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Sony NW-WM1A Premium Walkman®

High-resolution portable digital music player with Bluetooth®

3 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

Item # 158NWWM1A

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Our take on the Sony NW-WM1A Premium Walkman®

The Sony NW-WM1A Premium Walkman is a finely crafted portable audio player that delivers exceptional high-resolution sound. The aluminum alloy frame resists electrical noise. Inside, the oxygen-free copper cables ensure low signal distortion.

Outstanding sound quality to go

Sony NW-WM1A Premium Walkman

The player features balanced output for high-performance headphones (not included).

The Sony NW-WM1A Premium Walkman is a finely crafted portable audio player that delivers exceptional high-resolution sound. The aluminum alloy frame resists electrical noise. Inside, the oxygen-free copper cables ensure low signal distortion.

The ‘WM1A features an advanced digital-to-analog converter that decodes high-res files in their native resolution. You'll enjoy richly detailed, spacious, better-than-CD sound. (You can download high-res tunes from sites like HDtracks).

Great for both high- and low-resolution files

The 'WM1A is compatible with high-res DSD files up to 11.2MHz and PCM-based files up to 24-bit/192kHz. It can handle Apple Lossless, FLAC, WAV, and other high-res formats.

And for compressed formats, like MP3s, Sony's Digital Sound Enhancement Engine can help them sound fuller. With a high-performance set of headphones, you'll discover new details in music you've heard many times before.

In addition to its stereo 3.5mm minijack output, the ‘WM1Z features a 4.4mm balanced output for the best possible sound with compatible high-performance headphones.

Bluetooth® compatible for wireless listening

For wireless listening, the 'WM1A features built-in Bluetooth. Stream music to your favorite Bluetooth speaker. The 'WM1A offers LDAC Hi-Fidelity wireless music streaming to compatible products.

A personal high-resolution audio system

To hear this Premium Walkman at its very best, pair it with Sony's Signature series over-ear MDR-Z1R headphones powered by the separate Sony TA-ZH1ES headphone amp.

High-res audio on the road

Interested in using this high-res player in your car or truck? You'll want to check out Sony's impressive RSX-GS9 high-res digital media receiver, part of their High Resolution Audio System — a series of incredibly advanced speakers, amps, and subs optimized for high-res performance.

Product Highlights:

  • plays MP3, FLAC, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, WMA, DSD, and LPCM audio files
  • plays high-resolution digital music files (PCM files up to 24-bit/192kHz; DSD files up to 5.6MHz)
  • microSD card slot accepts microSD, microSDHC, or microSDXC cards (available separately)
    • 128GB internal flash memory
  • 4" color touchscreen display (854 x 480 pixels)
  • Bluetooth-compatible with LDAC Hi-Fidelity wireless music streaming
  • Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) restores high-frequency signals to compressed digital formats like MP3 for more natural, expansive sound
  • S-Master® HX amplification offers accurate, detailed playback of high-resolution music files
  • NFC touch pairing with compatible phones
  • oxygen-free copper cables for low distortion
  • minijack headphone output (3.5mm)
  • balanced 4.4mm output
  • high-speed USB 2.0 port
  • rechargeable battery provides up to 33 hours of playback
  • USB 2.0-compliant cable included for file transfer and battery charging
  • leather wrist strap
  • 2-7/8"W x 4-7/8"H x 3/4"D
  • weight: 9.42 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Portable digital music player
  • 42" WM-port to USB cable
  • Wrist-strap
  • Instruction Manual
  • Setup Guide
  • "Listening For a Lifetime" booklet
  • Warranty Information
  • "Signature Series" brochure

Sony NW-WM1A Premium Walkman® Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(3 Reviews)

Amazing sound, build quality, ease of use, and battery life

Guest from Poughkeepsie, NY on 7/26/2018

I've been delighted with the NW-WM1A - it has great sound, plays all formats (a huge range) of music files including native DSD up to very high res., has a great user interface and very high performance for file transfer, building the directory even for very large sets of files (over 300GB with an added SD card in my case), and merges the contents of the built-in memory and inserted storage card. It has great battery life (easily gets me through a week of listening, often two weeks with its 25-30 hours), great controls (including physical buttons on the side as well as a very responsive touch screen), is physically robust and in sum ticks every box I'd want ticked for a higher-res, much better sounding iPod successor. There is also a great rubberized case available online (OEM, not Sony) which I would highly recommend. The power output is enough to drive even my most power-hungry over ear headphones (especially using the balanced output), and still sounds perfectly noiseless on (much easier to drive) in ear headphones (in my case, Shure SE846). If you have headphones good enough to make a difference with such a high quality source, buy without hesitation!




