Portable audio has a long history in modern society. For example, nothing signifies 80s urban culture other than the iconic Boombox. Often referred to as the Ghetto Blasters, these portable boomboxes played a pivotal role in the development and popularity of Rap and Hip Hop music.
Flash forward to 2022, and the Boombox is still here. I’m reviewing The Boombox by Raycon. This is a portable splashproof Bluetooth speaker with LED lights and a powerful sound. Does it hold up to the Boombox moniker? Let’s find out by first taking a look at some notable specs.
Notable Specs: Raycon The Boombox
- Dual 3.5” drivers produce 40W (80W max) RMS output
- Built-in mic for hands-free calling
- 7 hours of playtime
- Powerbank mode to charge mobile devices
Design of the Boombox
By definition, a Boombox is designed for portability. Traditional 80s Boomboxes were carried by resting them on a shoulder with one hand. The Raycon Boombox follows that tradition with a long handle on top. Plastic hooks are featured on either side of the handle. This is for the included shoulder strap to carry it like a side bag.
Unlike old Boomboxes, the Raycon Boombox is considerably smaller and lighter. It measures approximately 15”x7”x5” (WHD) and weighs 6lbs. It’s easy to carry for a long period of time without fatigue. Two 3.5” tweeters with LED lights around them are located on the front. They are protected by a metal grill. On each side are subwoofers that deliver low-end bass from each side.
On the top, you’ll find the typical controls such as the power, volume, play/stop, and EQ. Also included are light control and a multi-link button. More on those features later. On the back is a rubber cover that can be opened to reveal a 5V/1A USB-A port, a DC 5V USB-C charging port, an AUX-in port, and a micro SD slot.
The Raycon Boombox has soft padding on the bottom to prevent vibrations and an IPX5 water resistance rating. That means it is protected against low-pressure water streams from any angle. So while it’s not waterproof, it is slash-proof and can handle rainy conditions.
Pairing the Raycon Boombox
The Raycon Boombox uses Bluetooth 5 which makes pairing a breeze. After holding the power button down for 3 seconds, the Boombox turns on and enters pairing mode automatically. From there, you just need to find it in the Bluetooth settings on your mobile device.
One feature lacking is dual Bluetooth pairing. This is the ability to pair two mobile devices to the speaker at the same time. I absolutely love this feature because two people can share DJ duties from their respective devices. Being a party speaker, one would expect this feature. Unfortunately, I have yet to see dual Bluetooth pairing included in Raycon Bluetooth speakers.
Using the Raycon Boombox
Naturally, the first thing I did was play “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and carry it on my shoulder like an old-school B-boy breakdancer. I’ll admit, I felt pretty cool. Since the backside has no speakers, the sound projects away from you. That allows you to crank the volume without busting your eardrum.
The Boombox is also easy to carry with one hand. It doesn’t feel too heavy and would be a perfect speaker to take to the park. One thing I noticed was the shoulder strap didn’t have carabiner hooks. Instead, you have to loop the fabric through a notch to secure it to the Boombox. That makes it a little harder and I think it may frustrate some people. A carabiner hook on the shoulder strap would make this a breeze to clip on and off.
The sound quality of the Raycon Boombox
To me, the sound quality of the built-in voice prompts sounds cheap. These are the sounds you hear when it turns on and connects to a Bluetooth device. The female voice prompts sound muffled, distorted, and robotic.
Thankfully, the sound quality of the Boombox is clear and powerful. Users have the ability to switch between the three sound profiles: Balanced, Bass, and Pure sound.
The Bass Sound profile has more bass, but the sound loses its brightness on the high-end. Conversely, the Pure sound is bright but lacks the low-end. Personally, I prefer the Balanced sound profile. It has a good blend of low and high-end frequencies.
LED light effects on the Raycon Boombox
The inclusion of LED lights around the tweeters is a nice addition. This can be enabled or disabled by pressing the light button on top. If no music is playing, the lights will slowly toggle through different colours. With music, they change colours faster but it’s hard to tell if it’s matching the beat. Whatever the case, it gives that effect.
I would like to see more lights on the Boombox and different effects. As is, the lights are only on the front. It would be great to also see them on each side subwoofer and on the side of the handle. When it comes to LED lighting on Bluetooth speakers, you can never have enough.
Final thoughts on the Raycon Boombox
I’m a sucker for throwback tech products. The Raycon Boombox is one such product. It’s a modern-day Ghetto Blaster for Gen Z’s. The sound is powerful and it’s super easy to carry around. I really like that it stands out from the crowded portable Bluetooth speaker market. You won’t find many modern speakers with this nostalgic form factor.
That said, it’s not perfect. As a party speaker, it should have dual Bluetooth pairing. Users should be able to connect at least two devices to it, especially during parties and gatherings. Second, I wish it had a built-in FM tuner like the Raycon Power. I doubt many people will use the MicroSD port to play music. However, old Boomboxes had radio tuners and this one should too.
One thing I should note is that the multi-link feature only works with the same Raycon speaker. I tried to multi-link it to the Raycom Power speaker but it didn’t work. Raycon should make multi-link work on multiple speakers. Then users wouldn’t need to get two of the exact same speakers. It would be nice to have the Boombox and another smaller portable speaker like the Raycon Everyday.
In all, this is a good choice for people who want a unique, portable outdoor listening experience. The power bank mode will come in handy to charge devices on the go, and the LED lights will set the party mood at night.
Let’s be honest, carrying a Boombox on your shoulder is cool and fun. If you want to bring it back, then I highly recommend you check out the Raycon Boombox.