Sony’s latest reimagining of the Walkman gets a June release date

Sony has announced the latest iteration of the Walkman — and it’s a rugged, sports-focussed Bluetooth headphone that’ll be hitting the US, UK and Australia this June.

The Walkman series came to fame as the first portable music devices that allowed people to carry their own tunes around with them, rather than being restricted to a preprogrammed radio broadcast. Sony has decided to breathe new life into the series with the 2017 iteration by combining the Walkman’s capacity as an audio player with the wireless listening abilities of the company’s other Bluetooth headphones.

The Sony Wearable Walkman (WS623) is targeted at both fitness freaks and nature nerds, with some fairly substantial protection against the elements and workout-friendly features. The headphones are waterproof and dustproof (IP65) enabling you to use them comfortably at the beach, and apparently allowing you to swim in saltwater up to a depth of 2 metres for half an hour. 

An ‘Ambient Sound’ mode allows you to switch on or off the integrated external microphones, so you can have better environmental awareness when you’re jogging or working out with a buddy. The battery life seems impressive for such a full-featured a pair of wireless earphones too, with up to 12 hours with the ambient mode disabled.

There’s also on-board storage, something relatively unique in the wireless audio market, that allows you to take either 4GB or 16GB of music with you (depending on the model – WS623 or WS625 respectively). On paper, the new Walkman model seems impressive and affordable starting at $149 (£110, AU$199) but we’ll have to wait until June to hear it for ourselves — and see how comfortable those bulky earpieces really are.