McDonald's BoomBox - We're Lovin It!


The purpose of our investigation was to determine whether it would be possible to increase the sound pressure level (SPL) produced by a smartphone inserted into the McDonalds BoomBox. Several aspects of the BoomBox were examined to determine if further improvements could be achieved. Various prototypes were designed and experiments were conducted in which SPLs were measured and recorded for each prototype.

There were 2 main prototypes considered:

  1. designs where minimal modification were considered in case the client wanted to maintain the original aesthetic appeal,
  2. designs where one speaker was removed.

For each prototype, we took measurements 15 cm away from the horn that encapsulated the phone speaker along the central axis.  Experiments were conducted in noisy environments since the purpose of the McDonalds BoomBox is to be used in public.

Our report along with our experimental results and analysis is posted below.







This is a spectrogram of a song that was played at the CBC during an interview. On the left under "Without BoomBox" we see the spectral analysis as a function of time. On the right under "With McDonalds BoomBox" is the spectrogram of the song when the phone was inserted into the BoomBox. Notice that the colours on the right are much brighter and more saturated. This means that the SPL associated at those frequency components is higher (i.e., louder)



CBCNews: Cardboard drink tray boombox styled by Waterloo audio researcher
CTV News: Using Math to Turn Tray into BoomBox!
Kris Abel Technology: Creating McDonalds Booxbox with Janelle Resch, University of Waterloo

Media Links (Video):

UnboxTherapy: The McDonald's Drink Tray Boombox!
The Everyday Foodie: Limited Edition McDonald's Boombox
Techthelead: McDonald's Boombox

Some Other Media Links: