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Latest Sony Walkman is the most tempting hi-res music player in years

If your priority is distraction-free, high-quality digital music, the modern incarnations of the Sony Walkman are a great option. Trouble is, up to now, they’ve been hideously expensive.

Today, the iconic brand has lessened the burden considerably with its new NW-A306 model that costs £349, while still offering support for hi-res audio formats and battery life of up to 36-hours.

In terms of the hi-res audio, Sony is promising support for the major formats like MP3, WMA, FLAC, AAC, DSD, AIFF and Apple Lossless. It can also transmit hi-res files via wired and wireless headphones thanks to Sony’s LDAC wireless codec that promises 3x the bitrate of standard Bluetooth.

There’s support for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio – the company’s version of spatial audio – while the Sony has also included its S-Master HX digital amplifier technology featured on higher-end models, which is designed to reduce distortion while maintaining a full-bodied sound.

Sony NW-A306

The Android 12-powered device has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, is Wi-Fi enabled and has the Play Store on board, allowing you to get your fix from your favourite streaming apps, while you can also transfer your files directly from your PC. There are also physical buttons for controlling various elements of the playback.

The battery life maxes-out at 36-hours if you’re playing 96kHz/24-bit FLAC files, for instance, over a wired connection. However, this will be shortened if you opt for Bluetooth headphones, higher bitrate playback, or if you’re streaming. It’ll take 3.5 hours to fully recharge via USB-C. There’s 32GB of built-in storage, which can be expanded via microSD.

The NW-A306 Walkman will be available soon in blue and black, Sony says. Considering the last Walkmen we covered from Sony, the NW-WM1ZM2 and NW-WM1AM2 music players, were priced at $3,699.99 and $1,399.99 respectively, this new model could be quite a tempter.

Are you tempted by a Walkman for a purer listening experience, minus the constant pings of WhatsApp notifications? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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