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Old 06-18-2014, 08:02 PM
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Old school Walkman headphones

Does anyone make headphones like the original Walkman had? They were lightweight and didn't block ambient sounds. In fact, that was one of the selling points. You could listen to your music, no one could hear it but you (unless you really cranked it, then people could hear scritchy noises), but you could still hear everything going on around you and even carry on a normal conversation. And they were dirt cheap once the knockoffs started appearing.

I need some for my daughter to wear while walking or biking.
Old 06-18-2014, 11:03 PM
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Since this is a hardware question, moved to IMHO (from Cafe Society).
Old 06-18-2014, 11:18 PM
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As with everything, what do you want to pay? Is she an audiophile or do you want to raise her to be one and not be satisfied with crappy sound? And you mean the on-ear ones with foam pads, not the surprisingly good, sorta-in-ear, with sideways drivers Sony supplied with later Walkmans, right? Because I'm not finding the other ones and mine all died.

For the foam ones you can go as low as a buck at the dollar store. They're fairly lousy and inefficient, but you don't want to go too loud when you are surrounded by people, animals, and machines that are trying to kill you.

How old is your daughter? Or, better, how big is her head? If dinky, Sony's MDR-222KD is little and pink. http://bestbuy.com/site/sony-ste...000&cp=1&lp=19

I could keep shopping for you because I'm a headphone junkie, but it's time for bed. Except I can hear those Sennheiser earbuds calling my name.

Last edited by dropzone; 06-18-2014 at 11:19 PM.
Old 06-18-2014, 11:51 PM
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If your daughter wants to listen to music while biking little rechargable speakers can be easily attached to handlebars, people hear her coming, she hears everyone else, win win.
Old 06-19-2014, 12:52 AM
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If these aren't them, they're pretty close.
Old 06-19-2014, 01:17 AM
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You want lightweight open (aka open-air or open-back) headphones. There are a number of them on the market and they often fold up for better portability. One classic model from the 80's is still made, the Koss PortaPro http://amazon.com/Koss-PortaPro-.../dp/B00001P4ZH

There are also newer, cheaper Koss models, the SportaPro and the KSC 75. The Sporta sounds the same as the Porta but has a different headband. The KSC-75 sounds brighter (more treble) and clips onto your ears. Parts Express sells a pair of horrible-sounding headphones that happen to have a headband you can take off and put onto the KSC-75s if you prefer. (http://amazon.com/Mini-Stereo-Li.../dp/B0002KQZJS)

Most people today tend to use earbuds instead of headphones for better portability. If you want to hear outside sounds, you want to stick with "earbuds" and avoid "in-ear headphones" which provide isolation. There's a company called Yuin that makes some expensive earbuds that are supposed to be good, but the best reasonably priced set is probably the Apple Earpods.

Bose makes noise-canceling earphones, the QuietComfort 20, that have an "aware mode" that lets you hear outside sounds. They're pricy of course.

Open headphones shouldn't be used in noisy places like a bus or airplane. People tend to turn up the music to ear-damaging levels in order to drown out the noise.
Old 06-19-2014, 01:32 AM
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It may not be legal for her to wear headphones while riding her bike . . . depending on local ordinances.
Old 06-19-2014, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdname View Post
Parts Express sells a pair of horrible-sounding headphones that happen to have a headband you can take off and put onto the KSC-75s if you prefer. (http://amazon.com/Mini-Stereo-Li.../dp/B0002KQZJS)
These look promising. I didn't see those when I was browsing the other day. She doesn't need big full sound, actually she needs to not have big full sound. I just want her to have something that lets as much outside sounds in as possible. She has an inexpensive MP3 player that doesn't crank up very high anyway. We have some similar to the aforementioned pink Sony, and they still block too much ambient sound to be safe.

Like I said, the headphones that came with the Walkman tape player I had in the early eighties blocked almost no outside sound - a winter cap muffled sounds more. If I remember correctly, they were about the diameter of a half dollar, and if you removed the foam covers they were a little smaller than a quarter.
Old 06-19-2014, 01:30 PM
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+1 on the portapros. They are what I bought for my Walkman (actually an Aiwa tape player because Sony wanted a ridiculous amount of money) back in the day. Still a great sounding set of cans to this day.
I don't recomend any headphones at all if she's on a bike though. Maybe something like this instead?
Old 06-19-2014, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampspruce View Post
+1 on the portapros. They are what I bought for my Walkman (actually an Aiwa tape player because Sony wanted a ridiculous amount of money) back in the day. Still a great sounding set of cans to this day.
I don't recomend any headphones at all if she's on a bike though. Maybe something like this instead?
If she has an inexpensive mp3 player, though, she probably doesn't have Bluetooth. And those speakers don't seem like they have a 3.5 mm jack for plugging it in directly.
Old 06-20-2014, 01:42 PM
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True. Doug K? Does your daughter's mp3 player have bluetooth? I didn't recommend the Turtle Shell made by the same company becuase although it's bike mountable and comes with a 3.5 mm jack, it's also considerably more expensive. If you have to have it plugged in, how about this?

Last edited by swampspruce; 06-20-2014 at 01:42 PM.
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