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Waterproof Cassette Players: Sony Walkman, Panasonic Shockwave

Updated on October 11, 2012

Waterproof Cassette Players

In the heyday of cassettes, Sony and Panasonic manufactured water resistant portable tape players. These were marketed toward the outdoorsy types, and they were advertised as being able to play tapes even in the rain, while skiing, mountain climbing, and for sports. They were built to resist shock too.

Sony's tape player was called the Sony Walkman Sports and Panasonic's was called the Shockwave. I'm sure there were other brands of water resistant portable tape players, but those are the two I'm familiar with.

Note that they are described as water resistant, not waterproof. I think this is because if they are dropped into water, they are not guaranteed to survive, particular in deep water. However, they are sufficient for activities like jogging in the rain.

If you're looking to buy one, you'll probably find some links on this page... Along with a bit of a history! These are now vintage and sought after for not only their functionality but their vintage look.

The First Sony Sports Walkman (1984) - "You no longer have to choose between your love of music and your love of water." - Sony

1984 Advertisement for the First Sony Sports Walkman
1984 Advertisement for the First Sony Sports Walkman

This 1984 advertisement for the Sony Sports Walkman describes it as the first water-resistant portable stereo. It has special seals around all of the buttons, dials, and jacks, to prevent water from entering. It also has a disc-drive system to prevents wow and flutter even when its bumped.

The first Sony Sports walkman had FM only, while later ones had AM and FM.

Advertisement Source: Black Enterprise Magazine, May 1984 via Google Books

What brings you here? - If you'd like to tell me a little about you....

Do you still listen to cassettes today?

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Later Models of Sony Sports Walkman had both AM/FM - Here's an article from a July 1988 magazine

Sony Sports Walkman FM/AM (1988)
Sony Sports Walkman FM/AM (1988)

1995 Advertisement for the Panasonic ShockWave - A Personal Stereo for Extremes

1995 Advertisement for the Panasonic ShockWave
1995 Advertisement for the Panasonic ShockWave

This ad says that this cassette player is designed to keep moisture out and cassettes in. It says that one Shockwave model has VMSS circuitry to produce stronger, more powerful bass.

Here's a Creative Idea: - Make an iPod Case out of a Sony Sports Walkman

Sony Retropod
Sony Retropod

You can learn more about this product here: Retropod Sony's law firm shut them down, so you can't buy one.

Waterpoof & Solar Powered?

Check out the Sony Walkman WM-F107

I also welcome any other comments you have! Thanks for stopping by :)

I personally like the bright yellow... When all electronics are black, they tend to get lost easier!

Do you like the bright yellow color of these players? - Or would you rather own a silver, black, or blue one?

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have a 1995 Shockwave that's camouflage in color instead of bright yellow. Is it a model that wasn't sold in the states?