CES 2024: Portable cassette deck(!) from FiiO

FiiO won't accept that CES is all about the future of technology. At the show, they showcased their new portable cassette player (!) FiiO CP13.

By / 14 January 2024 - 10:00 am
CES 2024: Portable cassette deck(!) from FiiO

Have the gods gone crazy? We don’t know, but we do know that a new portable cassette player(!) has hit the market in the form of the FiiO CP13.

The cassette recorder is 60 years old

The music cassette turned 60 years old last year – a format that most people have dismissed as long dead. Most of the cassette tapes we grew up with have probably been given away at flea markets or thrown away long ago. Maybe we should regret that now. It turns out that sales are on the rise, as evidenced by the fact that artists like Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and Rammstein have all released music on cassette tapes in recent years. No, the sales figures aren’t huge, but enough to make some equipment manufacturers take notice.

Not long ago, we saw that a French company called We Are Rewind has created a portable cassette recorder inspired by Sony’s first Walkman. And now FiiO is also on the scene with its CP13. It too is a friendly nod to Sony’s 1979 Walkman.

FiiO CP13 cover CES24
(Photo: FiiO)

15 hours of playback time

The cassette player comes in three colors: white, black and two-tone blue/silver. It also has a built-in rechargeable battery with up to 15 hours of playtime and charges via USB-C. As far as we know, the USB-C connector cannot be used to transfer music from cassette tapes to PC. Unfortunately.

While the cassette recorder from We Are Rewind has Bluetooth so you can play music via wireless headphones, the FiiO player lacks this. The FiiO CP13 also lacks a record button, so you’ll have to make your own tapes with other equipment.

FiiO CP13: Price and availability

The price of the FiiO will be “under 130 dollars”. It will be launched later this year.

Manufacturer website

17 thoughts on “CES 2024: Portable cassette deck(!) from FiiO”

  1. $50 & I would buy some and give away. My band is going the cassette route as it’s a year wait for vinyl pressing but tape is almost overnite from National

  2. Now Sony and Phillips need bring back minidisc. That was a superior format and more portable.

    Although I never purchased any music on that format I used to record my vinyl and cd compilations for personal listening.

  3. Can’t wait for the younger generation to figure out why this tech got replaced lol.

    FYI get your number 2 pencil ready.

  4. The more important question is what transport does it use or more accurately what version of the chinese tanashin transport will it use since that’s the only transport still in production.

  5. You neglected to mention the issue, and it’s important, do you still have tape hiss. If FIFO could somehow work out this one HUGE issue, then I’d be happy to buy one. Heck, I still have two in boxes somewhere. One is actually a Sony Walkman Budoo khan.

    1. Tape hiss is inevitable. Only way to reduce it is Dolby Noise Reduction, which also greatly reduces treble during playback. Tapes that are recorded in Dolby NR will have compensated for this during recording, but analog is analog.

    2. There are two factors to eliminating tape hiss. You need a high-end tape player, but the type of tape itself matters even more. Chrome dioxide tape (aka Type-II) is a very much higher quality than the common, crappy tape 99% of people use (Type-I). The main problem with that, however, is that the record labels record their music album cassettes on the cheap crappy tape. So the only way to actually get seriously high quality cassette recordings is to have a high end tape deck, chrome dioxide tape, and record your music onto it from vinyl. I have two top-of-the-line tape decks from the early 1980s… A Yamaha K-2000, and a JVC that both retailed for $800+ brand new, and I can honestly say that my custom-recorded music tapes actually sound noticeably BETTER than CDs. I don’t even use noise reduction because it decreases the audio quality. You also need high-end speakers to be able to hear that quality.

    3. I use a,small Sony SEQ50 equalizer which helps to reduce some of this hiss without dulling the music too much

  6. All the other portable cassette players I’ve seen are gimicky toys. FIIO is actually a company that has created good sounding products.

    If FIIO provides this with a satisfactory headphone amp and stable, accurate pitch, it will be a worthwhile addition to the market at the projected price.

    A true line out would make it more versatile.

    OTOH, I understand Dolby no longer licenses its tape noise reduction circuits, so that’ll be a big drag.

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