FUN FRIDAY: The history of home audio

Remember these? Maybe you don’t. Even in the 1970s, a home 8-track player was pretty rare. Most people had one in their cars, if they had one at all, and the 8-track format really only lasted about a decade before cassettes took over.

On the other hand, if that image makes you feel nostalgic for burnt-orange shag carpet and polyester shirts, you might want to take a scroll through DigitalTrends’ History of Home Audio. Starting with the hand-cranked phonograph and going all the way to Google Home, it’s a pretty comprehensive visual and written dictionary of home audio. Sure, they miss a few of the more oddball ’80s and ’90s formats (DAT? DCC? SACD?) and they ignore early streaming pioneers like Rhapsody, but no matter what it’s a comfort-food-style trip down memory lane for the kind of people who read this blog. Whether your first experience with home audio was a CD player or a wall of LPs, you’ll enjoy wasting a few minutes looking.

I know I did, and I’m a little ashamed to say I miss some of that old gear. Don’t you?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.