Large and in charge, the fantastic 80s boombox was always the life of the party.
No matter what you called it, ghettoblaster, ghettobox, or jambox, they were literally a big part of 80s culture. And like many things in the 80s, the bigger, the better.
The most obvious feature of an 80s boombox would be the two huge speakers on each side. Some models even had additional speakers that were smaller, which made the sound that much clearer and louder.
They had amplifiers, graphic equalizers, LED sound meters, bass and treble adjustments, and Dolby noise reduction. These features made it easy to tweak and perfect the sound for any type of music. They also had at least one tape deck, but usually two, with high speed dubbing.
With some boomboxes, you could also record any outside sounds either through a built-in microphone or a microphone you could plug right into the box. This could provide hours of fun while you recorded yourself and your friends singing or rapping, making your own tape.
A radio receiver was standard on every boombox, and a retractable antenna provided great reception.
Of course they all came with an AC/DC power cord, but they were designed to be portable. The only frustrating part of owning a boombox was finding enough batteries to to keep it running. Some of the larger models, which were the coolest ones, took up to 10 D-size batteries.
To accommodate the giant speakers, tape decks, and features, the entire box had to be huge. When you combine the size of the box itself and the amount of batteries, some of the most awesome boomboxes could weigh 20 pounds or more.
The portability of the boombox made it an extra appendage for an entire generation. They had handles, but it was much cooler to hoist it up on your shoulder, wrap your arm around the top, and carry it to your destination.
Naturally, boomboxes and break dancing were made for each other. Where you found a few dancers on the street, you were pretty much guaranteed a boombox sighting.
These boomboxes also provided the soundtrack for fiercely competitive basketball games in the mid 1980s when every kid wanted to be the next Michael Jordan or Larry Bird. The box would sit next to the court, pumping out tunes that thanks to their size, everybody playing the game could hear.
Because we all know how totally awesome the 80s were, boomboxes are still made to this day. Only now they have USB ports, CD drives, memory sticks, iPod docks, and other new technology.
The almighty original 80s boombox has no competition. They were full of features that made your music sound great and provided hours of entertainment.
Whether they sat on a surface in the house or went with you everywhere, they were one of the coolest things to own in the 80s.