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Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman Revealed (Update)

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

I have no idea if someone at Sony messed up, but the product video for the new NW-ZX700 just appeared on their Youtube channel. I am very surprised with the announcement in January, as I was told to expect it much later on. Regardless, rest of the photos below. Edit: Now it is official.

I have removed the previous original updates from this post, and replaced it with a full post now.

This past week Sony released the new NW-ZX700, whether this is an upgrade will depend on what you own right now and if the improvements are enough to tempt you to buy one. I already made a comparison post for all of the ZX models here, so make sure to check it out. 

The new ZX700 brings a lot of improvements, like a bigger screen, increased battery life and new high end components from the new WM1-Series. With the new 5.0 inch LCD (HD), the size of the player has increased a bit, 72.5 mm x 132.3 mm x 16.9mm and the weight has ballooned to 227g (ZX500 164g).

Sony NW-ZX700 NW-ZX500 size comparison
Sony NW-ZX700 NW-ZX500 size comparison

At first I did not think Sony needed to make the player larger, but with the new high end components, more space was required. The design has also changed quite a bit, gone are the rounded soft edges and in are the sharp lines and the return of the rear bump, now at the top rather than the bottom.

The USB Type-C port (USB3.2 Gen1) has now moved down to the bottom of the device, with the microSD card slot still on the side in the same place. The top like the predecessor has 2 inputs for 3.5mm and balanced. There is no silver colour option this time around, but who knows maybe a special silver edition will show, Japan only obviously.

High End Components.

Sony NW-ZX700 high end components

The new model borrows the large solid high polymer capacitor from its WM1 siblings, which acts as battery assist for the amplifier block. The capacitor offers "larger capacitance and lower resistance", which is able to supply large amounts of power, and preventing sudden falls in voltage. This results in clear, strong and accurate bass sound with clear vocals.

The ZX700 also adopts the FT CAP3 (High polymer capacitor) from the WM1-Series, before the ZX500 used the FT CAP2.

Sony NW-XZ700 FT CAP3
Sony NW-ZX700 FT CAP3 (Left), NW-ZX500 FT CAP2 (right)

The FT CAP3 is custom made for Sony and tuned by its engineers. They help "improve sound expression and create a smoother sound, with a wider sound space, more transparency and tighter bass". 

Sony NW-ZX700 Large coil for balanced output

There is also a 4 large 8mm coils for balanced output. Sony used a flat conductive wire, which results in lower distortion and resistance, which improves the sound resolution across all frequencies. The new WM1 also uses these but has 6 of them.

An Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) milled block covers the main components, like the CPU and memory, which helps lower the noise and improve the sound quality. There is also a shield on the NW-A300 but it might not be an OFC milled block.

The S-Master HX remains like in the NW-A300, it reduces distortion and noise across a wide range of frequencies. This creates a rick and full bodied sound, which is further improved with lead free solder with gold. Oh fancy.

Other premium features are high quality film capacitors, high polymer capacitors, and a milled aluminum frame like the WM1. With so many new high end components, Sony needed extra space, and this is probably why the player grew in size and we have a 5.0 inch LCD.

One new feature Sony did not mention is the new SoC. The new ZX700 uses the Qualcomm QCS4290. I have more information about the new SoC in my new post.

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sound Processing

The ZX700 features DSEE Extreme, a DSD Remastering Engine where PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) audio is resampled into an 11.2 MHz DSD, and a vinyl processor. There is support for MQA files and along with LDAC, aptx and aptX HD.

Much Improved Battery Life

Like with the previous A-Series, the ZX500 also suffered from mediocre battery life. The new model now can play MP3 (128kbps) and FLAC (44.1 kHz/16 bit) up to 25 hours, with FLAC (96 kHz/24 bit) up to 23 hours and FLAC (192 kHz/24 bit) up 21 hours. For the comparison with the previous model, check out my comparison guide. It remains to be seen how well these new figures translate to real work hours, but I suspect with newer more energy efficient components, they should up.

Apart from the improved battery life, recharging the batter now only takes 3.5 hours to get to 100%, where before it was up to 6.5 hours.

Sony NW-ZX700 Cassette UI
When playing music and the screensaver turns into a classic cassette tape, which changes depending on which codec is being played. This little piece of nostalgia is the cherry on top. A similar feature is present on the NW-A100 and the new A300 as well.

Other features include WiFi-5, Bluetooth 5.0, and a USB DAC function. The screen as I mentioned is now 5 inch HD LCD, and there is only one capacity 64 GB in most areas, except China which also gets the NW-ZX706 which is 32 GB. The Android version is 12.0.

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

The release date is February 23rd in Japan, with select countries in Asia Pacific from January. The price in Japan will be 104,500 Yen, or around 780 USD or 735 Euros. In China the 32Gb version is 820 USD, I believe this is with 13% tax, so pre-tax it would be 725 USD. There is no word for release in other areas like Europe or North America for the time being.

The new ZX seems like an amazing Walkman, I wish I could afford it, if anyone from Sony is reading this, I would love to test it, and write up a review.

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Sony NW-ZX700 Walkman

Update 3: There is a 32GB model in China, this device is also on Bluetooth SIG

Update 2: I will have a more detailed look and in depth look at the new ZX700, but it seems that the player uses a Qualcomm QCS4290 for the main SoC.

Update: Release date in Japan is February 23rd. Still nothing for other regions. Price in Japan is 104,500 Yen, or 788 USD or 735 Euros.

10 comments:

  1. Looking good ...What is the price point of this i wonder

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  2. Suprised to see the addition of USB DAC. saw the video from sony japan support. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WrdrARacIc&ab_channel=Sony-SupportJP

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  3. It seems to have a longer battery life, with the engineers conceding that the previous models disappointed with their inefficient SoC. It doesn't match the WM1A/ZM2 models but frankly I would not carry those bricks around. With high gain mode the balanced jack outputs a tad more power than the ZX300 and ZX500 series. (230mw vs their 200mw) It's pretty appealing so far.

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  4. I will go for a listening session at local Sony Store, evaluate and see if it is worth to upgrade from my ZX507, after 3 years of use.

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  5. How much is the price

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    Replies
    1. Price in Japan is 104,500 Yen, or 788 USD or 735 Euros.

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  6. Everything looks good . But 64GB is a joke….at least 128GB is somewhat ok.

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    Replies
    1. It really is poor, but now they are running Android, I'd personally leave the player's internal memory entirely for the OS and apps, and put music on the largest Micro SD the player will take. I recently discovered, on my WM1A, having the music library split across internal and Micro SD memory is a little messy especially when it comes to playlists.

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