Almost a year ago, Sony presented the NW-WM1ZM2 and NW-WM1AM2 with great fanfare, ultra-high-end portable players bringing together all the brand’s know-how at a staggering price. This time, the Japanese firm is tackling the renewal of the entry-level of the famous Walkman with the NW-A306.
A compact and connected player
In order to be easily transportable in a pocket and easy to handle with one hand, the NW-A306 opts for compactness with a size of 5.6 x 9.8 x 1.2 cm and a weight of 113 g. It is equipped with a 3.6-inch (9.14 cm) touch screen on its front panel serving as an interface. It also has a series of seven control buttons on one of its edges. Everything is governed by Android 12, leaving the freedom to install any streaming platform or player compatible with this operating system.
The NW-A306 has wifi/Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with the vast majority of existing codecs: SBC, AAC, aptx HD, LDAC… A minijack output and a USB-C port are also included.
The technical specifications fair
As usual with this kind of product, it’s a party for the technical characteristics. Thus, the rigid aluminum chassis would offer “clear, stable sound and deep bass”lead-free solders containing gold granting “clearer sound and voices”. Film capacitors would reduce distortion and noise, while reflow soldering (also with gold) would allow “better sound localization and expanded acoustic space”. An entire program !
The NW-A306 has an internal memory of 32 GB (but only 18 GB is available due to the presence of the operating system). A microSD port, however, allows this storage space to be extended by up to an additional 32 GB. In addition, many formats are supported by the player, ranging from simple MP3, FLAC to MQA and DSD 11.2 MHz.
The NW-A306 is equipped with DSEE Ultimate technology which is supposed to improve the rendering of files damaged by compression. Sony provides several information regarding the autonomy of its Walkman. It would stay awake for 36 hours in local FLAC file playback or 22 hours in playback via streaming platforms.
The NW-A306 is available in France from January 2023 at the recommended retail price of €400.