Gadgets

Sony introduces new line of Hi-Res audio solutions for late 2014

Sony has introduced a few devices for the company’s expanding Hi-Resolution Audio Line; the newest additions include three new headphones, a portable headphone DAC/Amplifier and new headphone cables. All of the new devices, the MDR-Z7 headband type Hi-Res Headphones, MDR-1ADAC Hi-Res Headphones with Integrated DAC/Amplifier, and XBA-Z5 Hi-Res In-Ear Headphones–as well as the PHA-3 Portable Headphone DAC/ Amplifier are set to launch later this year.

“By continuing to expand our Hi-Res audio line, we continue to push the envelope and offer the best Hi-Res products for our customers to elevate the listening experience beyond their normal expectations,” said Takumi Sasaki, director of Sound. “Our new Hi-Res headphones and PHA-3 Portable Headphone Amplifier are great examples – as are the new line of Headphone cables, some of which were created in close collaboration with Kimber Kable® to achieve the best playback suitable for Hi-Res audio.”

MDR-Z7 Hi-Res Headphones (as detailed by Sony)

The MDR-Z7 headphones meld ultra-responsive audio performance, a solid, thoughtfully designed aluminum structure and lush, ergonomic, enfolding comfort for an unparalleled listening experience. The relatively large 70 mm HD drivers deliver a sound wave similar to that of a loudspeaker, ultimately distributing a highly natural sound from super-low bass response to ultra-sonic frequencies, and providing the listener with an immense feeling of space to ‘feel the air’ as if they were listening to music in a live venue. Lightweight and responsive Aluminum-coated Liquid Crystal Polymer diaphragms also provide uniform sound production across all frequencies without coloration.

Additionally, the Z7 features a 4-wire structure that uses separated ground cables to minimize crosstalk between left/right channels and supports balanced audio connectors while silver-coated OFC cable strands reduce signal transmission loss. The MDR-Z7 also includes a balanced output cable (2m) or improved signal separation with the option of plugging into a compatible, audio amplifier, such as the new Sony PHA-3.

Made in Japan, the MDR-Z7 exudes quality and precision workmanship. The pressure-relieving, ergonomic urethane ear pads were designed using the latest 3D sewing in order to keep the square shape of the internal cushion from crushing or hardening. There’s also an Inward Axis structure that utilizes a slanted swivel axis design to bring the pads closer to your ears, for improved stability, better bass response and long-term comfort.

MDR-1ADAC Hi-Res Headphones with Integrated DAC/Amplifier (as detailed by Sony)

The newly created MDR-1ADAC headphones enable listeners to experience the best from multiple digital audio devices. The 1 ADAC can also play both PCM (at up to 192 kHz /24-bit) and DSD (at up to 5.6 MHz) music files directly, without the need of an external decoder. Additionally, its built-in S-Master HX™ digital amplifier reduces noise and distortion across all frequencies, and reproduces each track in outstanding detail. The MDR-1ADAC headphones support PCM 192 kHz/24 bit, and DSD 2.8MHz/5.6MHz – New 40mm aluminum coated liquid Crystal Polymer HD drivers also deliver frequency response up to 100kHz.

The new MDR-1ADAC headphones also come with multiple-inputs and the cables that are necessary to connect to a smartphone, portable audio player or PC. In order to accelerate the Hi-Res experience, Sony has created several different cables for direct connection – including the specially developed thin and flexible USB connecting cable, the Digital connecting cables specifically for Walkman® and Xperia® devices, an exclusive iOS Lightning connector cable as well as a conventional audio connecting cable. Plus its built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 7.5 hours of continuous playback. When the battery runs low, you can continue to enjoy your music in a conventional manner.

XBA-Z5 Hi-Res In-Ear headphones (as detailed by Sony)

Similarly to the MDR-Z7 headband type headphones, the new XBA-Z5 in-ear headphones are also Balanced Audio Capable and take full advantage of dedicated left and right channel connectivity for improved separation loss and a stellar listening experience.

Its compact in ear design consistently delivers Hi-Res audio reproduction via its newly developed, Linear Drive Balanced Armature technology which utilizes a more symmetrical design for enhanced waveform reproduction.

The XBA-Z5 incorporates 16mm dynamic driver units with Aluminum-Coated LCP diaphragms also enable more lifelike sound, with rich, deep bass response and its ultra-compact, lightweight magnesium housing, has the necessary rigidity and preventing vibration for listening to music anywhere on-the-go.

The Z5’s easily adjustable ear-hanger design with Shape-memory resin also enables secure and comfortable fit, while significantly lowering sound leakage. Plus it includes 2 pairs of detachable cables for both balanced and unbalanced connections, making it ideal for use with the Sony PHA-3 Portable Headphone Amplifier.

PHA-3 Portable Headphone DAC/Amplifier (as detailed by Sony)

Sony’s new PHA-3 portable DAC/Headphone amplifier lets consumers enjoy their favorite Hi-Res digital music in a whole new way. It utilizes balanced audio outputs with dedicated left and right channels to deliver an optimized listening experience. Plus using ESS Technology, Inc. ES9018 D/A converter the PHA-3 offers outstanding audio performance of dynamic range.

Whether at home or on-the-go, the PHA-3 can decode virtually any PCM (up to 384 kHz/32bit) or DSD (up to 5.6MHz) audio source, for maximum flexibility. You can also use Sony’s exclusive DSEE HX™ technology to up-scale low resolution audio sources (MP3, AAC, ATRAC, and WMA) to achieve higher music quality.

Flexible connectivity maximizes the personal audio experience no matter the input source – smartphone, portable audio player, PC or other analog devices. The PHA-3 uses durable materials: compact aluminum to enclose the delicate circuitry from internal or external interference, front bumpers which protect the volume knob & headphone connectors from external impact, and recessed control switches which help to reduce the chance of accidental access during playback. The internal rechargeable battery provides approximately 5 hours of balanced audio playback when connected via USB, or up to 28 hours of playback when connected using the analog, 1/8″ stereo input.

Pricing and Availability

  • MDR-Z7 Hi-Res Stereo Headphones will be available in October for a suggested retail price of $699.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.
  • MDR-1ADAC Hi-Res Stereo Headphones will be available in December for a suggested retail price of $399.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.
  • XBA-Z5 Hi-Res, in-ear headphones will be available in October for a suggested retail price of $699.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.
  • PHA-3 Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier will be available in October for a suggested retail price of $999.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.