Elbow Portable Cassette Player: The New Walkman?
The 21st century has been a tough time for the cassette, but things seem to be picking up for the humble tape of late with sales soaring by a reported 75% in 2016. But where the revival of the LP has been met by a whole multitude of new vinyl players and accessories, the cassette has yet to have its time in the sun. But the time could be now thanks to the Elbow, a bare-bones device which plays your cassettes on the go.
Featuring an arm with a single pulley to drive the tape – rather than the double pulley of a traditional box-like tape deck – the Elbow cassette player is like no tape player we’ve ever come across. Elbow’s most prominent feature is a biaxial arm which rotates in two directions so it can play both sides of the tape.
Turning the wheel on the Elbow left plays the cassette and also acts as the volume control. Turning the wheel right fast-forwards the cassette and also gradually increases the speed of the motor. The speed of the tape is tracked by an optical sensor. The device comes with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack as well as a mini-USB port.
A Walkman it may not be, but the tiny Elbow is aiming to bring the cassette back to its rightful place as a cultural icon. So much so, that the Elbow device itself leaves the cassette it’s playing almost fully on show. It might not be the most practical of ways to play a tape but it certainly looks cool to us!
The Elbow portable cassette player is still at the concept stage as it stands, but its makers are working to put the device into production after picking up an award from Industart, the International Industrial Design Awards. Check out more specs over at the Elbow Website.