Top critical review
Recommended if you like a challenge
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 September 2016
(Disclaimer: this information refers to the machine that I received, and, judging by other reviews, you may suffer some, none, or all of the problems that I describe - or you may have others of your own. For the money I paid, I am prepared to put up with the idiosyncracies of this device as it allows me to listen to the majority of my old cassettes, many of which can't be replaced in other formats and most or all of which are living on borrowed time.)
Review starts here: If I'd wanted to use this device as a portable tape player I'd have been stuck, as it refuses to work on battery power. Fortunately my main purpose for buying it was to play back cassettes through my main hi-fi system, and since it has a USB connection I can use my mobile phone's USB charger to power it. Output is a bit low - in fact I have to turn the volume on my amplifier up so far that I run the risk of either being deafened or annoying my neighbours (or both) if I forget to turn it back down before playing CDs, LPs or radio. Sound quality is on the good side of acceptable, though a bit coarser than ideal, but using auto-reverse is not recommended since the sound quality is significantly poorer in one direction compared to the other. (N.B.: Having disabled auto-reverse, I now have to press Play twice, as the device tries to reverse after the first press and, finding it can't, engages auto-stop instead.) Ferric oxide tapes tend to clog the head rather quickly, so unless you have a decent head cleaner it's probably best to stick to CrO2 or metal tapes. The conversion software supplied (Audacity) works, but you may need to experiment with the settings (for instance, the instructions say to select "Play other tracks while recording new one" and "Software Play through (Play new track while Recording it)" in Preferences, but I could only get a recording by leaving those options unchecked. This may depend on which version of Windows you are running). Also note that there are minor differences between the printed manual and the one on the driver CD. Good luck!