Sony Demos Newest High-Res Audio OfferingsApril 24, 2014 By Hannah Abrams
Sony hosted a High-Resolution Audio event at its San Diego offices on April 17 to demo its new A/V receivers and speakers, and to communicate Sony's belief that high-resolution audio is a game-changer for the music industry.
"MP3 has been significantly degrading the quality of music," said Jeff Hiatt, director of home audio at Sony Electronics.
He then explained that 90 percent of consumers cited sound quality as the most important feature when it comes to audio expectations. Furthermore, Hiatt cited that 60 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for better sound.
However, those products designed for high-resolution audio need the content to be successful. Thus, Jim Belcher, vice president of Universal Music Group, presented his viewpoint on the state of the music industry.
"For many people, the music industry is a monolithic black box," said Belcher.
He explained that there is currently a great interest in high-resolution audio downloads.
"We think the growth in the future will be in the digital realm," Belcher stated.
Hiatt then revealed that music artists see this as a "game-changer" in the industry, including Herbie Hancock and Neil Young.
Aaron Levine, product marketing manager for home theater components of Sony Electronics, then detailed Sony's new home audio products.
"Our goal with this lineup was, how do we make it easy?" Levine said.
Levine introduced two A/V receivers, the STR-DN1050 and STR-DN850. Both feature built-in Wi-Fi, AirPlay and Bluetooth with NFC. The STR-DN1050 supports Direct Stream Digital.
In terms of connectivity, the DN1050 has six HD inputs, three HDMI outputs and a USB input.
The STR-DN1050 delivers 165 watts per channel while the DN850 delivers 150 watts.
Levine also introduced the STR-DH750 and STR-DH550 receivers. The STR-DH750 delivers 145 watts per channel and features 4 HDMI inputs with Bluetooth connectivity. Both receivers are compatible with the new Sony SongPal app.
The STR-DN1050, STR-DN850, STR-DH750 and STR-DH550 will be available in May for $599, $499, $349, and $279.
Sony also introduced the Hi-Res Audio-compatible CS Series speaker: The SS-CS3 and the SS-CS5. The speaker series features a Wide Dispersion Super Tweeter and foamed mica-reinforced woofers.
Sony will also be releasing the SS-CS8 center channel speaker and the SA-CS9 subwoofer as part of the CS Series.
The SS-CS3, SS-CS5, SS-CS8, and SA-CS9 speakers will be available in May for $239 per speaker, $219 per pair, $169 and $239.