What could be a better way of listening to vintage music on the go than using a portable cassette player? In recent years, the cassette players or walkman as they were previously referred to are re-emerging just as the turntable vinyl players are. There is no other more affordable way of enjoying your music with an analog cassette than a portable cassette player.
However, for a walkman to give you the best service, it must be in excellent playing condition. The good news is that most of the walkmans available in the market today can transfer analog cassette to digital MP3 through a USB port. This is good if you would like to digitize your tapes.
It is not easy to find a high quality walkman in the market today more especially if you do not know what you should look for. Despite the popularity of digital music, there are both young and old who prefer this vintage way of playing music on the go. Also, there are dedicated companies that are still producing these portable cassette players.
If you would like to buy a walkman but you are not sure where to begin, you can relax assured that we have your back. In this post, we are going to bring a list of the best portable cassette players that are available in the market today.
One of the reasons as to why many people are turning to this analog music players is because they are affordable and highly portable. Apart from that, besides allowing you to enjoy music on the go, you can convert your songs from analog to digital formats which you can play on other devices such as your smartphone or laptop. In addition to that, they are durable and convenient, although they might not have that best audio quality.
Features to look for:
When you want to buy a cassette player, there are a lot of things that you should take into consideration. In this section, we bring you some of the best features that you should look for in a walkman before buying.
1. Automatic Reverse
Walkman’s are designed in two ways; on one hand, some require the user to change the cassette when one side is over manually. On the other hand, there are those cassette players that are designed to change the sides of the tape automatically. Almost all modern cassette players have this ability. It is advisable to go for a cassette player that has the auto-reverse capability. This will save you the hassle of changing the sides of the cassette when one side is done.
2. Noise Reduction Ability
When the cassette is playing, it is likely to produce some sounds which might disturb your listening ability. The modern walkmans are made with noise-reducing capability. The capacity will help to cancel out any noise that might be in your surroundings so that you can be able to hear your music clearly. Most cassette players have this capability so look out for this feature.
3. MP3 Conversion
People buy cassette players for different reasons. There are those forks that have the analog cassettes which contain their favorite songs, and they would like to convert the songs into digital formats. A walkman that has the MP3 conversion capability will allow you to convert your older songs into MP3 digital format. If you have such songs that you would like to convert, then ensure that the cassette player that you buy has this feature.
4. FM Radio
You do buy a walkman only to listen to your old school songs, but it can also allow you to listen to a radio. A cassette player that has an inbuilt radio will give you an additional entertainment source. Therefore, consider an FM radio option before you buy any walkman.
5. Extra Functions
Besides the essential functions of the walkman, what other additional features does it have? Look out for extra functions such as:
- Recording function – the cassette player should have an ability to not only convert songs but also record voices among other tasks. A walkman with a recording function will help you to record anything you want while you are out.
- Battery life – most cassette players, use the size AA battery and it will give you between 20 and 25 hours of nonstop playing.
- Sound features – depending on the extra features that a walkman has, some may not have this function. If you can find a player with a sound adjustment such as bass and style control, it will give you a better listening experience as compared with the one that lacks this feature.
Material Different materials are used in making cassette players. Most walkmans are made of plastic with a lining of metal. Although most are made of plastic, ensure that the quality of plastic used is long-lasting. This will prevent buying a new walkman soon.
There are different makes of cassette players in the market today, and each comes with its price tag. Very cheap walkmans are not original. For instance, if you find a walkman selling at $10, that is not a good cassette player. “Good working cassette players cost between $40 to $200”.
Top 5 Best Portable Cassette Players!
1. Coby CVR-22 Portable Cassette Recorder
This is a fantastic walkman which comes with a one-touch functionality which you can use both as a recorder and cassette player. It has an inbuilt microphone which you can use for voice recording under different setups.
It is also designed with a retractable handle which you can use to carry the walkman with you wherever you want to go.
It is ideal for use by music lovers of all ages. Most importantly, it has a solid construction which ensures that this cassette player will last for years.
It has buttons that you can use to control the different play options. You can play, pause, go to the next item, the previous item, and record.
Besides that, it has a transparent glass where you can see as the cassette is rotating. The inbuilt speaker is powerful, and it produces enough sound.
- Comes with a retractable handle
- Has twofold use, can be used as a recorder and player
- Has inbuilt microphone for recording
- Transparent glass
- Control buttons
- The control buttons are made of poor quality material
2. Sony WM-FX195 Portable Cassette Player
During the ’80s, Sony was the giant walkman company, and it is a trusted brand in the industry. This particular cassette player comes with a vintage design.
It comes with an FM/AM radio hence you can use to listen to any radio station you choose to. Also, it has a huge tuning scale which you can use to tune to any station you want. Besides that, it has a band tuner that you can use to switch between the AM and FM. The radio signal of this walkman is robust.
It also comes with an inbuilt speaker that produces high-quality sound. Apart from that, it has a sound feature that you can use to adjust the volume to suit your listening needs. Additionally, it comes with Sony standard headphones which you can use to listen to music privately.
The headphones have an auto shut off feature and an anti-rolling feature which helps to smooth down the sound when the walkman is playing.
Two size AA batteries power this cassette player. The battery can last up to 25 hours of nonstop playing.
