Sony has a couple of the latest Android Walkmans out, the NW-A300 and NW-ZX700. Yes, it really is Walkman, Sony’s mythical music participant logo from the 1980s. Apple may have given up on the idea of a smartphone-connected track player when it discontinued the iPod Touch line, but Sony still makes Android-powered Walkmans and has for some time.The first was in 2012 with the Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread-powered NWZ-Z1000, which looked like Sony simply stripped the modem out of an Xperia smartphone and shoved it onto the market as a music player. Since then, Sony has made designs with better-built hardware, and nowadays there are an entire series of Android-powered Walkman music players obtainable. Unfortunately, those new ones appear to be available only in Japan, the United Kingdom, and Europe for the time being.
We’ll begin with the more patron-pleasing of the two, the NW-A300. This simple design debuted in 2019 with the NW-A105, which shipped with Android 9. This is an upgraded model of that device with a much less-historical version of Android, a brand new SoC, and a scalloped lower back layout. In Sony’s home country of Japan, the 32GB version is 46,000 yen (about $360), and in Europe, it’s 399 euros (approximately $430).
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The NW-A300 is a tiny little tool that measures 56.6×98.Five×12 mm, so pretty near a deck of gambling playing cards. And, in fact, only appearance in those photos.Sony may not be the client electronics juggernaut it was, but it still has an excellent product layout department. I don’t have any use for a standalone music player, but each of those Walkmans is so quiet that I simply want to hold one.
A three.6-inch, 60 Hz, 1280720 touchscreen LCD dominates the front.There’s 32GB of storage, and the device helps with Wi-Fi 802.11AC and Bluetooth 5. That’s about all Sony has to say about official specifications.It touts “longer battery life” but won’t say how massive the battery is, promising at most “36 hours* of 44.1 KHz FLAC playback, as much as 32 hours* of 96 KHz FLAC High-Resolution Audio playback.” Presumably, it really is all off with the display screen off.
For greater specs, we will visit The Walkman Blog, an excellent website online that is very serious about these little track players. In October, the web site discovered documentation for the A300 listing a 1500 mAh battery. The gadget-on-a-chip inside the older NW-A100 version became the NXP i.MX8M-Mini, a wildly slow 28-nanometer SoC that has simply four Arm Cortex-A53 CPUs and 4GB of RAM. You can say, “This is only a track player,” but it truly is no longer sincerely authentic since it nonetheless runs full Android with an app store and the entirety. Geekbench rankings display that this has a new quad-center Qualcomm chip of some type with 4GB of RAM, but we can’t be sure of the model quantity. A newer chip with smaller transistors would possibly account for some of that “better battery life” promise.
This is a portable tuner, so of course there is a headphone jack on the bottom of the unit. You’ll also find a spot for a lanyard, a rapid USB-C 3.2 Gen1 port for brief music transfers, and a MicroSD slot for storing all your music. Buttons along the side of the tool also come up with every tune control you can need, like a keep switch, previous, play/pause, next, extent controls, and strength.
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- The Sony Walkman NW-ZX700 is available in black and gold.
- The income pitch here is a genuine analogue amplifier system, as evidenced by the large capacitors and coils on the motherboard.
- There are also audio outputs, three.5 mm and four.4 mm.
- No AirPods, please. With a real amp, you are meant to use giant Sony headphones and a 4.4 mm plug.
- Making room for those capacitors means it’s actually thick.
- The returned.
- For a serious throwback vibe, you get a tape player interface.
- Sure, you can adjust the volume with buttons, but there’s also this stunning golden volume knob in the software.
There’s another new Sony Walkman, the NW-ZX700. It costs 104,500 yen ($818) in Japan, and while that may seem like a lot for a portable track player, it is simply a relative bargain when compared to the “Signature Series” NW-WM1ZM2, which costs an eye-watering $3,700 and includes audiophile hocus-pocus like a “gold-plated, oxygen-free, copper frame.”
Anyway, back to this $800 version. Unlike normal cellphone equipment, this has a proper audio amplifier with massive, beefy capacitors to power the analogue audio output. That makes it an awful lot bigger than the A300, at 72132 mm and a whopping 17 mm thick. It also has audio outs: a standard three.5 mm headphone jack and a 4.4 mm “balanced” audio jack that is utilised by some high-end audio equipment. I’m certain Sony has a brilliant headphone collection to match.
The Walkman Blog has the SoC nailed down to a Qualcomm QCS4290. The non-cellphone Qualcomm model numbers aren’t that familiar; however, with an 11 nm chip with 8 Kryo 260 CPUs and an Adreno 610 GPU, that is pretty close to a Snapdragon 662 without the modem. The ZX700, the larger-frame method, has a larger five-inch, 1280720 display and 64GB of storage.Sony is promising around 23 hours of audio playback, so powering all those amp tools is taking a toll on the battery.
Both this and the A300 use the S-Master HX digital amplifier chip, which supports Sony’s excessive-decision “NativeDSD” audio format, which is likewise used on Super Audio CDs. If you’re a heathen, this is just streaming 128kb Spotify. Sony’s “DSEE Ultimate” feature claims that AI can “upscale” your music.There’s also a “Vinyl Processor” as a way to add participant noises to your audio for an “actual listening experience.”
Both devices are due out in February in Japan.