Ronnie from Asheboro, NC on 5/3/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The quality of this unit is amazing. It really fells good in your hand and it has a good weight to it. I decided to purchase this unit after my wife took my other digital player ( Sony NWZ-A17 ) to work with her so I had to get me another one. This unit is super easy to use and the battery last forever. The sound is what really sets this unit apart from all the other digital players. I have quite a lot of HD files that I have downloaded from HD Tracks and they sound amazing on this unit. If you want a digital player that sounds great and has an extra long battery life, then this is the player for you.

Pros: Sound, simple to use, build quality, long battery life,

Cons: None

Amazing Sound And Quality

Norm from Sandwich, IL on 1/15/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The build of the unit is fantastic - very solid feeling, with a responsive touchscreen and fast OS. Loading my music library onto it was a s simple as drag and drop - so fast and easy! The transfer rate was very quick as well, so I didn't have to wait forever for it to finish. As for the sound - just plain amazing quality!

Pros: Sounds better than my IPOD classic with same ACC files

Cons: No case for storage


Hands-on research

Product Research


Hi-Res Walkman (Signature Series): The Sony Signature Series NW-WM1A Hi-Res Walkman is built with an aluminum frame and tailored electrical components for high quality, dynamic sound from high resolution music files. The newly developed FT CAP (high polymer capacitor) works to regulate power flow, optimizing it for instant, clean power when needed. MEL type resistors are utilized to reduce noise and minimize distortion in the audio signal path. A low-resistance Oxygen-free Copper cable offers low distortion and superior channel separation.

Sony Audio Technologies: The Sony Signature Series NW-WM1A Hi-Res Walkman incorporates several Sony audio technologies for an uncompromised listening experience.

  • S-Master HX Headphone Amplifier: The NW-WM1A's S-Master HX digital headphone amp cuts distortion and noise across a wide range of frequencies for rich, full-bodied sound. It features an unbalanced 3.5mm (1/8") and the new 4.4mm JEITA stereo balanced headphone jack to connect a set of headphones (sold separately). Thanks to the 4.4mm balanced headphone jack, noise picked up from the wire to the amplifier is reduced - resulting in superior sound & clarity.
  • DC Phase Linearizer: Sony's DC Phase Linearizer works to effectively replicate a wide variety of sonic signatures. It applies digital-signal processing to match the phase characteristics of various types of analog amplifier to deliver a purer, more analog-like sound. Choose from six phase character setting.
  • DSEE-HX Upscaling Technology: DSEE HX upscaling technology uses an algorithm to analyze your music and replace any lost information, so that the quality is almost high-resolution level. Choose from four modes (Female, Male, Strings, or Percussions) to bring out the best in your music.

Supported Audio Formats: The NW-WM1A Hi-Res Walkman supports the very latest 32bit/384kHz PCM and Native DSD (up to 11.2MHz) playback to help retain all the authentic detail of the original recording. It also supports playback of a variety of other high resolution and compressed audio files.

Resolution Type File Format File Extension Bit Depth or Bit Rate Sampling Frequency
Hi-Res FLAC .flac 16, 24-bit 8, 11.025, 12, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8, 384 kHz
Linear PCM .wav 16, 24, 32-bit 8, 11.025, 12, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8, 384 kHz
Apple Lossless m4a, .mp4 16, 24-bit 8, 11.025, 12, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
AIFF aif, .aiff, .afc, .aifc 16, 24, 32-bit 8, 11.025, 12, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
DSD dsf, .dff 1-bit 2.8224, 5.6448, 11.2896 MHz
Compressed MP3 .mp3 32 kbps to 320 kbps 32, 44.1, 48 kHz
WMA .wma 32 kbps to 192 kbps 44.1 kHz
AAC .mp4, .m4a, .3gp 16 kbps to 320 kbps 8, 11.025, 12, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 kHz
HE-AAC .mp4, .m4a, 3gp 32 kbps to 144 kbps 8, 11.025, 12, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 kHz
  • This unit recognizes audio sources exceeding CD quality (44.1 kHz/16-bit quantization) and DAT quality (48 kHz/16-bit quantization) as High-Resolution Audio.
  • Files that are 4 GB or larger cannot be played back.

