Retio & Retio Lite

This documentation describes the features and use of Retio and Retio Lite speakers.

More products, please visit our Shopify store at www.Retio.co.

Note: For any of ①②③④⑤⑥ mentioned in the article, please refer to the Quick Start Guide image.


Introduction

Retio is a handcrafted retro radio speaker with vintage Nixie tubes, a tribute to the precious moments in the past. It was brought into life with the help of 3,185 Kickstarter backers and their $1,092,597 pledges.

Features

  • Modes: FM, AM or DAB+, Clock with Alarm, Bluetooth, AUX
  • Alarm can go off once, on weekdays, on all days and disabled.
  • Stereo/Party mode (Two Retios/Retio Lites required)
  • Manual Nixie tube dimming
  • 7 colors backlight and backlight off
  • Touch pad on top: BT Play/Pause, Nixie on/off, Mute alarm
  • Easy firmware update

  • Specifications

  • Dimensions: 5.27" x 4.13" x 3.78", or 134mm x 105mm x 96mm
  • Weight: about 1.6kg, 3.5lb (varies based on the case material)
  • Retio front

    Retio back


    Clock

  • Time Keeping Accuracy: up to ±13 seconds deviation per month.

  • Nixie Tubes

    Retio uses four (4) original vintage Nixie tubes manufactured in 1970s to 1990s. They are replaceable on sockets.

    Nixie tube type used in Retio (from left to right):

  • IN-12A: displays digits 0-9
  • IN-12A: displays digits 0-9
  • IN-12A: displays digits 0-9
  • IN-12B: displays digits 0-9, and a decimal at the bottom left corner

  • Bluetooth

    Retio supports:

  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Codec: Qualcomm aptX, SBC and AAC
  • Stereo/Party mode: TWS pairing (Two Retios/Retio Lites required)

  • Radio

    Bands: FM/AM, or FM/DAB+

  • Radio Chip: TEF6686 (FM/AM)
  • For FM/AM model: FM 65-108MHz, AM: 522-1620 kHz
  • For FM/DAB model: FM 76-108MHz, DAB, DAB+ Band III support (168-240MHz); Supports WorldDMB Receiver Profiles 1 & 2

  • Audio

  • Aux 3.5mm audio input
  • Speaker size: 46mm
  • Frequency response range: 150hz-17khz
  • Amplifier: 10W class-D

  • Power, Battery and Charging

  • Power: USB-C port, 5V/2.4A (adapter and cable included)
  • Cable: USB Type C to USB Type C, or USB Type A to USB Type C
  • Internal Batteries: 2 pieces of 18650 Li-Ion rechargable batteries; 6,700mAh in total for Retio; 5,200mAh in total for Retio Lite; replaceable
  • Charging time: ~5 hours
  • 1 out of 4 plug types for your countries included
  • Battery life: 6 hours nixie-on + playback time, or 16 hours nixie-on time
  • Power management: Designed for continuously plugged in. Battery overcharge and degradation protection integrated.

  • Charging Behavior of Retio & Power LED States

    Power LED is the one closer to the AUX port.

  • Battery <1%: RED LED flashes three times and then automatically powers off.
  • Battery 1% - 10%, RED LED solid on
  • When charging, RED LED solid on
  • When charging complete, GREEN LED solid on
  • Not connected to power, battery >10%: LED off
  • Not connected to power, battery <10%: RED LED solid on
  • Not connected to power, battery <1%: RED LED flashing
  • Charging Behavior of Retio Lite & Power LED States

    Power LED is the one closer to the AUX port.

  • Battery <1%: RED LED flashes three times and then automatically powers off.
  • Battery 1% - 10%, RED LED solid on
  • When charging, RED LED solid on
  • When charging complete, GREEN LED solid on
  • Not connected to power, battery >10%: LED off
  • Not connected to power, battery <10%: RED LED solid on
  • Not connected to power, battery <1%: RED LED flashing

  • Models

    Currently, Retio has three (3) models with different features.

    1. Retio FM/AM
    2. Retio FM/DAB+
    3. Retio Lite

    Wood Case Materials

    Retio provides four (4) wood materails for the wood case.

  • Walnut
  • Rift Sawn White Oak
  • Zebrawood
  • Wenge
  • Zebrawood and Wenge are Kickstarter limited editions, and will be discontinued once sold out.

    Feet Materials

    We also provide two (2) materials for the feet.

