The Sony Walkman line of portable music players revolutionized the way we listen to music back in the days when audiocassettes were state-of-the-art tech. These days smartphones have largely replaced portable media players for plenty of people, but Sony’s shifted its Walkman strategy in recent years by producing premium devices aimed at audiophiles.

Now the company’s updating its Walkman family with a few new models: the high-end NW-ZX100HN and the slightly less impressive NW-A20 Series.

Sony NW-ZX100HN

Both models support 24-bit/192 kHz audio and Sony’s new LDAC wireless audio standard which offers higher-quality streaming to Bluetooth speakers of headphones, with top speeds of 328 kbps for 44.1 kHz audio.

The music players support FLAC, ALAC, and WAV files as well as MP3, AAC, WMA, and AIF formats. The NW-ZX100HN also supports DSD audio.

The NW-ZX100HN features a 3 inch, 400 x 240 pixel color TFT display, 128GB of storage, a microSD card reader, and support for up to 45 hours of “hi-res audio playback or 70 hours of MP3 playback. It measures 4.7″ x 1.7″ x 0.6” and weighs about 5.1 ounces.

Sony NW-A25HN

Sony’s NW-A20 Series music players are much more compact, measuring 4.3″ x 1.7″ x 0.34″ and weighing just 2.3 ounces. But these models have shorter battery life, at up to 30 hours of playback for hi-res audio or 50 hours of MP3 audio playback.

The Sony NW-A25HN features 16GB of storage, while there’s also a 64GB model called the NW-A27HN. Both have 2.2 inch, 320 x 240 pixel color TFT displays and microSD card slots for external storage.

Sony hasn’t announced prices for its new Walkman music players yet, but they should be available in markets including Europe starting in October. Don’t expect them to be cheap.

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11 replies on “Sony unveils next-gen Walkman audio players with “hi-res” audio support”

  1. I can understand why one would want an iPod Touch, but not this. This thing is very limited. If I were for Sony I would try to find a way to make regular smartphones sound better (bluetooth connected headphone amplifier maybe) or I would take the current Xperia Z Something, strip out the GSM function, pack in the audio stuff and bump it to 128GB storage. But this thing will have a rather limited market, and if someone pays that much attention to the music quality and has the money to pay for it, that person will definitely not buy a tiny portable for that, those people have their $10 000 HiFi system at home with their $500 headphones.

  2. Hi Rez bollocks. It’s a portable so you’ll be out and about in traffic with all sorts of noises assaulting you so are you going to be able to appreciate any difference?

    1. Yes when listening to your songs in the VIP waiting room for your first class flight… Subway ? What subway ?

  3. 16 GB of storage in a new device, aimed at discriminating customers, in 2015? Good luck Sony. I mean, where I live you get a 16GB USB drive for free when you buy 10 pairs of socks.

    1. Sony will sell the “lossless” sd cards separately. Why settle for one sale, when you can have 2.

  4. Now where does one get the higher than CD quality music to play on the thing? Now lets get it DRM free instead of inside some Sony walled garden that will be useless in five years when it isn’t there anymore.

    1. and I believe 7 Digital is also selling a fair amount of 24 bit FLAC these days. There’s some other sites but I can’t recall them at the moment.

      1. Almost cool. Had heard of lots of efforts to get such a thing off the ground, glad to see somebody actually managed to do it. Windows only though so I’m excluded. How hard is it to just download a damned .zip with an album in it? Bah!

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