Audio News for October 14, 2014

Sony Hi-Res Headphones & DAC/Amp – Sony has expanded their series of hi-res headphones, some using new cables develped with Kimber Kable for hi-res listening, plus a new portable headphone DAC/amp. The $699 MDRZ7s are now available, also the $699 XBA-Z5 in-ear headphones, plus the $999 PHA-3 DAC/headphone amp. The DAC decodes almost any PCM file up to 384K or DSD audio files up to 5.6Mhz. It has technology to upscale lower-res compressed-music files, a rechargeable battery providing five hours of playback when connected via USB or 28 hours when connected to a source with the 1/8-inch analog stereo input. Using an ESS Technology ES9018 D/A converter, it connects to smartphones, portable audio players, computers and other analog devices. The in-ear headphones have lightweight magnesium housings and adjustable ear-hanger design with shape-memory resin for a secure and comfortable fit. The MDR-1 ADAC hi-res headphones ($399) have an integrated DAC/amp that decodes PCM files up to 192K/24bit and DSD files, without needing an external decoder. They come with various cables to make direct digital connections to sources such as select smartphones, select portable audio players and computers, for the best hi-res experience.

Sharp Names UHD Video Comptetition Winners – The winning short film in the 2014 Art of Amazing UHD at Sharp Electronics and Red Digital Cinema was the short The Lion, about Japan’s only traditional dancers of Japanese-American descent. The filmmaker/director received a grand prize of a Sharp 70-inch UHD LED TV, a 6K sCalet-X Red Dragon Lightweight Collection, and a trip for two of the 2015 CES to see a screening of the winning film. The film was chosen by a panel of expert judges and the prize awarded at the Mill Valley Film Festival on Oct. 9. Two other films received awards: Marty Knapp – Portrait of a Photographer was declared a Fan Favorite and JamQwest was a Festival Audience Favorite. There were also a dozen other finalists.

Arcam Introduces New SACD/CD Player, Stereo Amp & Preamp, and Integrated Amp – At the Rocky Mountain Audio fest, British manufacturer Arcam unveiled its CDS27 streaming CD/SACD player, with 192/24 DACs, Ethernet port, Wi-Fi and UPnP for network streaming. The A49 integrated amp and P49 basic amp use the company’s class G amp technology, which gives up to 50 watts per channel in full Class A and switches to Class AB at higher output levels. Both are 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms. The P49 can be configured for stereo, bridged mode, or dual-mono mode, and the preamp features a MM phono input and headphone output.

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