By Patrick Avenell

Sony Australia has announced the release of two new OLED MP3 Walkmans. At just under $800, the top-of-the-line 32-gigabyte model (NWZ-X1060F) is one of the most expensive portable media players on the market.

The OLED Walkmans are part of the X series, which is highlighted by a 3-inch touch screen OLED display, digital noise cancelling technology and Wi-Fi. The two models in the X Series are both black, with the 16-gygabite model (NWZ-X1050F) retailing for RRP $649 and the 32-gigabyte model going for RRP $799.

Whilst Sony can boast OLED technology and effective noise cancellation technology as clear value propositions, the $799 price tag makes it one of the most expensive players on the market. A look at the Dick Smith Electronics online store show that the most comparable product is Apple iPod Touch 32GB, which is RRP $549.

According to Sony Style, the official online Sony store, the American version of this model retails for US$399. On current exchange rates, this equates to AU$515, or $284 less than in Australia. This raw US figure may not include state and federal US sales taxes, which can be as high as 8.25 per cent, plus local taxation. contacted Sony Australia for comment on this discrepancy, and we will publish any response we receive.

Regardless of pricing, however, the two Walkmans are impressive products. Sony Australia personal audio product manager Suzanna Gan attributes this to Sony’s music pedigree.

“These new Walkman players really illustrate Sony’s heritage in hardware and sound engineering expertise, combined with unique design,” said Gan. “The Walkman X series is the ultimate portable video and music experience – a pinnacle of functionality and interactivity, with sight and sound quality that has to be seen and heard to be believed.”

Concurrently with this release, Sony announced a new MP3 player designed for ease-of-use and simplicity. From the W Series, the NWZW202 is a 2-gigabyte model (RRP $119) that claims to provide 90 minutes of playback from only 3 minutes of charging. It also has cord-free design and a lightweight body.

All three new Sony MP3 players are currently available.