Sony walkman NW-A306

Gear

Sony’s nostalgic Walkmans offer premium audio at a palatable price

Walkmans may have fallen out of favor with the general public, but Sony is still working on updated versions of its iconic portable music players.

Sony

Believe it or not, Walkmans are still a thing. Sony introduced its two latest Walkmans, the NW-ZX707 and the NW-A306, which combine nostalgia with modern features.

The Sony NW-A306 gets up to 36 hours of playback.Sony

Premium audio experience — Sony is embracing the modern ways people listen to music since the NW-A306 lets you download or stream music. The NW-A306 is Wi-Fi compatible, weighs only seven ounces, and has a 3.6-inch touchscreen while also retaining physical buttons.

It looks like the NW-ZX707 will be the more premium offering since it has a five-inch display, upgraded fine-tuned capacitors for large capacitance and low resistance, and a large 8mm coil for better sound resolution across frequencies. Sony upgraded the NW-ZX707 and the NW-A306 with AI capabilities since they both use Edge-AI and DSEE Ultimate tech that upscales compressed digital music files in real-time.

The NW-ZX707’s premium build should offer a much better audio experience.Sony

Both models also use S-Master HX digital amp tech to reduce distortion and noise across frequencies for better overall sound. While other tech companies are ditching physical buttons, Sony is sticking with physical music controls. Sony is also including ports, like a headphone jack, a MicroSD slot, and even a slot to loop in a lanyard.

You’ll get up to 22 hours of music streaming on the NW-ZX707 but up to 25 hours of 44.1kHz FLAC playback. The NW-A306 gets 26 hours of playback on streaming services, but up to 36 hours on 44.1kHz FLAC playback.

A specific demographic — The NW-ZX707 and the NW-A306 are coming to the Asia Pacific and European markets later this month. The NW-A306 will come in black, blue, and grey, retailing for roughly $355. Sony didn’t reveal the price for the NW-ZX707 yet.

The NW-A306 comes in three different colors and starts at around $355.Sony

It’s ambitious for Sony to continue making portable music players, but it feels like these two Walkmans only target audiophiles looking for a premium on-the-go music-listening experience. It may be enough to win over those audiophiles, but it’s unlikely to convert most of the general public. After all, most people are perfectly content using a smartphone and Spotify to get them through the workday or workout.

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