Vintage and Antique Microphones

45 Vintage and Antique Microphones (Functional and Decorative)

Spread the love

The microphone has a fascinating history that is aligned with the development of music, pop culture, and society as a whole. As objects, vintage microphones not only make for stylish decorative objects, and even practical items, but also speak of the rich history of their prior ownership and purpose.

In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at vintage and antique microphones and compiling a list of products that exemplify the best examples of retro microphones and their multiple alternative uses.

Different types of Microphone

Many different forms of microphones have been created over the years, and knowing a little bit about each type will help you to narrow down your search for your perfect vintage or antique model.

  • Carbon Microphone
    The carbon microphone was one of the first commercially available microphone types and was patented in the late 1800s though most started manufacture in the 1920s. Carbon microphones used a platinum bead pressed against a hard carbon disc to transmit sound.
  • Condenser Microphone1960s
    Also known as the capacitor microphone, the condenser microphone works using pressure to record and transmit sound. The condenser microphone was created in the 1920s and is still in use today within the music industry.
  • Dynamic Microphone
    The dynamic microphone is an alternative type of pressure microphone and uses magnetic induction to sense whether an input is created. Dynamic microphones are a more durable alternative to the condenser microphone.
  • Ribbon Microphone
    Sometimes called a ‘velocity’ or ‘pressure gradient’ microphone, ribbon microphones use the vibrations of an aluminum foil ribbon to record or produce sound.
  • Crystal Microphone
    Also called the ‘Piezoelectric Microphone’ this microphone type was most commonly used between 1930-60.
  • Dual Element Microphones
    This refers to any type of microphone which combines two of the above microphone elements.

What to Look For When Buying an Antique or Vintage Microphone

When purchasing a vintage or antique microphone, what to look out for really depends upon your intentions for the item. For example, if you’re looking for a decorative or conversation piece, whether the microphone works or not isn’t relevant, but if you’re looking for a usable item, this will of course be your first concern. If you’re looking for an antique or vintage microphone from the perspective of a collector or enthusiast, you’ll probably want to avoid models which have been converted for compatibility for modern devices, whereas if you’re a music fan looking for that vintage tone a converted item can be very handy.

Our Top List of Vintage and Antique Microphones

Below we’ve compiled our picks for the best vintage and antique microphones available for sale. We’ve considered multiple different types of buyers when compiling our list which includes vintage microphones, reproductions, and even upcycled items perfect for statement decor.

I) Vintage Microphones

1. Aiwa M-23 Microphone Japan

Year: 1960’s
Features: Original box, no stand, cord included and repaired, untested.
Color: Silver
Price: $29.00


1 Aiwa M-23 Microphone Japan
This Aiwa Crystal Microphone is Japanese and dates to the 1960’s. It features its original box and cord.

Buy this microphone here.


2. Philips EL 3750/00 Dynamic Desk Microphone

Year: 1960’s
Features: Working condition, pleasing white and gold design, comes with an incorporated stand.
Color: Gold and white
Price: $46.93


2 Philips EL 3750 00 Dynamic Desk Microphone
This Phillips brand desk Microphone comes in a stylish white and gold design and can stand on its own.

Buy this microphone here.


3. Vintage Retro 1957 Mint & Boxed Grundig Microphone

Year: 1950’s
Features: Original box, in mint working condition, and unused, comes with an incorporated stand.
Color: Gold and brown
Price: $99.17



This Grundig Microphone is in new and untouched condition and is fully working.

Buy this microphone here.


4. Vintage 1950’s Astatic Microphone Model No. 77 with 3 Prong Cord

Year: 1950’s
Features: Without a stand, features an iconic retro design, currently untested.
Color: Silver
Price: $337.50


Vintage 1950's Astatic Microphone Model No. 77 with 3 Prong Cord
This Astatic Microphone comes without its stand and has an iconic 1950s/60s design.

Buy this microphone here.


5. 1950’s Electro-Voice Crystal Microphone Model 915 Buchanan Michigan

Year: 1950’s
Features: Original box, self-standing, currently untested.
Color: Silver/grey
Price: $75.00


1950's Electro-Voice Crystal Microphone Model 915 Buchanan Michigan
This Buchanan microphone was made in Michigan in the late 1950s and comes in its original box with original price written on it in pencil.

Buy this microphone here.


6. Vintage Electro-Voice Dynamic Cardioid Model 664 Microphone

Year: 1960’s
Features: Silver slim design, comes with a plate featuring manufacturer information, untested.
Color: Silver
Price: $202.50


Vintage Electro-Voice Dynamic Cardioid Model 664 Microphone
This Electro-voice microphone dates from the 1960’s and includes its original cable.

