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Sony Signature Series SA-Z1

Reference-quality desktop speakers

Item # 158SAZ1

Unique engineering and digital processing deliver top-notch sonic realism with a wide soundstage.

Unique engineering and digital processing deliver top-notch sonic realism with a wide soundstage.

New

Item # 158SAZ1

Temporarily out of stock

Ship date unknown

$7,999.99 pair

About the Sony Signature Series SA-Z1

Reference-quality near-field listening from the experts at Sony

These well-engineered Sony Signature Series SA-Z1 speakers look like nothing I've ever seen before, but they've got it where it counts when it comes to sound quality, too. Each speaker has two 4" woofers placed back-to-back in a layout inspired by the Japanese Tsuzumi drum, with each woofer powered by a 35-watt amplifier. And each speaker combines a primary 3/4" soft dome tweeter with two smaller "assist" tweeters for expanded off-axis response and increased acoustic realism.

Reference-quality near-field listening from the experts at Sony

These well-engineered Sony Signature Series SA-Z1 speakers look like nothing I've ever seen before, but they've got it where it counts when it comes to sound quality, too. Each speaker has two 4" woofers placed back-to-back in a layout inspired by the Japanese Tsuzumi drum, with each woofer powered by a 35-watt amplifier. And each speaker combines a primary 3/4" soft dome tweeter with two smaller "assist" tweeters for expanded off-axis response and increased acoustic realism.

The SA-Z1's unique driver layout and custom digital processing deliver top-notch sonic realism with a wide soundstage.

Convenient connections

A plethora of analog and digital connections let you play your favorite music sources:

  • USB-B input for connecting a computer or hard drive (supports PCM stereo input up to 32-bit/768kHz resolution)
  • proprietary port for high-res Sony Walkman® or Xperia device (supports PCM stereo input up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution)
  • optical input (supports PCM stereo input up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution)
  • balanced XLR analog stereo input
  • unbalanced RCA analog stereo input
  • 3.5mm minijack aux input

USB and proprietary Sony cables are included, along with a digital sync cable for making a connection between the two speakers.

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Product highlights:

  • desktop speakers designed and engineered for immersive near-field listening
  • 4" cone woofer with 4" cone assist woofer
    • woofers placed back-to-back to reduce internal vibration
    • assist woofer can be set to active or fixed to adjust the sound to your room and taste
  • I-ARRAY™ tweeters: 3/4" soft dome primary tweeter with two 9/16" soft dome assist tweeters
    • assist tweeters expand off-axis response for increased acoustic realism
  • four built-in amplifiers per speaker (35 watts to each woofer, 36 watts total to I-ARRAY™ tweeters)
  • anti-resonance aluminum alloy chassis
  • bridge structure decouples speaker enclosure from amplifier and digital processing circuitry
  • frequency response: 51-100,000 Hz (-10 dB)
  • signal-to-noise ratio: 100dB
Connections:
  • USB-B input for connecting a computer (supports PCM stereo input up to 32-bit/768kHz resolution)
  • proprietary port for hi-res Sony Walkman® or Xperia device (supports PCM stereo input up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution)
  • optical input (supports PCM stereo input up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution)
  • balanced XLR analog stereo input
  • unbalanced RCA analog stereo input
  • 3.5mm minijack aux input
Included accessories:
  • USB cable (USB-C/USB-B)
  • connecting cable for Walkman®
  • digital sync cable
  • remote control with AAA batteries
Dimensions and warranty:

What's in the box:

  • 2 Desktop monitor speakers
  • 2 AC power cords
  • Digital sync cable
  • Walkman cable
  • USB-C to USB-B cable
  • Remote control
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • Instruction Manual

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More details on the Sony Signature Series SA-Z1

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Connections
Ethernet Port No
USB Port USB-B
Aux Input 3.5mm, RCA, XLR
Phono Input No
Digital Input Optical, Walkman
HDMI Input No
Headphone Jack No
Wireless Features
Bluetooth No
Wi-Fi No
Wi-Fi Bands No
Driver Details
Tweeter Size (Inches) 0.75, 0.5 (2)
Tweeter Type Hard-Dome
Tweeter Material Titanium
Midrange Size (Inches) ---
Midrange Type ---
Woofer Size (Inches) 4
Woofer Type Not given
Audio Specs
Watts RMS (Continuous) 212
Watts Maximum (Peak) Not given
Frequency Response 51-100k
Max. Digital Audio Bit Depth 32-bit
Max. Digital Audio Sample Rate 768 Hz
Control
Handheld Remote Yes
Control by app N/A
Amazon Alexa No
Google Assistant No
Other Specs
Width (Inches) 7.875
Height (Inches) 8.25
Depth (Inches) 12.875
Parts Warranty 2 Years
Labor Warranty 2 Years

