Vintage Boomboxes and Tape Players

Nostalgia is the order of the day. There's always someone in this generation who thinks the old generations were cooler and long for everything they had. If you're in that group and wish to give your home a vintage look, then think of boomboxes. 
Vintage Boomboxes and Tape Players

Last update: 03 October, 2019

Everything is about the 70s, 80s, and 90s nowadays. Most likely because their ideas in regard to fashion were quite different from those in our current era. For example, are you familiar with vintage boomboxes? Who would think iPods actually evolved from them.

Boomboxes were of paramount importance back in the 80s and 90s. They’re no longer that functional and few people still use them to play music. In any case, there are still many out there and they make great vintage decoration pieces.

Keep in mind that vintage boomboxes have a specific look and they don’t really fit into many decor styles. They’re basically more linked to an eclectic, alternative environment with nostalgia for a bygone era.

The historical context of vintage boomboxes

A cassette player and tapes.

Boomboxes, cassette players, tape players, are all similar and are the result of an evolution from the old radios that were linked to them. Back in the day, your parents or grandparents listened to music on either tapes or FM and AM radio and even LPs.

Their production and sale took place in the 70s, reaching a greater audience in the 80s. Advances in technology at that time gradually improved the device. It was in the 90s when multiple brands appeared with increasingly sophisticated designs.

People took boomboxes out onto the street because you could operate them with batteries. It became a great way for music lovers to have a party anywhere they went.

– How wonderful the 70s were!-

Vintage decor

Vintage boomboxes and many other items are making their way back into our homes. More and more people are currently dusting them off for decoration.  A tape player is a fundamental piece of vintage aesthetics. Let’s see why:

  • It’s a great memory from the past when music was more accessible. However, the greater relevance of these objects is about being able to listen to it with stereo sound quality.
  • Their shape was quite original at the time and it clearly followed the function of having a speaker on each side of a couple of central devices that reproduced cassettes and the music on the radio.
  • This is completely different from our current devices. Nowadays we reproduce music through our smartphones, iPods or computers. However, the radio cassette could not just play music, but also record it from external sources or from a radio station.
  • Boomboxes were relatively small therefore portable, you could take them anywhere.

As you can see, tape players are an interesting element to decorate the interior of your home with. They convey your enjoyment of music and its not too far away past. Thus, this is a device that many peopel are currently rediscovering, even if the function is now purely aesthetic.

Vintage boomboxes styles

If you had to make a distinction between all styles where you could have a boombox as decoration, then you should select those with an aesthetic that’s consistent with the past. That is, with a “vintage” principle.

  • Minimalism – Simplicity is a must here, so choose a tape player that’s not too extravagant.
  • Urban style – This style is the easiest one for this particular object. Most cassette players will fit into it. The reason why it fits so perfectly here is that this device had a huge presence in the streets at the beginning of hip-hop.
  • Jazz club – When it comes to music you can link pretty much anything to this style.
  • Pop art – Boomboxes are perfect for this style because these devices had many varied colors.

Where to place them

Lounges are great places for boomboxes. Not as a focal point but rather as a side conversation piece that blends with the rest of the elements in a room, providing that uberly-cool vintage feeling.

Of course, if you’d like to make it a focal point then you can place it in your bedroom. It’s a great way to define your personal style.

Boomboxes are perfect in any area of the house due to their portable nature. Try to place them in high traffic areas when their presence will be appreciated.

Thanks for reading, we hope you’ve enjoyed this article.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Wilson, Judith: La casa vintage, Océano Ámbar, 2009.