In 1979, the world’s first Walkman TPS-L2 was born in Sony Company. Over the past 40 years, Sony has launched many classic Walkman products, and the storage medium has also changed from physical tape and CD to digital audio. In recent years, with the rise of streaming media, well-known labels and publishers represented by Sony devote themselves to the upgrading of streaming music services. As the leading Hi-Res streaming music service provider, Sony Select has also pioneered the 192kHz/24bit streaming music service.
In the development and design of the HiFi terminal, Sony uphold the purpose of “moving the world with the power of creativity and technology”, launched the 40th anniversary of the Walkman model — Sony NW-ZX505 Android player. This product can not only meet the needs of users who output high quality music by wire, but also support LDAC high quality wireless music listening technology. Under the state of Bluetooth transmission, users can also enjoy Hi-Res quality high resolution music.
At the same time, the addition of the Android 9.0 operating system, allowing users to download third party music App, not only enriched the usage scenarios, in terms of quality and portability balance can be achieved, but also let users can experience the high quality HiFi music, can also be used for daily commuting street, let you can have both of your needs satisfied.
Still “Sony” industrial design strength
Sony’s industrial design can be said to represent the development level of modern industrial design in Japan. Industrial design, in fact, is the design of products in the final analysis. Sony has taken the Japanese design style of “small but complete” and “small but exquisite” to the extreme. Sony NW-ZX505 Android player design between the black brick and NW-A105HN. The upper half of it has the hard edges, while the lower half of the smooth transition rounded corners, with the arc frame, which makes it more fit to the hand when holding.
The NW-ZX505 Android player uses the same aluminum base material as the flagship NW-WM1A (Black Brick). Sony achieves sound quality and hardness through one-piece cutting technology. The back panel is made of aluminum with non-magnetic, low resistance and strong, thin and light characteristics, which not only ensures structural strength, but also effectively reduces resistance to achieve transparent and distortion free sound quality.
The addition of aluminum also gives it a light weight and metallic feel. In my hands, the product has a silver color, a matte finish, a body size of 2.25*4.79* 0.58 inches and a weight of 0.36lbs. Holding it in my hands, I feel like I have gone back in time to the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact I used five years ago. Delicately small and yet extremely concise, the phrase “condensed is the essence” fits perfectly on the Sony NW-ZX505 Android player.
Sony has also put a lot of thought into the details of the NW-ZX505 Android player. The whole frame of the fuselage is carved from aluminum, so there will be no stitching trace on all sides. The physical buttons follow the Sony NW-ZX300A layout, with the power button, volume button, last, play/pause, next and HOLD keys on the right side. The Type-C port and memory card slot have been moved to the left side. There is a 0.14inch hole in the upper part of the device and a 0.17inch balance port. The headphone jack is reinforced with brass to ensure its service life. At the same time, the headphone output, battery and double layer capacitor parts are used in Sony’s original new solder, through the gold-containing high sound quality lead-free solder to improve the sound quality.
Sony’s NW-ZX505 Android player has a 3.6-inch touchscreen on the front, and the bottom space is further compressed to make it look more compact with the “Walkman” logo. The back has a large area of skin-like material, touch is very delicate, and has good anti-skid characteristics. It can be said that whether the overall design or detail shaping, Sony NW-ZX505 Android player shows Sony’s strong industrial design ability, will be “small but complete”, “small but fine” design style into its own.
Even if you have “wooden ear”, you can also hear good sound quality through the NW-ZX505
As an audio product, good sound adjustment is the most basic requirement, if there is no good sound, everything is useless. From Sony NW-ZX300A to Sony NW-ZX505, now, the NW-ZX100/300/500 series has become the main force for Sony to set foot in the middle and high-end market of portable digital players. Sony has become more and more comfortable with sound adjustment through hardware upgrades and software optimization.
On the hardware side, Sony NW-ZX505 Android player uses four conductive polymer aluminum solid capacitor (FT CAP2) units from the flagship model DMP-Z1 to enhance the power supply of the AMP module (S-Master) to achieve balanced output, which can improve the permeability of the voice and musical instrument; The size of the POSCAP capacitors used to enhance the unbalanced output is about 8.2 times that of the NW-ZX300 series, and the four POSCAP capacitors have been upgraded from 47μF to 100μF, thus improving the low frequency and enhancing the performance of the sound space. Sony also improved the signal-to-noise ratio through digital/analog separation, noise isolation circuits designed to significantly reduce noise.
On the software side, NW-ZX505 has released a new version of the firmware based on Android 9.0, version 4.00.02. The original engine has been upgraded to DSEE Ultimate Digital Sound Enhancement Engine Ultimate (previous firmware was DSEE HX). Through AI technology, digital audio quality can be improved in real time, music style and elements can be dynamically identified, and high-frequency signals lost during audio source compression can be recovered. The highest sampling frequency and bit rate of audio source can be increased close to 192KHz /32bit, bringing a richer and fuller listening experience.
