Who Invented the Sony Walkman?

Who Invented the Sony Walkman?

Walkman is the brand name of a portable audio cassette player manufactured by Sony. The introduction of the original version of the product altered the habits of consumers when it comes to music listening. Some of the products released by the company with the brand name are the Video Walkman, the Walkman MP3 player as well as the Network Walkman. From its development up to March 2007, the trademark remained popular to music lovers. To know more about the product, it is best to begin with identifying the person behind the development of the Sony Walkman.

History of the Trademark

Who invented the Sony Walkman? According to reports, the first walkman was developed and designed by Nobutoshi Kihara, an audio division engineer at Sony, in 1978. The product was created for the personal use of the company’s co-chairman Akio Morita. The executive requested Kihara to develop a portable music player that he can use to listen to classical songs during his trips. Because of the efficiency and high quality performance of the product, Sony decided to introduce the music player to the public. The first batch of Sony Walkman was released in Japan in 1979.

Additional Information and Other Important Details

The first version of the music device is known as the Walkman TPS-L2. The appearance of the device is very simple with the silver and blue theme. When the device was introduced in Great Britain, it came with various accessories such as mini headphone jacks and stereo playback. The product became popular because it allowed two individuals to listen to music at the same time. Aside from this, another special feature of the product is that it can be used to record conversations because it has a built-in microphone. However, this feature was phased out in the second version of the music player.

The competition among electronic devices companies heightened in the 1980s, which caused Sony to introduce a new version of the product. The WM-DD9 was introduced to the commercial market in 1989. The device has a disc drive system and it used a quartz-locked mechanism. In the 1990s, the portable cassette players produced by the company were limited because of the development of digital technologies such as MiniDisc and DAT. In 2005, Sony released a special music player bearing the brand name. The product was named Network Walkman HD1. One of the advantages of the product over other portable music players available at this time is that the item uses a hard disk to operate.

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5 Responses to “Who Invented the Sony Walkman?”

  1. Davidson says:


    Thanks for the post anyway , i’m having Sony Walkman (HD1 + HD2 + HD3 + HD5) beside those old cassette , MDs as well .

    Excuse me beeing too honest , its true the HD5 has the most upgrades and technologies , its always the last one i chose to carry , although still outperforms these new E,A,S..etc series.

    I’m crazy with sony products , specially walkmans , BUT …

    Nothing nowadays as special as those (made in japan) .

    For me , sony has stopped its production line in (MARCH 2007) , that date i’ll never forget!

  2. Davidson says:

    Again , i’m not gonna mess things , i know less about what was been put into old japanese generations , but i trust my (Ears of a fox) which always listen to what is most listenable.

    Good luck

  3. Sir M.C says:

    same feeling dave as i never seen someone sharing me it

    its also why i stopped looking for them anymore, hope your voice reaches further and makes a sense.

  4. mypogo66 says:

    I have to give credit where credit is due, but a german-brazilian actually invented the first true portable stereo cassette player. Mr.Pavel. But because his patents were denied, Sony beat him to the punch. On another note, I actually had a large portable am/fm radio with a built-in cassette player(Panasonic) that I would carry around with some Koss stereo headphones when i was fifteen, around 1975. The idea came into being when I would take public tansportation crosstown to visit my friends. The bus operators were always hassling me about playing my music too loud. So I decided to do something about it. I walked into the local Radio Shack store downtown and asked the counter guy if I could use some stereo headphones with my Panasonic radio. He informed that I could but that the sound would be in mono, since all radios at the time had a mono earphone jack. I told him it didn’t matter so long as I could listen to my music without having the bus operators bothering me. He sold me a set of $40.00 Koss headphones with an adapter to plug the 1/4 in headphone jack to my radios’ 3/8 in plug. I walked out the door smiling like the chesire cat. I was finally able to turn up the volume as loud as I wanted in the bus without bothering anyone. After that, I never left home without it. I was a constant sight in downtown San Antonio, Texas. People were always asking me where they could buy one, because up until that time, no one had ever seen a setup like that before. Sure, you had the other type of portable cassette players, the ones with the piano keys and one speaker, or the traditional eight-track player, but nothing like I had invented. Of course I didn’t have the foresight to invent something smaller, but when you’re fifteen, all that matters is being rebellious. Anyway, Sony came out with the Walkman(TM) four years later, and the rest is history. I purchased one because carrying around my Panasonic started to get kind of heavy after awhile. I wish i would have kept it for nostalgia purposes, but I gave it away when I joined the Army in 1978. I did manage to find some pictures of my old radio recently on the web along with some pictures of the Koss headphones that I used. Although I will never get any credit or royalties and fame, I decided to share this story just to let anyone who reads this know that I like to think that I played a small part in this invention.

  5. Pros Ferdi says:

    As far as I know, the first walkman was developed by Philips and the prototype was shown at a Berlin high tech fair. The prototype “disappeared” at the fair and some time later Sony threw it on the market with all necessary and unnecessary wholes in it…. Exactly like the prototype from Philips. Aseans don’t invent… They copy and steal.