Check out our 1980s Vintage Boombox & Ghetto Blaster collection! Lots of retro old-school cassette boomboxes of all shapes and sizes from your favorite brands like Panasonic, Sony, Magnavox, Sanyo, etc, and some weird oddities you may have never seen! You will also find some cool vintage boomboxes for sale, too! Our collection is ever-expanding, and every vintage boombox we find is added here!
The Vintage Boombox…an American Classic from the far east! We have rescued, refurbished and resold many a vintage boombox here at the retro home store, and this page shows some select models and their specs. The boombox and ghetto blasters were first manufactured in the late 1970s, and was designed to take advantage of affordable portable stereo capabilities, unlike the mono cassette recorders of the ’60s and early ’70s. By the turn of the ’80s, rap music and break dancing were rising out of the streets and into mainstream popular culture, and the boombox became an instant electronic icon. During this boombox heyday, manufacturers seemed to be competing with each other to see who could build the biggest and baddest model. Some were so big they required a thick nylon shoulder strap. A couple of ultra-rare vintage boombox models had built-in turntables, televisions, and even keyboards! Fortunately, there are collectors like us who are rescuing these relics from the landfills across the country and giving the boombox the opportunity to rock one’s body for years to come. We will continue to update this page with each new boombox we acquire, so check back every now and then…we just may be reviewing that rare model you had when you were a kid!
Vintage Panasonic Boomboxes
Panasonic RX-5030 Vintage Boombox
This classic 1981 Panasonic RX-5030 vintage boom box ghetto blaster has quintessential ’80s style. The Panasonic RX-5030 is equipped with two inch speakers and a cool LED light bar that can be toggled to show either battery life, signal (which makes the lights pulsate to the beat), or switched off to preserve power. It has stereo RCA/phono inputs and outputs, left and right microphone inputs (for lo-fi home recording fun!!!), left and right external speaker jacks and a headphone jack. The Panasonic vintage boom box is a nice size…large, but not comically so. The entire unit measures approximately 17.5 inches x 9.5 inches x 4.75 inches (minus buttons/handle). It was in wonderful condition, showing only faint signs of use. The body was in great condition with barely a scratch on it. All functions, including cassette player/recorder, were in perfect working order. In addition, it included the original AC power cord (not a replacement), original instruction manual, warranties, a fun and informative Maxell Tape Guide, and the original $160.00 purchase receipt from Davidson’s Department Store, dated February 7, 1982 (that’s almost $400 in today’s money!). The tape heads are clean and it looks like the previous owner did not really use the tape deck at all. A solid boombox in reliable working condition with classic looks that sounds great. Scroll down to see a few more Panasonic boomboxes in our collection!
[phpbay]panasonic boombox, , , cd remote mdx1 ct950 plug cs700 fs410 xbs, , , 100, , , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
Panasonic RX-4940 Vintage Boombox
This Panasonic RX-4940 vintage boombox is in beautiful, barely used condition, showing only faint signs of wear. The Panasonic RX-4940 is equipped with two 4.5 inch speakers with balance and tone controls. It has onboard stereo condenser mics, as well as left and right 3.5mm microphone inputs for lo-fi home recording. There is also a large 6.3mm jack for your old-school headphones. It is powered by either six D cell batteries, or the original AC power cord (which is not pictured, but is included). The body is in great condition with barely a scratch on it. All functions, including cassette player / recorder, are in perfect working order.The tape heads are clean and it looks like the previous owner did not really use the tape deck at all. The battery compartment was never used (to test it, I had to remove the original factory tape strip that covered the battery cover!). The only noticeable cosmetic flaw is some faint discoloration on one side of the back plastic section, which has darkened from some light exposure to sunlight (you can see the discoloration in the 6th photo down…notice the light-colored strip over the battery cover, that is where I removed the white factory tape, and it shows the original color underneath). It is hard to notice under most normal lighting conditions. The boom box is a nice size, not over the top, but still impressive. The entire unit measures approximately 16 inches x 8.25 inches x 4 inches (minus buttons/handle). A solid vintage boombox in reliable working condition that sounds great and looks clean and new…what more do you need?