Buy this microphone here.


7. Vintage Soviet Desktop Microphone USSR 1960 Desktop Microphone Oktava MD 47

Year: 1960’s
Features: Self-standing soviet plastic microphone with original cable. Currently untested.
Color: Brown plastic, cream plastic
Price: $44.10



This desktop microphone is made from plastic and was produced in the USSR and features a brown and cream color scheme iconic to the era.

Buy this microphone here.


8. Vintage Shure “ Unisphere “ Microphone Model # 585SA

Year: 1960’s
Features: Original box, no stand, in unused condition.
Color: Silver and black
Price: $74.89



This Shure microphone dates to the late 1960s and comes in its original box with little to no wear on the microphone itself.

Buy this microphone here.


9. Vintage Realistic 1970’s Electret Condenser Stereo Microphone 33-919A

Year: 1970’s
Features: Comes with original box and storage case with strong ‘space age’ design
Color: Silver with orange/gold band
Price: $49.00


Vintage Realistic 1970's Electret Condenser Stereo Microphone 33-919A
This heavily stylized Electret microphone features a space-age design that differentiates it from other vintage microphones and includes its original box and case.

Buy this microphone here.


10. Vintage Dynamic Microphone Philips

Year: 1970’s
Features: Original box, self-standing, currently untested.
Color: Silver and black
Price: $29.88



This free-standing microphone was produced in the 1970s by the popular brand Phillips.

Buy this microphone here.


II) Vintage Microphones With Stand

1. 1950’s Astatic Corp. Lollipop Microphone Model D-104 for Ham CB Radio

Year: 1950’s
Features: Lollipop-style microphone with stand, currently untested.
Color: Silver
Price: $171.00



This Astatic microphone features an iconic lollipop design with its stand.

Buy this microphone here.


2. Vintage Rare 1960 Era WSMJ Radio Station 99.5 FM News Sports Music Tube Microphone on Bakelite Stand Radio

Year: 1960’s
Features: Stand microphone with branding, some wear, and tear and currently untested.
Color: Off-white bakelite with red font
Price: $225.00


Vintage Rare 1960 Era WSMJ Radio Station 99.5 FM News Sports Music Tube Microphone on Bakelite Stand Radio
This stand radio is made from bakelite and features iconic lettering from the WSMJ radio station where it was originally used.

Buy this microphone here.


3. Vintage 1940s Astatic Microphone Model DN-50

Year: 1940’s
Features: Original box, no stand, cord included and repaired, untested.
Color: Silver
Price: $189.00


Vintage 1940s Astatic Microphone Model DN-50
Known as ‘the commentator’ microphone, this Astatic microphone comes with its original stand and dates from the 1940s.

Buy this microphone here.


4. Vintage Astatic D-104 Microphone with T-UG9 Stand

Year: 1960’s
Features: Lollipop-style design with the original cable that does show signs of wear; untested.
Color: Silver and grey-green.
Price: $175.50



This Astatic microphone comes with a complimentary stand of matching era.

Buy this microphone here.


5. Antique 1940’s Kellogg Model T-32 Black Candlestick Carbon Microphone

Year: 1940’s
Features: In working condition with 7ft XLR cable.
Color: Carbon black
Price: $139.00


Antique 1940’s Kellogg Model T-32 Black Candlestick Carbon Microphone
This Kellogg model microphone dates from 1944 and is in working condition.

Buy this microphone here.


6. 1950’s Astatic Corp. Lollipop Silver Eagle Microphone

Year: 1950’s
Features: Untested lollipop-style microphone with engraved insignia.
Color: Silver
Price: $225.00


1950's Astatic Corp. Lollipop Silver Eagle Microphone
This Astatic Lollipop-style microphone features an engraved military insignia on its back.

Buy this microphone here.


7. Vintage 1950’s Wollensak by Shure B-162-4 Dynamic Microphone with Stand

Year: 1950’s
Features: Silver microphone with black stand in working condition.
Color: Silver and black
Price: $49.00



This microphone was made for Wollensak by fellow downtown Chicago manufacturer Shure in the ’50s.

Buy this microphone here.


8. Vintage 1940s Astatic Bullet Microphone With Stand Model #C-2644 With Cord

Year: 1940’s
Features: Shows natural wear and tear, comes with a cord but is currently untested.
Color: Brown
Price: $109.99


Vintage 1940s Astatic Bullet Microphone With Stand Model #C-2644 With Cord
This microphone was created by Astatic and was manufactured in the 1940s, it shows its age with natural wear and tear to the surface of the item.

