Even if things weren’t necessarily better in the past, many people long for the games, sounds, and images of another era. Good news! You can scratch that retro itch while still enjoying today’s conveniences. These modern gadgets offer up plenty of nostalgic flavor.
Typewriter for your computer
The Azio Compact Artisan is a mechanical typewriter-inspired keyboard that connects to your computer via Bluetooth. You get a guaranteed retro look, illuminated keys, and wrist rests. Even better, you get authentic typewriter sounds as you type, which is guaranteed to drive everyone around you to some level of insanity. The keyboard works on both Windows and Mac.
Azio Compact Artisan
Price: $229.99 on Amazon
Desktop arcade machine
This is a charming little gadget for people who love games in general and retro games in particular – or for those who just like to collect cool gaming stuff. The Sega Astro City Mini is exactly what it sounds like: a tiny arcade machine. It has an in-built screen, contemporary controls, and the ability to save games so you don’t have to start over every time you play.
Sega Astro City Arcade
Price: $109.99 at Limited Run Games
Tradition and new technology in one
NAD just celebrated its 50th anniversary with a modernized version of the classic hi-fi amplifier 3030, now called the C 3050 LE and with a limited production run of only 1972 units. You get 2 x 100 watts of power output (speakers not included), the typical VU meters and walnut casing, and can connect vinyl players, TVs via hdmi as well as digital music machines.
The amplifier has built-in support for all kinds of streaming, 24-bit HD audio, and the Bluesound multiroom system via compatible Dali and PSB speakers.
NAD C 3050 LE
Price: $1,999 at ListenUp
The DJ’s best friend turns 50
The most future-proof sound source is actually the analogue vinyl record, which has made its rightful return to the mainstream in the last decade. Of all the turntables, the 50th anniversary Technics SL-1200 is the most well-known, often used by club DJs from then to now.
The anniversary model is available in seven colors and all have a gold tonearm. Direct drive means that the disc starts immediately and there are no broken belts, the speed can be fine-tuned, and you can scratch and play discs backwards.
Price: $1099.99 at TurnTableLab
Versatile microphone for podcasters
Want to feel like Jack Killian in the TV series A Voice in the Night or play it as cool as Donald Fagen on the album cover of The Nightfly? Inspired by the design of the AKG C414 large-diaphragm microphone, which is ten times more expensive, the AKG Lyra doesn’t need a preamplifier and connects via USB directly to your computer, tablet, or phone.
Easy-to-reach controls let you set the gain and select the recording profile, depending on whether you’re recording yourself, guests, or an entire acoustic jam session.
Price: $155 at B&H Photo & Video
Cold War headphones
Today, Koss is best known for the practical, lightweight Porta Pro headphones — which sound much better — but this is heavy history. Found in 1970 studios from Los Angeles to Berlin, the Koss Pro4AA can handle very high volumes and shut out the outside world with its air-filled ear cushions.
They have a sturdy, hard-seated construction in steel and plastic and an old-fashioned curly cord with a 6.3 millimeter plug.
Price: $69.99 at Amazon
Amiga emulator with 25 games
If the Commodore 64 defined the early 1980s, its successor, the Amiga 500, offered unprecedented experiences for its time. The A500 Mini has some toy character but emulates the original, as well as the Amiga 600 and 1200, with 25 built-in games such as Another World, Battle Chess, Cadaver, and Worms.
The graphics simulate a thick television picture in 720p and are connected via HDMI, and USB is available to connect a keyboard to complement the included mouse and gamepad. Your own (legally owned) games can also be loaded via USB.
The A500 Mini
Price: $129.99 on Amazon
Turn over and go back to sleep!
More late 80s retro with the Flip Premium alarm clock from Lexon Design, which you simply flip to switch off (or on).
Snooze, activate, or dim the screen via touch, so you won’t be disturbed at night. If you don’t trust your phone’s alarm, this one gives you three months of battery life between charges, in a handy, easily portable size of just under four inches. It’s available in 10 colors from purple and orange to gold, silver and black.
Lexon Design Flip Premium
Price: $50 at Amazon
Old-school camera look, new-school camera guts
The fine old camera brand Olympus lives on through the company OM System. The Olympus PEN E-P7 lands between compact and system cameras, with twenty interchangeable M.Zuiko lenses to choose from.
The stylishly traditionalist design houses a 20 megapixel sensor, snappy image processor with enhanced autofocus for portraits and 4k video with five-axis image stabilization, foldable touchscreen, wireless connectivity, and the OI.Share mobile app. Unfortunately, the Olympus PEN E-P7 was never released stateside, with a limited run only landing in Europe and Japan, so you’ll need to turn to used models on Ebay if you’re keen to get your hands on one.
Olympus PEN E-P7
Price: $544 on Ebay (used)
This article was translated from Swedish to English, and originally appeared on m3.se.