We agree with you: analog storage mediums are still some of the best audio sources. However, they are also less reliable as time goes by. Not to mention that the time for boomboxes and cassette players is long gone and it’s probably not coming back (even though some of us still hope it will).
So, if you don’t want to lose your beloved audio recordings, you may want to convert them to digital format. Since the most common audio file format is the MP3 file, most converters offer this option.
In this case, you’ll need the best cassette to MP3 converter for your situation and budget. We did the research, and below you can read reviews for all kinds of devices, whether you want a professional converter with lots of features or just a simple tool that does the job right.
But first, let’s see the features that you should consider when looking for a converter.
How To Choose The Best Cassette to MP3 Converter
Ease of Use
A cassette to MP3 converter should be easy to use by a regular person. As such, most devices we reviewed don’t even require a computer connection. And, those that do work via software, have a user-friendly interface that’s easy to understand and navigate.
These devices vary from straight-forward plug & play options to professional converters that require some computer knowledge. So, make sure to select the one you can understand.
Quality of Resulted Files
It is only natural to want the resulted digital files to be as high-quality as the analog source, but this is not possible. First of all, MP3 digital files are compressed in order to be easy to transfer and access regardless of the device used to play them. Secondly, the final result also depends on the quality of the converter and the age of the tape.
As such, low-cost converters will not produce the same quality as high-priced ones. Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t get a good result; you just need to select the right device.
If you’re looking for more than just a converter, you may want a device that also lets you hear the tapes, record other sounds, and more. And, since we’re talking about cassette tapes, you may want to choose a converter that’s easy to carry around (like a Walkman).
Luckily, there are lots of cool devices you can try, and you can have your pick in terms of design (from old-school to modern).
Available Ports & Controls
The ports and controls on a cassette recorder tell you what you can do with the device. For instance, a 3.5mm port lets you connect the device with speakers, headphones, or the AUX port in your car. On the other hand, a USB port lets you know about digital devices that work with your converter.
Lastly, the controls are important for both the listening and the converting experience.
7 Best Cassette to MP3 Converters
Reshow Cassette Player Re-006
Recorder & Walkman – A Great 2-in-1 Deal!
If you’re looking for a device that does more than just convert your precious audio tapes into MP3 format, the Re-006 cassette player is a great choice. It is compact, lightweight, and features cool old-school controls such as buttons, an open/close switch, and a volume dial. In addition, you can use it with any headphones you want.
If you want to use it as a converter, you have everything you need right in the package. The cassette player is delivered with converter software, a 5V DC USB power cord, and the necessary instructions to get the job done. Once you have everything set, you just need to connect the player to a laptop, PC, or a laptop CD burner (for direct transfer to CD).
The conversion is quick, and the result is of high-quality, but you’ll need to work in a quiet room since it doesn’t distinguish between background noise and tape.
- Compact & easy to use
- It works as both a converter and a Walkman
- The conversion process is hassle-free
- Crystal-clear sound quality
- Impressive quality and value for the price
- Doesn’t have speakers so it won’t play by itself
- No clothes clip for better portability
- It picks up some static noise if it’s too close to the PC/laptop
DigitalLife Cassette Player Recorder
The Best Cassette Tape to MP3 Converter with a Modern Look
If you’re too fond of the old-school look featured by some cassette players & recorders, you’ll be thrilled this one exists! While it comes with standard controls and works on cassette tape, it looks like something kids these days would use and not something dug up from your memories.
In addition, you don’t need to hook the player to a computer or install any software in order to convert your tapes. This device works with a USB Flash Drive (must be purchased separately), which you can later use to transfer digitalized files to any storage device you want (HDD, CD, and more).
The DigitalLife cassette player also has a recording function, which allows users to record external audio sources using the 3.5mm audio jack. As such, you can record sound from TV, radio, gaming consoles, and more, and then play it back (using the Play Back feature) to check the quality. Once recorded, the sound can be played on a wide array of other devices using the same 3.5mm audio jack.
Overall, this tiny cassette recorder is a nifty device with a wide array of applications!
- Modern-looking design
- It is a cassette player, recorder, and converter in one device
- You don’t need a computer to digitize your files
- It has an auto and a manual conversion mode
- No integrated speakers
MYPIN Cassette to MP3 Converter
A User-Friendly Cassette Player & Converter
A modern & compact design accompanied by the classic Walkman style make for a nice-looking and user-friendly device. You can use it for recovering old cassette tapes (using the conversion function) or for listening to them (via the 3.5mm AUF jack). In fact, the device comes with headphones and a bag for better portability.
