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Sony PHA-3 balanced portable dac/amp

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by sabermobile, Sep 3, 2014.
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  1. sabermobile
    Couldn't find any posts on this so far but it was briefly mentioned in the sony announcements today at the bottom of this announcement here - http://presscentre.sony.co.uk/pressreleases/sony-gives-you-more-ways-to-enjoy-high-resolution-audio-on-the-move-1049253
    Picture here - http://presscentre.sony.co.uk/images/pha-3-335237
    PHA-3AC High Resolution Audio headphone amplifier and MDR-1ADAC headphones

    Reveal new levels of detail and transparency when you’re listening to High-Resolution Audio files stored on your PC, smartphone, tablet or music player.

    The PHA-3AC headphone amplifier converts Hi-Res signals (PCM 384 kHz/32 bit and DSD) from your device’s digital output for you to enjoy through headphones such as the new MDR-Z7. High-end D/A conversion technology ensures a remarkably spacious, three-dimensional soundstage with superb channel separation. Perfect for home usage, the amplifier’s balanced output can directly drive the MDR-Z7 for an absolutely uncompromised signal chain – right to your ears.

    Also available, and designed for both home and mobile usage, the MDR-1ADAC headphones incorporate an integrated D/A convertor that’s capable of accepting Hi-Res signals up to 192 kHz/24 bit or DSD 2.8MHz/5.6MHz. Auto input selection allows easy connection with a wide range of portable devices, including compatible Walkman and Xperia models, PCs, iPod, iPad and iPhone (via Lightning Digital AV Adapter). Sony’s S-Master HX digital amplifier helps maintain absolute signal purity, and convenient USB battery charging allows up to 7.5 hours of High-Resolution listening.

    The Walkman NWZ-A15 High-Resolution Audio player, MDR-Z7 headphones, MDR-1A headphones, MDR-1ADAC, and PHA-3AC headphone amplifier from Sony are available in UK from October 2014.

    Model Name


    Frequency range

    10 Hz – 100 kHz (AUDIO IN input)

    Distortion 0.01 % or less (1 kHz)

    Supported impedance

    8 Ω - 600 Ω

    Maximum input

    2V rms (AUDIO IN)

    Maximum output

    (when using the built-in lithium-ion

    rechargeable battery)

    Balanced connection

    Approx. 320 mW + 320 mW (32 Ω, 1 % distortion)

    Normal connection

    Approx. 100 mW + 100 mW (32 Ω, 1 % distortion)

    Output jack

    3-pole mini jack (BALANCED-L / R)

    Stereo mini jack1 (-NORMAL)

    Input jack/port

    Computer/WALKMAN®/Xperia connecting port

    iPhone/iPad/iPod connecting port

    Optical input connecting port (OPT IN port)

    Stereo mini jack

    Power source

    DC 5 V: when using the AC adaptor

    Rated power consumption

    13.5 W


    Approx. 80 x 29 x 140.5 mm

    (W/H/D, projecting parts are not included)


    Approx. 231 g

    Supported sampling frequencies/bit

    PCM: when connecting a computer: Maximum 384 kHz/32 bit

    when connecting iPhone/iPad/iPod: Maximum 48 kHz/24 bit

    when connecting optical link: Maximum 192 kHz/24 bit

    DSD: 2.8 MHz, 5.6 MHz

    Supplied Accessories

    Headphone Amplifier (this unit) (1)

    Digital cable for WALKMAN® (1)

    Digital cable for Xperia (1)

    Micro-USB cable (2)

    Audio cable (stereo mini) (1)

    USB AC adaptor (2)

    Silicone belt (4)

    Operating environment

    Compliant OS:

    Windows 8.1/Windows 8.1 Pro/Windows 8/Windows 8 Pro

    Windows 7

    Windows Vista

    Mac OS X (v10.6.8 or later)

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Processor 1.6 GHz or better

    Memory: 1 GB or better

    USB port (USB 2.0 High Speed)

  2. Spadge
    Looks interesting.

    Is this portable? There is no mention of a battery, although I guess it does since the PHA-2 does.

    I hope it can play and charge at the same time if it does have a battery (unlike the PHA-2)

    I also hope the battery is large and can power itself and a zx1 for at least 10 hours (instead of 5 or 6 with PHA-2)
  3. yakkosmurf
    I'm waiting to see the answer to those same questions.
  4. HiFiGuy528
    that is interesting.  I have PHA-1 and PHA-2 so I guess I have to get PHA-3AC.
    Quasimodosbelfry and okalou like this.
  5. Jeff Contributor
    Here are some more images of it:


    It has a DSEE HX toggle switch, and apparently the price is going to be €800.
  6. HiFiGuy528
    thanks for the link.  That's pricey!
  7. purk Contributor
    Sony is getting serious again. Wonder if they will ever release the "ES" version or desktop Headamp in the future.
  8. HiFiGuy528
    I would like that.  :)
    Will this be able to bypass walkman dac? 
    Dont see the point of this unless it does.
  10. purk Contributor
    Just like the Sony hpa-2, it should.
  11. xjaynine
    Sony China (http://www.sonystyle.com.cn/products/headphone/pha_3.htm) indicates that the PHA-3 is based arround the ESS ES9018 DAC.
    The amp circuit design is definitely balanced.This is shaping up to be a pretty serious bit of kit! 
    Sony Australia mentioned a price of $1099 though...
  12. bmichels
    Now we just need a 256 Gb Version of the ZX1, with Natif DSD support, DAP to go with it and we are all set [​IMG] 
  13. warrior1975
    Damn, pricey little sucka
    Yeah, don't know the surprises one learns after buying the product.
    Looks great but $1000 is too much for me.
    Rather buy the ZX1.
  15. purk Contributor

    The pricing is rather high but we can expect to see discount if they don't sell well. I would get this amp/DAC combo for the Z7, but not for higher impedance phones tho.
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