The 3 best Bluetooth cassette adapters
If your car or favorite vintage boombox is outfitted with a cassette player, the best Bluetooth cassette adapters can turn a cassette player into a Bluetooth speaker with this one handy device — as you shop, you’ll need to consider the system you’ll be using the adapter with and any specific audio features you might need. These adapters allow you to stream your favorite tunes, podcasts, and audiobooks without using any cords or having to replace the dashboard entertainment systems you already have in place.
How does a Bluetooth cassette adapter work?
Bluetooth cassette adapters work by placing Bluetooth components in a tape deck shell. When it’s placed into a cassette player, magnetic inductors that would normally play the roll of tape in a traditional cassette are used to stream whatever music you choose wirelessly. In short, after you insert the cassette adapter, it allows you to connect it to your phone or other streaming device, and play whatever you’d like.
How to choose the best Bluetooth cassette adapter for you
There are a few things to keep in mind as you shop for the best Bluetooth cassette adapter for your situation.
- The most variable factor in Bluetooth cassette adapters is their battery life. The Bluetooth components require charging, so if you tend to go for long car rides or forget to recharge your devices, take that into account. You can also get one that is able to charge while playing — this makes it less of a true “wireless” product but will eliminate any worries you have about it running out of battery while you’re listening.
- Another difference between Bluetooth cassette adapters is if they have an antenna. An antenna holding the Bluetooth components shouldn’t prevent you from using the Bluetooth cassette adapter in your car, but it may limit the other cassette players you can use the adapter in, such as boomboxes where the cassette deck is completely closed and can’t accommodate a wire.
- While Bluetooth cassette adapters are a great way to stream music using your cassette player, there are a couple other options you may want to consider that are also on this list. A cassette adapter with an aux cord could be a better choice for you if you never want to worry about battery life but still want to utilize your tape deck. Similarly, a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into your car’s 12V outlet (aka its cigarette lighter) is a Bluetooth streaming option that doesn’t require charging a battery. It does not, however, utilize a tape deck and instead operates using your car’s radio.
Shop the best Bluetooth cassette adapters
In a hurry? These are the best Bluetooth cassette adapters:
- A reviewer-loved Bluetooth cassette adapter for the car or a boombox: Aluratek Universal Bluetooth Audio Cassette Receiver
- A Bluetooth cassette adapter with a mic for taking calls: Arsvita Car Audio Bluetooth Cassette Receiver
- A Bluetooth cassette adapter that can play music while it’s charging: iTape Cassette Adapter Car Bluetooth Audio Receiver
Here are some of the top Bluetooth tape deck adapters you can snag on Amazon — as well as a couple of other cassette and Bluetooth adapter options — to help you utilize modern streaming technology while using your older devices.
1. A reviewer-loved Bluetooth cassette adapter for a car or boombox
- Doesn’t have any wires so can be used in a boombox
- Has garnered over 1,700 five-star ratings on Amazon
- Can’t play music while charging
- Doesn’t have a built-in mic
This Bluetooth cassette adapter is a crowd-favorite with a 4.1-star overall rating from over 2,700 ratings and counting. It has a 33 foot Bluetooth radius, so you can connect from the back row of even the largest vehicle. The adapter comes with a USB charging cable, and it helpfully kicks into sleep mode after 5 minutes of inactivity to preserve its battery. Best of all, since it has no antenna, you can use it in any cassette player without a wire getting in the way.
One reviewer wrote: “After purchasing a similar product that didn’t work, I ordered this Aluratek cassette adapter, hoping it would be different. It is. It works beautifully. Instantly turned my 80’s boombox into a bluetooth machine. Highly recommended. Don’t bother with the other (cheaper) bluetooth adapters on Amazon. Get this and you’ll be happy.”
Battery life: 8 hours | Charge while playing: No | Antenna: No
2. A Bluetooth cassette adapter under $25
- Has a built-in mic for taking phone calls
- Easy-to-reach buttons on the receiver
- Can’t charge while in use
- Has a lower overall rating on Amazon than other options
At just over $20, this Bluetooth cassette adapter is the most budget-friendly option on this list, while still offering a mic to take calls and a lengthy eight-hour battery life. You can use the Bluetooth receiver’s buttons to control the volume, skip tracks, and pause and play your music, and it comes with a USB cord to recharge.
One reviewer wrote: “Easy to use. Good sound quality. Nice price. Just what I needed to listen to my podcasts in my husband’s 18-year-old car.”
Battery life: 8 hours | Charge while playing: No | Antenna: Yes
3. A Bluetooth cassette adapter that can play music while it’s charging
- Can play while charging
- Has built-in mic for taking calls
- Control buttons on the receiver
- Small antenna wire may prevent use in non-car cassette players
- Max battery life isn’t specified by the manufacturer
This Bluetooth cassette adapter is the perfect pick for anyone who doesn’t want to worry too much about keeping it charged, as it can play music while charging. It comes with a USB cable and if you’re planning on charging while playing, a 12V USB port could make a great add-on. But if you do want to utilize its battery, you definitely can. While a battery life isn’t listed in the product description, one reviewer wrote that “it’s in the 4-6 hour range before it needs to be charged.” Its Bluetooth receiver can also be used to control the volume, skip tracks, and pause and play your music.
One reviewer wrote: “Our 2000 Honda Accord only has a tape player so this adapter is such a gem that I’m ordering another just in case. The sound quality while talking on the phone is fairly good and the pandora music sounds great! We found it easy to use.”
Battery life: Not specified | Charge while playing: Yes | Antenna: Yes
Also great: A reliable cassette-to-aux adapter under $10
If you’re someone who’s into the idea of using a cassette adapter to play music but doesn’t mind a few wires, a cassette-to-aux adapter could be a better fit for you than a Bluetooth one. I personally used a cassette-to-aux adapter in my car for years and found it to be incredibly reliable. This specific one even has a 4-star overall rating after a staggering 17,000 ratings and counting. To use, all you need to do is insert it into the cassette player, plug it onto your phone (or a headphone adapter dongle for your phone if needed) and start playing.
One reviewer wrote: “Was very sad that my car only took cassettes but this basically saved it, works very well and surprisingly easy to use.”
Another great option for cars: A 12V Bluetooth car adapter & USB charger
Another option for playing music wirelessly in your car is a 12V port Bluetooth adapter. They plug directly onto your car’s cigarette lighter and connect your phone to Bluetooth utilizing your car’s radio. I’ve also used a 12V adapter like this one, and while connecting your phone to one can be a little tricky when driving very long distances where radio frequencies might change, they can work really well in a smaller radius around town. It also doubles as a phone charger and has two USB ports, and it’s able to take calls with a built-in mic.
One reviewer wrote: “I absolutely LOVE ours! Our Acadia didn’t have a smart speaker or bluetooth capability, so this has been a lifesaver. No one wants to listen to ALL the adds on the radio. So I love that we can connect this and put on our preferred music, or podcasts!”
About the recommender
Rachel Dunkel is a commerce writer whose work regularly appears on sites including Bustle, Elite Daily, Mic, and The Zoe Report. She has four years of experience in sourcing, testing, and recommending products in a wide range of categories, including tech and travel products.