Music is mandatory for any long drive or extended road trip, as it seems to make the drive shorter and more pleasant.
However, things get a bit more complicated if you drive an older model car that has an in-dash cassette deck, and does not have the ability to connect your favorite mobile devices.
In such cases, you have two options: The first is to install an expensive stereo upgrade for your car, and the second is to purchase a cassette adapter.
Below we have compiled a list of 7 of the best cassette adapters on the market today in order to assist you in your quest to find the perfect cassette adapter for your needs.
What is a Cassette Adapter?
Cassette adapters allow you to enjoy music from your contemporary mobile devices from either a vehicle or home stereo system which does not have the ability to play these devices. Older model vehicles and stereo systems usually have cassette decks. The cassette adapter will let you connect your iPods, iPhones, MP3/PMP/CD players and android phones to your car or home stereo in a simple and cost efficient way.
Cassette adapters look exactly like a regular cassette tape, but that is where the similarity ends. Inside the car cassette adapter there are magnetic inductors and gears which work to allow the adapter to pass as a real cassette, while it performs its true function: To play audio from your mobile device.
Once inserted, your cars cassette deck thinks that a cassette is in place and will begin to play whatever is on your iPod, CD player or MP3 player and transmit that audio through your cars stereo system.
Why We Chose These 3 Cassette Adapters?
There is no question that the cassette adapter is a simply designed piece of electronic equipment which performs a specific function: To get the music from your portable device to transmit through your vehicles stereo system.
While they are simple and basically plug and play units, there are a few factors to consider which make some models better than others. Our top three picks for the top rated cassette adapter are the Monster MBL AI 800, the CPA-9C by Sony, and the ION Audio Cassette Adapter.
We chose the Monster MBL AI 800 cassette adapter designed by iCarPlay due to its design and construction. This adapter is light in build and houses superb cassette adapter technology specifically designed to optimize your sound and give you many hours of service.
The 24K gold mini jack contacts will make sure that no corrosion will occur, and the spring loaded cassette head means that your audio will always sound natural, vibrant and true to life. As such, this is the top cassette adapter in our review, durable and built to last, offering you excellent audio playback.
The Sony CPA-9C is next on our list and for a good reason, the engineers at Sony made certain that this would be a high quality product which would offer you good service and quality sound and to be used with Sony’s MiniDisc and Discman CD players. The CPA-9C has a self-adjusting spring loaded head which means it will keep in contact with the cassette deck surface to ensure even audio.
It also has a ‘silent mechanism’ which works to reduce any operational noise, like clicks or hisses, that can arise from the adapter itself. All this combined with fabulous audio quality playback, and you have an excellent cassette recorder at a good, affordable price.
The ION Cassette Adapter is our third choice and this is for those individuals who love their Bluetooth. This is a wireless model, so there are no cords to deal with, as your cassette player now becomes a Bluetooth receiver, which means that you can take phone calls while driving with both hands on the wheel.
The Lithium Ion battery lasts for about 4 to 6 hours, and comes with a power save mode. Built and designed for those who are on the go, and need more than listening pleasure, but a hands free option to take important calls while on the road.
How to Choose a Cassette Adapter?
After you realize that a stereo upgrade for your vehicle will cost you in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars, an affordable cassette adapter is usually the best choice. When choosing the best cassette adapter for you, you’ll need to consider your personal preferences.
These preferences include sound quality, ease of use, what type of devices will you be using, and the cost of the unit. Also, it can’t hurt to check to see if the cassette adapter has an add-ons or enhancements, such as a bass boost.
While it may sound silly at first, cord length can be a very important factor in choosing your adapter. If you intend to be the only one listening to the device, your cord does not have to be very long. However, if you are going on a long road trip with passengers in the back seat, you’ll need a cord long enough so they can choose the music they want to hear.
Another factor is the type of Auxiliary plug. This will depend on the type of mobile device you’ll be using. In other words, if you will be using your smartphone, you’ll need a straight plug, as it will work with your phone case, which means you will not have to remove your phone case to use the cassette adapter.
