Being an iconic product of the 80s, the boombox is one design that’s hard to forget. That’s why companies keep resurrecting it in one form or another. JVC’s compact RD-R1 and RD-R2 are the latest to tackle that icon of 80s street.
Weighing a mere pound and just over seven inches long, both devices are notoriously small and light — a huge contrast to the shoulder-hoisted, booming portable sound systems of old. They can play MP3,WMA and AAC files right from an SD card, complete with all playback functions and a small LCD screen to boot.
More than a music player, though, the RD-R1 and RD-R2 also double as audio recorders. Sporting dual omni-directional mics, it can record live performances directly to an SD card at bitrates of up to 192 Kbps. The recording feature comes with five-second countdown and clapper-style start functionality, so you have time to take a deep breath before recording your own freestyle rap jams.
The RD-R2 is the more expensive of the pair and comes with a few extra capabilities for your money. Most significant of these are the built-in metronome and a 6.3mm mono jack for plugging in an electric guitar or mic, allowing you to use it as a full-fledged street-performing mini-rig.
Pricing for the RD-R1 is not known, although the RD-R2 will reportedly retail for ¥37,800 (around $460) when it rolls out to Japanese stores in February. Yep, these things are quite hefty on the pocket, but the size and features sure sound like something to seriously consider.