Sony got well-heeled audiophiles around the globe rather excited when it took the wraps off its new high-definition better-than-CD-quality Walkman, the NW-ZX2, at the International CES back in January. Now it's been revealed how much the device is going to cost when it goes on sale.
Hued from solid aluminum, capable of 24-bit audio playback and of holding 1700 high-definition tracks while also being able to boost the quality of common or garden 16 bit compressed mp3s into the bargain, the NW-ZX2 sounded shockingly good.
Now Sony has announced when it will be going on sale -- February 13 in Sony Stores and February 3 online -- and how much it will cost and, at $1199.99 from the web, some would argue that it's also shockingly expensive.
There is no denying that the Walkman boasts some very impressive specifications and that it has been built without budgetary constraints -- for instance, all of the internal copper wiring is gold-plated to cut electrical impedance and boost sound quality and its Bluetooth connection uses the LDAC codec. That means that sound can be transferred wirelessly -- say to Bluetooth headphones or a speaker box -- three times more efficiently and without a drop in sound quality.
And there is equally no denying that there is a growing demand for high-resolution, lossless music; even streaming services such as Deezer and Spotify are adding a premium ‘lossless' tier to their existing offerings.
Meanwhile for $399, audiophiles can also now snap up the PonoPlayer. It may not boast Sony's clever Bluetooth or internal amplifier technologies but it does come with the backing of music legend Neil Young, has had massive publicity thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign, and will also start shipping in February.