Panasonic RX-F10 Ambience Vintage Boombox
This sleek 1980s Panasonic RX-F10 vintage boombox looks a little small, but holds its own against many full-size ghetto blasters in both sound and weight! Its heaviness is indicative of its quality, which can be felt in the sturdy and smooth touch of the controls and in the surprisingly full spectrum sound coming from the relatively small 3.5 inch speakers. The secret must be in the Panasonic Ambience technology and the 2-way speakers, but, in any case, your old cassette collection is sure to sound great on this thing. You can also dial in the perfect tone on this Panasonic vintage boombox with the built-in 3-band graphic equalizer. The RX-F10 receives FM and AM signals very well and has stereo auxiliary RCA/phono inputs for external CD or MP3 player, etc. However, you probably won’t be using it much, since the cassette deck of this retro Panasonic boombox still works and sounds perfect. We cleaned and demagnetized the heads and the motor and belts seem very strong with no wobble or weakness. Recording from the radio sounded very clear. RX-F10 has an on-board condenser mic for total old-school live analog recording, and there are optional left and right stereo 1/8″ microphone inputs…record band rehearsals and gigs on your own boom box! It is powered by either six “C” batteries or the original AC plug, which is included. There is also an optional DC socket so you can use your own universal AC or auto adapter. Cosmetically, you can find these vintage ghetto blasters in very good condition. The cassette bay door scratches, but nothing very serious. It is very clean, looks and sounds awesome, and is ready to use out of the box. It measures 18 inches x 5 inches x 4 inches. We had considerable interest in this unit and it sold within a few weeks. Panasonic ghetto blasters are definitely one of the better name brands from the vintage boombox era.[phpbay]panasonic boombox, , , cd remote mdx1 ct950 plug cs700 fs410 xbs, , , 50, 99, , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
Panasonic RX-F25 Ambience Vintage Boombox
Another Ambience blaster from your old friends at the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, this Panasonic RX-FM25 vintage boombox packs big sounds inside its relatively small size. Thanks to the fabulous Panasonic Ambience technology, music sounds much more full and deep than anything you’d expect from a 1980s cassette boombox with a pair of 3.5-inch speakers. You can, of course, switch off the Ambience loudness to hear standard stereo signals from cassette or radio (if you want a flat “nostalgic” sound, anyway) . Not only does the Panasonic RX-FM25 vintage boombox sound great, it also looks great, and has a classic retro style. It has a shiny black cabinet with chrome accents and tape control buttons, and it sports a visually appealing white grid line pattern on the hydraulic cassette bay door (just in case you weren’t absolutely certain this unit was crafted in the ’80s). Onboard stereo condenser mics allow for on-the-go impromptu live recording, and have been used to record garage band rehersals for decades! The Panasonic RX-FM25 has a 3.5mm standard headphone jack. There are no mic or auxiliary inputs. It is powered by either six “C” batteries or the included AC adaptor cord. Entire unit measures 16.75 inches x 5 inches x 3.25 inches. It still performs like new after almost 25 years.
Panasonic 1970’s Pre-Boombox Portable Cassette Radio
Here’s a little sub-genre oddity in the vintage boombox category. This Panasonic vintage boombox is really old-school. A mid 1970s model, the Panasonic RQ-542AS is a classic mono portable radio cassette recorder with great retro space age style. It has a black and silver color scheme, and that cool ’70s Panasonic speaker grill with the big air holes. The front-loading cassette bay door is non-hydraulic, giving it an even more nostalgic feeling when it ejects or closes. It has a solid 3.5-inch loudspeaker and a mini condenser mic, which is great for recording lo-fi band rehersals and demos! The topside has big ol’ chunky black control buttons with smart-looking inset silver discs, and they just feel good when you press one down and hear a satisfying ka-chunk. An external mic input and external speaker output are located on the side. Like most Panasonic electronics of the ’70s, the RQ-542AS FM/AM Radio Cassette Recorder is a rugged, reliable and well-built piece. The entire unit measures 12 inches x 7.5 inches x 3.75 inches. It is powered by four “D” cell batteries or a standard attachable AC power cord.[phpbay]panasonic rq, , 14998, reel track power hand ntb rq-309s rq-340 rq-2102, , , 30, , , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
Vintage Sharp Boomboxes
Sharp GF-990G Vintage Boombox with Keyboard
