The Walkman was the first introduction for many people to personal music. It was portable, and represented the first time you could inconspicuously take a stereo with you. We’ve advanced to where our phones take care of that for us, but a tool that is a Jack of All Trades is a master of none.
Sony’s DMP-Z1 Music Player wrests back the responsibility of personal audio pleasure, and could be your re-introduction to music.
The player has five battery cells that drive both digital and analog amplification. Keeping the circuits independently powered enhances the dynamics and reduces internal electromagnetic interference, creating a purer sound. The player produces a more open treble response while also tightening up the bass and effectively removes the harshness attributed to AC line noise.
The batteries aren’t the only things that are isolated. The circuit boards are also separated to help keep the sound transparent and the distortion to a minimum. An H-shaped chassis separates the analog and digital boards, cutting noise and realizing a solid ground. A milled aluminium frame structure further minimises resonance and vibration. The player also resamples PCM audio into 5.6 MHz DSD ultra-high-frequency 1-bit audio stream, and it adds in a reproduction of low-frequency tone-arm resonance for that vinyl feel.
Finally, the player is a sharp looking instrument, with polished glass for the LCD, aluminium panels, and a gold-plated volume control. You can stream music directly to the player via BlueTooth, or connect it to your audio hardware via USB.