How Sony's Walkman Changed the World

Before CDs and MP3s, this little machine made music portable

Announcing! Brandweek is headed to Phoenix, Arizona this September 23–26. Join us there to explore the future of marketing, discover cutting-edge strategies and network with the best in the business.

Andreas Pavel was getting tired of being laughed at. It was 1977, and the German-born inventor had made appointments at all of the major electronics companies—Yamaha, Grundig, ITT, etc.—and each had sent him packing. Pavel was trying to interest them in a device he'd invented called the "Stereobelt," a portable cassette player equipped with headphones. It was a novel invention, but the big brands were having none of it.

"They all said they didn't think people would be so crazy as to run around with headphones," Pavel told The New York Times in a 2005 interview. 

Photo: Nick Ferrari

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Sony Corp.

AW+

WORK SMARTER - LEARN, GROW AND BE INSPIRED.

Subscribe today!

To Read the Full Story Become an Adweek+ Subscriber

View Subscription Options

Already a member? Sign in