The best cassette to MP3 converters will let you save memories and timeless classics digitally, so you don't need to worry about your old cassette tapes getting damaged or misplaced.
Anything that you may have purchased or recorded on a cassette can be worth saving, whether it's an old recording of a loved one or a band that flopped when music shifted over to streaming platforms - they are all worth saving, and thanks to the best cassette to MP3 converters it can be done at the push of a button.
We will help you to choose the best cassette-to-MP3 converter for your needs. Whether you are looking to convert a whole library, dozens of old cassettes, or just one recording of a relative, there will be a model that fits your budget and your skill level. If you are looking to splash out on a fancy unit that can do everything listed above and more, then the Marantz Professional PMD-300CP is a superb choice. It can be used as a cassette player while also converting your old songs to MP3 for easy storage and longevity. If you don't want to spend $150+ then you will still be satisfied with one of the cheaper, more basic options on our list - they will still get the job done quickly and easily.
If you are an audiophile that plans on remastering your recordings once they are on your personal device, make sure you take a look at our best audio editing software guide for suggestions on the best software to do that.
When you are ready to start decluttering your shelves, our guide to the best VHS to DVD converters can help you preserve your favorite video cassettes too.
The best cassette to MP3 converters
DigitNow are specialists in the converting of older formats to digital. This cassette to MP3 converter is simple to use, light and compact, and comes with all the functionality you need to both copy and listen to music from cassette tapes. While the unit itself does feel cheaply made... that's because it is, and this is reflected in the price. You can usually pick up the DigitNow converter for less than $30, which makes it much cheaper than most other cassette converters. And, to be clear, all the similar models we considered for this guide had similar build quality, but didn't quite offer the same audio conversion fidelity, so you're getting a good deal here.
This one comes with a USB cable that plugs directly into your PC or Mac, and a software CD and instruction manual. We recommend using a different piece of software like Audacity (which is free) to digitize your cassettes, as the included software CD is increasingly struggling to stay compatible with the latest versions of Windows or Mac OS. You also get a pair of earbuds with this one too, which are cheap and poor quality but can serve as a decent back-up pair if your main headphones are lost or left at home by mistake.
It runs on AA batteries if you want to use it as a straightforward Walkman, and will also draw power from a DC power connection if you have one. Neither power options are included, so make sure you have batteries at home. At under $30 this is a cheap piece of tech, but it works just fine and is perfect for most needs.
The Ion Tape Express Plus is a great option when you want high-quality audio conversions without a full-bodied tape deck. This converter is much more sturdy than other Walkman-style converters and feels a lot less brittle/fragile. It costs around $40, which is more than a few other models on our list, but as previously mentioned it has the feel of quality that some other devices are lacking.
It isn't perfect when it comes to copying or converting cassettes, but the majority of the time it does a good job. We tested this model and found that it actually improved sound quality in some instances, but this is something that can be done with some very basic knowledge of audio editing software such as Audacity, so for the perfect sound we would recommend tweaking the files a little bit once they are on your PC.
Audio-wise, you are not getting anything special compared to the other models on our list, so if you are okay with a flimsier model with the same audio quality you might want to take a look at some of the cheaper options.
The Ion is incredibly easy to use, and we do like the sturdier feel of the device and its minimalistic design. If you are looking to carry tapes around with you on the move then it's definitely the best option, but if you are looking for a device purely for conversion then this will cost more to do the same job as other models.
The Reshow Cassette Player and MP3 converter is quick and easy to use and will get the job done for a solid price. It has a retro black and silver design, similar to that of DigitNow, but comes at a lower price point (you can pick one up for around $34.99 on Amazon). Due to its more affordable price, it may be a better option for people who want a converter for a single, short-lived purpose rather than one that will get used frequently for a long time.
On Amazon, this cassette player has an average rating of 3.8/5 stars with the majority of users praising its ability to easily and quickly convert cassettes into MP3 format with a decent sound quality. The small number of dissatisfied users are not happy with the quality of the device, stating that the outer casing feels very flimsy.
It converts old analog cassettes to MP3 files using a USB converter that can be used with a laptop or desktop, making it easier than most others to organize files into one collective space. It can also work alongside CD burners so that you can convert cassettes into different formats if desired.
The best thing about this converter is how portable it is. It is easy to transport, being lightweight, compact, and portable making it perfect for use as a Walkman - just plug in headphones or an aux cord to listen to nostalgic music instantly.
Some users have reported the occasional buzzing or static, but the vast majority of verified users report great sound quality for the price, with many users praising its ability to convert tracks with impressive clarity. Each purchase includes a full transfer kit, which contains converter software, a guide, and a 5V DC USB power cord so that you can start listening to music or converting tracks straight away.
