Headphone Zone » Sony

Oct 11, 2014

Sony Introduces MDR-Z7, MDR-1ADAC and XBA-Z5 Headphones And PHA-3 Headphone Amp

Further continuing the commitment to bring premium High-resolution audio to consumers everywhere, Sony today introduced an expanded range of portable audio options to enjoy Hi-Res sound on-the-go. This includes three new headphones –the MDR-Z7 headband type Hi-Res Headphones, MDR-1ADAC Hi-Res Headphones with Integrated DAC/Amplifier, and XBA-Z5 Hi-Res In-Ear Headphones–as well as the PHA-3 Portable Headphone DAC/ Amplifier, and several headphone cables including models engineered with Kimber Kable.

Sony has made it possible to enjoy music at a higher sound quality by applying unique audio technologies that brings listeners closer to the spirit and intent of the artist’s original performance. These new headphone models and cables further the desire to equip consumers with the best portable products possible to enjoy a fully immersive, hi-res audio experience.

Sony MDR-Z7

Sony MDR-Z7

“By continuing to expand our Hi-Res audio line, we continue to push the envelope and offer the best Hi-Res products for our customers to elevate the listening experience beyond their normal expectations,” said Takumi Sasaki, director of Sound. “Our new Hi-Res headphones and PHA-3 Portable Headphone Amplifier are great examples – as are the new line of Headphone cables, some of which were created in close collaboration with Kimber Kable to achieve the best playback suitable for Hi-Res audio.”

MDR-Z7

The MDR-Z7 headphones meld ultra-responsive audio performance, a solid, thoughtfully designed aluminum structure and lush, ergonomic, enfolding comfort for an unparalleled listening experience. The relatively large 70 mm HD drivers deliver a sound wave similar to that of a loudspeaker, ultimately distributing a highly natural sound from super-low bass response to ultra-sonic frequencies, and providing the listener with an immense feeling of space to ‘feel the air’ as if they were listening to music in a live venue. Lightweight and responsive Aluminum-coated Liquid Crystal Polymer diaphragms also provide uniform sound production across all frequencies without coloration.

Additionally, the Z7 features a 4-wire structure that uses separated ground cables to minimize crosstalk between left/right channels and supports balanced audio connectors while silver-coated OFC cable strands reduce signal transmission loss. The MDR-Z7 also includes a balanced output cable (2m) for improved signal separation with the option of plugging into a compatible, audio amplifier, such as the new Sony PHA-3.

Made in Japan, the MDR-Z7 exudes quality and precision workmanship. The pressure-relieving, ergonomic urethane ear pads were designed using the latest 3D sewing in order to keep the square shape of the internal cushion from crushing or hardening. There’s also an Inward Axis structure that utilizes a slanted swivel axis design to bring the pads closer to your ears, for improved stability, better bass response and long-term comfort.

MDR-Z7 Specs

TypeClosed Dynamic
Driver Unitφ70 mm, Dome type (CCAW Voice coil)
Sensitivity102 dB/mW
Frequency Response4 Hz ~ 100,000 Hz
Impedance70 Ω (at 1 kHz)
Power Handling Capacity2,000 mW
PlugGold-plated stereo miniplug (headphone cable), Gold-plated miniplug x2(balanced-connection headphone cable)
Mass (exclude cable)Approximately 335 g
Supplied AccessoriesHeadphone cable(3m), balanced-connection headphone cable(2m), Gold-plated plug adaptor

MDR-1ADAC with Integrated DAC/Amplifier

The newly created MDR-1ADAC headphones enable listeners to experience the best from multiple digital audio devices. The 1 ADAC can also play both PCM (at up to 192 kHz /24-bit) and DSD (at up to 5.6 MHz) music files directly, without the need of an external decoder. Additionally, its built-in S-Master HX digital amplifier reduces noise and distortion across all frequencies, and reproduces each track in outstanding detail. The MDR-1ADAC headphones support PCM 192 kHz/24 bit, and DSD 2.8MHz/5.6MHz – New 40mm aluminum coated liquid Crystal Polymer HD drivers also deliver frequency response up to 100kHz. *1

The new MDR-1ADAC headphones also come with multiple-inputs and the cables that are necessary to connect to a smartphone, portable audio player or PC. In order to accelerate the Hi-Res experience, Sony has created several different cables for direct connection – including the specially developed thin and flexible USB connecting cable, the Digital connecting cables specifically for Walkman and Xperia devices, an exclusive iOS Lightning connector cable as well as a conventional audio connecting cable. Plus its built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 7.5 hours of continuous playback. When the battery runs low, you can continue to enjoy your music in a conventional manner.

*1: when in analogue input.

