Marc Rushton's avatar

by Marc Rushton

3rd September, 2018


In a coup for Hi-Fi and Head-Fi specialists Addicted to Audio, Sony's recently announced ultra high-end portable audio products will be available via its network which will see its fifth Australian store open this week.

Equally impressive, is that Addicted to Audio will offer the range at better than global parity pricing which is a win for Australian consumers.

Announced at IFA in Berlin last week, Sony's DMP-Z1 is a transportable Digital Audio Player that combines high-fidelity sound quality with a luxurious design and rich functionality.

IFA Berlin 2018, Sony DMP-Z1 Digital Audio Player and IER-Z1R Headphones

The manufacturer's suggested retail pricing is reported as €8500 or £8000, which direct conversion via equates to well over AUD $13,500. In Australia, Addicted to Audio will sell the DMP-Z1 for $9,999.95.

It's still a lot of money, there's no denying that. But what you get is Sony's expertise from its designers and engineers that is the legacy of Sony, and builds upon all the Japanese company has learned since the original release of the Walkman way back in 1979.

The refinement of the Z1 is extensive, from its choice of materials to the elimination of mechanical vibration and electronic isolation, through to its twin AKM AK4497EQ DAC chips, which sees support for PCM 32 bit/384 kHz and DSD 11.2 MHz file formats.

Sony DMP-Z1R Digital Audio Player Close up

According to StereoNET UK Editor, Jay Garrett who enjoyed hands-on time with the Z1 at IFA:

You know that you're into audio puritan realms when the player packs not one, but two digital-to-analogue converters (DAC) and analogue amplifiers.

The two independent AK4497EQ mono DACs produce an exceptionally low noise floor as well as native support for ultra-high-resolution audio

formats. Together, with the TPA6120A2 amplifier chips, the sound at the show through the display unit was incredible.

Power comes by way of five battery cells. The five cells drive both the digital and analogue amplification circuits independently for what Sony says is enhanced dynamics and reduced internal electromagnetic interference.

Sony DMP-Z1 Digital Audio Player Volume Knob

According to Sony's engineers:

By isolating the power delivery from conventional AC power supplies, you enjoy both a more open treble response and tighter bass delivery without the harshness transmitted through AC line noise.

Battery life is said to be good for around 9 hours of hi-res playback depending on the file format and other user-selectable options. It features 256Gb of internal storage which can be bolstered by a pair of microSD cards.

Sony IER-Z1R In-Ear Signature Series Earphones

Also unveiled at IFA were Sony's new IER-Z1R Signature Series Earphones which if we run the MSRP of USD $2,299.99 through's conversion once again sees a local price punching above AUD $3,710. Addicted to Audio will sell them for AUD $2,499.95. Another win for Aussies.

Featuring an HD hybrid driver system which consists of a 5mm dynamic driver, 12mm Magnesium alloy diaphragm dynamic driver and Magnesium alloy diaphragm Balanced Armature (BA) driver, they're designed using only the finest materials including a newly developed aluminium coated LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer) diaphragm and external magnetic circuit.

The diaphragm of the balanced armature unit for reproducing high range sound is made from magnesium alloy. According to Sony, working together with the silver coated copper voice coil and gold-plated terminals, the balanced armature unit "can faithfully reproduce sound including the smallest low-level signals."

Sony says the result is the ability to reproduce a frequency response of up to 100 kHz.

Sony Signature Series Components 2018

From IFA, Garrett continued:

The set that we were given to hear was supplied with Kimber Kable and the entire system, along with the DMP-Z1 DAP, sounded impressive even in IFA's less than perfect surroundings.

Available to order now from Addicted to Audio and Sony Stores, the new flagship offerings in Portable Audio and Head-Fi are a testament to Sony's dedication and decades-long commitment to high-end. We can't help but feel Sony is clawing back the reputation it once had for high quality, high-performance consumer electronics, one category at a time.

For more information visit Sony | Addicted to Audio.

Further reading: Portable Audio & Headphones Discussion


Marc Rushton's avatar

Written by:

Marc Rushton

StereoNET's Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.

Get the latest.

Sign up to discover the best news and review from StereoNET in our FREE Newsletter.

Posted in: Headphones
Tags: sony  addicted to audio