Believe it or not, cassette players are making a comeback! But what’s even more difficult to believe is the fact that young people seem to be really into using them!
Some users like these players because they help them revive their collection of cassettes, others enjoy a bit of blast from the past, and younger users seem to be fascinated by the vintage-looking controls and design.
So, if you are on the lookout for the best cassette player (for yourself or as a gift) we reviewed some of the most popular products on the market. We also put together a buying guide to help you decide according to your needs.
The Best Cassette Player – Buying Guide
Portability & Build Quality
Even if they look like old-school devices, this doesn’t mean they should feel like one! Modern cassette players should be designed using quality materials that are durable and resist wear and tear.
In terms of portability, a player should be compact in size (easy to hold in one hand), lightweight, and should work on batteries (or have this option besides the AC power supply). Some bigger devices come with a carrying handle.
Most players support the 3.5mm AUX jack, which lets users hook the player with headphones, speakers, and other devices. But if you’re hoping to get audio from more modern sources, you should get a player that also supports a USB connection. For an even more advanced experience, a player with Bluetooth or an SD-card is the best.
Functions like record, skip, rewind, fast forward, auto-stop, and others can improve the experience. Moreover, if your main goal is to convert the audio on tapes into a digital format, you must find a player which is also a converter.
Not all cassette players are equipped with built-in speakers. Many come with earbuds or headphones (not the best quality) just because there is no direct output. Furthermore, players that have a speaker, don’t deliver the most powerful sound.
Still, if you decide to go for a bigger device (boombox or CD player) the speakers can be quite booming.
7 Best Cassette Players
Jensen SCR-68C Cassette Player
The Best Portable Cassette Player with A Classic Look
If you’re into vintage-looking cassette players, Jensen SCR-68C should do the trick. It is compact, has a detachable belt clip for increased portability, and features old-school buttons for play, fast forward, and stop!
It also comes with a pair of stereo earbuds, has an AM/FM feature, and looks really good in comparison to some modern devices. So, whether you’re listening to your audiobooks, you tune in your favorite radio stations, or you’re just enjoying your old cassette collection, this device can do it all.
- Compact and lightweight design
- The sound quality is excellent
- Cool-looking buttons
- Comes with a pair of earbuds
- The detachable belt clip makes it highly portable
- It has AM/FM functions
- Uses two AA batteries as a power source
- Great value for the money
- The build is not very solid
- It only works when the headset is connected
- The earbuds are not the best quality
Reshow Cassette Player
The Ideal Companion for Your Travels
Modern cassette players try to create a bridge between the current storage devices and users’ love for the old-fashioned device. And, this is how players like this Reshow product get to be on the market.
The player features all the tools needed to listen to old-school cassettes, but also has a USB 2.0 port. This allows users to convert the music from a cassette into MP3 format and store it on another device (preferably more accessible to modern devices). Each packet comes with the software you need to make the conversion in optimal conditions, and a guide that explains the process step-by-step.
This Walkman and cassette to MP3 converter is portable, lightweight, and doesn’t occupy a lot of space in your bag or backpack. Moreover, it accepts any 3.5mm AUX jack, so you can hook it up with headphones, speakers, and any other device that has such a jack.
The sound quality is pretty good for such a small device and you don’t have to think about losing phone signal or BT connection since it only plays cassettes.
- It has the standard Walkman features (classic cassette player)
- It features one USB 2.0 port and one 3.5mm AUX jack port
- You can use it to convert cassettes to MP3 format
- Great sound quality
- The build quality could be better
- The software and instructions are out of date
- It’s not plug-and-play
DigitalLife Cassette Player Recorder
The Best Portable Cassette to MP3 Converter
If you want to listen to cassettes but don’t like the old-school portable players, the DigitalLife device may be just the right choice. The device has a modern and sleek look, it is compact, and the buttons are small and silver without being difficult to press. These buttons support the standard functions of a cassette player: Start/Stop for playing and recording, volume control, rewind, fast forward, next and previous, auto reverse, and direction.
Besides being a good old cassette player, the device is also a converter. However, unlike the device we just reviewed, this one doesn’t need special software or a computer to convert the sound from the cassette into MP3 format. As long as you have a USB flash drive or an external hard drive, you can do the conversion anytime, anywhere.
