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Sony NW-ZX707 Review

This review will give a comprehensive overview of the Sony NW-ZX707, covering its design, build quality, sound quality, performance, and features.
Sony NW-ZX707

Sony has always been a pioneer in the music industry ever since they introduced the very first Walkman, the TPS-L2, in 1979. Now, they’ve graced us with the latest addition to the iconic Walkman line — the NW-ZX707. This high-fidelity digital music player is a testament to Sony’s commitment to innovation and sound excellence. For any audiophile seeking an immersive, premium listening experience, this device could be your dream come true. This review will give a comprehensive overview of the Sony NW-ZX707, covering its design, build quality, sound quality, performance, features, and our final thoughts.

Key Specifications

  • Core Processor: Qualcomm QCS4290 ( 4x ARM Cortex-A73 cores at 2.0Ghz and 4x Cortex-A53 cores at 1.8GHz)
  • Internal Components: S-Master HX digital amplifier
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB (47GB usable) + MicroSD card slot
  • OS: Android 13
  • Display: 5.0 inch (12.7 cm), HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
  • Connectivity:
    • Unbalanced output: 3.5mm (0.4–1.1 mW)
    • Balanced output: 4.4mm (0.4–1.1 mW)
    • USB-C for charging and data transfer
    • Bluetooth 5.0
    • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Battery Life:
    • Up to 25 hours
  • Supported Sample Rates and Formats:
    • Up to 32bit 384kHz PCM
    • DSD256
    • MQA full support
  • Features:
    • Native DSD file support
    • LDAC
    • DSEE Ultimate
  • Dimensions:
    • 2.86 x 5.21 x 0.67 inches
    • Weight: 227g

Overview

The NW-ZX707 represents Sony’s relentless pursuit of the perfect sound and form factor. This digital audio player combines Sony’s cutting-edge technologies with an exquisite design that radiates sophistication. Although the Sony NW-ZX707 shares some design features with modern smartphones, it is purely a music device. It provides unparalleled sound quality and advanced features, setting the standard for high-end digital audio players.

Design & Build Quality

Sony NW-ZX707

The NW-ZX707’s design blends modern aesthetics and traditional Walkman elements. Its body is constructed from a beautiful mix of glass and metal, reminiscent of high-end smartphones. The device boasts a sleek, black finish with gold accents, exuding an air of sophistication and luxury. The NW-ZX707’s compact size and square cabinet design give it a distinct, modern appeal. It feels like a natural iteration of the design of Sony NW-WM1AM2. Smaller profile and sharper lines but still has a premium look and feel.

Buttons and Display

Sony NW-ZX707

Like the Sony NW-A306, all buttons reside on the right side. They have a great feel and click to them. My only complaint is the top two buttons, the power, and volume up, need to be more distinctive. I found myself constantly pressing the power button instead of increasing the volume. On the Sony NW-A306, the buttons have a distinct feel, making it easy to know which button your thumb is on without looking. On the Sony NW-WM1AM2, the power button is on a bump that protrudes out of the device, making it easy to know what you are pressing.

Sony NW-ZX707

The NW-ZX707 features a 5-inch 1280×720 LCD display, surrounded by substantial bezels, harking back to earlier smartphone designs. The back of the NW-ZX707 sports a textured vegan leather finish, which adds to its aesthetic appeal and provides a comfortable grip. The display is crisp and clear. It looks just lovely.

Connectivity and Ports

The NW-ZX707 houses a 4.4mm balanced output and a 3.5mm single-ended output at the top, catering to different headphone types. The device includes a microSD slot for expanding its internal 64GB storage and a USB-C port for charging and data transfer. 

Sony NW-ZX707
Sony NW-ZX707

It also includes built-in wifi supporting 2.4/5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 5.0 with LDAC support. Like the Sony NW-WM1AM2 and the Sony NW-A306, I noticed the wifi speed maxes out at a connection speed of 433mbps, no matter what type of network connection I chose. This limitation is disappointing for a device where a key feature is being able to download music from streaming apps for offline playback.

Battery Life

The NW-ZX707’s battery life varies depending on the file type being played. Sony states users can expect up to 24 hours of playback for the balanced connection and 25 hours when using the 3.5mm connection. I managed to get 26 hours for the 3.5mm connection and just over 25 hours on the 4.4mm balanced. It’s great that I could exceed Sony’s claims, but for a device this size, I expected to hit the 30 hour threshold. You could say battery life is bittersweet, then.

Sound

The Sony NW-ZX707 delivers a warm, musical sound rich in detail yet smooth, bringing listeners deep into the music. The device provides a generous punch of bass, making drum hits feel dimensional, and bass guitars sound deep and rich. The midrange is rich and expressive, especially for vocals. The highs are well-managed, adding sparkle to the sound without being piercing or harsh.

The downside is there is no high gain mode unless you live in countries like Japan. This really limits the range of headphones you can use with the NW-ZX707. As I explained in my comparison between the NW-WM1AM2 vs NW-ZX707 vs NW-A306, the Sony NW-ZX707 was not able to adequately power my daily drivers, the Fostex T40RP MK3. My Focal Elegia faired much better, but I noticed a diminished soundstage when compared to the Sony NW-WM1AM2.

