Personal portable music didn’t really exist for most of human history, until the Sony Walkman came along, back in 1979. The Walkman went on to become one of Sony’s most successful products of all time. Over the years, the portable cassette tape player transitioned into CD, Mini-Disc, MP3, and then, streaming music. Sony sold over 200 million units of Walkman and changed how people experienced music.
Now with a music player available on a smartphone, the portable music players almost disappeared. But with the launch of WM1 series, Sony not only aims to launch a new Walkman but the highest quality audio player in the series.
The Classy Design and Build
Looking at the device, the first thing that catches your eye, apart from the gold-plated finish, is the size of the device. The player is produced out of solid oxygen-free copper, which is widely used in instrument manufacturing. The copper grants the player with natural, acoustic sound. The front has a 4-inch touchscreen, with physical controls on the sides.
This new Walkman comes in two different variations, the NW-WM1A and the NW-WM1Z. Both the models accept MicroSD cards for expandable storage. The NW-WM1Z has 256GB, while the NW-WM1Z has just 128GB. The circuit board is designed in a way that it separates the power supply and the amplification, in order to minimize electronic interference.
Features of Sony NW-WM1Z Walkman
- Sony has used its own operating system instead of Android, which was used on some of the older Walkmans.
- There is no way to add third-party apps to the player, as there is no option for wi-fi connectivity.
- But it does have Bluetooth and is compatible with Sony’s LDAC for high-quality wireless audio.
- It supports all the high-end audio formats, including AIFF, FLAC and DSD.
- Coming to the battery life, you can listen up to 30 hours of high-resolution playback.
How does it work?
The player with its 4-inch LED touchscreen display falls short a little compared to the average smartphone. You’ll have to do a bit more of exploring to get accustomed to the layout, as Sony has given the touchscreen interface a totally new design. As we play a track, the album picture appears in the center, with file information at the top and touchscreen controls at the bottom.
Crystal-clear Sound Quality
Playing the music with a pair of in-ears wouldn’t be fair to the player. So, Sony has paired the new Sony MDR-Z1Rs to make the sound of the music authentic and heavenly. There has been a level up in terms of detail, with which Sony maintains its style and quality. The new S-Master HX digital amp technology reduces distortion and noise across a wide range of frequencies for rich, concentrated sound. The authentic detail of the original recording is retained by the native DSD audio files. You can enjoy the subtlest nuances of studio-quality sound, and also feel like the artist is performing right in front of you.
Price and Availability
The NW-WM1Z Walkman will cost US$3,200 when it hits the market in November, while the NW-WM1A carries a price of US$1,200.
This is what we think about it
With its new Signature Series (as they are called), Sony is taking high-resolution audio to the next level. With the gold-plated metal casing, touch screen and clickable buttons, it gives an elegant look and definitely makes a statement with the new Signature Series.