I received the new Sony player last week in which I posted some early shots on The Speaker Shack’s Facebook page and it has been a fun weekend trying out different IEM headphones on this beautifully built player.
The first thing you notice on picking up the NW-WM1A is that is a heavy DAP and weighs considerably more than most other players that I have owned and reviewed in the past. It weighs in at approx. 267 grams and houses a healthy 128gig of on board memory which is more than enough to get you started loading up on high resolution music files. Charging time takes around about 7 hours to fully charge the unit but once it is charged that charge seems to last forever compared to other DAP’s, Sony really have got the competition licked when it comes to battery life as I have been using it for a long time now and the charge does not seem to drop hardly any juice when in use.
It is a fully featured DAP which can handle every music file type known (apart from MQA) and all the way up to fully native DSD. Everything about this player screams high end and is just beautifully crafted. Like its bigger brother the NW-WM1Z it has everything to keep the connoisseur audiophile happy, OK it does not have the gold finish and some internal differences but for more than £1000 cheaper it is not far off in specs wise and to me the most important factor here is the sound quality which I have to say is the best I have heard out of any DAP. It gives just a wonderful immersive listening experience and with a good set of IEM headphones it just gets better.
At the moment I am using a pair of RHA-T20i headphones and the sound is just lush as ever so I can only imagine what it would sound like with a really high end pair. The acoustics are full and rich in sound from the player and gives a really natural listening experience. I am so impressed with this player that I do not usually get this excited about Sony electronics but being an 80’s teenager I always had a Sony Walkman and it was one of the best they did at the time and I loved the sound and to me it feels the same well sort of as it is a high end Walkman in which the sound quality has advanced so far that you really can enjoy your music when on the move.
Sony really has moved the game on further and produced something that can emulate your high resolution music to a level which is just stunning in every aspect of its sound. I know that this unit is still bedding in and will improve as the electronics burn in. If the new NW-WM1Z improves the sound quality even further, well then that must be really something special.
The Sony’s GUI is very good and probably one of the best that I have used and it gives the user so many features with which you can play with and to also adjust the sound settings.
Another great feature is the high quality Bluetooth playback which I have been using in my Car, now the quality is so good that I take it everywhere I go and the music quality through my cars system has improved massively.
I am loving the new Sony and if you are serious about Hi-Fi and your portable listening then this is the best sounding player I have heard to date.