Best 5 Portable Cassette Recorders That You Can Still Buy in 2021

When it comes to recording voice and audio, nobody nowadays will ever think of using a classic portable cassette recorder since there are so many smart and advanced recording apps and devices on the market.

However, nothing beats the feel of recording with a physical cassette tape that I used when I was pretty young. If you also want to record with cassette tapes in an old-school way like me, I am here to share some great portable cassette recorders that are still available to buy. And I hope you find this post helpful.

Best 5 Portable Cassette Recorders for Sale in 2021

1. Jensen Portable Cassette Player and Recorder

Size: 12 x 6 x 2.5 inches

Weight: 3 Pounds

If you like a portable cassette recorder to come with an external microphone, the Jensen cassette player and recorder is the best one you can buy in 2021. The recorder is quite affordable, but it can give you the best value as well as a classic old-school cassette recorder.

When it comes to the features, the recorder with black and silver coating offers automatic level control and 1-touch recording. To give you more options in recording, the product also recording from your other digital audio players by featuring an auxiliary jack.

Compared to other cassette recorders, the Jensen portable recorder has a built-in condenser microphone and an extra standing microphone. And it has a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack for you to listen to the tapes. As for the power source, the cassette recorder can be powered by 4 C batteries or AC Adapter that is included in the package. If you choose to use batteries, the batteries allow the recorder to work up to 8 hours.

2. Coby CVR-22 Portable Cassette Recorder

Size: 12.2 x 2.44 x 5.91 inches

Weight: 1.8 Pounds

The Coby CVR-22 portable cassette recorder is a brilliant option for many reasons. The recorder is compact and features one-button recording, ensuring your recording process is easy and simple. Coby claims that the cassette recorder can be used for recording audio in a variety of settings, including classrooms, libraries, and more.

Also, you can power up the portable cassette recorder in 2 ways: An AC power adapter is included. And you can use the product with 4 C batteries outside of the room. For being more portable, the recorder also packs a retractable handle, providing more flexibility and convenience.

3. Byron Statics Portable Cassette Recorder & Player

Size: 4.5 x 3.1 x 1.2 inches

Weight: 7.2 Ounces

The Byron Statics portable cassette recorder & player is probably the cheapest cassette recorder you can buy in 2021. If you have a limited budget, you are in luck. It is extremely small and lightweight, it only weighs half a pounds and it’s even lighter than many modern mini digital recorders.

The small walkman-like recorder can be powered by AA batteries or mirco USB cable that works with a power adapter or your computer. The portable cassette recorder offers FM AM radio and you can listen to the radio with its built-in speaker. If you want to use your earphones, the device also has a standard earphone jack for you to monitor the recording status or play cassette tapes.

You might be surprised by the fact that the budget-friendly product even features a VAS button, which means voice-activated system that is commonly used in today’s digital voice recorders. With this function, the tapes will automatically start rolling and stop recording by detecting the DB level around, saving more tapes for useful contents instead of silent snippets.

4. Sony TCM-929 Pressman Cassette Recorder

Size: 13.4 x 7.1 x 3.2 inches

Weight: 2.45 pounds

All the people know that Sony has plenty of experience with audio recorders and players, and their old cassette recorder will not let you down as well. Although this TCM-929 Pressman cassette recorder is not as small as other small recorders, the excellent product provides clear recording and playback with its reliable microphone and speaker. For people who pursuit premium sound quality, the recorder also comes with a microphone jack and an earphone jack for advanced recording and monitoring.

The Sony TCM-929 cassette recorder can run on 4 AA batteries for portable use and Sony claims the battery life can reach 8.5 hours. And the recorder saves battery life by featuring an automatic shut-off function. To help you track down your cassette tapes and easily locate recording sections, the recorder is equipped with a 3-digit tape counter, which is a very useful feature for me. As a “relatively big” portable cassette recorder, there is a retractable handle on top for you to carry it easily. If you are a Sony lover, then I believe this vintage cassette recorder from Sony is the one you need.

5. Panasonic RQ2102 Cassette Recorder

Size: 5 x 3 x 1 inches

Weight: 0.4 Pounds

As another giant in audio devices and recording products, the Panasonic RQ2102 cassette recorder provides a high-performance condenser microphone with high sensitivity to ensure your recording quality is superb. You also get a 3-inch built-in dynamic speaker for perfect monophonic sound.

Like Sony, the Panasonic RQ2102 cassette recorder also has a carrying handle for portableness. And the device can be battery-operated by 4 C batteries. As an advanced cassette recorder, the Panasonic RQ2102 also offers a three-digit counter for you to navigate your tapes better and easier.

The product does have plug-in ports so you can use external headphones and microphones effortlessly. For people who are familiar with Panasonic, you will know that the sound quality of this recorder is not going to let you down. But the drawback is clear: this portable cassette recorder is pretty expensive, even it is 2021 now.

What You Should Know: Portable Cassette Recorder Is Not That Portable

If you’re familiar with voice recorders and audio recorders these days, you will know that many recorder models are extremely lightweight and mini. For example, the popular Sony ICD-UX570 digital voice recorder’s dimensions are 1.44 x 4.05 x .48″. Although the cassette recorders below were considered to be portable and lightweight, they can be very heavy-bulky compared to these modern digital audio recorders.

What Makes a Cassette Recorder Portable?

First off, the size of a cassette recorder is a big factor to determine if it is a portable model. Unlike those professional cassette recorders with multitrack, a portable cassette recorder usually looks like a small box with a few buttons on top. You don’t expect it can be stored in your pocket, but it’s doable if you put it in a tote bag.

And the second thing is the material of the cassette recorder. Cassette recorders made of plastics usually are more lightweight than those recorders with metal components. But you should also know that sometimes a lightweight plastic cassette recorder is not as durable as a heavy one with a metal coating.

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