Sony introduces Walkman NW-A35 and Chromecast-enabled soundbars

Sony Walkman NW-A35

Sony has introduced a few new products at CES. While the focus was on video this year, with new TVs that took the stage, the company also introduced a few new audio-related products: the new Hi-Res Audio compatible Walkman NW-A35, the HT-MT500 Chromecast-enabled soundbar and the Dolby Atmos compatible HT-ST5000 soundbar.

Sony Walkman NW-A35

Sony Walkman NW-A35

The Sony Walkman NW-A35 is the latest portable audio player to be introduced in the Walkman line; much like many recent players by Sony, it sports Hi-Res Audio certification. It is not the typical “serious” player, as it has a young and colourful look.

The look should not trick you into thinking the Walkman NW-A35 has not a few cards up its sleeve: it can play DSD files, has POSCAP capacitors and S-Master HX amplifier plus two clock oscillators that should make for a better sound with less distortion and better detail.

The Sony Walkman NW-A35 has a 3.1″, 800 x 480 touch display, 16 GB internal storage, microSD slot, Bluetooth, NFC and up to 45 hours of music playback (while playing MP3s; it goes all the way down to 22 hours when playing DSDs). It supports AAC (non DRM), AIFF, ALAC, DSD, FLAC, HE-AAC, mp3, linear PCM and WMA (non DRM) source files. The included earphones are Hi-Res certified and include the Digital Noise Cancelling technology.

It will be available in February in five colours: Viridian Blue, Cinnabar Red, Charcoal Black, Lime Yellow and Bordeaux Pink. There is currently no word on pricing.

Sony HT-MT500

Sony HT-MT500

The Sony HT-MT500 is the mid-tier soundbar the company introduced at CES. They put the spotlight on design, which has been especially crafted to make the soundbar fit in the living room: it is slim, so that it can be positioned below the TV without covering the infrared sensor, and sports a protein leather cover that should make it appear elegant and refined. The included subwoofer is designed to fit under the sofa.

It supports Hi-Res Audio (96 kHz / 24 bit) and accepts input from a variety of sources: HDMI, Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi and USB. It includes Chromecast and Spotify Connect technologies. Sony claims the HT-MT500 supports “audio upscaling“, so that it should be able to make low-res files sound like hi-res files: while the focus on hi-res audio is commendable, it should be noted that upscaling is pure snake oil as lost information cannot be recovered.

The Sony HT-MT500 will be available starting March. Price is currently unknown.

Sony HT-ST5000

Sony HT-ST5000

The Sony HT-ST5000 soundbar is among the first products of its kind to feature Dolby Atmos compatibility. The soundbar offers 7.1.2 channels audio, HDMI pass-through with 4K and HDR support, HDCP 2.2 and Hi-Res Audio certification.

Sony is targeting the audio market, too, with the HT-ST5000; it is not just a soundbar to watch films and video contents, but it is made to listen to music, too. It supports audio sources up to 96 kHz / 24 bit. The Dolby Atmos technology is, however, its selling point when it comes to video, as it can reproduce better spatiality and allow for a much more immersive watching experience. A wireless subwoofer obviates the soundbar’s lack of bass.

The Sony HT-ST5000 supports a wide range of inputs: HDMI, 3.5 mm jack, USB, Bluetooth, NFC and WiFi. It has built-in Chromecast and Spotify Connect technologies, so playing music from PCs and mobile devices should be pretty straightforward.

Availability and pricing have not been announced yet.

About Riccardo Robecchi

Living just outside of Milan, Italy, I got the the passion for music listening as a legacy from my father and my grandfather. I am currently studying Computer Science at Università degli Studi di Milano. I also happen to have reported on technology for major Italian publications since 2011.
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