Must-Have Gadgets From The 1980s No One Uses Anymore

By Jack Ripley | April 8, 2024

Sony Walkman

Get your DeLorean up to 88mph and travel back in time to get a sweet hit of technological nostalgia with these relics from the 1980s, where innovation once defined the cutting edge. From the iconic Sony Walkman to the quirky convenience of The Clapper, these items were must-haves that shaped the way we interacted with technology and entertainment.

Remember the days of cable TV and the ritual of recording mixtapes on cassette tapes? While some of our readers may have fond memories of using these devices in their youth, others may be discovering these artifacts for the first time, offering a glimpse into a bygone era they never knew. Join us on a journey through the technological landscape of the 1980s, and continue reading to uncover more about these obsolete marvels that once defined an era.

test article image
(getty images)

The Sony Walkman revolutionized personal music consumption in the 1980s, becoming an iconic must-have device. Its portability and ability to play cassette tapes allowed users to listen to their favorite music anywhere they went, and it helps that it still looks truly super cool.

However, with the advent of digital music formats and the rise of smartphones, the portable cassette player became obsolete. The Walkman's limitations, such as the need to carry physical tapes and the inconvenience of rewinding or fast-forwarding tracks, made it impractical compared to modern digital music players. As a result, the Walkman and other cassette players have largely faded into obsolescence, replaced by sleeker, more versatile devices that offer access to vast digital music libraries at the touch of a screen.


test article image

In the 1980s, the pager emerged as a revolutionary piece of technology, becoming a must-have for professionals and individuals alike. Its ability to receive short messages and alerts made it indispensable for communication on the go. However, with the rapid advancement of mobile phones and the internet, pagers quickly became obsolete. The limited functionality of pagers, restricted to one-way communication and alphanumeric messages, couldn't compete with the versatility and convenience offered by smartphones. As a result, the pager faded into obscurity, overshadowed by more advanced and feature-rich communication devices. Today, the pager is largely forgotten, a relic of a bygone era, as virtually everyone has access to more sophisticated means of communication.