Mystik portable music player awaits audio cassette revival
Video killed the radio star, as the song goes. But people still listen to radio. Compact Discs sounded the death knell for vinyl, but records have bounced back big time. Digital music players and smartphones caused an extinction event for portable analog audio. Is it time to bring back portable cassette players? RecordingTheMasters from France's audio and magnetic tape maker Mulann SA certainly thinks so, with the launch of Mystik.
Though cassette sales have been growing in recent years, their share of overall music consumption – like vinyl – is pretty small. Streaming rules the roost here. But it has been enough of a bump to spur major artists like Eminem, Jack White, Taylor Swift, Jay-Z and more to release albums on cassette tape. And, since 2013, there's even been an annual Cassette Store Day held around the world to encourage sales.
So if you're of a certain age and wistfully dream of those happy days exchanging mixtapes, or are new to analog music and want to see what all of the fuss is about, you'll need a player. The likes of Crosley and Tascam have already been prepping for the return of the tape, and last year we saw a portable cassette player with wireless chops hit Kickstarter, which is now reportedly available for general sale. The Mystik is also a modern reworking of the portable cassette player, and has also launched on Kickstarter.
The device has been built around a new electronic board designed by former Thomson/RCA audio engineers. It features a rechargeable battery instead of the AA-sized disposables found in many players of old, and is aiming for a stereo playback frequency response of 100 Hz to 10 kHz. There's a 3.5-mm headphone jack for "high quality" analog listening, and Bluetooth 5.0 for streaming tunes to wireless headphones or speakers.
This cassette player can record too, either via the built-in mic or by plugging one into the 3.5 mm Rec jack, meaning folks can once again make (and share) their own mixtapes. It will ship with a blank Fox C-60 tape to get the party started.
The Mystik cassette player has been penciled in for production at an estimated retail price of €99 (US$110), but before that can happen the team has launched the project on Kickstarter to raise funds and engage with potential customers. Pledges start at €71 and, if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in September. The video below has more.
Source: Mulann SA