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Best Cassette Adapters: Way Cooler Now Than They Used To Be

Unless you have a stack of killer tapes, you’re going to need one of these.

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BYHank O'Hop/ LAST UPDATED ON June 3, 2022

You finally landed your dream car. It's time to gas up, take off the T-top, and crank up some tunes. That is, until you realize you're working with a cassette tape deck and failed to invest in any tapes. 


Don't freak out. You’re dealing with an issue that has been solved long ago. You don't need to tear out the original unit and swap in an aftermarket piece that looks entirely out of place in your car. There's a much easier, more affordable way. A cassette adapter is all you need to start enjoying music in your older car. 


I searched for and came up with a solid list of the best cassette adapters. Look through these to find the one that works best for you. Just promise not to tell me what guilty-pleasure songs you're killing the soul of that classic with.

Best Cassette Adapters: Way Cooler Now Than They Used To Be
Listen to your favorite digital tunes in an older car with these cassette adapters. Deposit Photos
Best Overall

Aluratek Universal Bluetooth Audio Cassette Receiver

Summary
Instantly add Bluetooth functionality to your cassette player. This adapter eliminates cords, offers excellent battery life, and the sound quality you demand.
Pros
  • Good sound quality
  • Bluetooth connection eliminates cords
  • Long battery life
  • Decent reception range
Cons
  • Noisy internal gears
  • Quality control issues are common
Best Value

Arsvita Car Audio Cassette to Aux Adapter

Summary
Keep life simple with this adapter. No batteries, no linking, just plug it in and go. The low price is also pretty hard to ignore.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • No dependence on battery
  • Better sound quality than cheap Bluetooth adapters
Cons
  • Quality needs improvement
  • Dangling cords can be annoying
Honorable Mention

Arsvita Bluetooth 5.0 Cassette Aux Adapter

Summary
Bluetooth on a budget. This adapter makes it affordable to link up to your cassette player without any cords. It also includes a microphone for hands-free calling.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Bluetooth connection eliminates cords
  • Long battery life
  • Microphone allows for hands-free calling
Cons
  • Quality control issues are common
  • Sound quality needs improvement

Summary List 

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

Learn more

Our Methodology

Cassette adapters have been around for a long time now. I leaned on my experiences to provide insight on the basics of these devices. Since I have not tried them all, plenty of research was in order. I made sure to look into the current brands serving this segment as well as what features folks prefer and what to realistically expect from these devices when coming up with my top choices. 

Best Cassette Adapter Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Alurtek
  • Part number: ABCT01F
  • Connection type: Bluetooth

Pros

  • Good sound quality
  • Bluetooth connection eliminates cords
  • Long battery life
  • Deception reception range

Cons

  • Noisy internal gears
  • Quality control issues are common

Aluratek's Bluetooth receiver cassette adapter is the top pick because of its sound quality and wireless operation. Though none of these adapters deliver award-winning sound, many view this as better than most. It’s also only right to award points for the ability to connect all modern phones to your classic car without cords. It can receive Bluetooth signals from up to 33 feet away, which can prove handy in a number of situations. It also offers eight hours of playtime and uses sleep mode to preserve battery life. This cassette adapter isn't without flaws. Unfortunately, the internal gears are noisy, and many reviewers make modifications to reduce the sound produced. There are also many reports of faulty units making their way to the customer, indicating that quality control issues are present.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Arsvita
  • Part number: Us1AKca001
  • Connection type: Auxiliary Cord

Pros

  • Affordable
  • No dependence on battery
  • Better sound quality than cheap bluetooth adapters

Cons

  • Quality needs improvement
  • Dangling cords can be annoying

This cassette adapter from Arsvita is what many folks are looking for. The low price makes it a popular choice, but is not all it has going for it. This model uses an auxiliary cord, and although that can be viewed as a dated feature, it offers a couple key benefits. For one, there's no need to worry about battery life, which makes a major difference for long trips. The use of a cord also allows it to produce better sound quality than many cheap cordless adapters. As many advantages as a cord have, there are some drawbacks. Primarily that you still have to deal with an unsightly wire dangling from your dash. Also, the quality and lifespan of the unit are about what you could expect from an adapter with such a low price.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Arsvita
  • Part number: Us1ASca0076
  • Connection type: Bluetooth

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Bluetooth connection eliminates cords
  • Long battery life
  • Microphone allows for hands-free calling

