This portable CD player works with your wireless headphones for old school cool

portable cd player
(Image credit: NINM Labs)

Dust off your Spice Girls CDs, wake up your long-slumbering Tamagotchi, and dig out your old flannel shirts – the 1990s is back, as the humble portable CD player is given a modern twist by NINM Labs in its latest Kickstarter project.

Its Sony Discman-style player – dubbed the Long Time No See – comes with all the hardware you'd expect from a CD player, with the addition of Bluetooth 5 connectivity, which means you can listen to your old discs using your wireless headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.

The CD player also comes with a 3.5mm audio port if you prefer a more authentic 90s experience with wired headphones – and cleverly, the lid doubles up as a speaker if you want to listen with friends and don't have a portable speaker to hand.

Power comes courtesy of two AA batteries – alternatively, you can charge it up using the micro-USB C port, and this will get you six to eight hours of battery life when using Bluetooth, according to NINM Labs.

Long time no see

The Long Time No See looks a little different to the Sony Discman you may be familiar with. NINM Labs says that the design was inspired by "the typical square CD case", with a translucent plastic shells that "allows users to vaguely see the internal structure of the device". 

It certainly doesn't look sleek enough to slip into your pocket – but it seems that the point of the Long Time No See is to be seen, and to show off the artwork on your CDs. 

Whether there's much demand for portable CD players in 2020 remains to be seen: after all, why would you limit yourself to one album at a time when your smartphone can access millions of tracks instantly via streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, and Amazon Music

Still, there's a cool sense of tangibility in handling CDs, opening the case, and looking at the album artwork that's arguably been lost since digital music downloads began to dominate the market in the early 2000s.

If you love the idea of reviving your old CDs, you can preorder the Long Time No See via its Kickstarter page for $90 (about £70 / AU$120) – NINM Labs says that it's hoping to ship the first models in December, though we'd take that date with a pinch of salt. 

As the company itself says: "we are confident in the production schedule, but the biggest uncertainty is the effect of COVID-19 on logistics". That means you could be waiting a little longer for the portable CD player – but what's a few extra weeks when your CDs having been waiting for two decades to be played once more?

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.