The Walkman is back, and this time it’ll cost you $1,100

walkman zx2

Emanating from CES in Las Vegas is an announcement from Sony of a new Walkman model. The Walkman brand was iconic in the pre-Internet, pre-cloud era, and represented the first meaningful mobility for user-chosen music. (Transistor radio preceded the original Walkman.)

While bygone Walkmen played cassette tapes, and graduated to CDs, the new version (called the Walkman ZX2) is a WiFi device with 128 gigabytes of storage for downloaded music. It is equipped to reproduce hi-resolution and “lossless” music files. As such, Sony is staging a competition with Pono Music, which emerged from beta status this week at the giant Vegas trade show — but only a partial competition, as Pono is a more complete ecosystem with its own music store.

But certainly Sony is riding the current trend toward high-fidelity music reproduction, marginal though it might be in the total audio market, to attempt a revival of its once-mighty Walkman brand.

Brad Hill