Sony's new H.ear Walkman models have high-res audio, noise canceling

​Sony's two new high-resolution Walkman models, the new compact H.ear NW-A25HN and high-end NW-ZX100HN, are announced at IFA.

Ty Pendlebury

Ty Pendlebury


Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.

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Sony has announced two new high-resolution Walkmans, including the new compact H.ear NW-A20 series, at a press event at the IFA 2015 show in Germany.

The NW-A20 series Walkman will be available in two models, the 16GB NW-A25HN (in a choice of 5 colors) and the 64GB NW-A27HN, and both offer the option of an extra 128GB of microSD storage.

The Walkman also includes LDAC Bluetooth streaming in addition to digital noise canceling features, accompanied by noise canceling headphones (choice of either the MDR-NW750N or MDR-NW750NE). Like the H.ear headphones, the Walkman will come in a series of matching colors. Based on the design, the NW-A20 series appears to be an updated version of last year's A17 .


The NW-ZX100HN is Sony's most compact high-end Walkman.


Meanwhile the high-end ZX2 will also receive an update in the guise of the NW-ZX100HN Walkman, which Sony says is "even more portable than its predecessors." Like the newly announced NW-A25HN the ZX100 also features noise canceling and will ship for the first time with a set of noise-canceling headphones -- previous models did not include headphones.

Unlike the ZX2, which was based on Android and featured the ability to add streaming apps like Tidal and Spotify, the ZX100 appears to use Sony's own operating system and lacks a Wi-Fi connection. It does offer Bluetooth with NFC pairing, though.

Sony unveils h.ear headphones and noise-cancelling Walkman (pictures)

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In the past Sony's differentiating factor among other high-res players on the market is that it has boasted significantly better battery life. While models like the Astell and Kern Jr. can only manage 10 hours of playback, Sony says the ZX100 will last up to 45 hours.

Sony has yet to announce pricing or availability on its Walkman models.

For the best of IFA 2015, see CNET's complete coverage.