Realistically, most people probably won't hear the difference between that model and the nearly identical-looking $1,200 (£1,000) NW-WM1A Walkman. Both support the 384kHZ/32-bit "Hi-Res" music format, which has separate digital and analog circuitry and technology that upscales low bit-rate files to "near high resolution audio quality," according to Sony. It also supports balanced connections if you have the right set of headphones.
Speaking of, there's Sony's $2,300 (£1,700) Signature Series MDR-Z1R headphones. They feature a 70mm magnesium dome driver, aluminum-coated diaphragm, and a neodymium magnet. All of that, along with the balanced cable and gold "non-magnetic plated Corson alloy jack," allow for less signal loss and natural sound, the company says.
Finally, any audiophile worth their salt needs a headphone amp, so Sony unveiled the $2,200 (£1,600) Signature Series TA-ZH1ES. The body has a "shaved extruded aluminum wall with a ridged body" to reduce unnecessary vibration, and supports a wide variety of both balanced and unbalanced headphone connectors. If you're keeping score at home, all three devices, including the high-end Walkman, will set you back $7,700 (£5,800). That's quite a chunk, but not a stretch at all for the Audeze or Orpheus crowd. We'll try to get a listen and report if they're worth it or not.