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IFA 2017 Preview

IFA 2017 is just over a week from today and Sony will be holding their annual IFA press conference on August 31st at 13:00 CET local time.  While Sony has not updated their blog with regards to IFA, the live stream should be available on their YouTube page like last year.  Likewise you can visit Sony's site for the live stream.

Here are the times for various time zones (all local time)

New York, US: August 31st, 07:00
Los Angeles, US: August 31st, 04:00
Japan, Tokyo: August 31st, 20:00
Melbourne, Australia: August 31st, 21:00
Moscow, Russia: August 31st, 15:00
London, UK: August 31st, 12:00

As with previous years, Sony will be updating the A-Series once again at IFA.  The new A40 does not bring any new design as previewed in the A40 post, but it does seem a new pair of headphones will be shipping with the more expensive models, IER-NW500N/NE.

It is not surprising that Sony has opted not to update the design since the same strategy was taken for the A10 and A20.

Apart from the new A40, Sony will be unveiling a successor to the ZX100, the ZX300.  All the details for the ZX300 along with design can be found in the post I linked, but to sum up, it will feature a touchscreen, balanced output like the ZX2, micro-SD support, controls on the side and a slimmer design than the ZX100.

Pricing will not be cheap, I would expect anything from 500 to 800 USD, so definitely a niche product for the audiophiles.  I would expect both the A40 and ZX300 to go on sale this fall with some regions only receiving the A40. 

In addition to 2 new Walkmans, Sony will be introducing 6 new wireless pairs of headphones, including their competitor to the wireless airpods from Apple, which were first seen as a prototype earlier this year at CES.  This is exciting news but I am worried about the battery life of such headphones and the fact if you lose one, replacing it, if even possible, how much that would cost.  A replacement option is available for lost Apple airpods but I doubt Sony would have such an option.  The move to wireless is probably what the future holds for headphones in the next few years but battery life will always be an issue with smaller sets.

The other headphones can be found in my previous headphone post, Sony to introduce 6 New Wireless headsets

I do believe there will be some new wireless speakers and now a new model has appeared on the FCC which features BT 4.2, NFC and Dual band Wifi. The device features a dimmer option on the bottom, so not sure what that would do, perhaps the device will feature LEDs for notifications or something else.  Regardless, I have doubts that is is Sony's version of an Amazon Echo or Google Assistant, the addition of wifi could signal that or the wifi is just there for other forms of wireless audio streaming. It will be interesting to see how the Wifi will play into this.

As always I will update the post as I receive or find more information before the show and if anyone has any photos or information about the new IFA products, please contact me. ascariss @ gmail dot com

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