Yes, Sony players are notorious for hiss - one reason I gave up on them. That, and no matter how good they are for low ohm dynamic driver earphones, they can't handle balanced armatures without their frequency response and resolution balance going wonky.
That said, generally, they are a joy to use and have decent battery life and aren't too big... except for the Z, which is simply too large for real portable use unless you just want to use it as a reader. But then again, I tend to prefer small devices. An amp, however, that is another story.
The Heir Audio 3.Ai is a sensitive earphones, sensitive enough that it can detect hiss in an iPhone 4s, which has less hiss than any portable I've used outside of Apple's new iPods. So, if anything can excite hiss, it is the 3.Ai. The 4.Ai does in fact seem less prone to hiss and spit, which is a blessing. But every source, even the PHA-1 will hiss a little. If the output device (headphone/earphone) is sensitive enough, hiss can be picked from the vacuum of space (not quite, but the comparison is close for some earphones).
Nice setup by the way!
Originally Posted by OK-Guy
the WM-F appears to be just a smaller version of the WM-Z, the differences are the obvious screen size, the WM-F can play Flac and has a different Andriod OS (there's a rumoured update for the WM-Z), the WM-Z has a HDMI out which isn't on the WM-F.
I've never had any hiss from the WM-Z until this week... in the past I have had a bit of 'air' on old recordings (mic' air) but that completely disappears when the instruments kick in (I have the same on my hi-fi so I know it's on the recording and not added from the WM-Z)... the first hiss I've heard from the WM-Z was when I plugged in both the Heir 3.Ai & 4.Ai, it disappears for the most when the music kicks in with the 4.Ai but is there between most tracks that said, on some recordings I have no hiss whatsoever... the 3.Ai is a different story I tend to hear hiss for roughly 80% of the time, it's like owning the S-Series Walkman all over again (I never liked the Euro A-Series it lasted a week before being returned to Amazon, I never got on with the highly rated X-Series, that was too warm for me)... I really rate the WM-Z it reminds me of those fantastic professional Walkman cassette players of yesteryear (Christ, I loved mine to bits & pieces), I digress...
I'm relatively new to all this Head-Fi malarkey so can't really comment on the line-out or amplifiers (I can comment on hi-fi amps lol) but I do know that I have finally found some pretty damn fine headphones (4.Ai) to pair with the exceptional sounding WM-Z (to my ears)... the PHA-1 interest me to use as a headphone amp also as a desktop solution to my crap sounding Dell PC (even though I have a moderately good hi-fi set-up at home sometimes I have to consider my neighbours below so can't (won't) use it), it is not a necessity as I am now fully enjoying my WM-Z but there's bound to be times when I get home and the WM-Z has a dead battery & those pesky neighbours are in that I'll need to call on the services of my PC... so the PHA-1 would have a dual purpose in my thinking, a headphone amp for the WM-Z and a DAC/amp for the crap Dell.... you thoughts would be appreciated, I also figure the hiss I hear is from the IEM's (?).