Sony Walkman Celebrates its 45th Anniversary

Sony Walkman Celebrates its 45th Anniversary

Sony Walkman, the quintessential audio listening device of the 80s and early 90s has turned 45. The Walkman is one of the first portable cassette players to be invented. 

Walkmans were known for their sleek design and portability which set it apart from its predecessors. Light-weight headphones were also included along with the cassette player. The Walkman fit into pockets, it could be held with ease and even clipped onto jean lapels. 

The audio player was created by Masaru Ibuka who was the co-founder of Sony. Ibuka wanted a portable audio-listening device for his travels so he directed Sony’s engineers to make a lightweight audio player. Thus, this gave birth to the Sony Walkman that is known today. 

The first model of the Walkman was released in 1979 and it was called the TPS-L2, which later gave way to the actual end product of what the Walkman looked like. The Sony Walkman retailed for about $150 in 1979, rising to $650 post inflation. 

People used the portable player while they exercised, commuted to work or even when taking a brisk walk in the park. Aerobics was increasing in popularity during the 80s and early 90s which was coincidentally the time the Walkman was rising in popularity. People even used their Walkmans during their aerobics classes. 

Sony Walkman and Its Impact

The Sony Walkman is marked as an icon of the 80s and early 90s. It was one of the first ever devices to combine functionality with style. The Walkman gave rise to other audio listening devices such as the Discman, MP3 players and iPods.

In addition, Walkmans also hold its weight in pop culture. It is still referenced to this day in modern movies, television shows and so on.

There has been an attempt to expand as a music app but it is speculated that the app could not take off, thus shutting down, leaving no trace of its trails online. However, despite this, the Sony Walkman is still remembered fondly as a cultural and nostalgic landmark.

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Yibeni Tungoe
WRITTEN BY

Yibeni Tungoe

Journalism & Mass Communication student at North Eastern Hill University.

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