Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Sony adds more Android Walkman media player choices

The “Walkman” name keeps on ticking, as Sony keeps its Android media player thing going, even if it has left phones in Australia.

Only a few weeks into the year and already gadgets are on their way out, though not all of them might be what you expect. While we haver a pretty good inkling what Samsung has on the way in February, phones aren’t on the mind of every manufacturer around.

In fact, Sony — which departed phone releases in Australia quite a while ago — is channeling phone features in a slightly different way, by throwing a similar concept into a media player with a touchscreen and Android on-board, like it has done in the past.

We’ve seen Sony’s revived Walkman models a few times now, but 2023 is getting a slightly different variation on that theme, as the small low-end model Sony normally offers is departing, replaced by a mid-range variation that runs Android. Now that’s something different.

That’s coming in the Sony NW-A306, a model without an easy to say name that’ll sport a 3.6 inch touchscreen and Android 12 weighing 113 grams, plus some of the same tech you can find on Sony’s WH-1000XM5 headphones, including the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine technology, also known as “DSEE”.

You’ll find support for high-res audio in the NW-A306, which is one of the key reasons for using the media player, and with Android on-board, it’ll cover the assortment of high-res music apps around, such as Apple Music’s use of lossless as well as Tidal HiFi. No such luck for Spotify yet, folks, though that could change.

At $499 in Australia, the Sony NW-A306 is a mid-range take on a high-res media player, something that can fetch well into the thousands depending on who makes it, and seems like it has a solid competitor from Astell & Kern’s more expensive Norma SR25.

However it won’t be alone, with a more expensive $999 model from Sony coming in the NW-ZX707, a bigger 5 inch variation on that high-res media player theme carrying improved hardware under the hood to improve the sound, such as fine-tuned capacitors and a DSD remastering engine.

Mind you, they’re not as expensive as Sony’s other premium high-res media players, the $1899 AM2 and $4999 ZM2 Walkman models.

Neither new model comes with headphones, though, so you might want to factor that into your equation when considering these media players, but they’re both set for launch in Australia from late February.

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