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Xperia Z2 -- any thoughts?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Galaxy is a big yawn to me, but this looks interesting:

 

http://www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/phones/xperia-z2/#black

 

It's supposed to support UPB DACs out of box.

 

I have be doubts about audio from  Qualcomm, but maybe...

post #2 of 25

I was aiming for Z1 Compact (as I am more interested in a smaller smartphone with top spec), but if the local price difference isn't going to be that big, I might go for the Z2 instead (mainly for the updated SnapDragon 801)

 

Audio has less to be with Qualcomm but more to do with Sony, which has been neglecting this part of the design so far. But I know it will have apt-X support for Bluetooth and I'll be able to use a USB DAC if I wanted to, so I am mostly fine with how it is.

post #3 of 25
The Compact is really nice man, have my lemon/lime coloured one. Don't really see the 801 update being much of a draw myself. Very keen to try out a Z2 sometime though.
post #4 of 25
Anyone tried out the Xperia z2 via HO? Any impressions?smily_headphones1.gif
post #5 of 25

Still waiting for the local release... :mad:

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

Still waiting for the local release... mad.gif

Where r you from? smily_headphones1.gif
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ojy89 View Post


Where r you from? smily_headphones1.gif


It is listed on the right side of all my posts...

post #8 of 25
Oops sorry, my bad frown.gif
post #9 of 25

found some info on the X2's audio capabilities on xperiablog.net from the user XP-Audio. Please take this with a grain of salt since I cannot confirm these statements:

 

XP-Audio wrote: "The noise canceling headphones uses 1 microphone per ear, placed on each earplug. It connects to the phone with a new 5-pole connector which are present on Z2 and T2, giving separate input to the phone from each ear, input which is analyzed and then mixed in with the normal output at appropriate levels in the opposite phase, cancelling most of the outside noise. You can choose different environments (such as office, train, etc) with different noise profiles.

Since it seems one feature has been a bit lost in all the excitement about our new Z2 and T2, I would like to fill in about the “Hi-res Audio over USB”. As you may know, we have supported USB audio since the Xperia Z and its family. However, this has been limited to the resolution and bitrate native to Android, 48kHz and 16 bits (what once was called “DAT” format). All other resolutions going into the Android audio framework are resampled to this level.
What we have done in Z2 and T2 with “Hi-res audio…” is that we have bypassed the audio framework completely, and sends the audio data directly through the USB driver after it has been unpacked, without any kind of processing. We have also upgraded the FLAC codec to handle bitrates up to 192kHz, and we have upgraded the USB driver to handle Audio Class 2 and asynchronous mode (necessary to support sample rates higher than 96kHz). WAV files are also supported for Hi-Res, as are MP3 and AAC so you can mix different formats in your playlists without problems.
What this means is that you can use our devices as media players connected to a stationary or portable DAC, connecting to your home stereo or headphones, getting the highest possible audio quality without undesired processing or risk of getting a ring signal at 100dB+.. If you need to be get notifications to the headphones when on the move, you can turn off “High-Res…” and your DAC will still work but at 48kHz/16 bits as before.
We hope you will appreciate this new feature and regard it as an opportunity to explore the world of high-res downloads. It is part of the overall Sony Hi-Res initiative to bring excitement back into music. If you are interested, google “Sony Hi-Res” and go to the Sony site closest to your location, to read more about what high-res audio is, where you can get hi-res music, and about the new products from the Audio division
."

 

So it seems, that if using a DAC/Amp via OTG you won't get any X2 system sounds and notifications (isn't that applicable to all phone/DAP + DAC/Amp setups?^^). And it looks like there is no native Hi-Res audio support...only if you lead out via USB audio out. Please correct me if I'm wrong ;-)


Edited by droid23 - 5/1/14 at 11:06pm
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

http://www.whathifi.com/review/sony-xperia-z2

post #11 of 25

Got the Z2 a few days ago, and so far I have given it some quick RMAA measurement as well as an A/Bing against iPod Nano 7G.

 

As far as RMAA result (*with all EQ options off) goes, it is pretty clean and I don't see any problem. Crosstalk could have been better but it isn't really bad either. The stock Walkman app definitely measured worst than Neutron or UAPP, but that's somewhat expected. Frequency response is flat from 20Hz to 20kHz (except for Neutron, which has a treble rolloff, but it is unrelated to Z2's hardware). Output impedance is measured and calculated to be 5ohm, roughly the same as older generation iPod Nano (*current 7G is about 1.1ohm), which isn't too bad. Output current is pretty small, probably not great with anything under 16ohm. Maximum voltage output is around 0.285Vrms, which isn't a lot as well (i.e. Nano 7G can pump out 1.9Vrms max).

 

As far as the actual listening goes, I A/B'ed the Z2 against Nano 7G with a pair of RE0 (*my usual reference). The result is actually fairly good. Roughly speaking, I'll say Z2 sounds about as good as Nano 7G with the RE0, volume matched. If anything, Z2 sounds a little bit more specious, slightly less dense in the mid but harder hitting in the bass. So Z2 isn't exactly a high end music player, but it is sounding good enough that I won't mind using it for the daily commute.

 

The special noise canceling IEM for Z2, the MDR-NC31EM, isn't included with the local package,  but I already ordered a pair online. Will update when it arrived.

post #12 of 25

The Z2's noise canceling technology and its proprietary IEM are very much shared with the walkman line. IIRC that 5-pole connector debuted on the X1000. This combo has shipped not only with multiple walkmans, but also built into several Vaio laptops. The technology hasn't changed in 4-5 years, Sony's probably long amortized all associated cost, so that's why now is the time to finally build it into the smartphone line...which is too bad cause for years it was #1 on my smartphone feature wishlist.

 

So it's funny to see how much reporting from the mobile phone world have no grasp on this NC feature, they often get it wrong, confuse it with noise cancelling for calls, or think it's really brand spanking new.

 

It's also funny because, as I recall from 6-8 years ago, western folks in online forums or reviews often were very snobbish and refused to use the NC IEM that came with their Sony walkmans (when the sound really wasn't bad at all). They're the ones who gave Sony a convenient excuse to remove NC from the international version walkmans. By comparison, NC is still a pretty good selling point within Japan, and is now standard across the entire Japanese walkman line.

 

Okay, rant over :tongue:

 

The Z2's headphone out is not bad at all, the sound is pretty clean. It sounds better than the Z and miles, miles, miles ahead of my late-2012 Sony phone. (now THAT is a bag of hurts)  I've talked about my impressions at length elsewhere on HF, so I'm not gonna repeat myself here, but I decided to skip the Z2 based on sound quality alone. It's good but I felt there are other phones that did a little better.

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatofamatch View Post
 

The Z2's noise canceling technology and its proprietary IEM are very much shared with the walkman line. IIRC that 5-pole connector debuted on the X1000. This combo has shipped not only with multiple walkmans, but also built into several Vaio laptops. The technology hasn't changed in 4-5 years, Sony's probably long amortized all associated cost, so that's why now is the time to finally build it into the smartphone line...which is too bad cause for years it was #1 on my smartphone feature wishlist.

 

So it's funny to see how much reporting from the mobile phone world have no grasp on this NC feature, they often get it wrong, confuse it with noise cancelling for calls, or think it's really brand spanking new.

 

It's also funny because, as I recall from 6-8 years ago, western folks in online forums or reviews often were very snobbish and refused to use the NC IEM that came with their Sony walkmans (when the sound really wasn't bad at all). They're the ones who gave Sony a convenient excuse to remove NC from the international version walkmans. By comparison, NC is still a pretty good selling point within Japan, and is now standard across the entire Japanese walkman line.

 

Okay, rant over :tongue:

 

The Z2's headphone out is not bad at all, the sound is pretty clean. It sounds better than the Z and miles, miles, miles ahead of my late-2012 Sony phone. (now THAT is a bag of hurts)  I've talked about my impressions at length elsewhere on HF, so I'm not gonna repeat myself here, but I decided to skip the Z2 based on sound quality alone. It's good but I felt there are other phones that did a little better.

Hi,

I'm planning to buy a new mobile phone in the coming weeks and the thing I'm most interested in is the audio quality of the device. I was going for the Z2 but your post made me rethink my decision.

If the Z2 is just "good" which of the current phones is the one to beat?

 

Thanks!

post #14 of 25

Welcome to head-fi!

 

I got the HTC M8 because it felt significantly louder and groovier. It was my favorite headphone output over the Z2, S5, Nexus5 and the xiaomi 3.

 

That's not to say the Z2 wouldn't sound perfectly competent to you. You should definitely find a way to audition it, even if you're just listening to the demo files on it, or using youtube for music. Even just very brief listening beats other people's opinions.

 

Caveat: I was burned by my previous Sony phone,replacing it early after only 14-15 months, because I can't suffer it anymore, the reliability issues are ridiculous. So I'm already set on not choosing Sony, and the Z2 audition was just due diligence. But this is not to say the Z2 will suck; what I see is Sony's been on a very steep learning curve with Android, and they truly DO need to launch a new flagship every 6 months, because that's how fast they're improving in both hardware and software.

 

But this time I thought, I've funded Sony R&D for long enough, why don't I let someone else foot the bill. I'll come back to them later.  :wink_face:

post #15 of 25

Hi Heatofamatch,

 

thanks for your response!

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