Sony Unveils First Streaming Compatible Walkman with MQA Support

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Sony is launching a new streaming Walkman, headphones, and speakers at IFA 2019.

The Walkman is arguably the most well-known portable music device from the 80s and 90s. Its dominance was only supplanted by the arrival of the iPod and .mp3 dominance.

Now Sony is looking to continue that legacy with the Sony Walkman NW-ZX507. The Sony Walkman NW-ZX507 is a hi-res audio device capable of up to 384kHz/32-bit playback. It can stream music over WiFi using an Android app with music streaming services baked in. The device also features 64GB of storage plus a microSD slot for downloaded music.

The portable Walkman features a 3.6-inch HD screen and will start around $900 in November 2019.

Sony says the device will have around 20 hours of battery life. The device also supports Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) hi-res audio playback via streaming services. Tidal and Qobuz are just two streaming services that offer hi-res quality for streaming.

Japan has notoriously clung to downloaded music over streaming music; perhaps they’re finally catching on?

At IFA 2017, LG unveiled the first globally available smartphone with MQA support. Surprisingly, it has taken Sony this long to introduce the feature for the Walkman line.

Also announced at the show are a new pair of neckband noise-canceling headphones. The Sony WI-1000XM2 headphones use Sony’s new HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 and feature 32-bit audio signal processing. They also include an HD Hybrid Drive System with 9mm dynamic drivers and ten hours of battery life.

Along with its focus on hi-res portable streaming, Sony is also introducing a new line of near-field speakers. The Sony SA-Z1 speakers are designed to be used on a desktop or personal space. They use near-field technology to create an enveloping sound stage.

Sony says the speakers can produce audio so immersive you’ll feel like you can ‘touch the sound’.