Sony has unveiled two new Walkman music players aimed at audiophiles – with price to match.
The idea of separate music players seems like a quaint idea in the age of smartphones, given that almost all connected devices are capable of playing music in reasonable quality. Although not all can produce high resolution audio.
With the new NW-WM1ZM2 and NW-WM1AM2 music player models (hard to tell apart at a glance), Sony hopes to break into the market for quality music lovers with a good chunk of disposable income.
Both units can download or stream music with the Android operating system and Wi-Fi compatibility, and include a USB-C port for quickly transferring tunes from your PC. It’s important to note that not all streaming services are created equal: Tidal is known for including high-quality audio, so it might be worth switching up if you’ve been left cold by Spotify’s recent situation.
They both have dual headphone jacks and are capable of upscaling compressed audio files so you can enjoy more detail from individual instruments and the dynamic range of recordings.
Where the two models mainly differ is in the construction materials and the price. The AM2 is comprised of an aluminum alloy frame, has 128GB inbuilt storage with a microSD slot for more, and retails for $1,899.
And it’s the cheaper option.
Meanwhile, Sony’s ZM2 uses a gold-plated oxygen-free copper chassis and packs 256GB internally.
Oh, and it costs $4,999.
Clearly, I am not the target market for such a product, as I am neither an audiophile nor someone with money.
Sony is well known for its high-quality audio products, including the popular WH-1000XM4 wireless headphones, so it’s reasonable to expect the new Walkmans to deliver high sound fidelity.
The way the ZM2 and AM2 music players are built is intended to reduce electrical interference and therefore audio distortion, so what you hear should be exactly as the artist intended.
Still, it’s a good amount of money to spend on a music player. If this is exactly what you are looking for and you know you will benefit from what they offer, go for it for life.
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Chris is an Adelaide-based nominated writer who specializes in video game and technology coverage. He loves Donkey Kong Country, sports and cats. The Last Jedi is the best, no questions asked.