Audiophiles may be mostly concerned with sound, but great audio systems and accessories also manage to feature impressive looks. The details, sizes and features may have changed over time, but stereos, headphones and receivers have always been eye candy for people who love gadgets. These retro ads from the 1970s show just how far our audio technology has come in a relatively short time.
Whatever you have sitting on your shelf at home, these vintage audio system ads are a treat for the eyes. The small, compact speakers we know today were impossible 30 years ago; instead, living rooms were filled with huge boxes that delivered audio while dominating a significant portion of the available floor space.
Some of the stereo components common in the 70s are barely recognizable to people who grew up with tiny desktop speakers. Equalizers and receivers have gotten smaller and sleeker, and cassette tape decks have all but disappeared. And while you’ll still find turntables in some homes, they’re nowhere near as popular as they were in the 70s.
Like vinyl records, reel-to-reel tape is still around…but it’s not at all as popular as it was in its heyday. These ads were geared toward recording professionals, but plenty of homes also contained reel-to-reel recorders and players.