The Portable Vinyl Player That Tried To Cash In On The Walkman Craze

In the 1980s, portable music became a mainstay following the release of Sony's Walkman. Being able to listen to music on the go, a game-changer then that we take for granted now, opened up an entirely new market. Scores of companies created products to try and cater to this craze, making for plenty of memorable gadgets. One of these was a portable music player created by Audio Technica, but with a (very impractical) twist. 

This device was a portable vinyl player, called the AT-727 Sound Burger. This device allowed vinyl enthusiasts to play their records wherever they went, however it required a flat surface to actually play the records, so you couldn't exactly walk and listen to music. It also required users to carry around the records they wanted to play, which, compared to cassette tapes, were certainly not really known for their portability. The Sound Burger, also called the "Mister Disc" in some markets, faced many issues that made it unsuitable for walking around with, however it was still an interesting concept with surprisingly good sound quality.

What was the Sound Burger?

The Sound Burger was battery-powered device which could play 45 and 33 1/3 RPM records, according to Vinyl Engine. It could be used on a flat surface and was driven by belts. However, due to its small design, it left vinyl records exposed while playing, which easily became a hazard for damage. To listen to the music, the Sound Burger had two headphone jacks as well as two line-out jacks to hook the player up to a stereo. 

Despite its obvious downsides at the time it was produced, the Sound Burger is now highly revered and sought after due to its sound quality and novelty, especially with the rise in popularity of vinyl. Because of this, decades after its release, the Sound Burger has gained something of a cult following. One of these working Audio Technica devices can be found for hundreds of dollars on eBay. The company Crosley Radio has also come up with a modern recreation of the iconic device, called the Revolution. A couple new features were added, such as a USB port and a FM transmitter. So if you want to get your hands on something similar to the Sound Burger but don't want to dole out a huge amount of cash, you can try one of those instead.