Sony's iconic Walkman is currently marking its 40th anniversary as one of the greatest technological advances in music history. That's pretty much all Sony needed to announce its two new mobile players, the Sony NW-A100TPS and the Sony NW-A105.
Obviously audio cassettes aren't a thing anymore so the electronics giant upgraded its Walkman to 2019 with a pair of models powered by a version of the Android OS and bearing smartphone-like audio features.
Those features include:
- S-Master HX digital amplifier for truly high-quality audio
- The DSEE HX processor, which clarifies compressed audio
- A vinyl processor
- Charging via the increasingly common USB-C charging port
- Easily expandable 16 GB storage
- 3.6" touch screen control
The vinyl processor is exactly what it sounds like: If you want a truly vintage quality feel, then a filter that brings in the vinyl warmth and enhanced bass is just the trick.
Here are the main differences between the NW-A100TPS and the NW-A105: the former comes with a 40th anniversary logo, a cassette player add-on and packaging reminiscent of the original Walkman.
The NW-A105 model is less expensive and doesn't have all the celebratory anniversary elements.
Are these audio players just cash grabs, Sony trying to profit off nostalgia? Some seem to think so. As TechSpot questioned, "considering modern phones already offer digital music playback (save for the Hi-Res support in most models), what incentive is Sony giving consumers to buy this?"
It's a good question, but it may not be that Sony sees it as a mere opportunity for profit alone. The original Walkman cost $150 in 1979, which doesn't sound like a lot until you realize that amount at the end of the 70s is equal to over $500 in buying power today.
The likely price points on these new-school Walkman models sound a lot more reasonable, then. Gizmodo reports that the pricier new Walkman will seel for $599 in Australia and over 400 Euros when they're available in December. That predicts pricing between $400-500 USD.
Sony will confirm US prices at a later date, but if you take inflation into consideration, they're really going take the same amount of buying power out of your bank account as the original Walkman took out of your dad's account when he bought it so he could listen to Fleetwood Mac while jogging and smoking back in 1979.