Sony has unveiled a brand new NW-A306 transportable music participant as a part of its Walkman vary, at a surprisingly reasonably priced worth.
At first look, the NW-A306 appears like a stripped-down model of the highest gamers NW-WM1ZM2 (£3,299) and NW-WM1AM2 (£1,299).
It encompasses a rectangular milled aluminum design with rounded sides, giant bodily button controls and a 3.6-inch touchscreen. The one main distinction is that it has misplaced the big semi-circular protrusions seen on the highest of the older mannequin.
Nevertheless, look somewhat nearer and you will find that it has one key promoting level that differentiates it from Sony’s earlier portables – its worth.
NW-A306 can be accessible for pre-order on the Sony Retailer for a modest worth of £350 / $350 / €400 at an unspecified level later this month.
The worth is a daring transfer by Sony and means the brand new participant radically undercuts our present award-winning transportable system, the Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 MKIIby £300/$300.
The SR25 MKII at present retails for £699/$749 on Amazon and tops its finest transportable music participant information, with our reviewers citing its glorious worth for cash as a key purpose for the advice.
It has been some time since we have seen a high-resolution participant from such an enormous model value so little, and we’ll be very curious to see how the NW-A306 fares in opposition to its dearer rivals once we take it for a take a look at drive.
Working Google’s Android 12 working system, the system is full of options which can be normally solely seen on far more costly handsets.
For starters, his circuit makes use of a reflow solder that comprises gold. Mixed with Sony’s S-Grasp HX digital amplifier and native DSD (Direct Stream Digital Codec) help, Sony claims this can enable the NW-A306 to ship considerably higher sound, with much less distortion and noise, than most flagship smartphones.
For severe listeners there’s additionally a 3.5mm enter for wired headphones – examine us out the most effective wired headphones information to our handpicked picks from the highest gamers we have examined.
There’s additionally Bluetooth and wi-fi help, in addition to improved DSEE Final improve know-how for these seeking to reduce the twine. Sony claims to have improved its algorithms to permit the participant to supply extra acoustic subtleties and dynamic vary when taking part in 16-bit/44kHz CD-quality tracks, even with lossless codecs.
The ultimate improve pertains to its battery life, with the NW-A306 claiming as much as 36 hours of FLAC 44.1kHz playback and as much as 32 hours of FLAC 96kHz Hello-Res audio playback, which needs to be greater than sufficient that will help you. lengthy distance flight. Charging is through the USB-C connection and a cable is supplied within the package deal.
Does that every one sound nice? We expect so, however there is a catch. Particularly, in accordance with Sony’s spec sheet, the NW-A306 will solely have 32GB of storage. To make issues worse, solely 18GB of that’s listed as “usable”.
Contemplating how shortly we managed to refill the SR25 MKII, which has 64GB of built-in storage, this might be an issue for individuals who wish to have giant hi-res music libraries downloaded regionally. Though given the participant’s worth, it is stunning that that is the one evident shortcoming we have noticed to this point.
We’ll remember to let you know the way the NW-A306 performs in real-world use once we deliver it to our take a look at labs for overview, so remember to maintain checking again with What Hello-Fi?.
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