There’s something about music that just fits with the retro aesthetic. Maybe it comes from the fact that many music lovers are die-hard fans of analog recordings and reproductions. Maybe it’s more nostalgic than that, and seated in our collective love of records and record players. Whatever the reason may be, retro themed gifts and speakers are a great place to start when purchasing something for music lovers. They offer all of the nostalgia of days gone by with the incredible audio quality of modern technology.
If you’re going to go vintage, why not go vintage with a brand that was there? Marshall and Victrola aren’t vintage-inspired brands: They’re the real deal. The vintage speaker and record player aesthetic that we love so much today exists largely because they created it in the 1900s.
Marshall, the legendary amp producer, was founded in 1962 in London, England. Victrola predates it even further: The Victor Talking Machine Company was founded in 1901 in Delaware by Eldridge Reeves Johnson. Both of these brands are alive and thriving today, and many of their products still show off the vintage-y looks they pioneered. Today, your Marshall speaker can come wireless and equipped with Bluetooth, allowing you or your friends to play music in different rooms, by the pool, or at a party. Similarly, your Bluetooth-enabled Victrola will let you play audio from its built-in speakers using your smart device, so you can alternate from digital to analog sound and back. Get ready to throw down with your friends about which versions of songs sound better when played on the exact same speaker: Analog records or digital lossless files?
Embrace the 60s with Muzen and Jam Audio
If you or someone you know loves the sixties aesthetic, then Muzen and Jam Audio are the brands to look at. Both of these lines, founded recently, offer really bubbly, bright designs that fit right into the retro aesthetic. Unlike older speakers, however, they blast crisp, clear sound with a Bluetooth connection—and they’re rechargeable.
What I find really interesting about brands like these is that they’re often very anachronistic. When you look at a product from either of these brands, it’s easy to imagine them in a midcentury mod home. They perfectly match the mod aesthetic, with their soft edges, curved lines, and bright colours.
But speakers in the sixties looked nothing like this! Instead, they were big, boxy, and… usually kind of ugly. Actual midcentury speakers were liable to be as large as your side table, with wood paneling—often a walnut or teak veneer. Sure, the room they were going into might have been bright orange with curvy white furniture, but real vintage speakers were overwhelmingly rectangular and brown. (I should know; I grew up with a very old set in our house. And I hated them.)
You know what, though? I like that Muzen and Jam Audio are bringing a little magic into a bygone era. Their curvy designs may not be true-to-history, but I bet music lovers back in the day would have been thrilled by their cute designs. Finally, they could have had a speaker that matched the rest of their aesthetic.
These retro speakers would have made incredible gifts back in the sixties, and they’ll make awesome gifts today. Reach for Jam Audio designs for compact tabletop sound or Muzen for the friend who’s always on the go with the tiniest purse you’ve ever seen.
Shop portable Bluetooth speakers online at Best Buy today.