If you're a fan of high-quality audio, you're going to love the new Sony Walkman NW-A306. Coming from their Premium range of portable audio players – like the Sony Walkman NW-WM1ZM2 and NW-WM1AM2 – the NW-A306 represents a new low price point in the range – and it manages to do so without lots of compromise on the spec sheet.
The range is designed to offer a compromise-free experience when it comes to listening to music, offering audio playback at CD-quality. On the NW-A306, this is achieved with a helping hand from Artificial Intelligence.
The Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) is used to accurately upscale compressed digital music files, allowing for a higher quality listening experience. What's more, that algorithm will continue to evolve over time, making the process more effective and more efficient. Plus, that fantastic high-quality audio is available with wireless headphones and wireless earbuds, too.
The Sony NW-A306 comes in a small format, roughly the size of a smartphone. Controls can be accessed via the 3.6-inch HD touch screen, or via a host of physical buttons on the side of the device. It weighs just 113g and features up to 36 hours of battery life from a single charge.
But who really needs a Sony Walkman in this day and age? It's a good question, and one that I'm sure most who read this will be asking. When I first read the press release, I'd assumed it was a bit of a nostalgia grab – following on from the sustained craze for record players and vinyl.
But there's more to it than that. These devices are aimed at audiophiles on the move. And with the new NW-A306 priced at £350 / €400, this model is clearly aimed at audiophiles on a budget. It's a perfect complement to your home Hi-Fi rig, and should offer a better listening experience than you'd get from your phone.
The device should be available to purchase later this month.