How about its specific performance? Let’s see the actual feel. In order to test the Sony NW-ZX505 Android player, I used the entry-level tablet diaphragm headset HIFIMANHE400SE, Sony MDR-Z7M2 two products, respectively corresponding to 0.15inch interface and 0.17inch balance port, the audio source is respectively “Hotel California”, “the terminal” and other classic songs.
First of all, I will HIFIMAN HE400se inserted into the SONY NW – ZX505 android player 0.15inch headphone jack, and broadcast “hotel California”, the feeling of the first ear is thrust and dispatch the volume to 70 (120) after the voice in my usual size of listening to the music when, after the use of mobile phones on it, you need to the volume to 70% volume to reach for your listening.
When playing music, you can hear that Sony has done a little sound dyeing processing. The amount is not too much, just the proper amount. It will not make people feel that the rendering is overdone, but it can enhance the appeal of the music. The good analytical force field brought me to the sound scene at the beginning and 23 seconds later when the applause started, which gave me a sense of immersive experience. Then 40 seconds, from left to right sand hammer as if in the ear side, to 1 minutes and 20 seconds of time, the music, applause, cheer at the same time, clear, did not mix. When playing another song, the vibrato in the voice can be heard in the beginning. The human voice is clear and bright, and the low frequency is strong.
With the Sony MDR-Z7M2, the left and right channels can be separated by a balanced connection to achieve higher signal-to-noise ratio and thrust, and the sound performance is improved again. The three drums in front of the music, the first three drums in the “ferry crossing” descend powerfully, full of charm. The singer’s vocal performance sound is warm, full, delicate, smooth are good, strong music taste. When playing “Canon D major”, the sound field is open, the sense of space will be more transparent, the middle frequency is slightly ahead, and the position and details of the instrument are still in situ more accurate. And the current young people like to listen to the most RAP and electronic music, Sony NW-ZX505 Android player can also be used.
The new firmware gives the Sony NW-ZX505 more ways to have fun
Sony has updated the DSEE HX firmware to the DSEE Ultimate Digital Sound Enhancement Engine Ultimate, which uses AI algorithms to improve the high frequency detail, texture and spatial performance of sound when playing MP3 and AAC files. After the actual measurement is turned on, the sound details, sound field, spatial sense and so on are improved.
As a 40th anniversary product, Sony NW-ZX505 Android player is equipped with a tape cover that changes according to the quality of the music played. It can display different tape styles according to different audio file formats. With the exquisite display effect of the screen, you can respect on what is classic.
The device also supports a DC phase linearly and a dynamic volume equalizer, which provides multiple types of standard settings for the user to choose from. By adjusting the phase output, the sound characteristics of the low frequency band are changed to achieve the sound effect matching their own listening sense. Of course, it can also be adjusted using the EQ equalizer. The latter reduces the difference in volume between songs due to different levels.
The Sony NW-ZX505 Android player has passed the “Hi-Res Audio Wireless” high resolution Audio Wireless certification, and is equipped with LDAC high quality Wireless music listening technology. Users can also enjoy Hi-Res quality high resolution music in Bluetooth transmission state. With the wireless codec LDAC, the bit rate is about 3 times that of the standard Bluetooth technology. The author uses Sony WF-1000XM3 to get a better listening sensation when playing music.
In addition, Sony NW-ZX505 Android player also supports Bluetooth state custom sound. When playing music using Bluetooth wireless connection mode, you can customize your favorite sound effects through “equalizer” and “dynamic volume equalizer”. At the same time, in the Bluetooth connection mode, the media volume of the player is updated from 16 to 32 volume adjustment, more delicate adjustment, to help you find a more suitable voice.
After the upgrade, Sony NW-ZX505 Android player also added the “search related” and search function. It can not only quickly view the song in the album or the artist’s album, but also through fuzzy search songs. In addition, the addition of “Power Saving and Energy” APP can actively intercept potential unnecessary power consumption, thus effectively reducing battery consumption, managing power more effectively, reducing energy consumption and enhancing battery life. According to official data, Sony’s NW-ZX505 Android player has up to 20 hours of battery life, which is enough for a day’s worth of playback.
From the first Walkman to the Walkman 40th anniversary tribute, through the Sony NW-ZX505 Android player, we can see that Sony’s original intention to make products has not changed. Whether the tape plays pictures or the processing of sound, it inherits the consistent pursuit of a balance between music and quality of the style. At the same time, the addition of the Android 9.0 operating system and the constant upgrade of the firmware, it gives this product more possibilities, whether audio freshmen, new enthusiasts or people who are crazy for music, they all can find their own fun in it.