So I’m a zoomer (Gen Z, the one after millennials). I’m too young to remember the Walkman being a thing (my only exposure to the walkman growing up was in Guardians of the Galaxy). Weirdly enough, though, the Sony Walkman is still alive in 2023, with two new devices heading to Australia. And they look sick as hell.
Named the NW-ZX707 and the NW-A306, Sony’s 2023 range of Walkmans (Walkmen?) are touch-screen, offering music streaming and saved music playback. They look like an Android smartphone, with sharp edges and music-oriented controls down the side.
And going through Sony’s announcement for the device, it was at this point that I began to wonder: why do Walkmans still exist?
Supposedly Walkmans offer better sound experiences than what you can get with a phone, at least according to reviews I’ve read of previous models, with the device also being just dedicated to this single use. For example, smartphones have terrific cameras, but real cameras will often generate better photos. Perhaps the same is true for music devices, with these new ones offering features like digital music file upscaling. Side-note, but if you’re an audio device buff and you’re reading this, I’d love to get your thoughts on this.
Anyway, let’s actually talk about the products. The NW-ZX707 and the NW-A306 are the newest additions to the Walkman range. The ZX-707 is the more premium model, with a 5-inch display, Wi-Fi compatibility and a 25-hour battery life (for 44.1kHz FLAC playback).
The NW-A306, at half the price, also has Wi-Fi capability, a 3.6-inch touch screen and a 36-hour battery life for 44.1kHz FLAC playback.
Both models offer 96kHz FLAC playback and, again, music streaming capability.
So, when could you pick one up and for how much? Wait… Almost $1,000?
- The Sony NW-ZX707 will cost $999 in Australia and will be available in late February
- The Sony NW-A306 will cost $499 in Australia and will be available in late February
Listen, I completely understand if you’re a music quality enjoyer, but this is a lot of money. I’m fine using my phone, I think.
Alternatively, Sony also sells a $109 and $199 model, along with a $4,999 model if you’ve been saving up (we reviewed the first version of that expensive one a while back).
But, hey, I am happy that Sony’s Walkman range still exists in 2023.
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