New Sony Headphones and Media Player: Prices and Availability
Sony all in on high-end audio
At the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival, the biggest high-end audio festival in the US, Sony announced a monster pair of 70mm, over-ear headphones and a high-end portable music player.
Sony’s new flagship headphones
The MDR-Z7M2 headphones are the sequel to Sony’s MDR-Z7. The drivers are 70mm and they have a claimed frequency response of between 4Hz - 100kHz. This is five times what the human ear is capable of hearing. They use an aluminum-coated, liquid crystal, polymer diaphragm. They certainly sound impressive, on paper. Sony’s website has them listed at £750. The company says they will be available at the ‘start of November 2018’.
New high-end portable music player
Along with the Z7M2 headphones, Sony unveiled the DMP-Z1 Digital Music Player. DSD native playback is supported up to 11.2MHz as well a PCM playback at up to 384kHz/32-bit. The player sports two independent AK4497EQ mono DACs. The Z1 has a 256 GB worth of storage but this can be expanded with the two microSD slots.
Sony have built in both an unbalanced stereo 3.5mm jack and a balanced 4.4mm jack. The player has a USB Type-C port and Bluetooth 4.2 as well as NFC. What's more, the volume knob is gold-plated. The Z1 does not have a UK price yet. But in the USA it will set you back $8,500. Whilst the headphones will be available soon, the Z1 won't be available until January 2019.
Sony shifting gears
Sony are increasing putting out more high-end equipment. As TVs and smartphones continue to have tiny profit margins, the Japanese company is shifting its focus towards areas where it can make a profit, such as Audio, Photography and Gaming.
But can they keep this up? Will consumers want to buy a media player from Sony for $8,500? Are 70mm drivers, for headphones, excessive? Does Sony’s latest offerings good value for money?
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