Top 5 things that used to suck about old Walkmans

Walkmans were “cool” when they were new, but according to todays standards they just suck piles. Here is a compiled list of the suckiest features.


1. The batteries

Most walkmen used to use 2xAA batteries like these below. These batteries were expensive and didn’t last  long. Because of limited battery life you had to be careful how loud you turned it, and how many times you used the fast forward button.

2. The headphones

Almost all walkmen at the time came with an old style headphone, these were god damn aweful, and the sound was inferior. Hisssssssssssssssssss.

3. Cassette tapes

The outer part of a cassette tape was made out of strong plastic, but the music was stored on a magnetic reel. The tape often got streched or just broke. The walkman may have been designed for outside use, but it needed to be protected against the elements. Direct sunlight could cause the cassette tape to melt. You could easily forget a tape in the car, and all it took was 30 minutes to fry it. Tapes could be copied, but the overall quality got worse with each copy.

4. No rewind

Most Walkman only had 3 buttons. Play, Stop and Fast Forward. They didn’t magically stop at the next track either. Fast forwarding on one side was essentially the same as rewinding the other. All this took time and battery power.

5. The heads got dirty

The read heads got dirty, and that meant you needed to clean them. The best way was to use cotton buds and an alcohol solvent. The heads also misalligned, meaning you needed a tiny screw driver and some luck to get them back in place.

As crappy as what they were, they do represent a more carefree day, in the time before cell phones.

8 thoughts on “Top 5 things that used to suck about old Walkmans

  1. Walkmans were tops in the 80s. Tech was basic in them, now we have CDs that are going out for solid-state memories with NO moving parts. What the next 20 years bring Im sure will be great.

  2. I had one of the early Walkman II devices in 1980-81. It was the little silver deck that actually had metal parts. The audio quality was not bad at all. All the Walkman models that followed it were not nearly as good.
    I remember I couldn’t wait to buy it since at the time it was “The Thing” to have and ever so popular at least to those in the know during those days.

  3. Hi! walkmans were very popular devices in 90′ in my country but china bombarded us with all kind of bullshit brands like Internation, Panashiva, SQNY and others… I have first brand tipe on Panasonic RQV64 i thing, great quality used it for 2-3 years without a problem, not like chine’s craps which usually lasted around 5-6 months at best.

  4. Well one thing that was great about them was that it was a personal mobile device unlike previous options that were tied to your automobile or home: you could go outside and listen to your music, or play it while working, so while newer technology has moved us forward, it was great in getting the masses outside and active 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s