Buy this microphone here.


9. Working Vintage 1950’s Argonne AR-54 “Big Walter” HiZ Crystal Bullet Microphone

Year: 1950’s
Features: In clean working condition with stand and 6ft cable.
Color: Silver, grey/green
Price: $89.00


Working Vintage 1950’s Argonne AR-54 “Big Walter” HiZ Crystal Bullet Microphone
This Argonne microphone is known as the ‘Big Walter’ and features a stylized grill.

Buy this microphone here.


10. Vintage 1950’s Shure 708A “Stratoliner”

Year: 1950’s
Features: Tested with strong output, comes with a stand, and has some wear and tear to the product’s surface.
Color: Silver
Price: $229.00


Vintage 1950’s Shure 708A “Stratoliner”
This Shure ‘Stratoliner’ microphone was produced in the 1950s and is in working condition.

Buy this microphone here.


11. Vintage 1950s Astatic Microphone Model D104 Crystal

Year: 1950’s
Features: Dates from the 1950s, comes with a stand, and features the original label.
Color: Silver
Price: $129.00


Vintage 1950s Astatic Microphone Model D104 Crystal
This microphone was produced from 1930-2001, and this model dates from the mid-1950s at the peak of its production.

Buy this microphone here.


12. Japan vintage microphone

Year: 1970’s
Features: Self-standing desktop microphone in working order.
Color: Silver and black
Price: $24.00


Japan vintage microphone
This microphone was produced in the mid-1970s and originates from Japan and has a small, sleek, design.

Buy this microphone here.


13. Vintage Grundig Dynamic Microphone Model GDM 310

Year: 1960’s
Features: Comes in its original box with stand, item is currently untested.
Color: Blue and Silver
Price: $25.19


Vintage Grundig Dynamic Microphone Model GDM 310
This microphone was produced in Germany by manufacturer Grundig and comes in a pleasing duck-egg blue color.

Buy this microphone here.


III) Decorative Microphones

1. Microphone, Retro Microphone, Tabletop Adornment

Year: Modern
Features: Hand-made recreations of iconic microphone designs.
Color: Green, gold
Price: $59.39


Microphone, Retro Microphone, Tabletop Adornment
This handmade microphone pays homage to the iconic radio microphones of the 1920s-40s and makes for an aesthetic decor piece.

Buy this microphone here.


2. Microphone | Retro Microphone | Decorative Microphone

Year: Modern
Features: Hand-made recreations of iconic microphone designs.
Color: Silver, teal blue
Price: $53.82


Microphone
This handmade microphone pays homage to the iconic radio microphones of the 1950s and makes for an aesthetic decor piece.

Buy this microphone here.


3. Carbon Spring Microphone, Nostalgic gifts, Metal Microphone

Year: Modern
Features: Hand-made recreations of iconic microphone designs.
Color: Black, gold, red
Price: $59.03


Carbon Spring Microphone, Nostalgic gifts, Metal Microphone
This handmade microphone pays homage to the iconic radio microphones of the early 20th century and makes for an aesthetic decor piece.

Buy this microphone here.


4. Vintage Micro-Vox Bakelite Radio Microphone Transmitter 1930s

Year: 1930’s
Features: Radio transmitter/microphone in unrepairable condition but ideal for display
Color: Brown tortoiseshell bakelite
Price: $35.00


Vintage Micro-Vox Bakelite Radio Microphone Transmitter 1930s
This bakelite Microvox transmitter isn’t in working condition but its stylized design makes for a great decorative piece.

Buy this microphone here.


5. Decorative Microphone, Vintage Metal Microphone Decor

Year: Modern
Features: This is a handmade model of a vintage radio-style microphone
Color: Gold, green
Price: $55.99


Decorative Microphone, Vintage Metal Microphone Decor
This handmade microphone pays homage to the iconic radio microphones of the 1930s and makes for an aesthetic decor piece/talking point.

Buy this microphone here.


6. Metal Microphone on Base Vintage Style Decorative Collectible Industrial Decor

Year: Modern
Features: Hand-made recreations of iconic microphone designs.
Color: Red/brown, gold, silver
Price: $24.42


Metal Microphone on Base Vintage Style Decorative Collectible Industrial Decor
This handmade microphone pays homage to vintage military microphones/communications and makes for an aesthetic and nostalgic decor piece.

Buy this microphone here.