My Meze 99 Neo sounded great though, as did my HiBy Seeds II IEMs. Stick to IEMs and easier to drive headphones for the NW-ZX707 unless you’re able to import the device from Japan.

The NW-ZX707 is versatile, capable of handling a wide range of music genres, from classic rock and pop to classical and jazz. After listening to only the NW-ZX707 for a week, I found the sound profile to be very distinct and the listening experience quite immersive. 

Features

Operating System and Android Apps

Sony NW-ZX707

The Sony NW-ZX707 uses Android 12, offering a user-friendly interface and allowing the installation of various music streaming apps through the Google Play Store. The interface is responsive and smooth. In fact, it’s easily the fastest and smoothest of the three Sony Walkman devices. 

I’d still suggest using this excellent optimization guide from the head-fi forums to make Android feel even smoother and more responsive on the Sony NW-ZX707.

Built-in Sony Apps

The NW-ZX707 has all of the same Sony apps and features that the Sony NW-WM1AM2 boasts, which you can read in detail about here in my review of the NW-WM1AM2. I noticed on the NW-ZX707 that the built-in Walkman Music Player does feels more responsive, and database creation is also a bit quicker.

Hardware Features and LDAC

The NW-ZX707 features Sony’s S-Master HX amplifier chip like the other Sony Walkman models. In fact, the NW-ZX707 essentially features the same hardware as the more expensive NW-WM1AM2, the main difference being the CPU. As well, the NW-ZX707 supports LDAC and pairs great with Sony’s own WH-1000XM5.

Final Thoughts

Sony NW-ZX707

The Sony NW-ZX707 is a remarkable addition to the Walkman lineup. Its elegant design, advanced features, and exceptional sound quality make it a top choice for audiophiles and average listeners alike. The device offers a well-rounded sound with excellent detail resolution, driving force, and channel separation, making it a suitable reference standard for those searching for a warmer but rich and detailed sound signature.

Despite its premium price, the NW-ZX707 delivers excellent value for money, thanks to its high-end features and performance. If you’re in the market for a high-quality digital audio player that offers a balanced and detailed sound, the Sony NW-ZX707 is worth considering. If the audio power output limitation doesn’t affect you, I see little reason for most people to pay the extra premium for the Sony NW-WM1AM2. The Sony NW-ZX707 is essentially the same device, just smaller and cheaper.

In conclusion, despite its premium price tag, the NW-ZX707 is worth every penny for discerning audiophiles. It is a device that embodies the Walkman line’s spirit, providing superior sound quality and an immersive music experience.

We have an in-depth comparison of the NW-WM1AM2, NW-ZX707, and NW-A306, as well as dedicated reviews of the Sony NW-A306 and the Sony NW-WM1AM2.

HiFi Oasis Overall Rating

HiFi Oasis Overall Rating
8 10 0 1
8/10
Total Score
  • Design & Build Quality
    9/10 Amazing
  • Sound
    8/10 Very good
  • Features
    7/10 Good

Pros

  • Premium build quality, comfortable design
  • Warm and clear sound profile
  • Android OS allows for support for music streaming services
  • Same features as the more expensive NW-WM1AM2
  • Multiple audio connection options

Cons

  • Disappointing battery life given the device size
  • Poor WiFi performance
  • Poor equalizer implementation
  • No high-gain option for most regions, may not have enough power to drive mid to high end headphones
Total
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3 comments
  1. I don’t understand. I have this zx707. I want to upgrade to the wma1m2, but your reviews for the wma1m2 you make it seem like it’s one DAP yo have to experience for yourself, yet here you say you see little reason for people to pay extra premium coming from the zx707. I just want to understand if they are “essentially the same” do you mean in what aspect sound? Hardware? If the wma1m2 is Sony’s premium out of the “three” How much more premium is the wma1m2 in respect to sound from the 707? I want to hear from your POV. It would be disappointing to move up to the wma1m2 and make me think that $400 dollars more was not worth it. Do you believe it’s worth $400 of extra sound quality?

    1. If you want the absolute best sound experience the WM1AM2 is the way to go. The sound profile is a touch warmer than the ZX707, and if you are looking for it the WM1AM2 also resolves more detail. The reason I say there’s little reason for people to pay the extra money for the WM1AM2 though is I believe the ZX707 will satisfy 95% of people who are looking for this type of device. The other 5% are the ones who will put sound quality above everything else, even money. So if you are expecting to hear “$400 of extra sound quality” by going from the ZX707 to the WM1AM2 I think you might be disappointed because this is the wrong mindset to have. The ZX707 sounds great, and actually I think it sounds even better the more I have listened to it after posting the review. But if you want the most uncompromised sound experience, and the extra money is something you are easily able to part with, then get the WM1AM2.

      1. Thank you very much on your input! I actually purchased both and I am on your side that the zx707 will please and grow into people looking for great audio quality. I certainly am loving the zx707. Android 13 made it snappier and hence it makes me appreciate it. Thank you!

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