Looking for the best cassette players to fit your needs?

In spite of the mp3 revolution there are plenty of us who either have a large collection of tapes we still enjoy listening to , or simply have a soft spot for the good old low-tech retro personal cassette player or “cassette Walkman”.
Whether you’re looking for a specific Walkman from Sony, an auto cassette player from Pioneer or just a your basic cassette boombox, plenty of cassette players and recorders are not only still available, but remain in demand with quite a variety to be found on the market. You will likely find your best collection of cassette players online rather than going to your local electronics store however,  and will also have the added advantage online of having access to cassette players reviews by people who have actually purchased the products and took the time to summarize their experience with the model they bought. These reviews can be a great help in guiding you in your buying decision.
Insider Tips & Suggestions
Here are some tips on choosing the right cassette player for you
Personal Cassette Players

Typically under this category, people think of small “Walkman” style tape players that are convenient for taking “on the go”.  But before buying , consider these questions
Will you ever have the need to record? Generally most personal tape players don’t have that option and are only designed for play-back. 
How much battery life do you want Units with special “bells and whistles” have a propensity to drain battery life more, also lower end “cheap” units are notorious for rapidly draining batteries . 

How hard will you be working your tape player? Lower priced units may be okay for an occasional use, but if you truly plan to be using your personal cassette player a lot, you may want to focus on higher-priced models which tend to have more robust motors and more dependable moving parts. 

How much does sound quality matter to you? This is usually less important if you’re only going to be using your player for the spoken word, but if you will be listening to music, it is important to remember that sound quality varies greatly depending on the price of the player. 

Frankly it boils down to this with cassette players you often get what you pay for when it comes to reliability and audio quality.
Cassette Walkman

In the case of Cassette Walkman style players, the purpose is usually just for play-back so having the option to record is typically not available.  Sound quality, ruggedness and product longevity, along with battery-life are unquestionably a concern when you look at the lower priced units.  If you want a positive experience, you will want avoid lower-end priced models.  One possible option you may want to consider is the addition of a radio-tuner on the unit you choose . (see below)
Radio Cassette Player

Are you a talk-radio listener?   When chossing a Radio Cassette Player, of course the above mentioned idea of “you get what you pay for” remains in full-force here.  Sound quality, product longevity and battery life are directly impacted by the amount you choose to spend on your cassette player.  If you don’t feel you will be using your player a lot or sound quality isnt really a concern to you than this may not matter.  We have noticed mentions in several of the cassette players reviews that the radio tuners in very inexpensive models are not only hard to see but have very poor reception.
Small Cassette Player

What you will be using your unit for is an important consideration when choosing which cassette player to purchase.  If you plan on using it for activities such as exercising or track not only will you want a small cassette player, but you will also likely want to focus on products in a higher-priced range as the cheaper units simply cant stand up to the poundings typical of very active use.  Aslo, once again dont forget that the battery life and sound quality of your unit will be greatly affected by how much youre willing to pay for your player.
Auto Cassette Players

Yes! There are still auto cassette players available!   Options to consider here are usually the addition of a CD player and radio tuner, however in our experience in virtually any of the auto cassette players available, if it is so inexpensive that it doesn’t include a radio tuner …….. it probably is too poor of a unit to consider buying in any event.  It may be well worth considering the CD player option as even the most devoted cassette fan may discover they have the need to play a CD every now and then why limit yourself?  When it comes to pricing, what you gain on the higher priced units is product longevity and sound quality.  This is truly an important consideration as — don’t forget — you will need to have your player installed into your vehicle .  If you’re going to go through all the time and expense to have it done (or do it yourself if so inclined) you’re going to want a product that will last.
One final Tip regarding cassettes in automobiles
The typical environment of extreme heat and cold found in parked automobiles is brutal on cassette tapes.  Even if you dont leave your cassettes sitting on your dash or car-seat where they can get melted, if you want to truly protect your cassettes you may want to consider keeping them in an insulated case and taking them with you as often as you can and not leaving them in the car (Yeah, we know, a real pain in the neck!).
To side-step all of that bother and to preserve your inescapably decaying music collection (just a fact of life when it comes to cassettes) you can protect your valued music collection for many years to come simply by digitising your music .
Cassette Boombox

Although not as handily “mobile” as a personal head-phone “walkman” style player, the cassette boombox may be just what you need.  These are great for parties at the park, beach, or for on the job (depending on your job, of course) where you can share your music with others.  Cassette boomboxes often take a beating!   Not only do the internal parts break , but handles fall off as well, so consider this before making a decision based on price only   Also, as mentioned above , sound quality is greatly impacted by price.
Other factors to consider
Size and weight Is the cassette boombox you’re considering just simply going to be too bulky to lug around? 

The “Hideous Factor” Some boomboxes are obviously configured to appeal to a ……. um …….. more youthful demographic.  In fact, some look more like they were designed for traveling at the speed of light than for playing your favorite cassette .

Cassette Players Conclusion

Higher priced cassette players usually have better build-quality and can last for years unlike cheaper versions . The audio quality in the higher priced cassette players is quite better as well, so please do yourself a favor and don’t be tempted to buy simply on price alone if you want to get the most value for your buck .
Online you will find many popular and best brands of cassette players  available  Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Kenwood, Pioneer, Sanyo and more. Don’t forget to take a look at cassette players reviews to help guide you in your buying decision. You will often find detailed, honest reviews from people who have actually purchased and tested the product.
One final thought
Sound quality on cassettes tapes clearly distort over time.  Tape stretches with use and starts to become rigid and prone to breaking.  If you have a music collection on cassettes and wish to preserve them for years to come, we strongly recommend looking into preserving your valuable music collection by converting it into a digital format such as .wav files or MP3’s.

We hope this has been helpful and good luck in your quest to find the perfect cassette player for you!

If you still need help with your shopping, you can find some similar mp3 players on sale and compare their prices online.

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