Electronics

Cassette Adapter Bluetooth brings retro car stereos into the 21st century

Cassette Adapter Bluetooth bri...
ION's Cassette Adapter Bluetooth
ION's Cassette Adapter Bluetooth
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ION's Cassette Adapter Bluetooth
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ION's Cassette Adapter Bluetooth

Remember back when people carried Sony Discmans in their cars, and used those cassette adapters to listen to them through their tape decks? Well, while a lot of those same cars are still on the road, the Discman has now given way to the MP3 player. That's why ION Audio has released its Cassette Adapter Bluetooth.

First of all, there are already cassette adapters that will let you listen to MP3 players, but they all require the one to be hard-wired to the other. The ION device, however, is wireless.

It looks just like a cassette, but contains a Bluetooth receiver. When inserted in a car's tape deck, it automatically turns itself on and picks up audio streamed from the user's Bluetooth-enabled music player. As a result, that audio is pumped out of the car's speakers – just like it would if it were on good ol' magnetic tape.

Not only can the adapter be used to listen to music, but it also allows drivers to take calls on a paired phone hands-free. It's powered by a USB-rechargeable battery, that should be good for about six hours of use per charge.

The Cassette Adapter Bluetooth was recently unveiled at CES, and should be available in the spring (Northern Hemisphere) for US$40.

Source: ION Audio via Digital Trends

13 comments
David Finney
Not a bad price. Too bad it can't tap into the magnetic head reader in there for power. Set it and forget it.
Yea, I have a car with a cassette deck.
Gary McMurray
omg I could use this with my old ghetto blaster!
Harvey
David, I don't see why it couldn't get power from the deck turning the imaginary tape spool. Just have it be a little generator with a capacitor.
Slowburn
@ Harvey I thought that was how they should have powered it as well.
Richard Unger
Thinking about it a while, I agree with the other comments, why are you not powering this internally. Can't be that difficult.
Thomas Roberts
I've been wanting something like this for a long time. I currently have one of the "wired" versions and will most likely purchase one of these.
The only reason I can think of to not incorporate the "auto-power" system is that electricity generation creates significant drag. Most of the tape decks I've seen internally are belt driven so I imagine you'll probably just cause the belt to slip and possibly break over time.
David Finney
@ Harvey, that's brilliant. You could draw a bit of power from that spool. If you couldn't get enough, you could extend the time between recharging. Avoid that "drag" and maybe it would be a couple hours more. Bluetooth is fairly efficient as I understand it. My belt in my tape deck has been running for, well, 14 years now, no issues as yet. Knock on wood.
mike65401
You could power them internally but you'd probably add 50% to the price. The cost to develop a mini generator and mass produce the parts for a single device with limited sales does not make economic sense.
Gregg Eshelman
Just get one of the cassette shaped MP3 players with a memory card slot.
Troy Dargan
Was Just talking about making one of these last week. How OldsCool