We love to take our music with us, but sharing headphones can literally be a drag and it can also mean you’re draining your phone battery faster than you can charge it. Boomboxes might have been the fad of the 80s and 90s but they’ve come back with a vengeance.
A portable boombox allows you to play and share music or just enjoy channel surfing the radio without killing your phone battery. The best thing about many boomboxes is that they can go anywhere, so the best portable boombox has a great battery life and will let you hear your music in good quality for hours.
These are the best and the most stylish to take with you out and about when you want to share your tunes:
BEST PORTABLE BOOMBOX
Pyle PMBSPG40 Portable Bluetooth Boom Box Speaker System
Pyle might not have the greatest sound reputation but all their models know how to party with a selection of flashing lights and a good bass. There’s an aux jack, SD, USB, FM radio, and a Bluetooth connection so you can hear music no matter what your media is.
There’s also a 100W RCA adapter so you can plug in a guitar or mic and use it as an amp. The battery lasts up to 2.5 hours and is built in so you don’t have to worry about carrying spares.
The built in battery also means that when it dies you have to power in rather than just swapping for fresh. The light system is fun but when the quality of sound is not stellar is it really that important?
Supersonic SC-1495BT Portable Audio System
This is one of the cheapest systems and it’s fun looking even if it doesn’t have the light system of the Pyle it still has many of the same features for half the cost. With an option for aux, Bluetooth, SD, USB, and AM/FM the only thing missing is the RCA jack. This also has a built in battery that’s rechargeable.
It’s actually really small and compact which makes this much easier to carry around than the Pyle and it weighs only s couple of pounds. There’s also a nifty remote and it has two decent 9W speakers.
This is actually a really small boombox and while that’s great for portability it’s not so great for sound. The volume isn’t great, especially in a noisy environment and it’s quite tinny. Not a lot of bass either.
EMB PORTABLE BLUETOOTH BOOM BOX!
This is a really neat design that looks more like a standing speaker than a boombox. It has an easy carry handle and flashy red detailing. There’s also USB, SD, Aux, Bluetooth and an FM radio input.
This is a great choice for someone who wants good sound and a good looking boombox as it’s got three 5W speakers to control bass and produce quality sound. There’s also a 7 hour battery life and a remote and its charged via a USB cable so you can charge from a laptop or car adapter as well as an AC socket.
Unfortunately while it’s charging you can’t actually use it so it’s portable or nothing. This is quite inconvenient, especially if the battery starts to become low as you can’t simply plug in and keep going.
While it looks quite snazzy the quality of the build is also cheap so it’s not very durable if you’re going to be rough with it and it will break quickly.
iLive iBB683B Retro Bluetooth Portable Boombox with Digital FM Radio
If you’re a fan of the retro look then this is a great alternative modern version. This has the same classic flat look in black with dual speakers and an impressive 33ft Bluetooth range.
It’s also got digital FM radio and 20 programmable stations for quality sounding channel surfing. It’s also incredibly cheap and simple to use since you’ve only got those two input options.
This is great if you want just a basic bluetooth speaker and radio to hook your phone into. The sound isn’t all that impressive and while it’s small and easy to carry there’s not a lot of beef to the sound and it won’t go loud at all.
There’s also only a maximum 3 hour battery life, though that is with charging your phone at the same time.
Axess PB2703-RD Portable MP3/CD Boombox
With a classic 90’s shape this will take you right back. There’s a decent 15W output from this tiny device and it takes C batteries so you can swap whenever they run low.
It also has a CD player, something most other boomboxes have done away with these days. There’s also USB, SD, AUX and AM/FM input so you can listen to music from a variety of sources. There’s also an LED illuminated display so you can see what you’re doing in the dark.
There’s no Bluetooth, and while it might be reminiscent of the 90’s its also working with the same level of technology. At almost 5lb it’s not the lightest, especially if you plan on carrying extra batteries.
The sound is reasonable but it’s also not as beefy as the Pyle or the EMB and you’re also working with the old school telescoping antenna that may or may not be pointing in the right direction for your radio station. Nostalgia indeed.
If you want portability and good sound then you’re really going to need to pay for it. These are all great mid-grade stereos that you can tote around and not worry about them getting banged up which is a major plus compared to worrying about your $XXX speaker.
The EMB is really the best choice for looks and functionality though the iLive is definitely the lightest, cheapest and most portable on the list.
While the technology from the 90s was great for portable boomboxes, there’s not need to limit yourself to it and a good one should at least have Bluetooth.