We’re all thankful that somebody in the 70s way smarter than us worked their tail off to give us the privilege of taking our favourite music everywhere without needing a shopping cart and inspiration from Cuba Gooding Jr.
For just over $100, we got a Pac-Man-esque box of magic, a few simple buttons, a set of headphones, and with the help of a few AA batteries, hours of boundless alone-time with Cypress Hill or Pearl Jam or whatever else you got scammed into ordering from Columbia House.
But times have changed. Technology has changed. Expectations have changed. And prices have definitely changed.
This past week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony unveiled its new Walkman NW-ZX2. Amidst a cacophony of device alternatives, its calling card was “Hi-Res Audio.”
“Every piece of material and component has been crafted to realize the ultimate Hi-Res Audio experience on the move,” according to Mike Fasulo, President of Sony Electronics USA.
A man named ‘Jeff’, identified as a Sony Audio Expert, followed this up in a Q&A session by saying, “It comes down to quality. Up until now people have been sacrificing quality for convenience… it will make everything sound better, even the MP3s.”
So naturally, the device costs $1,119.99 USD.
You know, just more than 3x the price tag of a top-of-the-line 64GB iPod.
Or about the same price as a pretty awesome home audio system at Best Buy.
What other features does the Walkman have?
– Baseline storage capacity of 128GB
– Support for “any kind of format that you can throw at it,” including Direct Stream Digital- Dff, a format used in recording and mastering Superior Audio CDs
– Crisper, louder bass and “improved sense of stereo” thanks to superior audio components and improved power supply
– Slick, real leather backing
– Inner gold-plated, copper chassis for structural strength and noise reduction
– Connection support for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC
And to be fair, it does have a beautiful 4-inch display and an attractive, palm-friendly design.
But for $1,100?
We might just end up putting a gramophone on our shoulder and calling it a day.