Do you still remember the Walkman? Popular music players from Sony have survived more than one change of generations of music carriers, but with the development of smartphones they have moved into the category of niche devices mostly for fans. But that doesn’t stop Sony from continuing to release them.
Recently, the company introduced two Walkman players based on Android 12: NW-A300 and NW-ZX700. According to ArsTechnica, the models will be sold in the EU, UK and, of course, Japan.
The younger NW-A300 Walkman takes its design from the NW-A105, which debuted in 2019 with Android 9. The new one is an updated version of that device with a newer version of Android, a new processor, and a textured design. In Sony’s home country, Japan, the version with 32 GB of memory costs 46,000 yen (about $360), and in Europe – 399 euros.
The NW-A300 has a 3.6-inch touchscreen LCD display with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and a refresh rate of 60 Hz. There is also 32 GB of built-in memory, support for Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5. This is basically all that Sony reports in the official specifications.
However, the company claims “longer battery life” but doesn’t say how big the battery is, promising only “36 hours of 44.1kHz FLAC playback, up to 32 hours of 96kHz Hi-Res FLAC audio playback.” It’s probably all with the screen off.
On The Walkman Blog website, documentation for the A300 was found in October, listing a 1500 mAh battery. In addition, the results of Geekbench show that the model received a new Qualcomm quad-core processor, but without specifying a specific version, and 4 GB of RAM.
Of course, as a music player should, there is a headphone jack on the bottom panel of the Walkman NW-A300. In addition, the device also has a strap mount, a high-speed USB-C 3.2 Gen1 port for fast music transfer, and a microSD card slot.
The Sony Walkman NW-ZX700 is a larger and more expensive model, priced at ¥104,500 ($818) in Japan. For these funds, the user will receive a proper audio amplifier with capacitors for powering the analog audio output. This makes the player much larger than the A300 at 72.6x132mm and 17mm thick.
The model also has two audio outputs: a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack and a 4.4 mm “balanced” audio jack used in some high-end audio equipment.
Walkman Blog specified that the player uses a Qualcomm QCS4290 processor. Qualcomm’s non-smartphone chips aren’t that familiar, but with an 11nm process, eight Kryo 260 cores and an Adreno 610 GPU, it’s pretty close to the Snapdragon 662 without a modem. The ZX700 has a larger 5-inch display with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and 64 GB of built-in memory. Sony promises about 23 hours of audio playback, which is noticeably less than in the younger version, because the power of the amplifier affects the battery charge.
The NW-ZX700 Walkman, like the A300, uses an S-Master HX digital amplifier chip that supports Sony’s NativeDSD high-resolution audio format, which is also used on Super Audio CDs.
If you’ve for some reason bought an expensive stand-alone music player just to stream music from Spotify, Sony claims that DSEE Ultimate can “enhance” streaming music using AI.