I am a sucker for new tech that looks old. I know, I know, I’m that type of person who likes stuff that looks retro or classic, but does not want to deal with the hassle that is associated with actual old stuff. But, is that really so wrong? I don’t think so. And that’s why I think it’s perfectly acceptable for people to fall in love with this new product from NINM Lab, which is a Bluetooth-enabled cassette player.
It was almost as if the person who designed this product had a photo of me on their table, looked at it and was like, “let’s take this guy’s lunch money”. The only issue I have with it is its name: It’s called the It’s OK. No, really, that’s the name. It’s OK.
But, I guess that’s OK because they’ve absolutely nailed the aesthetic of what a modern cassette player should look like. It even uses two AA batteries for power!
I mean, just look at it. It’s OK is all clean lines in a sleek shell that’s immediately recognisable as a cassette player, but also plainly obvious isn’t some ancient device. There’s clear cover on the front so you get a full view of the cassette tape that will be playing inside. Perhaps my only complaint with the device’s aesthetic is that the buttons look a little too slim for my taste. I prefer nice chunky buttons, but the good news is that all the necessary controls are there: Play, pause, stop, forward and rewind.
One other interesting thing that this device can do is record audio through the built-in microphone at the touch of the bright orange record button.
This means that not only will you be able to listen to cassettes, but you can also make your own like Baby does. But, if the video demo is any indication, it doesn’t look like the audio quality is particularly great.
Of course, one of the main “modern” points about this cassette player is the fact that it has Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. But, unlike many flagship smartphones these days, the It’s OK cassette player also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack that you can stick your favourite pair of analogue headphones into.
That said, the main thing It’s OK is trying to sell here is the nostalgia factor. Just read their Kickstarter entry and you can see just how much they’re romanticising this idea. And, to be honest, there’s really nothing wrong with that. I’m completely smitten because of how much it reminds me of my time with cassettes. However, I could just be remembering things through rose-tinted glasses because there’s a reason my cassette player sat on the top of my shelf for so long, untouched.
In any case, if you want to pick this up, you can order one through the company’s Kickstarter page. Naturally, Kickstarter projects often come with risks, but NINM Lab have successfully run a project before, so there is some reassurance that the know what they’re doing.
Unfortunately, if you were thinking of capitalising on the super early bird deals which will let you pick one up for USD63 (~RM260), because that’s all sold out. The second phase priced at USD75 (~RM310), however, is still available. You can pick from one of three colours (Cloud White, Sakura Pink, and Evening Blue) and each will come with one blank cassette tape (60mins).