MDR-1ADAC Specs

TypeClosed Dynamic
Driver Unitφ40 mm、Dome type
Sensitivity102 dB/mW
Frequency Response4 Hz ~ 40,000 Hz (Digital input)

4 Hz ~ 100,000 Hz (Analog input)

Impedance24 Ω(at 1 kHz)
Power Handling Capacity1,500 mW
Battery LifeApproximately 7.5 hours
Charging TimeApproximately 4 hours
PlugGold-plated stereo miniplug (headphone cable)
Mass (exclude cable)Approximately 300 g
Supplied AccessoriesDigital cable for Xperia (1.2m)

Digital cable for Walkman (1.2m)

Lightning connector cable (1.2 m)

Micro USB cable(1.5m)

Headphone cable(1.2m)

Carrying Pouch

XBA-Z5

Similarly to the MDR-Z7 headband type headphones, the new XBA-Z5 in-ear headphones are also Balanced Audio Capable and take full advantage of dedicated left and right channel connectivity for improved separation loss and a stellar listening experience.

Its compact in ear design consistently delivers Hi-Res audio reproduction via its newly developed, Linear Drive Balanced Armature technology which utilizes a more symmetrical design for enhanced waveform reproduction.

The XBA-Z5 incorporates 16mm dynamic driver units with Aluminum-Coated LCP diaphragms also enable more lifelike sound, with rich, deep bass response and its ultra-compact, lightweight magnesium housing, has the necessary rigidity and preventing vibration for listening to music anywhere on-the-go.

These headphone cables, engineered in partnership with Kimber Kable namely for use with the MDR-Z7 ultimate Hi-Res headphone include: the MUC-B12SM1 High-Performance Portable Audio Headphone Cable (1.2m with 1/8” stereo connectivity), the MUC-B20BL1 High-Performance Balanced Audio Headphone Cable (2.0m with balanced stereo L/R connectivity), and the MUC-B30UM1 High-Performance Connecting Cable (3.0m with 1/3” stereo connectivity).

The Z5’s easily adjustable ear-hanger design with Shape-memory resin also enables secure and comfortable fit, while significantly lowering sound leakage. Plus it includes 2 pairs of detachable cables for both balanced and unbalanced connections, making it ideal for use with the Sony PHA-3 Portable Headphone Amplifier.

 XBA-Z5 Specs 

TypeClosed, Hybrid
Driver UnitHybrid 3way(16mm dynamic + 2 x Balanced Armature)
Sensitivity107 dB/mW
Frequency Response3 Hz ~ 40,000 Hz
Impedance32 Ω (at 1 kHz)
Power Handling Capacity100 mW
PlugGold-plated stereo miniplug (headphone cable), Gold-plated miniplug x2(balanced-connection headphone cable)
Mass (exclude cable)Approximately 11 g
Supplied AccessoriesHeadphone cable(1.2m), balance connection headphone cable(2m), Carrying Case, Foamed Silicone Earbuds (S / M / L each 2), Hybrid Silicone Rubber Earbuds (SS/S/M/L each 2), Clip, Cable Adjuster

PHA-3 Portable Headphone DAC/Amplifier

Sony’s new PHA-3 portable DAC/Headphone amplifier lets consumers enjoy their favorite Hi-Res digital music in a whole new way. It utilizes balanced audio outputs with dedicated left and right channels to deliver an optimized listening experience. Plus using ESS Technology, Inc. ES9018 D/A converter the PHA-3 offers outstanding audio performance of dynamic range.

Whether at home or on-the-go, the PHA-3 can decode virtually any PCM (up to 384 kHz/32bit) or DSD (up to 5.6MHz) audio source, for maximum flexibility. You can also use Sony’s exclusive DSEE HX technology to up-scale low resolution audio sources (MP3, AAC, ATRAC, and WMA) to achieve higher music quality.

Flexible connectivity maximizes the personal audio experience no matter the input source – smartphone, portable audio player, PC or other analog devices. The PHA-3 uses durable materials: compact aluminum to enclose the delicate circuitry from internal or external interference, front bumpers which protect the volume knob & headphone connectors from external impact, and recessed control switches which help to reduce the chance of accidental access during playback. The internal rechargeable battery provides approximately 5 hours of balanced audio playback when connected via USB, or up to 28 hours of playback when connected using the analog, 1/8” stereo input.

PHA-3 Specs

Frequency Range10 Hz – 100 kHz (AUDIO IN input)
Distortion0.01 % or less (1 kHz)
Supported Impedance8 Ω – 600 Ω
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 Jack3-pole mini jack (headphones) BALANCED-L

3-pole mini jack (headphones) BALANCED- R

Stereo mini jack (headphones) NORMAL

Stereo mini jack (Switching the input and output of the AUDIO IN/LINE OUT jack by the OUTPUT switch)

Input jack/portComputer/WALKMAN/Xperia connecting port

iPhone/iPad/iPod connecting port

Optical input connecting port (OPT IN port)

Stereo mini jack (Switching the input and output of the AUDIO IN/LINE OUT jack by the OUTPUT switch)

