Not Your Father’s Walkman: Sony’s New Portable Music Player Matches World-Class Sound With Studio-Quality Headphones

The $13,500 DMP-Z1 music player boasts its own amplifier and stores up to 20,000 songs.

By Alexander Lamascus 16/04/2019

Sony, which decades ago began the portable music revolution with the Walkman, is taking a fresh approach to mobile listening. The new DMP-Z1 music player is an extension of Sony’s Signature Series (to which the Walkman also belongs) and, at around $13,500, is aimed squarely at the ultra-high-end market’s discerning listening enthusiast. At 2.5kg, the device won’t be much of a walking or running companion, but it offers the benefits of a full-size headphone amplifier in a battery-operated, luggage-friendly package.

Aficionados of portable audio typically must settle for multiple devices or sacrifice quality for portability; the DMP-Z1, however, changes the game. The device incorporates the full power of a desktop headphone amplifier with the features of an integrated digital media player. In simpler terms, users can upload super-high-resolution files to the player and listen to them with the best sound quality that headphones can offer.

The device can store up to 256 gigabytes of music internally (that’s 20,000 songs) and has slots for external expansion if needed. Some of the internal wiring is done by the high-end, audiophile-cable manufacturer Kimber Kable, and the top of the amplifier features a sleek glass screen for navigation.

Sony announced the release of the DMP-Z1 in conjunction with a pair of innovative in-ear headphones, the $3,200 IER-Z1R. Stunning aesthetics aside, the Signature Series headphones sport three drivers—the components that change electric signals to sound waves—in each ear and custom-tuned machining to ensure the perfect balance of sound.

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

The 52-Year Old Royal Salute Is A Coveted Drop

The rare whisky spent 52 years in the barrel.

By Rachel Cormack

16/01/2020

Bar Totti’s Opens In Sydney’s CBD

The central newcomer isn’t just a carbon copy of Bondi – though the epic hot bread and burrata have made the trek (phew).

By Terry Christodoulou

14/01/2020

‘Luxury’ Surfing Is Officially Here

Inside Australia’s first (decent) artificial surf park – and what it means to a sense of natural stoke.

By Terry Christodoulou

09/01/2020

Drinking In Greatness With Help From Penfolds

What’s it like to sit and sample nearly every bottle of Grange ever produced – including a ‘unicorn’? We went along to Penfolds for four days to find out.

By Nick Ryan

07/01/2020

An Electric Hydrofoil Surfboard That Lets Your Soar Above The Surf

The Fliteboard can tackle any type of wave.

By Viju Mathew

06/01/2020

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected