Didn’t you get the memo? Retro is in! WandaVision takes us through the 50s, major artists like the Weeknd, Dua Lipa, and Silk Sonic are reintroducing us to the sounds of the 80s, and we’re having a deja-vu moment with Cyberpunk, a sci-fi cult movement that was popularized in the 70s! Riding on that retro-wave is Retio, an all-in-one retro radio, Bluetooth speaker, and clock that comes with a simple, sophisticated, steampunk-inspired design. Handcrafted in California, the Retio comes with a Walnut wood body surrounded by a brass accent, a fabric frontal clad, beautifully knurled brass knobs, and the Retio’s pièce de résistance, a display crafted from four genuine vintage Nixie tubes!
A portmanteau of the words Retro and Radio, Retio focuses on the sheer beauty of artifacts from the decades gone by. It harks back to a simpler time, but showcases the incredibly complex 70-year old nixie-tube technology that remains equally captivating even today. The tubes are genuine vintages, having been built more than 30 years ago but preserved in mint condition. You see, nixie tubes today are incredibly hard to find, given that nobody mass-produces them anymore… especially since they’re incredibly difficult to manufacture and require a highly skilled hand. However, this obsolete technology makes the nixie tubes a perfect bookmark of an era gone by, and the Retio showcases them in true retro glory.
The nixie tubes sit proudly within the Retio’s simple wooden box design, capped with a brass accent and clad with a fabric front to give it the appearance of an old-time radio. Beautifully knurled knobs on the front of the device let you control the radio’s frequency and volume, while also letting you switch between using the Retio as a radio, a Bluetooth speaker, or a clock… an experience that’s made complete by how the nixie tubes respond to the controls, as the layered numbers glow and change as you turn the knobs. Its vintage appearance, however, doesn’t mean an old dog can’t learn new tricks! The Retio works as a Bluetooth speaker too, allowing you to alternate between listening to radio stations and Spotify playlists or even your favorite podcasts. The speaker supports both 3.5mm aux inputs (in case you want to connect your turntable to it) and is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 for your wireless devices. A powerful 10W Class-D amplifier on the inside allows the Retio to pack an absolute punch, rivaling similar-sized speakers from Harman Kardon or JBL. When you’re done, a simple knob-flip lets you switch back to clock mode, which is adjustable between 12hr and 24hr time displays. The clock even includes an alarm function, with as many as 3 melodious alarm sounds to choose from. The upper surface of the wooden panel acts as a capacitive touch surface, allowing you to switch off the alarm and even play-pause your music.
The Retio’s highlight, however, remains its limited-edition nixie tubes (no, they’re not non-fungible), collected over the years by its makers who are bonafide nixie enthusiasts. The tubes, made in the 80s and 90s (you can even see their year of manufacture on them) and have a life span of anywhere between 100,000 to 200,000 hours, guaranteeing you well past a lifetime’s worth of use. The tubes are powered by a ridiculously small HV Board (the smallest ever developed for nixie tubes) that supplies them with the 170V they need to function. Each Retio is also outfitted with a 6800mAh battery on the inside that can easily be charged via a 5V USB (most commonly found on power banks and laptops) and give the Retio a glorious 6 hours of usage on a full charge. And no, the Retio doesn’t come with a voice assistant, although who’s to say what tech becomes vintage in the next 30 years??
Designer: Gonglue Jiang
$399 ($100 off). Hurry, only 7/1450 left! Raised over $670,000.
Retio – Handcrafted Retro Radio Speaker with Nixie Tubes
Retio is an all-in-one retro radio, Bluetooth speaker, and clock. It uses Nixie tubes to display time and radio frequencies.
Retio is portable, with a 6800mAh battery that supports 6 hours of playback and clock time. Each unit is handcrafted using American black walnut, 360 brass, and vintage Nixie tubes.
Genuine Nixie Tubes
The last Nixie tubes were made in the early ‘90s when the technology was replaced by lower-cost alternatives such as LED. As Nixie tubes enthusiasts, the team has collected them over the years from various sources to use in Retio – the tubes in the Retio are genuine vintage stock.
Today’s Nixie tube stock availability is very limited, and the price goes up almost month by month as more people are realizing the beauty of their vintage glow. Use of these rare components makes Retio one of the most unique speakers in the market.
Maybe you thought radio stations no longer exist nowadays, but they haven’t gone anywhere. When you turn on your Retio, the nostalgic feelings will come rushing back in seconds. Radio is different from how we enjoy music now. You don’t know what’s coming, and you can’t go back either – kind of like our lives. Every moment is unique and irreversible.
Retio’s speaker has amazing highs, crystal-clear mid ranges, and deep powerful bass. It’s equipped with a state-of-the-art 10W Class-D amplifier to deliver the most powerful sound you’ll ever get out of a speaker its size (the sound quality is comparable to Harman Kardon/JBL models with similar sizes).
The sound is finely tuned using advanced DSP, which allows for a more balanced and comfortable listening experience. With Qualcomm® aptX audio technology, Retio has hi-res wireless audio quality with Bluetooth 5.0. Retio is specially tuned for listening to retro-style music – you will be amazed every time, from the first beat.
Speaker test video (Recorded with non-professional recorder).
Retio acts as a clock in silence and in speaker mode. Retio can display your choice of 24hr military time or 12hr standard time and the clock also includes an alarm function. Awaken to melodious sounds with your premium speaker, embedded with several of the best soundtracks with beautiful tones, tempos, and frequencies to wake you up.
Retio has six backlight colors to echo the different moods of the night.
A gentle tap on the top enables music pause/resume and alarm control.
Made To Last
Each Retio unit is handcrafted with love in the San Francisco Bay Area, using American black walnut, 360 brass, and genuine vintage Nixie tubes. The best part of a handcrafted product is that every unit is unique. Just as each cut of walnut has a different grain and pattern that sets it apart from the others, so too do their Nixie tubes – each was handmade more than 30 years ago, and varies from the next in its shape and glow.
Walnut is hand picked with FAS grading, FSC® certified. The wood case is CNC cut and hand-sanded, with Titebond3 glue and Osmo finishes. Each piece of wood is grain matched (the wood grain flows from one side to the next). They meticulously arrange the wood so the grain flows seamlessly from one side to the next, wraps around the Nixie tubes.
$399 ($100 off). Hurry, only 7/1450 left! Raised over $670,000.