One Signature Sound
Elevating the high-resolution sound experience from one you listen to, to one you can feel.
It began with a music revolution sparked by Sony's iconic Walkman® in 1979, which fascinated millions of people around the world and freed the way we enjoyed music on headphones anytime, anywhere. The Signature Series advances that revolution to an entirely new realm of fine audio fidelity — taking the experience from listening to feeling it. The culmination of experience and fortitude, the Signature Series converges the highest quality analog and digital technologies and elevates music experiences to supreme dimensions. From the majestic acoustics of a grand orchestra to the live outpouring of music at a concert, every vibrant detail — even the passion and energy — is reproduced just as the original artists intended.
Our engineers — as passionate as the music artists and creators — have produced the ultimate headphone sound experience in an exceptional line of four quality products. It's their signature and commitment to convey all the passion and energy of the original music.
In the endeavour to reach ultimate perfection, our engineers relentlessly pursued sound purity reproduction through thousands and thousands of trials. Every subtle variation of sound, from the beginning of a grand performance, ambient resonance and even the elusive sound at the end of a performance as it approaches silence, are faithfully captured and reproduced. The result is sound expression beyond anything you've heard or felt, where you can almost feel the temperature and humidity of the performance. The result is an astonishingly faithful sound reproduction that’s definitively clear and expressive, even the subtleties and delicate nuances of micro-sounds and bigger scales at higher dynamics. From our music aficionados to the music lover in you - a heightened sound experience like never before.
In pursuit of audio perfection
Discover the inspiration behind the new standard of audio excellence from the engineers who made it possible.
These headphones combine cutting-edge technology with the finest craftsmanship, for the ultimate listening experience.
Combining sophisticated sound technology with beautifully crafted, high-grade materials and class-leading usability.
TA-ZH1ES Headphone Amplifier
Unleash the full potential of your headphones combining the best of digital and analog sound technology, this one’s for the serious listeners.
IER-Z1R In-ear Headphones
By paying attention to the smallest details, you can distinguish every nuance and subtle characteristics, in astonishingly faithful sound reproduction.
DMP-Z1 Digital Music Player
For the ultimate audio fidelity the DMP-Z1 music player combines cutting edge technical innovations with the finest materials and attention to detail.
SA-Z1 Near Field Powered Speaker System
Every joint, every material and every component for one purpose – the ultimate expression of near field performance.
From pioneering the iconic Walkman® in 1979, through to championing High-Resolution Audio as the new standard in sound quality in 2013, Sony has an unrivalled legacy of audio excellence. The Signature Series is the latest innovation to break new ground within the high-end audio landscape.
Music anytime, anywhere
The MDR-3 headphones were launched at the same time as the first-generation Walkman®, the device that created a revolution in music style. The first to use an ultrathin PET diaphragm for maximum acoustic pressure, they aimed to replicate the light feel of hair.
Bringing the best out of digital audio
Three years after the launch of CDs, the MDR-CD900 headphones were created to faithfully play back sound sources and became the prototype for our professional monitor headphones. They were equipped with a large 40mm aperture driver unit and produced excellent audio quality.
Celebrating 10 years of audio excellence
Designed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the MDR series, the flagship MDR-R10 model combined the greatest technologies with unique, quality materials. The housing was made from 200-year-old Japanese red wood, while Greek lambskin adorned the earpads.
Enduring breathable design
These headphones were a favourite among audiophiles for many years. They featured an exceptional breathable fit around the ears, allowing the user to enjoy natural sound for hours at a time.
Pushing the limits of headphone potential
These headphones represented the best in audio technology of the time with High-Resolution Audio capability, incorporating a large 50mm aperture full range unit and nanocomposite diaphragm that could play ultra-wide 120kHz bandwidth. The porous housing even successfully eliminated resonance.
Taking music back to the source
Following 50 years of headphone creation, we directed our focus to preserving the audio quality the content creators intended. The result was the development of the MDR-1, headphones developed in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment with the objective of realising all the detail of high-resolution sound.
Sonic perfection, design mastery
Our flagship Signature Series headphones are the latest addition to push the limits of audio excellence. Featuring a 70mm HD driver unit, Resonance Free Housing and the finest materials, they deliver a truly transcendental listening experience.
A history of headphone innovation
Our engineers have consistently developed our world renowned headphones range with innovative design techniques and high precision sound technology, resulting in truly authentic listening experiences.
