Refurbished Retro Radios Play Your MP3s

Refurbished Retro Radios Play Your MP3s

Brooklyn-based company 3rian sells antique tube radios with a modernized touch

Leah Gonzalez
  • 7 august 2014

Most people hook up their earphones to their iPods, MP3 players, and smartphones or sync their devices to high-tech speakers to enjoy music. Technology has allowed design firms and developers to create all sorts of new devices and gadgets for music lovers – giving people a myriad of choices when it comes to music players that they can use to listen to their favorite tunes.

Instead of building new gadgets, Brooklyn-based company 3rian refurbishes retro tube-powered radios from the 1920’s to the late 1960’s and converts them into MP3 players.

According to their website, 3rian deals mainly through private trade and word-of-mouth advertising. The company finds and selects original fine-functioning tube radios and disassembles them, rewires them with new components, cleans them up and refinishes them, as well as tests them to make sure they are fully functional. The retro radios are then converted to MP3 players.

Users can play their MP3’s using a top-dock on the radio, a direct-line at the back of the radio or via Bluetooth. The company’s refurbished old school tube radios are fitted with a line-in jack for an iPod or MP3 player and a simple switch at the back of the radio.


A 3rian-refurbished radio can also be used as a USB charger since it can charge the user’s device while playing music even if the radio is off. 3rian can also build in a Bluetooth upgrade into the radios so that users can broadcast their music wirelessly through the antique tube radio. The Bluetooth connectivity can work up to a distance of over 30 feet.

To take advantage of their 3rian refurbished tube radio, users simply have to power it on, wait for the tubes to warm up, and turn the selector switch up to listen to the radio. To activate the MP3 line-in and other upgrades like the USB charger and Bluetooth connection, the user just has to flip the switch back down.

The refurbished tube radios are compatible with iOS devices and most audio devices with a headphone jack, line-out or Bluetooth. Upon request, 3rian can also convert radios to connect to musical instruments like guitars and keyboards, digital radio receivers, and WiFi audio network services.



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