Who would want a Discman in the age of iPhones? No one walks out of the door without a cell phone, and earbuds is all you need to have “portable” music.
Better sound quality on the Go? Hi-Rez player from Questyle, A&K, Pono, or even iPod with portable headphone amplifier usually cures this fit of audiophilia.
Some Discmans do sound better than iPods/iPhones, but all such players are the 1st and 2nd generation of Discmans and they are anything but portable.
So, who would want to invest time and money into decent Discman? Folks like me, the Lazy ones. I ripped a few hundred CDs onto iTunes, now have just a few more thousand CDs left. My progress is slow, plus the flow of “incoming” CDs overwhelms my skills of ripping them.
Subscribing to Analog Planet and watching Mike Fremer posts on YouTube may give an impression that we live in the Golden Age of VINYL. Which is probably true, I am not old enough to comment. What I Do know is that now (AD 2017) we live through the Golden Age of Classical Music CD reissues! Any Amazon search for Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky + “box set” returns dozens of boxes with $1 per CD. Who can miss such deals? Only those who do not listen to classical music. Thankfully, this means practically everybody, that’s why the price for these boxes is so low! Older audio-nuts already have most of these reissues, younger kids have yet to discover “classical music”: Lucky me!
Anyone who tries to rip classical music quickly realizes that re-tagging the files is a full time job. Tunes are listed according to pop-standards: Artist and Album. Beatles+White Album, Nirvana+Nevermind, Beethoven+the 9th… Except that 9th under Karajan rips with the same tag as 9th under Kempe, or Abbado, or Bernstein. Anyone who has more than one reading of the masterpiece (and who does not?!) must re-tag it as No.9, No_9, #9,…
And this is where Discman is my best friend, I have one next to my “sweet spot” for the days when I am not allowed to listen to my hi-end stereo, another one on my bedside table, and two more in my lab and in the office.
This does not explain why I have a few dozen portable CD players… On the other hand, for those who have at least one “classic” Discman, no explanation is needed. Their beauty and build quality speak for themselves.