Walkman returns for a new revolution

Sony 3-in-1 Walkman NWZ-WH505

When the Sony Walkman came out many years ago, it was a big hit. Consumers lapped up the idea of a portable music-cassette player that they could lug around everywhere.

Mr Akio Morita, Sony's founder, and his Walkman became household names. Fast-forward a few decades and the latest 2013 Walkman looks likely to set off a new revolution.

The Sony NWZ-WH505 combines an MP3 player, headset and speakers in one package. As far I know, this is the only such product in the market.

One can see the wisdom behind this Walkman. Most tiny MP3 players need to be attached to a headset or speaker for sound to be reproduced. With the NWZ-WH505's three-in-one functions, all the essential ingredients of a portable sound machine come together, which makes things much simpler for users.

Loading music files is via a PC or laptop. Sound quality is very decent and when switched to speaker mode, the headset, slung around the neck, produces very audible sounds.

One further refinement may be required though - the current headset is one of those bulky over-the-ear types which might not be suitable for exercise use. Better if it can be downsized to on-the-ear dimensions, to improve portability.

On a full charge, this Walkman can function for up to 20 hours and 16GB of memory is enough to hold 4,000 songs. It also comes in a 4GB version which can store up to 1,000 songs.

And for those who seek to access music on their smartphones or tablets, the NWZ can be plugged in and used as a normal headset.

How much: $249 (WH505), $129 (WH303)

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