Sediments undergoing compaction typically exhibit transversely isotropic (TI) elastic properties. We present a new experimental apparatus, the phased array compaction cell, for measuring the TI elastic properties of clay-rich sediments during compaction. This apparatus uses matched sets of P- and S-wave ultrasonic transducers located along the sides of the sample and an ultrasonic P-wave phased array source, together with a miniature P-wave receiver on the top and bottom ends of the sample. The phased array measurements are used to form plane P-waves that provide estimates of the phase velocities over a range of angles. From these measurements, the five TI elastic constants can be recovered as the sediment is compacted, without the need for sample unloading, recoring, or reorienting. This paper provides descriptions of the apparatus, the data processing, and an application demonstrating recovery of the evolving TI properties of a compacting marine sediment sample.