It’s no exaggeration to say that when Sony released the Walkman in 1979 it changed the face of music, allowing us to take our tunes anywhere. By time production of the analog marvel ceased in 2010, around 200 million of the portable cassette players had been sold. So it’s no surprise Sony continue to try to breathe life back into it, ignoring the mass move away from dedicated portable music players with two new models – the NW-ZX707 (above) and the NW-A306, both of which promise an old-school Walkman experience with a modern edge.
With retro tech big business, this digital update is bound to keep finding a market – and Sony are bound to keep finding ways to refresh it, as they did with a gold-plated oxygen-free copper iteration (below) in April last year.
These new versions promise high quality sound backed up with sleek design, with the NW ZX707 pushed as a Premium Walkman crafted using “updated components of high-end models”. It features large upgraded fine-tuned capacitors and an audio amplifier for an immersive experience, plus a 5″ HD display.
It also has WiFi 802.11AC and Bluetooth 5 support, so you’re well sorted for downloading, streaming and sharing tunes, which is handy seeing as it packs 64GB of storage, all wrapped up in a sleek milled aluminium chassis.
Helping to emit quality sound resolution across all frequencies, the NW-ZX707 rolls with an 8mm coil, and uses a DSD Remastering Engine, where PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) audio is resampled into an 11.2 MHz DSD (Direct Stream Digital), offering more ways to enjoy music.”
Available late February, it’ll go for $999.
Meanwhile, the NW-A306 (below) is a little lighter in the financial department at $499, but is still “designed for discerning users looking for high-quality sound and style”.
It has a 3.6″ 60Hz 1280 x 720 LCD touchscreen and weighs in at a shade under 200g. Like its premium big brother, it has WiFi 802 and Bluetooth 5, but only has 32GB of storage – and it comes in black or blue.
Both new Walkmans also come with Android 12, and have the S-Master HX digital amplifier chip to reduce distortion and noise across a wide range of frequencies. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB-C charging, plus longer battery life than previous revamped Walkman models, with the NW-ZX707 promising 25 hours playback, and the NW-A306 boasting up to 36 hours.