Built-in & Expandable Memory: The NW-WM1A has a 128 GB internal memory and offers expandable storage capacity through its microSD card slot and a microSD, microSDHC, or microSDXC memory card (up to 128 GB - all sold separately).

16 GB Internal Memory

File Type Number of Songs
MP3 (128 kbps) 20,000 songs
AAC (256 kbps) 15,000 songs
FLAC (44.1 kHz/16-bit)  2,800 songs
FLAC (96 kHz/24-bit)  860 songs
FLAC (192 kHz/24-bit) 430 songs
DSD (2.8224 MHz/1-bit)   700 songs
DSD (5.6448 MHz/1-bit) 350 songs
DSD (11.2896 MHz/1-bit) 170 songs
Note: The approximate times are based on the case in which you transfer or record only 4 minute songs

Transferring Content via Windows & Mac: The Sony NW-WM1A is compatible with Windows PC and Mac computers through free downloadable software. Download Media Go onto your Windows PC running 10, 8.1, 8, 8, 7, or Vista. Download Content Transfer onto Mac computer or laptop running MAC OS X 10.8 - 10.11.

  • Media Go (Windows): Media Go is software for Windows PC (use the latest version of Media Go). You can use Media Go to perform the following operations - Importing content (such as music) from CDs or online services to a computer, organizing and managing the content (such as creating playlists), & transferring content on a computer (including iTunes) to the Walkman.
  • Content Transfer (Mac): Content Transfer is software for Mac computers (use the latest version of Content Transfer). You can transfer content that you manage with iTunes or Finder. You can simply drag-and-drop the tracks or albums to transfer them to the Walkman.

4" Touchscreen: The Sony NW-WM1A Walkman features a high-quality 4" (854 x 480) capacitive touchscreen with an intuitive interface for browsing, selection, and playback of your music library. The 3" touchscreen will also display song/artist/album information, along with album art (when applicable). In addition to touchscreen control, the NW-WM1A offers hard-key push-buttons on the side of the Walkman - including Power, Volume, Play/Pause, Skip, & Hold.

  • Playback Screen: You can control playback operations from the playback screen. You can also configure various settings for playback. Playback functions include Play/Pause, Fast Forward/Rewind, Previous/Next Track, Repeat, Shuffle, Bookmark, and Playlist.
  • Library Screen: You can select tracks from the library screen. Tracks are classified into various categories (such as Songs, Album, Artist, Genre, Composer, etc.).
  • Lineup Screen: You can check the list of tracks that the Walkman will play with the current settings.
  • Bookmark List: You can add your favorite tracks to bookmark lists. Up to 10 bookmark lists are available. Up to 999 tracks can be added to a bookmark list

Playlists: You can collect your favorite tracks and save them as playlists on the Walkman. Playlists can be saved either in the internal memory of the Walkman or on a microSD card (sold separately). You cannot add a track from the internal memory to a playlist on the microSD card or vice-versa. Up to 999 tracks can be added to a playlist.

SensMe Channels: The SensMe Channels function automatically groups tracks by theme. You can play tracks to suit your mood, current activity, the time of day, and more. To use the SensMe Channels function on the Walkman, tracks must be analyzed by Media Go before you transfer the tracks.

Lyric Information: If you transfer tracks with lyrics information, you can view the lyrics on the Walkman. There are two methods of inputting lyrics information - adding lyrics to a track using Media Go or creating lyrics in a text file (an LRC file). Both of the methods above must be performed on a computer. Add lyrics on the computer, and then transfer the tracks to the Walkman.

Sound Quality Settings: The Sony NW-WM1A offers a variety of sound quality settings to suit your type of music content and preferences.

