What's the best portable radio/tape deck?

For years I loved the Sony Walkman model WM-FX281. It had everything I expected out of a Walkman:
[li]AM/FM/WB/TV[/li][li]digital tuning with presets[/li][li]tape playback with fast-forward and rewind[/li][li]good battery life with a way to lock the buttons, and, most importantly[/li][li]a design that was easy for my fingers to learn.[/li][/ul]I could operate the thing in the dark one-handed, switching from tape to radio and moving up and down the dial and across bands without even looking at my unit.

(I didn’t sneak a peek at my Walkman, either.)

The thing is, the damned things weren’t built to last. I’ve gone through three in seven years. I know (or, at least, I hope) a slightly higher-priced model will give me longer service, but I don’t really know which one to buy that will give me at least all of the features my old favorite has.

So rather than thrash about online reading dubious reviews, I might as well get some here and at least have a solid starting point.

Upgrade your tech, man.

Go MP3 and get a solid state player like iPod. Download radio shows, store every song you own, do pollute the environment with batteries, get new songs for cheap…

Otherwise, you might be able find out more at consumerreports.org with a $5 monthly pass.


Tomcat: No. I’m not buying an iPod and I’m not buying a cheapo tape deck.

(I knew I’d get one of this kind of post. I’m putting my foot down now so the thread isn’t hijacked.)

My guess is that it’s going to be tough to find what you want because of higher-tech gadgets like the iPod.

Cassette-based Walkmen are “old school” so I doubt that any company, even Sony, is going to create a high-end model. A couple of years ago, I sold my dual-deck cassette deck since I started burning my own CD’s. Then I found a bunch of pre-recorded cassettes I needed to transfer to disc. :smack:

I bought a decent Sony Walkman for about $20. I can remember these things costing upwards of $150!

Good luck finding one, though.

Mr. Blue Sky: Sony still offers more than a few models under the venerable Walkman nameplate. And they aren’t the only ones selling the things, either. I don’t think there would be quite so many if they all suck at every price point.

I hope, at least.

Hopefully, someone will come along with some more cheerful experience.

Thanks anyway.