If there was one musical device that defined the 80’s, it was the boombox. Introduced during the late 70’s, it was basically designed to be a portable music player. Each portable radio consisted of a cassette deck, radio tuner, AC or DC power cables, and a slot for batteries. With its low-end bass and drum sounds, it caught the eye of music lovers everywhere, especially the young urbanites. From the streets of New York to the sidewalks of Hollywood, it became ingrained in popular culture.
Almost two decades later, the boombox is making its way back into the mainstream and it’s lighter than ever. Weighing at only 850 grams, the Berlin Boombox is the brainchild of Alex Pfaeder, a Berlin-based illustrator and DJ. Combining his passion for design and music, he started a Kickstarter project which raised more than $20,000 in just 30 days. With its eye-catching black-and-white retro-inspired design, it will definitely turn heads as you pump up the volume with it.
Aside from its unique design, this smartphone stereo also comes with a Class D SMD 2×5 watts stereo amplifier and 2 MIVOC Pro 3-inch full range Hi-Fi speakers. It also has a 3.5-millimeter stereo or headphone plug, which is compatible with phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4. According to O2’s page for the new Samsung Galaxy S4, it can connect to other phones and play the same song simultaneously, while connected to it. It also features a large aluminum knob which lets you adjust the box’s volume to your ears’ content.
Sustainability was Alex’s inspiration when he designed this music docking station. Previous incarnations of the boombox were made from metal or plastic casings, which made them heavier to carry around. With this in mind, he opted to use an alternative material: cardboard. Using a 3-millimeter thick, type-E corrugated cardboard; it became the perfect platform to support all of its hardware. To give it an 80’s feel, he gave it a minimalist approach—bold black lines and details over a white background. Don’t be fooled with its appearance; this cardboard device is sturdy enough to keep your music rocking as you roll down the street.
Now, before you could rock to RUN DMC and Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” or serenade your special someone with Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”, the Berlin Boombox needs a little bit of assembly. You really don’t need special DIY (do-it-yourself) skills, tools, and even glue to put it all together; all you’ll need is a few minutes and a little bit of patience. The speakers, circuit board, and other electronic devices can be easily inserted into specially cut slots. After securing all the hardware, fold the tabs to assemble the product. Surprisingly, all the tabs lock into place, making it really sturdy piece. Place your mp3 player or smartphone into its device compartment, and play your favorite song to your heart’s content.
The Berlin Boombox is a testament to innovative design and intuitive sound engineering. Who would have thought that this cardboard music docking station would bring back so many memories? Although, you can’t bring it to the beach with you, it’s still a good conversation-starter piece. For $86 dollars, it’s a good buy and it’s obviously lighter than your average 80’s boombox.