Product Research

Features
Connections
Controls

Features

Sony Signature Series Powered Speakers: The Sony Signature Series SA-Z1 is meticulously crafted to sit on your desk and provide you with a reference listening experience, whatever your choice of music. Play music from your laptop or PC, hook up your Walkman or Xperia, or use with a dedicated digital music player. The SA-Z1 brings together Sony's legendary audio expertise, with its custom componens and benchmark audio technologies. Thanks to a trio of accumulated acoustic, electronic and signal processing technology, SA-Z1 recreates music with exceptional presence and coherence.

  • Coaxial Driver Layout: For reference-quality near field listening, the SA-Z1 features a coaxial speaker layout. Combined with the FPGA for time coherence, this design offers ideal acoustic centering across the frequency range. The result is phase coherence that is essential for clear stereo imaging. Well-designed multi-way speakers have a flat and broad frequency response, but disengaging the impulse response (time-coherence) risks a compromised soundstage. Conversely, single driver units offer excellent impulse response but sacrifice frequency response. The SA-Z1's custom digital processing and coaxial layout delivers both - the sonic realism of a precise impulse response, along with a wide soundstage and frequency presentation.
  • Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA): The electronic circuitry and signal processing architecture in the SA-Z1 have been developed using the latest expertise from across Sony to reproduce High-Resolution Audio with ultimate fidelity. Sony's engineers realized early on that typical, off-the-shelf DSPs could never draw optimal performance from their unique DA Hybrid amplifier and coaxial speaker design. To overcome this, they built an original architecture on an FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) from scratch - Sony's most advanced signal processing for the most advanced digital architecture. The SA-Z1's multi-amplifier system and unique Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) perfectly synchronizes the wave front between drivers. The precisely aligned wave front and broad frequency response are capable of delivering both the power of an expansive orchestral sound stage or the focus of an intimate solo.

I-ARRAY Tweeter: Sony's acclaimed I-ARRAY high resolution tweeters combine a main tweeter with two smaller assist tweeters, for both impressive frequency extension and wider directivity. The large balanced dome main tweeter ensures excellent high-frequency realism, while the smaller assist tweeters expand the off-axis response, delivering high-frequency harmonic overtones up to 100kHz for acoustic realism only possible with High-Resolution Audio.

  • Balanced Dome Structure: The balanced dome structure suppresses break-up mode (which disturbs high frequency response) so that it can reproduce 100kHz to release the full potential of High-Resolution Audio. The voice coil drives at a point where the weight of the diaphragm and air load balance, which is why the structure is called 'balanced.'
  • Titanium Coated: The surface of the tweeter dome is coated with titanium sputtering for lightweight rigidity and a high-velocity rise. The high internal loss reduces resonance and results in a tightly defined transient response, even at high frequencies, for natural sound all the way up to 100kHz.

Tsuzumi Woofer Layout: Inspired by a traditional Japanese 'Tsuzumi' drum, dual woofers are placed back-to-back. This layout hugely cuts unwanted vibration; the vibration from each woofer cancels out the vibration from the other. By reducing the enclosure resonance so significantly, SA-Z1 delivers supreme resolution and a precise sound image. The unique 'Tsuzumi' design also supports wide sound dispersion. Unlike conventional speakers, the rear bass expansion duct lets bass radiate to the sides as well as forward (just like sound sources in nature) so you experience a natural, realistic sound field that describes an even depth and height of sound space.

  • Custom Designed Woofers: For the SA-Z1 Sony developed their own custom woofer from the ground up. Large aperture slits behind the diaphragm prevent turbulence that causes wind noise and disturbs the linear motion of the diaphragm. The breathable magnet layout is a new idea to suppress the turbulence around the voice coil. These structures deliver low distortion and faithful linearity for clear sound and tight response. The woofer offers supreme linearity with very low distortion.
  • Zinc Die-Cast Basket & Powerful Neodymium Magnets: The woofer offers supreme linearity with very low distortion. The zinc die-cast basket holds the motor system firmly so that it can suppress vibrations from piston motion. Powerful neodymium magnets preserve the linearity and the copper sleeve reduces distortion.

