Last week’s Hong Kong High-End Audio-Visual Show featured a number of spectacular products that look to change and enhance the way we listen to music. Among the 45+ Exhibitors was Sony, who was not looking to be upstaged in any sense. Revealing the next line of products from their most high-end series, these blockbuster devices are certainly some impressive Audio Showpieces, and, without a fraction of a shadow of a speck of a doubt, very, very High End.
Here, we’ll be taking a look at Sony’s new flagship brand speaker, the DMP-Z1 Digital Music Player. As opposed to the other flagship product, the IER-Z1R In-Ear Headphones, (Check out discussion of this device here) having the full creative design space of a speaker allows Sony to make this device look like a product worthy of its $7,882 asking price (!!!).
This device puts its visual appeal into every inch of its design. For example, though most users will never see it, it uses gold in its solder to “enhance the digital flow” of sound, but we suspect that its also to make sure the device looks positively regal inside and out.
Its aesthetic is strictly Dark Hyper-Modern, with an ashy primary that manages to shy away from true black without wading into something more akin to a standard, boring grey. This is accomplished through the clever use of matte black surfaces on the sides that appear grey when put in direct light, but a more reflective, harder dark finish on the front and back of the device that refuses to yield its dark color even when lit up.
The dedication to the dark is also aided by the device’s choice of a gold secondary with a high amount of reflective sheen. This increases the contrast between parts of the secondary that are and are not exposed to light, making those in the shade appear to blend into the blacker portions of the speaker.
But if you’re willing to dish out nearly $8,000 for a new speaker, you’re in it for more than the looks. Time to dive into exactly what kind of bang the DMP-Z1 is willing to deliver…
First, we’ve got full support: The DMP-Z1 supports every type of high-end audio format a user can imagine, including the rare but advanced new MQA format at the very highest of bit rates. It includes an impressive (And workable) 256GB of on-board storage, but also plenty of space to expand upon that with two Micro-USB slots. And continuing with the theme of full support, it also allows for use of both a 4.4mm and 3.5mm audio jack.
Tech Spec site Notebookcheck goes into greater detail about how this device looks to deliver the next level of quality sound.
“It has a dual DAC stereo architecture with two independent AK4497EQ mono DACs working in tandem to deliver what Sony calls “absolutely pristine analog audio translation,”” says Notebookcheck. “It connects to your computer over USB-C and will deliver up to 10 hours of audio playback on the go.”
The official product page offers some additional detail on what the speaker brings to the table. Premium features include a “vinyl processor” that restores some warmth and acoustic goodness to reproduced music, which will help music that runs through the device feel more authentic and closer to a live performance.
Despite the numerous positive remarks from buyers everywhere, a reviewer on Head-Fi has stated that the device is pretty large for a portable speaker, and a tad awkward to use on the go.
But considering taking the DMP-Z1 out on the streets is the equivalent of carrying a bundle of $8,000 cash on your person, we can’t see most money-conscious people taking it out on the town all too often. If that padlocked safe in your basement has good acoustic sound design, however, the DMP-Z1 will not let you down.
Featured Image Via the DMP-Z1 Official Product Page.