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FiiO CP13 cassette deck is a love letter to the Sony Walkman

As the tech world continues to careen into an artificially intelligent future, there’s a growing reverence for the formats of the past.

Cassette tapes have been on the fringes for a while, but those buying up old releases or special editions from artists have mainly been listening via old Walkman players or tape decks.

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At CES 2024, few had a newsworthy new cassette player on their bingo card. Alas, here we are writing about the FiiO CP13 deck that bears a strong similarity to the 45-year-old Walkman of yore. The company doesn’t shy away from the similarities. Indeed, it’s meant to commemorate the release of the first ever Walkman, and features a similar opening so you can see the tape reels a-reeling.

The biggest and most welcome improvement on the Walkman is the presence of a USB-C port for charging the device and a battery will last for up to 15-hours. We certainly welcome not having to replace those AA batteries.

Thankfully, the modernisation doesn’t eschew the 3.5mm headphone jack for playback. The company has stayed true to the original ethos, so there’s no Bluetooth for connecting your AirPods either. The buttons are large (Play, FF RW, Stop), as is the volume knob, but it doesn’t appear as if the Walkman’s auto reverse feature is present.

If you’re not familiar with FiiO, the company generally focuses on high-end audio experiences such as headphones, speakers and DACs for improved mobile audio. This release climbs back into the womb somewhat, but you won’t find us complaining.

It’s going on sale in the UK in March and it’ll cost £129. So, if you fancy hunting out your cassette collection from the 1980s, now’s as good a time as any to get up in to the attic.

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