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Sony Introduces 1000.00USD Audiophile Walkman

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At CES Sony's unveiled a $1000.00(!) Walkman, apparently trying to court the (rich) audiophile...

 

http://www.stuff.tv/sony/ces-2015/ces-2015-new-sony-walkman-slab-hi-res-audio-loveliness/news

 

 

 

Hi-res audio is starting to gain some serious traction, and Sony just stuck a rocket up its backside at CES 2015.

 

The new Sony Walkman ZX2 is a portable music player designed for Hi-Res Audio. Packing a S-Master HX digital amplifier and 128GB of internal memory (plus a microSD card slot), the ZX2 supports digital music files up to 192 Khz/24 bit, in an array of file formats including MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, AIFF, WAV and ALAC with DSD.

The ZX2 is satisfyingly chunky (and surprisingly weighty) in the hand, with a textured matt black finish that's reminiscent of a camera. Playback buttons are indented into its curved surface, while the headphone jack is sited in a bulky surround that shows off a gold-plated copperplate finish (Sony claims it's designed for low electric resistivity).

 

The new Walkman also plays nice with non Hi-Res Audio sources; Sony claims that its DSEE HX technology is capable of upscaling lower quality sources.

The ZX2 lags behind in one area, though – it runs Android 4.2, though as it's not designed to be a flagship smartphone, that's not as much of an issue as it might seem.

 

The Sony Walkman ZX2 doesn't come cheap, either – it'll be available from Spring 2015 for a whopping US$1,000. We have yet to hear the ZX2 in action – check back for our hands-on (ears-on?) impressions.

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not gonna lie - I totally want one.

 

192kHz / 24bit audio playback of compatible files, as well as the added benefit of any streaming service that is available for Android. yes please.

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The statement I read said it will be priced at "over $1,000" for 128gb? Thanks Kaz!

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I think it seems a bit excessive, and poorly thought out (typical Sony) - at least they didn't chain it down with a proprietary media format...

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128gb?

 

Not nearly enough. I imagine about 1/100th of my collection would fit on that in 24 bit files.

 

Should be at least 500gb off the hop with at least 2 sd slots.

Edited by StephenG

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Hard drive space is pretty low for that price considering the lossless media format, my old iPod classic has 120 gigs for chrissakes.

Edited by chim

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128 gbs...might as well have a USB slot so I can attach an external drive...

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Interesting idea, but when you're getting into that upper echelon of sound quality you'd need to be listening to them in a completely acoustically treated room on expensive monitors for it to matter at all. Lol @ the irony of someone putting a bunch of 24-bit wavs on there and listening to it on a noisy subway or walking down a city street while the ambient sounds of car horns & jackhammers all around them totally invalidate any upgrade

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Interesting idea, but when you're getting into that upper echelon of sound quality you'd need to be listening to them in a completely acoustically treated room on expensive monitors for it to matter at all. Lol @ the irony of someone putting a bunch of 24-bit wavs on there and listening to it on a noisy subway or walking down a city street while the ambient sounds of car horns & jackhammers all around them totally invalidate any upgrade

 

Yes.

 

Does it come with these?

 

a070b.jpg

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Gizmodo says it will cost $1,200

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Interesting idea, but when you're getting into that upper echelon of sound quality you'd need to be listening to them in a completely acoustically treated room on expensive monitors for it to matter at all. Lol @ the irony of someone putting a bunch of 24-bit wavs on there and listening to it on a noisy subway or walking down a city street while the ambient sounds of car horns & jackhammers all around them totally invalidate any upgrade

 

have you read the early pono backers comments on the kickstarter page? it's basically a bunch of recommendations for high end headphones or studio monitors to get so they can test their pono players.

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Hard drive space is pretty low for that price considering the lossless media format, my old iPod classic has 120 gigs for chrissakes.

But this is flash memory storage versus a spinning disk that eats up battery life... still, you can get a 128GB flash drive for under 50 bucks these days.

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Interesting idea, but when you're getting into that upper echelon of sound quality you'd need to be listening to them in a completely acoustically treated room on expensive monitors for it to matter at all. Lol @ the irony of someone putting a bunch of 24-bit wavs on there and listening to it on a noisy subway or walking down a city street while the ambient sounds of car horns & jackhammers all around them totally invalidate any upgrade

 

have you read the early pono backers comments on the kickstarter page? it's basically a bunch of recommendations for high end headphones or studio monitors to get so they can test their pono players.

 

 

But the whole point of a Walkman is the portability. If you're gonna listen to it on studio monitors and have a decent studio, just use your computer & the audio interface your studio inevitably already has. If you're gonna listen to it out & about, then the ambient noise of the real world is going to make any boost in audio quality irrelevant, no matter how good your headphones are. (especially since high-end headphones are still made to be used in a quiet studio, not on a train or bus)

 

tl;dr ~ Most audiophile shit is snake oil and this is no different. Fool & their money soon parted and all that.

Edited by autopilot

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I agree with Autopilot - I see no need for high-fidelity audio playback on a portable player.

 

Now, if there were headphones that streamed from your home audio setup... that would make more sense. Get on it, Apple!

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But the whole point of a Walkman is the portability.

 

pono is supposed to be portable too. i was agreeing with you the futility of what they're doing- but i think these devices will sell because we're a capitalist society and love to purchase new products

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All this high resolution audio sounds like a bunch of woo. I get it for working with audio, but to listen. Pish.

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Now, if there were headphones that streamed from your home audio setup... that would make more sense.

 

how it would make more sense? how would higher resolution than the official cd quality (44.1k/16bit) for a playback make more sense?

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192kHz / 24bit audio playback of compatible files, as well as the added benefit of any streaming service that is available for Android. yes please.

Damnit, I can get so close on my phone - It knows what it is, and it knows how long it should be but, silence....

 

jsdkwx.jpg

 

Reg'lar FLACs seem a-ok though

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Seems pointless, but I'd still get one if I had the extra cash.

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I hope the douchebags who buys this will listen to music using their Beats by Dre headphones...

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I agree with Autopilot - I see no need for high-fidelity audio playback on a portable player.

 

Now, if there were headphones that streamed from your home audio setup... that would make more sense. Get on it, Apple!

 

 

Quick question for the folks here - is there a concern about serious quality loss via streaming to headphones? I noticed that Sennheiser just announced some wireless headphones with fancy "apt-X" technology - but, really, is it even possible to not lose significant sound quality when going wireless?

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I mix almost all music at 24bit/44.1khz and broadcast/theatre mixes at 24bit/48khz. I've never had anyone, in 10 years, ask me if I mixed at any specific bit rate/sample rate or complained about audio quality.

This audiophile stuff is, IMO, BS. I'm even hearing the opposite these days - that cassettes are the best for audio quality for warmth and all that pseudo-acoustic stuff.

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FWIW you can already stream losslessly from your home audio setup to headphones by way of your wi-fi connected phone + uPnP (technically its not "directly" to headphones but most of us usually have our cell phones in our pockets already). Running foobar on my laptop I can stream directly to my android for playback with Bubble uPnP, which I don't do all that often but is quite handy when I'm doing projects around the house and can throw on a pair of headphones.

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