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New Signature Series by Sony comes to IFA 2018

Sony Signature Series IFA 2018

Surprise, surprise, but a welcome one.  Sony has brought their new Signature series, DMP-Z1, IER-Z1R to IFA 2018.  Expanding the Signature Series to other markets makes sense but I do wonder how many units of the DMP-Z1 Sony will sell.

The IER-Z1R will be priced at approximately €2,200/£2,000 and will be available in selected European countries in Winter 2018.

The DMP-Z1 will be priced at approximately €9,000/£8,000 and be available in the UK, France and Germany from the beginning of December 2018.

– One Signature Sound –
Delivering exceptional sound quality with High Resolution Audio,
a new line of exquisite audio products, IER-Z1R in-ear headphones and
DMP-Z1 digital music player, expands the Signature Series

Sony today announced the IER-Z1R in-ear headphones and DMP-Z1 digital music player, a new line of exquisite audio products that expand its Signature Series. These products harness decades of audio expertise, proudly showcasing Sony’s relentless lifetime pursuit of sound excellence. The Signature Series advances sound to an entirely new realm of audio engagement — taking the experience from listening to feeling it.

One Signature Sound

Sony Signature Series IFA 2018Committed to audio innovation, Sony has created a range of products in the Signature Series that surpasses everything that came before it. Pursuing sound reproduction to ultimate perfection means being able to distinguish every nuance in the music with live atmosphere — even the natural decay of fading notes to silence. The new line in the Signature Series offers astonishingly faithful sound reproduction that’s definitively clear and expressive, where even the subtleties and delicate nuances of micro-sounds and bigger scales at higher dynamics are effectively reproduced.

DMP-Z1 Signature Series Digital Music Player

  • Delivering exceptional sound quality with High-Resolution Audio. Compatible for DSD Native up to 11.2 MHz for both balance and single end 
  • Digital Music Player with integrated battery and high quality headphone amp.
  • ‘Stationary class’ sound quality and headphone power output, gold plated rotary volume control customised for Sony with dual DAC and analogue amp
  • Independent battery power system powered by five battery cells
  • H-shaped aluminium chassis and optimised audio circuit design
  • 256GB built-in storage with dual micro SD slots
Sony Signature Series IFA 2018 DMP-Z1
High-Resolution Sound with the DMP-Z1 Music Player

Combining super high quality sound, premium design and enhanced usability, the DMP-Z1 is a high end music player bringing top quality stationary class headphone amplifier sound and power to wherever you desire. Reaching new sound quality heights, the DMP-Z1 achieves optimum High Resolution Audio playback (up to native DSD 11.2MHz/PCM 384 kHz/32bit) and approx. 1500mW (16Ω) headphone power output for a personal, premium listening experience.

As the audio signal directly passes through the volume controller, this affects sound quality and is one of the most important aspects of audio design. The DMP-Z1 uses a Sony customised high-end analogue rotary volume controller which is copper plated, followed by gold plating and supports the volume for four separate signal paths (L+ / L- / R+ / R-). This ensures signal purity and ensures the DMP-1 reproduces transparent and clear vocals, as it maximises the DAC chip performance by retaining all audio source information even at low volume levels.

The DMP-Z1 features a dual DAC and analogue amplifier to ensure high headphone output power and high quality sound. It uses the Asahi Kasei Microdevices AK4497EQ DAC Chip, a world-renowned DAC IC and the TI TPA6120A2 amp chip, also a world leading top end headphone amp IC.

Sony Signature Series IFA 2018Independent Power System

The DMP-Z1 has an independent power system using a total of five battery cells, providing independent and stable power to both the digital and analogue block. The independent analogue battery features a simple power circuit to supply clean power to the headphone amplifier. Thus, the battery mode delivers noiseless, clean and powerful sound. Users can easily switch the music player’s power mode from AC to battery by simply touching either Battery button or AC button on the DMP-Z1’s touch panel user interface.

H-Shaped Aluminium Monocoque Chassis and Frame

The DMP-Z1’s H-shaped aluminium chassis prevents a high rigidity frame structure that eliminates vibration and reduces resistance, thereby delivering clear and powerful low frequency performance. In addition, isolation of the amplifier board by physically separating the amp board and main board using the H-shaped chassis further reduces noise which will affect sound quality. This isolation blocks noise and provides areas for connecting to ground on each board via connection to the chassis. This ensures the listener experiences transparent sound free from distortion.

Sony Signature Series IFA 2018

Your Music Your Way

A first for digital music players, listeners can personalise their preferred sound with the DSD Remastering Engine which lets users convert all PCM music sources into DSD 5.6MHz. The DSD Remastering Engine can be switched on or off easily in the user interface. A newly developed Vinyl Processor feature can recreate the acoustic phenomena unique to vinyl playback. This includes the effect of tone-arm resonance, sensitivity improvement caused by tiny surface noise and a rich sound character, due to acoustic feedback from the speakers to the turntable.

Sony Signature Series IFA 2018The DMP-Z1 also includes newly developed DSEE HX™ with an improved algorithm to enhance and supplement the ability for high range expression. Thanks to AI machine learning technology, users do not need to select the type of enhancement, but instead this is automatically selected for them based on real time information analysis.

