Vintage is in. From classic turntables that play your indie music on vinyl, to a retro clock radio that wakes you up in the morning, gadgets and gear that hearken back to a bygone era have come back in style. And it’s not just a few gizmos. Bikes, speakers, and even an entire recreational vehicle now use retro styling. Fortunately, they benefit from modern tech so the features and components will last longer than the trend itself.
1. Pyle Vintage Classic Style Turntable
Looking like an old Edison phonograph, this turntable is packed with modern features. You can play vinyl records, of course -- but also stream over Bluetooth from your smartphone, snap in a USB thumb drive loaded with MP3 audio, or play FM/AM radio and CDs. A 45-speed record adapter is included, and you can connect the turntable to a home stereo over RCA or 3.5mm cables. One bonus: The turntable starts when you move the needle and stops automatically.
2. Polaroid Socialmatic
Available in October, the Polaroid Socialmatic 14-megapixel digital camera looks like something from the 40s with a silver and black design with rainbow stripes. Even the idea itself is retro. When you snap a picture, you can make quick adjustments in size and color, then print without any ink. (The camera uses a print technology that’s similar to fax paper.) You can also connect over Wi-Fi and post images directly to social networks like Instagram and Facebook.
3. iHome RT205 Clock Radio
A low-cost clock radio might seem like overkill. After all, your smartphone can sound an alarm in the morning. Yet that Android in your pocket isn’t bright blue with large tuning and volume knobs, a recessed snooze button, and a large built-in speaker. (Note to audiophiles: The sound quality is just okay for this price.) With a 3.5mm audio input, you can still connect your phone. There’s also a handy switch to quickly enable or disable daylight savings time.
4. Schwinn Classic Deluxe 7
Cameras, televisions, and speakers are not the only products going retro. More than just a classic design based on the original 1950s model, the Schwinn Classic Deluxe 7 has a working horn that sounds exactly like the original model, front and rear fenders, and white-wall tires. However, the components are thoroughly modern. The bike has Shimano 7-speed drivetrain and Reco shifters. The frame is made from one steel piece for extra durability and longevity.
5. Chinon Bellami HD-1 Video Camera
Available next month on Amazon.com, this throwback video camera uses a retro design based on the original handheld 8mm film camera. (Chinon is the famed Japanese camera maker that went silent in 2004 but is now returning with a new product in the U.S.) The camera has a 2.1 megapixel sensor for video and a 12x digital zoom. There’s a large red trigger to start a recording. Like the original, you can swap out lenses for wide-angle or a better zoom.
6. Master and Dynamic MH40 Over Ear Headphones
How you look when you listen to music is sometimes as important as the music itself. This retro-industrial headphone set looks like something a recording engineer would have worn in the 60s. Yet the components -- which use high-end audio drivers to replicate sound -- are modernized for the Arcade Fire age. The tan version with silver exposed steel looks particularly stylish; even the 3.5mm cable connector is made from a woven material.
7. Crosley 24-inch Retro TV
Even this LED television has gone retro. The faux-wood panels and tan/brown design looks like a relic from a 70s family room. There’s a large center dial that looks like you’d tune in the latest episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. (It’s actually for adjusting the volume.) Like most of the gear in this round-up, the Crosley 24-inch Retro TV is modernized with an HDMI input, 1080p playback, and Dolby Digital audio. You can even use it as a computer monitor.
8. 2015 Winnebago Brave
You might have to check the sticker on this retro motorhome a few times to make sure it says 2015. Designed to look like the 70s original with an “eyebrow” design in the front grill and retro two-tone look, the RV is actually packed with high-end features. A sliding dash console with a rear-view camera and navigation system moves for either the driver or the passenger to operate. You can sync your phone up to the radio over Bluetooth.