Sony Walkman WM-FX290 Personal Cassette Player Reviews

Sony Walkman WM-FX290 Personal Cassette Player

8 ratings (8 Epinions reviews)
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The Sony WM-FX290- Good Things Still Come in Small Packages.

Apr 24, 2004 (Updated Apr 24, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Small size, long battery life, lots of features.

Cons:Consolidated buttons/features.

The Bottom Line: I definitely recommend the WM-FX290. It’s lightweight, reasonably priced, and affordable to operate. I slip mine into my jacket pocket each morning and enjoy it on my daily walk.

I recently purchased the Sony WM-FX290 AM/FM Stereo Cassette Player to listen to while on morning walks. If you’re considering this unit, you will hopefully find this review very useful.

First the overview: The Sony WM-FX290 is a slim and lightweight cassette walkman with digital AM/FM/TV/Weather Band Tuner. I believe the WM-FX290 is the replacement for the older Sony WM-FX281 (has all of the features of the WM-FX281, but is much smaller and lighter). The WM-FX290 easily fits into a shirt pocket. Sony claims that the WM-FX290 will also run off of one "AA" battery for 35 hours or more (apparently, depending on whether you use the cassette player or just listen to the radio). It also comes with really nice sounding headphones.

Next, my personal observations: Well, I can confirm that the radio has operated successfully for well over 2 months (7 days per week, 1 hour and 15 minutes per day) off of one cheap, regular “AA” battery from a dollar store. I walk 5 miles every morning for 1 hour and 15 minutes. It has an LCD display that shows how much battery life is left when the unit is on. So, I haven’t had to change the battery yet. However, I suspect the battery would have run down by now if I used the cassette feature. However, I don’t use the cassette player feature (hey, it’s the age of the compact disc). My old walkman used to use two “AA” batteries and would not last as long as this radio using its one battery under the same conditions.

The WM-FX290 is not the most expensive or the cheapest cassette walkman. I purchased mine from Target for $29.99. To streamline the walkman’s design, many of the buttons are consolidated. I thought I would be able to figure out how to use all of the features without reading the operating manual; but, believe me you will have to quickly skim the manual. This is because many of the features of the WM-FX290 require that you press the same buttons some specific multiple number of times to activate different features. But, one quick reading of the short one page manual will quickly get you up to speed.

The radio sounds great. It has a Mega Bass option and a distant and local radio band function. So, for stations that are far away, you can generally pick them up after switching to the distant feature. I live in the southern part of the United States (in the country); so, I have to pick up stations from as far as 100 miles away. The radio does a decent job of doing so, but, some days are better than others as far as static goes. The radio also has a “Hold” feature which allows you to lock the current settings in place so that they don’t change if a button is accidentally pressed while you’re walking/running.

The radio comes with a carrying case that the radio fits inside. I usually just put the radio in my jacket pocket (similar to a front shirt pocket) and carry it safely and comfortably. Overall, I’m happy with the radio and am looking forward to using more of its features in the future.

Finally, the official specifications: One "AA" battery is enough to power it for up to 35 hours*, and the tuner includes FM, AM, TV and weather bands. It has 40 station presets and digital auto preset scanning. It includes a Mega Bass® Sound System and a digital LCD Display. Plus, you get accessories such as the Sony MDR-023 stereo headphones and a carry case with belt clip.


• New Slim Design is small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. Controls are all in-line for easy use.
• TV Tuner & Weather Band lets you listen to audio from TV channels 2-13, and up-to-the-minute weather from your local Weather Band broadcasts.
• Digital Synthesized FM/AM Stereo Tuner provides the most accurate drift-free tuning of AM and FM stereo radio stations.
• 1 "AA" Battery Operation provides hours of listening and makes the radio compact and inexpensive to use.
• Digital Auto Preset Scanning at the press of a button, auto scan feature plays a few seconds of each memorized radio station, in sequence, to help you select stations for listening and set into memory.
• 40 Station Preset Tuning (7TV/4WB/24FM/5AM) offers convenient one-button tuning of your choice of 7 TV, 4 WB, 24 FM stations and 5 AM stations.
• Up to 35 Hours Extended Battery Life* with 1 "AA" battery is made possible by advanced technology that allows extended battery life beyond previous limits.
• Mega Bass® Sound System produces deep, rich bass tones for more pleasing overall sound.
• Battery Level Indicator on LCD provides visible indication of battery power.
• Automatic Volume Limiter System (AVLS) automatically adjusts music passages that vary widely, for improved listener comfort and clear sound.
• FM Local/Distant (DX) Switch provides optimal reception of both near and distant stations.
• Digital LCD Display indicates radio station frequency, preset status and cassette operation.
• Carry Case with Belt Clip lets you conveniently "wear" your Walkman® unit while walking or during other activities.

*Actual battery life may vary upon usage patterns.

Recommend this product? Yes

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