Sony’s Walkman made music portable in 1979. But serious music lovers couldn’t settle for cassette tapes, of course. Audio Technica’s Sound Burger made the turntable portable in 1983. And now, 39 years later, it’s available again. If you’re quick.
Audio Technica, best known for their pickups and headphones, is celebrating their 60th anniversary by putting the fun little turntable back into production. For those who don’t remember the model (or were born in the meantime), it’s a slim bar of electronics measuring 29 x 10 x 7 cm and weighing 900 grams. Not exactly pocket-sized – but it was considered portable back then!
In any case, it will be the vinyl records that set the limit for portability, as they are as big and heavy as ever. And delicate! Most of the record sticks outside the player while the music plays – exposed to dust, prying fingers and the rage of the elements.
To play a vinyl record, open the lid, put the record on, and fold the lid down, gripping the record like a pair of pliers. There’s a built-in speaker and the Sound Burger runs on batteries, so you can play your records anywhere. The new version, however, has been upgraded with Bluetooth, so you can send the sound wirelessly to headphones or your stereo. There’s also a 3.5mm minijack output for proper analogue connection.
The little turntable is fun and 80s iconic, but don’t expect high-end sound. And if you want it for the cool factor alone, you’ll have to be quick. That’s because it’s only being made in 7,000 copies, all in the same retro red plastic finish. The price is USD 199, so expect a similar amount in euros.