New York 2014: Iconic Sony Walkman still turning heads


Legacy_at_NY_Audio_Show_2014I was having a serious déjà vu thing with the Sony Walkman all weekend. Every time I turned around, it seemed, I was making a comment about my old safety-yellow Walkman from 30 years ago. And yes, smarty-pants, those were relevant comments, unlike my usual outbursts having to do with the History Channel (it’s really best not to ask).

And then I happened across the Sony table. And there it was. The new Sony Walkman. I think I might have screamed a little bit.

The new A17 retails for about $300 (availability is “soon”), and is billed as an “MP3 Player”, but with 64G of storage, it can hold CD-quality files just fine. Interestingly, the new Walkman does not support DSD files — interesting in that Sony seems to be making such a radical push just about everywhere else in its product line that the lack here is almost glaring.

Needless to say, the Walkman is significantly smaller than my old one. It’s also significantly smaller than a cassette tape, for that matter. Most interesting (to me, at least) is that the unit does support NFC as well as Bluetooth streaming — as a source, and yes, it does use the aptX code for higher Bluetooth bandwidth. That last bit is probably why I’m going to be getting one.

A microSD card slot is available, supporting an additional 128G of storage. Battery life is said to be good for up to 50 hours of use.

Other interesting bits on the table? The PHA-2 headphone/DAC combo that I’m quite fond of, though I have heard that the PHA-3 is coming out in a matter of weeks. Also on deck were the new Sony digital players — all of which support DSD, by the way — including the HAP-Z1ES and the screen-less UDA-1.







About Scot Hull 1063 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.

1 Comment

  1. The reason the Walkman doesn’t do DSD is because the format doesn’t exist in the eyes/ears of the regular bloke on the street. Heck, even most digital audiophiles don’t have DSD in their collections. I don’t either, but I did try the Z1ES player and love the way it “remastered” my regular 16/44.1 PCM files to DSD. Not sure if it’s a DSD trait in particular, but the Z1ES had this nice way of rounding out and removing the glare found in some of the podcast-quality mp3 tracks I sampled with it. If Sony put the DSD remastering tech inside a future portable DAP, I’d be all over it.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. New York 2014: Audioengine cleans up your desk, smashes all your crap to the floor | The Audio Traveler

Comments are closed.