This super-slim cassette-only Walkman may have been small, but it included many advanced features that one may only expect to find fitted to large cassette decks. Most of these features were made possible because the mechanism was logic controlled, so its functions could be sequenced automatically by electronics rather than manually by the user. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Electronic controls allowed AMS (automatic music search) to be included. This allowed the machine to automatically skip forwards or backwards one track at a time, just like a CD player. Furthermore, by holding down the play key one could enter a “repeat” mode, where one song would be played over and over again. Finally, there was the “blank skip” mode, where long passages of empty tape were automatically fast forwarded, with play resuming once some programme material was found. The blank skip function was controlled by a slide switch inside the cassette compartment which also controlled the auto-reverse mode (once only/continuous play), so blank skip was only available in continuous play mode. The Dolby B NR was also controlled by a slide switch located in this area. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The main tape deck functions were operated using four large chromed buttons. The operation of these could be blocked using the “hold” switch, and all functions were duplicated on a small remote control unit that was fitted in the lead of the supplied headphones. In addition to Dolby B NR, a volume limiter and a loudness circuit were also included. Although Sony normally referred to loudness devices as “Mega Bass”, this was not the case with the WM-EX618, where the system was called “EX DBB”. As one would expect, chrome and metal tapes could be played properly in the WM-EX618, with the selection of tape type being automatic. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Power came from a flat-type rechargeable battery. No other type could be accommodated in the slim case, but to extend the usefulness of the package, an extra holder which could accept a single “AA” size cell could be attached to the bottom. This holder also had provision for the connection of an external mains adaptor. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.