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Enjoying music to its fullest means finding the best way to play it for you and any of your friends. Ghetto blasters are an important part of audio history, a name given to boom boxes for their wide use in urban areas in the late seventies and throughout the eighties.
The mixture of portability and sonic presence that ghetto blasters offer is second to none. They existed well before any pocket-sized radios were an option and have advanced along with modern technology to include plenty of quality-of-life features.
Today’s ghetto blasters mix the speaker quality of home audio environments with portability tools like low weight and Bluetooth compatibility. These high-quality music stations cover a large range of formats, including CDs, cassettes, and FM radio.
Here’s a comprehensive list of the best ghetto blasters on the market today.
Studebaker SB2145B – Best Overall
This 80s retro design from Studebaker harkens back to a simpler time but includes the modern sound quality today’s ghetto blasters can provide. This 18” x 5.5” x 10” beast of a boombox retains portability but provides a massive body to go with its large sound. You can enjoy Bluetooth connectivity, CDs, and FM analog radio stations anywhere you want.
The cost of the Studebaker SB2145B is more than most others on this list. You can often find it on sale to save yourself around ten percent, but it is worth every penny. The modern features and over-the-top retro design, including a multi-color LED equalizer, serve to justify the higher price.
The four colors of this heavy-duty ghetto blaster will suit the needs of any music lover out there. Take any music with you for hours without having to worry about replacing batteries. The Studebaker SB2145B comes with a built-in rechargeable lithium battery.
You can enjoy the old-school features of classic boomboxes with the detail of rotary volume control, treble and bass adjustment knobs, and audio formats to work with however you like to listen. This has been one of the best ghetto blasters since its release in 2018.
The seven-and-a-half-pound dual-speaker set-up comes many happy customers on Amazon. The slightly higher price point is justified by the amazing design and suite of features a keen-eared listener can come to expect from the best ghetto blasters.
- Level of control over music
- Rechargeable battery
- Pricey for the overall quality
- Higher volume tanks the battery more than average
- Not as sturdy as other ghetto blasters
JBL Boombox 2 – Premium Option
The JBL Boombox 2 is the most modern take on the classic ghetto blaster to show up on this list. The Boombox 2 skirts the line between a true ghetto blaster and Bluetooth speaker. Features like AM or FM radio are not a part of this speaker’s immense offerings. The high-fidelity music playing one can expect from the best ghetto blasters is here, however. The ridiculously optimized quality of the sound from this JBL product cannot be understated.
This is the option of choice if you want the best quality ghetto blaster and money isn’t an issue. The modern features and expected quality warrant such a high price. What it sacrifices in medium options, it makes up for in durability and overwhelming power.
The club-quality bass sound of the JBL Boombox 2 is something that the brand can swear by. Many existing customers swear by this high-end quality. The line between a ghetto blaster and a Bluetooth speaker is broken by this 13 pound, 12.76” x 9.33” x 21.97” monster.
The JBL Boombox 2 can provide 24 hours of consistently loud music and is even waterproof. If having a loud sound is high on your list of priorities, this is the product for you. Unfortunately, it does not get any radio frequencies, and cannot play CDs or cassette tapes in any capacity.
If you are in the market for a Bluetooth speaker that breaks into the territory of classic ghetto blasters, this is absolutely the one to look for. We recommend this portable speaker for smartphone users that want to simulate the feel and power of a boombox without needing to compromise on modern audio fidelity in the slightest.
- Bluetooth enabled
- Not technically a ghetto blaster
- Has no capability to playback CDs, cassettes, or get AM/FM radio stations
- Very heavy
Sony CFD-S70 – Budget Option
This classic boombox from a big brand-name manufacturer has remained the best budget option for many people. The CFD-S70 makes our list of the best ghetto blasters for its high versatility and deceptively loud sound for its manageable size. It remains Amazon’s choice product among hundreds of other CD players.
