the most iconic boomboxes

10 Most Iconic Boomboxes of All Time

There are few things more iconic than the boombox. The boombox bridged the gap between the home stereo and the walkman and it did it with style. You could bring one with you everywhere you went and blast your music through a set of powerful speakers instead of being limited to a pair of headphones.

By the late 1970s, boomboxes offered deeper bass, input and output jacks, and more audio control options than most people knew what to do with. Throughout the ‘80s, the boombox became a cultural phenomenon as groups like The Clash and Beastie Boys were often spotted with one when they were out on the town or touring.

To better understand the impact of the boombox and how it developed over time, it only makes sense to connect with an expert. Scott Campbell has an incredibly impressive boombox collection. On more than one occasion, his collection has generated some internet buzz as Campbell owns dozens of the most eye-catching and ear-pleasing boomboxes ever made.

Below, Campbell highlights 10 iconic boomboxes that changed the game and fueled his passion for collecting. Check out our interview with Scott Campbell, follow him on Instagram, and immerse yourself in the sonic blast that is the boombox.

Introduction by Davey Ferchow. Boombox descriptions by Scott Campbell.

Boombox Conion C-100F

Conion C-100F

Flashing lights, two cassette players (one similar to a car stereo), lots of chrome, and tons of bass. This is one of the most classic boomboxes ever made and the one that kicked off my obsession for collecting radios. It was featured in many music videos and movies from the ‘80s and early ‘90s and even had one of the first boombox anti-theft alarm systems! Learn more.

Photo courtesy of Scott Campbell

Boombox Sharp GF-777

Sharp GF-777

Dual cassettes, lots of power, and an elegant design. Learn more.

Photo courtesy of RiSK@SCREAMING/Flickr

Boombox Sharp GF-7600

Sharp GF-7600

One of the most iconic boomboxes of all time, this was the radio that was made famous by being featured in the movie Say Anything when John Cusack held it above his head playing Peter Gabriel’s classic “In Your Eyes.” This was the model of radio actually used in the movie. The radio seen on the poster was a different model, a Toshiba RT-SX1. Learn more.

Photo courtesy of HiFi Engine

Boombox Yorx FP-1010 Newave

Yorx FP-1010 “Newave”

Not the most powerful boombox, but three tape decks! Learn more.

Photo courtesy of Cassette Players/Tumblr.

Boombox Cassettes SHARP VZ 2500

Sharp VZ-2500

Not only did this gigantic boombox have a cassette player, but it also had a linear record player that opened up like a cassette deck and could play both sides of the record without being flipped! Learn more.

Photo courtesy of Scott Campbell

Boombox JVC RC-550

JVC  RC-550

One of my all-time favorite radios! The mono beast features a single giant 10-inch woofer and was nicknamed “El Diablo.” This particular JVC RC-550 has been customized to look like Prince‘s purple raincoat. Learn more.

Photo courtesy of Scott Campbell

Boombox Vela Discolite 990R

Vela Discolite DK-990R

One of the coolest designed dual cassette players of all time, this amazing boombox has different color speakers that light up to the beat! It has been featured in many music videos including those by Madonna and Lady Gaga. Learn more.

Photo courtesy of Scott Campbell

Boombox JVC RC-838

JVC RC-838

This boombox from 1979 boasts high-quality speakers and a tape player. Its tweeter design was supposedly modeled after the cockpit of a Star Wars TIE Fighter and it was often seen carried by LL Cool J. Learn more.

Photo courtesy of pashtun1/Flickr

Boombox JVC RC-M90 LL Cool J album cover


Considered by most to be the “King of Boomboxes,” JVC’s top-level boombox “offered big power” and is coveted by collectors for being one of the best sounding radios ever made. Learn more.

Photo featuring the JVC RC-M90 on the cover of LL Cool J’s Radio

Boombox Tecsonic J-1 SuperJumbo

Tecsonic J-1 Super Jumbo

Heavily featured in Spike Lee’s masterpiece Do the Right Thing, this is one of the largest, loudest, and flashiest boomboxes ever made. Radio Raheem approved. Ten D-cells! Learn more.

Photo courtesy of Scott Campbell

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