The fact that you cannot hear anything at all other than your favourite tunes or concertos in glorious stereo sound also throws up another potential problem for listeners – they have no idea what is happening around them, because all they can hear is their music. It is an issue that ACS is currently developing new in-ear earphone tech to overcome.

"We are soon to be launching an ambient system where you have absolute control of your ambient noise and your music signal so that you can better relate to your surroundings, by creating an entirely new sound environment," Shiach tells TechRadar.

"So you can turn the street level down, yet still be aware of what is going on around you... which is the only way we have of combating that criticism that people are getting killed or injured because they step out on the road while not being able to hear what is going on around them"

Walkman rules the roost

We look forward to (literally) hearing more about the latest developments in miniature earphone amps and the fruits of that particular partnership between ACS and Tension Labs very soon.

In the meantime, what did gadget magazine T3 think of the Daily Mail's assertion that the Sony Walkman was the gadget that 'broke' Britain?

"While coming across as deliberately fogey-ish, Mr Wilson does, inadvertently, make the completely valid argument that the Walkman was one of the most important gadgets of the 20th century," said T3's Rhi Morgan.

"And while he might not like that 'tsk tsk tsk' of hearing someone else's headphones while on the bus, then we would simply suggest he get some decent noise-cancelling earphones himself. And also one of those cracking new X Series Walkman's to accompany it!

"He could watch high def re-runs of Last Of The Summer Wine on the train without annoying anybody then."