Sony just extended its new line of high resolution audio products by introducing the PHA-2 portable headphone DAC/amplifier and TA-A1ES integrated stereo amplifier. Both products have been specifically designed to support the latest high-resolution music sources.
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The new PHA-2 portable headphone amplifier is designed to deliver quality sound reproduction from a variety of audio sources and is allegedly the first portable DAC/amplifier to be compatible with almost every high-resolution digital file format, including up to 192 kHz/24-bit PCM and both DSD (2.8MHz) and Double DSD (5.6MHz). Listeners can also enjoy upgraded sound quality with MP3 files and other music sources.
It features a variety of helpful technologies, including an Asynchronous Transport Mode, which utilizes a dedicated signal generator to reduce timing errors for more accurate, jitter-free converter performance. It also incorporates a high precision D/A converter, along with such devices as a custom headphone amplifier IC with high slew rate, ultra-low distortion operation; OCL (output capacitor-less) current feedback architecture; plus a dual power supply operation for more stable and accurate reproduction. All of these select components are enclosed in a durable aluminum chassis. The PHA-2 headphone amplifier also has a variable gain headphone input that supports a wide range of impedances; as well as Zinc die-cast bumpers to protect the volume control and headphone connector from external shock and vibration.
The PHA-2 can be connected to both PC and Mac computers via its USB 2.0 interface, and also includes a dedicated digital input for iPod, iPhone and iPad products. Other portable audio sources such as Android smartphones and digital music players can be connected via the analog audio input. The PHA-2 comes with a built-in Lithium-ion battery, which runs up to 6.5 hours with a digital connection and up to 17 hours with an analog connection on a single charge.
The TA-A1ES integrated stereo amplifier is the latest offering in Sony's Elevated Standard (ES) Series and has been specifically designed to complement the company's new HAP-Z1ES reference standard Hi-Res Music Player.
More than three years in the making, the new A1ES stereo amplifier utilizes a frame/beam/base chassis that was originally developed for Sony's R-Series components. Employing FET input and buffer circuits that reportedly enhance performance, the amplifier's optimum gain volume control combines electronic volume with a discrete buffer amplifier, allowing it to reduce gain error and produce quality sound.
The TA-A1ES has a power amp stage featuring smart bias control for Class-A operation and single push-pull hi-current amplifier. It is designed with a single pair of transistors to eliminate variations in each channel at the source, as well as variation controlling emitter resistance, allowing the transistors to drive the speakers directly. Sony's proprietary toroidal transformer packs a 300VA rating, as well as a capacitor delivering 24000?F per channel.
Each of these devices is reportedly capable of playing back virtually any file format available. Whether it's MP3s or the latest Double DSD files, Sony maintains these high-resolution devices will decode them.
The PHA-2 portable headphones amplifier will be available next March for $599 at Sony Stores and other national electronics retailers. The TA-A1ES stereo amplifier will be available in November at select Sony Stores and authorized ES dealers nationwide for $1,999.