When it comes to audio, Sony has come a long way since the days of the humble Walkman (though the Walkman name lives on), producing a wide variety of audio products including soundbars, A/V receivers, and portable Bluetooth speakers. It is also known for its high-res digital audio players, the latest of which is aimed squarely at the luxury set with a price tag approaching $8,000.
While the bulk of Sony’s new DMP-Z1 Signature Series digital music player is built out of aluminum, the first thing you’ll likely notice is the rotary volume knob, which is gold-plated for no reason other than that it looks really cool. The rest of the chassis is finished in shiny black, a combination that looks especially striking. The device features a 3.1-inch touch panel on top — the only hint that this isn’t a high-end audio component better suited to a dedicated listening room rather than your desktop or pocket.
When it comes to the audio, the DMP-Z1 uses an Asahi Kasei Microdevices AK4497EQ DAC Chip paired with a Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 amp chip, both of which Sony says are some of the best in the world. This would all go to waste without proper source material, so the player supports high-resolution audio, complete with support for Native DSD up to 11.2MHz and PCM audio at up to 384kHz/32-bit.
To power this all, the DMP-Z1 uses five battery cells powering separate analog and digital power sections to make for as little noise as possible. You can choose to run the player off of the included battery or A/C power by tapping the battery button or A/C button on the touchscreen interface.
If you’re wondering where and how to buy the DMP-Z1, you’ll have a hard time, as it is currently only available in Sony’s East Asian markets, where it sells for the equivalent of $7,882. Fortunately, if you’re looking at buying this player, chances are you can afford to take a quick trip in your private jet to a country where the player is available to pick one up.
To find the best music to play through any digital music player, take a look at our guide to the best sites for downloading HD music.