Music

Crosley looks to ride a revival wave with new audio cassette players

Crosley is looking to get in on the audio cassette revival early with the CT100 cassette player
Crosley is looking to get in on the audio cassette revival early with the CT100 cassette player
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Helping to bring back the almost-forgotten audio cassette - the Crosley CT200 cassette player
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Helping to bring back the almost-forgotten audio cassette - the Crosley CT200 cassette player
Crosley is looking to get in on the audio cassette revival early with the CT100 cassette player
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Crosley is looking to get in on the audio cassette revival early with the CT100 cassette player

Before smartphones streaming music to wireless speakers there were boomboxes. Before pocket-friendly Digital Audio Players or even portable CD players, there was the Walkman. And before playlists, there were mixtapes. Now Crosley Radio is looking to inject some new life into the almost-forgotten cassette tape with the release of two retro players.

The introduction of the Compact disc in the 1980s promised a new wave of high quality music listening from a shiny new plastic thing read by a laser instead of a stylus or tape head. It also signaled the beginning of the end for analog formats like vinyl and cassette tapes. Or not, as it turned out.

Despite CDs pretty much giving way to digital streaming, vinyl has been enjoying a bit of a revival over the last few years. And audio cassette sales are rising too, though unit numbers are still relatively small when stacked up against other formats.

Crosley Radio is preparing for more music listeners getting to know the humble cassette, for the first time or becoming re-acquainted, with the release of two new players – the CT100 and the CT200.

Helping to bring back the almost-forgotten audio cassette - the Crosley CT200 cassette player
Helping to bring back the almost-forgotten audio cassette - the Crosley CT200 cassette player

"Just as our portable record players helped bring vinyl mainstream years ago, we know our new cassette players will lead the charge on the revival of the cassette tape," said Crosley's Jason Menard. "These new cassette players bring together the retro design and nostalgia of the 80s with modern technology, making them a must-have for all generations of music lovers."

Both retro-cool players sport an auto-stop tape deck out front, and AM/FM radio, a headphone jack and a built-in microphone for voice recording on the move. The CT100 does concede something to our modern ways, with the ability to play music from an SD card or USB thumbdrive, while the CT200 rocks a VU meter and EQ controls.

And the cost of dipping into all of this nostalgia? The CT100 carries a suggested retail price of US$59.95, with the CT200 coming in at $69.95. Both are available now.

Product pages: CT100, CT200

6 comments
guzmanchinky
Very cool but why? I mean I'm a child of the 80's and loved my cassette collection. Until CD's came out and blew them away. And then minidiscs, and then digital storage...
toyhouse
To answer guzmanchinky's question and others wondering why,.. the movement is growing for a couple of reasons as far as I can tell. One; physical media. Artists are offering limited editions of their work on cassette complete with artwork etc.. They're cheap to make compared to other formats and unique. They can be carried in a pocket and easily distributed. Second; the flaws in their specs can be the compelling factor for some folks. They have a sound. Tape. It compresses when pushed. It has a kind of warmth all it's own for lack of a better description. Btw, some cassette players, offered performance that wasn't half-bad, (nakamichi for one),. Lastly - they're analog for those who care. I too went through the cassette era along with vinyl. Never cared for my records much with their associated problems, (except the art and the shopping experience), and always dumped them to the best cassette right off - so I could to save the record. It is fascinating to see the format come back around though. Problems and all. I wonder how long the fad will last?
sidmehta
Analog sound has a saturation and coherency that digital can't achieve. Of course, analog doesn't have the full frequency range and the precision of digital. However, analog flaws are easier on the ear then digital flaws - which jarr and get tiring very fast. IOW, analog is more listenable and pleasing than digital. This is why there is a revival in vinyl, reel-to-reel tapes, tube amps, etc. Sadly, some so-called analog vinyl are using digital mixers during the studio recording and they ruin the beauty of analog.
ljaques
Hi. My name is Larry and I'm a recovering audiophile. I joined this 12 Step program to... After reading all the lovely reasons youse guys say cassettes are coming back, I have this to add: It's a marketing gimmick to sell all new old stuff to us Baby Boomers (and, perhaps, to gullible Millennials as well), period. Me? I lost too much of my hearing to rock music, loud tools, and tinnitus to be interested, though I can still appreciate good clean audio and big speakers. (Bose 501s and ESS bookshelfs)
SamB
Thanks for the chuckles Larry!
Grunchy
Type 0 tapes only. Ferric oxide, used to be for dictation purposes only. This is another novelty player, way too inferior to be used for any serious purpose. The purpose of this is to sell you something that you can try it out for a little while, and even if you instantly get tired of it, it's too late, you bought it. Mail order special.
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