So Sony had stepped up their game, and decided to release one of the best Walkman up to date, and that is the NW-WM1Z. As everyone who had been following the device developments and leaks, we all know that the WM1Z or 1Z was made to compete against the AK380 Copper. Sony also has a lower pricing version and it is WM1A. I do think it is appropriate to say the 1A is the regular AK380 competition with a cheaper price. As this thread is for 1Z. We will get on with this. First of all, I congratulate to people who had also put a dent in their wallet and to purchase the new Sony 1Z Walkman. It is expensive, beautiful, engineered by Sony, developed in Japan, and made in Malaysia . The body chassis is made of pure OFC copper solid carving, and 24k Gold plated with Matte finish, which put the 1Z gold color to be Deeper and Darker in tone. This unique chassis casing is used for the return and grounding purposes as the engineers had disclosed. The conductivity of Copper is great and that it reduced the resistance, provided better signal integrity for the ground, and because it is so pure, the signal integrity stays the purest when compare to Aluminum version on 1A . That is not all the tricks. There are no software specially tuned to the 1Z or 1A, both share the same OS and interchangeable, but the different sound signatures come from 1/ Larger Fine Sound Resistors for WM1Z, and WM1A is MELF Resistors (5 in total)....I counted it...could be wrong...pardon me 2/ 4 more FT Capacitors vs OS-CON from 1A. However, the differences in Capacitors were told to be different on the 3.5mm socket side only, and both 1A and 1Z were told by the engineer to be using the same amount and count of FT Capacitors. 3/ Interconnect Wirings are Kimber braided Cables vs OFC unbraided from 1A 4/ 256 Gb internal memory instead of 128 I was told by a few people who had attended the shows and had their hand on both for comparisons, the sound signatures are different (how significant is upon personal judgement), but 1A was more digital and 1Z is more Tube like with better expressions. Sony releases the Walkman worldwide, I gathered that the Devices for EU market is Volume Capped to comply to EU laws, and they have the Logo (CE) on the box. The Japanese version does not support English but only Japanese and support ATRAC (uniquely to Japan model only) We will have Tourist versions: Japan Tourist version and Asia Tourist versions. All Tourist versions support English and a total of 13 languages, and they are not Volume Capped. These could be imported from other regions of the world. I will leave the hunting and the fun to you to do so. They will come with 1 year standard warranty across many regions including US and U.K. Then we have US version, and I have not seen it yet..... Mine is Asia Tourist version The opening of the box has nothing special to it, pretty simple. Do not expect to have anything special as you have paid a few grands for it . It is similar to the boxing of Zx2. The experiences is not as special as opening headphones MDR-Z1R for sure. The new Walkman both 1A and 1Z support Balanced 4.4mm as a new standard from Jeita, and 3.5 Single ended or separated grounding on this 3.5mm side, which means you can use TRRS connection from Zx2 or Hi-fi Man. The power output was told to be 250mwx2 (balanced) and 60mW x 2 (3.5). The unique attribute about balanced 4.4mm is that it can do Native DSD up to 11.2 . Beside this, Sony also removed the analog line out from WM port, which put the new Walkman WM series to be only compatible to Digital output for transport and if you need to use line-out analog, you can use either headphones output. It was told that the Direct Source would need to be checked for the stability of the signals and keeping the integrity. Here I am using headphones out from 4.4 Balanced into my large stereo system, and I do love it so far. I tried it with my large home stereo amplifier and it went smoothly (3.5mm TRRS into balanced input). Hell, that bass The UI is pretty smooth overall, not as snappy as the modern smartphones, but not exceptionally laggy. Though occasionally it may lags a bit. If you fancy the screen display of VU meters and or Spectrum analyzer, you can do so, and remember to check the screen to keep it On all the time, the default turn off is 30 seconds. Default setting also show album art cover instead. There are Relays built into the Walkman to protect the overload of the headphones at the instant and damage it when plugged in or unplug. However, the relays will work as soon as the Sockets are plugs, regardless of the headphones being plugged on at the other end or not. Therefore, I recommend to make sure your headphones is securely connected to the cables before you plug into the Walkman itself. When plugged in, the Balanced side would show a "Click" as the relay is working, and on the 3.5mm the relay is not as strong, the click sound will not be as pronounced If my experiences with Pha-3 and Zx2 stated anything ? It would be that Sony had a soft spot for Balanced configurations and Separate grounding. So I ask of you to please, do not judge the performance of these units out of 3.5 Single ended. The 1Z has a weight of a champion which was 448 Gram approximately. I would say 1/2 KG or 1lb. It actually feel very worthy and good in hand. Though for a smaller hand size like me, I prefer to use it with 2 hands....and I don't want to slip it to drop it....even though the hand strap is constantly wore on my wrist. So, 2 hands operation, and the weight is actually pretty solid and good feeling. A fun thing is that while being leisurely in the office and listening to this portable device, you can also flex with it and do all kind of reps to stay (healthy) . No pun intended, I actually kinda like it. The weight is noth bothering when you put it in the pocket...you will feel it, but unless you are Saggy style, you won't have to worry if you are using it like me, having music on your ears, and only getting around the house from room to room or within your office to grab papers and stuff. If you prefer to walk out with it, you could face many potential threats, such as feeling 1lb in your pocket (it won't get hot though), it may slip out and got damaged, you may get robbed, it may get stolen....or lost. Gain functions: you can use standard, or high gains. It was told that turning on high Gain, you better turn on both sides of the circuit, even though you have the option to chose either. So, could it drive Z1R fine ? Yeah, Z1R is easier to drive, and in balanced mode with High Gain, I sit at 70-80 comfortably out of 120 range. In 3.5mm TRRS, I sit at 90-100 out of 120. Never dare to go beyond the range I stated with music on....probably gonna blow my ears and I need it to enjoy the music. The device displayed a 200 hours needed for burn-in before a proper performances would be achieved. The funny thing and literally is that out of the box at 0:00 mark, the device was all about that bass and slam + vocal...micro details and trebles were like.....>_<. It hit my panic button, so I just wanted to share it out here, please don't panic. Hear it as it burn-in, and after 2 hours, you will see it evolving. The dock for Zx2 will work and fit snugly, it will act as digital out and charger at the same time. The player can also be charged via WM port and playing music through Analog out just fine. There will be a LeD light on the side button to show it is charging, and the battery indicator also do. When connected to a computer, the Walkman and Memory card will both show up, no need to choose or additional option. More impressions will follow. 1Z owners. Please have fun listening, and don't forget to share impressions about the unit here. I also found out that WM1Z will not be able to read Music files anywhere other than the Folder named "Music" on the MicroSD. It took me a good few minutes to try and figure it out. Also, reset all setting option will reset the "audio played" in unit information as well ***Additional information*** is below.