That's how it sounds to Lyle Owerko, a New York-based photographer and filmmaker who has immortalized the portable sound device in a new book, "The Boombox Project: The Machines, the Music, and the Urban Underground."
"These devices have not been in vogue for 20 years, yet not a day goes by where I don't see someone with a boombox silk-screened on a T-shirt," Owerko told AOL News.
For those born after 1990: A "boombox" was a large yet portable sound system popular between 1978 and 1990. Music fans who owned the devices would typically carry them on their shoulders everywhere they went while blasting their favorite tunes at full volume, often on mix tapes.
It was also called a ghetto blaster, a beatbox or a ghetto briefcase (a term director and boombox aficionado Spike Lee considers racist). Owerko says boomboxes were a primary means of disseminating musical genres such as punk, rap and hip-hop in an era where they weren't being played on the radio or even on MTV.
"It was also a bit of social control," Owerko said. "For instance, skateboarders might play thrash metal really loud as a way of clearing out space -- a sonic repellent."
Owerko, who owns 42 boomboxes, says the first ones appeared around 1976 and, despite their cumbersome size, were actually an example of miniaturization.
"The boombox allowed people to be able to have something that could provide sound loud enough to fill a stadium within a small space and was portable," he said.
In addition, the devices were able to convey low-end bass and drum sounds more effectively than previous home sound devices.
"The bass sound is fundamental to a boombox," Owerko said. "That's why, to this day, many bands will play their songs on a boombox in order to hear how a mix sounds."
Despite competition from the Sony Walkman, which hit the market in 1980, the boombox was king through the mid-'80s, especially between 1983 and 1985, which Owerko calls the "golden age of the boombox."
During that glorious period, Owerko said, manufacturers tried to outdo each other and finally hit a peak in 1983 with the Sharp GF-777, which he considers "the BMW of boomboxes," thanks to its two cassette decks and four sub-range speakers.
With a box like that booming, people were sure to hear you coming, and while that was part of its appeal, it was also key to its demise. While the loud sounds made it is easy to share music with a group, not everyone wanted to hear loud thump-thump-thumps while riding on the subway. That caused many people to consider the devices a form of noise pollution.
"Really, the boombox took over every environment it was around, sort of like the Radio Raheem character in 'Do the Right Thing,'" Owerko said.
The loud sound was one factor that contributed to the demise of the boombox, while the rise of the Walkman made listening to music more private than ever. The introduction of the CD also led to its downfall, Owerko points out.
By 1990, the boombox has been basically blasted off the market, although it lived on in a few iconic moments, such as when John Cusack holds one above his head in the 1989 movie "Say Anything."
But while Owerko's book is a history of the boombox, the past five years he's spent working on it has convinced him its story may not be completely written yet.
"I've met enough collectors to know that people want one," he said. "I think people have had their time listening by themselves, and now they want more a group experience," he said.