Sony has just announced the addition of two new products in its Walkman range of premium portable hi-res audio players – the Sony NW-WM1AM2 and its significantly flashier sibling, the NW-WM1ZM2. These new Walkmans are successors to the NW-WM1A and NW-WMZ launched in 2016. Both the NW-WM1ZM2 and NW-WM1AM2 are focused on high-resolution audio, with Sony setting out to “satisfy the most demanding audiophiles”.
The ZM2 is the more striking of the two as it has a gold-hued chassis made from 99.99% purity gold-plated Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) which, according to Sony, provides higher rigidity for clearer, more expansive sound. In contrast, the AM2 employs an aluminum alloy frame for its own high-quality sound. Another difference between the two models is the higher grade Kimber Kable to run from the amp base to the balanced headphone jack on the ZM2. The AM2 uses a low-resistance OFC cable. Apart from the chassis and cabling, the ZM2 also has twice the onboard storage – 256GB vs 128GB.
Among the improvements of the Sony M2 models are a larger 5-inch display (compared with the 4-inch screen of its predecessor), a battery life boost from 30 to 40 hours of FLAC playback, and support for Android 11 and Wi-Fi connectivity. This feature allows the player to be used as a streaming device when connected to a Wi-Fi network, allowing users to stream and download music wirelessly. The device can also be connected physically (via USB-C 3.2 port) for a more traditional approach. A number of internal components such as capacitors and the power supply have been improved in the M2 iterations as well, which Sony claims will offer “a richer, smoother and more expansive sound field compared to its predecessor”. The new Walkman audio players will be available starting in April 2022.
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