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Best Car Cassette Adapters: Listen to Digital Music on Your Car's Tape Player

Use a cassette tape adapter in an old stereo to play your digital music library

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If your car stereo (or home system) only has a cassette player and doesn't have modern facilities to play digital music (via USB Flash drive, MP3 CD, etc.), then you may think that the only solution is an expensive stereo upgrade. However, by using a cassette adapter you can interface devices such as an iPod, iPhone, MP3 player / PMP, smartphone, and more and at a fraction of the cost. Inexpensive car accessories such as this can thus breathe new life into your aging 'tape only' stereo system. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of cassette adapters that are inexpensive and give good sound reproduction.

1. Coby Dual Position Cassette Adapter (CA747)

Coby CA747 Cassette Adapter
Image © Coby Electronics Corp.

Whether you have got a front or side-loading cassette tape player, the Coby Dual Position Cassette Adapter enables you to connect various portable devices to your 'tape-only' stereo system. It has a unique design which sports a dual input connection on one corner of the unit (see image) which allows you to insert a 3.5mm headphone plug in two different orientations -- i.e. either front or side-on depending on how the product needs to be inserted into the cassette deck. You can use it to connect any MP3 player / PMP, portable CD player, or even a Mini Disc player. Considering how inexpensive the Coby CA747 Cassette Adapter is, its sound reproduction is impressive and therefore well worth a look.

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2. Philips Cassette Adapter (P72050)

Philips P72050 Cassette Adapter
Image courtesy of PriceGrabber

Like all cassette adapters, this device converts the audio signal from your portable (via a 3.5mm jack) into a magnetic signal that the cassette player heads can translate -- this is then relayed as sound to the audio system's speakers. The Philips P72050 is a well-built cassette adapter that can be used with any iPod, iPhone, smartphone, or portable device that has a headphone output. This product gives excellent sound reproduction via any cassette tape deck and comes with a 40-inch cord. This generous amount of cable is a great bonus feature which will give you plenty of freedom to conveniently locate your portable device -- useful in a car for example when it is sometimes difficult to place your portable in a safe and secure position.

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3. Maxell Cassette Adapter (P-10)

Maxell P-10 Cassette Adapter
Image Courtesy of PriceGrabber

The Maxell P-10 Cassette Adapter allows you to connect any portable device that has an 1/8" (3.5mm) jack output such as an iPod, iPhone, PMP, etc. Like the majority of cassette adapters, this product provides a great solution for enjoying your digital music library via a cassette tape player which wouldn't normally be possible otherwise. Even though the sound obviously isn't as good as directly playing digital audio, the unit transmits hi-fi stereo sound to your speakers with a good level of detail and clarity. If you have got an old boombox (sometimes referred to as a ghetoblaster) or a home stereo system that doesn't have phono auxiliary inputs, then you can also use the Maxell P-10 to interface digital audio sources to these too.

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