It was 40 years ago–July 1, 1979–that Sony transformed personal music listening with the release of the first iteration of the Walkman. Known as the TPS-L2, it was (relatively) small, lightweight, and came with a set of very good-sounding headphones that were miles better than anything else that size.
The Walkman became a sensation, driving the sales of pre-recorded cassettes (which were briefly for a time in the 80s outsold every other format) and turning us all into headphone-wearing zombies.
With the old machines, the door had a window so you could see how much time was left on the cassette. It was an inexact measure, but you could judge the time remaining by glancing at the amount of tape remained on the left spool.
This new edition doesn’t play cassettes, of course–Sony stopped making those machines about a decade ago–but this digital player does have a very cool retro trick that will remind you of how things used to be. Watch.
The new unit goes on sale in November.