Sony Corporation has unveiled some of its latest products at the IFA press conference held on Thursday, August 31. The company will be further showcasing the products at the main consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany, which is scheduled to begin from Friday, September 1.
At the Sony press conference, Shigeru Kumekawa, President of Sony Europe introduced the company's newest audio products. "By continuing to deliver revolutionary products that resonate at a deep emotional level, Sony stands at the "last one inch" between our customers and the experiences they seek. We are achieving steady profit growth in our electronics business here in Europe by focusing on the high value-added market, and are well positioned for the remainder of 2017 and beyond," Kumekawa said.
Hideyuki Furumi, EVP, Global Sales & Marketing, Sony Mobile Communications Inc. then took the stage to introduce the latest products from the Xperia X smartphone series.
However, in this article, we will be discussing the audio products and well as some of the accessories, TVs, and others.
Sony unveiled its latest Hi-Res wireless stereo headphone models, succeeding the MDR-1000X, which was announced to great acclaim at IFA 2016. Three new types of headphone models have been launched: the headband style WH-1000XM2, the behind-the-neck style WI-1000X, and the truly wireless WF-1000X.
Each of these three 1000X series models features industry-leading noise-cancellation levels for Bluetooth headphones. They also come equipped with the world's first "Adaptive Sound Control", which recognize the user's actions and automatically switch the noise cancellation feature on or off, in accordance with the usage situation.
Sony's also unveiled its new h.ear headphones, the h.ear on 2 Mini Wireless (WH-H800), h.ear on 2 Wireless NC (WH-H900N), and h.ear on 2 Wireless (WI-H700) which further comes in an array of colors to match every lifestyle and fashion choice. The five new shades are named: Horizon Green, Twilight Red, Grayish Black, Pale Gold and Moonlit Blue.The colors also match Sony's latest Xperia and Walkman products, allowing for any number of eye-catching color combinations.
"h.ear is engineered for maximum comfort while remaining stylish, these wireless BLUETOOTH® headphones have a high sound quality, for perfect listening while making you the envy of your friends and fellow commuters," said the company.
High-quality wireless sound with LDAC or DSEE HX and Hi-Res Audio capability with cable, the h.ear wireless headphones are small and light but definitely mighty. The company claims that these headphones do not compromise on battery life as users can keep these on for up to 24 hours without needing to charge them again. They will basically long power backup from plugging in for just 10 minutes with Quick Charging.
WH-H900N will be available from September 2017 priced at approximately £250/€300 (approximately Rs. 22,761). WH-H800 will be available from September 2017 priced at approximately £200/€250 (approximately Rs. 18,968). WI-H700 will be available from September 2017 priced at approximately £150/€190 (approximately Rs. 14,415).
Talking about the speakers Sony has also announced its first wireless speaker LF-S50G with the Google Assistant built-in. The company said that the speaker is set to make its way to markets in the United States, UK, Germany, France, and elsewhere, enabling users to enjoy high fidelity music and 360-degree sound from any corner of their room.
One of the key features of this speaker is that it comes with "Gesture Control" that allows users to adjust the volume or skip to the next track without directly touching the speaker, and simply by waving hand nearby.
With JIS-compliant IPX310 splash-proof capabilities make the speaker suitable for use even in the kitchen, "the LF-S50G reflects Sony's commitment to audio quality and ease of use." The speaker comes with support for both Bluetooth and NFC as well as support for both Android and iOS operating systems.
Additionally, with a 360-degree vertical two-way facing speaker system, the S50G incorporates the following parts: a full range speaker to clearly reproduce vocal and treble notes, a dedicated subwoofer to reproduce bass sounds, the damped bass reflex duct for neutral bass coming from a small form, and the omnidirectional two stage diffuser to spread the sound in all directions.
LF-S50G will be available in the UK from November 2017 at a price of approximately £200. Pricing will vary by retailer.
Sony is bringing two new speakers GTK-XB60 and GTK-XB90 to the EXTRA BASS range as well. "EXTRA BASS range is better than ever with hardware improvements to reproduce powerful sound with high sound pressure.
With a long battery life, three different power supply modes to make the party last longer and the option to hook up even more devices wirelessly, these speakers are something you can shout about," the company stated.
GTK-XB60 will be available from September 2017 in black, blue and red and will be priced at approximately £300/€369 (approximately Rs. 27,997). GTK-XB90 will be available from September 2017 in black and will be priced at approximately £420/€499 (approximately Rs. 37,860). Pricing will vary by retailer again.
Sony seems to be going strong in the audio department. Well, apart from headphones and speakers the company has also announced a High-Power Audio System MHC-V90DW. The new system is massive, in terms of size, quality, features, lighting, and sound. The system has its own Japanese name "MUTEKI" meaning ‘soul shaking sound' and ‘massive design'.
The V90DW features a Spread Sound Generator (an open back-type cabinet), which supports the spread and distance of music. To increase the range and spread of sound, the front facing mid-range Angled Speakers and tweeters are angled outward at 20 degrees, and each speaker encompasses a horn style to maximize the reproduction of sound across the room or venue.
