Audio Cassette Adaptor – A Middle of the Road Sound Quality Option for Your Plug-and-Play Receiver

The audio cassette adaptor is a familiar item found in the vehicle accessory kit of most plug-and-play Satellite radio receivers. The cassette adaptor is used to play your plug-and-play receiver through most vehicle stereos that have a built-in cassette player. In most cases, you can also use the adaptor to play other digital audio devices such as iPods, CD and MD players.

n electro-magnetic interface, or magnetic head, sends the same signals that would normally come from a moving cassette tape. When the adaptor is inserted into a cassette player it fools it into thinking that it’s reading a tape. An external 3.5mm stereo mini-jack lead connects the adaptor to the plug-and-play receiver.

The plug-and-play receiver sends its audio output signal from the headphone jack to the cassette adaptor, which relays the signal directly through the cassette player’s magnetic playback head. This allows for very little distortion, although the sound quality is limited mainly by the quality of your cassette player, older or cheaper cassette players are prone to more or higher mechanical noise levels.

Some cassette players do not like these adaptors because, like static tape cleaners, the drive transport sensors can detect a lack of resistance, which indicates that the tape has broken. Some adaptors do not align correctly with the tape head. Both factors can be blamed for a number of faults that can often be annoying: low volume (causing you turn the volume up high on your stereo), no bass and strange behaviour such as switching to reverse or ejecting the adaptor etc. To combat these problems, most adaptors have a spring-loaded head or a tension control function, both of which allow the head to automatically adjust itself to the cassette player’s head in your vehicle. These mechanisms ensure optimum head contact and prevent sound quality loss.

Other features on more expensive adaptors include; a silent mechanism, which yields less operational noise and coiled leads, which keep clutter or interference down to a minimum.

Most plug-and-play receivers nowadays come with a built-in FM transmitter. These