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SONY NW-WM1Z / WM1A

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by leylandi, Jul 30, 2016.
  1. Erfan Elahi
    You think Sony already reached their maximum point for the moment and it will take more while for a new flagship? Not talking of more battery or memory, but into sound as well...
     
  2. TSAVAlan
    Sony usually takes a few years when it comes to bringing out successors. I would reckon next year we may hear about a successor but likely nothing this year for my speculation.
     
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com./pages/The-Source-AV-Design-Group/153623164648713 http://www.twitter.com/TheSourceAV http://www.instagram.com/Thesourceavdesign http://thesourceav.com/ Products@TheSourceAV.com
    Steen Pihl likes this.
  3. bitonio
    July 1st, 2019 will be the 40th anniversary of the Walkman (Good piece of writing here: https://www.theverge.com/2014/7/1/5861062/sony-walkman-at-35).

    I am not sure the brand is really into anniversary, I trust them to take the time needed to build a great next generation. This year or later, nobody knows.
    Kudos to Sony, they managed to deliver 2 major versions of firmware, 2.x and 3.x, on a serie launched in Mid-2016.

    The WM-2 reference was a cassette Walkman, I doubt they'll re-use it for a new DAP.

    If you need a good DAP, no reason to not buy now, the Signature serie has a really good reputation, updated firmware, which mean they will probably sell quite well.
    I have already sold a couple of Sony DAP at a fairly good price for used equipment.
     
    Erfan Elahi and Quadfather like this.
  4. KaiserTK
    I talked to a Sony rep at a show a few weeks back, and he says that the 40th anniversary edition walkman will not be a top-end model but a mid-range model that incorporates a retro walkman feel to it.
     
    Liono, roses77, Aslshark and 4 others like this.
  5. Hyde8767
    Maybe a successor to the zx300
     
  6. blazinblazin
    They want to make something everyone can somehow afford.
     
    Steen Pihl and Erfan Elahi like this.
  7. Midnstorms
    I think they maybe working into reaching new highs testing materials, i guess in two years or one we will have an awesome new DAP I hope they add a cassette emulator as well and variable soundstage, room DSP Lool it will be cool a Titanium WM1T (maybe it will sound bad lol) how cool it will be if you can change your DAP CASE and can make diferent sound from a 1Z to a 1A and 1T lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
    Erfan Elahi likes this.
  8. Simon T
    Hi everyone,

    I have just posted some comparison impressions on the Sony IER-Z1R thread about source equipment (DAP) pairing. Since a big part of it was a direct comparison between Sony NW-WM1Z and the Cayin N8, thought it is relevant to share it in this thread too, please refer some extract:

    Disclaimer: This is a subjective analysis based on personal preferences and experiences with equipment that I personally own, and does not mean that it is findings are applicable to other IEMs or headphones.

    Basis of comparison extract:
    20190330_080449.jpg

    …First thing first below is the list of DAPs used for this comparison and the daunting task to volume match the equipment based on same “Pink Noise” track played from each DAP, through the IER-Z1R, to my mobile phone microphone using Sound Meter App to reach 60dB. Below are the results except for the AR-M2. List of DAPs by released year, in addition to volume matching findings:


    - Sony NW-WM1Z – 2016 / 3.5mm and 4.4mm – vol. 73
    - Cayin N8 – 2018 / 3.5mm – vol. 44 (on low gain) and 4.4mm – vol. 39 (on low gain)

    I have used the following 3 tracks for this exercise, all in FLAC files (since not all of the above mentioned play native DSD), and the tracks (Album, Track / Artist) are:
    - Hotel California, Hotel California / Eagles
    - Time Out, Take Five / The Dave Brubeck Quartet
    - Random Access Memories, Giorgio by Moroder / Daft Punk

    Comparison analysis extract:
    …Hotel California…
    There are 3 “hidden sounds” on this track for me to measure detail retrieval throughout the track (hidden sound meaning that they are masked behind more prominent sounds in the track).

