When it was released in 1979, the Sony Walkman revolutionized the way people listened to music. You no longer had to carry around a bulky boombox to listen to tunes. Instead, you had a small portable music player that could go everywhere.
Fast-forward to today, and Sony has delivered a new version of its legendary Walkman — one it says will “push sound to an entirely new level” — but this one is gold-plated and costs a whopping $3,200.
The Japanese electronics giant’s new Walkman, which comes in two models — the gold-plated WM1Z ($3,200) and the less expensive aluminum-bodied WM1A ($1,200) — were rolled out and showcased at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin this week, reports CNBC.
The Walkman’s gold plating on its copper chassis supposedly serves two purposes. The first one is the obvious “wow” factor. But Sony says the gold also reduces “contact resistance and oxidation.” According to Engadget, that isn’t something the typical music listener will notice.
“Realistically, most people probably won’t hear the difference between that model and the nearly identical-looking $1,200 NW-WM1A Walkman. Both support the 384kHZ/32-bit ‘Hi-Res’ music format, which has separate digital and analog circuitry and technology that upscales low bit-rate files to ‘near high resolution audio quality,’ according to Sony. It also supports balanced connections if you have the right set of headphones.”
The personal music players offer Bluetooth capability and can handle a variety of music files. Sony says the devices are expected to hit store shelves “via a select group of Sony authorized dealers” early next year.
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