Finally, don’t forget that your cassette adapter has to work with all of your devices. In this day and age, we are constantly being inundated with new products, so make sure your cassette adapter will work with the mobile devices you own, as one that works with CD and MP3 players may not support smartphones.
7 Top Rated Cassette Adapters List
|Monster||MBL AI 800||Yes|
|ION Audio||Cassette Adapter||No|
The 7 Cassette Adapter Reviews For Buyer’s
Those of you who need a dependable cassette adapter that will give you many long hours of service will find that the Monster cassette adapter is a perfect fit for your lifestyle. The Monster MBL AI 800 CAS-ADPT WW Cassette Adapter is one of the top choices when it comes to cassette adapters due to its design and construction.
This cassette adapter is made to be light weight and easy to transport, so it is easy to take with you, and easy to stow away when not in use while giving you excellent audio feedback.
The Monster MBL AI 800 CAS-ADPT comes with a spring loaded cassette head and dual balanced conductors. You want the music to emerge through your cars stereo system just as it was intended to, and a spring loaded cassette head ensures that constant, reliable contact is always being made with your cassette tape player’s head.
Another factor, is that the conductors for the Monster MBL AI800 CAS-ADPT WW Cassette Adapter are dual balanced to produce a natural sound. These dual balanced conductors have been built with an advanced cable construction to give the listener a natural listening experience with a even flow.
Corrosion can ruin even the top rated cassette adapter designs, so iCarPlay has chosen to use 24 K gold mini jack contacts. These mini jack contacts will not only resist corrosion, but ensure that you receive the optimum in listening pleasure by optimizing the signal transfer.
No one wants their iPod to be out of reach, and the designers of iCarPlay know that as well, which is why they have supplied you with a convenient 3 foot, or .91m cord. The Monster Cassette Adapter adapter comes with a 2 month limited warranty from date of purchase.
Summary- With its light weight design, the Monster is portable, easy to transport and store when not used. Its spring loaded cassette head will make certain that constant contact is maintained with your cassette player at all times.
Dual balanced conductors ensure that you hear the best in audio, and 24K gold minijack contacts give you optimized signal transfer while resisting the effects of rust and corrosion, and comes with a 3 foot cord for convenience. An excellent cassette adapter designed to be durable and produce quality audio, and our top pick.
If you are looking for a dependable and reliable cassette adapter which will allow ou to listen to your CD or MP3 player by way of your vehicles dashboard cassette player, then the CPA-9C is a product which may interest you. You simply plug the jack into your player, and place your cassette into your cars in-dash cassette player. That’s all you need to do, to enjoy great sounding audio from your devices as you drive.
The CPA-9C is compatible with any and all in-dash cassette decks that require you to insert your cassette with the cassette tape opening facing the side. The CPA-9C’s mini plug inserts into the headphone jack of your MP3 or CD player. The CPA-9C by Sony also has what they call a ‘silent mechanism’ which is designed to reduce any unpleasant noise the unit may make during operation.
Like its competitors, it has a self-adjusting spring loaded head, which is used to maintain contact with your decks tape head, except that the CPA-9C is self adjusting. This product is totally compatible with products not in the Sony family, or any car cassette deck that has an opening on the side. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that the sound the CPA-9C reproduces high quality, excellent audio with a rich, deep bass sound.
Summary- The Sony CPA-9C side loading cassette adapter has a self-adjusting spring-loaded head, a silent mechanism which reduces operational noise, works with all Sony products as well as non-Sony products that insert the tape opening on the side. The adapters mini plug easily inserts into your portable CD or MD headphone jack. This is an affordable way to enjoy music from your CD and MD players as your drive.
The ION Audio Cassette Adapter will turn your cars dashboard cassette deck into a wireless Bluetooth receiver for streaming music, podasts or audiobooks. Not only that, but it also allows for hands-free phone calls, and does this by using your cars speakers along with the built-in microphone, which means you can talk on the phone with your hands firmly planted on the wheel. Your ION Cassette Adapter will begin to pair as soon as it starts to operate in your car’s cassette deck.
