This basic “sports” model replaced the WM-35 at the bottom of the sports water-resistant range. The “floating” capability had gone, but it was replaced by something else, a built-in solar alarm clock. Presumably aimed at the buyer who liked the WM-F107 “Solar Walkman” but could not possibly afford it, the WM-B52 was in simple terms a large, basic cassette player with a solar-powered digital watch set into the cassette door. The watch and the cassette player did not interact in any way, and electrically were quite separate. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The cassette player was very simple. Based on a generic mechanism of not particularly compact dimensions, it was not the last word in sophistication but gave reasonable results all the same. A prominent push switch next to the tape transport keys selected either normal or chrome/metal tape, The switch was prominent not because it was thought to be an important feature which would be in constant use, but to fill the gap where the radio/tape selector would be in the version fitted with a radio (WM-BF58). Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The solar alarm clock was designed for use for a number of sporting pastimes, featuring a clock, calendar, alarm and stopwatch with lap function. However, the tiny display meant that it was not especially easy to use. The suggested use for the alarm was for sun tanning, where the solar power aspect would really come into its own. There were two drawbacks here (three if you include skin cancer). Firstly, only the clock was solar powered, the alarm was powered by a tiny battery (which could only be replaced by a Sony workshop). Secondly, the alarm was not very loud, and because the clock and the cassette player did not interact, there was little chance of hearing it if you were listening to a tape at the time. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Despite being very basic, the WM-B52 was fitted with two headphone sockets. Once an essential feature of all Walkman models, the WM-B52 (and the WM-BF58, with radio) were the only models in the range that year to include this feature. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.