News is continuously pouring out of CES 2015 about the latest and greatest to be released this week. One that has really gotten tongues wagging is the Walkman ZX2, though it has to do more with its price tag than its features.
The device itself is incredibly high end. It features an endless number of components that were hand picked for their quality, and the design improves on the less impressive ZX1 with its sleek casing and etched buttons along the side.
As far as capabilities, it reads MP3, FLAC, WAV, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, AAC-LC, HE-AAC, DSD and AIFF formats. The S-Master HS and DSEE HX provide a high quality audio experience, and the 128 GB of on board storage (up to 256 GB expansion through microSD) can hold a lot of music.
This is, in every way, an audiophiles dream.
Along with the positives, there are a lot of negatives, however. It is running Android 4.2 Jellybean, for one. It only allows for some apps to be downloaded through Google Play, for another. Though its WIFI connection at least gives you access to streaming playlists and online content.
For $1,100 you would just expect more. However good the files sound, there are too many other high end MP3 players out there that offer you the exact same thing, for a fraction of the price. There are even devices that read all the same formats.
Ultimately, this was a huge disappointment. Everyone was expecting a new Walkman, and it would have been a welcome step from Sony, who haven’t released anything at least semi-affordable since the $300 A17 (the ZX1 was a laughable $600, which seems modest now in comparison to its latest follow-up).
Instead, we got a bloated, albeit impressive foray into the extreme high end of the market. But one that not many people are likely to invest in. Especially since it doesn’t work for anything but a media device, no matter how heavenly the refrains might be.
As for Sony, hopefully they move back into more mid-range products soon. Not that this wasn’t a cool experiment, but it would be nice to be able to realistically afford what they are putting out.
Seriously, is anyone but Bill Gates likely to buy this thing?