Ahh, the Walkman, symbol of the 80s. This venerable piece of equipment generates a warm feeling of nostalgia for most, but Sony has continued to rebuild and modernize their portable music player over the years. In fact, the company recently announced a new flagship model at its CES conference a few days ago.
They’re calling it the NW-ZX2 and it seems to be built almost exclusively for audiophiles; as well as playing standard audio formats, the Android-based piece of hardware is capable of playing music files up to 192 Khz/ 24 bits. For lower quality sound files, a special ‘digital enhancer’ is built into the device to reduce distortion at high volume; it also has a unique processor that upscales compressed audio. Most notably, it can play high quality formats like DSD and FLAC. Given the size of files like that, you might be wondering about this new model’s capacity. The NW-ZX2 comes equipped with a respectable 128gb storage capacity and a battery that will keep the beats coming for up to 60 hours.
As an audiophile that’s constantly listening to music on the go, that all sounds fantastic to me. However, the technology that allows Sony‘s new Walkman to do its thing is a double-edged sword. The main problem is that it’s very bulky; if you hadn’t seen its predecessor, the ZX1, you’d probably be a bit shocked at its size. Picture an iPhone 6 that’s about 3 times thicker than normal and you’ll be on track. Clearly, it’s not as portable as it could be. Aside from that, it will most likely be on the high-end of the price spectrum; no specific numbers have been mentioned, but the ZX1 hit shelves at $700 (though it never retailed in the US).
That’s about all we can say for now, but make sure to check out the full, hands-on review.