5 Best Vintage Headphones Of 2022 (Retro Picks)

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What I admire about old headphones is how stylish they are.  Vintage headphones are among the most attractive headphones available.

They also provide a view into the old school age or, if you are an older person, they will revoke some happy memories.

What’s surprising is that they not only look good, but they also sound awesome. No wonder they survived the test of time and are still in use today, despite the fact that there are many headphones on the market with cutting-edge technology.

In this article, I’ll list the best vintage headphones in my opinion. They’ll definitely make you look like a cool, edgy kid.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Sony MDR-7506
Sony MDR-7506
8.6
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Best Runner Up
Koss Porta Pro
Koss Porta Pro
8.5
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Best Retro for Studio
AKG 240
AKG 240
9.1
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Best For Audiophiles
Marshall Major IV
Marshall Major IV
8.8
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Most Affordable 
JLab Rewind
JLab Rewind
8.6
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Top 3 Best Vintage Headphones

1. Sony MDR-7506 – Best Overall

History

Sony, a brand famed for its offerings dating back three decades, released the Sony MDR7506 in 1991, which quickly became a crowd favorite, particularly among recording engineers and sound experts.

Surprisingly, it is still a popular choice for recording studio monitors looking for something vintage and inexpensive.

Design

As soon as you remove them from their plastic packaging, you will discover that they are not modern ones.

They are a pair of pure retro headphone, but isn’t that what we want?

Their build quality appears fragile and plastic at first glance. But don’t be fooled by their appearance; they’re far more robust than they appear. After all, they’ve proven with time that they can take a hit and keep going.

They are extremely comfortable, as they are designed to be worn for long periods of time. Their simple and generously sized headband is comfortable to wear and fits all head sizes. The earcups are well-padded and will keep you comfy for several hours.

Performance

For powerful, detailed sound, it has a Neodymium magnet and 40mm drivers, a frequency response of 10 to 20,000 Hz, a sensitivity of 106 dB, and an impedance of 63 Ohms.

You’ll experience crystal clear highs, present mids, and extended low-end when wearing them and streaming music, this makes them ideal for accurate monitoring.

They are acceptable for casual listening. Nothing spectacular, but nothing really awful either.

Why Should You Buy It?
If you buy them for professional use, they will surely deliver. However, as I mentioned they are not the best choice when it comes to listening to music or doing daily tasks. Nevertheless, they remain a great overall pick.

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2. Koss Porta Pro – Best Runner Up

History

Although the technology world has changed dramatically over the years, a pair of well-known retro headphones decided to not change.

The Koss Porta Pro, a well-known name among music enthusiasts, first appeared in 1984, and it is here to stay, since it is as popular as it was then, if not more so.

Design

I wouldn’t bother putting them on the list if it wasn’t for their unique and retro designs. I placed these on the list due to their aesthetic appeal; I’m sure there are better-sounding retro headphones out there, but yeah.

Koss Porta Pro tried to introduce and provide fans with a variety of Porta Pros, including limited edition colors and more. Didn’t work, since fans liked to keep things the old way. It has been 40 years and their design remains the same.

I believe they would lose their value if they had to change their design.

The earcups are comfortable to wear and are held to your head by a thin steel headband with two sliders for adjustment.

Also, the extra cushions on top of the earpads make me think that the Koss Porta Pro was ahead of its time. They keep the headphones from falling and provide excellent comfort.

Moreover, they can be folded and clipped together for convenient storage and transportation.

Performance

They have a frequency response of 15–25,000 Hz, a 60 OhmS impedance, and a 101 dB sensitivity.

It’s incredible how excellent the sound is for a pair of portable and inexpensive retro headphones. Furthermore, the bass they can produce will satisfy even the most diehard bass fans.

The audio quality is extremely pleasant, and most people will be satisfied. Definitely one of the best retro headphones out there.

Why Should You Buy It?
They are portable, extremely cheap, comfortable, and, above all, vintage. What more could one possibly want?

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3. AKG 240 – Best Retro for Studio

History

When it comes to professional audio equipment, AKG is a well-known name. It was created back in 1947. Vienna, Austria,

They frequently advertise their items as “Professional Studio Standard,” and these are not just empty words.

Their retro headphones, particularly the Pro Audio K240, live up to AKG’s claims.

Design

Their design is nothing innovative, but it is rather classic and vintage-looking.

The earcups include a lovely leather cushion that can be replaced and sit gently on the ear.

Because it was self-adjusting and composed of metal, the headband was ahead of its time. It’s quite flexible, so it can fit any head size without clamping too tightly.

Performance

The audio quality of these retro headphones is exceptional.

They have a 30mm driver with a 15–25,000 Hz frequency response. Their impedance is rated at 55 OhmS, and their sensitivity is 104 dB.

The K240’s soundstage is extremely impressive. The sound seems to just flow around you. The voices sound clear and pure, the details are amazing, and the mids are great.

In a nutshell, the AKG Pro Audio K240 delivers the sound you would expect from a pair of high-end modern headphones. Probably the best retro headphones in its category.

Why Should You Buy It?
In general, they are a pair of good-sounding headphones, but I’d avoid buying them solely for that purpose, they are made more for professional work.

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Top 3 Retro-looking Modern Headphones

However, if you prefer something modern that is feature-packed but still want your headphones to have a retro look, I have some good news: some pairs of headphones look retro while inside they are fully modern.

Marshall Major IV – Best For Audiophiles

Intro

Most people are familiar with Marshall, a key player in the audio industry.

I wonder what makes them so prominent?

