If a retro music player is essential for your retro home, I might have just the thing. My top 10 midcentury modern audio systems, with style as important as substance.
I am not rating these in any particular order, but hopefully, there is enough variety here for something to jump out at you. I haven’t included the Roberts Radio either, purely because I’m presuming you already know about that. But if you want something a little more niche, please do read on.
1. Midcentury Ruark Audio R7 MKIII radiogram
I love this player and when it comes to midcentury modern audio, the Ruark Audio R7 is hard to beat if you have the money.
Basically, this is a reinvention of the midcentury radiogram, keeping the look of the era, but adding the technology of today. 160W of output, DAB/DAB+, FM radio and internet radio, a CD player, connectors for a turntable (no record player here) plus Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more. You can even hook it up to your TV as a soundbar. But at £2,300, it isn’t a cheap option.
2. 1960s Brionvega Radiofonografo record player
This one isn’t cheap either. But it is truly amazing.
Amazing that Brionvega has reissued a design perhaps most famous for being the one David Bowie owned and loved. The reissues are faithful to the 1965 design, with record player, radio and folding speakers. But each one is made to order new, with 100 of each colour being offered. Just over £6,000 if you want one, although note that you can get vintage models cheaper on eBay.
3. Tabblue midcentury speaker table by Steepletone
Very much a case of new technology meeting old-school charm.
Steepletone is perhaps best known for its record players, but it also has this interesting little Tabblue table in its range. Yes, it works as an occasional table, but it also contains Bluetooth connectivity, 2x USB charging ports and an AUX in port, along with 4 x 12W RMS speakers and 2 x 20w Tweeters for 360-degree sound when you hook up your music source. £153 if you want one.
4. Revo retro SuperCD audio system
Something more compact when it comes to midcentury modern audio and with a Dieter Rams influence for your home too.
Rev has made a number of stylish systems, with this one being one of the more recent. SuperCD because that’s effectively what you have here. Yes, it has CD playback, but also access to tens of thousands of radio stations, Spotify streaming, Bluetooth streaming and multi-room capabilities, all controllable via a specially designed app. £599.95 for this.
5. Eames Radio by Charles and Ray Eames reissue by Vitra
I can’t do a midcentury modern audio round-up without mentioning Eames.
This is a recent reissue of a design that never made it off the drawing board back in 1946. Similar look to the original, but with concessions to the modern era in terms of the inner workings. pricey too at £849, but it a limited edition of 999.
6. Moonraker wireless speaker system by Bossa
Not quite a full midcentury modern audio system, you will need to provide your own music source here.
Handmade to order, the Moonraker includes two separate bi-amplified speakers, an intuitive remote control and both wired and wireless connectivity. Bluetooth from most devices or hook up via wired optical and coaxial digital inputs. You can also use analogue inputs to hook up to record decks and CD players. If you want a pair with a remote and the cables, you are looking at around £1,848
7. Wrensilva Loft retro-style record player and audio system
Another handmade design and an absolute beauty.
A record player, a 300 watts per channel Wrensilva amplifier, Sonos functionality for streaming pretty much everything and more traditional inputs if you need them. Vinyl storage too. $2,999 is the base price for this one.
8. Luno midcentury-style audio system with built-in drinks cabinet
Yes, it does look like a high-end midcentury walnut sideboard. But there’s more to this than meets the eye.
Packed in here is a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon deck and wireless (AirPlay) connectivity, as well as a two-way speaker system with silk dome tweeter, a 100-watt subwoofer and room for up to 150 records. Oh, let’s not forget the pull-out minibar with glasses and bottle storage. Price on application for this one.
9. Midcentury-style HiFi Console by Department Chicago
This was a Kickstarter project and a popular one too.
You need to provide your own deck, but the unit has a Bluetooth-enabled amplifier plus inputs also for your TV, record player and other old-school audio. Bags of room for record storage and bags of retro style too. $1,695 is the entry price.
10. Miniforms midcentury-style Skap sideboards with built-in audio
There are variations on this design, but I prefer the horizontal model featured here.
It looks like some kind of futuristic 1960s sideboard, which is no bad thing in my book. In fact, there is plenty of storage here. However, it also has a built-in audio system, a wireless Bluetooth receiver, traditional audio inputs and a remote control to turn this into a music system. £2,680 for this design.
Find out more about the Miniforms midcentury-style Skap sideboards
And that’s not quite all for midcentury modern audio. I have a couple more players incoming in the coming days. So keep an eye on the site for those.