This gigantic Sharp GF-990G vintage boombox has its own built in electronic keyboard! And this is only one of the many, many features included here. For starters, the Sharp GF-990G has a tuner that receives Shortwave and Marine Band signals as well as standard AM and FM stations. It measures a whopping 29.5 inches x 11 inches x 6.25 inches…full-blown ghetto blaster size. Detatchable speaker cabinets house a 6.5-inch woofer and 2-inch tweeter, making this thing unbelievably loud and clear with fabulous bass response. A five-band graphic equalizer lets you dial in the perfect tone. There are 1/4-inch microphone inputs on the front, and a built-in echo effect for them! The rear has stereo RCA inputs, which can be used for CD or MP3 player (or tape player in this case), or a standard turntable. There’s even a dedicated grounding outlet for the turntable! The tape decks have one-touch dubbing and high-speed dubbing capabilities. The keyboard ejects out at the touch of a button and is attached to a retracting cable. It has a very Casio VL-Tone style, with simple push-button monophonic keys, three tones, octave switch, a pitch control that creates weird alien synth sounds when slid back and forth, four pre-programmed beats with tempo control, and more. I think you can even program your own music, but this feature may take some time to figure out without a user manual. It is powered by its AC adapter cord (which is included), or you can take out a small loan and power it with ten “D” cell batteries. It is also equipped with a 9V car adapter socket, but you will need to supply your own, as this type of cord was an optional accessory not originally included with these units). The rear nameplate shows that this model runs on all worldwide voltage, so somewhere there must be a switch to convert it from 110/120V to 220/240V, but I can’t find one. The Sharp GF-900G vintage boombox is plenty loud and powerful enough to use it as a most unusual electronic instrument or as a serious full-size portable stereo receiver for your workshop, dorm room, etc. Here are some hand-selected Sharp vintage Boomboxes for sale…[phpbay]sharp boombox, , , cd mcd c777 service walkman, , , 39, , , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
Vintage Fisher Boomboxes
Fisher Old School Vintage Boombox
This Fisher PH-W402 vintage boombox has a sleek black & silver finish, dual cassette decks, 3-band graphic equalizer, left and right volume sliders, and a red LED level meter that pulses to the beat. This Fisher boombox also has detachable speakers and auxiliary stereo RCA/phono input, making it both a killer ghetto blaster and a portable component stereo system. The Fisher PH-W402 boombox measures 22.5 inches x 8.25 inches x 6 inches. Cosmetically, this particular Fisher boombox was in excellent, clean condition with only a few blemishes here and there. There is only one scratched spot on the side of the right speaker in this vintage boombox picture that really detracts from the appearance at all. Both of the boombox cassette decks worked fine, but the motor that powers this Fisher them seemed a little noisy. Perhaps there is a wire or piece of plastic rubbing against the motor or belt inside. The sound is noticeable when the volume is low, but it in no way affects the sound coming from the speakers. There is no distortion, wobble, or vibration of any kind. Either way, it still sounds good when you crank it up! There are absolutely no other mechanical or technical flaws, cassette heads are clean and demagnetized, no static in the volume/eq sliders, good radio reception…a solid boombox with great style. This boombox sold quickly and now lives in Las Vegas! Check below for more vintage Fisher Boomboxes…
[phpbay]fisher boombox, , , price cd w3300, , , 39, , , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
Vintage Sanyo Boomboxes
Sanyo C-1 Vintage Boombox Ghetto Blaster
This Sanyo C-1 vintage boombox was made in Japan and is a sturdy and stylish portable cassette deck. This retro ghetto blaster is exactly the iconic photo that you remember. It is a large boombox pictured show this ghetto blaster measuring 21.75 inches x 9.25 inches x 5.5 inches…full-blown Ghetto Blaster territory. Sanyo actually called this a “portable mini component system”, because it has detachable 2-way speakers with 5″ woofers. When they are separated from the main body and the handle is lowered, the C-1 really does look like an old ’80s bookshelf component stereo system.When they are attached, it looks like a classic oversize retro ’80s boombox. It includes the original AC power cord and, of course, can also be battery powered. It is in excellent cosmetic and working condition. The heads were recently cleaned and demagnetized. Cassette tapes sound perfect with no wobble or drag. AM and FM radio reception is excellent. Overall, it is very clean, it sounds and looks great, its sturdy, solid, and reliable, and its fun way to enjoy your old cassette collection. The pictured boombox sold in a few weeks to a very happy customer. Check below for other fine Sanyo Ghetto Blasters available now…[phpbay]sanyo boombox, , , cd mcd c777 service walkman, , , 39, , , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
Vintage Magnavox Boomboxes
Magnavox AM/FM/Shortwave Vintage Boombox
This 1980s retro Magnavox boombox is full of bells and whistles and probably cost someone a pretty penny at the retail store. The Austrian-made Magnavox boombox model TR-4883/17 has detachable 2-way 4 speaker cabinets, the softest soft-touch buttons ever, and shortwave radio reception! That’s right, a ghetto blaster that receives not only AM/FM broadcasts, but SW1 and SW2 signals. It has a plethora of jacks, including a real 1/4″ headphone jack, stereo RCA/phono input & output, 1/8″ left and right external mic inputs, and even one of those ’70s DIN plug adapters so you can copy your reel to reel tapes to the “new” cassette tape format! Of course, there’s a convenient switch on the back that changes voltage from 110 to 220 to 240.The Magnavox TR-4883/17 boombox was well-used, but still can be found in very good cosmetic condition without bent antennas or scuffs on the tuning dial window. All functions are working properly, knobs have been deoxidezed and have no scratchiness or distortion, and heads have been cleaned and demagnetized for your listening pleasure. The Magnavox boom box TR-4883/17 measures and impressive 25.75 inches x 9.25 inches x 5.5 inches. This rare one is gone, so check below for more Magnavox brand vintage boomboxes![phpbay]magnavox boombox, , , cd dock, , , 39, , , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
