Digging the Dancing Queen
Anyone born much before 1975 probably won’t have a clue what a ‘boombox’ is. I’m just old enough to have owned one (the first time around) but “retro” is back on the scene again; only now it’s “luxury tech”.
According to Wikipedia: A boombox or ‘jambox’ from the mid-1970s was a transistorised, portable music player featuring one or two cassette tape recorder/players and AM/FM radio, generally with a carrying handle. Later in the 1980s, a CD player was sometimes included. Sound is delivered through an amplifier and two or more integrated loudspeakers.
The desire for louder and heavier bass led to bigger and heavier boxes; by the 1980s, some boomboxes had reached the size of a suitcase. Most boomboxes were battery-operated, leading to extremely heavy, bulky boxes.
The boombox quickly became associated with “urban society” in the United States, particularly African American and Hispanic youth. The wide use of boomboxes in urban communities led to the boombox being coined a “ghetto blaster” in hip hop culture. Apparently that is no longer politically correct but in my day, I was proud of my “ghetto blaster” being the biggest on my street!
That was the stuff of ‘Kung Fu Fighting’, ‘Fox on the Run’, ‘Hotel California’ and ‘Night Fever’ or artistes like LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, David Bowie and Michael Jackson.
I was surprise to discover that the boombox by its typical definition — a handled, portable, radio cassette deck with one or more speakers — was actually invented in the Netherlands by Philips (Norelco) in 1969. Who knew?!?
BoomBocs – What? When? Whom? Why? and How?
Bottom line first: BoomBocs is a wireless portable speaker system capable of delivering 200 Watts of quality audio with no discernible distortion, even at high volume.
Formed in 2014 by Jonny Williams in Brixton, London, U.K., BoomBocs Ltd. handcrafts every BoomBocs using moisture-resistant MDF board. Three grades of BoomBocs are available; each differing in their aesthetic finishes. The Classic and Deluxe are coated with acid-catalyst gloss paint while the Super Deluxe gets a polyester resin coating with metal powder for extra bling.
Jonny, a prestigious sound and touring engineer, has worked with global artistes alongside some of the World’s most renowned artists like Liam Payne, Kylie Minogue, All Saints, Jessie Ware and Kwabs. His passion for sound reproduction resulted in perfecting a pro-grade speaker system for consumers, without the compromises often found in mass produced cabinet designs.
BoomBocs products have toured and been used by acclaimed recording artists, including some of the world’s most influential individuals. Their durability combined with their sturdy construction make BoomBocs speakers the choice of musicians on tour including Rita Ora and Lady Gaga. BoomBocs has also appeared on TV, featured on BBC News about BoomBocs humble beginnings in ‘Pop Brixton’, a hub for start-up entrepreneurial brands and collaborators.
The Class-D amplifier is fed with audio data by wireless Bluetooth technology to ensure what you hear is the best it can be. This drives two 6.5in flax-sandwich cone woofers and two 1.75in inverted dome tweeters — serious hi-fi specifications beyond the original ‘ghetto blasters’.
It is better than CD-quality due to its higher sample rate of 96kHz (24-bit), when compared with the CD norm of 44.1kHz. If you want to connect by hard wire, use the auxillary cable input on the back of the BoomBocs.
BoomBocs uses tweeter components made by specialist Focal in France for the directional high frequencies. Focal units are used by some of the best loud speaker brands available today.
There are three BoomBocs speaker ranges for you to choose from:
The BoomBocs BRX v2.0 Classic is available in eight funky colours: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Orange, Black, White and Grey.
BoomBocs is made fully portable by adding an optional rechargeable lithium battery for a playback time of up to 20 hours (£99).
The addition of a protective slip-on cover (£49) is also recommended if you fancy taking your BoomBocs out and about.
With the same construction as BoomBocs BRX v2.0 Classic range, they jazz up the finishes and and offer a metallic range. Tiny metal flakes within the paint provide the glitter needed to lift your BoomBocs from the crowd as either the Deluxe silver or gold variants.
The same 200W powerhouse performance as the Classic range can be found inside the Deluxe and Super Deluxe BoomBocs.
Super Deluxe (£1,635 – £1,935)
The liquid metal Super Deluxe range is available as Bronze, White Bronze, Nickel, Copper, Brass, Zinc, Iron, Aluminium and Tin colours with various finishes like Plain, Antique, Polished or Rusted, dependng on the chosen shade.
BoomBocs offers ‘Custom’ artwork for your personal masterpiece (Price on Application).
A range of functional bags and covers are available for your chosen BoomBocs.
With the passage of time, this contemporary classic, derived from the retro styling of the original portable speaker, BoomBocs blast back onto today’s sound scene and is fashionable again.
Combining functionality with an iconic aesthetic, the BoomBocs collections conform to the same core values that define the brand’s musical and audio spirit, drawing on a rich British musical heritage and handcrafted approach to production and speaker design.
You’re able to stream millions of songs from music services such as Spotify® and Deezer®, or you can play direct from the library stored on your laptop, tablet or smartphone.
The technical details are listed below for those who need to be geeky about it….
Technical Geek Notes
Speaker Configuration: 2-Way
Woofer Cone: 6.5″ Flax Sandwich / Patent N° WO2014/106713 A1
Woofer Magnet: Ferrite
Tweeter Type: 1.75” Aluminium/Magnesium Inverted Dome
Tweeter Magnet: Neodymium Ring
Frequency Response: 60Hz – 28kHz (+/-3dB)
Crossover Frequency: 3.8kHz / 12dB/Octave
Sensitivity: 1.6dB @ 2.83V, 1m
Input 100 – 240V AC / 50/60Hz / 2.5A MAX
Output (non-battery) 29.4VDC / 5A MAX
Output (battery) 29.4VDC / 3A MAX
Outer Dimensions 500 x 305 x 224mm
Battery Type: Lithium-Ion with Integrated Protection Circuit
Battery Capacity: 25.9V DC / 10.2Ah
Playback Time: 15-20 Hours (medium to loud volume)
Charging Time: 2 Hours (Full)
Battery Lifespan: 1,000 Cycles
Additional Battery Weight: 1.1Kg
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).