Listen up, gals. Sony just announced they’re releasing a new Walkman: the Sony ZX2. Audiophiles are fully geeking out about it all over the Internet because it apparently has amazing sound, plus it looks pretty chic. It plays super high-quality wav, aiff, flac, dsd, and every other file type you have or haven’t heard of, it connects to speakers or headsets in one touch, and you’ll be able to buy your own soon for the user-friendly cost of $1,119.99! Sigh. Seems like this will be the toy for those of us with money to burn.
The last time I bought a Sony Walkman it cost a week’s worth of allowance, was “Car-Ready”, had a cool hologram sticker on it and played both “CD-Rs AND CD-RWs.” It may have skipped more than a little kid in the park on a sunny day but it worked. Still does!
If you need some visual evidence, here’s a picture of me with my Discman approximately five months ago (according to Instagram):
So later this year when other people are bragging about their brand NEW Sony Walkman, maybe you should be rocking out on a vintage classic. There is a whole history of Walkman (Walkmen?) you can be adding into your daily routine.
Like this awesome looking pink gem which boasts a whole FIVE HOURS of battery life on two AAs.
Or this badass original model from 1979:
Or this chic, slimmer, more sophisticated model.
The ’90s wouldn’t have been the same without a yellow Walkman. EVERYONE needs a classic Sony Sports radio, featuring “Action Grip,” “Mega Bass,” and the new “Step-up feature” of “40 station preset memory!”
Do you remember mini-disc players? No? Well that’s ’cause they were in only from about 1994-1996. I didn’t care. They played MINIATURE CDs. It was adorable. I was ready to invest my entire piggy bank in that stock.
How about this bad boy? It has a super big speaker . . . which is exactly what you need for a “personal player.” (It’s basically a pocket boom box.)
If you want something a bit more recent but still not at all focused on high-quality sound, go for 2007’s Swarovski Rhinestone jewel-encrusted Sony-Abiste Walkman:
This crazy looking guy has a “comfortable volume switch”, a “megabass groove circuit”, “sound fluctuation Gadomeka” . . . which I’m sure is a thing and, most importantly an “A side/ B side announcement function” ’cause when that cassette flips over, you need to be prepared.
Maybe Sony’s new super fancy expensive Walkman isn’t a thing to sneeze at though. When Sony first developed “personal tape players” (1978’s TC-D5) they cost around $1,000 too. THOSE seemed like ridiculous machines but the technology lead to smaller, more practical, more affordable ways for generations of people enjoy music.
The new Sony ZX2 and its emphasis on high-quality sound could be pushing us in a good direction again. Neil Young, yes the Neil Young has already created (and crowd-funded) a competing player, called “Pono” that retails at only $399 and is encouraging record labels to remaster their catalogs for the benefit of a fuller listening experience.
This could be our first serious wave of improved sound quality across the boards. It could push artists and engineers and labels to step back from the DIY garage feel and really focus in on musical nuance and detail. It could provide us with an even more involved, personal way to experience music . . . at the very least it’s a reason to take out all our old Walkmans and give them a spin.