We are going to tell you about a time that those under 20 cannot know. A time when to listen to music you had to sit at home, go to a concert or the record store or even carry around an imposing boombox, the ghetto-blaster, on your shoulder!

But that was before the Sony Walkman revolution in 1979!
This little gem, inaugurated on July 1 in Japan, will then sweep across the world and definitively change the way we listen to music.

But a Walkman; what is it actually?

It is nothing more and nothing less than a small designer box for playing cassettes and operating with two batteries on the back of the object. On, off, back buttons, a headset with 2 earpieces (wired of course ) and above all two headphone jacks A and B, one for her, one for him, allowing you to listen to music together!

The history of the Walkman is all the more fascinating because it was not planned!


Engineer Kuroki Yasuo led the R&D team, later earning him the nickname "Mister Walkman". In a book entitled “Planning, Walkman Style” ( Walkman-ryû kikaku jutsu ), he recounts the following. “Initially, there was no clearly formulated plan to create and put on sale a 'Walkman'.


The 1979 Walkman was apparently based on the Pressman, a small portable cassette recorder that Sony, as its name suggests, intended for journalists.
Ibuka Masaru, then honorary president of Sony, reportedly asked that the Pressman be transformed so that he could listen to music on planes, during his business trips... The Walkman was born !


The Walkman surge across the world!


Sales of the Walkman, although inconclusive in July 1979 at the time of launch, quickly took off. Thus the 30,000 copies manufactured at the start quickly found buyers.
Seven months later, 140,000 units have already been sold and this only announces the start of a real social phenomenon.


The Sony WM-2, second generation of the Walkman, will surely remain the most emblematic product of this era. It will take less than nine months for the Japanese firm to sell 1 million copies around the world! The popularity of the cassette player very quickly went beyond just youth and became the trendy object par excellence!

Sony, owner of the Walkman trademark, remains the symbol of portable cassette players. And although the competition has entered the game, Sony will always stay one step ahead as the inventor of the device but also thanks to the prestige of the brand among young people in particular.


Walkman recorder, then autoreverse, the Japanese firm was able to add functionalities over time and despite the arrival of the Discman introduced in 1984, the Walkman was able to hold on, reaching in 1993 the symbolic bar of 100 million units sold in worldwide !

Nostalgia when you hold us !

In recent years, we have seen a resurgence of interest in audio cassettes just like vinyl records!

In Tokyo there are still several specialized stores and you can still purchase a working Walkman WM-2 on websites such as Mercari or Yahoo Auctions. These players are very often the result of assembling several devices, demonstrating the involvement of some in maintaining the myth.

However, and unlike the revival of vinyl turntables, there is nothing to confirm, for the moment, that the cassette player will be revived or whether it will simply remain a cult object of our historical heritage.

If you have kept yours, there is no doubt that after reading this article, you will want to play one of your old hip hop or soul cassettes again! ;-) Enjoy! And think about batteries