Originally Posted by Dinche
Its been almost 2 weeks since I upgraded my Australian ZX1 to 1.14 (thanks to yurix for the upload). Here are my current observations.
While there was no significant change in the overall sonic signature (which many here characterise as somewhat clinical and i dont disagree) I have observed the noticable improvement in instrument separation and sligthly increased sound stage. This is particulary true for bass, that stands out more in the mix. Bass also gained some additional weight and its touch more rounded/better defined. There are differences in the highs also. Initally, I thought the highs sounded rolled off. It took an hour or so of listening to realise why I felt that way. The previous high end shimmer (mostly noticable on brighter masterings) has gone now.
I did the test with all sound enhancements turned off(plus volume hack) and using FLACs of 44/16 CD'rips and some 96/24 downloads from HD tracks. Most notable improvement was with 44/16 rips.
After hours of listening to the ZX1 with the newest update installed, I have to say that the observations Dinche made a few pages back in regard to the sound quality are correct as far as I can tell. I admit that I lack the vocabulary to describe the sonic characteristics that have changed, it's clearly not my area of expertise and I apologise for that. In my humble opinion the newest firmware update, which has yet to be released (again), creates a wider, more realistic soundstage. What is more, the bass sounds more defined and gives fresh impetus to the overall experience of listening to your favourite tracks. I don't say that the difference is night and day, many who accuse the ZX1 of sounding too clinical will still not change their minds. But the fact that Sony panders to its most demanding customers should be welcomed.
I'd like to see what other owners here think. Maybe it's only the placebo effect speaking after all.