Retio is a tribute to classic aesthetics, a way to cherish your memories through time and music.
Retio is an all-in-one retro radio, Bluetooth speaker, and clock. It uses Nixie tubes to display time and radio frequencies. Retio is portable, with a 6800mAh battery that supports 6 hours of playback and clock time. Each unit is handcrafted using American black walnut, 360 brass, and vintage Nixie tubes. Your Retio will be a gem and statement piece in your home for generations.
Nixie tubes were first manufactured in the 1950s for displaying numerals or other information using glow discharge. The last Nixie tubes were made in the early ‘90s when the technology was replaced by lower-cost alternatives such as LED. People at the time ignored the aesthetic beauty of Nixie tubes. For us, they’re not just an electronic means to display numbers, but also a uniquely decorative vintage gem. As Nixie tubes enthusiasts, we’ve collected them over the years from various sources to use in Retio - the tubes in your Retio are genuine vintage stock.
Today’s Nixie tube stock availability is very limited, and the price goes up almost month by month as more people are realizing the beauty of their vintage glow. Use of these rare components makes Retio one of the most unique speakers in the market.
The original Nixie tube manufacturers were conservative in describing the longevity of Nixie tubes - their lifetime use can span as long as 100,000 to 200,000 hours (22 years!) when the driver circuit is properly designed and implemented. The majority of Nixie tube clocks we designed and sold over ten years ago are still going strong today!
Retio is a radio, Bluetooth speaker, and clock. It harkens back to the old way we listened to music while maintaining today’s methods with both Bluetooth and AUX input compatibility.
How long has it been since you last listened to the radio? Do you still remember the first time you heard a new favorite song on the radio? Maybe you thought radio stations no longer exist nowadays, but they haven’t gone anywhere. When you turn on your Retio, the nostalgic feelings will come rushing back in seconds. Radio is different from how we enjoy music now. You don’t know what’s coming, and you can’t go back either - kind of like our lives. Every moment is unique and irreversible. It’s like a flow. Go with it.
Retio’s speaker has amazing highs, crystal-clear mid ranges, and deep powerful bass. It’s equipped with a state-of-the-art Bluetooth 5.0 chip and a 10W Class-D amplifier to deliver the most powerful sound you’ll ever get out of a speaker its size. The sound is finely tuned using advanced DSP, which allows for a more balanced and comfortable listening experience. Retio is specially tuned for listening to retro-style music - you will be amazed every time, from the first beat.
Retio acts as a clock in silence and in speaker mode. We all need clocks to mark and track the passage of time, and this is an especially gorgeous one. Historically, the clock was the most common product to use Nixie tubes. We’ve honored that heritage in the Nixie clocks we’ve been making for 12 years (the majority of the Nixie clocks’ power boards in the market are made by us as well). Retio can display your choice of 24hr military time or 12hr standard time.
Retio’s clock also includes an alarm function. Awaken to melodious sounds with your premium speaker, embedded with several of the best soundtracks with beautiful tones, tempos, and frequencies to wake you up. It will change the way you start each new day, peacefully and naturally. Here are a few samples of Retio's alarm soundtrack:
Retio has six backlight colors to echo the different moods of the night.
A gentle tap on the top enables music pause/resume and alarm control.
Each Retio unit is handcrafted with love in the San Francisco Bay Area, using American black walnut, 360 brass, and genuine vintage Nixie tubes. The best part of a handcrafted product is that every unit is unique. Just as each cut of walnut has a different grain and pattern that sets it apart from the others, so too do our Nixie tubes - each was handmade more than 30 years ago, and varies from the next in its shape and glow. Each Retio is truly unique; its premium materials make it a one-of-a-kind accessory that you'll cherish for years to come.
Nixie tubes need to be powered via 170V input, so most of the Nixie products in the market require DC 12V power bricks. However, to make Retio more accessible we’ve embedded a 6800mAh battery inside that can be powered or charged by a 5V USB port (commonly found on your laptop, power bank, or wall outlet).
We’ve also developed one of the smallest and most powerful HV boards specifically for Nixie tubes. With these key innovations, we’ve made Retio the most convenient and accessible device for those seeking the vintage glow of Nixie tube displays.
We’re David, Aiden, Zeyuan, and Roger; friends, colleagues, neighbors, and Nixie tube enthusiasts. We’ve been creating Nixie tube products for 12 years. As the designers, engineers, and wood-workers of these products, our aim has always been to create sustainable, stylish, and unique products that inspire people all over the world.
David is an award-winning designer enthusiastic about minimalist design - he’s a fan of brands like Grovemade, Nomad, Allbirds, reMarkable, and Fellow. Aiden, a Post-doc from Berkeley National Lab, is an expert in electronics and Nixie technology. Zeyuan is a nixie clock guru, with 20+ years experience in creating electronic products combined with art. His Nixie tube clocks and HV power modules are super popular in the nixie community. Roger, an ex-Googler, made his own CNC machine and owns the wood studio C6.Design in San Jose.
As the makers of the best-selling Nixie clocks on eBay for 12 years, we are dedicated to bringing the best quality and exceeding expectations with this new product’s launch. With Retio, we aim to bring nostalgic moments into your life and cherish your best memories with music and light.
Handmade products have naturally long lead times. The entire process is a labor of love, from order to delivery, and a single unit requires the attention of several expert craftspeople. That's why we're bringing Retio to Kickstarter. This platform's order structure will allow us to better forecast the demand for Retio - we'll be able to collect a sizable batch of orders before starting production, and using that data we can optimize our production process for the projected yield. This will reduce future costs, increase our speed & efficiency, and ultimately allow us to bring Retio to your home sooner.
Designing new products isn't easy, especially when innovating new features; the process often involves sacrifices and compromises. We believe that the end-user should have the final say on all decision making. One of the greatest things about developing a product for a Kickstarter community is the community's influence and feedback in the early stages. We look forward to having you as a partner in this venture, and to your part in making Retio better for everyone.
Our goal is to make great products worth sharing and cherishing. Your satisfaction is our #1 priority; if you judge that the received product is not as you expected, please contact us for a return authorization and address. We accept returns within 30 days of delivery, provided the item is still in its original condition. Once we receive your shipment, we will issue a full refund less the shipping costs and Kickstarter fees. Returned orders need to be received within 30 days of the initiation of return or a restocking fee may apply. A restocking fee may apply for items returned not in original condition.
Please note that Kickstarter funds go towards initiating production, resulting in a quality product that the backers can enjoy. If you wish to receive a refund before production is finished, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate.
We happily offer shipping to anywhere in the world! The shipping rate to your country will be indicated in the check-out menu when pledging to this campaign. We've negotiated with international carriers - FedEx, UPS and DHL. That's the best price we can get with discounts. Please note that the price of the item does not include additional duty and taxes that may apply as per local laws of importation. If taxes and/or duties apply, we will contact you to accommodate your local laws.
We have been in the Nixie business since 2009. Our customers are from all over the world, including the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, China, and many other countries. We have a great deal of experience in getting our products safely into our customers’ hands around the world.