View headphone history
The first in-ear headphones in the world
Walkman® had created the trend of small and light headband style headphones. Then Sony introduced the world’s first in-ear headphones. MDR-E252 thrilled the world. People had never seen headphones that didn’t either have a headband or ear pads.
The first ergonomic in-ear headphones
Thanks to ceramic composite housing and an amorphous-diamond 16mm diaphragm with twin-turbo acoustic circuits, a new standard of in-ear audio performance was pioneered. MDR-E484 combined performance with beauty through a 3D free shape design system and wearing comfort based on ergonomics.
Small and light – the long-selling in-ear headphones
Sony’s high-end model, MDR-E888, delivered fine natural sound through a 16mm bio-cellulose diaphragm. The electroformed metal housing was virtually imperceptible to feel in the ear while being worn. Enthusiastic demand kept MDR-E888 in production for 13 years.
The standard for 21st century in-ear headphones
These world-first closed type in-ear headphones had a 9mm dynamic driver, weighed an ultra light 4g, yet delivered a dynamic deep bass that blew music lovers away. MDR-EX70SL set a new standard for 21st century in-ear headphones.
High-end in-ear headphones that ignited a trend
With its high quality sound, and wearing comfort, MDR-EX90SL started a trend for high-end in-ear headphones. The exclusively developed 13.5mm driver had six types of acoustic tuning parts, and Sony’s original slanted duct with machined aluminum housing held the driver precisely.
Sony-developed, original Balanced Armature drivers
Sony became the first, and the only, headphone manufacturer to design and produce Balanced Armature (BA) drivers. With four Sony original BA drivers, XBA-4SL reproduced the dynamic and magnificent sound that only Sony BA drivers can deliver.
IER-Z1R – a new realm of in-ear headphones
Harnessing decades of audio expertise, IER-Z1R has a newly developed HD hybrid driver system, Refined-phase structure, and combines technology with craftsmanship, to proudly showcase the ideal sound that Sony has relentlessly pursued.
A history of in-ear headphones
Sony is the innovators of the world’s first in-ear headphones – MDR-E252. Since the inception of in-ear headphones, Sony has been pursuing ways of bringing a full-size listening experience to music on-the-go.
View in-ear headphones history
The first all silicon transistor stereo integrated amp
A game-changer within the premium audio landscape, this amp was the first ever to simultaneously achieve large output with low distortion. It was the very first product in the ES series.
The birth of digital amp technology
The TA-N88 was a switching amp that used pulse width modulation (PWM). Unlike the S-Master, it was not a full digital amp, but the technology upon which the current S-Master is based was already being developed at this time.
Digital format innovator
When we released the world’s first CD player – the CDP-101, there were 50 titles available on CD as we opened up the world of digital audio with both hardware and content. Our first Super Audio CD player was the SCD-1. We invented the DSD format and this model was a precursor to current High-Resolution Audio standards with 2.8MHz DSD playback up to 100kHz.
An amp to bring out the best in any speaker
Weighing in at 70kg, this high-end audio amplifier was designed to release the potential of Super Audio CDs and DSD files, and comprised an output stage with an impressive power supply and low impedance to handle large currents.
The foundations for digital excellence
The foundations of the technology that supports the audio quality of the current S-Master were already complete when this model was released. The technology in this device also contributed to the evolution of the S-Master HX; the basis of the TA-ZH1ES’s D.A. Hybrid Amplifier Circuit.
The ideal amp for the High-Resolution age
In pursuit of audio excellence for the High-Resolution Audio age, Sony created the TA-A1ES. It packed in many advanced features, including eliminating emitter resistance, which improved the sound quality. It also included a dedicated A-class amp and sophisticated analog technology still used in our amplifier.
A new level of headphone audio excellence
Combining the best of digital and analog sound technology, the new Signature Series stationary amp is designed to unleash the full potential of your headphones and deliver a superior listening experience.
A history of digital audio and amplification
Powering audio systems without distortion is a precise art that we have been refining for over half a century. Engineering excellence, high grade components and advanced acoustics work together to elevate sound quality.
View digital audio/amp history
The original Walkman®
With the iconic TPS-L2, the first product to bear the Walkman® name, we created a new way of listening to music. The personal stereo music player was born and widely accepted by young people across the world looking to take their music outdoors.