Is it because of the audio quality? possibly be, but it is their vintage and luxurious design that has earned them the reputation.

It’s no different with their wireless headphones, Major IV.

Marshall is a master at combining vintage style with cutting-edge technology.

Design

They have a matte finish, and the Marshall emblem is clearly displayed on the earcup sides.

They are well padded and feature a rounded square form. The headband has a faux grain leather texture and is padded on the bottom.

The design is appealing to rock fans and retro enthusiasts in general. Furthermore, they are built to last and to fit comfortably on your head.

Performance

As I previously stated, those headphones, as well as Marshall in general, are all about Rock Music.

They feature a rock sound with booming bass, delicate mids, and magnificent highs.

The acoustic guitars are rendered with brightness and details, while the drums are powerful and booming.

Nevertheless, they sound fantastic and are easily audiophile level.

Its dynamic drivers, which are 40 millimeters in diameter, reproduce a frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hertz.  A sensitivity of 93.01 dB, while the impedance is rated at 50.2 OhmS.

Why Should You Buy It?
If you want a perfect mix between vintage design and modern technology such as wireless connectivity, those retro headphones from Marshall are your companion.

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JLab Rewind – Most Affordable 

Intro

When it comes to audio equipment, especially headphones, JLab is not a new name.

With their Rewind Wireless headphones, JLab is trying to send us back to the 80s without keeping us “wired”.

This metaphor refers to how the JLab Rewind Wireless headphones combine the retro aesthetic of the 1980s with modern wireless technology.

Design

When you first look at them, you’ll notice that they have a nostalgic design that is also timeless and appealing.

Despite my hyperbole, they are pretty simple, consisting of a metal frame joined at the small ear cups.

The JLab Rewind Wireless headphones are exceptionally light, which makes them very comfortable.

Furthermore, the headphones’ clamp is not overly tight. The padding is soft enough to keep the headphones comfortable for extended hours of listening.

Performance

They have a lot of features, such as EQ3 Sound Setting, which allows you to modify the sound to your favorite tune via the headphones, ensuring that your music sounds great.

You can play and pause music, answer and hang up phone calls, and track forward with only a click on the GO.

There’s even a voice-activated assistant.

It is a neodymium magnet with a frequency response of 20 to 20 000 Hz and an impedance of 32 OhmS.

Why Should You Buy It?
Extremely cheap headphones for those who want to listen to music for 12 hours(battery life) through their headphones without having them wired. And obviously, a fully vintage design.

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Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Retro

Even if you’re buying them for the sake of style, there are a few other things to think about; after all, you’re paying money for a pair of completely functional headphones, right?

Design and Fashion

When it comes to vintage headphones, it’s no surprise that design takes priority over audio quality.

I’m guessing that the majority of music enthusiasts purchase vintage headphones purely for their aesthetic value.

if they didn’t appear eye-catching, we wouldn’t buy them.

To be the coolest kid on the block, make sure your vintage headphones seem old, retro, and nostalgic.

Comfort and Durability

When it comes to vintage headphones, style is essential, but comfort is as important.

Although all of the headphones described above are really comfy, some of them may not be suitable for your head.

Make sure the headphones you’re about to buy are comfortable. It’s not just about aesthetics.

You’ll get itching ears or even earaches if there isn’t enough comfort.

The next consideration is durability. Although they appear quite vulnerable, I have no doubts regarding their durability.

Their history on the market is a testimony to their durability.

Sound Quality

When it comes to audio quality, this is something that you should seek in all headphones, not just vintage ones.

However, I chose to put it last since, when it comes to antique headphones, it is second just to style.

Unless you are an audiophile who knows that a pair of vintage headphones will sound better than your modern ones.

However, sound quality is ultimately subjective. Depending on what you’re looking for, each brand offers headphones with different sound characteristics. It could be that you want more bass or crisper and clearer mids, etc.

With a bit of research and knowledge of audio devices, you will find the right ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Vintage Headphones Good?

I can’t say they’re flawless; there will always be bad and good headphones, regardless of age.

Just as there are good and bad regular headphones, there are good and bad retro headphones. Being a nostalgia merchant makes you believe that they are perfect in every field, which is not true.

Are Vintage Headphones Expensive?

Not at all, as you can see from the products listed above, the majority of them are reasonably priced.

They were formerly pricey, but time has since swallowed them up and reduced the price.

What I like about them is the inexpensive price and how effective they are.

Does the sound quality of vintage headphones improve with age?

This one is both surprising and interesting. Your headphones will sound better the more you use them.

The elastic foam will stop resisting so strongly against your skull, bringing the sound progressively closer.

Final Words

Finding the perfect vintage headphones is more difficult than it appears.

The majority of them are outdated in terms of both performance and connectivity. They once ruled the industry, but today they’re about as “weak” as a pair of knockoff headphones.

However, that isn’t the case for all of them. There are classic headphones (such as the ones I mentioned) that have survived the test of time and are still comparable to some of the most recently introduced flagships.

Some people enjoy the way they sound, while others are nostalgic and refuse to let them go.

Further Reading

Since we are talking about vintage, retro, and nostalgia, you might want to keep reading since there are some great blogs regarding vinyl headphones.

There is also one on how to wear headphones with glasses if you found yourself struggling with this part.

I know where you’re coming from; in the 1980s, rock music completely dominated the music industry. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of some outstanding rock music speakers and headphones for rock music.

Well, you might hate me for this one, but there’s also one if you like the electronic dance music, some decent EDM speakers, and headphones for EDM.

This is it for today, enjoy!

 

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!

 
 
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