My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: US$700 Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 – Trend towards HD Audio in Asia and Japan will make it sell in the US of A

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

US$700 Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 – Trend towards HD Audio in Asia and Japan will make it sell in the US of A

The Sony Walkman is finally making a comeback!

This time, it’s come back as a US$700 Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 as reported in the article “Sony's Resurrected Walkman making Waves”, published JULY 21, 2014 07:33PM EST BY DAMON POETER, PC Magazine.

The US$700 Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 is my prayers answered as I’d predicted that the Sony Walkman would be making a comeback as pointed out in my Geezam blog article entitled “Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman™ smartphone”. Back then on Monday August 22nd 2011, Sony had launched the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman™, which at the time I’d thought was going to be the Sony Walkman replacement.

But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. But will a new, more expensive replacement for the Sony Walkman be a better fit?

US$700 Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 – Trend towards Downloading of Hi-Def Sound

The US$700 Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 is riding on the trend of HD Music, mostly involving formats such as FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) and AIFF that can be downloaded from the Internet as described in my blog article entitled “How to download High Quality Music via torrenting - The Mortal Instruments City of Bones used to get Free Music”.

The main problem is the hardware, which had only just recently begun to catch up with the trend. The first developer of hardware that’s fully capable of playing HD Music is Neil Young’s Kickstarter project for the Pono Music, which is slated to launch in October 2014 as I’d chronicled in my blog article entitled “Neil Young’s Righteous PonoMusic and US$200 PonoPlayer Kickstarter - The Hills are alive with the Sound of FLAC Music despite HD Music being a new phenomenon with new packaging”.

Since then, a few have stepped up to the plate to make Portable Music players that can play HD Music and also have enough spaces to store as many songs as would have been possible if the Music was in MP3 format. The US$700 Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 is one such which has actually been out and about in Japan and other Asian and European countries since December 2013.

Curiously, despite Sony having launched the Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1, they are not formulated any plans to launch in the US of A. But even at US$700, it must be very successful in Japan, as it's caught the eye of the Wall Street Journal as reported in “Sony's Walkman Makes Comeback”, published July 20, 2014 8:09 p.m. ET By KANA INAGAKI, The Wall Street Journal.

The Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1, which is made of solid Aluminum, weighs in at 139 grams and 13.5 mm thick around the middle makes it 37% heavier than the Apple iPod Touch and US$500 more expensive. In fact, the Apple iPod Touch is now currently on sale with the 16GB versions even getting a rear-facing Camera upgrade as explained in my blog article entitled Apple iPod Touch gets Price Drop as Apple Acquires Beats Electronics to jumpstart Streaming”.

Unlike the Apple iPod touch, which to its credit can play FLAC, the Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 has way more storage. It's packing a 128GB SSD (Solid State Drive) for storage of hundreds of HD Audio files stored in the 24-bit, 192kHz Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) format. It also supports the following formats:

1.      AAC
2.      Apple Lossless audio
3.      ATRAC
4.      FLAC
5.      WAV
6.      MP3
7.      MP4 for videos

Assuming that you've got the right headphones that translate to deeper bass, cleaner music that so crisp and clear that you can even hear every time the singer inhales and takes a breath.

The Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 sports a 4” capacitive touch screen with a 854-by-480 resolution TFT color display that, clearly, supports HD picture and Video playback. The Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 also has a 5-band equalizer, dynamic Normalizer with Clear Bass and Clear Stereo Technology, making the already super clear FLAC Audio files playback with super realistic clarity.

Not sure what headphones will be shipped with the Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1, but they're guaranteed to be of the greatest quality and thus allow the listener to enjoy 32 Hours of HD Audio, 16 hours if you use the highest settings.

Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 in the US of A Quality, not Price, will make this product sell

So will this be enough to attract Americans when it comes to the US of A?

NPD Group says sales of HD Headphones has doubled in the last three (3) years, most notably those made by Beats Electronics, now the property of Apple as noted in my blog article entitled Apple officially confirms Beats Audio Purchase - US$3.2 Billion as Apple gears up for Subscription Streaming and improved Headphones”. By 2020, HD audio is projected to account for some 20% of the sales of the Global Audio market, a boost of 15% above the 5% of the Market.

Something Tessanne Chin's Management Team needs to take note. Granted, as is now the case, the Trend is towards Streaming as opposed to Downloading. Coupled with Digital Music Piracy, it accounts for the lacklustre performance of her Apple iTunes Album Count On My Love as I'd argued in my blog article entitledWhy Tessanne Chin’s Count on My Love isn't selling – Streaming is now King as she needs to Experiment with Writing her OWN Songs”.

At US$700, that a lot of dough to spend on a Music Player that's not connected to the Internet; you still have to connect the Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 and synch in order to get the Music transferred. So possibly by Christmas 2014, the Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 will be launched to challenge the US$399 Neil Young’s Kickstarter project for the Pono Music.

Hopefully, the quality and finish of the Sony Walkman NWXZ-ZX1 that resonates with the Japanese will also persuade the Americans that HD Music is a trend worth investing in.

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