This is a lower price ghetto blaster. It has a low price for the use one can get from all its functions and simple design. Whether you get this from Amazon or directly from Sony, you can expect a fair price for the sturdy and small boombox.
Clocking in at just over five pounds with batteries installed, this 13.68” x 6.12” x 9” ghetto blaster is supremely portable. You get the benefits that come with full stereo sound in a tiny black package. This includes playback CDs, CD-R/RW, and MP3 CDs, in addition to a built-in cassette tape deck and FM/AM tuner.
Enjoy the most popular radio stations for up to 19 hours of battery life with 30 station presets, three one-touch favorites, and plenty of tuning capability wherever you go. If you feel like using this ghetto blaster at home, it comes with an AC power cord for saving on battery life as you listen to whatever you want.
The specialized Mega Bass functionality ensures the best fidelity from the low-end of anything you blast through this bass reflex speaker system. You can easily enjoy the sound all to yourself if you want to hook up a pair of headphones as well. It is a simple little boombox that can compete with the best ghetto blasters thanks to its all-around usefulness and low price. A reliable model from 2016.
- Relatively lightweight
- Accepts multiple formats
- Few sound customizability settings
- Lower battery life at high volume
- Requires six batteries when not plugged in
While this ghetto blaster sheds the classic skin of 80s nostalgia, it’s hard to argue with a number one bestseller in the category. The Magnavox MD6924 is a sturdy little boombox with a top-loading CD tray and a compact design. This is one of the best ghetto blasters at an insanely affordable price.
The Magnavox MD6924 is the least expensive boombox on this list. You can also register your purchase with Magnavox itself to make your money work for you even more. This is what happens when quality meets affordability.
The ghetto blaster is 8” x 8.52” x 4.6” and weighs a measly 2.64 pounds. This quality product has been available since 2017 and has consistently been up among the best sellers for its categories. All you need to start playing are six C batteries, and you always have the AC/DC adapter option.
Easily avoid the hidden data costs of listening to the radio on your phone with the AM/FM stereo radio functionality of the Magnavox MD6924. The boombox is also CD-R/CD-RW compatible, with an auxiliary connection for any compatible device.
The portability and ease of use for this basic boombox make it one of the best ghetto blasters. Anyone can enjoy this Magnavox classic anywhere they want to. The incredibly low cost for a relatively solid product makes it a top contender for the best ghetto blaster of all time.
- Very easy to use
- Cheaper plastic can break more easily in the disc tray
- No cassette playback at all
- No headphone usability feature
With a retro design of a different sort, this early 2000s boombox has stood the test of time. The original cubic design of the Jensen CD-555 makes it stand out from even the most stylized of ghetto blasters.
The price tag is reasonable for this unique and lightweight boombox. The Jensen CD-555 is an older model from Jensen Electronics, a brand dating back to 1915. It acts as a middle ground for those looking for a more modernized ghetto blaster without every conceivable bell and whistle.
The sizable 7.1” x 6.1” x 10.2” dimensions hide the 2.6-pound weight well. Even with the required C batteries inside the unit, the Jensen CD-555 retains maximum portability with its sturdy carrying handle and completely flat base.
This top-loading CD player is CD-R/RW compatible and supports both A2DP and AVRCP Bluetooth profiles. The programmable FM radio receiver and X-Bass functionality ensure that no matter what you want to listen to, the low-end can keep up with your demands.
The interface is very of its time. The uniquely-shaped buttons for switching between auxiliary inputs and Bluetooth or radio are novel but work well. The blue LED display screen allows for basic info display but falls short of other ghetto blasters.
- Radio functionality
- The older design makes troubleshooting a bit more difficult
- Lower quality plastic than other models
- Limited playback features
This high-power ghetto blaster is counted among the best, thanks to its high power and vintage design. The RX-D55GC-K from Panasonic offers authentic AM/FM radio frequencies, cassette playing and recording technology, and powerful surround sound speakers. The customer reviews go a long way in supporting the high position of this quality ghetto blaster.
