Sony Walkman music players look great and run Android 12

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  • Sony has introduced two new Android Walkmans, the NW-A300 and NW-ZX700. According to Ars Technica, the NW-A300 is the more consumer-friendly of the two.

We’ll begin with the NW-A300, the more user-friendly of the two. The NW-A105 debuted in 2019 with this basic design, but it came with Android 9. This is a more recent version of that device, with a newer version of Android, a new SoC, and a scalloped back design. The 32GB version costs 46,000 yen (about $360) in Sony’s home country of Japan, while it costs 399 euro (about $430) in Europe. The NW-A300 is a tiny little device that measures 56.6×98.5×12 mm, or about the size of a deck of cards. […] A 3.6-inch, 60 Hz, 1280×720 touchscreen LCD dominates the front. The device has 32GB of storage and supports Wi-Fi 802.11AC and Bluetooth 5. That’s all Sony has to say about official specifications.

It promises “36 hours* of 44.1 KHz FLAC playback, up to 32 hours* of 96 KHz FLAC High-Resolution Audio playback” but does not specify how large the battery is. That is, presumably, with the screen turned off. […] Because this is a music player, there is a headphone jack on the bottom. There’s also a lanyard hole, a USB-C 3.2 Gen1 port for quick music transfers, and a MicroSD slot for storing all your music. Buttons on the device’s side provide access to all of the music controls you could want, including a hold switch, previous, play/pause, next, volume controls, and power.

The NW-ZX700 is another new Sony Walkman. While 104,500 yen ($818) may seem like a lot for a portable music player, it’s actually a relative bargain compared to the “Signature Series” NW-WM1ZM2, which costs an eye-watering $3,700 thanks to audiophile hocus-pocus like a “gold plated, oxygen-free, copper body.” Anyway, let’s get back to this $800 model. In contrast to standard phone equipment, this has a proper audio amplifier with large, beefy capacitors to power the analogue audio output. At 72.6×132 mm and 17 mm thick, it is significantly larger than the A300. It also has two audio outputs: a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack and a 4.4 mm “balanced” audio jack that some high-end audio equipment uses.


Sony, I’m sure, has a fantastic headphone collection to match. […] The S-Master HX digital amplifier chip is used in both this and the A300, and it supports Sony’s high-resolution “NativeDSD” audio format, which is also used on Super Audio CDs. If you’re a heathen who only listens to 128kb Spotify, Sony’s “DSEE Ultimate” feature claims to be able to “upscale” your music with AI. A “Vinyl Processor” adds record player noises to your audio for a more “authentic listening experience.”

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