Sony Walkman WM-FX290 Personal Cassette Player Reviews

Sony Walkman WM-FX290 Personal Cassette Player

8 ratings (8 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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$169.95
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Another Fine Sony Product

Oct 19, 2008
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Battery efficiency, tuner quality, size/weight, low price

Cons:Useless weather band, fiddly radio presets

The Bottom Line: For this middle-aged listener this has been an excellent purchase with great sound quality to boot, and very battery-efficient


I bought my first precorded cassette in 1973--ELO's first album. That's how long I've listened on cassette! We all know cassette technology is dead, and CD's appear to be on the way out in this day of MP3's. However, there are millions, maybe billions, of cassettes out there, and they need players.

I have a few thousand cassettes still, mostly classical, and mostly unavailable on any other medium. I came across a bunch of old audio books at home and wanted to re-listen. That need brought me to purchase this Walkman. In the 80's I owned a couple of portable players costing around $250-300, but this level of quality doesn't appear available. I had low expectations for this little, very lightweight unit. I was pleasantly surprised.

We are fortunate that the day of old slide tuners is gone; this little unit tunes with digital accuracy for me, and quickly. I live in the Houston area; we have several dozen stations and I have experienced no problems with adjacent station bleed. Additionally, the AM portion of the tuner has also worked very well for me. AM is always a problem with distant stations crowding in through ionosphere bounce-back; it hasn't been a problem in my area.

I agree with other reviews that the method for tuning, storing and recalling the 33 available presets is fiddly. I just use the manual rocker switch to manually tune the dozen or so stations I regularly listen in on. I also agree that the weather band function is useless for me. Why do we persist in offering this function if it never works? I haven't had a radio yet that picked up weather properly, and doubt I ever will. Reception on the FM and AM bands has been just fine.

The cassettes insert through a smoked plastic door on the back. I have found it less fiddly with insertion and ejection than others I have owned in the past. One major advantage for me is the button for rewinding. Often in an audio book I'll back up if I've missed something. So much more convenient than having to flip the cassette over and use a fast-forward button. It is also a convenience to have an LCD battery life indicator, so that one can predict when to take an extra battery along.

I am delighted that this player only uses one AA battery. Sony states they have come up with some new technology that stretches battery life, and it appears to work. I am getting around 30 hours off of purely tape use, and that's impressive.

The headsets provided with this player are decent and fairly comfortable. I prefer earbuds and have switched to them.

Maybe it's because I'm a generation or two older than some of the reviewers; for the $30 I paid for this Sony I have been extremely satisfied. Even though it's made in China it appears to have excellent construction quality. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting a decent player yet at a price that won't cause a stroke if one breaks it!


Recommend this product? Yes


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