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Thread: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

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    Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    The company wants to charge $160 for this 64GB capacity card, 5x more than the average.
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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    Sony entering the snake oil market.....
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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    This sounds like an April Fools joke that's been leaked early...

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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    This is going to be one of those things like 'premium' HDMI cables. No matter how many people point out that the ones and zeroes of digital information either get there or they don't and hence there's no difference between a £5 cable and a £500 one, there will always be a market for this stuff.

    They won't sell many, but at that price they don't need to!

    Edit: Also, I find it amusing that What Hi-Fi have taken a skeptical stance on this product, and at the same time they will happily recommend a £100+ HDMI cable http://www.whathifi.com/chord-company/active/review. Just saying...
    Last edited by CK_1985; 20-02-2015 at 02:11 PM.
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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    A promoted comment on the Ars article explains this a bit better, before people get the pitchforks out: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/...iles-in-japan/

    Yeah, it's probably mostly pointless, but something digital being called 'low noise' isn't necessarily nonsense if steps have been taken to e.g. reduce interference with analogue circuitry.

    There's a lot more sound (pardon the pun) reasoning to this than a lot of 'audiophile' rubbish at least.

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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    Whats the world coming to
    Jon

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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    When audio files are being pulled off a memory card any digital noise will not affect the sound output from it. It is a stream of digital data, not an analogue signal. Then again the hi-fi world is nuts.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    A promoted comment on the Ars article explains this a bit better, before people get the pitchforks out: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/...iles-in-japan/

    Yeah, it's probably mostly pointless, but something digital being called 'low noise' isn't necessarily nonsense if steps have been taken to e.g. reduce interference with analogue circuitry.

    There's a lot more sound (pardon the pun) reasoning to this than a lot of 'audiophile' rubbish at least.
    Reasoning, perhaps. Sound reasoning? I'm suspicious. While they can probably technically produce an sd card with lower EMI, the only way it could have an impact on audio quality is if the sd card is the majority EMI producer in the circuit. I'd be amazed if sd card readers didn't produce massively more EMI than the sd card itself. Just because a claim is feasible, doesn't mean it isn't also rubbish

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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    When you can buy £6000/m ethernet cables, nothing surprises me any more.

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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    Does it go up to 11?

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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Reasoning, perhaps. Sound reasoning? I'm suspicious. While they can probably technically produce an sd card with lower EMI, the only way it could have an impact on audio quality is if the sd card is the majority EMI producer in the circuit. I'd be amazed if sd card readers didn't produce massively more EMI than the sd card itself. Just because a claim is feasible, doesn't mean it isn't also rubbish
    The 'sound' bit was an attempt at a pun more than anything.

    Yeah I'm really not saying it's not rubbish, but there's still a tiny amount of logic to it, which is infinitely more than you get with a lot of audiophile rubbish - don't mistake me for saying this is worthwhile, but it's easy for people to grab their pitchforks and jump on the bandwagon of ridiculing something without fully understanding what it sets out to do. A heck of a lot of effort goes into analogue design of even 'digital' products - just because something has no impact on a digital bitstream does not mean it has no impact on the analogue side of things.

    E.g. it's really not uncommon to hear 'digital' noise, often from VRMs, to bleed into onboard audio outputs. Does the 'it's digital so nothing analogue matters' apply there too? That argument only really applies for transport medium, but plenty of people seem to assume it applies to active circuitry on the endpoints too, but it doesn't as they can clearly have an impact. From what I can gather this card isn't about the ridiculous notion of 'improving' the digital side, rather reducing EMI, and that's what the pitchforkers are completely skipping over.

    However in relation to this product, I agree that it's unlikely to make much of a difference given the surrounding circuitry present in a complete device. It wouldn't have to be the majority EMI source to make a difference, as for instance pulsating chirps can be more distracting than a subtle hiss even if quieter. So there's some plausibility to it, however unlikely it seems. But still, I'm dubious about the implication a uSD card creates audible amounts of EMI within a given device anyway.

    Edit: As suggested in the article, this is probably on-par with that uber-expensive Walkman - there may be a difference thanks to careful electrical design (assuming they're truthful about that bit) but the difference so small as to be generally unnoticeable beyond placebo. But you pay an awful lot for that probably-irrelevant difference. Still, that doesn't stop people paying insane amounts on e.g. PC 'upgrades' which make no difference, and I expect a lot of those people are quick to point the finger at this product.
    Last edited by watercooled; 20-02-2015 at 03:10 PM.

