When Sony founder Akio Morita presented the world's first Walkman 43 years ago, a magnetic tape cassette was rotating inside the mobile musician.
Today, many technology generations later, the descendants of the Walkman clan still exist.
The idea of music fun on the go has survived – not even the end of the iPod and other itinerant entertainers has changed that.
For the latest and most spectacular version of the Walkman, however, the trouser pocket would be a daring container: the mighty piece of electronics pulls down the waistband with a weight of almost a pound - the trousers have to sit securely.
It is therefore clear where Sony locates the ecological niche for Walkman survival: in the realms of the high end, where compromises have no place.
This is reflected in many details of the new player, known as the NW-WM1ZM2: the manufacturer mills its mighty, gold-plated housing from a solid block of pure copper.
In addition to the usual 3.5 millimeter jack for standard headphones, there is also a larger socket where high-end headphones with a balanced connection can dock.
This type of signal routing means that music can be transmitted with fewer inputs such as noise and distortion.
And the built-in sockets don't get their signals via thin conductor tracks on a circuit board, but via strong, shielded cables.
The design of the electronics also follows purist philosophies.
Special polymer capacitors in the power supply, says the manufacturer,
Mechanical relays mute the balanced output, recognizable by an audible click.
The usual switching semiconductors, so the argument for this solution, could interfere with the sound with noise or distortion.
In addition to the usual PCM digital signals, the built-in switching amplifiers also process one-bit data streams in DSD;
if they are supposed to, they even convert PCM to DSD music, which some high-end adepts promise further subtle sound advantages.
Music signals in the highest resolutions are no problem for the player, it also understands all common encodings and even gets along with the exotic MQA signal processing.
Space for lush mobile music repertoire
If you like, you can even wallow in analog nostalgia: a special cosmetic circuit simulates vinyl-typical resonances and scanning noises.
A ten-band equalizer is available for coarser interventions in the sound.
The mobile music repertoire can be lavish: the built-in data memory has a capacity of 256 gigabytes, and if that's not enough, a micro SD card can help, for which the player has a concealed slot on the left side.
Bluetooth transmission to wireless headphones isn't at the core of its high-end mission, but the Walkman offers it for the sake of completeness.
A codec called LDAC is supposed to refine this transmission path itself.
Another mode of operation also deserves mention:Keywords: