Vinyl is far from dead. Just ask your most nostalgic music friend, old school uncle, or even Taylor Swift. And for those who prefer their own vinyl with some modern conveniences, there’s the revival of Sound Burger, Audio-Technica’s portable record player.
According to a mid-2022 report from the Recording Industry Association of America (PDF), vinyl continues a trend that began in 2020, when vinyl revenue exceeded CD revenue — a situation not 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, surpassing CDs ($200 million) and representing the largest share of physical music revenue.
Japanese brand Audio-Technica seems to have noticed this trend and decided to re-release the portable record player Sound Burger. The product is one of several that the company is launching to celebrate its 60th birthday. Based on a board on the player’s side, the company produces only 7,000 units.
The original Sound Burger AT727 debuted in 1980, and provided a way for people to listen to 33-1/3 and 45 vinyl recordings outside their homes. However, there were some caveats; Records hung precariously outside the unit, and as SlashGear noted, the player had to sit on a flat surface during playback.
The new Sound Burger AT-SB2022 looks a lot like the old one, but Audio-Technica has added Bluetooth 5.2 support, so you can listen to your vinyl through wireless headphones. There’s also a 3.5mm jack this time around in place of the stereo RCA outputs, but Audio-Technica also includes a dual RCA adapter.
In addition, high-performance batteries are no longer needed, as the updated portable record player is charged via USB-C. Audio-Technica claims that playback of recordings will last for about 12 hours before it needs a charge, which it says will take about 12 hours to complete.
As noted by Digital Trends, the original Sound Burger, also known as Mister Disc in some geographies, requires user maintenance to make sure the records keep spinning at the proper speed. But Audio-Technica’s 2022 record player has a DC servo motor that drives the belt system for “stable rotation,” as the record player product page says.
Page says, “Designed for both portability and stability, the transmission shaft utilizes a dynamic balancing system in which pen pressure is applied through a spring.” Audio-Technica says its ATN3600L stylus works with the new CD player.
Other specifications of the Sound Burger include an output of 50 dB and a transmission range of 20 to 20,000 Hz.
Burger Sound 2022 is a specialty product for enthusiasts who want to embrace their passion for vinyl on the go. The original product to some extent has held on to followers, with YouTubers and the like still touting the unique premise and surprisingly impressive sound quality.
We wouldn’t be surprised to eventually see the 2022 Sound Burger on sites like eBay after we run out of stock. You can currently find 1980’s Sound Burgers reselling in the $400-$550 range.
Audio-Technica sells the 2022 Sound Burger for $200.