2019 is the 40th anniversary of the Sony Walkman, and while few would voluntarily return to the dark days of manually rewinding magnetic tape to find the right song, the old device can’t help but create pangs of nostalgia for a simpler time.
That’s the market that Sony is trying to tap into with its special edition 40th anniversary Walkman, unveiled yesterday at IFA. No, this isn’t a return to the bad old days of tape, but it does at least give you the option of looking like you are.
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The NW-A100TPS disguises its modern music player technology with all the trappings of 1979, with a case that looks like the original Walkman. When closed, and with the screensaver in place – a tape cassette playing, with a colour that changes depending on the file type – it’ll look just like you’re listening to music on the go the way people did 40 years ago.
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Inside, of course, it bears no resemblance to the tech that was powering things back in 1979. For starters, you won’t be needing to constantly shop for AA batteries, with the built-in cell lasting for up to 26 hours on a single charge. The screen that’ll be showing a tape spinning is a 3.6-inch number, and it contains 16GB of internal storage, with options to stream music over WiFi too. Unlike many of the flagship phones of today, it has a 3.5mm headphone jack, but it also supports Bluetooth if you want to mix and match your decades.
The 40th Anniversary Walkman will go on sale in Europe this November priced at £400, which feels a bit steep for a bit of nostalgia, but Sony has a non-retro version – the NW-A105 – which will sell for a more palatable £320.
Would you pay for a dedicated music player in 2019, or do you just use your phone? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.