Music

We Are Rewind gives the portable cassette player a modern makeover

We Are Rewind gives the portab...
The We Are Rewind player, which really ought to be pictured with tapes by groups like Duran Duran or The Smiths
The We Are Rewind player, which really ought to be pictured with tapes by groups like Duran Duran or The Smiths
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The We Are Rewind player is available in color choices of orange, blue or gray – but unfortunately not Walkman-yellow
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The We Are Rewind player is available in color choices of orange, blue or gray – but unfortunately not Walkman-yellow
The We Are Rewind player, which really ought to be pictured with tapes by groups like Duran Duran or The Smiths
2/2
The We Are Rewind player, which really ought to be pictured with tapes by groups like Duran Duran or The Smiths

Everyone knows that vinyl LPs have experienced a resurgence in recent years, but it seems that the humble analog cassette tape may also be due for a comeback. With that in mind, a French entrepreneur is now offering a portable cassette player that's designed for modern times.

Romain Boudruche and his business partners were first inspired to create the We Are Rewind device after watching 80s-nostalgic movies and TV shows such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Stranger Things.

It's about the same size and shape as an old-school Sony Walkman, featuring physical push-button controls on top. And yes, it does indeed play back existing audio cassettes, in stereo.

Some of its 21st Century features, however, include an all-aluminum body and Bluetooth functionality – the latter allows users to play their music back through a third-party Bluetooth speaker or set of headphones (it also works with hard-wired headphones).

Additionally unlike most 80s cassette players, it can also be used to record music onto a blank cassette. Users simply run a line from a smartphone or computer into the We Are Rewind's 3.5-mm stereo line-in port, press its Record button, then play the song off the source device. So yeah, you could use it to make mix tapes.

Finally, instead of removable AA batteries, it's powered by an integrated lithium battery. One charge should reportedly be good for about 10 hours of use.

The We Are Rewind player is available in color choices of orange, blue or gray – but unfortunately not Walkman-yellow
The We Are Rewind player is available in color choices of orange, blue or gray – but unfortunately not Walkman-yellow

"Analog sound quality is not as bad as most people think. It's actually 'warmer'," Boudruche tells us. "But the most important thing is that you can actually touch it, feel it. Just like vinyl. You hold something in your hands that is something you've known when you were young … It's romantic and nostalgic."

Should you be interested, the We Are Rewind player is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of €89 (about US$100) will get you one, when and if they reach production. The planned retail price is €129 ($145).

And for a couple of other examples of modern-day high-tech portable cassette players, check out the Mystik and the It's OK.

Sources: Kickstarter, We Are Rewind

7 comments
Douglas Bennett Rogers
I need a high fidelity car tape player that will play my old mix tapes. None of the modern versions of this are as cheap or easy to use.
Username
I'll wait for a bluetooth wax cylinder !
Eddy
Great for those with collections of mixtapes as it will work through a car Bluetooth system as well.
Gregg Eshelman
If they're using the same cheap cassette mechanism as most of the other newer players, it'll sound terrible. Look up Teachmoan on YouTube. IIRC he mentions one of the few cassette mechanism manufacturers in a video on a dual tape player stereo that ALDI stores had for a short time a few years ago.

If a company is willing to pay for the features they can get the mechanism with a good quality playback head, an actual erase head instead of a simple permanent magnet that's dropped onto the tape, auto reverse and other goodies. Unfortunately that ALDI mini boombox opted for the absolute lowest spec feature set on its mechanism.
f8lee
Wow - the revival of LPs had to do with their allegedly superior sound quality as they are analog - though I wonder if a newly created studio recording would be made digitally so the entire chain of sound recording is not purely analog anyway...but at least for older classics there are those who swear analog is better.

But nobody ever, ever claimed that cassettes had any kind of superior sound - sure, they're convenient and better than 8 tracks but woefully worse than open reel - no surprise given the wider tape and faster speeds of the latter - so who would want one of these?
Aross
My old Sony Walkman still works fine thank you.
nick101
I borrowed a high quality cassette player and recorded all my old mix tapes onto my computer, not only are the original tapes now fully accessible on all my devices, but I was able to get rid of the end-of-the-tape gaps, annoying 'filler' songs, and adjust the levels. I was even able to fix a recording made from a scratchy record! Best move ever! Digital rules!