    First, the guitar that start-off the track, slowly fades away when Don Henley starts his singing and drums playing, with the repeating tune for most of the track but still noticeable. … Second, bassist repeating tune again in lower center throughout the track, with the IER-Z1R those notes go deep giving a nice extension. The third, it is after the track is taken over by the instruments, from 5:39 to 6:03 the bassist plays a tune and the notes are hidden in between the electric guitar…

    …This section is going to be a direct IER-Z1R pairing sound comparison between the Sony NW-WM1Z (firmware 3.1) and Cayin N8 (firmware 2.2), 4.4mm balanced solid state output vs 3.5 single ended solid state output vs 3.5 Korg Nutube; and it is not indicative of how they sound with all earphones and headphones.

    Here we have 2 DAPs with noticeably multiple sound signature and presentation, personally I think the WM1Z has 2 while the N8 has 2.5, the 0.5 given to the Korg Nutube tuning because it is just a minimal tweak of the 3.5 single ended solid state output which in itself sounds already amazing (more to that shortly). I was expecting a more “tubey”/sweeter/warmer presentation on the Korg Nutube, but the direction Cayin took was to maintain the same level of accuracy, analyticality, balance and spaciousness by adding a minimal sprinkle of warmth, and I respect that decision.

    General stage dimensions, tonality and sound signature pairing comparison with the IER-Z1R:
    WM1Z (4.4) –
    Height of sound stage fall slightly short to all other variations below except for N8 (tube), width come short to the N8 (3.5 and tube) only, and depth on this track is about the same with the N8 (3.5), which is deeper than the WM1Z (3.5) and N8 (4.4 and tube). Tonality is warm-laidback, mids are slightly recessed, treble is gentle and bass is tight.

    N8 (4.4) – Width of the soundstage falls short to the WM1Z (4.4) and N8 (3.5 and tube), height is perceived to be tallest with WM1Z (3.5), depth fall slightly short to the WM1Z (4.4) and N8 (3.5 and tube). Tonality is neutral-transparent, mids are dynamic, treble is airy and bass is weighty.

    WM1Z (3.5) – Height of sound stage is the tallest to all other variations with the N8 (4.4), width come slightly short to all other variations, and depth on this track seems about the same with the N8 (4.4), however, falling short against the N8 (3.5 and tube). Tonality is neutral-natural, mids are intimate, treble is smooth and bass is tight.

    N8 (3.5) – Width is the longest with the N8 (tube), height fall short to all variations except for N8 (tube), and depth is about the same as WM1Z (4.4) and a tiny but deeper than the N8 (tube). Tonality and sound signature are similar to the N8 (4.4), however, because the sound stage characteristic the music is presented slightly more distant (concert hall).

    N8 (Tube) – The only differences to the N8 (3.5) are perceived tiny bit shorter in sound stage height, as a result of minimal sprinkle of warmth added in the sound signature. Making the bass sounding tiny bit more reverberant, treble is smooth but instead of extending upward it extends sideways (pretty sweet J and “tubey” like), and the mids are dynamic but sounding tiny bit more forward compared to the N8 (3.5).

    Verdict on Hotel California:
    In terms of detail retrieval based on the 3 hidden sounds (mentioned in AR-M2 write up above), the WM1Z (3.5) will probably be my choice, even if it does not sound as transparent as the N8 (4.4), because the layering of the Y axis (Height), instruments placement are better separated. Hence, the 1st and 2nd hidden sounds are more identifiable; as for the 3rd hidden sound due to slightly better mids dynamics on the N8 (4.4) becomes more audible on the N8. However, in terms of listening experience point of view, I prefer the N8 (3.5), because of the better instrument separation through the X axis (width) and perceived deeper Z axis due to slightly recessed mids making it a “concert hall” like experience.

