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A Blast from the Past: Fiio Unveils Retro Cassette Player at CES 2024

A Blast from the Past: Fiio Unveils Retro Cassette Player at CES 2024

Retro Design Meets Modern Functionality

In an unexpected twist at CES 2024, Fiio, a brand revered for its high-fidelity DACs and streamers, has unveiled a gadget that's a nod to the past yet a stride into the future: the CP13 cassette player. This device isn't just a throwback in appearance; it's a fully operational modern cassette player that ditches Bluetooth to maintain its vintage authenticity. Instead, it embraces the convenience of today's technology with a USB-C charging port, saving users from the hassle of constant battery replacement.

Designer's Vision: A Tribute to the Iconic Walkman

The CP13 isn't just about playing cassettes; it's a tribute to the iconic Sony Walkman of the 80s, sporting a dual-tone silver-blue finish reminiscent of the original. The design features large playback buttons, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and an oversized knob. While it lacks an auto-reverse function, requiring manual flipping of tapes, it does allow fast forwarding, reversing, and pausing, just like its muse.

Modern Touches to a Classic Experience

Fiio has enhanced the classic tape player experience with a few modern conveniences. The CP13 boasts a status LED and offers a robust 15-hour playback time on a single charge. While it doesn't convert tapes to MP3 files, it does come in various stylish color options, including the signature variant, matte black with white, and blue with metal silver.

Cassette Culture Making a Comeback

With over 195,000 cassette players sold in 2022 and appearances in pop culture and music albums from stars like Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift, it's clear that the cassette player is making a comeback. The Fiio CP13 is more than just a music player; it's a piece of nostalgia, a throwback to a time when owning music albums and following artists held a different kind of value.

Price Point and Personal Reflections

Priced at $164, the Fiio CP13 is positioned for those who yearn for the golden days of music. It may not be for everyone, but for some, it evokes deep-seated memories of a time when music was a tangible, cherished possession. As digital streaming continues to dominate the music scene, the Fiio CP13 stands out as a reminder that the ways we enjoy music are as diverse as the tunes themselves.

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