Sony unveiled its new Walkman at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It will reportedly cost just north of $1,100. Seems pretty reasonable.
The Walkman NW-ZX2 is due out in the spring, and runs Android Jelly Bean, the third most recent build of Google's operating system. Sold yet?
Price tag and outdated operating system aside, those who have had a chance to fiddle with the device at the show do seem pretty impressed by it. Everyone is noting that it is strictly for hard core audiophiles, and at that price it would have to be, wouldn't it?
So what's so great about it? It's made for playing high resolution audio, minimally compressing files for optimum sound quality. BI's Lisa Eadicicco, who says she was blown away by the device, recounts:
Sony described it to us like this — imagine you have a sheet of paper, and you need to give it to someone 20 feet away from you without moving closer to them. Simply throwing the sheet of paper wont work, you'd need to crumple it up into a ball. But, once you do that, the paper becomes wrinkled and its quality is compromised. That's how compression works with audio and video files, too.
Here's what Sony itself has to say about the device:
Experience High-Resolution audio like never before with the Walkman NW-ZX2 which can reproduce master quality recordings just as the artists originally intended. The S-Master™ HX digital amplifier, uniquely developed for Hi-Res audio playback, reduces distortion and noise while reproducing wide frequency response for a clearer acoustic experience. It is also equipped with DSEE HX™ technology, allowing streaming sources which are not Hi-Res quality to be upscaled to provide higher quality sound.
The NW- ZX2 supports digital music files up to 192 kHz/24 bit and compatible file formats are MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, AIFF, WAV and ALAC including DSD. It also comes with 128GB of built-in memory, as well as micro SD card slot, Wi-Fi and a large capacity Lithium-ion battery that provides up to 60-hours of music playback per charge.
Sporting a frame with rounded sides carved out of aluminum alloy, the Walkman NW-ZX2 features a striking design and highly rigid case. Adoption of the gold-plated copperplate in the structure has resulted in an extremely stable ground due to its low electric resistivity. The powerful bass and the improved sense of stereo have been realized due to a number of audio components , such as the enhancement of power supply by using of electric double layer capacitors , OS-CON and large capacity Li-ion battery. The other refinements that also contribute to the high-quality sound are thick-film copper-layer PCBs, OFC cables and high-purity lead-free solder. These enable the NW-ZX2 to achieve a higher sound resolution by reducing the impedance.
The Verge gives us an up close and personal look, though I don't see any way to convince someone about the quality of this device without having them actually listen to it.
Still, we'll take everyone's word for it. It probably does sound pretty good. Of course you have to download your audio files in high resolution, so it's probably not going to be incredibly remarkable for your existing music library, or streaming from services like Spotify.
Image via YouTube