World’s first portable CD player
Weighing just 590g and barely four jewel cases high, the D-50 made CDs portable and brought CD quality to a much wider audience in an affordable and portable package.
Introducing a new generation of smaller personal stereos
Smaller than compact cassette, Minidisc offered magnetic tape recording capabilities plus the instant access and skip advantages of CD. The MZ-1 was the world’s first MD Walkman®.
The pioneer of today’s personal music players
Lighter and more compact than any previous Walkman®, the pocket-sized NW-MS7 set the stage for a new generation of portable music devices. It used the Memory Stick as its recording media for easy transfers to and from a PC.
A new standard in sound
The glass-fronted NW-X1000 set the standard for Walkman® audio quality. With an S-Master amplifier and DSEE for restoring high frequencies lost during compression, listeners could enjoy truly authentic sound. Clear Bass, Clear Stereo and built-in noise cancelling ensured a powerful, immersive experience.
Introducing High-Resolution Audio in a Walkman®
The world’s first Walkman® with High-Resolution Audio. Advanced sound technologies were incorporated to generate never-before-heard portable sound including S-Master HX, a highly rigid aluminium alloy chassis, low impedance power supply and high audio quality capacitor.
Delight in pure detail
The NW-WM1Z is the most advanced Walkman® ever; fully encased in a high-grade oxygen-free copper chassis for natural sound, with premium components throughout. Beautifully crafted, this is a music player that powerfully reproduces every detail.
The sound engineers’ dream
DMP-Z1 is the culmination of Sony’s commitment to pursuing audio perfection. Through the craftsmanship of Hi-Fi components, and battery management and system integration technology of Walkman®, our engineers have reached the ideal sound that only Sony can realise.
A history of Walkman®
Walkman® redefined music listening for a generation. Suddenly stereo music became mobile, and available to enjoy any time anywhere. We’ve been refining this icon ever since.
View Walkman® history
The foundation of high-end speaker technology
The SS-G7 led the way in audio reproduction technology at the time. Built to optimise timing accuracy and minimise vibration, the speaker also featured diaphragm-shaping FEM simulation. It’s a design that laid the foundations for today’s technology.
Pioneering computer-simulated engineering
Sony introduced an innovative way of engineering speakers using computer simulation. This helped them develop woofers and tweeters for the AMP-6 which could drive four points of a squared flat diaphragm. This broke new ground for 2-way speakers, enabling them to achieve super wide frequency range and low distortion.
Designing for the future
Sony’s relentless focus on optimising acoustic field and sonic presence can be traced back to the SS-GR1. The I-ARRAY™ system and FPGA digital crossover of today's SA-Z1 is influenced by the SS-GR1’s constant directivity horns and positive-phase crossover network.
Sony's first full condenser speaker
The SS-R10 condenser speakers launched at a time when the 1992 C-800G condenser microphone had already won much acclaim from the global music industry. Based on 40 years of accumulated expertise, Sony developed a 3-way design to overcome the issue of low frequency reproduction in condenser speakers. Resulting in a delicate sound and rich bass.
The road to Hi-Res Audio
The SS-1ED delighted audiophiles by showing the true potential of SACD and DSD, for an extra wide acoustic field and precise auditory lateralization. This proved that Sony's growing expertise in reproducing sound with a broad frequency range up to 100kHz and coherent timing were going to be more significant in the high-resolution era.
Refining the art of sound
The SS-AR1 was designed to deliver natural timbre, acoustic presence and resonance. With a Scandinavian-made driver and a wooden enclosure carefully crafted by Japanese artisans. One of Sony’s longest running models, it continues to delight music lovers to this day.
The pinnacle of near field listening
The SA-Z1 is the latest evolution of Sony’s audio expertise, with first-of-its-kind custom components and benchmark audio technologies. Based on Sony’s most advanced acoustic, electronic and signal processing technology, the SA-Z1 recreates music with exceptional presence and coherence.
A history of speaker systems
Over the years, Sony has developed an array of leading-edge audio technologies and engineered a succession of acclaimed speaker systems. Today, this accumulated expertise enables Sony to achieve an exceptional acoustic field, putting you at the very heart of music performance.
View speaker history
From the materials through to the soldering and structural engineering methods used, only the most advanced manufacturing processes and product solutions were employed in the creation of the Signature Series. This ensured the highest standards of quality and audio excellence.