Sony has a long an rich history with portable music. In fact, they practically invented the category with the original Walkman in 1979, with its iconic headphones and cassette playback functions.
In the years since 1979, the medium of delivery of music changed from vinyl to cassette to CD, MP3 and back to vinyl again, as it managed to outsell CDs in 2015.
It is perhaps true there is something in the crisp sound of a vinyl record that sounds so much purer than the compressed audio of a CD or a ripped MP3, even the MP4 format uses a level of compression that the audiophile can identify.
Sony is looking now to reclaim past glory in the portable music scene, and to tap into the audio purist market with a High Resolution Audio version of its Walkman series.
The NW-ZX2 compares High-Resolution Audio to the switch between Standard Definition TV and 1080p High Definition. Even compressed audio files are upscaled closer to High-Resolution Audio with DSEE HX which aims to restore lost detail to MP3s to bring back the experience of the original recording.
To get the full effect of the ZX2, you really will not be using to earpods that came with your iPhone. A great pair of headphones would be recommended and even with the upscaling offered for existing files, downloading or ripping files in the High Resolution format is essential.
Running Android 4.2 and with an estimated battery life of 33 hours (60 Hours if listening MP3 files only). 128GB of internal storage comes as standard but this can be expanded to 256GB (with optional 128 GB microSD card), this equates to about 1700 songs stored as Hi-Res Audio files.
The High-Resolution audio experience doesn't come cheap, as Sony have tacked a price tag in excess of €1,000 on to the ZX2 Walkman.