Last year at CES in January 2015, Sony introduced a high-end music player called the Sony Walkman ZX2, featuring a price tag of over $1,000. Fast forward more than a year later to the present day, and the Japanese company took the veil off a new pricey state-of-the-art music player wrapped in gold. The device is known as the Sony Walkman MW-WM1Z, it builds on top of the Walkman ZX2 with new upgrades, and costs a whopping $3,199.
As mentioned above, the new Sony Walkman MW-WM1Z is a state-of-the-art upgrade over the high-end Sony Walkman ZX2 released last year, and one of the biggest changes lie in a new high-grade gold-plated oxygen-free copper chassis, which should reduce magnetic interference and contact resistance. Additionally, inside the Walkman MW-WM1Z, the analog circuitry is apparently further separated from primary digital circuitry to facilitate noise reduction, and the system takes advantage of a "dual clock circuit with low phase noise quartz oscillator" for improved digital-to-analog conversion. Other details worth noting include a new S-Master HX digital amplifier, newly designed connection cables to prevent signal loss and sound deterioration, as well as the inclusion of DSEE HX upscaling technology also used by the new Sony MDR-1000X headphones unveiled earlier this week. As far as the internal hardware and overall specifications are concerned, the Sony Walkman MW-WM1Z measures 72.8 mm x 124 mm x 19.8 mm, and weighs 455 grams. It is powered by a battery rated for up to 33 hours of music playback (MP3 128 kbps), 26 hours of playback of FLAC 192 kHz/24 bit audio files, and 11 hours of playback in DSD 11.2 MHz format. Users will have 256 GB of on-board storage at their disposal, which they can use to store a variety of audio formats including AAC (Non-DRM), AIFF, ALAC, DSD, FLAC, HE-AAC, Linear PCM, MP3, and WMA (Non-DRM). Last but not least, the Sony Walkman MW-WM1Z is equipped with a 4-inch touchscreen TFT display with a resolution of 854 x 480, it runs Android OS, and it connects through Bluetooth and NFC.
At the end of the day, the new Sony Walkman MW-WM1Z seems to refine the already impressive Sony Walkman ZX2, but with a price tag of $3,199 it's quite obvious that these more or less subtle changes and updates are meant for true audiophiles who are searching for the best possible listening experience. The good news for prospective buyers who may be looking for a less expensive alternative is that Sony will apparently provide one in the future. It will be a standard version of the Sony Walkman MW-WM1Z which will presumably take advantage of all the internal updates but do away with the gold-plated chassis in favor of a more reasonable $1,199 price tag. In any case, according to the manufacturer the Sony Walkman MW-WM1Z will be available for purchase early next year.