CES 2015: There’s another Walkman on the way, and it’s not cheap

How many of people out there actually have a dedicated portable music player? There are probably quite people who aren’t content with using the music player on their smartphones, but how many of them are going to want to pay £949 for it?

Sony seems to think that people are willing to spend that kind of money on a music player, which is why it’s unveiled an updated version of the Walkman that costs £949. It’s called the NW-ZX2.

That is an awful lot to spend on any gadget, so what exactly would you be getting? Sony is continuing a push for high quality music, so the NW-ZX2 will skip the MP3s in favour of the LDAC codec. Sony is even going so far as to claim that the NW-ZX2’s ‘Hi-Res Audio’ is superior quality to that found in CDs.

Obviously better quality means larger file sizes, so Sony is supplying 128GB of internal storage and microSD expansion to make sure you have plenty of space. It also connects to the internet, has a touchscreen display, and runs on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean). So basically it’s Sony’s equivalent of the iPod Touch, just a lot more expensive and running on an operating system that’s more than two years old.

On top of that, the screen has a sub-720p resolution (840×480) and it’s not entirely clear whether you’ll be able to install Android apps from Google Play. It does have a 60 hour battery life, though, so it’s not all bad news.

There’s certainly a market for dedicated music players and high quality audio, but I do wonder how many people will be willing to pay £949 for the privilege. Sony certainly seems to think so, and if you’re one of the people it’s targeting then you can pre-order the NW-ZX2 Walkman from Sony’s online store.

This week we’re bringing you all the latest news, videos and gossip from CES 2015 in Las Vegas. Check out the CES 2015 page to keep up to date and subscribe to our YouTube channel to see hands-on news with our editor Holly Brockwell from the show floor.

Tom Pritchard

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