Sony Walkman Lives On In WM1ZM2 and WM1AM2 High-end DAPs

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Technology


Do you use a DAP for your portable digital playback?

While the market has certainly shrunk over the past few years as tens of millions of consumers have made smartphones their primary digital source when streaming Spotify, TIDAL, Qobuz, or Apple Music, there is still a demand both domestically and overseas for high-end portable digital audio players (DAPs).

Not every player offers the ability to wirelessly stream and only acts as a source for downloaded music, but Sony is a big promoter of the streaming capabilities and they’ve taken the next step with their new models.

WM1AM2

Sony’s WM1 Series digital audio players still command respect but have started to show their age.  A lot has changed in the digital audio space since 2017 when they arrived and the move to streaming has meant the WM1z and its little brother the WM1a have started to fall behind other flagship DAPs.

The more recent DMP-Z1 ($8499 at Amazon) did bring a lot of new innovations to market but one can hardly argue it is affordable or portable so it hardly qualified as a replacement for the Walkman.

In mid-February we learned that much of that new technology in the DMP-Z1 will find its way into the new WM1ZM2 and WM1AM2 models that started hitting the market in the Far East in late April. Now, as of late-June they’re finally available in the U.S.

Sony WM1ZM2 and WM1AM2 Digital Audio Players
WM1ZM2 (left), WM1AM2 (right)

Externally the new models look very similar to the older generation with only minor cosmetic changes between them.  Internally the changes are bigger starting with new copper alloy and higher purity gold used on the WM1ZM2 for decreased noise and better grounding.

The WM1A retains its aluminum chassis but gains most of the other features of its bigger brother.  Both get a new battery with longer life, both 2.4 and 5ghz wireless connectivity for streaming, an improved screen, and improved sound quality. Both will ship with the same internal memory as the previous models (256MB Z, 128MB A).

Sony has released full specs and videos of the two new models on their site for those wanting more details. If we can get Sony to send us one for review, we can let you know how the new M2 compares side-by-side with my 1st generation WM1A.

Specifications

NW-WM1ZM2 NW-WM1AM2
MSRP $3,699 $1,399
STORAGE CAPACITY OPTIONS 256GB
*Actual available memory 215GB
128GB
*Actual available memory 103GB
WEIGHT Approx. 490 g Approx. 299 g
BATTERY LIFE MP3 (128kbps) / Stereo mini-jack: Approx. 40 hrs,
MP3 (128kbps) / Balanced standard-jack: Approx. 40 hrs,
FLAC (96kHz / 24bit) / Stereo mini-jack: Approx. 40 hrs,
FLAC (96kHz / 24bit) / Balanced standard-jack: Approx. 40 hrs,
FLAC (192kHz / 24bit) / Stereo mini-jack: Approx. 35 hrs,
FLAC (192kHz / 24bit) / Balanced standard-jack: Approx. 35 hrs,
DSD (2.8224MHz / 1bit) / Stereo mini-jack: Approx. 25 hrs,
DSD (2.8224MHz / 1bit) / Balanced standard-jack: Approx. 15 hrs,
DSD (5.6448MHz / 1bit) / Stereo mini-jack: Approx. 18 hrs,
DSD (5.6448MHz / 1bit) / Balanced standard-jack: Approx. 13 hrs
MP3 (128kbps) / Stereo mini-jack: Approx. 40 hrs,
MP3 (128kbps) / Balanced standard-jack: Approx. 40 hrs,
FLAC (96kHz / 24bit) / Stereo mini-jack: Approx. 40 hrs,
FLAC (96kHz / 24bit) / Balanced standard-jack: Approx. 40 hrs,
FLAC (192kHz / 24bit) / Stereo mini-jack: Approx. 35 hrs,
FLAC (192kHz / 24bit) / Balanced standard-jack: Approx. 35 hrs,
DSD (2.8224MHz / 1bit) /
Stereo mini-jack: Approx. 25 hrs,
DSD (2.8224MHz / 1bit) / Balanced standard-jack: Approx. 15 hrs,
DSD (5.6448MHz / 1bit) / Stereo mini-jack: Approx. 18 hrs
DISPLAY FEATURES TFT colour display with white LED-backlight TFT colour display with white LED-backlight
12.7 cm (5.0-inch), HD (1280×720 Pixels) 12.7 cm (5.0-inch), HD (1280x 720 Pixels)
WIRELESS CAPABILITIES Communication system: Bluetooth Specification Version 5.0,NFC: No,Supported Bluetooth profiles: Yes,Supported Codecs (Transmission): Yes,Supported Codecs (Reception): No Communication system: Bluetooth Specification Version 5.0,NFC: No,Supported Bluetooth profiles: Yes,Supported Codecs (Transmission): Yes,Supported Codecs (Reception): No
SOUND EFFECTS Direct Source (Direct), 10 Band equalizer, DSEE Ultimate, DC Phase Linearizer, Dynamic Normalizer, Vinyl Processor Direct Source (Direct), 10 Band equalizer, DSEE Ultimate, DC Phase Linearizer, Dynamic Normalizer, Vinyl Processor
AUDIO PLAYBACK MP3: 32 – 320kbps (supports VBR) / 32, 44.1, 48kHz,
WMA: 32 – 192kbps (supports VBR) / 44.1kHz,
FLAC: 16, 24bit / 8-384kHz,
WAV: 16, 24, 32bit (Float / Integer) / 8-384kHz,
AAC: 16-320kbps / 8-48kHz,
HE-AAC: 32-144kbps / 8-48kHz,
Apple Lossless: 16, 24bit / 8-384kHz,
AIFF: 16, 24, 32bit / 8-384kHz,
DSD: 1bit / 2.8MHz, 11.2MHz,
APE: 8, 16, 24bit / 8-192kHz (Fast, Normal, High),
MQA: Supported
MP3: 32 – 320kbps (supports VBR) / 32, 44.1, 48kHz,
WMA: 32 – 192kbps (supports VBR) / 44.1kHz,
FLAC: 16, 24bit / 8-384kHz,
WAV: 16, 24, 32bit (Float / Integer) / 8-384kHz,
AAC: 16-320kbps / 8-48kHz,
HE-AAC: 32-144kbps / 8-48kHz,
Apple Lossless: 16, 24bit / 8-384kHz,
AIFF: 16, 24, 32bit / 8-384kHz,
DSD: 1bit / 2.8MHz, 5.6MHz, 11.2MHz,
APE: 8, 16, 24bit / 8-192kHz (Fast, Normal, High),
MQA: Supported
CHARGING TIME (FULL CHARGE) Approx. 4.5 hrs Approx. 4.5 hrs
INPUT AND OUTPUT TERMINALS Headphone: Stereo mini jack, Balanced standard jack, External memory: Micro SD Micro SDHC Micro SDXC Headphone: Stereo mini jack, Balanced standard jack, External memory: Micro SD Micro SDHC Micro SDXC
WHAT’S IN THE BOX Headphone jack cap (Balanced Standard) Headphone jack cap (Balanced Standard)
Headphone jack cap (Stereo Mini) Headphone jack cap (Stereo Mini)
Operating Instructions Operating Instructions
Reference Guide Reference Guide
USB Type-C®Cable(USB-A – USB-C) USB Type-C®Cable(USB-A – USB-C)
Leather case

For more information: sony-asia.com

Where to buy:

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