  • Equalizer: You can adjust the player's 10-band EQ and save 3 custom EQ presets.
  • Dynamic Normalizer: You can moderate the change in volume between tracks to minimize differences in volume level.
  • AVLS (Automatic Volume Limiter System): The AVLS (Automatic Volume Limiter System) function reduces the risk of damage to ears from loud volumes. Using AVLS limits the maximum volume. AVLS does not work while there is an active Bluetooth connection.

Bluetooth Audio Streaming: With built-in Bluetooth 4.2 and support for A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) & AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile), you can stream your music files wirelessly from the Sony NW-WM1A Walkman to a Bluetooth-enabled speaker, headphone, receiver, or amplifier. You are able to control basic playback functions such as Play/Pause & Previous/Next Track (if supported by speaker, headphone, receiver or amplifier). The NW-WM1A has a wireless Bluetooth range of approximately 32.8'.

  • NFC: In addition to SSP (Simple Secure Pairing), the NW-WM1A offers NFC (Near-Field Communication) pairing. Bluetooth-enabled receivers, speakers, headphones and amplifiers that have the NFC function can be paired with the Walkman, by simply touching the back of the Walkman to the device's NFC logo. You can pair the Walkman with a maximum of 7 devices.
  • LDAC: In addition to support for Bluetooth standard SBC codec, the NW-WM1A also supports Sony's newest LDAC codec. LDAC is a new audio technology from Sony that allows you to enjoy high quality wireless audio via Bluetooth. With 3x the data transmitted (compared to regular Bluetooth), LDAC provides an enhanced wireless listening experience for all your music.

USB Mass Storage mode: The Sony NW-WM1A can be set to USB Mass Storage mode so it can easily be recognized by your computer or laptop through the player's WM-Port and cable.

Rechargeable Battery: The NW-WM1A's built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery lets you enjoy up to 33 hours of highly compressed MP3 (128kbps) music playback or 26 hours of Hi-Res FLAC (192kHz/24-bit) music playback. Using its WM-Port and the included cable, you can charge the NW-WM1A by plugging it into a free USB (type-A) port on your computer or laptop. You can also charge it from a USB/AC power adapter (sold separately). A full charge takes approximately 7 hours.

Content Type Battery Playback Time
MP3 (128 kbps)  33 hours
AAC (256 kbps)  31 hours
FLAC (96 kHz/24-bit) 30 hours
FLAC (192 kHz/24-bit)  26 hours
DSD 2.8224 MHz/1-bit  15 hours
DSD 5.6448 MHz/1-bit 13 hours
Bluetooth (SBC) 17 hours
Bluetooth (LDAC)  15 hours
Note: You can increase battery life by reducing the screen brightness, adjusting all sound quality settings to off, turning off Bluetooth & NFC, as well as shutting off noise cancellation.

Software Update: You can update the software of the Walkman through Media Go or the Sony eSupport site on your computer. Download the software update onto your computer, connect the Walkman to your computer via USB, and transfer the update to the Walkman.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

The Sony name and what you get for the price [ BRUCE K  Oct 07, 2018 ]
Sony Quality. [ RONNIE S  Apr 20, 2018 ]
I am upgrading from a Pioneer XDP-100r and the battery life of the Sony proprietary OS is appealing. I also own a Sony HAP-Z1ES and the quality is amazing. I considered an Astell & Kern Kann, but I don't like that it's a closed Android OS with shorter battery life. The XDP-100r is Android, but has access to the Play store unlike the Kann. The Sony is missing WiFi, but that isn't a big deal to me as I'm only interested in playing my locally stored FLAC and DSD files. [ Steve  Mar 21, 2018 ]

1 question already asked

There's too many compatible models to list them all here. For additional assistance and personalized recommendations, feel free to contact us directly by phone or through our online chat service: [ Ryan  Dec 13, 2017 ]  Staff

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Sony NW-WM1Z portable hi-res

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The Sony NW-WM1Z Premium Walkman® offers these features:

256GB internal flash memory

4-wire braided, handcrafted KIMBER KABLE® connections for superb sound quality

oxygen-free gold-plated copper chassis