A western electric model 500

From Flickr user phone-man

ZaibatsuTel ringer selection

Some of our customers prefer the ringing, hearty sound of classical telephones. We can't agree more: the world was better when we used real bells to ring people's phones. Other customers we mean heathens prefer a specific tone that reverberates specifically with a time when cellular phones were a different beast entirely.

Below are a few of our favorite ringers from the ages, prepared for modern cell phones.

The classics

These are based on recordings of classic analog phones. The british system had a defined double-ring system -- a hallmark of british TV which featured them. These phones are fundamentally a little different: The English system, while mostly compatible with the American one, was actually better built in many ways. AT&T would learn quite a bit from them.

English Bakelite 332L

Based on the sound from Spleencast of an English 1952 Bakelite 332L TE5T/2A Telephone. This specific ring features the British/UK "Double Ring" style - a feature of the infrastructure built in the UK to handle phone lines.

Bakelite 1952.m4a

British Telecom 1957 Model 706

Another British phone, this time a 1957 British Telecom model 706. A different ring, a different feel, the 706 was a classic in the BT books. Again featuring the double-ring that makes British phones somewhat unique, this one is slightly subdued. Thanks goes out to Charliefarley for this one.

UK 1965.m4a

Bell System 687 Ringer

In an ode to the past, we would do a disservice to not feature at least one of Ma Bell's classic sounds. In this particular case, it's one that wasn't so familiar in the home, but possibly in the offices and warehouses across the world. FreqMan brings us the Bell System 687 ringer, made originally by Western Electric. This was less a phone and more a notifier that the line was being rung, commonly echoing through warehouses to get someone's attention.

Bell System 687.m4a

Western Electric model 500

Finally, an iconic sound. Like the Western Electric produced (and Bell branded) 687, the Model 500 may well have seated itself firmly into our audio history quite permanently. A different sound than the 500, Dragonfrog brings us what may well be the most recognizable rings in the history of the telephone industry.

Western Electric 500.m4a

The "Nokia" sound

Through the late 1990's and early 2000's, one sound penetrated through the known galaxy. Its name: Well, it didn't have a name, really. It did, but nobody remembered it by the name it was given by Nokia. Instead, everyone just called it the nokia sound.

Original Monophonic (nokia_mono.m4a)

Later Polyphonic (nokia_polyphonic.m4a)

RealTone variant (nokia_relatone.m4a)

These sounds are technically copyright ©Nokia Corporation and probably now Microsoft. They are placed here under fair use;