Standing at an impressive 170cm tall, the V90DW supports music services including Chromecast which is built-in and Spotify. The touch panel user interface is backlit while the system comes with speaker lights and multi color space-illuminating lighting which syncs to the beat of the music.
It has built-in casters and a handle to easily transport and position.
MHC-V90DW will be available from September 2017 and is priced at approximately £1,200/€1,499 (roughly Rs. 1,13,733). Pricing is set to change as per the retailer.
Sony is still keeping the iconic Walkman alive and has launched NW-ZX300, the company's newest addition to the ZX Walkman series. The ZX300 promises a premium quality and audio experience in an immaculately designed music player with balanced output.
The ZX300 offers High-Resolution Audio with S-Master HX digital amplifier, newly soldered with high-quality sound lead-free solder balls. Thanks to the capability of both 11.2MHz DSD native playback and 384kHz/32bit PCM playback, users can truly enjoy their music as the artist intended.
For the premium listening experience, the ZX300 incorporates an aluminium chassis for less resistance value. The FTCAP (Conductive Polymer Aluminium Solid Capacitors) and the new film capacitor are also incorporated for more transparent vocals and solid bass notes.
With this Walkman, OFC cables have been used for wiring the internal amplifier to the headphone jack which results in powerful sound quality by low resistance value and signal transmission without loss. For powerful bass and less noise, the double layer capacitor is the main battery power source in this Walkman. Two crystal oscillators are also utilised to deliver you high-quality audio with improved SN ratio and a large volume of music data.
The high-quality audio resistor has been used as the LC filter for the headphone output to reduce magnetic distortion which results in expansive, high transparent sound quality.
The Walkman comes with a USB-DAC function which allows users to stream sound directly from their existing devices for a better sound experience. The ZX300 also supports MQA files as well.
With a music dedicated touchscreen interface, incorporates a staggering 30 hours of battery life and 64GB memory built in, plus support for external memory. The device supports Bluetooth and NFC. The ZX300 is also compatible with Qualcomm aptX HD audio.
NW-ZX300 will be available in stores across Europe on October 2017 and is priced at approximately £600 / €879 (roughly Rs. 66,692).
In-car Audio System
Sony is also extending its series of in car audio systems. Dubbed as XAV-AX200 and XAV-AX200 the system comes in two options. One is the AV Receiver with smart features and another the DAB version.
In any case, "XAV-AX200 will feature all the integral tools for entertaining car journeys whether users prefer videos or audio, there are plenty of options to choose from," the company said. It boasts a clear and responsive 6.4-inch touch screen and ergonomically designed rotary volume for easy operation.
Users can enjoy the unique sound technologies on offer with EXTRA BASS and Dynamic Stage Organizer (DSO) which features clear and punchy bass while improving the stereo positioning so music sounds like it's coming from the dashboard.
The audio system comes with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, camera input support for up to three externally connected cameras and the company has added a DVD player this time. Further, the device has Bluetooth, SiriusXM Radio, and it supports FLAC audio format files.
The XAV-AX200 will be available across Europe from September 2017. Pricing is yet to be revealed. However, DAB version of XAV-AX200 will available from March and will be capable of providing a seamless, fully integrated digital radio experience.
Sony also announced the launch of its new 77-inch 4K OLED BRAVIA A1 series in Europe. The TV comes equipped with Sony's unique 4K HDR processor X1TMExtreme as well as Acoustic SurfaceTM technology that vibrates the display and enables sound to be output directly from the TV screen.
The TVs support HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision (to be added via firmware update by the end of the year) for viewing the growing library of HDR content.
With over 8 million self-illuminating pixels, the BRAVIA OLED A1 4K HDR TV series delivers a significantly enriched visual experience with unprecedented black levels, rich and lifelike color, dynamic contrast, blur-less image and a wide viewing angle.
The BRAVIA OLED A1 4K HDR TVs are powered by Android TV which brings movies, TV shows and thousands of apps into the home, making it easy to watch the broadcast and cable TV, download entertainment, and use as a gaming device.
The 77-inch BRAVIA OLED A1 4K HDR TV will be priced at approximately £19,999/€24,499 (Irish price) and available from late September 2017.
In other news, customers who purchase the new 77-inch BRAVIA OLED A1 TV or any other BRAVIA 2017 Android TV will receive a Google Play Bundle. Starting this autumn user will receive a 3-month Google Play Music access, a special booster pack from EA's Real Racing 3, and will be able to choose one 4K-UHD movie from a blockbuster selection including Spider-man: Homecoming from Google Play Movies and TV.
Sony Mobile has also developed a comprehensive digital solution, designed for modern ways of working to enable spontaneous meetings, dynamic collaborations and save valuable working time. Well, Sony's Seed Acceleration Program (SAP) Nimway has finally been launched for business in Europe.
"Nimway is a solution that solves common office problems such as guiding you to your next meeting, finding available meeting rooms, and locating your colleagues. It also provides invaluable insights to management how the office is actually being used," the company said in a media release.
As for how it works? Nimway solution uses mobile applications for Android and iPhone in combination with digital floor plans placed at strategic hotspots in the company's buildings. Nimway is based on Sony's world class indoor positioning technology powered by Bluetooth beacons and wireless occupancy sensors.
Sony will roll out the Nimway solution in European countries starting today.