On Sony’s flagship Signature series DMP-Z1 Hi-Res Audio Digital Music Player ($8,199.99), as much care has been taken to make the device look the part of a luxury audio component as was expended on its performance characteristics.
At the recent CanJam NYC show, it was on demo, 24K-gold-plated volume knob and all, for show-goers to ogle and sample through a variety of Sony headphone choices also at the exhibit.
The rotary volume control, while gold, isn’t just glitter, though. It is built with a number of innovations that Sony says contribute to keeping distortion at a minimum.
The player boasts a high-quality headphone amplifier, dual digital-to-analog converters (DACs), and a built-in battery that will pump for 10 hours without needing a charge and that supplies noiseless power. The Z1 is further outfitted with 0.17-inch balanced and standard 0.14-inch headphone outputs, and offers DSD native playback up to 11.2 MHz and PCM playback up to 384kHz/32-bit.
The DMP-Z1 chassis is hefty – of vibration-isolating aluminum. There are 256GB of internal storage and two micro SD slots. It comes with a USB Type-C cable, and an AC adapter and power cord as an alternative to battery use – all of which fits with the player in a carrying case with plenty of internal padding.