You don’t need to be an audiophile to understand that the cassette tape was one of the worst audio formats in the history of pre-recorded music. Even with amateur ears, it’s impossible to miss the constant hissing of the tape, the tinny, thin sound, and the clickity-clack of plastic cranks pushing along the easily-warped magnetic strip.
Imagine combining that racket with a Bluetooth connection, which our sister site Sound Guys proved with objective data to be sub-par soundwise to a wired connection. That questionable combo will give you the aptly-named Kickstarter project “It’s OK,” a Bluetooth cassette player in the style of the Sony Walkman.
This is a real product you can pledge to buy right now on Kickstarter for just 498 Hong Kong dollars (~$64). It even comes in three colors: Cloud, Sakura, and Evening.
The It’s OK Bluetooth cassette player performs much like the Walkmans of old. You can pop in a cassette and listen to some tinny tunes or you can also record to a blank cassette (which you get free with your order) through the built-in microphone. Since Bluetooth 5.0 is on board, you can stream your cassette sounds to your favorite pair of wireless headphones or to a portable speaker. There’s even the classic belt clip so you can flaunt just how gullibly retro you really are.
Luckily there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on board so you can always forego the Bluetooth and use some wired headphones. This will up the audio quality for sure, but in the end, the source will still be a cassette — which novelist Rosecrans Baldwin called “a terrible piece of technology” that should be seen as equivalent to “an office supply.”
As of this writing, the It’s OK project has 70 backers and has reached a little more than a third of its goal of $12,848. It’s an “all or nothing” campaign, so it needs to meet that goal or the Bluetooth cassette player won’t go into production.