- The battery life is long
- Sound quality is superb
- Has the anti-rolling mechanism which helps to prevent any unwanted noise
- Comes with an auto sound limiter
- Has audio control features which allow controlling the sound quality
- Very expensive
- Lacks voice recorder
3. Jensen Stereo Cassette Player
Are you looking for a portable yet decent walkman that you can listen to music on the go? Look no further. This portable cassette player is designed with compact, lightweight yet strong construction which you can not only take with you everywhere but also is long-lasting.
It comes with an AM/FM radio from which you can select from a wide variety of radio stations. Besides that, it comes with a sound feature where you can adjust the sound quality with rich bass. You will get an impressive and powerful audio quality that will make your listening experience worthwhile.
It does not have inbuilt speakers but instead uses high-quality earbuds which you can use to listen to music and radio. Apart from that, it is powered by two size AA batteries. However, you can also connect it to an AC adaptor, and it will work well.
It is also designed with a belt clip which you can hang the walkman on your belt and plug in the earbuds and enjoy your music as you go. In addition to that, it comes with a carry case that you can use to carry or store your walkman securely when not in use.
- Comes with AM/FM radio
- Comes with earbuds
- High-quality sound and stereo bass
- Comes with a carry case and a belt clip
- It does not have a screen
- No voice recorder
- Lacks rewind function
4. Mypin USB, Portable Cassette Audio Music Player Tape-To-MP3 Converter
Are you looking for a walkman that can convert your tapes into digital formats such as MP3? If you answered yes, then this walkman is ideal for you. Besides that, it comes with a voice recorder, and you can convert them without a computer.
Also, it has a USB port that you can use to transfer your songs to any smart device. It is compatible with USB 2.0 AND USB 3.0.
Apart from that, it has an inbuilt speaker that produces high-quality sound. But it also comes with a pair of earphones which you can use to listen to music privately. Also, a USB charging cable is provided, a user manual and a carry bag that you can use to securely carry or store the cassette player when not in use.
Moreover, you can convert music from the tape to the MP3 using the USB port. Besides that, the USB port is compatible with most formats of other devices. You can expand the memory of this walkman up to 64 GB.
In addition to that, it has an Aux jack which is 3.5 mm so you can use any headphones to listen to music. Most importantly, it has an auto-save mode which can save every item of music you play into an MP3 format.
- Can convert tapes into MP3 format
- Inbuilt speakers produce excellent sound
- Comes with earphones
- Microphone for voice recording
- Has a one year warranty
- Has a standard aux jack
- Lightweight and portable
- Does not have the rewind function
5. Panasonic RQ2102 Cassette Recorder
This is a simple, high-quality walkman. It doubles up as a cassette player and voice recorder. It is powered by four size C batteries. Besides using the cells, you can connect the AC as the source of power.
It has an inbuilt speaker which is powerful enough to give outstanding sound. However, if you would like to listen to music privately, it has a jack for earphones. Most importantly, it has an auto-stop which helps to pause the music when you remove the headphones.
Additionally, it has a digital counter, cue, pause and review functions which you can use to control how you enjoy your music. It also comes with a retractable handle which you can use to carry the walkman comfortably.
Besides that, it comes with an inbuilt microphone which you can use for voice recording. Also, it has a 3 -digit counter which helps to ensure that the cassette is in place as it plays. On top of that, it comes with a user manual.
- Equipped with an inbuilt microphone for voice recording
- Has a digital counter
- Powered by four batteries but can also use AC
- The sound quality is excellent
- The user manual is difficult to understand
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How To Manually Fix The Cassette Tape For Walkman!
In this section, we will give a step by step instruction on how to manually fix a cassette tape. We hope that you can be able to use simple tools such as scotch tape, small screwdriver, tapes, and a pair of needle-nose pliers.
Step 1: Identify cassette tape type
There are two types of cassette tapes, i.e. screwed together and welded together. The screwed kind of tape has five screws in different positions that hold the tape together. The welded, on the other hand, do not have screws but is joined together with sonic welding.
With the screwed tape, you need to open the screws while the welded kind needs to be broken.
Step 2: Access the tape
Before you touch the magnetic part of the tape, ensure that you wash your hands. Make sure that there is no either oil, grease or dirt on your hands.
You can repair the tape without opening the shell. If the tape is broken or mangled up, it can be fixed by carefully wounding it back by rotating the hubs of the cassette.
If the tape is wrapped upon itself, it is necessary to disassemble the tape. However, be careful not to touch the tape with wet or oily hands because that will damage the tape.
Step 3: Open the cassette case
If your cassette is the screwed type, open the screws without lifting the tape from the surface. This will prevent spilling the contents of the case. Also, when you open, ensure that you only open the upper shell and leave the lower shell.
Most importantly, make sure that you do not use a screwdriver with magnets. The magnet on the screwdriver will attract some drops from the tape. Also, do not have any magnets near the tape while you are working on it.
Step 4: Snapped tape
The tape can catch due to the malfunctioning of the machine. A malfunctioning machine will eat the tape. You can fix such a tape by pulling it out. When you pull it out, ensure that you keep the proper orientation of the tape. You can cut the end of the tape so that you can have a uniform end. With the help of a crotched tape, join the two ends together.