Sony Is Bringing Back the Walkman (Again)
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In the fall, Sony released a $300 Walkman.
Now, at the CES conference in Las Vegas, the electronics company revealed a new version of the classic '90s era music player, this time with a whopping $1,100-plus price tag.
You may be wondering who would shell out that much money for a Walkman in an age where everyone's smartphone doubles as a music player. Sony is betting that audiophiles will.
Related: Vinyl Records Are Having a Moment
Here's Jeff Hiatt, part of Sony's audio team, on how the new Walkman (called the Walkman ZX2) differentiates itself from other music players:
"It comes down to quality," he told podcaster Shannon Morse. "Up until now, people have been sacrificing quality for that convenience…Now you have an opportunity to really bring that quality up to a level that's as if the artist intended it. When they are mixing something in the studio, you are getting that experience as close as possible to the original."
While the price tag is pretty shocking ($1,119.99), there does seem to be a real desire from consumers for high-quality music players: Hiatt cites the rise of LP sales as an indication people are looking for music experiences beyond their smartphones, and Neil Young's high-definition Pono music player was the most backed campaign on Kickstarter in 2014.