D.A. Hybrid Amplifier: Sony's original S-Master digital amplifier was a revolution with its non-feedback design for pure digital sound. The D.A. Hybrid Amplifier took this one step further, enhancing precision with an analog feed-forward amp to correct digital switching errors. Now, the introduction of a Gallium Nitride (GaN) power device evolves digital amplification to a whole new level.

  • Distortion Reduction: To achieve ultimate sound reproduction, S-Master HX digitally amplifies the music signal without any resulting transmission loss. However, at the final stage of amplification, the physical limits of the semiconductor unavoidably cause distortion due to the amplitude. Speakers require much more amplitude and power than headphones, so, to deliver both high power and accuracy, the D.A. Hybrid Amplifier Circuit combines a new ultra-speed power device, GaN, with an analog amp for error correction.
  • Error Correction: MOSFET transistors are typically used for digital amplifier switching, however they can produce ringing distortion due to slow switching speed. By using Gallium Nitride (GaN), Sony can suppress the ringing through high speed switching. This means that amplification errors are significantly reduced, even before the signal is error-corrected by the feed-forward analog amplifier. The analog amplifier also compares the true signal with the digital amplifier output signal, identifying the error caused by switching. Then it produces an error correction signal to restore the output signal, preserving the purity of the original sound, and reproducing the signal with absolute precision.

32-Bit/768Hz DAC with 8x Oversampling Digital Filter: The Sony SA-Z1 speaker system utilizes a 32-bit-768Hz DAC to reproduce high-resolution audio at its finest; including 32-bit/768Hz PCM and 22.4MHZ/1-bit DSD audio files. Its oversampling digital filter processes the PCM sound source up to 8x. The process removes the excess noise and not the audio, so the original audio remains unaltered. Converted by 8x at 44.1/48 kHz, 4x at 88.2/96 kHz, and 2x at 176.4/192 kHz.

Six Piece Aluminum Body: Featuring body parts using two different alloys of aluminum, the SA-Z1 effectively minimizes distortion caused by resonance from the enclosure. The enclosure of the SA-Z1 consists of six pieces of thick aluminum plate. While a monolithic enclosure is strong, it sustains resonance for a long time as a speaker enclosure. By jointing the six plates using a technique inspired by traditional Japanese construction methods, the SA-Z1 effectively suppresses the unnecessary audible resonance.

  • Frame & Beam Chassis: For the SA-Z1 Sony updated their already renowned frame and beam chassis with a new wall structure made from a solid aluminum block to isolate the circuit board from vibrations from the speaker. This suppresses structural resonance for a clean, uncolored sound with high-end audio authenticity.
  • Bridge Arm Structure: A precision-engineered bridge structure decouples the speaker enclosure from the amplifier and digital processing circuitry. The solid aluminum isolation links preserve sound purity for a remarkably focused and coherent presentation.

Placement Options: The Sony SA-Z1 speakers are designed to be positioned on a desktop. The quality of the sound is affected by the environment in which the speakers are installed. Consider the following when installing the speakers. Sony also recommends adjusting the speakers to their optimal positions while playing back music to which you are used to listening.

  • Place the speakers so that their backs are to a wall and level on a sturdy desk or similar surface. The distance between the wall and the speakers changes how you hear the bass. Place the speakers so that the distance from a wall to each speaker is 4" as a guideline, and so that the distance is the same from side to side. The closer the speakers are from a wall, the more bass you can hear.
  • Position the speakers so that the conditions (material of the mounting surface, distance from the wall, etc.) for the left and right speakers are the same. The speakers should also be positioned at an equal distance from the main listening area.
  • The angle of each speaker also changes how you hear sound. Sony recommends that the angle for each speaker to be 10 degrees, as a guideline, in a range between 0 and 20 degrees. The smaller the angle is, the greater the sense of being on a vast stage is. The larger the angle is, the sharper the sound image is.

Note: The Sony SA-Z1 speaker cannot be wall mounted.

Connections

Balanced & Unbalanced Analog Inputs: The Sony SA-Z1 is outfitted with a a balanced XLR stereo input, as well as an unbalanced RCA stereo input and unbalanced minijack (3.5mm) stereo input for connection of an analog source device. Balanced XLR connections guard against induced noise and allow long cable runs without compromising sound quality.

Note: The Sony SA-Z1 does not offer a dedicated Phono input for connecting a turntable. If you would like to connect a turntable, you will need an external Phono preamplifier (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) or a turntable with a built-in phono preamp.

USB-B Input: The USB-B input can be used to connect your Windows PC or Mac computer to the Sony SA-Z1 speaker system for playback of Hi-Res and compressed music files stored on your laptop or desktop computer. You'll need to download the Hi-Res Audio Player Software onto your Windows or Mac computer. Supported audio formats include DSF (.dsf): 2.8 MHz/5.6 MHz/11.2 MHz/22.4 MHz; DSDIFF (.dff): 2.8 MHz/5.6 MHz/11.2 MHz/22.4 MHz; PCM (.wav/.aiff/.aif): 44.1-768 kHz, 16-32 bit; FLAC (.flac): 44.1-384 kHz, 16-32 bit; ALAC (.m4a): 44.1-384 kHz, 16-32 bit; and MP3 (.mp3): 32-320 kbps.

  • Windows Compatibility:
    • OS: Windows PC OS 10 and 8.1
    • CPU: Intel Core 2 Processor 1.6GHz or higher
    • RAM: 1GB or higher
    • Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels or higher
  • Mac Compatibility:
    • OS: macOS 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, 10.12, 10.13, 10.14, and 10.15
    • CPU: Intel CPU 64-bit
    • RAM: 1GB or higher
    • Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels or higher

Optical Digital Input: The Sony SA-Z1 is equipped with an optical (toslink) digital input for connect your TV or other digital source device. The optical digital input supports up to 24-bit/192kHz 2ch PCM audio (not compatible with Dolby or DTS). Compatible audio files include PCM 2ch: 32/44.1/48/88.2/96 kHz (16/24 bit).

Walkman Input: There is a microUSB port that is designed specifically for connection of a Sony Walkman or Xperia smartphone for audio file playback. Compatible audio files include PCM 2ch: 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192/352.8/384 kHz (16/24/32 bit) and DSD 2ch: 2.8/5.6/11.2 MHz (1 bit).

Note: The microUSB port cannot be used to connect Apple iOS devices, Android devices, and other USB enabled devices.

OFC Cable: The OFC cable that transmits the high speed differential signal between speakers is engineered to suppress signal reflection and loss, and shut out interference. This ensures accurate time alignment between the left and right speakers which is crucial for reproducing spacious sound.

Detachable AC Power Cords: Each powered speaker comes with a detachable AC power cord that will plug into the back of the speaker and into an AC wall outlet or surge protector (sold separately - see Accessories Tab).

Controls

Display Window: The Sony SA-Z1 speaker's display window can indicate Source Input and Volume Level or Audio File Format with Sampling Frequency and Bit Depth. The display window does not support song/artist/album information.

Top-Panel & Remote Control: The Sony SA-Z1 offers top-panel controls and comes with an IR remote control for wireless operation.

Sound Enhancement: The following sound enhancements can be enabled on the included remote control.

  • DSD Remastering Engine: The DSD Remastering Engine lets you convert all PCM music sources into DSD 11.2 MHz. The technology uses the FPGA to convert any signal into the DSD sound format.
  • DSEE HX Processing: Audio upscaling is improved even further by Sony's new DSEE HXT processing, which intelligently recognizes instruments, voices and musical genres. By identifying these and the relative energy of the audio, it can accurately rebuild audio lost during digital compression, for a full fidelity experience, even with compressed formats.

Sound Tuning: The Sony SA-Z1 lets you take control of your sound. Tune it to your listening environment and your personal preference with lossless adjustment for both active and passive sound characteristics. The following control are found on the top-panel of the speaker.

  • D.A. Assist: With hybrid amplification you get the best of both worlds - standard or blended sound. In standard position, the analog amplifier works as an error corrector. When you select the blended position, the analog amplifier starts to drive speaker units with the digital amplifier. The blended position gives a slightly more analog sound to the digital amplifier.
  • Assist Woofer Motion & Frequency: You can choose to lock the assist woofer in place, rather than using it to complement the sound of the main woofer. This adjusts the sound stage to suit your tastes, music, and listening environment. You can also change the frequency range of the Assist Woofer. The narrow position delivers a tighter bass sound. The wide position reinforces the bass sound.
  • Assist TW Time Alignment: You can intentionally change the time alignment between tweeters and woofers. 'Sync' offers you perfectly time-aligned sound. 'Advance' describes a clear-cut sound image by advancing sound from the tweeters ahead of the woofer. Conversely, 'Delay' offers a soft and silky sound by delaying the sound from the tweeters in relation to the sound from the woofer.

Pure Walkman Sound: To realize pure sound from a connected Sony Walkman device, the charging circuit of the Sony SA-Z1's microUSB port can be deactivated.

Auto Standby: The Sony SA-Z1 speaker system can be set to automatically turn off when their is not audio signal or operation for approximately 20 minutes.

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