Sony has launched a wide range of hi-resolution audio products for consumers today, including, Walkman headphones, portable amps and digital stereo recorders which aim to bring audio enthusiasts closer to listening to audio as the artists intended and Sony aims to deliver this on the same level as one would hear live or from a recording studio.
Hi-Res is the format artists generally use to record their music (24 bit/96khz) and one finally mixed is compressed down to CD and digital downloads which is compressed to 16 bit, nearly seven times the compression. Sony hopes their Hi-Res devices will bring their consumers who want to hear pristine audio.
“For those passionate about music, Sony’s High-Resolution Audio products truly raise the bar, with the introduction of High-Resolution Audio, music lovers no longer have to choose between audio quality and portability – they can finally listen to their music library on-the-go, in the quality that the artist intended.” Satoru Arai, Head, Sony Middle East Marketing Company
Sony High-Resolution Audio product range
Sony’s new range of Hi-Res Audio products includes the Walkman NW-ZX2 that features a host of design refinements aiming to provide excellent audio quality. The Walkman NW-A15 is the world’s smallest and lightest High-Res Audio digital music player that brings true audiophile credentials to portable high-resolution audio players. The headband-type MDR-Z7 features a newly-developed 70mm HD driver unit that completely envelopes the listener’s ear, revealing every musical nuance with startling integrity – from powerful sub-bass lows to crystalline highs. The MDR-1A headphones utilize 40mm HD driver units, which render incredibly wide bandwidth audio performance, from low to ultra-high up to 100 kHz frequency. This level of quality produces atmospheric musical nuances that are characteristic of High-Resolution audio.
Audiophiles can enhance audio quality with the compact PHA-1A and PHA-3 Portable Headphone Amplifiers, by connecting a compatible digital music device or smartphones via USB input to enjoy hi-res audio playback on-the-go. The premium 2.1 channel, WiFi-enabled SRS-X9 wireless speaker features an impressive 154W of music output power, a bi-amped subwoofer, and dual passive radiators to deliver powerful, full-range audio with amazing tonal balance and precise bass response. Sony’s PCM-D100 portable stereo recorder is designed to deliver the highest sound quality in professional audio applications including live music events or theatrical performances.
Sony’s Key Hi-Res Audio technologies
The higher sound quality is achieved by applying unique audio technologies such as the DSEE HX™ technology, which is used to upscale the quality of compressed digital files (MP3, AAC, and WMA) to surpass CD resolution, nearing High Resolution quality. The S-Master™ HX digital amplifier reduces distortion and noise while reproducing wide frequency response for a clearer acoustic experience. Sony’s new technology LDAC (low latency codec) enables users to enjoy high quality wireless audio via Bluetooth®. With three times the data transmitted, LDAC provides an enhanced wireless listening experience.
Hi-Res Audio content availability
With high-resolution audio hardware now available, Sony’s next step is to make Hi-Res Audio music readily available. There is growing catalogue of Hi-Res music already with over 300,000 songs available. For the UAE, Sony has partnered with Sony Music Entertainment allowing audiophiles to download Hi-Res Audio tracks when they purchase select Sony Hi-Res Audio products.
The entire line-up of Sony Hi-Res Audio devices is currently available at the Sony Boutique at Dubai Mall, select Jumbo showrooms and other select electronics’ retailers across the UAE.
*The portable headphone amplifier PHA-1A will be available in the UAE by end-April 2015.