Vinyl is far from dead. Just ask your most nostalgic audiophile friend, old-school uncle, or even Taylor Swift. And for those who prefer their vinyl with some modern-day comforts, there’s the revival of the Sound Burger, Audio-Technica’s portable record player.
According to the Recording Industry Association of America’s Mid-Year 2022 report (PDF), vinyl is continuing a trend initiated in 2020, when vinyl revenue surpassed CD revenue—a state of affairs we haven’t seen since 1986, according to the RIAA [PDF]. The RIAA reported that vinyl revenue grew 22 percent in the first half of this year to $570 million, outpacing CDs ($200 million) and representing physical music’s largest revenue share.
Japanese audio brand Audio-Technica has seemingly taken note of this trend and has decided to rerelease its Sound Burger portable record player. The product is one of several that the company is releasing to celebrate its 60th birthday. Based on a plate on the player’s side, the company is producing just 7,000 units.
Debuting in 1980, the original Sound Burger AT727 offered a way for people to listen to their 33-1/3 and 45 vinyl records outside of their homes. There were some caveats, though; records stuck precariously out of the unit and, as noted by SlashGear, the player needed to sit on a flat surface during operation.
The new Sound Burger AT-SB2022 looks much like the old one, but Audio-Technica added Bluetooth 5.2 support, so you can listen to your vinyl through wireless headphones. There’s also a 3.5 mm jack this time around instead of stereo RCA outputs, but Audio-Technica is also including a dual RCA adapter.
Additionally, there’s no longer a need for clunky batteries, as the refreshed portable record player charges over USB-C. Audio-Technica claims the record play will last for about 12 hours before needing a charge, which it says will take around 12 hours to complete.
As noted by Digital Trends, the original Sound Burger, also known as Mister Disc in some geographies, required user maintenance to make sure records continued spinning at the proper speed. But Audio-Technica’s 2022 record player has a DC servo motor driving its belt-drive system for “stable rotation,” the record player’s product page says.
“Designed for both portability and stability, the tonearm employs a dynamic balance system in which stylus pressure is applied through a spring,” the page says. Audio-Technica says its ATN3600L stylus works with the new record player.
Other specs for the Sound Burger include a 50 dB output and a 20–20,000 Hz transmission band.
The 2022 Sound Burger is a niche product for enthusiasts who want to embrace their vinyl passion on the go. The original product has maintained somewhat of a cult following, with YouTubers and the like still touting the unique premise and surprisingly impressive sound quality.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2022 Sound Burger ending up on sites like eBay after stock runs out. You can currently find 1980s Sound Burgers being resold in the $400–$550 range.
Audio-Technica is selling the 2022 Sound Burger for $200.
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