Sony todayannounced the expansion of its Signature Series premium audio products,introduced a new line of in-ear stage monitor headphones, and showed thesuccessor to the highly acclaimed MDR-Z7 over-the-ear headband headset at theRocky Mountain International Audio Fest (RMAF). These products are made usingthe finest materials and harness decades of audio expertise to proudly showcaseSony's relentless pursuit of sound excellence.
The SignatureSeries advances sound to an entirely new realm of audio engagement — taking theexperience from simply listening to feeling. Committed to audio innovation,Sony has created a range of products in the Signature Series that surpasseseverything that came before it. Pursuing sound reproduction to ultimateperfection means being able to distinguish every nuance in the music with liveatmosphere — even the natural decay of fading notes to silence. This new linein the Signature Series enables an astonishingly faithful sound reproductionthat is definitively clear and expressive, where even the subtleties anddelicate nuances of micro-sounds and bigger scales at higher dynamics areeffectively reproduced.
Delivering animmersive music experience, the IER-Z1R headphones feature an HD hybrid driversystem consisting of three newly developed Sony-designed drivers. The driverunit's sound, quality and consistency of sound character are critical to theheadphone's performance. For the IER-Z1R, Sony-designed drivers ensure apreservation of consistency in sound signature, from driver design stage to thefinished product.
The 5mm dynamicdriver is constructed with a newly developed aluminum-coated liquid crystalpolymer (LCP) diaphragm and external magnetic circuit, allowing it to reproducethe ideal frequency response of up to 100 kHz. The 12mm dynamic driver'sdiaphragm features a magnesium alloy dome, which is lightweight yet highlyrigid. In addition, the diaphragm of the balanced armature unit is made frommagnesium alloy. Working together with a newly developed, silver-coated coppervoice coil and gold-plated terminals, they increase the driving force of the balancedarmature unit to reproduce sound without losing the tiniest of micro signals.
The IER-Z1Rboasts perfectly controlled acoustics, achieved by the refined-phase structure,and features a magnesium alloy inner housing that delivers a natural sound withprecise sense of image projection never experienced before. All three drivers –the 5mm dynamic driver, 12mm dynamic driver and balanced armature driver unit –are built into the inner housing, which works as an optimal sound path. Advancedsound space control technology was applied to finely control air flow at therear of the drivers.
High Grade Parts
Sony's dedicatedaudio-grade film capacitor for crossover network circuits, found in theIER-Z1R, delivers a refined sound with low distortion. The film capacitor wasdeveloped after numerous listening tests. In addition, a Sony-developeddedicated audio-grade solder minimizes loss in the signal path and ensurespurity of contact.
High-sound-qualitybalanced connection is achieved with the supplied 5 pole, 4.4mm balancedstandard cable or the use of optional cables. Silver-coated oxygen-free copper(OCP) is used in the supplied cables. Sony has evolved the plating structure ofthe plug and mmcx terminal to a gold plating with an undercoat instead of thecommonly used magnetic material, such as nickel, which disrupts signal flow. Anoptional cable engineered with KIMBER KABLE is available for another way toenjoy high-resolution sound.
Using anaccumulated ear shape database collected throughout decades of research, Sonydesigned the IER-Z1R for comfortable yet stable wear with an optimized housingshape, 13 variations of ear buds (six variations of triple comfort ear buds andseven variations of hybrid ear buds) and pre-formed ear hangers. This exquisitepair of headphones also boasts a zirconium alloy outer housing for increasedhardness, corrosion resistance and durability. The face plate of the IER-Z1Rfeatures an elegant "Perlage" pattern, distinguishing the headphonesat a glance. The IER-Z1R is meticulously handcrafted using only the finesttop-grade materials by skillful artisans in Japan, allowing audiophiles tofully immerse themselves in their favorite songs as the artists and soundengineers intended for them to be heard.
