By Jon Gaffney
on 6.30.09

areaware-2b-radio

Radios today comes in many forms: FM, AM, Satellite, Internet… and all of them digital. There was a time, though (like your grandparents’ time), when radios ran on tubes and literally took time to warm up when the turned on. You might remember them as the wicker cabinet behemoths with knobs – hardly worthy of your man pad.

However, when stumbling across the Areaware’s limited edition 2B radio I became intrigued. It’s a three-tube radio designed by Jonas Damon, that channels an aesthetic more like an SR-71 Blackbird (not the one-hit wonder) than your grandparent’s antiques, with its black anodized aluminum case and international orange dial hands.

Areawear describes it saying, “its three vacuum tubes broadcast signals in big, warm, radiant sound.” Reading that, I must admit to having big expectations for this lead weight of a radio (17.2 lbs, no joke). Not only were those expectations met, but far surpassed. Even maligned country music sounded less like someone sporking my ear drum, but actual melodious tunes. The Areaware 2B even puts soul into notoriously flat and compressed MP3′s via the auxiliary port. But the creme de la creme was listening to the Red Sox flog the Yankees. Hearing “J. Bay swings it’s wayyy back, wayyy back GONE!!!” on the rich, warm Areaware couldn’t have sounded better, and that’s one hell of a compliment coming from me.

Editor’s Note: The internal antenna on the Areaware 2B is good at picking up the really strong stations, but if you want to pick up and clear up more stations, then spend ten bucks on rabbit ears from Radio Shack and you’ll be good to go.

Cost: $350

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