The available cassette recorders are encroaching on extinction, and finding a cassette recorder that works with external mics is hard today. Now that everything is recorded or saved straight to digital recorders. But it doesn’t mean you can’t buy a cassette recorder with XLR inputs for your mics at all, we have listed the best cassette recorders with XLR that are still available on the second-hand market in this post.
Do Cassette Recorders Have XLR Inputs?
Honestly speaking, having XLR inputs doesn’t to be necessary for most cassette recorders. You might have heard that balanced XLR cables are good at transferring with less signal loss, interference, and noise. However, you rarely see cassette recorders have these 3-pin XLR jacks. Since you are recording audio onto cassette tapes with a lower dynamic range, the audio will inevitably have distortions and frequency fluctuation. Using a premium condenser mic won’t significantly improve the audio quality.
But, even though XLR connectors are not a must for cassette recorders, there are still a few models that come with XLR jacks that allow you to directly work with XLR mics or mixers with XLR connections, so you don’t need to buy an extra XLR adapter.
Best Cassette Recorders with XLR
TASCAM Portastudio 488 MKII 8-Track Cassette Recorder with XLR
There’re a few multiple-track cassette recorders from Tascam have XLR ports such as the popular 414 and 424, but why we say this 488 MKII model is the best? There’s a reason that the 488 MKII is most friendly with XLR condenser mics. The 488 MKII is an 8-track cassette recorder/mixer and what makes it stand out is that it is the only Tascam cassette recorder it has two XLR and it supports phantom power. That means you can use any premium microphones without any adapters/converters or external power supply with the recorder.
Packed with an integral 12-input with 3-band EQ on the 8 main channels, this old cassette recorder allows you to record up to 4 tracks at a time and you can change the speed and audio setting including EQs, sound effects, sound levels, and more.
Many users also have praised the cassette recorder for its build quality and solid features. The TASCAM Portastudio 488 MKII comes with 3-motor transports, quiet drop‑ins, and drop‑outs. And it provides Auto punch In/Out and repeats and rehearsal features for music production..
Cassette Decks Have XLR Inputs
If you prefer the old school cassette decks, there are also a few that have XLR inputs such as Tascam CD-A750, Tascam 122B, Nakamichi MR-1, Studer decks, and more. It might be a little challenging to find a good-conditioned unit nowadays.