Skip to main content

The Sound Burger is back. Audio-Technica revives its vinyl Walkman for a new generation

Update, November 8: Well that was fast. Quicker than you can say “I’d like fries with that,” the newly revived Sound Burger has completely sold out. In less than a week, Audio-Technica received orders for its entire 7,000-unit run of the retro record player. Digital Trends will update this post if the company decides to reward people’s enthusiasm with a new release of inventory.

If you’re old enough to remember the birth of the first portable cassette players, you might also remember Audio-Technica’s AT727/770, a quirky portable record player that was better known by its other name, the Sound Burger. It hasn’t been made in decades, but that’s about to change: Audio-Technica (A-T) is bringing the Sound Burger back in all of its retro glory as a $199 limited edition model, to celebrate the Japanese audio brand’s 60th anniversary.

Audio-Technica AT-SB2022 Sound Burger portable turntable.
The new AT-SB2022 Sound Burger. Audio-Technica
Original 1980s Audio-Technica AT727 Sound Burger.
The original Audio-Technica AT727 Sound Burger. Soulsides / Reddit

The new Sound Burger (AT-SB2022) looks identical to the original, complete with a bright red plastic clamshell case, top-mounted controls, and a built-in carry strap. The original stereo RCA outputs have been replaced with a single 3.5mm output that can be used for headphones or other components thanks to the included 3.5mm male to dual RCA cable. Turntable aficionados might suspect that there’s some kind of phono pre-amplification at work here, and you’d be correct on that — there is no line-level phono output.

A-T has also preserved the clever tonearm storage bracket that does double duty as a 45 RPM record adapter when needed. Speaking of the tonearm, unlike conventional turntables, which don’t usually need to contend with being moved around a lot, the SB2022’s arm has a spring-loaded mechanism giving it a helping hand to stay on track.

Audio-Technica AT-SB2022 Sound Burger portable turntable.
Audio-Technica

More importantly, the SB2022 manages to include several enhancements that bring the Burger into the modern age, without diminishing its 80s-era charm. Gone is the massive battery bay in the bottom, which needed three C-cell batteries, replaced by a rechargeable battery, which gives the platter spinner 12 hours of play time. Charging is done via the USB-C port on the back. Also gone is the original motor, which needed frequent fine-tuning to keep your records spinning at the right speeds. It’s now a high-precision DC motor, according to Audio-Technica, capable of running the belt-driven platter at either 33-1/3 or 45 RPM.

Audio-Technica AT-SB2022 Sound Burger portable turntable.
Audio-Technica

Another problem for owners of the first Sound Burger is that Audio-Technica eventually stopped making the replacement cartridges, forcing people to look for third-party, compatible carts and styluses. That should be a lot less of a problem for the SB2022, as it uses A-T’s ATN3600L stylus, which is readily available and easily replaced.

Finally, owners of the new Sound Burger can look forward to the most modern update of all — the portable has Bluetooth so you can listen wirelessly on headphones, earbuds, speakers, or any Bluetooth-equipped audio gear.

Audio-Technica AT-SB2022 Sound Burger portable turntable.
Audio-Technica

As we mentioned at the top, the freshly updated Sound Burger is a limited edition device, and A-T tells us that each unit will have its own numbered anniversary plate attached to the back panel. The company hasn’t said so officially, but judging from the image above, it only plans to sell 7,000 of these funky portables. We’ll see if the sudden arrival of 7,000 new models will have an effect on the trade of used or new-in-box versions of the original, which have been known to sell on eBay for more than $500.

Speaking of the original Sound Burger — which was also sold as the AT770 Mister Disc in some countries — it developed something of a cult following after it launched. YouTuber TechMoan has an absolutely amazing, 24-minute deep dive on it, if you’re curious, including some tips on how to do some basic repairs if you plan on buying one used.

Editors' Recommendations

Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
New Audio-Technica M50xBT2 headphones add new features, retain iconic design
Audio Technica ATH M50xBT2 cups seen from the side.

Audio-Technica has announced the ATH-M50xBT2 Bluetooth headphones. An update to the first-generation ATH-M50xBT launched in 2018, they continue to share the iconic design made popular by the original wired M50 headphones, which have long been a staple sight in recording studios since release in 2007. For this new pair Audio-Technica has updated, rather than drastically altered, the features and technology inside.

On the audio side support for the AAC and LDAC codecs has been added, increasing the headphones versatility, but there’s no mention of AptX in the press release, which was a feature on the M50xBT. A low latency mode for gaming and video has been added and is controlled through an accompanying app, which also has the option to select your voice assistant of choice. The headphones support Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Also in the app is an adjustable equalizer and a find-my-headphone feature.

Read more
Audio-Technica makes heads spin with new turntable, and bass-heavy earbuds
audio technica atlpx cks5tw news atlp5x cartridge

Audio-Technica has announced a brand new high performance turntable with a price that belies its features, and two pairs of wireless headphones to increase its presence in this competitive space. Digital Trends had the chance to listen to them ahead of the launch, and we’ve included some comments on the performance here, along with all the details you need to know.
Audio-Technica AT-LP5x Turntable

Previous

Read more
Common Amazon Prime Video problems and how to fix them
Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power on Amazon Prime Video.

Can you remember the last time you popped your Death to Smoochy DVD in? Neither can we, and that’s because we spend most of our time streaming movies and TV shows on Amazon Prime Video these days. Not only is it one of the top streaming platforms for new and old titles alike, but you’ll be able to enjoy a wide selection of these films and shows in 4K, HDR, and even Dolby Atmos.

Read more