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.

Hi-Tech Walkman Rip Off


Adding about an inch to the size of a typical Walkman enabled this portable cassette/radio to pack in the features. It's got an analog radio with a large chrome tuner dial on the side. It's got four band EQ, something you'd almost never find on a Walkman of the era. There's a telescoping antenna (the genuine Walkman used the headphone cable for radio pickup) as well as a pair of flat square speakers on the back. After looking at it, this radio has less in common with a Walkman and more in common with my father's tabletop radio.

The first sign of trouble is that the brand name is unclear. I think that it's HI-TECH on the lower right corner - another bad sign. If you have to tell people that your gear is high technology... It is also part of the "Electronic Sports Collection" (claiming to be a registered trademark, though I did find a business in China still selling audio gear under that name). Hi-tech-speakersThe problem with the "sports" part of that claim is that the unit is missing the most important part of the Walkman revolution - the belt clip! Not only is it a bit bigger than a typical Walkman, it's also quite heavy. So leave the ankle weights at home - just load up the 3 AA batteries, and strap on the ol' Hi-Tech for your next jog.

Guess what - it actually sounds pretty great! It doesn't have Dolby, but with the EQ controls I was able to get very good sound via headphones, just as good as more recognizable brands. The speakers are pretty dire, but serviceable in a pinch. The radio tuner was also surprisingly good. You could do a lot worse in a radio this size.

I think that we're looking at a unit that's more for your desktop than something you'd clamp on during a workout. The speakers on the back don't help portability much. Their presence adds more thickness to an already unwieldy unit. When listening to the speakers, the controls face away from you. It seems that little thought was put into the usability of this device, which is unfortunate given that the audio quality via the headphones is so good. To change the radio station, or flip the tape you've got to turn the whole unit around every time. I guess that's the "sports" aspect. You're going to get a lot of exercise just working the thing. Doesn't sound terribly "Hi-Tech" to me...

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