Premium Design

With its mirror-finished aluminium top plate, spin finished aluminium physical playback control keys and gold plated analogue rotary volume controller, the DMP-Z1 sports a sleek premium design which exudes high-class luxury in every component. With dual micro SD card slots, 256 GB internal storage, USB Type-C™ connection and a BLUETOOTH® receiver, the DMP-Z1 provides enhanced usability with simplicity of operation.

Sony Signature Series IFA 2018

IER-Z1R Signature Series In-ear Headphones
  • Delivering exceptional sound quality with High-Resolution Audio
  • HD hybrid driver system consisting of 5mm dynamic driver, 12mm Magnesium alloy diaphragm dynamic driver and Magnesium alloy diaphragm Balanced Armature (BA) driver
  • Refined-phase structure for precise image projection
  • Housing shape designed for comfort and includes pre-formed ear hanger and large variety of ear buds for optimum fit
  • Zirconium alloy outer housing with Perlage pattern face plate
  • Meticulously crafted and designed in Japan using superior materials to create an audio masterpiece
Sony Signature Series IFA 2018

Sony Signature Series IFA 2018
Refined sound and superb fit

Delivering an immersive musical experience, the IER-Z1R headphones feature a HD hybrid driver system consisting of three newly developed Sony-designed drivers. As the driver unit’s sound, quality and consistency of sound character are critical to a headphone’s sound, an advantage of Sony-designed drivers is that it ensures a preservation of consistency in sound signature from driver design stage to the finished product.

Using the finest materials

The 5mm dynamic driver is constructed with a newly developed aluminium coated LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer) diaphragm and external magnetic circuit allowing it to reproduce the ideal frequency response of up to 100 kHz. Strategically placing the 5mm dynamic driver coaxially against the sound path accurately delivers the sound from the super tweeter directly into a listener’s ear canal. A frequency response of up to 100 kHz provides the experience of a live concert hall atmosphere for users anytime, anywhere.
Sony Signature Series IFA 2018

The 12mm dynamic driver’s diaphragm features a magnesium alloy dome which is light weight yet highly rigid. The dome’s edge is made from aluminium coated LCP which offers flexibility for optimum bass reproduction and high internal loss. These materials work in sync to give listeners fine details and crystal-clear sound.

In addition, the diaphragm of the balanced armature unit for reproducing high range sound is made from magnesium alloy. Working together with a newly developed silver coated copper voice coil and gold-plated terminals, the balanced armature unit can faithfully reproduce sound including the smallest low-level signals.

Sony Signature Series IFA 2018Perfectly controlled acoustics of the IER-Z1R is achieved by the Refined-phase structure which features a magnesium alloy inner housing that delivers to listeners a natural sound with precise sense of image projection never experienced before. All three drivers; the 5mm dynamic driver, 12mm dynamic driver and balanced armature driver unit are built into the inner housing which works as an optimal sound path. Sound coming from each driver is optimally blended in the sound path which ensures an ideal phase response and clear separation. Magnesium alloy also eliminates unnecessary vibration due to its high rigidity and internal loss.

Advanced sound space control technology was applied to finely control air flow at the rear of the drivers. Ventilation is accurately controlled by connecting an acoustic tube to the extended acoustic cavity behind the driver unit. This unique-to-Sony sound control method reproduces a wide sound stage with rich and natural mid-range, a well-balanced frequency response from low to high frequencies and smooth sound reproduction.

Network designed with high grade parts

Sony’s dedicated audio grade film capacitor for crossover network circuits was used in the IER-Z1R delivering a refined sound with low distortion. This film capacitor was developed after numerous listening tests. In addition, a Sony developed dedicated audio grade solder was also used to minimise loss in the signal path.

Sony Signature Series IFA 2018High sound quality balanced connection

High sound quality balanced connection is achieved with the supplied 5 pole 4.4mm balanced standard cable or the use of optional cables. Silver coated OFC (Oxygen-Free Copper) is used in the supplied cable. Sony has evolved the plating structure of the plug and terminal to gold plating over a non-magnetic plated surface core material. This ensures signal flow is not disturbed.

The supplied cable also features natural silk thread that reduces touch noise, also working as an insulator and damper against vibration. Also, the supplied cable features twisted pair wiring, thereby reducing signal transmission loss to preserve the signal purity and achieve accurate high-resolution sound. In addition, optional cable engineered with KIMBER KABLE® is also available for another way to enjoy high resolution sound.

Comfort is key

Sony Signature Series IFA 2018

With an accumulated ear shape database collected over decades of research, the IER-Z1R is designed for comfortable yet stable wear via its optimised housing shape, 13 variations of ear buds (six variations of triple comfort ear buds and seven variations of hybrid ear buds) and pre-formed ear hangers. This exquisite pair of headphones also boasts a zirconium alloy outer housing for increase hardness, corrosion resistance and durability. The face plate of the IER-Z1R features an elegant “Perlage” pattern distinguishing the headphones at a glance. The IER-Z1R is meticulously hand-crafted using only the finest top-grade materials by skilful artisans in Japan, allowing audiophiles to fully immerse themselves in their favourite songs as the artists and sound engineers intended for them to be heard.



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