TDK 3 Speaker Boombox: Papercuts Would Be a Better Use of Five $100 BillsS

Unfortunately, the 90s happened. Along with vanquishing the 80s, they ushered out the over-the-top audio stylins of the previous decades. Yeah, the 90s killed boomboxes (WTF). TDK is bringing the ghetto blaster back with its 3-Speaker Boombox.

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SOOOO beautiful, with retromod curves, exposed drivers, brushed metal and leather accents, and a smoove plexi front. Really loud, thanks to 35 watts of power pumping from five well-amplified drivers: a sub in the middle and two carbon fiber mids on its flanks that have independently mounted tweeters right in their centers. Quarter-inch jack and input mixing lets you plug in an instrument and rock along with your tunes. USB port lets you plug in a USB stick, hard drive, or iPod/Phone and control its content. (Theoretically.) Runs off 12 D batteries so you can kick it oldschool in the park.

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If you're gonna parade this thing around on your shoulder, you better have a strong-ass back because this baby weighs better than 30 pounds. Dispersion—the audio equivalent of viewing angle—is terrible. Probably due to all those stylishly sharp edges. Oh, and here's a small problem: Shit didn't work for us. The iDevice integration, that is. I tried the two most recent generations of nanos, a classic, and an iPhone 4—the boombox couldn't access or navigate the tracks lists on any of them. Sure, if I started a song and then plugged in the 'Pod, it would continue playing, but I couldn't skip a bad track, let alone access other content.

After 40 minutes of fussing with it, I gave up and emailed the company to ask if there was a software update, or if my review unit was a prototype or something. Still haven't heard anything, so I've gotta assume I had a perfectly functional unit. (10 bucks says hear from them now!)

$500