OK here's my first impressions, based on a few hours of listening. I've been listening to a range of rock and pop and a bit of classical. Most of the music is MP3 at either 256 or 320, stored on a micro sd card. I've used the Walkman built in player without any enhancements, so it's pretty much straight out of the box stuff.
Take one, Ultrasone Signature Pro.
These headphones are full sized but seem to be regarded as easy to drive, but even so I had to set the volume at maximum or a fraction below to get a decent sound, so anything harder to drive will be a no no unamped.
Very detailed, nice spacious sound, everything feels very clear. Brass is good and crisp without being too harsh and bass drums have some decent depth which feels just about right on Fanfare for the Common Man. Male vocals sound rich, works nicely for both Meatloaf and the Righteous Brother, for example. Most of my female vocal collection is not accessible at the moment (it's hi res and sitting on my DX100) but Joni Mitchell sounds sweet enough (Hissing of Summer Lawns) and Dusty in Memphis, hits the spot...
conclusion on sig pros - good sound but not a lot of headroom on the power front.
Take two, Bose AE2w wireless.
These are bluetooth based headphones and designed with mobile music in mind. Same conditions, same tracks, almost the same conclusions except that the power and volume levels are fine and the quality is not quite as high.
For both headphones the Z1C is, to my ears, significantly better than my Galaxy S4, which was better than the S2 and S3.
thanks for your time..
I am a common man thats for sure, not an audiophile - my requirements sit on the speculation realm only because i may want a great reviewed audio device, but actually i won't notice differences such as richer sound and these stuff. Its all behind the words i read.. Wish i could have a trained ear thou
Since you positived the audion on z1c, my only and one concern about it regards "volume".
I currently own a S4. Let's say volume levels on iphone 5 is superb, on the galaxy S4 it scores "good". Sometimes I just cant reach the volume i want..
Anyways, S4 got great reviews regarding audio quality and if you say z1c its way better than S4, i feel comfy to buy Sony's device. I hope its loud enough...
And for the next generation of Z1C, Sony could improve sound quality by adding "High-Res Sound" technology found on Walkman players such as f886.
Are you using you z1c as you primary music player?
Good stuff, thanks mate!