Apparently, the music we’re listening to isn’t high quality enough, and if you’re over the truncated fuzzy limits of MP3, Sony would like you to know it’s thinking of you, with a fix on the way.
The solution to the problem of low-end audio is one Sony is called “High Resolution Audio,” or “HRA” for short. It’s nothing new, mind you, though giving it an official term is, and anyone who has ever heard of a FLAC or “Free Lossless Audio Codec” is probably aware of the concept, as FLAC can provide more detail and sound range beyond that of MP3’s reliance on the 16-bit/44.1kHz, which is what CDs use.
With digital recording techniques, sound quality can be better, and recording can encompass more, with extra layers of instruments and more detail and information.
Unfortunately, MP3 isn’t the solution for this, as the format crunches down the audio way too much and removes this extra information. But there are multiple formats that can be employed here, including the aforementioned FLAC format, as well as WAV, ZIFF, the DSD format used with Super Audio CDs (SACD), and even one from Apple called “Apple Lossless” or ALAC for short.
Because MP3s aren’t high resolution, you may need a new media player if you plan to partake in this new audio revolution, as most smartphones and portable music players just won’t cut it, and don’t have the technology on board to make this work.
Even Sony’s current crop of phones can’t do this, which is why the company is launching a new media player in Australia called the NWZ-ZX1.
One of the men responsible for this has often been called “the man with the golden ears,” and is one of Sony’s chief sound specialists. He is Koji Nageno, and when he talks about the products he has a hand in, you can see with the smile on his face that he is immensely proud of what he’s achieved.
The technology at play here takes a small Android handset and makes a media player out of it, adding the technology needed to play back any of the lossless high resolution audio formats, as well as a bigger and better built audio jack, and some more pronounced headphone application technologies, making it possible for you to bring good headphones out when you go walking, and taking that high quality music experience where ever you go.
The player is well built, and carries Bluetooth, Near-Field Communication, WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n, and 128GB storage under a 4 inch screen, as well as the technology to play back both the high resolution formats and your other MP3s, too. Android may well be the operating system, but it looks nothing like the overlay used on Sony’s Xperia handsets, sticking pretty close to what Google envisioned Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” to look like.
So don’t think of it as an Xperia device. Rather, think of it as a Walkman, a very very high resolution Walkman that acts as a true replacement for the high quality that Mini Disc once offered, even though this Walkman (ZX1) can’t be recorded to like portable Mini Disc recorders could.
You’ll also need high definition audio tracks for playback, and this isn’t like when Mini Disc first came out. Sony isn’t selling a proprietary technology here, and since support has been extended to a variety of lossless audio formats, any place that sells the higher quality music can be your marketplace.
But beyond there tracks and the media player, there’s also a requirement for new speakers and headphones.