Sony, Best Buy Adding More Hi-Res Music Stations

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Eight months after placing high-res music kiosks in 82 stores, Sony Electronics and Best Buy have begun rolling out a second wave of the live displays to an additional 250 locations.

Unlike the first contingent, which appeared in Best Buy’s Magnolia Design Centers — the chain’s ultrahigh-end custom integration departments — round two is going wider, destined for the less elaborate but no less premium Magnolia Home Theater areas.

The rollout will raise the total number of listening-station stores to more than 332, or less than a quarter of Best Buy’s store base.

The experiential displays showcase Sony’s hi-res audio products and accessories including Walkman and MDR-1A headphones, as well as cans by other brands like Sennheiser’s HD558 and Momentum M2, the Polk Hinge, and V-Moda’s Crossfade headphones. Dozens of hi-res music clips are provided courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.

In a statement, Sony said the expansion demonstrates its “commitment to providing music enthusiasts with a more immersive listening experience.” Best Buy put it more bluntly: The partners, a spokesman said, are “bringing studio-quality music to the masses.”

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