Sony Unveils Latest Line-up of Premium Audio Gear

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Music makes the world go round, so goes the saying and Sony intends to keep it going so for quite a while to come, if their latest array of their High-Resolution branded premium headphones and Walkman models are anything to go by. With storage capacities becoming greater and Internet download speeds becoming – stop sniggering there – more reliable locally, people can finally appreciate the wonders of lossless high resolution audio, which is exactly what Sony’s Hi-Res audio gear are intended to cater for.

Leading the charge is their slim NWZ-A15 Walkman along with a selection of High-Resolution premium headphones, a range of Hybrid in-ear headphones, a new headphone amp and there’s even a series of premium MUC headphone cables to round off Sony’s new line-up of audio kit. For more details logon to www.sony.com.my

Walkman NWZ-A15 Digital Music Player

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Currently the world’s smallest and lightest Hi-Res audio digital music player on the planet, as of 2014 according to Sony, this pocket-sized delight packs Sony’s S-Master HX digital amp to effectively handle the massive amounts of audio data in a lossless music file.

The NWZ-A15 is surprisingly slim too at 8.7mm and weighs 66g. It doesn’t just count on its natural good looks though as it has been engineered with details you’d expect from top-shelf hi-fi kit like high-purity lead-free solder to ensure finely-detailed sound, thickened wires for reduced impedance and distortion and a rigid aluminium chassis for stable sound reproduction. It also comes with a high-grade POSCAP capacitor sourced from Sanyo to further minimise noise and distortion. The end result – gloriously sweet musical ambrosia. If you still have conventional MP3s, fret not as it packs DSEE HX tech to upscale them to near Hi-Res quality. The onboard 16GB of storage is adequate but what makes it special is that it has a microSD card slot so you can cram in a ton more tasty Hi-Res audio tracks. It comes in black, white and pink for RM699.

MDR-Z7, MDR-1A and MDR-1ADAC High Resolution Audio headphones
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[Picture: Sony MDR-Z7]
There are headphones, and there’s this cracking array of on-ear cans. The MDR-Z7 has a freshly developed and whopping huge 70mm HD driver unit that allows for faithful audio reproduction up to 100kHz, allowing listeners who don this epic pair of cans to listen to everything with terrifying audibility from rumbly sub-bass lows to tinkly crystalline highs as well as an immensely spacious soundstage for a greater 3D listening experience.

Added to this are aluminium-coated Liquid Crystal Polymer diaphragms along with Sony’s Beat Response Control tech to vent airflow and minimise colouration across the audio spectrum for crisper, cleaner audio. The cables themselves consist of a 4-wire structure with separated ground cables to minimise crosstalk and for balanced audio output. The cable strands are also coated in Oxygen Free Copper to reduce signal transmission loss. Of course, the cans themselves are lavished with urethane padding for passive noise insulation and superior comfort for long periods of wear.

The MDR-1A headphones sport many of the features of the Z7 such as aluminium-coated LCD diaphragms and silver-coated OFC cables but have slightly smaller 40mm HD driver units. Sony’s MDR-1ADAC headphones notably incorporate an integrated D/A convertor capable of accepting Hi-Res audio up to 192kHz/24 bit or DSD 2.8MHz/5.6MHz and lets you easily connect with most kit that can play a tune from smartphones to other Sony Walkman devices like the aforementioned A15 Walkman. The MDR-1ADAC also packs Sony’s S-Master HX digital amplifier for signal purity and convenient USB battery charging for up to 7.5 hours of music playback. The MDR-Z7 retails for RM2,349 while the MDR-1ADC costs RM1,299 and theMDR-1A costs RM999.

XBA Hybrid XBA-Z5, XBA-A3, XBA-A2, XBA-A1 headphones
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[Picture: XBA-A3]

Sony’s XBA-Z5 headphones are the flagship of the range and are a premium closed in-ear model that comes with a HD Hybrid three-way driver system that incorporates a 16mm dynamic driver unit and a pair of Balanced Armature driver units that incorporate and encompass the full audio range as well as a magnesium HD super tweeter for faithful audio reproduction.

The XBA-A3 and XBA -A2 headphones also feature the same HD Hybrid three-way driver unit as the XBA-Z5 while the XBA-A1 has a Hybrid two-way driver system that consists of a 9mm dynamic driver unit and a Balanced Armature driver unit. All the aforementioned headphones come with Sony’s new Linear Drive Balanced Armature tech for clear mid-range and high-frequency sound by directly coupling the armature and the diaphragm. The XBA-Z5 retails for RM2,349 while the XBA-A3 and XBA-A2 can be had for RM799 and RM499 respectively.