Each charge on the rechargeable Lithium ion battery will give about 4 to 6 hours of listening pleasure. All charging occurs when the ION is not being used, so you must remember to charge it, remove it from the cassette deck. Your ION will automatically turn on and off when inserted or removed from your cars cassette deck. For your charging convenience, the ION comes with a micro-USB charging cable.
Controls are quite user friendly on the ION. You get a power on/off switch, Bluetooth pairing light, microphone, call answer button, internal auto power switch and a micro USB port. There is also a power save mode for long road trips. The ION comes with a 90 day limited manufacturers warranty.
Summary- The ION instantly turns your car’s in-dash cassette player into a Bluetooth receiver. Drive for long hours listening to streaming music, audiobooks or podcasts. A microphone with a call-answer button means you can drive steadily with hands on the wheel while taking important calls. The Lithium Ion battery holds a long charge, from about 4 to 6 hours, along with a power save mode.
Listening to your audio devices such as your iPod and iPhone as you drive is now super easy with the Retro Highway Audio Car Cassette Tape Adapter by NETWIND. If you enjoy the classic interior of your vehicle, the thought of adding a bit of contemporary tech that will look completely out of place is out of the question. The Retro Highway Cassette Adapter has answered the call as its specifically designed to match your cars classic interior.
This cassette adapter works with 3.5mm audio cable compatible with mobile phones, MP3 players and your walkman. It comes with a gold-plated, corrosive resistant 3.5mm jack and will work with any audio device with a 3.5mm headphone jack. With the NETWIND, you can forget having to switch tapes, simply choose the next track with a click and enjoy good music with excellent sound quality.
The 4 foot cable will give you a lot of freedom as well, allowing passengers in the back seat to choose their favorite music. The Retro Highway Audio Car Cassette Tape Adapter has enhanced digital sound quality, is compatible with any standard size tape deck, smartphones, laptops, iPhones, iPads, iPods. The retro design is to ensure that it is compatible in design with any classic car. You’ll find that the audio quality is clear and crisp, so toss away your old FM car transmitter and use a NETWIND.
Summary- Enjoy excellence in sound quality as you listen to your iPod, iPhone or other audio device via your vehicle’s cassette player. It comes complete with a corrosive resistant gold-plated 3.5mm jack plug, and so will work with any audio device with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Its generous 4 foot cable allows you to conveniently place your mobile device within ready of passengers in the front or back seats.
If you have an older car that is incapable of playing the modern mobile devices, and are looking for a dependable, reliable and affordable alternative, then Maxell may have a product for you. The Maxell CD-330 CD to Cassette Audio Adapter is a simple to use, basic cassette adapter for your vehicle or home stereo system. The Maxell car adapter lets you enjoy playing your favorite music, audiobooks or podcasts by way of your vehicle’s cassette deck from any portable audio device including CD, MP3 and mini disc players.
If you are not very informed on cassette adapters or car stereo system, you have no worries, as this is a simple plug and play unit with no set up. Its analog mini jack is angled at 90 degrees, and will plug into any 3.5mm headphone jack. The sound is clear, as playback from this cassette adapter is relatively free from any audio mechanical interference from the unit itself.
The audio from this well-built and designed cassette adapter can be described as comparatively good with suitable clarity. However, if you are using your smartphone, downloading an equalizer app will improve the sound quality immensely. The Maxell also works quite well in auto reverse cassette decks. According to the description, this cassette audio adapter by Maxell is guaranteed to be compatible with all cassette players, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Summary- The Maxell Maxell CD-330 CD-to-Cassette Audio Adapter is a convenient and affordable way for you to listen to your portable device by way of your vehicle’s cassette deck. The Maxell is guaranteed to work with any cassette player and works with your smartphones, iPods, CD MP3 and minidisc players. It comes with a standard analog mini jack connector which then plugs into any 3.5mm headphone jack. This adapter comes with a lifetime warranty.
