Elbow: the cassette player concept you didn’t know you needed

... Needed may be a strong word

Elbow
As much fashion accessory as audio player: Elbow

In popular culture, LPs and vinyl players are a classic medium that will never go out of style, thanks to the high-fidelity audio they offer. The same can’t be said for cassettes and its players. You know we’ve reached peak technology when there’s a brand-new design concept for a cassette player, unlike anything you’ve seen before. Elbow comes from the minds of a Lithuanian audiovisual art organisation BrainMonk.

Elbow
Elbow fits around your old tapes, playing tunes via a 3.5mm jack

It’s a fairly simple concept. The player gets rid of the well-known boxed device you would slide a cassette into. Remember the clicking and clacking noises your Walkman made when you pressed play? Elbow uses a single pulley to drive the tape, which it tracks with an optical sensor to maintain a consistent playback speed – something that was always an issue as your device aged, or was a cheaper brand.

Before the days of auto-reverse technology, you’d have to manually eject the cassette and turn it over to hear the other side. You won’t need to do that with Elbow, because its biaxial arm can swing up and switch sides itself. Elbow comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, just as other technologies are getting rid of them. It also includes a miniUSB port for charging and digitally extracting audio from a cassette tape to your PC.

Elbow Cassette Player

Elbow is a new cassette player design concept, dedicated to restoring the glory of a cassette tape. Currently in prototype stage. If you wish to help it reach the lights of a store shelf, please visit and fill a market research study: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdcejo-WxLHVa6yZzD1j_VzJpu3Fhh9mz2DWfzGFVwWHNJOsw/viewform

Posted by Elbow Cassette Player on Thursday, March 9, 2017

The device is no more than a concept. I can’t imagine someone spending money to produce it because even the most hipster folk probably aren’t carrying around cassettes anymore. Would be cool for a few playbacks but you would eventually misplace the little thing.