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Fiio’s reboot of the Walkman no longer hides those glorious cassettes

Fiio CP13 Transparent cassette player.
Fiio

What’s better than engaging in the time-honored tradition of listening to a cassette tape while on the go? I’d argue it’s being able to see tape itself — in all its glory — as you indulge in your favorite mix, or a prerecorded album. That’s what you get with the new transparent edition of the Fiio CP13, a modern interpretation of the classic Walkman that caused a minor stir when it debuted at CES 2024.

The transparent edition joins the CP13’s existing colors (red/silver, blue/silver, and white/black) at the official price of $129, however, we see that Amazon is already selling it for less at just $99.

The CP13 truly is an homage to the glory days of analog audio. The device has no Bluetooth for wireless headphones, and no digital storage or playback of any kind. You simply pop a cassette in, connect a set of wired headphones or earbuds via the 3.5mm jack, and press down on the classic, oversized play button.

Still, it’s not without a few improvements. The first and arguably most important is the built-in rechargeable battery. You may miss the heyday of the mixed tape, but I’ll bet you don’t miss having to swap out a set of dead AA batteries mid-album. The CP13 is rated for 13 hours of playback, after which you can recharge it via the USB-C port.

Then there’s amplifier and motor. Both have been upgraded from the components that used to drive these tape players. So while analog cassettes are still the same old, variable medium they’ve always been, there’s a chance they might sound better than you remember on the CP13.

Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
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