The MyPin cassette-to-USB converter has a funky design and stands out from the rest of the Walkman-style cassette-to-MP3 converters. The design itself will give a burst of nostalgia to people who remember when cassettes were the dominant audio format. It is lightweight, sleek and compact while also being incredibly straightforward to operate. The MyPin comes with a 3.5mm jack input that allows headphones or an aux cord to be plugged in, and due to its USB port, it can be used as a personal listening device, or as a converter when plugged into a computer or laptop.
With an average rating of 3.8/5 stars on Amazon, the MyPin cassette-to-USB converter is praised for its simplicity and jazzy style. Happy users are pleased with how easy it is to convert old tapes, but some unhappy users complain that the case feels flimsy and the audio is not the best quality - with some very basic knowledge of audio editing software you can improve the overall quality, which is something we would definitely recommend.
If you want to make things as easy as possible, this converter allows you to copy straight to a flash drive so that you don't need to worry about messing around with extra cables or audio editing software on your computer. It copies analog cassettes straight to USB sticks and will convert your old tracks straight to MP3 format - when it comes to ease of use this device really stands out. The downside is the audio is not perfect, and to really get the most out of the sound it will usually mean sacrificing some of this simplicity to tweak a few of the tracks in Audacity.
Due to its low price point and ease of use, the build quality does unfortunately have its downsides. It feels somewhat flimsy, which may cause problems if you want to take it out and about every day, but it works and it is a funky, retro way to listen to cassettes if you want to revisit the 80s. It even comes with some headphones included, making it a solid purchase for the low price of $35.
The ByronStatics Portable Cassette Player is incredibly portable and easy to use. Its compact design makes it easy to fit in a pocket, or virtually any bag - it measures just 3.9 X 2 X 5.5 inches and has a belt clip for when you want to feel extra retro.
With an average rating of 4.1/5 stars on Amazon, users are happy with the low price but critical of its outer casing. As mentioned, it can be quite flimsy but will serve its purpose well and is easy to use for a total novice. The audio will benefit from some tweaking in software such as Audacity, but some people like the old crackly cassette feel.
It also costs less than $30, making it one of the most affordable converters on the market - especially if you are a novice that wants to test out the process of converting your old analog cassettes to MP3 format.
It features a built-in microphone and speaker, which are decent quality considering the price, however, some users have noted that there is an issue with tapes either playing either too slowly or too fast - this issue can be easily fixed with a flathead screwdriver by adjusting the pin on the back of the converter. This converter also comes with earbuds, making it convenient to start using immediately. If you aren't a fan of headphones then the built-in speaker can be used to listen to tracks out loud.
For the price, you get what you pay for in terms of build quality, The outer casing has been reported to be quite flimsy, with some users being too scared to use the belt clip in case it falls off and breaks. In terms of doing its job, it is great for beginners and well worth the low price point.
The Rybozen Cassette Player Converter packs a surprising number of features into a small, portable case. Whether you want to convert analog tapes to a digital format, burn MP3s onto CDs, or transfer them to smartphones this device will have you covered. It comes with a USB cable, so it is easy to get started immediately simply by plugging in your device.
Users are generally quite satisfied with this device, with an average rating of 3.6/5 stars on Amazon. A number of happy users praise its low price and its ability to easily convert old cassettes to an MP3 format. Dissatisfied users frequently complain that the buttons can get stuck and don't work properly after multiple uses.
The metal cassette case is somewhat cheaply made, however, it has a few attributes such as an auto-invert function that automatically plays the second side when you press its "DIR" button - a feature that some other models lack. Setting the loop icon will also reverse the tape automatically for you, making it easy to listen to your favorite albums on loop.
In terms of sound quality, this model has a four-channel stereo head which makes the audio more stable, requiring much less post-conversion tweaking. It is also compatible with headphones or aux cords so that you can listen to tapes directly from it wherever you are - like many other models you can use the Rybozen cassette player as a Walkman, which is great if you are in a retro/nostalgic mood.
For the low price point of less than $30, it is hard to criticize this converter. The package comes with a software CD, a USB cable, earbuds and a user guide making it quick and easy to set up, especially for novices with little to no experience with converting cassettes to MP3 format. As with a lot of cassette to MP3 converters, the audio can benefit from a little tweaking in Audacity, but this software is free and easy to use with multiple online guides.
The Sharper Image Cassette to MP3 Converter is perfect for when you have old cassettes that you haven't heard in years. With the help of this device, you can play old cassettes with an aux cord, or digitalize them as MP3 files for storage on your personal devices.
With this model, you can convert analog cassettes to digital MP3 files without the need for any additional software - this streamlines the process and makes it as easy as possible to convert old tapes. The recordings are a high quality 128 Kbps and can be upscaled if you choose to use additional software to tweak the audio.
