Sony ushered in the portable music player era with the release of the Walkman back in 1979, but it hasn’t retired the brand just yet. According to Android Police, the company just announced some new Android-powered Walkmans with big sound and price tags to match.
These Android-powered Walkmans are definitely for audiophiles
Technology has evolved just a bit since the late 70s, one could say. Regardless, Sony still wants to keep the spirit of the Walkman alive with its new NW-WM1ZM2 and NW-WM1AM2 devices. These are dedicated MP3 players for lovers of premium audio. While the MP3 market is nowhere near as big as it was back in the early 2000s, Sony really put forth a lot of effort to give you the best audio from these Android-powered Walkmans.
To start off, these devices use the 3.5mm headphone jack which audiophiles love. This gives Sony the opportunity to put in a high-quality DAC. Also, they use Sony’s own proprietary digital amplifier which boosts the audio while using less energy than other amplifiers.
In terms of audio quality, Sony is also using its proprietary DSEE AI algorithm that will upscale the audio signal to a higher resolution. This algorithm can take a 44.1kHz/16bit signal and upscale it to a 192kHz/32bit signal. If that’s not enough, these devices come with a 10-band equalizer to finetune the audio to your liking.
These are premium in more than one way
These new Walkmans aren’t only premium on the inside. Sony gave these devices a stunning and high-quality design with high-quality materials. The chassis is made from oxygen-free copper that’s plated in gold. Sony says that this choice also helps with the audio quality. This material has a lower ground resistance, so that should have a positive effect on the actual electrical signal traveling to your headphones.
Upfront, you’ll have a display that will be your window to the Android 11 operating system. It’s not the most up-to-date version of Android out there, but you’re not going to be getting this for the software experience. That version is plenty capable of downloading and running the music players you’ll be using.
Not only is the design premium, but the price is too. These Android-powered Walkmans are definitely not for any sort of budget market. The entry-level device (NW-WM1AM2) will retail for a whopping $1,600. However, if you have the extra cash to spend, you can shell out for the NW-WM1ZM2 which costs $4,200. As for most of us, we’ll just stick to our smartphones.