Skip to content

10 Most Iconic Old-School Boomboxes of All Time

These 10 boomboxes have iconic written all over them.

There are few things more iconic than the old-school 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 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 Campbell below, follow him on Instagram, and immerse yourself in the sonic blast that is the boombox.

Introduction by Davey Ferchow. Boombox descriptions by Scott Campbell.

Conion C-100F boombox

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 about the Conion C-100F.

Photo courtesy of Scott Campbell.

Sharp GF-777 boombox

Sharp GF-777

Dual cassettes, lots of power, and an elegant design. Learn more about the Sharp GF-777.

Photo courtesy of RiSK@SCREAMING/Flickr.

Sharp GF-7600 boombox

Sharp GF-7600

The Sharp GF-7600 was made famous when it was featured in the movie Say Anything where 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 one, a Toshiba RT-SX1. Learn more about the Sharp GF-7600.

Photo courtesy of HiFi Engine.

Yorx FP-1010 Newave boombox

Yorx FP-1010 “Newave”

Not the most powerful retro boombox, but it has three tape decks and is highly portable with it’s shoulder carrying strap. Learn more about the Yorx FP-1010 “Newave”.

Photo courtesy of Cassette Players/Tumblr.

Sharp VZ-2500 boombox

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 about the Sharp VZ-2500.

Photo courtesy of Scott Campbell.

JVC RC-550 boombox

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 about the JVC RC-550.

Photo courtesy of Scott Campbell.

Vela Discolite DK-990R boombox

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 Madonna’s “Hung Up” and Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” Learn more about the Vela Discolite DK-990R.

Photo courtesy of Scott Campbell.

JVC RC-838 boombox

JVC RC-838

This vintage 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 JLearn more about the JVC RC-838.

Photo courtesy of pashtun1/Flickr.

JVC RC-M90 boombox


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 about the JVC RC-M90.

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

Tecsonic J-1 Super Jumbo boombox

Tecsonic J-1 Super Jumbo

Heavily featured in Spike Lee’s masterpiece Do the Right Thing, this flashy boombox is Radio Raheem approved. The Tecsonic J-1 Super Jumbo is one of the largest and loudest boomboxes ever made. It takes 10 D-cell batteries just to power this 25-pound behemoth. Learn more about the Tecsonic J-1 Super Jumbo.

Photo courtesy of Scott Campbell.

Most Wanted & Collected Cassettes

Keep Digging