5 Most Valuable Vintage Sony Walkman Players & How to Spot Them

If you've got one of these, you might be rocking out with something worth thousands.

Published October 11, 2023
Two teenage girls listening to tapes on their walkmans

If you were alive in the 1980s or 1990s, you remember the Sony Walkman. Even if you weren't born yet, chances are you're familiar with this iconic portable music device. What you might not realize is that vintage Sony Walkmans are actually surprisingly valuable to collectors. Some sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars! 

Before you list that old Walkman you have lying around, learn a little bit about the factors that make them worth money, as well as some of the most valuable vintage Walkmans sold recently. That way, you can compare yours and get a sense of what it might be worth (or know if you're getting a good deal when you buy an awesome piece of retro audio tech).

Most Valuable Vintage Sony Walkmans

The average working vintage Sony Walkman sells for about $30 to $60, depending on the features, condition, and the era when it was made. There are a few that are crazy valuable, though. These are some of the top sales on eBay.

Vintage Sony Walkman Value
Walkman WM-DC2 $3,500
Walkman TPS-L2 $2,300
Walkman WM-DD9 $2,095
Walkman WM-D6C $2,050
25th Anniversary Walkman WM-11/22 $1,137

Sony Walkman WM-DC2

A Sony Walkman WM-DC2 with its original packaging and manual and almost no use sold for about $3,500. One of the things that was remarkable about this model was that it was the first to introduce Dolby sound that was almost on par with CDs.

Sony TPS-L2 Walkman

A Sony TPS-L2 Walkman in tested and working condition with new belts and only a few small scratches sold for $2,300. In addition to being in great shape, this Walkman was the model that started it all, released in 1979.

Sony Walkman WM-DD9

Another high-value vintage Walkman model, the WM-DD9, was the top of the line when it was produced in 1990 and is famous for having some of the best sound in a Walkman. A fully serviced example in perfect condition sold for about $2,095.

Sony Walkman WM-D6C

In addition to especially coveted models, if you find one that's new in the box, it can be worth a ton. A WM-D6C in its original box from 1983 with no prior use sold for $2,050.

Sony Walkman 25th Anniversary WM-11/22

Special edition models are also super valuable. For the 25th anniversary of Sony products in America in 1985, the company released the special 25th anniversary Walkman WM-11/22. Like new in its original box, one sold for $1,137.

Factors That Make Vintage Walkman Players Valuable

If you have an old Walkman and wonder if it's worth anything, you should take a closer look at it. Note the model number and any special editions, as well as what kind of condition it's in. All of this matters a lot when it comes to value.

Older Age

Before the Walkman, you really didn't get to carry your music with you and listen to it on headphones. Some of the most valuable vintage Walkman players come from the very beginning of the history of this iconic device, way back in 1979. In general, the older the Walkman, the more valuable it could be (provided it works).

Fast Fact

How much were Walkmans in 1979 when the TPS-L2 came out? They sold for $150, which is around $600 today.

Good Condition

You may notice something about the most valuable models of Walkman cassette players: they tend to be in working condition. People want to use these to listen to music, just like they always did. That may mean getting a Walkman serviced or having parts replaced to make sure it functions properly.

Having the original box and manual can also help with value. Just like with many vintage collectibles, keeping the original packaging intact can add a lot to what it's worth.

Quick Tip

If you're selling a vintage Walkman on eBay or anywhere else, take the time to get it working. You'll get way more for it, since sellers want to know they can use it.

Desirable Models

The first Walkman, the TPS-L2, is consistently one of the most valuable. However, other models that were special editions or that represented a jump forward in the technology can also be worth a lot.

Most Walkman players are marked right on the unit, so take a look at the fine print if you're not sure what model you have. Then you can check to see if it's an especially valuable one.

Walkmans Are a Valuable Retro Audio Experience

There's just something so satisfying about dropping a tape into your Walkman, closing it, and hitting "play." This retro audio experience is valuable in itself, and you can totally find a working vintage Walkman for under $50. If you've already got one lying around, give it a glance to see if you might just be rocking out with something worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.

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5 Most Valuable Vintage Sony Walkman Players & How to Spot Them