Sony shows off audiophile Walkman NW-ZX2

Sony NW ZX2There were plenty of hints that there would be a new Sony Walkman making an appearance at CES 2015 and it turns out that the whispers surrounding the all new Walkman NW-ZX2 were on the money.

Where previous holders of the Walkman brand were ‘for the people’ the NW-ZX2 has been designed exclusively with high-end audiophiles in mind.

As well as the internal refinements needed for an audiophile product, the exterior looks rather top-end too.

The Walkman NW-ZX2 features a classy matte black casing with the playback buttons sunk into a gently curved side. It’s the little touches right? Just like the gold-toned headphone jack which sits proud of the player’s frame. Here you’ll also notice a microSD slot for those of you that require more than the 128GB storage that the new Walkman has on board. Flip it over and you’ll find a leather-like rear.

The Sony boffins have definitely had their eyes, I mean ears, focused on the audio and neglected to spend time on things like an up-to-date operating system. The ZX2 is powered by Android 4.2 Jelly Bean which first debuted in November 2012. You do get around 60 hours of play time from the battery though apparently.

As Sony’s Mike Fasulo said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

For a while there was a novelty in carrying 10,000 songs in your pocket, Now, people are seeking a higher quality experience.”

Yes, you’ll still be able to download and play apps from Google Play but that’s not the point of the ZX2. Where it does flex its muscles is in the audio file support arena with DSD, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, Apple Lossless, and more all catered for. It supports Bluetooth for wireless streaming and NFC for one-touch connection to speakers and headphones.

All this high fidelity comes at a price as has been shown by that other portable audiophile pleaser, the Pono.

The firm hopes its high resolution audio device will convince listeners to switch back to a dedicated music player, but its predicted cost of £950 ($1,443) may be a stumbling block for most.