Sony may have stopped production on the classic Walkman years ago, but the brand name is alive and kicking. In fact, at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the company revealed its latest entry in the line, the ZX2.
Sony calls the device “the fruit of continuous refinement in high audio quality technologies,” and as such, it’s not your run-of-the-mill MP3 player. It’s not even an MP3 player at all, really. The ZX2 is aimed exclusively at audiophiles who are willing to pay for a high-end audio experience. With support for DSD, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, Apple Lossless, and more common audio formats, the ZX2 may be able to play your favorite music at the best possible quality, but it comes at a price; the device will retail for over $1,120, with some reports listing it at $1,200.
That price tag will net you 128GB of onboard storage space, a microSD slot for added storage, the classic gold headphone jack, a touchscreen, side-mounted playback controls aligned to your fingers, Bluetooth and Google Cast capabilities, and the Android OS. The catch is that said OS is actually 4.2 Jelly Bean, a version which launched in 2012. To be sure, the ZX2 is not trying to compete with your iPod or (certainly not) iPhone, so while you can access the Google Play store and all those apps, this thing is really meant for music at the best quality possible.
Watch hands-on video of the ZX2 from The Verge’s coverage of CES 2015. Consider the gauntlet thrown, Mr. Neil Young.