Magnavox D7140 Vintage Boombox
This funky Magnavox D7140 vintage boombox is a really old-school style portable cassette radio with a lone mono speaker and AM/FM tuner. It has a volume slider and a function switch. What…you wanted some sort of bass / treble tone control? Well, you can forget it, because this Magnavox boombox is a totally bare bones unit. Fortunately, it sounds great (for a mono portable radio!) and it is in perfect working order. Plus, it has killer retro ’80s style with a sleek black & red color scheme with chrome accents. It has a hydraulic-free cassette bay door that flies open with full force when the eject button is pressed, and it is powered by either four “D” cell batteries or the original AC adaptor. The unit measures 12.5 inches x 8 inches x 3.25 inches.
Vintage Emerson Boomboxes
Emerson MM-815B Vintage Boombox
“I can’t live without my radio!” If you agree with L.L. on this matter, then you need this classic Emerson MM-815B vintage 1980s boombox with removable stereo speakers, left and right stereo mic inputs and even a stereo phono input for your turntable! The ghetto blaster was totally used by a teenage boy, but is clean and still in pretty good condition. There are no major cosmetic flaws to this model. As far as function goes, this is a nice boombox to blast your neighborhood with some dope sounds. Everything else works fine, the radio even gets decent reception without the antenna. Cassette player was tested and works. As far as the 4 inch speakers and overall sound quality, it sounds just like an Emerson made in the ’80s. It still looks cool, though! Entire unit measures 20.5 inches x 4.75 inches x 7 inches. This one sold, and I think its in New York, now. This Emerson vintage boombox can be found below. When you think about retro ghetto blasters, think of Atomic Space Junk. We work to find the best in old boomboxes to bring back to market.[phpbay]emerson boombox, , , cd ip550 , , , 39, , , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
Vintage Sony Boomboxes
Sony CFS-300 Stereo Cassette-Corder Vintage Boombox
This vintage boombox is the Sony CFS-300 Stereo Cassette-Corder, manufactured back in 1983. It has a no-frills retro 1980s contemoprary modern look, with hard, boxy edges and a conspicuous lack of nonsense on the pewter silver casing. The CFS-300 has Sony’s AMS Automatic Music Sensor, which is quite effective. Lets say you want to skip Jailhouse Rap and go to Stick ‘Em on your old Fat Boys tape. Instead of pressing the stop button and fast forwarding (and stopping and playing repratedly to see if you have gone far enough), you simply press the fast forward button while the tape is in play, and the CFS-300 will stop on the next track and automatically play it. This decreases undue wear and tear on the transport controls and makes for a more enjoyable and easygoing listening experience. Continuing with the no-frills style, the Sony CFS-300 has only volume and balance and tone knobs (what, you wanted separate bass and treble?). You can also forget about a smooth and slow eject, as this vintage boombox has no hydraulic cassette bay window, and flys open with a powerful force when you press the eject button. The Sony CFS-300 has 3.5-inch loudspeakers and sounds very good for its relatively small size. It is powered by either six “D” cell batteries or an AC power cord, which is permenently built-in to the unit. The streamlined appearance and high-quality build of the Sony CFS-300 will let everyone know that you prefer substance and style over size and flashy gimmicks. Entire unit measures 18 inches x 5.75 inches x 4 inches. Scroll down if you’re looking for the classic yellow Sony Sports Boombox! [phpbay]sony boombox cassette, , , sports cd ipod xplod new, , , 36, , , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
Sony Sports CFM-104 Yellow Vintage Boombox
As Sony’s ad campaign stated, “When the going gets tough, it’s tough to take along your favorite music. That is, unless you have Sony’s rugged, splash-resistant Sports Series portable stereo players!”. This Sony Sports CFM-104 vintage boombox has the instantly recognizable retro ’80s yellow casing that lets everybody know you are ready to enjoy big sound in the most rugged of environments. It has a very unusual design, operating as an old-school mono portable cassette player with a cool grip handle where the stereo speaker would normally be. Its design makes it super easy to carry, makes people turn heads, and, being a Sony, it sounds as loud, full and clear as many stereo boomboxes. Like all of the Sony Sports line, the CFM-104 has a splash-resistant case with rubber gaskets and seals around all of the buttons and controls to keep out moisture (and dirt!). It has an AM/FM tuner, hydraulic eject door with cool orange accents inside, and built-in condenser microphone for live recording fun. The CFM-104 is powered by only four “C” batteries, which proves highly economical compared to other boomboxes of this era. Its probably due to the mono 4-inch speaker design, but, in any case, your wallet will love it! You can also power it with your own universal AC adaptor (not supplied). The Sony Sports CFM-104 boombox measures 15 inches x 6 inches x 5 inches.
