Of all of the fantastical toys to be premiered at CES in Las Vegas this week, one of the things that immediately demanded the attention of some space on this site was a throwback to my youth.
Sony has reinvented the Walkman (again). But this time, it won’t be a music device for the masses.
That’s because Sony’s new Walkman ZX2 will play music at “super high resolution”, according to WGN, for the “ultimate high-res experience on the move”. While most mp3 players playback ultra-compressed versions of our favorite hits, to save on space, the ZX2 will specialize in treating listeners to “master quality recordings”.
All for a $1200 price tag.
The new $1200 Walkman will come with 128GB of storage space & a micro SD slot (in case the stock 2000-song limit isn’t enough for you). WiFi capabilities will also be included. Oddly, though, the ZX2 will run on Android Jellybean, which is somewhat outdated in terms of the OS’s build history.
Sony expects their newest Walkman to compete with other high-fidelity offerings on the market, such as Neil Young’s Ponoplayer — which sports the same 128GB as the ZX2 for a whopping $800 less (though, in fairness, Sony is an established brand; and the Ponoplayer is still pending Kickstarter donations for delivery).
Since the first Walkman release in 1979, Sony has redefined portable music for decades — though, those decades were, themselves, decades ago. Since Apple’s iPod hit the market, the company has tried to reinvent their Walkman offering time & time again, to little fanfare.
However, in this latest incarnation, Sony is clearly not aiming for volume sales; instead, looking for its Walkman ZX2 to capture a very niche market — the music fan with a discernable ear (and a sizeable disposable income).
Time will tell if audiophiles bite on the new Sony Walkman ZX2. For $1200, it’s an interesting product — unfortunately, not one I can much afford to give a test drive (unless Sony would like to send by a test version; nudge nudge).
Anyone out there thinking of giving the new $1200 Walkman a try? I’d love to hear (pardon the pun) what you think of it.