Users are quite divided by this particular model. On Amazon, it has an average rating of 3.5/5 stars. Some users praise its ability to convert tapes automatically into high-quality MP3 files, whereas others have experienced crackling or low-quality audio after converting. Some users are also quite critical of its overall quality, noting that the plastic feels brittle and easily breakable.
The manual recording mode lets you control the recording length - this can be good if you don't need an extra 4 minutes of white noise after the initial recording. With some home recordings, you can save what you want rather than saving the whole thing and wasting storage space. The automatic recording mode will create a new track every time it detects a long pause, such as pauses between songs. The AUX line will let you convert audio from other sauces such as record players, CD players and radios.
When purchasing the Sharper Image Cassette to MP3 Converter you will get an included 8GB flash drive and a USB cable. The flash drive can hold about 2000 songs, which is more than enough for the average user or audiophile.
You can pick one of these cassettes up for less than $70, which is a good price considering the large number of features that come with it, not to mention the free flash drive.
If you want to convert your old mix tapes and albums to MP3 so that you can listen to them on your personal devices, then this device will come in handy. Audiophiles will be pleased to know that audio editing software is included, so you can tweak the sound and playback to make it as smooth as possible. The audio output lets you listen on stereo, headphones, or a speaker system depending on your preference.
Users are generally quite happy with this device, with an average Amazon rating of 3.8/5 stars. Users have praised the good value and its ability to easily convert analog cassettes to MP3 without sacrificing sound quality. Audiophiles are especially happy with the additional software, as it gives them a chance to tweak any crackles or static. Negative reviewers are not happy with the plastic case, saying they have to be extra careful not to break it when moving around.
The package includes a USB cassette capture, a user guide, a USB cable, a pair of headphones and a software CD (the CD includes the capturing and editing software as well as a comprehensive user guide).
This small device can fit easily in a bag or box along with your other audio equipment and is especially useful if you are looking to declutter and part ways with your old cassettes.
Unfortunately, the AGPtek Cassette to MP3 Converter only works on Windows 2000 and above, so if you have a comically old PC or a Mac/Linux device it will not work. For those of you that have a working Windows PC, you will be pleased to know that users have praised this device for how easy it is to use.
Despite it being very easy to use, it is still more complex than other models on our list which require no additional software. If you don't want to install extra software onto your PC, or if you want to convert straight to a flash drive then this might not be the model for you.
Best cassette to MP3 converters FAQs
How the best cassette to MP3 converters work
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Most of the products we reviewed come in the form of a small handheld cassette player with a USB port that connects to your computer. These devices are usually coupled with a software component that you need to install on your system.
Once you have the cassette you want to convert in the deck and connected to your computer, all you need to do is press Play on your deck and Record in the software and it will capture the audio as it plays back. After the converter software has captured the audio, you can export it as an MP3. Then you can do pretty much anything with it. You can burn it to a CD, sync it to any of the best smartphones, upload it to the internet, or import it into an audio editing application for further work.
Converting the audio found on cassette tapes can be a time-consuming process. That’s because it’s not a simple file transfer that only takes a few seconds. Cassette to MP3 converters must record the audio in real time as it plays in the deck. If you’re converting a whole cassette, this can take up to an hour. Then you have to go into the application to listen to the captured content, edit the audio, separate the tracks and a few other things. These are all pretty simple things to master, but it can be quite involved as well. Just know that if you’re converting a lot of tapes, you’re probably looking at a long-term project.
Key attributes of MP3 converters
There are a couple of ways these converters connect to your computer. Most have an integrated cassette deck that allows you to easily slide in the tape you want to convert. Others require you to connect your own deck to your computer via RCA cables. These ones let you hook up any analog device, like a record player or 8-track deck, and convert audio from those devices as well.
All of the products we reviewed can connect to your computer through a USB port. This is the most convenient way to connect, because all computers have multiple USB outlets. Most of the products can draw their power through the USB connection. But there are also alternate power supplies for these devices; some have DC adapter outlets, some also take AA batteries.
The conversion software that comes with these products is critical to their performance. The best cassette converter applications have the ability to automatically detect and segregate tracks on a music album. They also allow you to control the volume of the audio as it is being recorded. Additionally, the best applications work on both Windows and Mac. However, made of these cassette players struggle with compatibility, as they - and their software - are older products. If you can't get your chosen converter's software to work, try any of the best audio converter software packages from our guide.
Most of the devices we reviewed double as portable cassette players, good for everyday use. While this is nice for retro-style lovers, they don’t offer any functionality outside of playing and converting tapes. Our number two pick, the Marantz Professional, is a full bodied, double-deck unit with additional ports in the back that allow you to connect not only to your computer, but devices such as record players and your home entertainment system.