  • Matching wood to the case
  • Brass

  • Feature Comparisons

    Model Nixie Tubes Clock BT FM AM DAB AUX Built-in Battery
    Retio FM/AM Y Y Y Y Y - Y 6,700mAh (2x18650)
    Retio FM/DAB+ Y Y Y Y - Y Y 6,700mAh (2x18650)
    Retio LITE - Y - - - - 5,200mAh (2x18650)

    Retio Basics

    Quick Start Guide

  • When a Retio is received, remove it from the box, and charge it up using the USB Type C to USB Type A cable (included).
  • When the power LED is soild green, Retio is fully charged.
  • For FM and AM reception, install the telescopic antenna on the back.
  • Start using Retio ~

  • Inputs: Knobs & Buttons

  • ① POWER SWITCH Flip Up/Down
  • ② EDIT Click(=Single Press); Long Press(=Press & Hold for 3 sec)
  • ③ MODE 5 Stops (Modes)
  • ④ TUNE Turn indefinitely; Click(=Single Press); Long Press(=Press & Hold for 3 sec)
  • ⑤ VOLUME Turn indefinitely; Click(=Single Press); Long Press(=Press & Hold for 3 sec)
  • ⑥ TOUCH PAD Tap

  • Feature Matrix

    MODE AUX Bluetooth CLOCK FM AM DAB
    Default display Time Time Time Time after showing FM Frequency for 5 sec Time after showing AM Frequency for 5 sec Time after showing DAB Station # for 5 sec
    Audio Source AUX Bluetooth / FM Radio AM Radio DAB Radio
    TAP / Pause/Resume Nixie Tubes On/Off (Turn off alarm if it goes off) Show FM Frequency Momentarily Show AM Frequency Momentarily Show DAB Station # Momentarily
    EDIT Single Press Change background LED color
    (RGB looping-Same color looping-Red-Yellow-Green-Purple-Blue-Cyan-White-OFF)
    EDIT Long Press / Set BT to Discoverable Set Up Clock/Date / / /
    TUNE Turning Change Nixie Brightness Change Nixie Brightness Change Nixie Brightness FM Radio Tuning AM Radio Tuning DAB Radio Tuning
    TUNE Single-Press / / Set Up Alarm Auto-scan to The Next Station / /
    TUNE Long-Press / / / / / Search Through All Available Stations
    VOL Turning Changing Volume
    VOL Single Press / / / Turn Off/On Nixie Tube Turn Off/On Nixie Tube Turn Off/On Nixie Tube
    Note Decimal Point ON indicates Alarm Is Active How To Change Frequency Ranges & Steps

    During any set up process, when no operation is made for 30 seconds, it will automatically return to its normal status without saving.


    5 Modes

    Retio has 5 modes, controlled by the MODE knob ③. From counterclockwise (CCW) to clockwise (CW), they are:

    • AUX
    • Bluetooth
    • Clock
    • FM
    • AM (for FM/AM model), or DAB+ (for FM/DAB+ model)

    AUX Mode

    Connect your audio source using a 3.5mm audio cable (not included). Plug in one end to the AUX port on the back of Retio.

    Retio will always display time in this mode.

    Bluetooth Mode

    Bluetooth Pairing

  • Change MODE ③ to BT.
  • Press and hold EDIT ② to start pairing.
  • Open the Bluetooth page on your device (phone or computer), select RETIO to pair.
  • Wait for a few seconds for the pairing to complete.
  • While playing, tap on the touch pad ⑥ on the top of Reito will pause/resume.
  • For any reason the pairing process is interrupted, power cycle Retio and restart the process.

    Bluetooth LED States for Retio

    Bluetooth LED is the one closer to the USB-C port.

    LED Color LED Behavior Status Operation
    BLUE Slow Flashing No Connection
    RED Quick Flashing TWS Pairing Mode Long-Press TUNE ④ to Activate
    RED Solid On TWS Pairing Success
    BLUE Quick Flashing BT Pairing Mode Long-Press EDIT ② to Activate
    BLUE Solid On BT Pairing Success

    Bluetooth LED States for Retio Lite

    Bluetooth LED is the one closer to the USB-C port.

    LED Color LED Behavior Status Operation
    BLUE Slow Flashing No Connection
    RED Quick Flashing TWS Pairing Mode Single-Press EDIT ② to Activate
    RED Solid On TWS Pairing Success
    BLUE Quick Flashing BT Pairing Mode Long-Press EDIT ② to Activate
    BLUE Solid On BT Pairing Success

    Clock Mode

  • Retio shows clock in HH:MM format.
  • Supports 12-hr and 24-hr mode.
  • Alarm: Artist-curated soundtracks
  • Recurring Alarm: Once, Weekday, 7 Days
  • To set up time and date:

  • Change MODE ③ to CLOCK.
  • Long-press EDIT ② to start, the hours display will flash.
  • Rotate TUNE ④ to change the hour.
  • Single-press EDIT ② to advance to minute. Rotate TUNE ④ to change.
  • Single-press EDIT ② to advance to 12-hr or 24-hr mode. Rotate TUNE ④ to toggle.
  • Single-press EDIT ② to advance to year. Rotate TUNE ④ to change.
  • Single-press EDIT ② to advance to month. Rotate TUNE ④ to change.
  • Single-press EDIT ② to advance to date. Rotate TUNE ④ to change.
  • Single-press EDIT ② to save and return to normal display.
  • When the hour is being set, it always uses 24-hr format despite of the 12-hr/24-hr mode settings.
  • When hour or minute is being set, if the TUNE ④ is NOT rotated at all, Retio's time will stay unchanged.
  • If any/both of hour & minute is changed, this change will be saved when it advances to 12/24-hr settings, and the second will be reset to 00 at this moment.

