Hi-res audio is starting to gain some serious traction, and Sony just stuck a rocket up its backside at CES 2015.
The new Sony Walkman ZX2 is a portable music player designed for Hi-Res Audio. Packing a S-Master HX digital amplifier and 128GB of internal memory (plus a microSD card slot), the ZX2 supports digital music files up to 192 Khz/24 bit, in an array of file formats including MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, AIFF, WAV and ALAC with DSD.
The ZX2 is satisfyingly chunky (and surprisingly weighty) in the hand, with a textured matt black finish that's reminiscent of a camera. Playback buttons are indented into its curved surface, while the headphone jack is sited in a bulky surround that shows off a gold-plated copperplate finish (Sony claims it's designed for low electric resistivity).
The new Walkman also plays nice with non Hi-Res Audio sources; Sony claims that its DSEE HX technology is capable of upscaling lower quality sources.
The ZX2 lags behind in one area, though – it runs Android 4.2, though as it's not designed to be a flagship smartphone, that's not as much of an issue as it might seem.
The Sony Walkman ZX2 doesn't come cheap, either – it'll be available from Q2 2015 for a whopping US$1,000. We have yet to hear the ZX2 in action – check back for our hands-on (ears-on?) impressions.