Before smartphones there were iPods and other portable media players. But before all of them, there was the Sony Walkman, a portable cassette player that let you take your music with you.

Sony’s continued releasing Walkman-branded products in recent years, but for the most part they’re high-end digital music players… and the new 40th-anniversary Walkman is no different.

Actually, the Sony Walkman NW-A100TPS is a little different, because despite being a touchscreen, Android-powered music player that’s smaller than the size of a typical cassette tape, it comes with a protective case inspired by classic cassette players and features cassette-style graphics that “wind the tape” as music plays.

It’ll be available in November for about €440 ($485).

Sony also has a cheaper, less nostalgic new model called the NW-A105 that will sell for €350 ($385).

Both feature aluminum frames, 3.6 inch HD displays, USB Type-C ports for charging, support for up to 26 hours of battery life, and support for WiFi.

The new Walkman portable media players support PCM audio at resolutions up to 384 kHz/32-bits and support audio upscaling which is supposed to make your lousy MP3 files sound better than they otherwise would. They also support FLAC, AIFF, DCD, and other audio file formats.

The portable media players support wired or Bluetooth headphones. And my favorite feature may be the physical buttons on the side that you can us to control audio playback without taking the player out of your pocket and turning on the screen — a feature I still miss after years of living with touchscreen-only smartphones.

via EFTM, CNET, and Engadget



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7 replies on “Sony’s 40th-anniversary walkman is a digital music player with (expensive) analog style”

  1. Yes there is no doubt that this is an expensive piece of kit and it’s memory is small, but is it as bad as it seems? Memory cards are cheap at the moment, less than £30 for 256gb. It’s still £400 for the cheapest 128gb ipod touch and that can’t be expanded. It’s also runs a full version android 9. The fiio M9 which on paper has a good spec and is £100 cheaper, only comes with 4gb of which only 2gb is usable. It also has a severely cut down version of android. If you wait it may come cheaper, maybe! In the meantime mines on order thank you very much 🙂

  2. I’d be very interested in a media player device with physical multimedia buttons like this. However, it would need to be priced a LOT closer to $199. And it would need a hell of a lot more storage than 16gb.

    The first Chinese knockoff with 64-128gb storage gets my money.

    I understand this is supposed to be a high resolution player, which fetches a higher price, but I think that severely limits the appeal to a general audience.

  3. Should have released it for April fools.. because only a FOOL would buy a 16 gigabyte hybrid cassette/wifi device when you can get cassette players for practically free and use a discarded old cell phone for music and wifi. Sony lost the small electronics market decades ago and is never gonna get it back with self deprecating crap like this!
    It should have been no more than $100 and even THAT is pricy given what’s already out there. While analog devices will be a dwindling niche for as long as people are alive who remember it, there really isn’t a market for overpriced ancient technology.

  4. No crippling DRM? It plays MP3, the preferred format of napster users and dirty thieves? No ATRAC support? What has become of my beloved Sony, how could they have forgotten their own moral framework like this?


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