This car cassette adapter is from RCA, a company with years of experience producing the best in audio electronics. If you are in the market for a simple, plug and play cassette adapter, then RCA has the model for you. With this car cassette adapter, you’ll be able to play music from any of your portable devices, such as your smartphone, CD or MP3 player. You will then be able to listen to the audio through your car’s stereo system.
Being that this cassette adapter is from RCA, you know that the sound quality will be excellent. Simply connect your RCA cassette adapter to a headphone or output of your favorite player. Indeed, this will play anything that your phone or device plays, including your phone calls, your GPS and any message notification sounds.
This also works well in auto reverse cassette decks. As with all cassette adapters, the sound is only as good as your vehicles stereo system. If your cars stereo system is top notch, the playback will reflect that, if your cars stereo system is sub par, then that is the quality of sound you will receive. This cassette adapter is relatively quite with little or no background hiss.
Summary- RCA has created a simple, plug and play cassette adapter unit with a 12 month manufacturers warranty. The RCA cassette adapter connects your portable players to your in-dash cassette deck. This is for use with smart phones, CD players, tablets, laptops, and also works in auto reverse cassette decks. Its 5 foot long cord will offer convenience to passengers in the back seat, and this device will even handle your GPS.
The Showtime car audio tape cassette adapter is a wonderful way to enjoy the best audio during your long drives. The Showtime cassette adapter works well with iPhone, iPad, iPod, MP3 and CD radio players and most android smartphones. It comes with a 3 foot long cable, 3.5mm male and 2.5mm male adapter headphone jack, aux 880. This is a basic, easy to use unit that requires no initial set up, simply plug and play to enjoy your audio.
The Showtime fits nicely into your car’s cassette tape deck, with the mini plug connecting to your iPod and CD mini disk players headphone jack. This model comes with an improved head mechanism is has been created to function just the same as on a functional audio cassette. This means that your audio playback will sound exactly as it was intended. Dual balanced conductors create a clear, natural audio, which means along with the head mechanism, the playback you’ll experience will be excellent.
Also, remember that the type of car stereo you have affects the sound you hear as well. If you are using a smartphone, consider downloading an equalizer app to assist in creating the audio you prefer. Showtime stands behind their car audio tape cassette adapter with a 100 percent guarantee, and supplies a nice 30 day money back warranty on this product.
Summary- The Showtime Car Audio Tape Cassette Adapter is a good buy for those looking for a simple, easy to use cassette adapter. The Showtime has dual balanced conductors, a 3 foot long cord and connects to your iPod, iPad, CD players and Android smartphones. The head mechanism creates consistent and even sound, and the entire unit comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.
How to Use a Cassette Adapter?
Many people keep their vehicles in perfect running condition for many years, some for decades. This means that their car might not be able to support much of todays important technology, such as smartphones, tablets or laptops. In order to have access to these moder day conveniences, cassette adapters were created to solve this problem of blending old and new technology.
Cassette adapters are very simple electronic devices, light weight and with few features. There is no initial set up with a cassette adapter, and they are considered ‘plug and play’ devices. All you need is an in-dash cassette deck, and a compatible cassette adapter. In order to use your cassette adapter, follow the basic instructions below, while remembering that your manufacturers instructions may vary.
- Place the cassette adapter into your vehicles cassette deck.
- Take the 3.5mm jack which is at the end of the cord and place it into your smartphone or player.
- Turn on your car •Adjust the sound to your liking.
There you have it, it is that simple. As you can see, even while the manufacturers instructions may be different depending on the model, the concept is similar. No initial setup is required, and there is no software to download.
The Final Words (Conclusion)
Audio is an important part of our daily life, not only music, but podcasts, and audiobooks enhance our downtime, and make the acts of daily living go by a little smoothly. We spend many long hours in our vehicles, so it makes sense that we wish to have our favorite audio tracks accompany us while on the road.
By using a simple device called a cassette adapter, we are able to transform our outdated in-dash tape deck into a venue to transmit audio from our most contemporary audio devices, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, CD and MP3 players. We hope you found our review for the best cassette adapters a helpful one.