatile. Tune into your favourite radio station, play a CD, or even connect via Bluetooth. More and more boomboxes are emerging, meaning that it’s likely you’ll find them available for sale for many more years to come.
Things to Compare
Not all boomboxes do the same things. Of course, they are built to play music and to offer portability. However, there are more than a few facilities and features which set leading models and systems apart. Before you throw any money at any boombox in particular, it makes sense to look around and get a feel for some of the differences. We’ve lined up the essential features and faculties you should compare before you buy into a boombox.
Size and Weight
Sure – all boomboxes are built for moving around – but not all systems are going to be lightweight and compact. In fact, some boombox systems based on early 80s models are going to be very cumbersome. The size and weight of your boombox won’t always dictate the features you get, but they will likely impact on the look you get, not just how easy it is to move around.
Look and Style
Many people choose boomboxes based on their look. Why not? They are accessories for many people, especially given the fact that they will likely carry them around in public. If you are buying a boombox for work, then the look and shape of a system is less likely to bother you. However, if you care about looks, there are some seriously sleek boomboxes and music players out there which should catch your eye. Some are retro, others are surprisingly contemporary. Look for a model that accompanies your personality and sense of style.
One thing you’ll need to keep in mind if you do use a boombox at work is, of course, durability. Depending on where you work and what you’re likely to do with your system, you are going to need it to be fairly robust. It’s not hard to find boomboxes out there which can take a beating. However, there are more which, as mentioned earlier in the guide, are also dust and water resistant. If you work with material that’s likely to clog or damage a radio or music player otherwise, then you’re going to need to invest in this kind of technology and protection.
Do also think carefully about what powers your boombox. Are you going to take it everywhere? Then you’ll need a system that runs on a battery. Some older systems use loose batteries – as do some contemporary models – while other will charge up and give you several hours of playback. If this is something you have your eye on, you should of course consider how long a boombox is going to hold out, through solid playback, off one charge.
Of course, another big thing to keep in mind is what your boombox is actually able to do. Most will play radio at the very least. Others, meanwhile, will accept CDs, MP3s and even cassettes. Some will even play digital music through Bluetooth. Therefore, if you really want to blend the old and the new standards together, all you need to do is look out for the best boomboxes on the market.
Sound quality isn’t necessarily something that you can shop for and compare easily online. You’ll likely need to read user reviews and verified opinions. However, it’s something that you can eke out through a few features in a boombox’s design. For example, does a boombox come with bass or treble boosters? Does it mention sound engineering and cones in the marketing blurb? Above all – what’s the power like? The higher the wattage, the more capable your boombox is going to be, and ultimately, that’s going to make all the difference if you really want to hear what’s being played.
We’ve mentioned already that most boomboxes should, at least, have a radio built into their workings. However, radio technology has moved on massively since the 80s! Therefore, you may wish to compare between systems that offer DAB radio and standard tuning technologies. DAB, crucially, will offer a clearer, crisper sound. However, many people prefer the older standards, and may even find classic AM and FM scanning to be more reliable.
You should also think about looking for boomboxes that let you store your favourite stations. Over time, there is nothing more frustrating than losing track of a radio station you really love! Not having to scan over and over again for the music and programmes you enjoy will also be a major boon.
Frequently Asked Questions
As you can see, there is likely more to your average boombox than you may originally have thought! The fact is boomboxes are still super-versatile music and audio players, and for that reason, there are tons of variations. Here are a few questions shoppers ask before putting any money down.
Why Are Boomboxes Still Popular?
Boomboxes first came along, into prominence, in the 1980s. Since then, music and audio tech has evolved massively. However, the principle of a boombox is still very appealing. Everything you need from a simple audio system is right here in one package. What’s more, boomboxes are amazingly versatile. You can play a huge variety of music formats without having to do much fiddling around.
Do I Need a Boombox?
If you mainly play music at home, you may not see much of a need for a boombox. However, they are very popular with people who want to take their music on the go, and who want to share tunes with others. They are great for workplaces, for example.
How Much Do Boomboxes Cost?
Boomboxes vary depending on the features you want and the style you’re looking for. You can pick up a simple boombox for as little as £30. However, if you want a more durable system, or one that’s inspired by the original 80s systems, you’re going to need to pay more than £100. Be ready to invest more cash if you want a system to stand the test of time!
Don’t give up on boomboxes just yet! Those of us who really want to take our music on the go will likely find a lot of worth in buying one of these classic systems. Bringing together old standards and newer tech, it may surprise you just how appealing current boombox lines actually are!