Sony ZX2 High-Resolution Walkman: Review

Written by on January 18, 2016

TIMO
Sony has decided to push the boundaries of music portability with the Sony ZX2 High-Resolution Walkman. With a price tag of SGD1599, people might think you have to be a little daft to buy such a product, or do they?

For starters, the Walkman looks brilliant.

It has a sleek Aluminium Alloy body accompanied by a rubber back, which serves both an aesthetic purpose as well as a function one. The Aluminium Alloy is resistive to electrical noise and other interference that plague the music experience of other players. However, what catches your eye during the very first inspection of the product is the thicker than usual earphone jack, which despite standing out on first sight, blends in quite well with the product.

All of these might seem minute at first, but the difference between in a good and excellent musical experience lies in the small details. The player comes with many little details be it physical such as using the purest metal in its cables, low-resistance OFC cable, or digital processing such as ClearAudio+.

Don’t understand what each of the aforementioned does? It’s alright because all you to know is how much difference in audio quality it makes. I have heard how some songs sounded like through expensive studio monitors and was amazed on how the walkman was able to replicate the exact output.

It comes with a 128GB storage to store all your high-fidelity songs, considering an average Audiophile FLAC album (24 bit/44.1K) is 500MB to 1.5GB in size. With such a huge storage, it can also be used as a portable hard drive to store other things such as your documents, allowing you to be productive while enjoying high-quality music.

With a great player, comes a pair of great headphones. That’s where the MDR-1ABT steps in.

The pair of headphones easily complements the high-resolution output of the Walkman, with every note and frequency meticulously replicated with a frequency response ranging from 4Hz – 100kHz. It’s soft leather ear pads and light weight allows the headphones to fit snugly on your head while making sure you don’t feel tired when using it for long periods of time. If cables aren’t your thing, don’t fret. It has a built-in Bluetooth with LDAC codec support, ensuring you enjoy the finest quality without the fuss of wires.

Despite having a lot of advantages, both products have some faults. The Walkman’s ClearAudio+ feature drains the battery much faster and sometimes brighten the highs too much which can be extremely annoying. The headphones give you the sense that the headphones can only be used with the Walkman and nothing else, considering how I got more out of my other pair of studio monitors than the MDR-1ABT when using my iPhone to listen to music.

Despite it all, the ZX2 High-Resolution Walkman and the MDR-1ABT are both amazing products, and if you are finding a high-resolution portable music player, look no further. Both products will serve whatever audiophile needs and wants you so crave.

 

AMMZEY
The Sony WALKMAN gets a lot of things right, straight off the bat. Superb sound quality is to be expected, and the WALKMAN audio does not disappoint. Paired with the Sony headphones, it delivers loud, thumpy bass along with crisp highs and mids that never gets in the way of your song. The soundstage is great, the different instruments make themselves very clear in itself, but all of it is to be expected from a music giant like Sony.

The device however, was a bit different. You’ll be spending ~$1600 for an MP3 player, so it’s vital you know where your money is going. The device comes with a built in amp, which is nice because you don’t have to worry with extremely bulky gadgets weighing down your pockets. That isn’t to say the device is small or light, it’s just a lot more value for space. The battery life doesn’t disappoint, and if you only use it for music, the battery can easily last 3-4 days before you need to charge it. Which brings me to my next point, where it could have been a million times better. The choice to run android on the MP3 player might raise a few questions, but the rationale is pretty clear. They wanted people to integrate Google Play music and Internet functionality into their music listening experience, but all I got was a ‘what if’ of an even longer battery life because I didn’t use any of the extra functionality besides the default music app, so the whole point of running android in it was just a dead weight to the battery life. Battery life aside, I really enjoyed my time with the beautiful device, but I would consider you try it out for yourself before you drop 1.6 grand for it.

Picture courtesy of Sony.


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