function name of a cassette player

I have a Sony shoebox type cassette player which has an output for earphones. However the sound only comes out of the left earpiece on the headset. I also have a Sony Walkman cassette player (the old yellow Sportsman). The sound on this one comes out of both earpieces using the same headset. I want to buy a good, reliable shoebox type cassette player that will not eat my tapes so what function should I look for to play sound in both ears? Thanks.

Shoebox??? Something like [u]this[/u] or [u]this[/u]?

Portable recorders like [u]this[/u] (I’m shocked that they still make these!) were usually mono, so you might only get sound in one ear with normal “modern” stereo headphones. But, you should be getting the sound from both channels (mixed in to one). Portable stereo players became popular with the Walkman, but portable stereo recorders were never that popular.

I want to buy a good, reliable shoebox type cassette player that will not eat my tapes so what function should I look for to play sound in both ears? Thanks.

Since you are on the Audacity site… I assume you are going to digitize your tapes, or you’ve done that already? Once digitized, you can make a backup copy (or multiple copies), and since each digital copy is identical to the original, you don’t have to worry if one copy gets “eaten”. :wink:

thanks. The mono shoebox one is a “Radio Shack CTR-121”. I like it only because it has been gentle on tapes in the past and has never eaten one up. Yes, I want to digitize all the cassettes but if I use this mono shoebox I’m afraid that the end product will also be a mono. So I’m looking for a different player that will at least play the tapes one or two times without destruction. I’m new at this. In fact I’ve never converted before but I think I know how to do it from a previous post(s) on here. I don’t mind paying $50-100 for a cassette player if it’s a good one as I have a decent amount of cassettes to process.

The only cassette players that will do a decent job are the “cassette decks” included in HI-FI equipment. I personally bought a second-hand “Marantz Cassette Deck SD 415” for $30. It did a superb job of converting 200 cassettes. The digitized sound resulting from the transfer is even better than the original output from a cassette.

All you need is a good cassette deck with a line-out output (the amplifier is not needed), and a PC with a line-in input. Any other type of PC input won’t really do.


thanks and you got that unit for a great price. I looked up the ‘Marantz Cassette Deck SD 415’ on ebay and they were all priced in ‘AU’. I was hoping to find one priced in USD. How would you search on ebay to find a comparable unit? Maybe just put in ‘cassette deck’ and get an Amazon review on it? I never thought about getting a first class player before. Good idea.

Calling Rober2 or anyone else who can answer. When you say "a line-out output’ on the above post is that the same as a slot that says, “Phones”? As in this listing:

No, line-out are fixed level, i.e. not affected by the volume control. They are meant to be connected to an amplifier
and are eminently suited for the line input of a computer. They are generally much too hot for the microphone input.
They are on the back of the unit in your link - (PLAY)


Hi “earlgrey”,
The slot at the back of the equipment should be captioned “line-out”. This kind of slot is commonly found at the back of most cassette decks in HI-FI equipment. Any good PC (sound card or motherboard) also has a “line-in” slot (generally somewhere at the back).
The cassette deck does not have to be a Marantz. It can be any HI-FI cassette deck with a “line-out” slot.
Such cassette decks should not be hard to come by: no one wants to use cassette tapes any more. Most people are happy to get rid of their HI-FI equipment if they can get any amount of money for them. I got my cassette deck through an ad in a local paper. Be on the lookout for local ads. You might be luckier than on ebay. What’s more, if you buy locally, you can take a real hard look at the equipment before committing yourself. On ebay, you never know what you are buying until it’s a done deal.

This said, you’ll currently find reasonably-priced Marantz cassette decks on ebay for $19 to $60 at

Note that it does not have to be a double cassette deck player. A single cassette player is enough to digitize old tapes.

I don’t know anything about tape decks so I’m asking this question. Here is one that has a ‘line output’ on the back except it shows a ‘R’ and ‘L’ line out vs. a single line out. Would this work? Thanks

Yes, that should work fine.
Use a cable like this to connect to the computer’,s line input