Battery LifeApproximately 28 hours (Analog in)

Approximately 5 hours (Digital in)

Charging TimeApproximately 6 hours (When using AC-UD20)

Approximately 15 hours (When using PC)

Power SourceDC 5 V: when using the AC adaptor

DC 3.7V: When using Li-ion Battery without AC Adaptor

DimensionsApprox. 80 x 29 x 140.5 mm
MassApprox. 300 g
Supported Sampling Frequencies/BitPCM - 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 AccessoriesDigital cable for WALKMAN

Digital cable for Xperia

Micro-USB cable

Audio cable (stereo mini)

4 Silicone belts

Sheet

Headphone Cables including Kimber Kable Collaboration Models

As the performance of Sony headphones have improved over recent years, the demand for headphone cables that deliver high-fidelity headphone audio reproduction has also increased – urging Sony to provide more advanced and diversified cables for customers.

Sony is introducing a series of unique headphone MUC-B cables in pursuit of further high-quality sound playback suitable for High-Resolution music. These headphone cables, engineered in partnership with Kimber Kable namely for use with the MDR-Z7 ultimate Hi-Res headphone include: the MUC-B12SM1 High-Performance Portable Audio Headphone Cable (1.2m with 1/8” stereo connectivity), the MUC-B20BL1 High-Performance Balanced Audio Headphone Cable (2.0m with balanced stereo L/R connectivity), and the MUC-B30UM1 High-Performance Connecting Cable (3.0m with 1/3” stereo connectivity). Each of these cables was engineered in collaboration with Kimber Kable to deliver one-of-a-kind cables that ensure an outstanding Hi-Res experience.

Ray Kimber, inventor, engineer and entrepreneur of Kimber Kable, expressed his sentiment around the collaboration by stating, “Sony is known for their excellent headphone and speaker quality and, since 1979, Kimber Kable has been known for creating high performance cables. Working in tandem with Sony, we’re now able to create the best sound experience possible through the use of the highest quality materials possible – it has been wonderful to watch unfold.”

The 8-wire braided headphone cable was designed in close collaboration with Kimber Kable, utilizing their braiding technology and high performance cable expertise. Braided cables naturally reject outside interference, reduce intra-conductor sonic degradation and result in lowered noise floor and optimized electrical parameters. Additionally, the cables engineered with Kimber Kable utilize a 4-core structure with separated grounds — which improve the stereo separation and balance audio fidelity. The design is a perfect balance of fidelity, flexibility and durability that has never been achieved in the industry before.

Additionally, Sony is introducing the MUC-S20BL1, MUC-S30UM1 and MUC-S12SM1 cables all use a multi-gauge conductor and twisted pair cable structure which twist hot and cold signal lines with each other, resulting in a reduced loss of signal transmission. The influence of the current noise caused by external magnetic fluxes that go through the cable is also reduced through this twisted pair structure, resulting in High-Resolution sound with a sense of presence. These Sony cables utilize a 2-layer conductor composed of silver-coated OFC (Oxygen Free Copper), resulting in smooth high note frequency reproduction that minimizes signal transmission loss & sound deterioration. The MUC-M20BL1 and MUC-M12SM1 Sony cables similarly utilize the Silver-coated OFC and Multi-gauge conductor structure – but differentiate themselves through the use of a Star Quad cable structure. By applying a twisted 4-pole structure, the magnetic flux caused by signal current is cancelled and the current noise influence from outside is reduced, resulting in a rich, stable sound that reproduces the air of the original recorded atmosphere. MUC-S cables are designed for the MDR-1A and the MUC-M cables are designed for XBA-Z5.

Pricing and Availability

MDR-Z7 Hi-Res Stereo Headphones will be available in October for a suggested retail price of $699.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

MDR-1ADAC Hi-Res Stereo Headphones will be available in December for a suggested retail price of $399.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

XBA-Z5 Hi-Res, in-ear headphones will be available in October for a suggested retail price of $699.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

PHA-3 Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier will be available in October for a suggested retail price of $999.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

MUC-B12SMI High-Performance Portable Audio headphone cable engineered with Kimber Kable will be available in November for a suggested retail price of $229.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

MUC-B20BL1 High-Performance Balanced headphone cable engineered with Kimber Kable and the MUC-B30UM1 High-Performance headphone cable engineered with Kimber Kable will be available in November for a suggested retail price of $249.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

MUC-S20BL1 connecting cable will be available for a suggested retail price of $109.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

MUC-S30UM1 connecting cable will be available for a suggested retail price of $109.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

MUC-S12SM1 connecting cable will be available a suggested retail price of $99.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

MUC-M20BL1 connecting cable will be available for a suggested retail price of $119.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

MUC-M12SM1 connecting cable will be available for a suggested retail price of $109.99 at Sony stores and other authorized dealers nationwide.

All the new cables will be available in November.

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