Last fall, the Sony Walkman sprung from the ashes of the 90s, reborn as a hi-def audio phoenix with lots of lossless codec support and a $300 price tag. Today, the Walkman returns once again. This time it costs about as much as a used '89 Cadillac Eldorado.
Aside from the iconic brand name and same robust file support, the new Walkman NW-ZX2 builds on its recent predecessor with 128GB onboard storage, a microSD slot, and a lovely-looking touchscreen display. It also improves on the original Walkman by connecting to the internet and not being the size of two stacked Cliff Bars.
All in all it looks like a delightful little audio player if you care deeply about the quality of the music you are carrying in your pocket. But that price! That price. That price is a declarative price, a statement that not only is hi-resolution audio a totally legitimate upgrade, it's one worth paying college fund money for. This is a tough sell, because pushing your audio quality up beyond CD levels is like trying to fill a water bottle that's already capped. Your ears can only ear so much.
There's no question that it looks nice and will sound as nice as a portable music player could possibly sound (depending on your headphones probably?). And it has Google Cast compatibility, meaning you can shoot the sound to any number of compatible speakers, including these, which Sony is also announcing:
Also nice! But asking people to pay $1200 for an audio player that runs a two-year-old version of Android, that is definitionally overkill, that even at 128GB will fill up pretty quick as you load up those hi-res audio files, seems not entirely sane. If you miss the 90s that much, Saved By the Bell is on Netflix.