Crosley is bringing back the radio cassette portable

The Crosley CT100A

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Mike Hangen and Kim Elliott who share the following item from The Verge:

Crosley, the company best known for making those junky $100 turntables you can find at Target or Best Buy, is expanding into a different era of musical nostalgia: cassette decks, via TechCrunch.

The company is selling two tape decks. Both have the same basic specs for cheap hardware: there’s a single mono speaker, an AM/FM radio, an integrated mic, and a single-direction deck (so you’ll have to flip the tape yourself, just like the good old days). Odds are that you won’t get the best-sounding speaker, but that’s not really the point.

The $60 CT100 model can also get shortwave radio, and it adds some rather anachronistic support for playing music off SD cards and USB drives. The $70 CT200 skips those features but adds treble and bass dials and a VU meter, which looks cooler and thus commands a higher price.

Again, neither of these players are likely going to give you an audiophile-level experience. But if you’re looking for somewhere to play your retro Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack cassette, they should work just fine.

Click here to read the full article at The Verge.

Amazon has both the Crosley CT100A and the CT200A–both are $52.77 shipped. I also see that Target has them online for $49.00 shipped. I find it interesting that Target doesn’t mention the shortwave bands in the basic item description–they simply list it as an AM/FM radio.

While I imagine these Crosley sets will have only mediocre shortwave reception, I bet they’ll sell a lot of them. Being so widely distributed, they’ll make for a unique gift or impulse buy.

What’s really ironic is that those of us familiar with a little radio history know that Crosley was a giant in the radio business and produced some amazing sets (including this masterpiece).

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10 thoughts on “Crosley is bringing back the radio cassette portable

  1. Mario

    Ah, life without those back then would have been so much less fun-filled.

    Now remember to buy one of those “cassette recorder head cleaners.” I had one from good old Radio Shack. Instead of a magnetic tape the cleaning cassette had a white porous paper-like ribbon that you wet with the liquid cleaner that it came with, probably Ethyl alcohol. Your ran that through a few times to take that copper-like buildup off the cassette head.

    Am glad Crosley came back with this type of radio. Great post and a hearty thank you.

  2. Edward

    Would like a timer and a frequency set so I could record a particular frequency at a particular time I am not present and it would do its job

    1. Joe

      A software solution such as the Cloud Radio or TuneIn Radio Pro app would be much better suited for this, unless you’re dead set on using cassettes instead of recording digitally.

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  4. Andrew

    Well, that critter resembles quite a lot the old “el cheapo” cassete+radio units; now, I don’t know if it may be worth (the value), but even if it’s just a “piece of assorted junk”, it may still be “cannibalized”, I mean, one may just pick one of those, disassemble it and recover the components, knobs and so on; for example, the VU meter may make a good addition to a homebuilt receiver, same goes for knobs and possibly for some of the components (e.g. the audio section); again, not sure that the total value of the separate parts may go over the market price, but if it does, then the unit may be worth picking 🙂

  5. Dan

    Very cool description of the CT100 on the Target Website (They even mention ShortWave)…

    “It’s no duh that the 80s were like totally rad, so we’re bringing back the cassette for the dudes and dudettes with the Crosley CT100. Making a mix tape for your bae has never been easier thanks to the ability to play music from a thumb drive, SD card or four different radio bands. Heck yeah, technology! Who knows… with the two short wave radio bands, you may even pick up your neighbor messing around with his ham radio. You can even hit record and talk or sing into the built-in microphone for an extra personal touch. Plug in the unit for home/office listening or throw in some of those huge batteries, slide into your acid wash jeans, jump into your T-top Camero and take it on the go.”

    1. Dan

      The description particularly resonates with me, as I indeed was the proud owner of a 1987 IROC Z-28 Camaro with T-Tops…now where is that cassette of the Lost Boys soundtrack…


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