Back in December I got a Klout Perk for Sony’s new Walkman. My first reaction was, “Sony still makes Walkmans? They still make cassettes?” It turns out that yes, they do still make them and no, it’s not for my dusty Hanson cassettes (judge me if you’d like).
I only listen to music during solo road runs. I have the original iPod Touch that has seen better days. I’m convinced that my ears are shaped funny, because no earbuds fit comfortably without falling out a million times. I use SkullCandy earbuds at the moment because they are the least likely to fall out, but even those give me trouble every run. That being said, the hands-free wire-free Walkman definitely had me curious.
My Walkman is the 2GB W Series Meb Keflezighi edition. I’m a huge fan of Meb because of his connections to the Birmingham Track Club—I’m still distraught that I didn’t get to meet and run with him when he came to Birmingham around Thanksgiving. The headphones come pre-loaded with about 20 minutes of training tips from Meb that are fun to listen to and great for new runners.
Here’s a quick rundown of my pros and cons for the Walkman:
- It charges quickly 3 minutes of charge for 60 minutes of play, and a longer charge will obviously give you longer play time. I always forget to charge things, so a quick charge is a biggie for me
- Wireless! I abhor any type of wire—kitchen appliances, vacuums, headphones. I always manage to get tangled in them. The Walkman is a godsend
- Hands-free I always run with my phone in my hand, iPod in my SPIBelt, and Garmin on my wrist. I’m like a running technology center. It’s nice to have an MP3 player that you stick on your head and forget about
- Water-resistant I no longer have to risk frying my phone, iPod, or brain when running in the rain or the humid Alabama summer
- Easy to upload You can drag and drop music, podcasts, and entire playlists from iTunes, Windows Media Player, or Amazon’s Cloud Player onto the Walkman
- Seriously good sound quality I can hear Fun.’s Nate Ruess’ voice crystal clear. He may or may not be my latest crush
- Fumbling with buttons It takes some time to get used to the location of the buttons on the earbuds. Once you find them though and figure out their purposes, it’s not a big deal
- Shape This one is a not a reflection of Sony or the Walkman, but rather my stupidity. I’m bad spatially, so it’s a struggle for me every time to figure out how the Walkman sits on my head
The big test took place during this morning’s 9-mile run in warm temperatures. I was sweating a good amount, which usually means that my earbuds would fall out every fourth stride. I didn’t reach up to adjust my Walkman once during the run—seriously impressive.
I applaud Sony for realizing the potential of social media to reach their target market—young, athletic, influential people. They’re running another Klout Perk right now for their regular Walkman, and I am noticing the same reactions that I had. Reviewers are surprised that the Walkman is making a comeback, but are pleased that Sony has adapted it to the changing market. I think that in the running community, the Walkman will eventually give the iPod a run for its money.
So I decided to put my iPod out to pasture and stick with the Walkman for runs from here on out. Have you tried the Walkman? What are your thoughts on it?