Sony Discman

The Sony Discman was a portable CD player that took over from where the Walkman left off. Released to the masses in November 1984, it took the world by storm but I remember that there wasn’t a huge range of CDs to pick from – if you were a David Bowie fan then you were in luck! All of his were available, and not much else was/

Live TV demonstrated the unit to show how even scratched discs could still play and being digital, the quality of the sound would never diminish – something laughable today but at the time it was a big selling point.

Even though it was sold as portable, the D50 (which was the first model) required the purchase of a battery pack that attached to the back of the unit which added to the sized and weight. If you didn’t use the battery pack, power was supplied by a conventional plug pack transformer.

The original discman did not like getting knocked or bumped. It was a bit sensitive and it wasn’t the type of thing you could go running with.

I still have my original D50 and after all the years it works flawlessly. Typical Sony quality! Below is a pic of my discman:

Sony D50
I’m not sure how many different models of the discman were released, but a few years later the D121 was release. This was a much slimmer unit with additional playing functions and bass boost. Going down the ‘real’ portability path, the D121 ran on a couple of AA batteries with medium to good playing time. It also had technology in it to handle bumps and did it quite well. I found the CD rarely stopped/jumped if I knocked the unit.

I also still have my D121 and shown below is a photo of it. Again, still working as good as the day I bought it.

Sony D121
It is no coincidence that I post about the Discman this week. Sony has announced that Walkman will be officially retired. The last Walkmans were shipped out of Japan in April and once that batch sells out, that’s it.

Even though the Walkman was originally released in the late 70s, it was the 80s that they became popular – for many years even after the Discman was released.

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