IV) Vintage Radio Microphones

1. Vintage microphone, Old DDR radio microphone, Crystal microphone of East Germany

Year: 1950’s
Features: Dates from 1957, produced in East Germany, self-standing microphone in untested condition.
Color: Silver, gunmetal green
Price: $59.38


Vintage microphone, Old DDR radio microphone, Crystal microphone of East Germany
This radio microphone dates from 1957 and was produced in East Germany. Its product information reads; ‘KM T St 7055, VEB Funkwerk Leipzig’

Buy this microphone here.


2. Vintage Art Deco Webster Chicago MM-38 HiZ Crystal Microphone- In Original Box

Year: 1950’s
Features: Original box, tested and working, minimal surface wear.
Color: Brown/white gold
Price: $59.00


Vintage Art Deco Webster Chicago MM-38 HiZ Crystal Microphone- In Original Box
This radio microphone was produced in the 1950s and retains its original box. It measures 2.75” X4”.

Buy this microphone here.


3. Vintage 1940s Astatic Microphone Model DN-50

Year: 1940’s
Features: Hand-made recreations of iconic microphone designs.
Color: Silver, black, metallic green
Price: $189.00



Known as the commentator microphone, this iconic piece of audio history features an iconic lollipop stand and dates from the 1940s.

Buy this microphone here.


4. Vintage Turner Microphones Ceramic Microphone Model 350

Year: 1950’s
Features: Fully functional microphone with small signs of wear and tear but no damage to the cable or casing.
Color: Off-white, black, silver, red.
Price: $49.99


Vintage Turner Microphones Ceramic Microphone Model 350
This hand-held radio microphone retains all its original features and shows minimal wear and is in working condition.

Buy this microphone here.


5. Awesome CB Radio Astatic Red Devil – 4 pin microphone

Year: 1960’s
Features: Bold red design with iconic ‘devil’ product plate. This product has been amplified for use with modern-day products.
Color: Black, gold, red
Price: $75.00


Awesome CB Radio Astatic Red Devil - 4 pin microphone
This stylish red handheld microphone features a stunning product plate that features the image of the devil and has been reconfigured for use with modern devices.

Buy this microphone here.


6. Webcor Vintage Handheld Microphone

Year: 1960’s
Features: Untested hand-held microphone in worn condition with original product decals
Color: Tan, silver, gold
Price: $41.52


Webcor Vintage Handheld Microphone
This hand-held microphone was produced in the early 1960sthe and features an iconic angular design indicative of the era.

Buy this microphone here.


V) Upcycled Microphones

1. Illuminated Spring Microphone CBS or NBC

Year: Modern
Features: Constructed from brass while modern these handmade microphones are sympathetic recreations of classic radio microphones.
Color: Gold
Price: $179.00


Illuminated Spring Microphone CBS or NBC
These handmade recreations of classic radio microphones have been transformed into attractive desk lights.

Buy this microphone here.


2. Illuminated Microphone with Dimmer

Year: Modern
Features: Repurposed reproduction microphone converted into a lamp with an Edison Bulb.
Color: Black, gold
Price: $125.00


Illuminated Microphone with Dimmer
This iconic and sympathetic replica of a 1960’s microphone has been converted into a desk lamp using an Edison bulb.

Buy this microphone here.


3. Antique-type Microphone Lamp with Suspension

Year: Modern
Features: This recreation of a 1920’s microphone has been converted into a table lamp and has an 8 Watt LED bulb.
Color: Silver, black
Price: $284.51


Antique-type Microphone Lamp with Suspension
This handmade piece draws direct inspiration from the rare and hard-to-find microphones of the 1920’s/30’s and has been converted into an attractive table lamp.

Buy this microphone here.


4. Vintage Telephone Microphone

Year: 1940’s
Features: Original 1940’s bakelite telephone handset which has been converted into a microphone for modern devices.
Color: Black
Price: $57.65


Vintage Telephone Microphone
While not having started its life out as a traditional microphone, this 1940’s Bakelite handset has been turned into a microphone for use with modern devices

Buy this microphone here.


VI) Miscellaneous Microphones

1. Vintage Singin’ Mike Microphone Rockwood’s Cocoa Advertising

Year: 1950/60s
Features: An original piece of shop advertising for the Singin’ Mike Microphone, made from cardboard.
Color: Orange, blue, tan
Price: $21.50


Vintage Singin' Mike Microphone Rockwood's Cocoa Advertising
This iconic piece of microphone advertising would have been used as part of a shop display in the 1950s or ’60s.

Buy this microphone here.


