This NPR video looks at the history of the boombox:
The boxes had to be big, to make that bass boom. The speakers in early boxes had extra-large magnets to push all that air around, and they were housed in heavy metal casing to deal with the vibrations from all the bass. Fab 5 Freddy says they got pretty big.
“I remember some boxes so big, they required 20 D-size batteries to an already heavy box,” he says. “So these boxes were so heavy that some cats that would carry their boxes all the time, they would develop massive forearms and biceps.”
The boxes were part of a style that included white Adidas and big gold chains. Freddy was a filmmaker and artist at the time, and he says he took his box everywhere.
“I traveled with my massive boombox,” Freddy says. “That thing moved with me, you know. I remember, like, being on the plane — it couldn’t go in the overhead bin, but that was my baby. It traveled first class right along with me.”
Doesn’t it make you want to go hunting for a vintage boombox?