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.
Last update on 2023-11-18 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
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.
Best Cassette Players List
Decent Cassette Player That Gets the Job Done
The perfect name for the JENSEN MCR-75 would be Nostalgia, because after all’s said and done, who still uses cassette players today? To describe it in a few words, the Nostalgia (just kidding) is a well-built sub-$40 mono cassette player, that looks and feels better than it sounds.
Be advised: SQ is not the main quality of the JENSEN MCR-75, but if you have realistic expectations from this machine, you won’t be disappointed. The good news is that, as sad as it may be, is that there are no high quality personal cassette players that are newly manufactured.
This is about is good as it gets, so you can buy with without flinching if you want to surprise an older sibling with an brand new school cassette player, instead of a vintage Walkman or whatever.
Build quality is great, as the cassette player feels substantial and feels like a high quality device due to its black rubberized body. This particular model doesn’t have a stereo record/playback head, and features just one speaker.
You can tell if the head is stereo if the silver rectangle on the head is divided into two thinner rectangles. The head on this Jensen has a single silver rectangle.
There’s also an AM/FM receiver, and cassette recording capability from the radio or the built-in microphone. However, there’s no noise reduction and it is in mono meaning that using tapes recorded on this device on other cassette players will sound pretty bad.
- Nice design
- Works as advertised
- Not the best SQ
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
SEMIER Portable Cassette Player
A Classic-Looking Cassette Player with Modern Features
If you’re still using cassettes, this device does an amazing job since it is portable (works on both AC power and batteries) and supports cassettes and AM/FM radio. It also can be used with or without headphones since it has a built-in speaker that’s loud enough to hear.
The controls and shape remind users of the old-school devices, with mechanical buttons and analog volume controls. Also, there is a switch to make the change between cassette and radio. In addition, you can use it to record external audio due to the built-in microphone.
Overall, it is a nifty little device, with amazing features considering its build.
- Compact & lightweight design
- AM FM Radio Stereo
- Built-in microphone recording
- Built-in speaker
- Old-school controls
- Works with AA batteries (not rechargeable)
- No belt clip included
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!