How Does a Sony Discman Work?

Updated April 17, 2017

Sony Discmans are personal CD players equipped with headphones for individual use. The CD player sends a laser to the disc, which bounces off, returns to the player, is decoded by the on-board computer and then played as music. The digital information is burnt into the body (shiny) side of the CD and contains up to 800 megabytes of data. The CD is kept stable on a spindle, which rotates so that all the information is available to the laser.

Flip the Discman around to the back and open the battery cover. Insert the correct-size battery (as indicated inside the battery port). Replace the battery cover. Plug headphones into the headphone jack. Pull open the top hatch by placing the index finger and thumb on the exposed lip and pulling up. Insert a CD into the hatch. Close the hatch. Press the play button.

Select the next track by tapping the "next" button, and the previous by selecting the "last" button. Tap the "stop" button to make the spindle cease the rotation of the CD. Use the volume wheel on the side of the Discman to make the music louder or softer based on the wheel's position. Tap the "pause" button to simply halt the music while keeping the spindle moving and the music cued up.

Use a Discman in a car by unplugging the headphones and replacing them with a car cassette adaptor. Insert the cassette adaptor into the car cassette bay and select the "Tape" option on the stereo. Use the CD player functions as you normally would.


You can use external speakers in the headphone port so that the CD player can be heard and enjoyed by others.


Avoid shaking the CD player to reduce the possibility of "skipping." Never open up CD player by separating the casing, which would void the warranty.

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