REVIEW: Honestech Audio Recorder 3.0 Plus with USB Cassette Player

By ECM PLUS REVIEWS LAB

ECM Plus +++ With just a few clicks convert your analogue audio content into digital with the Honestech Audio Recorder 3.0 Plus.

Convert all of your music, including cassettes, LPs and 8-track tapes, into MP3s, WAV files, audio CDs and MP3 CDs, and listen to them on your portable music players, preserving and backing up your audio.

Audio Recorder 3.0 Plus’s main input EQ view window

The Honestech Audio Recorder 3.0 Plus allows you to record and convert cassettes and LPs with one click as step-by-step pictorial instructions assist you through the process.

As well as this, it is simple to split audio and LP’s into multiple tracks, meaning that your analogue music does not have to be all one file, making for smaller files and easier track changing.

Audio Recorder 3.0 Plus edit window

The Honestech Audio Recorder 3.0 Plus offers excellent options when it comes to converting your old music, with an easy-to-use interface, split audio and superb convenience.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX

The Honestech Audio Recorder 3.0 with Audio Cassette Player looks tantamount to a technological anachronism on first viewing.

A shiny silver walkman-sized portable cassette player chasssis resplendent with an mod hi-tech mini-USB socket hides the real import of such a time-warp device and its concomitant software application, Audio Recorder 3.0 Plus.

The package contains the player, a USB cable and an RCA stereo phono to 1/8″ minijack lead to connect line level output from other devices into the computer via the audio cassette player’s line in socket.

The device appears as a standard USB audio device under Windows and is detected immediately upon being connected to a USB port. The device is bus powered so no other power supply or DC adapter is needed to power up the motor that drives the audio playback mechanism.

Audio Recorder 3.0 VU level meters

Once that is done, it is a simple question of opening the software app and choosing the device from the drop down list of installed audio devices and choosing the cassette player’s USB option.

Then all one has to do is start the player and press the record button inside the software app and adjust the input gain level on both the device and the software’s slider control. Then the GUI version of a graphic equaliser shows the signal level coming into the computer.

The files is saved as a standard PCM wav file or can be saved as a compressed mp3 file as required.

Interestingly, a sample rate of both 44.1kHz and 48kHz at 16 bits is possible, the equivalent of DAT, and further downsampling for CD burning as required later.

Whilst there are other vendors active in the same space with analogue to digital audio apps, such as Magix, Ion and others, the inclusion of the analogue cassette player is this product’s USB and certainly saves the hassle of getting out the dusty Nakamichi Dragon and cobbling up a connection via some DAC and/or RIAA phono preamp and the trusty old Linn Sondel LP12 behemoth!

CONCLUSION

The Honestech Audio Recorder 3.0 will be a boon to the legions of people who still own stacks and stacks of precious old tapes, as well as old vinyl, that they want to preserve before the oxide coatings on their tapes disintegrate or the scratches on vinyl render them unplayable.

In all, a worthy addition to the arsenal of audio tools, especially given the number of boxes of analogue tapes that are doubtless clogging up loft hatches the world over.

ECM Plus VERDICT: 4/5 – ‘RECOMMENDED’


Related links:

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Filed under Content Creation, Content Management, Digital asset management, Digital Media Management (DMM), Digitization, Hardware Reviews, Media asset management, Media Content, Reviews, Software Reviews

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