Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Transform An 80's Walkman Into A Nasty Sounding Boom Box

Unless your sport is chess, you're not going to hear the music.

Today's various music devices make it easy (sort of...) to share tunes electronically, but the best way to truly share is to play music so everyone can hear it. Which would you rather do; swap MP3's between cell phones & iPods in dejected silence, or crank up the tunes and dance with the pretty girls? We faced the same question in the 80's. Sure we could swap cassettes between our Walkmans (Walkmen?), but the party didn't really start til those tunes took to the air.

The Memorex Sport Sound looks like just the solution. Jam in solitude using your cassette portable, but for things to really swing just plug your Walkman into this portable speaker system. It's a little ersatz, but it's kind of a boom box I guess. There are some nice touches - slots for carrying tapes along, foam to snug in your Walkman, and the front of the case is vented so you can still hear the speakers when you're on the move with the shoulder strap.

Unfortunately the Sport Sound falls on it's speaker grilles for a couple of reasons. The speakers are far too quiet. There's no source of power or any amplification circuitry, so basically this is like plugging a pair of somewhat larger headphones into your Walkman. The other issue is that the speakers are really hollow sounding, really nasty. For me, that means the party is over before it got started.

Perhaps I'm being a fusspot. It's a common sight around here to see a group of teens gathered around a cellphone hissing their favorite club-rocking beats. They sway in time & whisper to each other to not drown out the music, so I guess they're enjoying it on some level. I'm the kind of person who likes it when music at least disturbs the air a bit. Maybe I should give the next group of kids I see the Sport Sound. If they like their music to sound really crappy and far too quiet, this boomless box will be a retro revelation.

Sony's 007 amplified speakers from the 80's
The world's worst Walkman knockoff
The annotated boom box - "customized" Emerson CTR 965


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