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You’re pitching the business case for your great money-making-and-saving idea. All the C-Level types are there. Then all of a sudden, you and everyone else can hear the strains of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. You didn’t turn the phone off before the meeting.

Who knew that your career would end to the song you moonwalked to at your junior high dance?

How about getting a ringtone that actually sounds like a real phone? Remember those Bakelite behemoth’s that used to hang on the kitchen wall or the rotary that sat in your dad’s den? Ahh, those were the good old days – when the Weather Channel was known as a window and a leaf blower was known as a rake.

With a good, “real phone” ringtone, you’ll probably find that you don’t get as many strange looks when that electronic ball and chain goes off in public. People are still used to the ordinary phone ring and find it less offensive than hearing about your humps, your humps, your lovely lady humps.

Here’s some of the best free, “real phone” ringtones I could find online. Most of them were found through forums where people said they made the recordings themselves. I presume since they put them on the forums, they are free and royalty free.

Universal Phone Ring

This one should sound familiar to almost everyone as it is the phone ring used most often in old movies and TV shows. Thanks to Hollywood Lost and Found for this one.

Black Rotary Phone Ring

Sounds just like the one that your dad might have had in his office, doesn’t it? Those were the days.

Candlestick Phone Ring

Ever seen those old phones where the earpiece hung on the main phone that looked like a candlestick? This is the ring from one of those.

French Rotary Phone

Looking for that certain je ne sais quoi? This one is the ticket. C’est bon!

Classic British Phone

I like the distinctive double-ring of the UK phones. Reminds me of old episodes of Coronation Street.

Higher Tone UK Phone

Here’s the same kind of UK ring, but with a little higher pitch.

Now for some famous classic phone rings…

Maxwell Smart’s Shoe Phone Tone

This is the ring that Agent 86’s shoe phone made.  Yes, there was a TV show of Get Smart before the not-so-good movie.

Our Man Flint/Austin Powers Phone Ring

This one is my favourite! It seems not many people under 40 know that the phone ring from Austin Powers was taken from the Our Man Flint movie, starring James Coburn. It was also a sort of spy-spoof movie.

Counter Terrorist Unit on 24 Phone Ring

Apparently this is the ring tone from Jack Bauer’s CTU unit on 24. Honestly, I’ve never made it through a full episode of this show, but the ringtone is pretty cool.

If what we have here doesn’t fill your boots, there is one other really good source for classic real phone ringtones that I found over at BeepZoid’s Vintage Phone Ringtones. With over 60 different ringtones in MIDI, MP3 and iPhone formats, there’s a good chance you’ll find what your looking for.

What do you think of “real phone” ringtones versus all the clips and top 40 stuff out there? Got a favourite ringtone to share with us? Drop us a line in the comments below. I’ll have my people call your people.

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  1. Brian
    March 24, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Um, guys. When I click the ring tone to listen there is no way to go back to the page. I have to close the browser tab to get out.

  2. Moe
    January 17, 2017 at 3:38 am

    Fabulous ring tones, thank you for sharing them.

  3. X
    November 16, 2016 at 1:17 am

    What the hell good are they if you can't download them

    • Riley J. Dennis
      December 7, 2016 at 3:21 am

      right click on any of the links and click "save as"

    • Tammy Jackson
      January 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      right on they would be no use what good would they be at all

  4. Phill
    December 11, 2015 at 2:44 am

    If you go to this page and 'Save link as' on 'Trimphone' that is the British 'Cricket Phone'.

  5. Allen
    April 7, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Love the British ringtone but how about the British cricket phone tone?

    • Guy
      April 8, 2015 at 12:22 am

      I'm not familiar with that one. It must be out on the web somewhere, though.

  6. Gerry
    January 15, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Hi Guy,

    I submitted my email address, how can I download the "Black Rotary Phone Ring"?

    • Guy
      January 19, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      You should be able to download it by right-clicking and choosing "Save Link As..." Or whatever the equivalent is on your operating system. Enjoy!

  7. JoshOiknine
    July 28, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    If you can find the "Chirp" ringtone from the Bionic Woman TV show that failed that would be epic.

  8. Jennifer Java
    July 28, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Thank you so much for this! I've been wanting my phone to actually "ring" but until now, haven't been able to find any downloads. I can't wait to try the "high pitched UK" ringtone! And thanks to Lauren for asking what I was wondering, as well. ;)

  9. Elena
    July 16, 2009 at 2:52 am

    I love '24' and I've had the CTU ringtone in my phone for a few years now. In fact this is the ringtone I've used for the longest time in my phone - and I don't plan to change it soon ;)

    Thanks for this collection! I always prefer "normal" ringtones to more psychedelic melodies.

  10. Matt
    July 15, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    The link for Universal Phone Ring points to UK_Phone.mp3 The link in the flash embed is correct.

    • Guy McDowell
      July 16, 2009 at 6:33 pm

      Yep, the editors are getting on that.

  11. Scott
    July 15, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    How about the Batphone, from the original Batman TV show? I remember trying to find it years ago, but was unsuccessful. Actually, I don't even remember what it sounds like now...

  12. Alec
    July 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    The link to the "Universal Phone Ring" should be:

  13. Lauren
    July 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks very much for posting the real-sounding ringtones. I enjoyed several of them very much. However, I could not find a way to actually download any of them into my cell phone. Am I missing something? I would very much appreciate a reply email with instructions for downloading one or more of these ringtones into my cell. Thanks again so much.

    • Guy McDowell
      July 15, 2009 at 7:32 pm

      Hi Lauren,

      I don't have your e-mail address so I can't e-mail you. Basically, you would need a USB cable that is meant to connect to your phone and computer. There are almost as many ways to transfer ringtones from your computer to your phone as there are phone maker's. Check your phones manual or the maker's website for more details, please.


      • vance
        August 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm


        I am also interested in the 24 ringer. Could you please email the mp3 to me as well? I have a mac and cannot "file, save as" for some reason (



    • cbinflux
      July 15, 2009 at 10:26 pm

      After opening: File, Save As

    • Madame Prettywig
      July 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm


      USB cables are "one" of your options. If you have a bluetooth enabled phone AND bluetooth capability on your computer, you can send it via computer-to-phone & vice versa. If you don't have bluetooth on your PC (or MAC) but have it on the phone, you'll need to get a USB "bluetooth dongle". They're pretty cheap now ($2-10) & you have the choice of getting a "regular" size or mini dongle (both work the same). If you're not sure how to use the bluetooth technology, you can refer back to your phone's or USB bluetooth's user manual. Anywho, hope this helps :)

  14. Alex
    July 15, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I'm currently using this ringtone from the movie Brazil: