New Sony Walkman Z – Finally in Singapore!
*Read my review here: Sony Walkman Z Review
As mp3 players go, I believe Sony has some of the best sounding music players on the market. Some might throw in Cowon and that other Korean brand, but the problem with those is that they are hard to use and the design is…not satisfactory to say the least.
Yea true, while their ear/headphones are soso, the speakers are almost always rubbish, but when their music players are paired correctly with a nice pair of earphones or speakers, magic ensues. When people ask me about Sony's relationship with sound, I always say this:
If it makes a sound, nay. If it processes the sound, yay.
I've yet to try their new line of earphones though. But from what I've seen so far, it sounds promising. I mean, I hope so. They couldn't create better sound with drivers that are larger than their competitors, now they want to make it smaller? We shall see.
Anyway, years ago when I was still with Sony, I actually pushed for the idea of a Android based Sony Walkman. What happened was that they came up with the beautifully designed and fantastic sounding X Series, but, Sony pricing aside, it was fatally flawed when it came to user experience. It was meant to compete against the iPod Touch, but because they used their own proprietary operating system, it was not expandable as there were no apps, and the web browser they used was shit, so the wifi they put into the Walkman X was useless.
An android based walkman would solve the problem of expandability and make it the best iPod Touch alternative in the market with sound quality that's a gazzilion times better.
As you can probably tell, I'm not a big fan of the iWhatever's sound quality. If you can't tell, the iWhatever's a safe bet as it's an ok above average sounding system, but for those of you who are sensitive to sound quality…you know what I'm talking about.
So, here it is, finally, almost 3 years after I first suggested it and months after it's initial annoucement in Japan back in September 2011, it's finally here in Singapore.
Only in 16gb.
Am I saying that they shouldn't have the 16gb model? No. There will definitely be those with a small library of songs, but for the rest of us?
Turns out it's Sony's marketing again, because the 32GB Z1060 model is available in Malaysia.
I've been noticing this trend for awhile, not only for this product, but for others. Singapore seems to always be getting the short end of the stick. Say you want the fantastic but high priced Vaio Z with 3G. When it first came out, 3G was available all over the world, except in Singapore. 3G was only included locally after almost a year. It's also the same for Walkmans now apparently. It's $429 locally for the Z1050 16gb model but for a similar price it's the Z1060 32gb model in HK and the US. Shipping's at most $30 if you use vPost. Warranty would be tricky as ordering online means it's unlikely that they will include the international warranty card.
I bring that up because it seems like the Cybershot and Alpha line of cameras are the only products that are similarly priced around the world.
One small problem I see with the new player is that it doesn't support Lossless FLAC. While I'm a stickler for sound quality, I personally feel that flac is an overkill as there are numerous tests out there which shows that most people can't tell the difference after 320kbps in mp3 and 256kbps in Apple's AAC. I tried it out myself and I agree, so, most of my library is in Apple's AAC, which is great, because I get to have great quality music while keeping the file sizes small, saving soo much space.
Hardcore supporters however, would've appreciated the inclusion of FLAC. I find Sony's refusal to support this format puzzling as it's an open sourced technology, which means it's totally free, no royalties required for implementation. Trust me when I say that there are people who are still waiting for a great looking and fun media player that sounds good while supporting FLAC.
So, if I get it, I'll most likely be getting it from the US or HK via shipping or friends who are travelling.
I'll very likely post a review as well, so stay tuned.
Sony Walkman Z Hong Kong (Online Store)
Follow Up: Sony Walkman Z First Impressions – O.O
Jump to: Sony Walkman Z Review