  • To set up alarm:

  • Change MODE ③ to CLOCK.
  • Press TUNE ④ to view ALARM settings.
  • Long-press TUNE ④ to start editing ALARM settings. Hour will flash. Rotate TUNE ④ to change.
  • Single-press TUNE ④ to advance to minutes. Rotate TUNE ④ to change.
  • Single-press TUNE ④ to confirm. Flashing will stop.
  • Single-press TUNE ④ again, it will show the alarm frequency (how many times per week.) 0 means alarm off; 1 means alarm once; 5 means all weekdays; 7 means all days. To edit, long press TUNE ④ until it flashes. Rotate TUNE ④ to change. Single press TUNE ④ to save.
  • Single-press TUNE ④ again to choose soundtrack for the alarm. There are 5 soundtracks available. To edit, long press TUNE ④ until it flashes. Rotate TUNE ④ to change. Single press TUNE ④ to save.
  • Now it exits the alarm setting mode and return to CLOCK display.
  • When the alarm frequency is set to 1, it will automatically reset to 0 after the alarm goes off.
  • During any set up process, when no operation is made for 30 seconds, it will automatically return to its normal status without saving.

  • FM Mode

    FM frequency range:

  • 65 - 108MHz (for FM/AM model)
  • 76 - 108MHz (for FM/DAB+ model)
  • When a station is played for more than 5 seconds, this station will be saved in momery as the last-played station.
  • When Retio is switched to FM mode, it will automatically load the last-played station if available.
  • How to use

  • Change MODE ③ to FM
  • Rotate TUNE ④ to change frequency. Press TUNE ④ to AUTO SCAN. It will stop at the next available station.
  • Rotate VOLUME ⑤ to adjust volume.
  • The tubes will display time after a few seconds of displaying frequency.
  • Tap on the top to display frequency of the current station momentarily.
  • When Retio runs on battery and is not in FM mode, the power to FM module will be automatically cut off to conserve battery
  • It will takes approx. 1.5 seconds for the FM module to initialize when Retio is switched to FM mode. This ONLY applies in the case of operating Reio on its batteries.

  • AM Mode

    AM frequency range:

  • 522-1620 kHz (for FM/AM model)
  • The FM/DAB model does NOT have AM feature.

    How to use

  • Change MODE ③ to AM
  • Rotate TUNE ④ to change frequency.
  • Rotate VOLUME ⑤ to adjust volume.
  • The tubes will display time after a few seconds of displaying frequency.
  • Tap on the top to display frequency of the current station momentarily.

  • DAB+ Mode

    How to use

  • Change MODE ③ to DAB
  • Rotate TUNE ④ to change station.
  • Long-press TUNE ④ to re-index all available stations.
  • Rotate VOLUME ⑤ to adjust volume.
  • The tubes will display time after a few seconds of displaying station number.
  • Tap on the top to display the current station momentarily.

  • Backlit LEDs

    To change the LED color

    In any mode, single press the EDIT ② button on the back will change the color of the LEDs behind the nixie tubes in the following order:

  • RGB looping
  • Same color looping
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Cyan
  • White
  • OFF

  • Nixie Brightness

    To change the brightness of Nixie tubes:

  • Change MODE ③ to AUX, BT or CLOCK.
  • Rotate TUNE ④ to change brightness.
  • There will be a low humming sound when the nixie tubes are NOT at their full brightness.

    To momentarily turn off/on Nixie tubes

  • In CLOCK mode, tap on the top to turn off/on Nixie tubes momentarily.
  • In FM/AM/DAB mode, single-press VOLUME to turn off/on Nixie tubes momentarily.*
  • * A firmware update is required to use this feature. The firmware version must be v1.0.1 or higher.


    Advanced Features

    TWS Pairing

    TWS Requirement

    Two Retio devices are required to use TWS, no matter they are Retio or Lite. In other words:

  • Retio + Retio
  • Retio + Retio Lite
  • Retio Lite + Retio Lite
  • (+ means paring via TWS)

    How to pair

  • On Retio: Long-press TUNE ④ to activate TWS Pairing Mode.
  • On Retio Lite: Single-press EDIT ② to activate TWS Pairing Mode.
  • Once Retio/Retio Lite enters TWS Pairing Mode, the BT LED on the back will turn RED and flashes quickly.