    Verdict on Take Five:
    Since it is a simple track (4 instruments playing a slow Jazz tune), sound stage dimensions does not play much of a role compared to the tonality and instrument positioning. After all, Jazz is about sultry, relaxing and romantic tune.

    In most rendition of this track, due to its frequency response the saxophone sound does not come from center point of the sound stage (usually slightly higher than center point), and here comes the magic trick from the N8 (tube), as suddenly we have all instruments perceivably to be more aligned. The drums from the left, the saxophone in the center and the piano to the right, hence in listening experience term N8 (tube) is enlightening. On the other hand, the WM1Z (4.4) slightly warmer and analog like tonality characteristic marries Jazz music even better, also, the cymbal sounds really sweet and nicely extended on the NW1Z. Last but not least, both theN8 (tube) takes my breath away, “literally” when I am listening analytically to the saxophonist breathing through the instrument, subconsciously the timing of my breathing tries to match the saxophonist breathing.

    Verdict on Giorgio by Moroder:
    There is a lot going on in the track from 5:50, therefore, dynamics and soundstage dimension place the biggest role in making the music alive and perceiving that 3D imaging sense, more so than the tonality.

    Frankly speaking, all the variations have more than sufficient dynamics and stage dimension to perceive the 3D imaging sense without sounding congested. Nonetheless, the two ends of the spectrum will be the NW1Z (4.4) and N8 (3.5), on the former although the stage width and height might fall slightly short compared to the N8 (3.5) the warm and laidback tonality makes it a more relaxing experience. On the latter, the slightly perceived shorter stage height is more than compensated from the stage width and due to a more neutral tonality the it sounds a little bit snappier.

    Conclusion extract:
    Overall, the IER-Z1R sounds good with most of the source equipment tested, except for the Sony NW-ZX1, it sounds great on DAPs which can showcase the IER-Z1R soundstage spaciousness capabilities, and it sounds even better when it is able to convey the DAP technical capabilities such as high resolution, details retrieval and dynamics.

    … As for whether the IER-Z1R pairs better with the NW1Z or N8 from the comparison exercise performed. From sound fidelity point of view, without taking in consideration all other aspects that define DAPs, in my humble opinion it comes down to preference only, both brings different interpretation of sound presentation.

    My personal opinion is that, the NW1Z might be better value for money in terms of having bigger margin of sound signature difference between 4.4 and 3.5 outputs. On the other hand, the N8 offers a bigger margin of stage dimension difference between the 3.5 and 4.4 outputs, while adding that sprinkle of warmth with the 3.5 (tube).

    Cheers
    Simon T.
     
  9. Midnstorms
    Nice review and comparison friend, what firmware did you use on 1Z?
     
  10. ryaneagon
    "This section is going to be a direct IER-Z1R pairing sound comparison between the Sony NW-WM1Z(firmware 3.1) and Cayin N8 (firmware 2.2), 4.4mm balanced solid state output vs 3.5 single ended solid state output vs 3.5 Korg Nutube; and it is not indicative of how they sound with all earphones and headphones."
     
    Midnstorms and Erfan Elahi like this.
  11. Ryokan

    Have you managed to listen to the WM1Z? If so how does it compare with your WM1A? Thanks.
     
    Quadfather likes this.
  12. Quadfather
    I have listened to it. Unfortunately, the 1Z was not fully burned in, whereas the 1A was. The 1Z had a little bit better bass and the treble was more extended.
     
    Midnstorms, Ryokan and Erfan Elahi like this.
  13. Bart147
    1z-cj.jpg
    I just wanted to share the love for this great track , the rest of the album ( for sale at stockfish-records.de ) is fantastic as well !
     
    Kitechaser and 480126 like this.
  14. nc8000 Contributor
    Stockfish has a lot of great recordings
     
  15. RobertP
    Hi everyone. Is there any cable for WM1A to USB type C? I'm try to connect my Galaxy S9 through Qobuz app with the Sony player.
     

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