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From the vault: Sony ’80s speakers are hip to be square

Sections: Audio

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Sony Square speakers

Image from Retro Thing

Back in the ’80s, it was hip to be square. No matter which way you turned, squares were lurking around every corner–everything from cars to televisions had a squarish look. After Sony introduced the Walkman (also square), the consumer’s desire to share music with others was a natural evolution. That’s when Sony developed  a pair of portable speakers that embodied the ’80s industrial aesthetic–The APM-007AV. Not only did they have a square form factor, the drivers themselves were actually square. 

These speakers were standard cones with a cool front glued to them, but their look and feel was and still is unusual. They were heavy, especially when the four C batteries were added to them for extra punch. While you could get sound out of them without the power cells or the AC adapter, the juice that comes out of your average headphone jack just didn’t (and still doesn’t) do the job of producing sound big enough to share.

Sony introduced several models of ‘real’ speakers  after that with the Accurate Pistonic Motion series. The older models had better sound than the later ones, and they certainly looked cool. Occasionally a pair will pop up on Ebay.  As far as I know, these were the last speakers that featured drivers that were anything but round.

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