  • Position them side by side, and TWS pairing will complete in a few seconds.
  • TWS pairing only needs to be done once and for all.
  • No matter what the audio source is (smartphone, computer, AUX, etc.), Retio will automatically play them on the two Retio devices via TWS.

  • Serial Port

    When connected to a computer with a USB Type C cable, the serial port of Retio is accessible using the configuration below.

  • Port name: usbserial-1410 or similar
  • Baud rate: 115200
  • Data Bits: 8
  • Parity: none
  • Stop bits: 1
  • Flow Control: none
  • Retio will output operation messages on its serial port, which can be used by advanced users to communicate with external devices.


    FM/AM Frequency Range Selection

    Retio has four (4) FM frequency ranges.

    FM Frequency Range

    1. 88.1-107.9MHz, step 0.2MHz (mainly for USA)
    2. 87.5-108MHz, step 0.1MHz (mainly for Europe, Africa, Australia, part of America and Asia)
    3. 76-95MHz, step 0.1MHz (for Japan)
    4. 64-108MHz, step 0.1MHz (other)

    AM Frequency Range

    1. 520 kHz - 1710 kHz, 10 kHz spacing: mainly for North American and South America
    2. 522 kHz - 1611 kHz, 9 kHz spacing

    How to Change FM/AM Frequency Range

  • Make sure Retio is in either FM or AM MODE
  • Press and hold both EDIT ② button and VOLUME ⑤ knob for 2 seconds, Retio will display the current frequency range selection.
  • The digit to the left (range: 1-2) is for AM frequency range, and the digit to the right (range: 1-4) is for FM frequency range. The digits are corresponding to the numbering above.
  • To change the FM frequency range, tune the VOLUME ⑤ knob.
  • To change the AM frequency range, tune the TUNE ④ knob.
  • To save your settings, single-press EDIT ② button.
  • Retio will restart and your selection is saved.

  • Firmware Update

    Performaing firmware update will erase all your settings and saved radio stations.

    Go to update.retio.co and follow the instructions on that page.


    How To Check the Current Firmware Version of your Retio

  • Change MODE ③ to AUX
  • Single-press VOLUME ⑤ to see the firmware version on the tube display.
  • For example: 101 means version 1.0.1
  • If the tube doesn't show anything, it means your firmware is the default v1.0.0.

  • FAQ

    Due to the transportation, the tubes may get loose causing a bad contact on their pins.

    This can be solved by:

  • Press your thumb on the face of the tube in question firmly, and move it slightly to either side until the digit lights up.
  • DO NOT wiggle too vigorously as it may damage the tube or its socket underneath.
  • All digits for ALL nixie tubes were 100% tested twice independently before they are shipped. So most of the time following the above method will solve the issue.

  • The telescopic antenna (included) will greatly improve the radio reception for FM and AM.
  • Extend the antenna and pose it to different orientations to achieve the best effects.
  • Retio has a standard SMA female connector on the back for antenna.
  • If desired, one can use their own antenna as long as it uses maleSMA connector.
  • Turn OFF Retio using the Power Switch on the back.
  • Tune to Clock Mode (the 3rd stop from clockwise).
  • Press and hold the EDIT button on the back, and turn on Retio.
  • Wait until the Nixie tubes are on, and then release the EDIT button.
  • Now Retio is in TEST Mode. All 4 tubes will display the same digits.
  • Tuning the VOLUME knob changes the digits from 0 through 9.
  • Press down the VOLUME will turn on/off the two colons as well as the decimal at the bottom left corner of the 4th tube (rightmost).
  • Exit the Test Mode by powering cycle Retio (turn off and then on).
  • Under rare circumstances, Reio may not act as expected, such as playing FM radio on BT/AUX mode.

    This can be solved by flashing the latest firmware using the link below:

    Reio Firmware Update

  • When two Retio devices are paired via TWS, the Retio with higher MAC address on the bluetooth module will play LEFT channel, and the lower MAC address will play RIGHT.
  • Retio always has higher MAC address than Retio Lite. So when they are paired, Retio is LEFT, and Lite is RIGHT.
  • When two same devices are paired (Retio+Retio, or Lite+Lite), the device with higher MAC address on its BT module will be LEFT. Simply play a speaker test audio to tell which is which. (Try this one on YouTube)
  • The charging and bt LED on the back are controlled by harware circuits (instead of software) so there is no way to disable them (without hardware modification).
  • If you think they are too bright, you may cover them with a tape. Poke a tiny hole on the tape if needed.
  • There will be a low humming sound when the nixie tubes are NOT at their full brightness.
  • Please refer to here to change the brightness.

  • Contact Us

  • Please send email to: support (at) retio.co