If you didn’t know any better, you would think Sony wasn’t a public company. Sony is touting the NWZ-ZX1 as the new walkman at the price tag of $700. If the name didn’t automatically bore you, the price tag should have you turning away.

It weighs more than Apple’s biggest music player, the iPod Touch. It clocks in at 139 grams. First our phones are getting to be the size of a Kindle, and now it seems our music players are feeling a bit retro. The ZX1 is twice as thick as the iPod Touch.

Before you start scrounging around for your old mixtape cassettes for the new walkman, it doesn’t play tapes. So, why the heft and price tag? It offers users the best audio experience in a portable package. It has the ability to play 24-bit, 192kHz Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) audio files.

Neil Young’s kickstarted PonoPlayer is set to support the high resolution audio files in October. If you do buy this, please don’t rush out and buy a pair of Beats. That would upset audiophiles everywhere.

The ZX1 is not just a music player, it can also store photos on its 128 GB of internal storage. Video playback is supported, and the device has a 4-inch screen. Other selling points include a noise-dampened case that is “manually carved from a block of expensive aluminum.”

32 hours of battery life is promised, and the device takes three hours to charge. For those in the United States, you are going to have to get creative to get your hands on one. They are selling well in Japan and select European countries. For now, Sony has no plans to introduce it stateside.

If you know your way around the Internet, where there is a will, there is a way. If you insist on paying $700 for the player, eBay may be your first stop, or sites that cater to Japanese electronics.


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