The IER-M9 AndIER-M7 In-Ear Stage Monitors
These in-earstage headphones provide the best tonal balance for monitoring a musician'splay on stage with absolute sound isolation and a stable fit to keep theheadphones secure during a performance. The headphones are developed to provideaccurate sound that enables professional musicians and audiophiles to monitorevery emotion and musical nuance, in addition to tone color and rhythm.
Newly developedby Sony, the multi BA system enables musicians to feel not only the rhythm andpitch, but also the detailed nuances of their live performance. With Sony'sunique driver design, these headphones have the ability to reproduce tone thatis true to the original sound, allowing musicians to monitor the sound balanceof their own performance on stage. The IER-M9's Penta BA driver system (5 BA /5 way) includes a super tweeter while the IER-M7 has a quad-BA driver system (4BA / 4 way). Since the sound quality and consistency between BA units isimportant to harmonize tonal balance, Sony developed each driver unit in-housebased on years of expertise.
Other key IER-M9and IER-M7 features include:
Magnesium alloyinner housing: a magnesium alloy inner housing holds the BA units firmly inplace and eliminates unnecessary vibration for low distortion and resonance
Housingintegrated sound path: IER-M9 and IER-M7 has an outer housing molded soundpath; the sound path realizes ideal frequency response with its short and widesound path that suppress peaky acoustic resonance
High GradeParts: the IER-M9 and IER-M7 use Sony's dedicated audio grade film capacitorsfor crossover network circuits to deliver a refined sound with low distortion
Sound isolationand stability: the outer housing shape is designed for isolating noise andproviding a stable fit; for optimal sound isolation, the housing has a firmlyclosed noise-blocking structure that shuts out external sounds from theeardrum; thirteen variations of ear buds and pre-formed ear hangers hold theheadphones firmly
IER-M9's newlydeveloped super tweeter: the newly-developed super tweeter in the IER-M9features a magnesium alloy diaphragm for rigidity and high internal loss, goldplated terminals and silver-coated copper voice coil to raise the driving forceof the super tweeter
High-qualitysupplied cable: the supplied cable features silk braid as an insulator anddamper against vibration and touch noise; silver-coated OFC conductor helps toreproduce detailed sound without loss; a 4.4mm silver-coated OFC balancedstandard cable is also included
The MDR-Z7M2Premium Headphones
Evolving the"Sony Sound," the MDR-Z7M2s inherit some Signature Series MDR-Z1Rtechnology such as the Fibonacci-patterned grill and a Φ4.4mm balancedconnection cable in the box. In yet another testament to Sony's commitment toaudio excellence, the MDR-Z7M2 features a wide frequency response, dynamicrange and a linear plane wave, offering listeners realistic reproduction of"air" around musical instruments and voices, which provides athree-dimensional and spatial sound experience as if listeners are standing ina live music space. The MDR-Z7M2 headphones provide refined music reproductionfor listeners using a 70mm HD driver and aluminum-coated LCP diaphragm.
Expert SoundsFor The Sophisticated Ear
The MDR-Z7M2features newly developed driver units adapted from the MDR-Z1R Signature SeriesHeadphones, including improved LCP diaphragms for natural sound with lowcoloration at mid-high range. The dome of the diaphragm has been upsized andits profile optimized, which enables clear sound at mid-low range, andbrilliant sound at mid-high range. The driver unit contains a largermagnet—double the volume compared to MDR-Z7—resulting in stronger driving powerand sharpened music clarity. The introduction of a Fibonacci-patterned grillmade of stiff resin achieves both thinness and strength while minimizing sounddamping from the grill, resulting in smooth sound reproduction across allfrequencies.
In addition,Beat Response Control, a special acoustic port on the housing, controls airflowbehind the driver and optimizes diaphragm movement when reproducing lowfrequencies. At the same time, it improves the transient characteristics inbass sounds and delivers the rhythm in music accurately.
Other featuresin the MDR-Z7M2 include the use of non-lead solder and corson alloy contacts inthe jack. Sony developed dedicated, audio-grade solder to minimize loss in thesignal path and ensure purity of contact. Corson alloy, a type of copper alloy,is an ideal material for electric contacts of jacks due to its low resistancevalue and high durability.