2. Philmore Junior Microphone

Year: 1940’s
Features: Comes with original box with all parts and instructions, in unused condition but untested.
Color: Black, gold, red, black
Price: $50.00


Philmore Junior Microphone
Designed to be connected to a tube radio this microphone was created in the 1940s and was designed to be a youngster introduction to radio devices.

Buy this microphone here.


3. Vintage Microphone by Brush

Year: 1950’s
Features: Microphone component, measures 2 1/4″ across, currently untested.
Color: Black
Price: $17.00


Vintage Microphone by Brush
This microphone component was created by Brush and would make a great start to an upcycling or repair project.

Buy this microphone here.


4. Vintage Microphone Lot Panasonic Craig CM Chrysler Audio Cassette Tape Recorder

Year: 1960’s
Features: Assorted microphones with original boxes all tested and in working condition.
Color: Black, silver, tan
Price: $42.95


Vintage Microphone Lot Panasonic Craig CM Chrysler Audio Cassette Tape Recorder
This assorted mix of 1960’s Panasonic Microphones makes for the perfect start to a vintage microphone collection.

Buy this microphone here.


5. Military microphone MEM-60

Year: 1970’s
Features: Made at the ‘Oktava’ factory, is in untested condition with signs of wear.
Color: Black
Price: $14.00


Military microphone MEM-60
This soviet microphone has a push-to-talk button and dates from the 1970s and would have been used for military purposes.


5. Rare toy Soviet Children’s Intercom, USSR period

Year: 1980’s
Features: Produced in the USSR with original box, shows signs of wear and tear but is in working condition.
Color: Off-white, black
Price: $45.00


Rare toy Soviet Children's Intercom, USSR period
This rare Soviet children’s microphone system was produced in the 1980s in the USSR and is an early interpretation of the modern walkie-talkie.

Buy this microphone here.


A Short History of Microphones

You’ll be surprised to discover that, while the term ‘microphone wasn’t coined until the early 1800s, the first device that echoes what came to be a microphone was created in 1665 when inventor Robert Hooke made an acoustic cup designed to transmit sound across a distance.

The first modern microphone was created by Emile Berliner in 1886 when he developed a telephone voice transmitter. The first carbon microphone quickly followed when it was invented in 1878 by Edward Hughes; we still use elements of his original design in carbon microphones today.

In 1915 the vacuum tube amplifier was created which improved the volume output across all types of devices including the microphone. The following year the condenser microphone was patented by E.C. Wente.

The 1920s saw rapid improvements to microphone technologies largely thanks to the increased demand for broadcast radio services. In 1928 the first commercial condenser microphone was released.

The 1940s and ’50s saw an increase in radio enthusiasts and hobbyists and in 1957 the patent for the first wireless microphone was filed. In 1964 the Electret microphone was released. This model was revolutionary because it increased the accessibility of microphones thanks to its low cost, smaller size, and increased reliability. The 1970s saw greater improvements to both dynamic and condenser microphones, and clip-on microphones became the norm in the 1980s.

Since then, microphones have continued to be improved upon, reducing in size, and increasing in performance and quality.

Popular Vintage Microphone Brands Available Today

Many of the most sought-after microphones from history have been recreated and reproduced for the modern era. If you’re looking for a microphone that is usable, high-quality but still retains its vintage aesthetic then the following brands may be ideal for you.

  • Advanced Audio CM251: This is a large-format condenser tube microphone that recreates the iconic ELA M251 model.
  • Peluso P-67: This is a modern recreation of the U-67 model created by Peluso in the 1960s.
  • Soundelux 251: This model recreates the AKG model ‘Telefunken ELA M251 TM’, one of the most iconic and sought-after retro microphones.
  • TLM67: This is a recreation of Neumann’s U-67 model which defined the sounds of the swinging ’60s.
  • Shure 55SH II: This is a replication of the iconic Shure Unidyne microphone which was favored by many music superstars over previous decades.
  • Mercenary Audio MFG KM-69: This is a modern interpretation of Neumann’s KM-84 microphone model and is a transformer-coupled FET condenser microphone.

Final Thoughts

Vintage and antique microphones represent a snapshot of history that you can quite literally hold in your hands. Part of the joy of these iconic pieces is wondering who spoke into them before you, what vocals were recorded, or what words were spoken? Alongside this, many models of retro microphones are aesthetic pieces that make for unique decor items and talking points. So, whether you’re looking to add a touch of retro glamour to your space, or want to record your masterpiece with an authentic retro sound, we hope this article helps you in your search for your perfect microphone.


Spread the love

Related Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *