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Custom Sony Walkman firmware by MrWalkman (NW-A40, NW-ZX300, NW-WM1/A)

MrWalkman, a user from Head-fi, has created 3 custom firmwares for the NW-A40, NW-ZX300 and NW-WM1/A. The new firmwares bring improved sound and features. I would highly recommend anyone with these Walkmans to check out the firmware, especially on the NW-A40.

Here is an overview of the changes in firmware:

NW-A40

There are 2 versions, Reloaded and Reloaded+. The Reloaded+ version brings "a different sound than the normal version, and a slightly improved battery life".  Both add the following:

  • New, improved sound
  • High gain setting
  • Bluetooth Receiver function
  • 10 band equalizer
  • DSEE HX AI (from DMP-Z1) and other 4 selectable DSEE HX modes
  • DC Phase Linearizer with 6 selectable modes
  • Vinyl Processor with 4 selectable modes
  • Visualizers: Spectrum Analyzer/Analog VU Meter/Digital Peak Meter
  • Hardware accelerated rendition of the UI

The following features have been removed:

  • FM Radio
  • Noise cancellation
  • Language study
  • VPT Surround
  • ClearAudio+

If you use any of the above features regularly, then do not install the firmware as these will disappear. Of course you can always revert back to the original stock firmware as well, so if you want to just test out the firmware that is also possible.

The instructions and download links can be found on MrWalkman's blog.

NW-ZX300

The custom ZX300 firmware brings the following improvements: 

  • Improvements to the sound
  • DSEE HX AI (present on DMP-Z1)
  • Improved battery life
  • Hardware accelerated rendition of the UI (faster menus)

To find the firmware, check out MrWalkman's blog. The firmware is not permanent, and you can switch back to the old original firmware if you wish.

NW-WM1/A

Finally for those lucky to own the WM-Series, a custom firmware also exists by MrWalkman. The changes include the following:

  • Switching the model (from "Settings" > "Device Settings")
  • DSEE HX AI (present on DMP-Z1)
  • Hardware accelerated rendition of the UI

The link to firmware is on MrWalkman's blog.

For any questions about the firmware or troubleshooting, I would post them in their respective threads on Head-Fi. Thanks again to MrWalkman for providing the custom firmwares. Please consider donating to MrWalkman using Paypal to help him develop more custom firmwares in the future.

71 comments:

  1. I have my favorite Sony nw a-45, and custom firmware is what I dreamed of! Thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please post your thoughts in the comments and any troubleshooting/issues in the head-fi post.

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    2. Of corse, thanks! I am very pleased with the added vinyl processor function. I was very interested in this function on a nw-a55, and was upset that it was not added with the firmware later, as for nw-zx300.

      Directly all the sound adjustment functions, I may not need, but these are even more possibilities.
      I also liked the amplification function through the stereo jack.
      And finally, you can create a playlist on the nwa-45 itself.
      Thank you! You shared a very cool information!

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    3. Buenas,yo tengo el modelo nw a 55 y me es imposible bajar las caratulas de las canciones en flac 1 x1 ya que tengo más de 2000...hay alguna manera o algún mod que pueda usar??..muchas gracias

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  2. Can you recommend a good hi-res player for Sony WH 1000 XM4? Up to 200 eur.

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    Replies
    1. In my opinion, you need a player with application support, in particular I'm talking about the Sony Headphons application.
      I recently bought myself a sony wf-1000xm3 (by the way, I adore them) and I saw that they play incredibly with my phone, with an additional sound add-on.
      To unleash the full potential of the new headphones, perhaps look for a player on the android platform.
      The cheapest player with partial android is fiio m6, but I never dared to buy it, to be honest.

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    2. I guess A55 can do just fine. It has LDAC, which works with thee WH1000XM4 headphones.

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    3. agreed, would need to be a player running android if you want the sony headphone app support. The A55 is great mp3 player, but I think it is over 200 euros. Best place to get advice for such a player is head-fi, lots of audiophiles there that are willing to help out.

      https://www.head-fi.org/forums/portable-source-gear.15/

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    4. Oh, right, I forgot about the Headphones app.

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    5. Would be great if Sony made an app, or setting on the older touchscreen A series which would work like the app on android.

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    6. It would be nice, but I'm not really sure they would do it. They even have a support article on this matter - https://www.sony-asia.com/electronics/support/articles/00231073

      "The Equalizer settings will not be reflected on the headphones with these models. To set the Equalizer on the headphones, connect your smartphone to the headphones and set the Equalizer using the Sony | Headphones Connect app. This stores the Equalizer settings in the headphones. After completing this step, connect the headphones to the Walkman. You can now play music on the headphones with the Equalizer feature activated."

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    7. A work around but personally I feel this is one step too many, when you could easily add a Sony app/setting on the Sony OS walkmans to connect to the headphones. Apart from EQ, you could set the NC levels, et. But now with the walkmans on android, no need for that I guess.

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  3. I still have my NWZ-ZX1 that I got directly from Japan and it never had a volume limitation. The real problem now is the memory that is filed up from Android apps that is impossible to remove..any suggestion to that problem anyone?

    Of course I'm now looking to upgrade to the new NW-ZX500, but it i expensive and the NWZ-ZX1 still sounds good and it got the possibility to use Spotify..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi HL, I'm in exactly the same situation as you! I too bought a Japanese NW-ZX1 in early 2014 and still use it as my DAP and is in MINT condition. With disabling sound enhancements the clarity of sound is still very good. I have often wondered anout the NW-WM1A but can't bring myself to pull the trigger on a 4 year old model no matter how much of an upgrade it may be. Looking unlikely sony will bring a new model to IFA 2020. Hesitant to buy the ZX507 as not as good Looking as the ZX1 and another android DAP that will go out of date quickly. Wondered about investing in the iFi HIP DAC.

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  4. Hi, is there any chance of making this available for the NW-A50 series?

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    Replies
    1. Currently it is not available. My understanding is that he (MrWalkman from head-fi) does not own a NW-A50 series device to test it. He has stated that it has touchscreen issues with the current firmware so as of now its not possible. Perhaps if someone donated him a device to test on he would be able to release it to the public.

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    2. Now it's available, for some time already, at www.mrwalkman.ml.

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  5. Greetings! So no new walkmans on that's IFA 2020 ?

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    Replies
    1. Sony will not be at IFA this year. As for any new walkmans, nothing on the FCC so far, which is unfortunate. The last public Sony FCC entry is from late June, after that nothing. I checked the other sites like anatel, the Korean FCC, nothing so far. hopefully soon.

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    2. Thanks! We will hope

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  6. hi..after i update on wm1z 1.4,my storage becomw 128gb..what happen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The issue was solved by the way, with the person.

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  7. Which firmware can I use for Sony nw-a105???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are no firmwares for A105. The Android players work differently, and at the moment there's no way of getting inside the firmware.

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  8. Since the links were taken down, can others who have the mods paste new links especially for NW-A45 and ZX300 models?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The links will be up on www.mrwalkman.ml, as specified in the edited posts.

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    2. Thank you, MrWalkman, for all you work. But i could not find the NW-A40 series firmware link on your blog. Is it discontinued?

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    3. It's available now, on the website.

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  9. Will my nwA30 series work with this firmware

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    Replies
    1. Nope, but a firmware for A30 will be released today, on www.mrwalkman.ml.

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  10. Interesting. Can I ask: what do you mean, "new and improved sound"? Can you be more specific how you did this? Is it an Equalizer setting or did you use undocumented hardware switches?

    Thanks in advance. And thank you for doing this 🙂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would suggest checking www.mrwalkman.ml for new modded firmware for these players. Unfortunately, I won't go into details about how it works, but it's not an equalizer setting. I hope you'll understand. Thanks.

