Bringing Back a Classic Old School Look with the Berlin Boombox

By Conor Rushby |

With its boxy design and then-revolutionary ability to make loud music mobile, the boombox became a classic piece of 70s and 80s culture. But for the few who lament the passing of its popularity with the introduction of new-fangled technology like MP3 players, there is good news – Berlin-based designer Axel Pfaender has resurrected the ghost of a tinny past and has brought boomboxes back.

Made of recycled cardboard, the Berlin Boombox is a little lighter than its predecessor. It’s also a bit more contemporary as an MP3 speaker system for any device with a 3mm headphone jack, be it iPhone, Android or conventional MP3 player.

It certainly tries to incorporate the best of both worlds – the Berlin Boombox weights in at just 850g, so you can strut your stuff with it perched happily on your shoulder while listening to the two MIVOC PRO 75mm/3” fullrange speakers. It is perhaps a little on the small size with dimensions of 35×25×11cm, though.

The self-assembly kit – don’t worry, no glue or tools needed – costs €65, and Axel said: “It’s important to me to make something of high quality, with love for every detail. At the same time I want it to be friendly and light-hearted – the result of this can’t be cheap but I want it to be affordable.”

Axel came up with the idea to create the Berlin Boombox because he was fed up with conventional MP3 speaker systems: “I had bought a sound system for my iPod a couple of years back but it looked awful at home. It was black plastic and ugly. So as an ironic idea to patch this I made a cover for it out of cardboard that looked like an old school boombox. Everybody loved this strange looking cardboard boom box, even more so when they realized that it actually worked.”

As a result, he launched a KickStarter crowd-founding campaign, and raised just over $20,000 in 30 days.

In addition, Axel’s DJ pals such as Dr Makarov and DJ Dance have drawn up their own mixes for the device in true Boombox tradition – so while the design may go back a few decades, the music doesn’t have to do the same.

You can buy it online, or from this list of shops in Germany.