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This overpriced Walkman is made for first-time audiophiles

If you’re the type to spend the price of a high-end computer to enjoy your music in super high quality, Sony has you covered.

Since the legendary iPod came to an end, few manufacturers are still venturing into the field of portable audio players. It must be admitted that these devices have largely fallen into disuse with the democratization of smartphones. Today, those who persist seek above all to seduce frenzied audiophiles who will stop at nothing to spoil their esgourdes. And it is on this approach that Sony has bet with its legendary Walkman.

The little musical brick has evolved a lot in half a century. The blue and silver cassette player released in 1979 is resurrected in 2016 in quite a different guise; it has given way to a much more modern device which now gives pride of place to high quality songs. Yesterday, the Korean manufacturer unveiled two new, even more expensive versions of this luxury player.

As on previous models, these new Walkmans have it under the hood. They will support a myriad of different audio files, starting with so-called lossless formats such as FLAC or MQA which are very popular with audiophiles.

Widgets at the service of low definition music

Of course, the good old .mp3 and other classic formats will also be there. We also find the DSSE Ultimate, a oversampling technology which attempts to improve the quality of these highly compressed files. On previous models, users weren’t particularly impressed with this system. But maybe the new version will do better since the algorithm has been improved.

We also note the appearance of a mode Vinyl Processora processing algorithm that “brings the warmth and character of vinyl back to your digital tracks” through “subtle reproduction of low-frequency resonance, surface noise, and arm resistance to deliver a immersive experience. authentic listening.”

Wide compatibility

These two new versions run on Android 11, and will therefore benefit from a native compatibility with most music streaming services like Spotify or YouTube Music. But consuming music in standard quality feels like nonsense with an audiophile device of this type; customers of this device will more likely turn to platforms like Tidal, which offer encoded music without loss of quality.

In terms of connectivity, this Walkman has a 4.4mm connector standard on this type of device. It will also be possible to enjoy very good audio quality without any wires thanks to the support for the LDACa wireless codec that offers up to 3x the bitrate of standard Bluetooth.

An object worth its weight in gold

Overall, the two models are therefore almost identical inside. To find the rare differences between the two models, you have to look at the coating. The cheaper one is constructed from aluminum, while the other is constructed from a OFC copper 99% gold plated!

There is also a difference in storage. The cheaper of the two will be entitled to 256 GB; his little brother will have to make do with 128 GB. Note that both devices will be equipped with a SD card reader to extend this capacity, which will not be a luxury given the weight of a high definition audio library.

These two new versions of the Walkman will be available very soon on Sony’s official website. But we will have to put our hands in our pockets; for the gold-plated NW-WM1ZM2 model, it will cost approximately 3540€. Suffice to say that they will be reserved for absolute audiophiles who refuse to make the slightest concession. Fortunately, the NW-WM1AM2 will cost you significantly less; but this “budget” version will still cost you a trifle of 1340€.

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