LAS VEGAS – Sony is expanding its selection of high-resolution portable audio products with its second high-res Walkman, second portable headphone DAC/amp, and its first high-res Bluetooth headset that uses proprietary technology to maintain high-resolution performance over Bluetooth.
The company is also launching its first high-res aftermarket in-dash head unit.
In launching the NW-ZX2 Walkman, Sony is going way up-market with a $1,199 model to complement the current $299 NWZ-A17 Walkman. Prices exclude headphones. The lower priced model features Bluetooth, AptX and AAC streams over Bluetooth, and playback of high-resolution FLAC, PCM, AIFF, Apple Lossless and WAV files up to 192/24. It also decodes WMA, MP3, and AAC files and displays photos and videos. It comes with 64GB embedded storage and 128GB MicroSD card slot.
The new model adds DSD file playback, Android OS, built-in Wi-Fi, 128GB built-in memory, 4-inch color LCD with touchscreen, extended battery life, and LDAC, which is a new audio technology and codec from Sony that delivers “near-high-resolution wireless audio” over Bluetooth.
The device also features Wi-Fi to stream high-res files from networked DLNA devices, and it will download apps from the Google Play store. Like its predecessor, it also displays photos and videos.
The new player also features 128GB MicroSD card slot and battery with up to 60 hours of MP3 music playback (less for high-res files).
The new high-res portable headphone DAC/amp is the $299 PHA-1A, which joins the larger and more expensive $799 PHA-2. The new model decodes 192KHz/24bit files and features a mix of inputs to connect to PCs, tablets, Apple devices, Walkman portables and Xperia smartphones.
The PHA-2, in contrast, also decodes DSD and double DSD.
The $399 MDR-1ABT Bluetooth over-ear headphones feature Bluetooth with LDAC Bluetooth streaming, frequency response up to 100kHz, and touch sensor controls for play/pause and forward/back.
Sony is also expanding its portfolio of high-resolution audio products to the car aftermarket with the launch of a single-DIN model that decodes multiple hi-res formats including native DSD. The company is expanding its selection of Wi-Fi speakers, launching its first soundbars with high-resolution audio decoders and HDCP 2.2 copy protection, embedding Google Cast in AVRs and soundbars for the first time, and bringing proprietary Bluetooth/LDAC technology to AVRs and soundbars for the first time.