The rise of MP3s and music streaming may have decimated the music industry and ushered in an age of highly-compressed audio files, but a new generation of devices are fighting back. Earlier this year 60s rocker Neil Young introduced his own PonoPlayer with a successful Kickstarter campaign, and now Sony is offering its own device under the classic Walkman brand.
The Sony Walkman ZX1 plays high-resolution audio files and offers 128GB of storage, a 4-inch 854 x 480 display and 32 hours of battery life. The device isn’t available in the U.S. just yet, but when it does arrive it won’t come cheap. The ZX1 currently costs about $700 (compared to the $400 Pono) and the cost of music for the new Walkman runs about twice as much as you’d pay for the same tracks on iTunes or Amazon.
Despite its high price, the ZX1 is apparently a hit in Japan according to the The Wall Street Journal, which suggests that some music fans are willing to pay a lot extra for high quality MP3s. Most people seem happy listening to compressed files from Spotify, YouTube or iTunes, but if you miss high-resolution music Sony’s new walkman may be the device for you. Unfortunately there’s no word when the ZX1 will hit the U.S. market, though Pono is expected to launch later this year.