Menu
Sony's impressive, insane new Walkman debuts at IFA

Sony's impressive, insane new Walkman debuts at IFA

The signature series Walkman delivers a superb sound that's difficult to match

If you're a music lover who still isn't satisfied with the audio from your smartphone, Sony has a couple of new Walkmans that might be just what you're looking for -- assuming you have deep pockets.

They are the new NW-WM1A and NW-WM1Z models, due for sale later this year. The former is black and has an aluminum body while the latter is gold and crafted from "oxygen-free copper," according to Sony.

20160901 1348560 Martyn Williams

Sony's NW-W1A and NW-WM1Z Walkman on show at IFA in Berlin on September 1, 2016.

And that choice of metal gives some heft.

It's surprisingly heavy at 454 grams; that's about the weight of four smartphones. The aluminum-bodied WM1A weighs 267 grams -- still about double a smartphone.

The weight gives the WM1Z an expensive, well-built and satisfying feel (more about the price, below). But it's heavy enough that I would worry about carrying it around for too long or even placing it in a jacket or pants pocket. It's likely to pull the garment. This is one for a bag.

20160901 135219 Martyn Williams

Sony's NW-1Z Walkman on show at IFA in Berlin on September 1, 2016.

I tried out the NW-WM1Z at the IFA trade show in Berlin, where they were announced on Thursday.

Audio ran over USB to the companion amplifier and into a pair of high-end MDR-Z1R headphones. The Walkman was loaded with a dozen high-end audio files in FLAC, DSD, or PCM formats.

20160901 135526 Martyn Williams

Sony's TA-ZH1 ES headphone amp on show at IFA in Berlin on September 1, 2016.

And the sound was simply superb. The headphones did a great job of isolating the noisy show floor, and the amplifiers, both in the Walkman and the standalone unit, did a fantastic job of making me feel like I was in the same room as the musicians.

And that's what this high-end audio is all about. The gear isn't so much about listening to a podcast or iTunes mix on a train, it's about losing yourself to the beat of the best musicians in the world.

In that department, both units shined.

20160901 135212 Martyn Williams

Sony's TA-ZH1 ES headphone amp on show at IFA in Berlin on September 1, 2016.

Sony started focusing on high-end audio after its portable audio business began collapsing, first under intense competition from Apple's iPod and later from smartphones.

In the last few years, it has tried to reinvent the Walkman brand with high-end audio products and a few sports devices that smartphones can't match.

These latest two Walkman are called the "signature series" and they come with signature prices.

The top-of-the-line NW-WM1Z Walkman will cost US$3,200 when it hits the U.S. in November. The aluminum bodied NW-WM1A carries a lower price of $1,200 -- a comparative bargain!


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags IFA

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments