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Sound Burger portable record player returns from the ’80s with Bluetooth, USB-C




Sound Burger 2022 from Audio-Technica.
Enlarge / Sound Burger 2022 from Audio-Technica.

Vinyl is far from dead. Just ask your most nostalgic audiophile friend, your old-school uncle, or even Taylor Swift. And for those who prefer their vinyl with modern conveniences, there’s the revival of the Sound Burger, Audio-Technica’s portable record player.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America’s 2022 Mid-Year Report (PDF), vinyl continues a trend that began in 2020, when vinyl revenues exceeded CD revenues – a situation we haven’t seen. since 1986, according to the RIAA. [PDF]. The RIAA reported that vinyl revenue rose 22% in the first half of this year to $570 million, overtaking CDs ($200 million) and accounting for the largest share of physical music revenue.

Japanese audio brand Audio-Technica has apparently taken notice of this trend and decided to re-release its Sound Burger portable record player. The product is one of many the company is releasing to celebrate its 60th anniversary. Based on a plate on the player’s side, the company only produces 7,000 units.

Audio-Technica says shipments of its limited-edition niche record player will begin arriving November 26.
Enlarge / Audio-Technica says shipments of its limited-edition niche record player will begin arriving November 26.

Launched in 1980, the original Sound Burger AT727 offered people a way to listen to their 33-1/3 and 45 vinyl records away from home. There were a few caveats, however; the drives were wedged precariously out of the unit and, as noted by SlashGear, the player had to sit on a flat surface during operation.

The original Sound Burger.
Enlarge / The original Sound Burger.

The new Sound Burger AT-SB2022 looks a lot like the old one, but Audio-Technica has added support for Bluetooth 5.2, so you can listen to your vinyl through wireless headphones. There’s also a 3.5mm jack this time around instead of stereo RCA outputs, but Audio-Technica also includes a dual RCA adaptor.

Plus, there’s no need for bulky batteries anymore, as the updated portable record player charges via USB-C. Audio-Technica claims the disc will play for about 12 hours before requiring a charge, which it says will take about 12 hours.

As noted by Digital Trends, the original Sound Burger, also known as Mister Disc in some geographies, required user maintenance to ensure recordings continued to run at the correct speed. . But Audio-Technica’s 2022 turntable has a DC servo motor driving its belt drive system for “stable rotation,” says the turntable’s product page.

“Designed for both portability and stability, the tonearm utilizes a dynamic balance system in which stylus pressure is applied via a spring,” the page says. Audio-Technica claims its ATN3600L stylus works with the new record player.

The stylus is user replaceable.
Enlarge / The stylus is user replaceable.

Other Sound Burger specs include 50dB output and 20-20,000Hz transmit band.

The Sound Burger 2022 is a niche product for enthusiasts who want to embrace their passion for vinyl on the go. The original product has retained a certain cult following, with YouTubers and others still touting the unique premise and surprisingly impressive sound quality.

The record player weighs 2 pounds and measures 11 × 3.9 × 2.8 inches.
Enlarge / The record player weighs 2 pounds and measures 11 × 3.9 × 2.8 inches.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see the 2022 Sound Burger end up on sites like eBay after supplies run out. You can currently find 1980s Sound Burgers reselling between $400 and $550.

Audio-Technica sells the Sound Burger 2022 for $200.