Originally Posted by doublea71
I read it, but I'm reserving judgment until more tests of this sort are in. How do you like it so far and what headphones are you using with it?
Well, essentially I have it and I think it sounds good, but it sounds pretty much like my iPhone 5S. Maybe a little more airy but it's hard to tell I'm not making things up given the lack of volume matching. I keep bringing up the 5S not because I think it's a bad thing for the ZX1 to perform similarly to, but in the end the ZX1 is quite expensive and does less than a smartphone.
I am listening primarily at the moment with the XBA-H3 which probably has some of the best high frequency extension I've heard in an IEM. On the ZX1 it's smooth as has a nice airyness to it, but I can actually hear more noise when no music is playing compared to the 5S.
I'll do some more rigorous A/Bing and try to do my own RMAA when I get the chance.
Originally Posted by tomscy2000
There is one key thing going for a PWM system --- it doesn't need a digital filter, meaning that it doesn't have the big issue of having to deal with FIR/IIR linear/minimum phase filters, and it doesn't need any analog components other than an RC low-pass (traditional systems will need separate I/V conversion, voltage gain, and current buffering stages), so Sony is choosing a path of minimalism (hoping for sonic purity, perhaps, and lower power consumption) in lieu of resolution. It's also choosing a path that shuns all the current, modern Sigma-Delta noise-shaping DAC chips (which are criticized by hardcore audiophiles for being unnatural-sounding) for something it builds and controls itself --- typical Sony behavior. I believe the technology will improve in due time, but this current iteration of S-Master is definitely lacking in resolution. Notice that the dynamic range doesn't improve with 24/96 music --- that means that right now, the noise floor cannot drop, which is suggestive of excess switching noise from the S-Master HX MCU. Switching noise is what plagues all Class-D/D-esque systems.
It's a very Sony approach, like forgoing crossovers on the XBA and making their own BA's. Like the XBA it doesn't always work out heh.