The Sony Walkman is back! But it costs eleven hundred dollars.

Earlier this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Sony debuted its new Walkman ZX2, says this report from The Verge. The device is reported to be sleek, stylish and made to digital music, of course, not tapes and CDs. Its got 128 gigabytes of built-in storage.

The Walkman’s highlight is its “high-resolution” audio, which is how some audio products are rebranding the old high-fidelity or hi-fi of yore.

Recently, a branch of the Light Harmonics company, LH Labs, successfully raised funds for their Geek Wave audio player ($399 - $1,299 retail). This device, much like Sony’s new Walkman, specializes in supreme sound. “The Geek Wave, to refrain from geek speak, is a compact music player that claims to deliver high-quality audio that your phone or iPod can’t hold a candle to,” Digital Trends says. The Geek Wave is a top competitor to yet another audio playing device with amazing sound quality, The Pono music player ($399 retail).

The Kickstarter to get the Pono Player produced was backed by none other than Neil Young. Young discussed his distaste for the MP3 format during an interview with the New York Times in 2012. Because of the way MP3 compresses a sound file, “You are getting less than 5 percent of the original recording,” he said. The Pono music player features the ability to play back numerous music file formats (including MP3) in high definition. It has received mixed reviews, though its design was “a standout” in “a world of iPod clones” by CNET.

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But while audiophiles might be interested in high-resolution systems, the rest of us seem pretty content to stream tracks on YouTube, Spotify, or Rdio. According to one research report, streaming music increased more than 50 percent last year. Streaming tracks can be even lower quality than an average MP3.

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I write about the past (publisher of #OGToldMe).

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