Sony Sports CFS-920 Yellow Vintage Boombox
This bright yellow AM/FM Cassette-corder was designed with sealed rubber buttons to make it water-resistant. It has a cool handle that screws off and can be remounted on the side of the unit. Powered by either 6 D batteries or universal / 9V AC adaptor (neither of which are included). The radio of this Sony gets good reception and the Sony tape player still sounds good, too. As a matter of fact, this Sony boombox has a surprisingly full sound for what appears to be a pair of 3 inch speakers. This thing has totally awesome retro looks, sounds great, and was made with quality…a great way to enjoy your old cassette collection! The vintage Sony Sports boombox measures (minus handle) 17 inches x 5.5 inches x 5 inches. This Sony boombox was sold and was shipped to Australia, but you can find your own Sony Sports vintage boombox below, and scoll down for another totally tubular Sony Sports boombox we recently found! [phpbay]sony sports boombox, , , cd ipod xplod new white, , , 25, , , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
Sony Sports CFS-904 Vintage Boombox
Here’s another yellow Sony Sports vintage boombox from the late 1980s. Like the CFS-920 shown above, this one is also designed with the same sealed rubber gasket technology, making it impervious to moisture. With patented Sony Mega-Bass, this Sony Sports vintage boombox has amazing and powerful sound for its relatively compact size and modest 4.5-inch speakers. The unit measures 18.5 inches x 5.5 inches x 5.25 inches.
Vintage Boombox Rarities and Oddities
Electro Brand Vintage Boombox
This rugged Electro Brand vintage boombox is an early model that measures only 14.5 inches x 7.5 inches and a very thin 3.75 inches deep, but is quite heavy for its size. A classic and fairly rare vintage boombox with cassette deck and AM/FM stereo tuner, the Electro Brand model 7951 has a cool retro look with a slim design. It is equipped with 3.5-inch loudspeakers and built-in stereo condenser mics (great for band rehersals and lo-fi home recording!). “No-Frills” is an understatement when it comes to the Electro Brand 7951 vintage boombox, which has separate left and right volume controls, and that’s it! You can also switch between mono and stereo FM signals, and there is a switch setting labeled “Sleep”, and I have not been able to figure out how it works (or exactly what it does in the first place!). The cassette door is not hydraulic and whips open with a furious ka-chunk. The long radio antenna retracts all the way down into the cabinet body, which has likely kept it from being bent or broken, and in perfect condition over the last 30 years. It is powered by either six “D” cell batteries, or the included AC power cord. By the way, this Electro Brand boombox has a 110v/220v selector switch hidden in the battery compartment, so it can be used worldwide! Electro Brand has been importing and rebranding cool-looking Asian electronics since the early 1960’s, and they are still around today![phpbay]electro brand boombox, , , semfty, , , , , , , , , , , , [/phpbay]
OK, so your entire cassette collection was stolen out of your car at that stupid bonfire party back in ’92, but you still want something you can play your digital media on that will rest your shoulder proudly. Check out these ridiculously awesome-looking boomboxes. Some look like they were made 30 years ago, the rest look like they are made 30 years in the future!
Above we have provided some information about previous old school boomboxes and ghetto blasters that we have sold in the past. They may prove helpful to you in selecting your next vintage boombox! Check back as we will always update this page whenever we find another vintage boombox!