Sony unveils new NW-A35 Walkman with noise-cancelling in-ear headphones

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I’m not entirely sure who is buying these but I’m assuming somebody is because year after year at CES, Sony continues to introduce new and improved Walkman players that target the entry level and high-end market. Kashfia Kabir writes for What Hi-Fi about the new NW-A35 Walkman which was unveiled at CES 2017:

 Sony’s proprietary S-Master HX digital amplifier powers the NW-A35, which also features a 3.1in touchscreen and side buttons for controls. There’s also Bluetooth with NFC (Near Field Communication) so you can easily connect to wireless headphones.

There’s a slight variant of this model, the NW-A35HN, which is identical to the A35 in every way, but comes bundled with a special pair of noise-cancelling, in-ear headphones. 

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As for the lightweight Walkman, which weighs just 98g, you can choose from 5 colors:

  • Viridian blue
  • Cinnabar red
  • Charcoal black
  • Lime yellow
  • Bordeaux pink

According to Sony, the A35 offers an impressive 45 hours when listening to normal MP3 music and 30 hours when listening to Hi-Res audio. As for storage, 16GB is offered onboard though that’s expandable thanks to microSD. The A35 Walkman will launch some time in February in Europe though no price point has been announced yet.

From the little birdie I talked with, $349 sounds about the range Sony wants it to fall in line with. What do you think – is there still a market for a Walkman like this and who exactly is buying them?

  • Marko Požarnik

    I bought NWZ-B183 for my wife although she has xperia xz. She wanted it because she wants something light for sport activities and doesn’t want to run with the “big” phone. Of course it is a lot cheaper than this presented. :)

  • Michaux-O

    The Walkman line has always been & remains Sony’s finest product (with all due respect to their Television lines). I’ve owned dozens of Walkmans over the years, and currently I’m rocking the ZX100 in combination with the PHA-3 amp + Z7 cans, which together have a wonderful synergy. The ZX100 is one notch above the upcoming A35, so I don’t see myself buying the A35 as it would be a lateral move. Eventually I’d like to upgrade to the new Signature Series Walkman (WM-1A), amp & headphones.

    To answer your question: people who buy these Walkmans care about audio fidelity and storage capacity, and to a lesser extent portability. I love the ZX100 as it is a true DAP (dedicated audio player) that’s sole function is to play music at high resolution. I have at least 400 GB of digital music, most albums FLAC, with many 24/96 or 24/192, and an increasing number of DSD files. Good luck playing any of those on an iPhone or iPod (do they still make those?). As you seem dismissive of the current Walkmans, it seems you, like many people are pefectly happy with AAC iTunes files, mp3s, and streaming music through Spotify or whatnot played through crappy white earpods or even the new airpods, which look ridiculous, and probably sound like garbage as well. That’s all fine and dandy, but there are also a number of people out there who care about audio quality enough to drop big money on this A35 (which looks lovely btw) or it’s more expensive bretheren. Check out the forums on headfi.org. Hi-res music is here to stay, and Sony has gotten back in the game in a big way. Long live the Walkman!

  • Jadranko Pavlotić

    Great choice of colors

  • r_a_n_i

    I have the NW-A25 Walkman and i really like it. Have al the music always with me without to spam the iPhone memory. Also can play the ripped vinyls on it. But happy to see that there is something new coming.

  • Santiago Cornejo

    Hi Michaux-O.. Can you please tell me if the A35 is compatible with de PHA-3 ? thanks!

  • Michaux-O

    The A35 is definitely compatible with the PHA-3. The Walkman plugs directly into the back of the amp via micro USB. You can connect your smartphone (Android or iPhone) back there as well. The PHA-3 will definitely give the Walkman more oomph & detail, especially if you take advantage of the balanced headphone jacks.