It works with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 flash drives, so there’s no need to have a computer around when you want to digitize your tapes (by turning them into MP3 files). However, it’s important to know it only supports flash drives in FAT, FAT32, and exFAT formats, up to 64G. In addition, it’s best to work with fast USB drives (a read rate of 40-60M/S).
To avoid any lags while converting the files, this cassette player is designed with automatic side switching. This means the converter can switch the sides of tape automatically, without you having to open the front cover.
Lastly, the converter works in Auto and Manual modes. In Auto, the converter saves each song from your tape into a separate track on the flash drive. In Manual, you have full control over the length of the file being digitized.
- Compact & lightweight
- Works with USB flash drive for conversion
- 3.5mm AUX port for playing sound with external devices
- Good quality of converted files
- Play Back & Automatic side switching features
- Auto Mode adds several minutes of silence on side B
- The headphone jack and the USB port are too close together
Pyle Cassette-to-MP3 Converter
A Versatile & Portable Device
The best cassette players of today are designed to deliver amazing audio quality while featuring a user-friendly interface that’s easy to use even by beginners. So, given that the player/converter from Pyle is made to look like an old-school Walkman, it should be no surprise that people find it interesting.
In addition, you can connect it to a computer, your car’s system, or an iPod and listen to the music on your tape. Of course, you can use the 3.5mm AUX jack port to record audio from external devices and then play it back in a different location or save it as an MP3 file.
The conversion can be performed without an external device (a laptop or a PC) since the player works with a USB flash drive. Moreover, it supports both Manual and Automatic conversion, so you can have full control over the process.
- Plug&play operation (no need to install software)
- Can be connected with a wide range of devices that use the 3.5mm port
- Clear sound quality
- Easy to convert audio files from tape to MP3 format
- Supports recording
- There is a tiny background noise
- The build seems a bit flimsy
Marantz Professional PMD-300CP
The Ideal Device for Those Who are Cassette Tape Passionate
Even though we live surrounded by all sorts of audio technology, some people still appreciate the way cassette tape plays. So, if you have a large collection of cassettes, you may need a bigger device to take care of them.
With the Marantz PMD-300CP, you can back up your entire collection (tape is not the most reliable storage medium) and make new recordings in a professional manner. Of course, it also lets you listen to your tapes or transfer the content in digital format.
In addition, the device supports two speeds of dubbing and comes with two DC servo motors to make sure the recording is accurate.
- Professional build and quality
- Two speeds for dubbing
- Easy to use for backup and record
- Dynamic Noise Reduction option
- It is rather big
- The sound software needs an update
Fly Kan Digital Audio Capture Card
The Fastest Way to Convert a Tape to Digital
While there is a clear difference in audio quality between old-school storage mediums (CDs, cassette tapes, vinyl) and digital formats such as MP3, the latter are more reliable and easier to access using modern devices.
As such, most people who still own cassette tapes or CDs will want a backup of their audio treasures in digital format. This way, when the tape goes away, they will continue to have access to the audio files.
So, if you’re only interested in converting analog audio files into digital ones, and you’re a Windows user, a device like the Fly Kan capture card should be enough. This device sits between a cassette player or a portable CD player and a computer, making the conversion between the two devices.
It uses a USB port and a 3.5mm port to connect the two devices, and it needs a converting software such as Audacity to make the transfer into MP3 or WAV files. Even more, it can also process audio recordings from RCA phono L/R inputs.
- Easy to install and use (Plug & Play setup)
- Works with both 3.5mm and RCA ports
- It can be used with a wide range of recording devices
- The design is compact and portable
- It needs a preamp for stellar quality
- There may be some background noise
Best Cassette to MP3 Converter for Mac
The Teac LP-R660-PB is a professional device for those of you who really want to get the best out of their analog audio sources. Equipped with a three-speed turntable, a CD drive, a built-in cassette player, and an AM/FM tuner, this is one of the best converters/players on the market.
In addition, the device has its own speakers, which sets it apart from all the other converters we reviewed. And, given the build quality and care for performance, the audio it delivers is clear and rich.
Lastly, the device works well with both Windows and Mac computers, regardless of the OS version they run. So, given its many qualities, you can consider this to be an all-in-one recorder and a fantastic player of analog audio sources.
- It works with vinyl, CDs, and cassettes
- Solid build and impressive visual aspect
- Crystal clear sound delivered by built-in speakers
- Works with both Windows and Mac OS
- Great value for the money
- It is a bit difficult to set up
- The preamp is not very powerful
In short, your collection of cassette tapes, CDs, and vinyl can be saved from the wear and tear of time, but only if you take the right steps to do so. Of course, the first step is to get the best converter that fits your needs.
And now that you have access to our reviews, there’s no reason to keep postponing this task!