Fiio CP13 revives Sony Walkman mixtape era in a USB-C chargable version

Fiio CP13 revives Sony Walkman mixtape era in a USB-C chargable version

Fiio, best known for its audiophile-grade DACs and desktop streamers has surprised everyone at CES 2024 with a retro gadget that breaks the ice in terms of its nostalgia. This is the CP13 cassette player inspired by the popular Sony Walkman back in the 80s era.

The gadget is just not a shell inspired by the Walkman of that time, rather it is a modern cassette music player to its true core. You can gauge the realism from the fact that there isn’t Bluetooth on this music player to keep this very authentic. However, the Chinese manufacturer has added USB-C charging feature to save you from buying AA batteries every week.

Designer: Fiio

Doesn’t this mean, that cassette player technology has gone a full circle and now coming back in trend? In fact, the year 2022 saw an annual sale of 195,000 cassette player units. The appearance in ‘The Last of US’ and pop albums by Billie Elish, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift further seems to strengthen this fact!

Paying homage to the original Walkman in dual tone silver blue finish, the gadget has a retro design with large playback buttons, 3.5 mm headphone port and an oversized knob. By the looks of things, there’s no option to auto-reverse, so you’ll have to manually change sides. However, you can fast forward, reverse and pause just like the original one.

Another added feature along with the more modern charging port is the status LED. The player is good for 15 hours of playback on a single charge but sadly there’s no function to convert tapes to MP3 files. Of course, there’s the signature color variant but audioheads can also go for the matte black with white and the blue with metal silver option.

The audio accessory is priced at $164 and I’m not too sure if I’ll be going down that road anytime soon. Still, the Fiio CP13 does evoke a lot of fond memories of the golden era when owning music albums and following artists was a lot more precious compared to modern times.