IFA 2017: New Sony Sound On Show

Sony has shown off its latest sound products at IFA 2017, including new headphones, a new smart speaker and new entries to its iconic Walkman brand.

The company turned to the Google Assistant to power its first smart speaker, the LF-S50G, which Sony said can serve “as the digital hub for your home”.

All of the usual functionality of Google Assistant, from asking about the weather to requesting a particular song, is packed into the 360-degree speaker, which also features a splash-proof design and a clock display.

Bluetooth and NFC connectivity is included on the LF-S50G, which also supports gesture controls for adjusting the volume and playing or skipping tracks.

It will be available in three different colours – blue, black and white – when it launches in Australia in early December for RRP $299.

Four new sets of headphones are also on the way from Sony, three of which are variations of Sony’s noise-cancelling MDR-1000X headphones in different styles.

With a completely wire-free design, the WF-1000X (RRP $399.95) are described as “the star of the show”. The headphones feature noise-cancelling technology, a 6mm driver for dynamic sound and a battery life of up to three hours that can recharged using the included charging case.

A behind-the-neck design is featured on the WI-1000X (RRP $449.95), which also offers noise-cancelling and wireless connectivity but with a longer battery life than the WF-1000X. It can last up to 10 hours when connected wirelessly with noise cancelling turned on, or up to 14 hours via a wired audio connection.

The WI-1000X feature a hybrid driver unit with a 9mm dynamic and Balanced Armature tweeter. Sony also said that the headphones feature “Atmospheric Pressure Optimising” that is able to optimise noise cancelling by detecting the air pressure around the headphones.

Atmospheric Pressure Optimising is also improves on the noise cancelling abilities of the new over-ear WH-1000XM2 (RRP $499.95). These headphones feature a 40mm driver and a wireless battery life of up to 30 hours or 40 hours using an audio cable. The battery can also be quickly topped up with a ten-minute charge for 70 minutes of battery life.

Rounding out the new headphones from Sony is a new entry in the company’s h.ear headphone range as well as an accompanying Walkman.

The h.ear on 2 Wireless NC headphones (RRP $399.95) feature wireless noise-cancelling technology and touch control, compatibility with high-res audio, and a battery life of up to 28 hours.

Sony is targeting “the music loving, style conscious millennial” with these headphones, which will be available in the creatively-named colours “Horizon Green, Twilight Red, Grayish Black, Pale Gold and Moonlit Blue”.

A wide range of technology has been packed into the NW-A45 Walkman (RRP $349) with a 3.1-inch touchscreen and up to 45 hour battery life that Sony said has been designed to work with the new h.ear headphones.

Along with high-res audio support, the NW-A45 features an S-Master HX digital amplifier, USB DAC functionality for PCs, and Bluetooth connectivity using LDAC and Qualcomm aptX HD audio.

A higher end Walkman with high-res audio support is also incoming. The NW-ZX300 (RRP $799) supports 11.2MHz DSD native playback and 384kHz/32-bit PCM playback that allows the user to enjoy music “as the artist intended”.

Battery life is rated at up to 30 hours on the NW-ZX300, which also features 64GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot for external memory and Bluetooth connectivity with LDAC and Qualcomm aptX HD audio support.

All of the new headphones will be available from early October in Australia, while the NW-A45 and NW-ZX300 will launch in November.

Turning to speakers, Sony highlighted the 170cm-tall V90DW that was unveiled earlier this week, as well as two new entries in its Extra Bass range.

The XB60 Extra Bass speaker (RRP $499) features a battery life of up to 14 hours, while its ‘bigger brother’ the XB90 (RRP $649) ups this to 16 hours. Bluetooth and NFC is supported by both speakers, along with USB and RCA incputs.

Both new speakers also support Wireless Party Chain for connecting up to ten Extra Bass speakers together, as well as customisable lighting and other options through the Sony Music Center & Fiestable apps.

The Extra Bass speakers are available now.

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