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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    No, but you get a better class of 10.

    Nothing makes sound quite so rich and satisfying as that feeling you get from rinsing the gullible for an extra $100

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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    Hmmm.

    Here's where I stand on this.

    IF ....

    (and that ^^^^ qualifies as a very big "if") .... if it makes an appreciable difference to the sound quality of music I listen to, and assuming (big "assuming") evetything else I can do is already optimised, then it's a small price to pay.

    So, the $64,000 question is .... does it?

    I, like everyone else, am sceptical as hell, as I am with anything labelled "audiophile", or even "premiun". But I'm not a sound engineer, or an electrical engineer with experience in this area. So I'm not really qualified to judge on the engineering claims.

    Sometimes, however, "quality" is worth paying for.

    I bought a kitchen blender a while back and paid for top quality. I use it a lot, pretty much daily, and it was worth a 'premium' product to me. I also bought an angle grinder and bought about the cheapest I could find (just under £20, Titan, from Screwfix). I will maybe use the angle-grinder once or twice a year .... if that. I would not have bought that model (other than maybe as an emergency backup) if I was a builder and used it daily. But I might have bought Makita, DeWalt, etc and paid 10 times as much.

    As with everything, I buy premium IF I think it's worth it, to me, given my usage. This is why I'm not enamoured of SSDs, despite being close to a lone voice on that, here. Are they faster? Sure. Do they make enough real world difference to me to justify adding one for that performance? No.... but with price/capacity changes it's getting closer. But I had to try one to determine that.

    So .... is this card worth it? I don't kniw, not having ttied one, but .... unless it affects MY musical enjoyment sufficiently, no. And given that when I use SD cards for music, it implies I'm out and about, in a sonically noisy environment, probably using music as background (like when travelling, or working in a noisy office) I"m not in an environment where "audiophile" has meaning for me.

    And if I'm at home, relaxing, listening via a decent stereo setup and either good speakers or headphones, I'm not sourcing the music ftom SD card anyway.

    Or in short, I've no idea if Sony's claims are justified or if, as seems likely, it's "snakeoil", but I don't see the point of this, for me, even if Sony have something with this. Which I find dubious. I also don't see the point for me if a £500 graphics card, but that's yet another can of worms I'm not inclined to open.

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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    In a word, bull poop.

    Sorry, two words.
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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Edit: As suggested in the article, this is probably on-par with that uber-expensive Walkman - there may be a difference thanks to careful electrical design (assuming they're truthful about that bit) but the difference so small as to be generally unnoticeable beyond placebo. But you pay an awful lot for that probably-irrelevant difference.
    I'm not convinced myself by this product, as someone said able an SD card will either deliver the right data or interference will make it not deliver the right data. So is this "audiophile" SD purely down to better shielding - in which case what's wrong with getting a standard 64GB SD card from Sandisk and wrapping some cheap tinfoil (or the copper foil you can get to dissuade slugs) around it to get pretty much the same effect for a lot less money.

    The "audiophile" Walkman, I thought they'd been very careful to choose high quality DAC's, pots, etc and recommend particular 'phones (theirs of course!). Not that I'm willing to pay £1000+, especially when there seem to be a lot of accepted-good devices available for a lot less (e.g. Fiio X5). I know little enough that I suspect a lot of premium-priced "audiophile" devices are in the "1% better" category and owning them is just tech tackle waving.

    Although, to contradict myself, I tried a Fiio Kunlun DAC off of the smartphone and iPod (old style, not the Touch gizmo) and there was a notable difference. So yes, I can be "conned" into the snake oil, maybe my Shure SE400 series earphones fits into that category?

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    Re: Sony attempts to lure audiophiles with 'Premium Sound' microSD

    Quote Originally Posted by Smudger View Post
    Does it go up to 11?
    Excellent. I wonder if I would pay a little more for one that had "Class 11" label on it

    Other than that, I would expect a player to read the file with the next music track out of the SD card in entirety before starting to play it out of RAM, because audio files just aren't that big and pre-reading files is old school OS stuff and good for power consumption. Or am I just lining myself up for audio grade RAM chips saying that?

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