Back in 1979 when Sony debuted its portable music player called Walkman, the music and entertainment industry was revolutionised. Now, Sony is attempting to renew the feat at IFA 2016 by introducing the Signature Series, whose nucleus is the High-Res Audio range which includes the Walkman, Headphone and an Amplifier that complement one another perfectly.
The device that captured all attention in particular, was the gold bathed NW-WM1Z Walkman, that comes with an oxygen free uni-body copper design which is expected to sell in Australia for a flabbergasting price of $4299. This is a High-Res music player capable of 384kHz/32bit quality recording, however, the golden skin is really what grabbed the most eyeballs here — and also boosted the price tag by a fair amount.
Along with this extravagant music player Sony has rolled out another Walkman, the NW-WM1A that features an aluminium body at $1349. Both of them are the first devices in the segment that advocate the 3.5 mm headphone jack and the new 4.4 mm balanced jack, supporting Sony’s LDAC Bluetooth wireless audio streaming. In all fairness, the Bluetooth streaming is not as fast as it should be for the High-Res Audio, but comes very close. Both the models come with a brand new touch panel UI.
For such a prodigal music player, the accompanying headphone must be no less extraordinary. Steps in Sony’s new $2999 Signature Series MDR-Z1R, that is optimised for high-resolution audio. Engineers at Sony Music Battery Studios’ crafted this masterpiece using a magnesium dome driver and neodymium magnets. The beta titanium makes the headset even more flexible and lightweight. The 70mm headphones comes with premium finish leather ear pads that makes the entire experience a delicacy to your ears and the headphones themselves, pleasure to behold.
The combination makes for an extraordinary musical experience. If you love music, then you are going to love the output of the Walkman. Be warned however, the devices are on the heavier side and may make a bulge in your pocket. So in case you are looking for something that is very portable, we suggest giving the matter a second though before shelling out the money.
Lets talk about the Amplifier now. The TA-ZH1ES is a monstrous $2,200 high-quality headphone amplifier which basically appears to be an amalgamation of Sony S-Master HX digital amplifier and an analogue amplifier. The system supports up scaling and compression as low as 248 Kbps is possible with DSD .
Even though the spotlight was on the Signature Series, Sony did launch the entry level NW-A30 series and $349 NW-A35. As younger people embrace Hi-Res Audio we’re seeing a growing demand for portable products and not just home hi-fi components.
said Sony’s head of video and Sound for Australia.
Sony appears to be making an attempt to capture the High-Res Audio market. The company hasn’t yet gone all out in the niche, however, these headphones are certainly a good start. The ones who want to indulge in an experience of mystic self-transcendence and fantasise to hear what gold sounds — and at the cost of gold too — the Signature Series is made just for you.