You can expect to pay a slightly higher price for this boombox and its remote control, but it’s totally worth it. The 10 watts per channel speakers and suite of playback options help to smooth over this higher price. You can enjoy hours of music with this unit with only 2 AA batteries installed.
This 10-pound ghetto blaster has dimensions of 10.67” x 16.06” x 5.83”. The four speakers this boombox comes equipped with guarantee high-quality sound wherever you go. The large size speaker box and simple design help it retain the best aspects of old-school ghetto blasters while offering modern fidelity.
The natural sound can be enjoyed with MP3 Re-Master capability and a basic sound virtualizer on the front panel. The solidly built five-in-one stereo system allows anyone to enjoy a wide variety of music formats with complete portability.
While the remote control is not needed for any interface desired from the boombox, you can easily edit what you are listening to on the fly from yards away. A higher-cost option for those in the market for a slightly heavier unit with great range.
- Accepts a wide range of music formats
- Remote control enabled
- Heavier than other ghetto blasters of around the same size
- FM Tuner has a less sensitive range than desired
- The LED display is relatively basic
Another one of the best ghetto blasters comes to us from Sony. This portable multi-function boombox allows anyone to enjoy AM/FM radio, CDs, Bluetooth audio streaming, and USB recording and playback on the go.
The Sony ZS-RS60BT has a reasonable price for all the possibilities offered by its powerful range of functions and tiny design. Whether you get this from Amazon or elsewhere, you can expect one of the best ghetto blasters on the market.
The Mega Bass sound enhancement is present on this Sony ghetto blaster as well. You can expect a rich low-end regardless of where you are, for up to 26 consecutive hours. The ZS-RS60BT is one of the most portable ghetto blasters on our roundup, clocking in at 5.5 x 15.2 x 2.7 inches and one total pound of weight.
The ZS-RS60BT is a compacted version of the CFD-S70 with a few more futuristic features. The upgrade in quality comes with a big hike in price but offers convenience like USB recording and one-touch NFC Bluetooth pairing technology.
You can expect a high-quality sound from a surprisingly small machine if you set your sights on getting this little ghetto blaster. This ghetto blaster has been on the market since 2015 and remains a quality product in Sony’s catalogue of portable boomboxes.
- Long battery life
- Bluetooth enabled
- No cassette playback options
- Very basic interface screen
- Requires six batteries when not plugged in
While geared more towards home audio environments, the Victrola VS-120 is an amazing CD player, USB player, FM radio, Bluetooth compatible device, and aux-in player at once. It has almost all the appreciated functions of a classic ghetto blaster but is missing cassettes and portability.
The Victrola VS-120 is a high-end microsystem that runs around 130 dollars to purchase. The powerful 30-watt stereo capabilities are impressive, however, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a classier audio brand than Victrola.
The five unique playback functions of the Victrola VS-120 combine with a full range of equalizer options for maximum customizability. You can keep things flat, crank it to rock, let the high ends soar with Pop, and even swap to Jazz or classic if you so choose.
The full-function remote control that comes with the unit sells the change from a full-on ghetto blaster to a home stereo unit. The remote allows for full options to be available from anywhere in the room. The boombox measures 15.97″ x 10.83″ x 4.69″ and is nearly 11 pounds.
This innovative Amazon’s Choice boombox plays media of many kinds at great volume with tons of listening options. It’s unfortunate that it lacks the critical ghetto blaster portability but makes up for this disappointment with an affordable powerhouse of a stereo system.
- Remote capabilities
- Music control options
- Loses out on portability by having to be plugged in
- Volume knob changes are a little inconsistent
- Programmable options are lacking
Top Ghetto Blasters Of All Time, Final Thoughts
Those were some of the best ghetto blasters on the market today. And as we’re at the peak of technical engineering, by default the top models of all time.
While we strongly recommend the Studebaker SB2145B or the JBL Boombox 2, there are plenty of other options depending on your needs. I hope you find the right ghetto blaster for you.