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    2. There no longer is a mrwalkman.ml any more.Where do we go now?

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    3. https://www.nwmods.ml/ new address

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  11. where is this firmware located on this blog to download?
    Custom Sony Walkman firmware by MrWalkman (NW-A40,
    ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not located on this blog, but you can find it on www.mrwalkman.ml.

      Delete
  12. Why would he remove some of the best features sound wise the A40 has, ClearAudio+ is an amazing feature as is VPT Surround. Seems like a really stupid thing to do. That alone makes the firmware a useless downgrade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The firmware is based on the ZX300, which doesn't have these features. The boost in sound quality is pretty big though, so I don't really think it's a downgrade. Also, VPT Surround and ClearAudio+ are really not better than listening to the music in a normal way. This is only my opinion, of course.

      I will try bringing the A50 player app to the A40, which will have those features, but we'll see how that works out.

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  13. Hello MrWalkman, I got a35, will it works with a30 firmware?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it should, the A30 is just the general name, encompasses the entire range, A35, A36 and A37. But I am sure MrWalkman can confirm for 100%

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  14. OK, just in case, I will wait to load the firmware :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, as Ascariss mentioned, A30 included A35, A35, and A37.

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    2. Coool, I did it, it works :-)

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  15. Can i use A50 firmware for the A55 ?

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  16. A45 owner. One word. WOW! Thank you so much!!!!!

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  17. Tried to update firmware on a A55. A55 now hung in loop, cannot access device by USB.
    What can I do?
    Thanks...Mike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The issue was solved. Just use the "Contact" page on the website for similar issues.

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    2. Dear Mr. Walkman. Your site with the custom firmware on it is not available anymore. Is there anu other location where I can download the latest firmware for the NW-A50?

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    3. this works for me https://www.nwmods.ml/

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  18. Can you produce firmware for the NWZ-A15?

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  19. hello i have a problem when i try to install Project Z for sony nw-a45..i have a message error"connect the player to the computer with a usb cable" but my player is recognize by my pc

    it's strange

    thank you for your help

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  20. I hope the high gain setting can be made available for the nw-a50 series. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Is your blog down? I couldn't visit yours. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the links should be updated to MrWalkman's new blog url.

      https://www.nwmods.ml/

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  22. My NW-A40 will not pair with my headphones (which it used to do before) even though I have turned on the Bluetooth Receiver. Please advise. Thanks.

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  23. I also do not see the VU meters or an option to turn it on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's all good. I now have the VU meters.

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  24. https://www.nwmods.ml/ does not work

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is working for me. https://www.nwmods.ml/

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    2. Some DNS servers don't have records for this domain name for some reason. I recommend using the Google DNS service.

      https://developers.google.com/speed/public-dns

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  25. So awhile back there was a mod for the A40 Walkman that allowed you to install the latest version 1.02 A50 Walkman firmware onto it. That is no longer available on the Mr Walkman site. But does anybody still have a copy of that firmware?

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  26. Hello from Germany.
    I use a Nw-ZX2.
    Do you also Support this custom FW because of the Max. Volume Problem?

    Regards Veit

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi, I know that my question depends on different taste but really want to know if (for durability and cosmetic proof over time) better the NW-ZX300 in silver or black color. I´m assuming that the silver one is not a coat of paint because its stated that is an aluminum body... Thanks for your time.

    ReplyDelete
  28. can i ask what exactly provides the improvement in sound with the new firmware?

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  29. is there any difference with the modded firmware and stock? I mean does the sound have that noticeable differences? as for the UI it looks really cool though, seeing some peeps do have the firmware makes me want to use the firmware for the A40 series.. https://www.blogger.com/profile/09329418150774495339

    ReplyDelete
  30. Are you going to be making any more custom firmsare for the NW A-55 series?

    ReplyDelete

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