Cons

  • Quality control issues common
  • Sound quality needs improvement

Arsvita's Bluetooth 5.0 cassette receiver adapter is a great way to go if you want your new phone to work with your old car on a budget. First and foremost, it gives your dated cassette player Bluetooth function. That's a massive deal considering many smartphones are getting away from 3.5-mm jacks. It's also priced just right for the average car owner, offers eight hours of play time with just 1.5 hours of charge time, and comes with a microphone for hands-free calling. Quality control seems to be an issue as quite a few customers receive faulty units. It's also worth pointing out that the sound quality is not the best. It's certainly not the worst of the bunch, but it doesn't compare to some of the more costly options.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Elook
  • Part number: UsHmcaBnL0102
  • Connection type: Auxiliary Cord

Pros

  • Includes iPhone port adapter
  • Affordable
  • Decent sound quality
  • No dependance on battery

Cons

  • Quality control issues common
  • Dangling cord

Most flagship phones have ditched aux ports, and this Elook cassette adapter solves that problem for iPhone owners. Obviously, you can buy an adapter for pretty much any phone that's eliminated the 3.5-mm jack, but this simplifies the process by bundling it in. That's not all there is to like about this particular offering. It is affordable, even with the adapter, and delivers decent audio performance, which is all many care about, and there’s no need to worry about battery life as you would with cordless cassette adapters. Though this may be an obvious contender for Best Value, quality control issues are a little too common to give it that title. While that’s a common issue for this type of device, they are more common here than in others on the list. Also, it’s only fair to take points for the presence of unsightly cords when this adapter is in use.

Specs

  • Manufacturer: Monster
  • Part number: 129342
  • Connection type: Auxiliary Cord

Pros

  • Good sound quality
  • Affordable
  • No dependance on battery

Cons

  • Poor quality control
  • Short lifespan

If you want the best performing cassette adapter with an auxiliary cord without going to abstract dealers, Monster is the way to go. Based on the reviews, this is a great choice for anyone who prefers cords. Despite that, it's only a few dollars more than the average corded cassette adapter. Points awarded for having no need to worry about battery life with this unit. Naturally, awarding points for the lack of battery dependence means docking points for the dangling cord. That is by no means the only issue with this adapter. A lot of reviews indicate that this model is relatively short-lived, and quality control issues are common.

Our Verdict

The Aluratek Universal Bluetooth Audio Cassette Receiver is an obvious choice for the top pick. It gives your cassette player Bluetooth capabilities and provides decent sound quality. There's no denying that some will prefer the low price of the Arsvita Car Audio Cassette to Aux Adapter, which also delivers in terms of performance. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Cassette Adapters

Cassettes and Adapters Tips 

Used Cassettes 

You bought a classic car. Live the life. Hit the local flea markets and internet to scoop up some old cassette tapes. The chances are that they still work fine, and you can get them for great prices. Sometimes you can even find lots filled with tapes from the greatest bands of multiple eras going for what you'd pay for a really good cassette adapter. It's also worth keeping note of the fact that some bands still release new albums on cassette today. 

Keep It Clean 

Cleaning and demagnetizing cassette play head regularly is key to getting the best sound and performance out of your system. Doing so in your car is much easier than you might think. Cleaning devices that slide into the head just like a cassette simplify the process. You just need to make sure to repeat the process every 40 hours of tape play. 

Skip the Transmitter 

FM transmitters are an alternative way to play music from your phone over the car's stereo system. They get the job done, and a lot of people are happy with them, but many are junk. While the same is true about cassette adapters, it's a lot easier to find models that deliver fantastic sound quality and performance. You also don't need to go through the trouble of finding an unused frequency to listen to your music, which can make all the difference in the world on road trips or long commutes. 

Pricing 

A cassette adapter is one of the few upgrades you can make that doesn't cost all that much. Most come in anywhere from about $10 to $30. Quality and the name attached to a particular cassette adapter do influence the price. How it functions, though, is the biggest determining factor in how much it costs. Typically, those that work with an aux cord dominate the lower half of that price range, while models that work with Bluetooth sit in the upper half. 

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: How can I make my cassette adapter sound better?

A: Improving the sound quality of a cassette adapter may be as simple as cleaning and demagnetizing the cassette player itself. It's a routine process many people overlook, impacting sound. Otherwise, it may be worth adjusting the sound system's settings or replacing the adapter altogether.

Q: Can I use my cassette adapter in any car?

A: As long as there's a clean and functional cassette player, you shouldn't have a problem. If you are having issues with the player ejecting the cassette adapter, it may be due to dirty internals or a faulty adapter.

Q: Why does my cassette adapter keep ejecting?

A: There are multiple reasons the adapter keeps being ejected. The system may be dirty, there may be faulty parts inside the system, or the adapter may have an issue with the internal mechanism that keeps certain systems from automatically ejecting tapes.

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