Sony’s vintage Walkman is iconic, but it has evolved and is back in the form of the ZX2 Walkman. Designed specifically for high-res audio playback, it claims it can reproduce master quality recordings. We got to go hands on with it at this year’s CES.
It does this using the S-Master HX digital amplifier, which was originally made for Hi-Res audio playback to reduce distortion and noise while still reproducing a substantial wide frequency response for a crisp acoustic sound. Other tech inside includes the DSEE HX technology, which allows streaming sources which are not Hi-Res quality to be upgraded into higher quality sound. The player is capable of 192 kHz/24 bit playback and is compatible with MP3, WMA, AIFF, WAV, AAC, FLAC, ALAC, and DSD files.
128 GB of built-in memory come with it, along with a micro SD card slot, Wi-Fi capability, and a Lithium-ion battery that provides up to 60 hours of music playback per charge. That is so much better than what you would get out of a couple AAs in a Walkman back in the day.
The design is very slim with rounded sides carved out of aluminum alloy. A gold-plated copperplate in the interior makes it very stable due to its low electric resistivity. As they put it ‘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 Walkman NW-ZX2 will be available in spring 2015 with no immediate word on pricing. Nowadays, with all the iTunes frustration that abounds, we may see a sizable market of people not even bothering with their phones anymore and switching over to music-only devices such as this.