Tivoli Audio SongBooks Are Modernist Bluetooth Boomboxes


Released nearly two decades ago and well ahead of the era of streaming, the original Tivoli Audio SongBook was a portable 1.75lbs AM/FM radio outfitted with a lone speaker and telescoping antenna – a compact travel radio reflective of a different time and listening habits. Tivoli has recently revived the SongBook with the announcement of not just one new speaker, but two Bluetooth sound systems featuring the melodious moniker, each designed to evoke the stylings of the past while delivering the music streaming features expected of today.

Tivoli SoundBook in Cream and Brown in living room environment staged near a midcentury armchair in the foreground and hanging pendant light, shelving in the background

Designer and CEO of Tivoli Audio, Paul DePasquale says the new SongBook was inspired by industrial designs from the 1970s and 1990s – everything from kitchen appliances, consumer electronics, and of course, home audio. And it shows, with a simple approach to listening.

“I wanted the product to feel like something I would have loved to have growing up in the 90s,” DePasquale explains. “Adding the analog approach to the equalizer, power functions, and sources brought to life a familiar joy in user experience, which is simple and fun.”

Tivoli Audio SongBook wireless speaker radio with handle set against an orange background.

The Tivoli Audio SongBook’s retro design is invitingly tactile, featuring a power toggle switch, line/amp toggle, source knob, volume knob, and Lo / Mid / Hi EQ adjustment sliders with nary a screen in sight.

Tivoli Audio SongBook wireless speaker radio with handle on wood circular table.

It may look like a boombox of yesteryear, but Tivoli has outfitted the SoundBook with modern specs, including two 20-watt amps output, Bluetooth 5.3 wireless connectivity, one 3.5″ full-range driver with a 3.5” woofer, fast power delivery recharging, and even splash resistant IPX 4 rating.

The resulting “newly evolved” SongBook’s aesthetic is indeed a tactile reinterpretation of the original radio, and one strongly evocative of the most beloved and nostalgic audio designs: the radio boombox.

Available now in two sizes, the first SongBook weighs 6.7lbs and measures 12″ x 9″ x 5″ – roughly the size of the boombox stereo some of us remember from our analog youth. Instead of popping in cassette tapes or CDs, the retro-styled speaker now connects to sources both wirelessly via Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, and Chromecast, or directly using a 1⁄4”/ 6.35mm auxiliary input.

Tivoli Audio SongBook wireless speaker radio in glossy green finish with blue background.

You won’t ever have to worry about changing out enormous D size batteries to power this portable speaker as it’s equipped with an internal fast charging battery that ekes up to 10 hours of battery life per charge.

Tivoli Audio SongBook wireless speaker radio in glossy green finish set on a small side end table in a living room near sofa topped with two pillows and jar filled with cut flowers set on a windowsill.

Tivoli also offers a second SongBook MAX, a larger iteration equipped with a beefier 4″ subwoofer for the bump in the trunk low end, 4″ midrange driver, small .75″ tweeter positioned in the center, and two 50-watt amps. Weighing 11.5lbs and measuring 15″ x 11″ x 6″, the MAX edition is more to lug around, but offers a bigger sound with its size. There’s also an FM radio tuner if you like to “stream” music the old fashioned way, with the option to program up to 5 station presets.

Tivoli Audio SongBook MAX wireless speaker radio in glossy green finish with purple background.

Unlike the smaller SoundBook, the MAX edition features a small digital status display, but otherwise retains the same tactile user controls.

white modern boombox wireless speaker on pink background

Tivoli Audio SongBook MAX wireless speaker radio in cream and brown finish set on a marble kitchen countertop

Tivoli Audio SongBook MAX wireless speaker radio in glossy green connected to a guitar a man is strumming to the right, with a woman holding a Polaroid camera to its left.

Musicians take note, both of the new SongBooks feature a built-in pre-amp, which allows connection and output from a turntable or a guitar.

Tivoli Audio SongBook MAX wireless speaker radio in glossy green set on outdoor stone steps.

Both Tivoli Audio SongBook editions are available adorned in a cream/brown combo or a glossy green finish, with the SongBook priced at $449.99 and the SongBook MAX for $599.99.



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