McDonald’s Teams Up With Engineers to Turn Drink Tray Into Boombox

It is a low-tech package with high-tech innovation that delivers quality sound—and it is 100 per cent recyclable.

A partnership between McDonald’s, industrial design group Stacklab and the University of Waterloo’s Audio Research Group means you can turn the fast food giant’s recyclable drink tray into a portable speaker.

Dubbed the McDonald’s Boombox, the speaker was scientifically engineered and lab tested at the University of Waterloo. The double-cone design maximizes the volume of a phone’s built-in speaker, boosting the sound to 70.4 dB—similar to the volume that a vacuum cleaner emits when used.

The reflective surface of the foil-stamped cones helps bounce sound—like a brass instrument—and increases sound quality by 43 per cent.

“For our team, the McDonald’s Boombox was a dream project that allowed us to infuse high tech engineering and theoretical acoustics into an everyday item,” said Janelle Resch, audio engineering group project lead at the University of Waterloo.

The Boombox is compatible with any size or kind of smartphone through a special slot that allows for phone stability and easy menu control.

A limited quantity of these speakers will be up for grabs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at Toronto’s Woodbine Beach along with free McFlurry desserts.