The WM-EX652 fitted somewhere near the top of the range of tape-only Walkmans of the year. It was compact and well featured, including logic controls, auto reverse, Dolby B NR, blank skip, automatic music search, track repeat, two forms of loudness enhancement ("Mega bass” and “Groove”), a volume limiter (AVLS) and a remote control in-line with the lead of the standard in-ear headphones. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
A special feature of this machine was its unusually long battery life of 38 hours, when used with its internal rechargeable battery and one Sony “stamina” “AA” cell mounted in an external holder. One way that the battery life was extended was by a special mechanism that varied the belt tension depending on the torque requirement. During mode changes, winding, etc the belt was kept tight, but once playback was successfully engaged the tension was reduced to a very low level. As well as saving power, this arrangement also promoted good mechanical performance and speed stability. The motor itself was a miniature disc type. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The various functions were selected by pressing and holding the “function” key and one of the tape transport keys at the same time. LED indicators showed which functions were engaged. These controls could all be blocked by using the “hold” switch. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
The mechanical layout of this model was unusual. Since the WM-2, compact Walkman models typically had the head positioned at the hinged end of the cassette door, saving depth as it was not necessary for them to retract fully in order to load a tape. The WM-EX652 was arranged more conventionally, but in order to keep the overall dimensions as small as possible a special half-height head was used, along with miniature pinch rollers. The head was withdrawn from the tape by the action of releasing the lid catch. For stability, the capstans featured bearings at both their top and bottom, just like in the much earlier WM-10. Text copyright © Walkman Central. Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.