Lastly, the player can also convert sound from external devices that are connected via the 3.5mm AUX input port such as CD players, FM/AM Radio TV, and more.
- Modern and compact look
- Controls are easy to use and understand
- Impressive sound quality
- Plenty of functions
- The recording feature is very useful
- It does the job quickly
- Doesn’t work without a speaker or headphones
- Recording picks up sounds from other devices around
Jensen Retro Portable Player
For People Who Love Retro Gadgets
The retro look on this player is absolutely adorable and will freak out most ultra-modern-gadget-oriented people! Furthermore, it has its own speaker (at the front) so you can listen without headphones or a separate speaker.
Other than the regular Walkman functionality, the player also features AM/FM radio and even has a built-in stereo tuner that lets you browse through the available stations. The antenna is great if you want to extend the range of your search.
Lastly, the player is really easy to understand, even for non-technical people. In addition, it is lightweight and compact so it’s easy to carry around wherever you go. Just make sure you have enough AA batteries around!
- Old-school look but lightweight and compact
- Works with two AA batteries
- Impressive sound quality
- Can be hooked up with headphones and other speakers
- Solid construction
- Controls are easy to operate
- It has a recording feature
- It picks up background noises when recording
- No included belt clip
Byron Statics Cassette Player
A Cute & Portable Device with Interesting Features
The color combination and high portability of this player makes it a favorite among young people! Moreover, it comes with a detachable belt clip and offers easy access to classic-looking controls (standard buttons, volume dial, and AM/FM band selector).
In addition, the player has a built-in mic and record function, so you can make your own tapes. Also, it comes with an integrated speaker which is powerful enough to provide a clear & crisp audio experience.
The Byron Walkman is powered by two AA batteries, but it can also be hooked to a USB power supply. However, it’s recommended to remove the batteries if you’re going to use the USB power option.
Overall, this is a great device to have around if you want to enjoy your collection of cassette tapes but don’t want to invest too much.
- Compact and attractive design
- Fits in the palm of your hand
- Works with headphones or as a stand-alone
- Easy to use controls
- The sound is clear and crispy
- Incorporated mic and record function
- It’s a bit tricky to flip the cassette
- The build quality is not the best
Sony CFDS70-BLK Cassette Boombox
The Perfect Party Companion
If you’re looking for something that’s a bit more than just a cassette player, this compact boombox may do the trick. It can play both CDs and cassette tapes, but also comes with an integrated AM/FM radio with 30-station preset capability.
Even though it’s significantly larger than other units we reviewed, the player is still portable (it has a handle) and features the recording function. In addition, it can be powered by either batteries (up to 19 hours) or AC power.
Lastly, the boombox accepts AUX audio input that allows users to connect a wide range of other devices such as headphones, speakers, or your vehicle’s audio system.
- Works with both CDs and cassettes
- Impressive battery life
- The speakers deliver a clear and crisp audio experience
- AM/FM radio with 30 stations preset
- Can be connected with other devices
- No skip functionality
- Build quality is a bit flimsy
A Gorgeous-Looking Boombox with Tons of Functionalities
If you’re a fan of the old-school boomboxes featured in the 90s movies, this device may be just the right fit for you.
The silvery aspect, the shiny finishes, the big speakers, and the overall squareness of this device make it look like it just fell from a time capsule. But there’s more to the Victrola boombox than just a vintage look!
Other than the obvious cassette player, the device also features Bluetooth connectivity (up to 33 feet range), a classic AM/FM radio with analog tuner, USB port, SD-card, and an LED clock display. In addition, even though it’s rather bulky, the player comes with a carrying handle and can be used on batteries.
As you can see, it looks like the old and new ways of listening to music are all gathered in one really cool device!
- Cool-looking vintage design
- AM/FM radio with analog tuner
- Classic controls
- Large speakers
- Bluetooth connectivity with good range
- USB and SD-card possibilities
- The recorded tapes don’t sound as good as the original
- The build quality is a bit on the cheap side
Whether you like to record yourself or you are looking for a device that will help you convert your cassette collection into digital formats, a cassette player is a right device for you. As you can see from our reviews, the offer is rather diverse, with both compact devices and boomboxes being available at very good prices.
So, if you know your needs, it’s time to choose the player that does the best job!