There’s been a trend lately of all in one boomboxes that encompass a retro feel. Amplivox’s SL1010 takes it one further step by adding a cassette deck and a plethora of other options. The SL1010 features not only a new home for your old compact tapes, but also mp3 and CD playback as well as SD/USB inputs. The company even threw in an AUX to accommodate iDevices, not to mention the prerequisite AM/FM tuner.

The sleek black compact box is a bit on the weighty side, but with all the options available in one spot it’s hard to complain. The bright LCD, while not fancy, does the job adequately. Navigation is smooth, but can be a bit counterintuitive. For one, the skip and previous buttons are positioned oddly (buttons with arrows pointing right are on the left of the LCD and vice versa), which is a bit annoying at first, but is easy to get used too. The cassette deck is slick on the release and solid in build. Larger fingers may have difficulties with the button design. Specifically, the cassette buttons can be a bit unwieldy with their deep locking points. Still, the tight design makes for a fantastic looking machine. A 1996 stamped copy of Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt played in all its magnificent magnetic glory, crisply. Bass reproduction is what is expected from the SL1010’s compact frame, but vocal ranges come through impressively clean. The “boom” in boom box is more form than function, but what it lacks in power it makes up for with style.

The SD/MMC slot is a good addition. Although Micro SDs are becoming more and more ubiquitous with the advent of SD slots on phones, adapters are easy to find. USB drives loaded with all sorts of files are as easy as dropping a CD in. After a brief second, any and all mp3s buried on the drive were locked, loaded and ready to blare. The system even comes with a remote, but perhaps most nifty of all, the Amplivox’s SL1010 comes with a “Jack Box” that contains six stereo headphone jack inputs (1/4”) with individual volume controls – just a little something extra for the all the audiophiles out there.

With its plethora of options, sleek design and retro appeal, the Amplivox SL1010 Boombox is a great little device to play classics collecting dust in the basement or bump out in the park, to liven up a picnic.

Words By. Sean Watson