Rediscovering vintage Hi-Fi: The timeless appeal and modern innovations

Get the latest from Beat


Rediscovering vintage Hi-Fi: The timeless appeal and modern innovations

heynow hi-fi
L52 Classic Pair Orange
Words by Geoff Haynes

Vintage Hi-Fi represents the birth of our music-listening age, tracing back to the dawn of modern music.

 Over time, these systems have evolved with trends, yet they maintain an enduring charm and superior sound quality that captivates enthusiasts. Numerous wondrous speakers and amplifiers from this era can be acquired very cheaply through secondhand shops and eBay. Any of these in working order will sound far superior to your phone and a Bluetooth speaker.

There’s a growing trend in Hi-Fi that seeks to capture the golden age of sound. This was when music sounded realistic and speakers featured larger cones to produce richer, more authentic bass. If you’re looking to set up a system on a budget, a vintage system is often a better investment than a cheap Bluetooth speaker. The sound quality and craftsmanship of vintage equipment provide a more satisfying listening experience.

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Geoff Haynes (@heynowhifi)

These ‘Modern Vintage’ systems retain the classic aesthetics of vintage designs while incorporating today’s technology and features. You can find products with Spotify connectivity and HDMI inputs, allowing you to enjoy YouTube and Netflix with clear, coherent sound. 

A couple of brands from this time are JBL and KLH; the Tivoli Audio Model 1 Radio makers both contribute to the Hi-Fi products that exist today.

Established in 1946, JBL quickly became synonymous with high-quality audio. Their speakers, renowned for their robust build and exceptional clarity, became favourites among audiophiles and professionals.

Iconic models like the JBL L100, with its distinctive Quadrex foam grille, continue to evoke nostalgia and admiration. Today, JBL offers new vintage-inspired products that capture the essence of their classic designs while integrating modern technology and additional components, like their Classic Series of ‘new vintage’ amplifiers, CD players and turntables.

Originally known for their innovative acoustic suspension speakers, KLH has been a significant player in the Hi-Fi world since the 1950s. Their modern offerings stay true to their vintage roots, delivering high-quality sound with the added benefits of current audio technology.

KLH’s new vintage products provide the same great performance while offering the convenience of modern connectivity options. KLH Speakers were originally built by Henry Kloss, the maker of the Tivoli Audio Model 1 Radio that you may have had growing up. 

The resurgence of interest in vintage Hi-Fi systems highlights a broader cultural appreciation for quality, design and authenticity. The new vintage-inspired products offer a seamless blend of old and new. These systems provide the classic aesthetic and superior sound quality of vintage designs, combined with the convenience and performance of modern technology.

With all the world’s music at our fingertips, investing in a quality Hi-Fi system can significantly enhance your listening experience. Whether you’re drawn to the storied history of brands like JBL and KLH or excited by the possibilities of modern advancements, the journey into Hi-Fi promises rich and rewarding sonic adventures.

If you need guidance on setting up your home Hi-Fi system, don’t hesitate to contact Geoff through his website, HeyNow Hi-Fi, where you can email, phone, or text any of your questions. He’s always happy to help you on your Hi-Fi journey.

Beat readers can also enter MUSIC10 at checkout for 10% off.*

This article was made in partnership with HeyNow Hi-Fi. 

 *10% off all non-sale items. Offer ends 30/06/24.