Weekend Reading: 10 materials about audio gadgets – from Soviet car radios to noise-canceling plugs

3 min


Today in our selection – the history of gadgets – those that have remained in the distant past and have not received recognition, and those that are again at the peak of popularity. If you are interested in the history of Soviet radio tape recorders, you do not really understand what a shorinophone and tefifon are, we invite you to cat.


A photo DL24 / PD

  • How the history of record players for cars began and what ended. In the 50s, the owners of some car models got the opportunity to listen to vinyl on the road! Before the first cassette recorders appeared, only a few years remained, therefore all newspapers trumpeted the record player. There were no competitors in the market for the new system. It would seem that what could have gone wrong? About this – in the material.

  • A brief history of audio systems in Soviet cars. How the car radio developed and changed – from the mid 30s to the end of the 80s. Six-circuit and five-lamp for Soviet limousines, serial A-8M standard in Moskvichi, radios from the legendary Radiotehnika factory with a control panel and the ability to connect a cassette recorder. The article will especially captivate retro lovers – “ZISy”, “ZILy”, “Volga”, “Muscovites” and “Cossacks” – we are talking about this to everyone.

  • “How the screen became talking”: the story of the shorinophone. We talk about the first Soviet portable device for sound recording. Why radio enthusiasts appreciated him, how he influenced the number of radio plays and operas on the air of radio stations, and how the invention was used in cinema. The principle of operation, recording methods and links to examples – all this in our article.

  • “Between Vinyl and Cassette”: The History of Tefifon. This rare player is similar to a cassette player, but in terms of playback it stands next to vinyl – the sound is removed with a needle, but the medium is a tape cartridge. As often happens, at first the tefifon liked the military to record negotiations, and then went into mass production – first in Germany, and then beyond. But nevertheless he remained far in the past. Tell us why.


A photo Bobo11 / CC BY-SA 3.0

  • “Sound on the wire”: the history of the telegraph. Continuation of a series of materials about unusual and rare audio gadgets of the past. The telegraph appeared in 1898, but only after almost 50 years found demand. Initially, it was planned to use the invention as an answering machine, but the monopolists intervened, and the telegraph became a voice recorder (by the way, also not too popular). About how the first device for magnetic sound recording looked and how it worked, in what other areas it was used and what was recorded – in our article.

  • A brief history of the variophone and “drawn sound”. We are talking about the appearance of synthesized sound, inspired by the “acoustic patterns” on the film. How to use the figures cut out of paper to reproduce the song “Maroussia was poisoned”, what inventions in the field of sound synthesis were presented to the world by the Multusound laboratory, and what ultimately happened with this technology.

  • Why audio tapes are again considered a fashionable format. Over the past couple of years, tape sales have grown by 30% – and this is in the era of streaming and Spotify! Moreover, there was a shortage of cassette film. How lo-fi culture influenced sales growth, why the Starlord from Guardians of the Galaxy audio cassettes, and what does the millennials have to do with it – an article about a topic familiar to many.

  • A brief history of reel tape recorders. These devices are familiar to many only by the stage from the film “Ivan Vasilievich Changes the Profession”, in which the hero of Yakovlev listens to Vysotsky. Meanwhile, the reel tape recorder has a great story – it originates in 1878. We are talking about the evolution of the device, the technologies used, the popular Soviet models (we have not forgotten about the “magnetizdat”) and what role reel tape recorders play today.


A photo Andshel / CC

  • “Do not take off”: 6 unusual audio gadgets. Useless things post – about how the desire to stand out leads to the creation of absurd devices. A speaker for sending emoji, a noise canceling plug (WAT?), A media ball and a T-800 terminator speaker-eye.


Additional reading:

  • How are music roads, HD records and 8D sound
  • Sound card replicas, open sound libraries, and audio software



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