Yep! Look out Gen Z, despite the notorious poor audio quality, cassettes are hot. And there’s only one company in the US making them.

Rob Spiegel

August 8, 2022

1 Min Read
Image courtesy of Alamy

Some people blame it on nostalgia, others point to Gen Z’s curiosity, and even Stranger Things has become suspect, but cassette tapes are making a comeback. It’s perfectly understandable why vinyl perked interest a few years ago. The sound quality is an improvement over streaming. But cassettes?

The news is a boon to National Audio Company, the only company in the US that is currently making cassettes – or any form of magnetic tape. The company’s sprawling factory in Springfield, Mo will soon be the only place in the country that makes the tape that goes inside audiocassettes.

When large audio production houses and music labels stopped producing cassettes, National Audio began accumulating equipment to become a large duplicator of music recordings on tape. Now, some of the larger companies that got out of the audio tape duplication business are regular customers of National Audio Company.

Duplication machine.png

For years, the company purchased tape from magnetic tape manufacturers to make cassettes. Given a dying market, those companies quit producing tape. So a few years ago National Audio Company went into the business of producing the tape itself. Now, National Audio Company finds itself the only producer of magnetic in the US. Their only competitor is a French company.

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Along with the tapes themselves, the company imprints and labels the cassettes. They produce the printing for packaging, including Braille labels and mailing services. They also produce private label packaged cassettes for several major brands.

About the Author(s)

Rob Spiegel

Rob Spiegel serves as a senior editor for Design News. He started with Design News in 2002 as a freelancer and hired on full-time in 2011. He covers automation, manufacturing, 3D printing, robotics, AI, and more.

Prior to Design News, he worked as a senior editor for Electronic News and Ecommerce Business. He has contributed to a wide range of industrial technology publications, including Automation World, Supply Chain Management Review, and Logistics Management. He is the author of six books.

Before covering technology, Rob spent 10 years as publisher and owner of Chile Pepper Magazine, a national consumer food publication.

As well as writing for Design News, Rob also participates in IME shows, webinars, and ebooks.

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