Sony ZX1 Walkman UK price and release date confirmed

8 Jan 2014

Sony ZX1

Sony has confirmed its flagship high-resolution audio Walkman, the NWZ-ZX1, will be coming to the UK.

The Walkman, which we first spied at IFA in Berlin last year, is due for release this February and will come with a price tag of around £550.

Officially announced at CES 2014, the Walkman joins other high-res audio music players announced at CES, such as the Astell & Kern AK240.

You can read our first impresions of the ZX1 in our hands-on review and we will be bringing you an exclusive review of the finished UK product very soon.

MORE: Sony NWZ-ZX1 review

MORE: High-resolution audio: everything you need to know


Originally published 09.10.2013:

Sony Walkman High-res

We originally spotted the new NWZ-ZX1 at IFA, amongst the new family of Sony high-resolution hi-fi products.

Alongside the officially-announced high-res Sony Walkman F886 – which sports WiFi and the Android OS for apps, web browsing and more – was a product simply labelled "Walkman Prototype". 

Well, we now know that product is the Sony NWZ-ZX1, an Android-toting, high-res supporting, 128GB high-res music player. 

Best of IFA 2013: Top 10 new products

According to the specs, it features a 4in FWVGA (854 x 480 pixel) LCD display, NFC, wifi and Bluetooth. Audio file support includes 24bit/192kHz, Apple Lossless (ALAC), FLAC, WAV and AIFF.

Contrary to early reports, the ZX1 does feature WiFi connectivity and will run Android 4.1 (aka Jelly Bean) but the specs still don't show an FM tuner. Battery life looks to be around 30-40 hours although this will obviously depend on playback conditions...

Needless to say at IFA, Sony assured us this flagship Walkman would sport sophisticated internal circuitry and other top grade audio components for optimum sound quality.

The ZX1 has a leather-effect rear casing as well as a notable bump in the profile, which Sony claims "improves holding comfort" and "holds all the key components for improving sound quality". 

While we can't vouch for the feel, the aluminium edge on the design did look smart, with a simple Sony logo and the odd flash of colour to brighten the display.

Also on display at IFA was a prototype headphone amp, the PH-A2, which could possibly be portable, though this wasn't confirmed.

Sony High-Res headphone amp

According to Sony Japan's website, we're looking at a December launch, although there's yet to be any official confirmation for the European market. It's priced at ¥74,800 which is around £482. It's isn't exactly cheap - let's just hope sound quality is up to scratch. Then again, compared to the Astell & Kern AK120, it's not so pricey...

It's clear that Sony is serious, once more, about high-resolution audio, and with the LG G2 phone and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 being released with high-res support, it seems they're not the only ones.

EXCLUSIVE: We talk high-res audio, 4K TV and more with Sony

 

by Andy Madden

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Comments

Very nice, but WAYYY too expensive.  Besides, no support to SD or microSD card at all!   Btw, you can't compare that huge-noise-fly-class called iPod (argh!) with this!

In other words, brainless ARGHpple fan detected!

Hi ManWhoCan,

I'll ask the question, but i'm not sure it does/will use DSD DACs. However it will play 24bit/192kHz FLAC, WAV, AIFF and ALAC...

@ Andy Madden

Please find out if these will use DSD DACs. We are in bad need of a good 'Walkman' to play all our DSD files, with no conversion to PCM. They should play 24 bit Flac too, as that is the most common format/resolution all my friends & I use. To cap it all, it would be good to have surround pass through too. Smile

I agree with the others; iPod Classic is not a good sounding player.

The current iPod classic sounds rubbish. That's a fact. Glad to see someone cares about sound.

One sure-fire way to help people convert to this is to offer them a "swapshop" where they can (as an introductory offer) "trade up" all their crummy 128kbps tracks for a lossless version - do that and they'll sell these by the shedload to all the people now spending hundreds on headphones. It's the next big re-discovery (after cycling!).

Standard digital output would be useful.

Whoops - slip of the keyboard! Now amended...

Actually iPod Classic has only 160Gb, not 250Gb as reported and there are rumours its days are numbered. There may be a 128Gb iPod Touch on the way. I would love to see a 256Gb iPod, or Walkman for that matter. Hey why not a 512???