By Blake Powers

Boombox popularity plateaued in 1989 with sales of 6 million, dropped to  1 million in 2010, and now… good luck on finding one.

Currently in Japan, boomboxes are making a comeback, according to Bangkok Post.

A growing number of young people in Japan are becoming interested in classic boomboxes with audio cassette playing capability, wanting to experience something musical they’ve never done.

Most have never played a cassette tape and feel the sound is quite a novelty. Of course, if listening to music on a high quality chrome or metal cassette (good luck on finding those too), the sound is good.  Wonder how long it’ll be before they grow tired of having to write down the counter numbers of each song on cassettes, in order to fast-forward or rewind to a song they want to hear? Probably not long.

The quality of recording from CD to a high quality cassette is good, but very time consuming. Plus, boomboxes or any cassette player for that matter, requires maintenance. You MUST clean the tape heads with denatured alcohol to remove dust, dirt and iron oxide residue, in order for cassettes to play at their optimum.

Oh yeah, much of the above is coming back to those who went through the tape/cassette era, including when cassette tape comes rolling out the player onto the ground/floor… lol!

Meanwhile, I stick with the best quality CDs I can purchase, because I’m an audio snob… lol! I want the best sound source possible, and if I choose to put it on mp3 or whatever format, I know it’ll sound the best possible.

Yes, you can still buy a boombox. Some play cassettes. Most are reasonably priced. Just Google search “best price on boomboxes” and over 2.25 million results pop up.

Will boomboxes/cassette players make a comeback in the U.S.? Perhaps as a piece of home office or study decor that is occasionally used to demonstrate a piece of history.


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