Sony's gold-plated music player could cost you over seven grand

A pocket-size amp with a gold-plated knob costs more than Sony's 85-inch TV.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury

After announcing new "reference level" televisions, Sony is on another high-end tear. This time it's audio: A battery-powered player that costs AU$10,000. That's about $7,300 or £5,600. 

The Sony DMP-Z1 features a "top-end stationary class headphone amplifier" and the device will decode all sorts of files including DSD, FLAC and even MQA for those Tidal fans out there. At least it looks expensive with its huge, gold volume knob. 


Though the unit has an onboard battery Sony isn't calling this a Walkman, and it looks more suited to desktop use. Sony says the five battery cells are designed to provide noise-free operation.

The player features 256GB of onboard storage in addition to a USB DAC (AK4497) and even Bluetooth for you masochists out there. Seriously, if you're buying this to connect wireless headphones, don't bother. Given the sonic limitations of Bluetooth, it probably won't provide any benefit.

The device will be coming to Australia in December but availability and pricing isn't yet available for the UK and US. However we expect there'll be an official announcement at IFA, if not before.

Meanwhile Sony also announced the IER-Z1R in-ear monitors with three newly developed Sony drivers and a Perlage pattern face plate. They will be be available for the much more "affordable" price of AU$2,500.

Representatives for Sony did not respond to CNET's request for comment.