Sony Walkman Reborn (Again) as a Pricey Hi-Res Audio Handset

By Brian Barrett on at

Last autumn, the Sony Walkman sprung from the ashes of the '90s, reborn as a hi-def audio phoenix with lots of lossless codec support and a £169 price tag. Today, the Walkman returns once again – this time costing a lot more.

Aside from the iconic brand name and same robust file support, the new Walkman NW-ZX2 builds on its recent predecessor with 128GB onboard storage, a microSD slot, and a lovely-looking touchscreen display. It also improves on the original Walkman by connecting to the internet and not being stupidly oversized.

All in all it looks like a delightful little audio player, if you care deeply about the quality of the music you are carrying in your pocket.

But with it being listed as costing $1,200 in the US, it is going to be an expensive beast. That price is declarative, a statement that not only is hi-resolution audio a totally legitimate upgrade, it's one worth paying serious money for. This is a tough sell, because pushing your audio quality up beyond CD levels is like trying to fill a water bottle that's already capped. Your ears can only ear so much.

Sony Walkman Reborn (Again) As a $1200 Hi-Res Audio Handset

There's no question that it looks nice and will sound as nice as a portable music player could possibly sound (depending on your headphones, too). And it has Google Cast compatibility, meaning you can shoot the sound to any number of compatible speakers, including these, which Sony is also announcing:

Sony Walkman Reborn (Again) As a $1200 Hi-Res Audio Handset

Also nice! But asking people to pay so much for an audio player that runs a two-year-old version of Android? Overkill. 128GB will fill up quickly as you load up those hi-res audio files, which seems not entirely sane. If you miss the '90s that much, Saved By the Bell is on Netflix.


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