Audiophiles have been hyping the superiority of vinyl for years. Its warm sound, natural feeling and fullness of tone supposedly trump the sterile coldness of digital recordings. While this may or may not be true, LPs and turntables are certainly more popular than they have been since the advent of the CD.
We're not saying everyone is dumping their Spotify accounts for a Fisher-Price turntable, but there is definitely a big push among the terminally hip to convert (or return) to LPs. In fact, record pressing plants (the people who make the wax!) can't keep up with the demand. And if Justin Timberlake is releasing albums on LP, it's just gotta be the next big thing, right?
Back when the hippest thing you could possibly do was let someone borrow your Walkman to listen to the cassette tape of Thriller, Walkmans were the epitome of hip. Forget Skull Candy and Beats headphones and tiny MP3 players; Walkmen were meant to be displayed proudly. Who cared that your CDs skipped when you moved faster than a three-toed sloth? It was the having of it that was cool.
Now Sony is bringing it all back with a $1200 Walkman. Yeah, we said twelve-hundred dollars.Just don't expect it to come with those cheap, over-the-head fuzzy headphones. Thankfully, some things are too retro to ever come back.
Generation X in particular has a fond spot for VR. We're not sure why, since the whole idea seemed destined for failure from the moment Nintendo released VR Boy back in the early '90s.
But never fear, you fan(s) of Lawnmower Man: VR is back in a big way. At least five companies are releasing (or already have) new, super-hip headsets this year. If you thought Bluetooth headsets make people look like the Borg, just wait until the first VR-wearing fool on the street walks into you ”” "Jesus wept!"
If VHS tapes are the Miller Lite of the collecting world, then Laser Discs are the Guinness. They're not for everybody, but the people who like LD really like LD. For one, the discs, unlike modern DVDs and Blu-Rays, are almost indestructible. For another, many laser discs had cool extras that never got transferred to the newer video formats.
There's even an argument to be made that LD has superior audio to DVDs. We don't know about that, but for fancy retro action that will make you seem way more dope than some guy with a Discman, these babies are the way to go.
With streaming services flexing their muscles, we may be living at the tail-end of the cable era, which is just fine with the networks and independent TV stations. NBC, ABC, et. al. have taken advantage of the return to broadcast TV to add sub-channels across the dial that offer many of the same options as cable (foodie channels, home improvement, movie, comedy and other niche channels can be found in most major markets).
There is a growing movement among the "cord-cutters" out there to dump cable for a cheaper solution to their viewing needs. When Netflix or Hulu cost in the tens of dollars a month and cable in the hundreds it's sort of a no-brainer. And the tech-geeky among cord cutters even point out that today's HDTV antennas offer a better quality picture "over the air" than the compressed signals the cable companies send.
Old gaming consoles are so cool looking, so aggressively retro and the games themselves so fun and self-referential that collecting and playing them is a whole subculture in and of itself. There are too many systems to mention here, but all you really need to know is that there are classic game tournaments across the U.S. year `round.
If you need a Donkey Kong or Medal of Honor fix or want to hang out with other GameCube aficionados, don't worry, someone somewhere is planning an event for you. It's hard to even say old gaming systems are making a comeback since they never really went away to begin with.