Sony’s new £6,000 ‘portable’ music player has a gold-plated volume dial

Sony’s DMP-Z1 digital music player is the latest addition to Sony’s high-end Signature Series, and comes toting 256GB of internal storage, 10 hours of battery life and gold-infused solder (seriously).

Given the ostentatious design, you won’t be surprised to hear that this thing doesn’t come cheap. Sony’s Hong Kong online store has the player listed for HK $61,000, which translates to just over £6000.

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For that price you’re getting a pretty hefty set of specs. The player can handle hi-res audie files of up to 11.2 MHz DSD (or FLACs up to 96kHz/24-bit), and features both a standard headphone jack as well as a 4.4mm balanced jack, which is prized by audiophiles for apparently offering quick dynamics, more detail and tighter base.

Battery life is rated at 10 hours (dropping to nine hours if you’re listening to Hi-Res music), and the whole device is charged via a USB-C port. You control playback via a 3.1-inch touchscreen.

So far it sounds like an exceptionally high-end Walkman, like Sony has produced for years, but when you look at the DMP-Z1 it’s hard to see how anyone could actually make use of this device as a portable player with its dimensions of 68.11 x 138 x 278.7 mm.

In other words, this seems like a desktop music player through and through, a suspicion supported by the fact that you can output your computer’s sound to it and use the DMP-Z1 as a DAC if you connect to it via USB. It even features neat little feet for keeping it stable on a desk.

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We can’t work out where we stand on the player’s ostentatious gold trim. On the one hand we’re not buying Sony’s claim that the gold volume dial ensures “absolute sonic purity”, but equally the glossy black and gold accented design oozes the kind of class that we wouldn’t mind using to listen to music.

There’s no word yet on a UK release, but don’t expect this thing to come cheap if it does.

Do you agree that the DMP-Z1 is a little too big to be considered a portable music player? Let us know @TrustedReviews.