At the recently-held Sony Sound Stage 2016 event, Sony took the opportunity to introduce their new Sony Signature Series premium audio products. They even brought in Sony’s Chief Sound Architect, Koji Nageno, to explain the technologies behind the Sony Signature Series models.
The Sony Signature Series
The Sony Signature Series was created, partly to showcase Sony’s engineering excellence in audio, and partly to celebrate their 70th anniversary. Combining High Resolution Audio capability with the very best Sony analogy and digital audio technologies, Sony designed the Sony Signature Series products to deliver the ultimate in sound quality.
The first four Sony Signature Series devices to be introduced are the Sony MDR-Z1R headphones, the Sony NW-WM1Z and NW-WM1A Walkman audio players, and the Sony TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier. All Signature Series models are based on the newly standardised φ4.4mm balanced connection.
Sony MDR-Z1R Headphones
The MDR-Z1R headphones boast 70mm HD drivers that have a wide frequency range with up to 120kHz playback in High Resolution Audio. Its equalised opening and resonance-free housing further ensures faithful reproduction of High Resolution Audio sources.
It is fitted with genuine leather ear pads, a lightweight beta titanium headband, and a stainless steel wire mesh housing protector. This is no doubt, an exquisite product that exudes luxury in every component.
Sony NW-WM1Z & NW-WM1A Walkman Hi-Res Audio Players
Both Hi-Res Audio players support the DSD Native format (11.2 MHz), and the new Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE HX) technology that upscales lower bit rate files to near Hi-Res Audio quality. They also add a newly-developed FT CAP to the amplifier, allowing for 4x higher power output to the headphones.
The higher-end NW-WM1Z comes with a gold-plated oxygen-free copper chassis, while the NW-WM1A comes with a sleek aluminium chassis.
Sony TA-ZH1ES Headphone Amplifier
The Sony TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier supports Hi-Res Audio up to 22.4 MHz (DSD) and 768 GHz, 32-bit (PCM), and comes with the D.A. Hybrid Amplifier Circuit – a combination of the S-Master HX digital amplifier and an analog amplifier. It also features the new DSEE HX and DSD Remastering Engine, which converts lower bit rate files to near Hi-Res Audio quality.
The Sony Signature Series Audio Technology Explained
If you are into the technical details of how Sony achieved the new level of digital audio performance with the new Sony Signature Series models, Koji Nageno, Sony’s Chief Sound Architect, explains it all.
The Sony Signature Series Prices & Availability
The Sony Signature Series models and accessories are now available here in Malaysia. Their recommended retail prices are as follows :
- Sony MDR-Z1R Headphones – RM 7,099 / ~US$ 1,775
- Sony NW-WM1Z Walkman – RM 9,999 / ~US$ 2,500
- Sony NW-WM1A Walkman – RM 4,999 / ~US$ 1,250
- Sony TA-ZH1ES headphone amplifier – RM 8,999 / ~US$ 2,250