Coming soon to AMP3, Sony’s new flagship audio player has been turning some heads already.
With Sony making a public commitment to high resolution audio last year they have really stepped up their game in pushing hi-res format (they even had Moby explain why Hi-Res is important), and the new NWZ-ZX2 is the culmination of their commitment to high resolution.
Released as part of a raft of new portable players, headphones and speakers the ZX2 stands out immediately from other audio players for its price. At just under £1000 it seems that Sony are asking rather a lot for a portable audio player, especially considering that most of us now carry smartphones everywhere we go – some of which are capable of playing some high resolution formats.
This being said, a closer look at the features of the NWZ-ZX2 shows you where your money is going.
And there are plenty of features here too. Being Sony’s new flagship player the ZX2 supports all the usual digital formats meaning it will play pretty much whatever you throw at it, including PCM and DSD files.
As with many of Sony’s newer devices, the ZX2 Walkman features a clever piece of software developed by Sony in their quest to bring hi res to the masses. The DSEE HX™ software boasts the ability to improve the sound quality of your music, even if you aren’t using high resolution files.
Now, some audiophiles out there will tell you that it’s impossible to take a format such as MP3 and ‘boost’ it to high resolution quality, and they’d be right; your player can’t decode information that isn’t there in the first place. And this is the reason Sony’s DSEE HX technology is so clever – it is essentially is an algorithm designed to scan your files and to ‘predict’ what information appears to be missing, resulting in a smoother waveform and upscaling your MP3 to ‘near hi-res audio’.
Some may call it a gimmick but it actually works surprisingly well, helping to smooth things out and giving a clearer sound.
Talking about clever tech developed by Sony we should probably mention the fact that the ZX2 features a special new audio technology developed by Sony called LDAC. Normally Bluetooth will downgrade your audio quality as the wireless technology simply can’t transfer enough data; aptX Bluetooth won’t even bring you CD-quality playback. Transferring up to 3x the data, LDAC allows high quality wireless listening through compatible devices.
Along with this the ZX2 features NFC compatibility allowing you to connect to your favourite devices with a single touch.
The ZX2 has updated on the original ZX1’s design, offering a more streamlined player with rounded edges and recessed buttons. The ZX2 also ships with a snug leather case, allowing access to all the physical buttons, but keeping your screen well protected. The screen itself is a high quality 4inch touch-screen and the ZX2 runs Android 4.2 meaning you can connect to the Google Play store.
The battery life has also been extended to 60 hours of MP3 playback and up to 33 hours of hi-res audio playback. The 128GB internal memory can be supplemented by a Micro SD card giving you plenty of scope to carry your music library wherever you go.
All in all the Sony NWZ-ZX2 is an impressive piece of kit. Perhaps bearing a large price-tag, but the ZX2 is packed full of specialist technology designed specifically by Sony to give you the best listening experience wherever you are. And all of this for less than half the price of an Astell & Kern AK240; bargain.
The Sony NWZ-ZX2 High-Resolution is expected to be in stock by the beginning of March.
Head over to AMP3 for further details: