SONY'S MDR-Z7 AND HIGH-RES AUDIO PUSH
Received this nifty invitation for Sony's High-Res Audio Event. Pretty darned excited!
The Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, or as most will know it, IFA, brought some exciting new announcements from Sony this year. For the audio segment of the press conference, Sony's new "High-Res Audio" headphones and Walkmans took center-stage. To quote President Masaru Tamagawa, Sony is intending on "providing superb sound experience to every audiophile", a goal which is really quite well reflected by their new products. In fact, he even went on to say that the company is intent on creating "a new market around high-resolution audio".
I think this truly marks a bit of a "departure" from Sony's previous strategy. Sony has been making headphones for quite a while now, but it hasn't always been thought of as a brand for dedicated audiophiles. A lot of the times, a key selling point has been the excellent quality of most (I know some of you will complain about MDR-V55, etc.) Sony products. However, this time around, Sony has made it clear that it wants to target the audiophile, in addition to producing a pair of quality headphones.
At the helm of this new effort is the MDR-Z7, a flagship model with a 70mm driver unit, and its younger brother, the MDR-1A. The MDR-Z7, priced at 549.00 Euros (which roughly translates to 700 US Dollars) has entered dangerous territory. This is where the established Sennheiser HD 700 and countless other well-known headphones reside. That said, the MDR-Z7's specs alone suggest that it is quite capable of holding its own.
In agreement with the audiophile-oriented strategy, it should be noted that the MDR-Z7 and even the MDR-1A were not intended as being portable units. They are primarily designed to operate within the confines of one's home (with one's high-fi setup).
A picture is worth a thousand words. This is that picture from the IFA stream.
"FEEL THE AIR":
Next Thursday, I shall be going to the Feel The Air event, and look forward to hearing more about these new products from the Sony representatives (and hopefully engineers!) there. I think this is a pretty exciting moment in Sony's audio development. Perhaps with a bit of luck, I shall even be able to use the MDR-Z7 and draw some conclusions for myself!