Let’s face it, portable multimedia playback devices have been replaced in the last 10 years by smartphones, these all-in-one devices that can do “anything”. Meanwhile, the companies that used to produce music players have refocused, but Sony remains one of the few companies keeps the flag standing. Recently, they introduced the Walkman range called “Signature”, dedicated especially to audiophiles. The newest models, NW-WM1ZM2 and NW-WM1AM2, reach prices of up to $4,200. As you can see in these images, the top Sony Walkman is gold plated .
These new Walkman MP3 players are so exclusive that they don’t even have clear brand names. Sony is presenting them with the model number, something that’s almost impossible to remember. These two models replace the offer with two similar devices from my old generation, which remain on sale but receive lower prices.
Sony praises the $4,200 NW-WM1ZM2, which comes with a 99.99% gold-plated copper metal chassis that promises better grounding and better durability over time. Thus, not only does it look good, but the design positively influences the audio quality played.
The NW-WM1AM2 is a similar device, but without copper and gold. It benefits from an aluminum metal frame, which ensures better shock resistance and better insulation of internal components. This protects the device from interference and noise from electromagnetic fields. It is clear that such capabilities are especially needed to ensure audio quality.
Sony’s new MP3 Players are so exclusive that they don’t even get a “regular” brand name.
Inside, these players use a proprietary digital amplifier called the S-Master HX, which uses lead-free solder. It connects to the 3.5mm jack with a Kimber Kable cable on the top model, and with a low-strength OFC cable on the cheaper version. Both should reduce the distortion of the sound being played. Some solders on the motherboard use gold, and software algorithms can process the music in real time to ensure the best quality, especially for compression songs. Otherwise, these FLAC/MP3 players are equipped with an Android operating system with a proprietary interface and also use Wi-Fi, so most likely you will be able to listen to FLAC or MP3 songs and streaming music.
Compared to modern smartphones, they use relatively small 5 ”screens with HD (720p) resolution. The battery life is 40 hours of playback in FLAC format, but compared to mobile phones, these devices are not permanently connected to the network and do not run as many services in the background. The only other difference between the configuration-level models is the storage.
The WM1ZM2 comes with 256 GB of storage, while the NW-WM1AM2 offers only 128 GB.
Would you buy an mp3 player in 2022?