Sony Announces New Walkman M2 Premium Players
Sony's Walkman is synonymous with portable audio, so the release of its NW-WM1AM2 and NW-WM1ZM2 has us interested.
Sony's NW-WM1AM2 and flashier-dressed NW-WM1ZM2 have been released to succeed the NW-WM1A and NW-WM1Z in the company's range of premium portable hi-res audio players after 6 years of service.
The M2 models feature a larger 5-inch display (compared with the predecessor's 4-inches) that's also been boosted to HD. You can also personalise the home screen. Additionally, battery stamina is up from 30 to 40 hours of FLAC playback, and there's now support for Android 11 and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Being Wi-Fi enabled now hands the players the ability to stream and download music wirelessly when you're hooked up to a network. Failing that, you can still always connect the device via its USB-C 3.2 port to feed it more tunes.
We're also told that several internal components, such as capacitors and the power supply, have been improved in the M2 iterations. Sony says the results of which offers “a richer, smoother and more expansive sound field compared to its predecessor”.
Both models benefit from S-Master HX digital amp technology, independently developed for Walkman. They also feature “a dual clock and fine sound register”. Furthermore, and for the first time, Sony has used a reflow solder containing gold to make for more precise sound localisation and a wider soundstage, so we are informed.
Also on board is a DSD Remastering Engine that resamples PCM audio into an 11.2 MHz DSD. Moreover, you can upscale compressed music files with the DSEE Ultimate algorithm. According to Sony, this restores details such as acoustic subtleties and gradients of dynamic range lost in the compression process, giving you a closer listening experience to the original audio.
Naturally, both players are compatible with balanced connections.
Separating these two new digital audio players (DAPs) is that the ZM2's chassis is made from “99.99% purity (4N) Gold-plated Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC)”. This is not just bling, however. We're told that “it realises a stronger digital ground and higher rigidity, enabling clear, expansive sound, so you can experience each instrument as if it were performing live.” Meanwhile, the AM2 utilises an aluminium alloy.
Also adding to the ZM2's premium price is the use of premium Kimber Kable cabling (as used in the Sony DMP-Z1) between the amplifier to the balanced headphone jack. In comparison, the AM2 utilises “low-resistance OFC cable”. The ZM2 also has twice the onboard storage – 256GB vs 128GB. That said, this can be further augmented thanks to microSD card slots on both models.
The two Sony Walkmans will be available from April 2022 with the NW-WM1AM2 costing US$1,600, and the NW-WM1ZM2 priced at US$3,200.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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