Disclaimer: This week’s picture sunday features my Sony ZX2 DAP. To check out recent Picture Sunday Posts click HERE.
Sony has been returning to it’s roots in the last couple of years. The company was actually a very good Hi-Fi manufacturer, but until 2-3 years ago it was a mess. They didn’t have any successfull Hi-Fi product, they didn’t have any competitive or high performing piece. Just some small amount of people had their vintage TOTL products like MDR-R10, or MDR-F1 etc. but they were literally impossible to find. Audio should be a highly regarded section of Sony, because it’s name comes from the “Sonus” word after all.
Finally they saw their poor situation I suppose, and came up with some good and capable audio gear. They released the ZX1 for the 35th anniversery of the legendary “Walkman” name. Then there was the PHA-1 and 2 DAC/AMP’s, MDR-Z7 headphone, some fine IEM’s and some good cables and stuff.
Then came the Sony ZX2. With it’s 1200$ price tag, it was a suspectible product. Some people called Sony “stupid” for releasing an audio player with such price, and said it can’t compete with the others. Turned out they were wrong.
Because it seems when Sony actually takes something seriously, they can do anything they want with a big budget and R&D. ZX2 is a wonderful DAP that can do it all. The Pulse With Modulation (PWM) philosophy combined with a Class D Amp results an unmatched battery life. Android OS with streaming opportunity, great build quality and convenient design are the bonuses. The only downside is the infamous volume limitation but it can be hacked via Android OS.
A sidenote: Non-Android Sony players now can be uncapped thanks to a new method, which is changing the DAP’s firmware region. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT.
ZX2, in terms of audio performance level, is 2-3 steps behind from the likes of Paw Gold, HM901S and AK380. Right now people are talking about the new Walkman players, WM1A/Z. I had a chance to test the WM1A and I think it is a clear step up from ZX2 in terms of pure sound quality. Now I think Sony DAP’s can actually compete with the TOTL products.
And the greatest thing remains; tremendous battery life. About 25-26 hours lossless listening with a 1900 mAh battery? That’s no doubt a success in terms of engineering and R&D. No other DAP can give this type of longetivity, except the Tera Player, which is not something to compare because it’s an extreme product.
Soon I will switch to the new WM1A but I will always keep the ZX2 for streaming and usage on-the-go. Even if it stops working somehow, I will just showcase it in my room.