Good old Walkman! Many of us remember the joy in anticipation to start A1 song on favorite cassette tape. Now, Sony count on us nostalgic fans to play old cassette tapes in style to get back to the old good times. At the IFA in Berlin this year, Sony unveiled the new “Signature Series” reference devices, including the NWM1Z and NWM1A Walkman, MDR-Z1R headphones and TA-ZH1ES headphone amp. The NWM1Z Walkman is literally gold-plated, which not only makes it bling, but supposedly reduces “contact resistance and oxidation,” according to Sony. And, it will cost you $3,200 (£2,500). The non-gold version will be $1,200.
The Walkman made headlines for the first time in years in 2015, when Sony released a newly revised version that had capabilities for playing lossless audio files.
The Walkman’s design has been tweaked very slightly from last year’s model. The headphone jack has been moved to the top of the device and there have been slight adjustments elsewhere on the body. It remains to be seen how the user interface will change, if at all, from the most recent revision.
Apart from some ‘not-so-big’ changes, both the versions in the series are pretty similar (with both supporting the 384 kHz/32-bit “Hi-Res” music format) with slight differences that only a serial audiophile can decipher.
The new Walkman also has a “dual clock circuit with low phase noise quartz oscillator,” which is an obscure part of the digital-to-analog conversion chain that’s probably important to get right and difficult to measure the results of, but will theoretically lead to improvements in sound quality.