Jump to content
IGNORED

Sony NW-ZX2 - What are people's views?


Recommended Posts

Looks to be a winner. Killer of the 2x expensive AK240.

 

Anyone thinking of getting it?

 

I am - I expect to soon get a pair of Noble K10's (what a long wait fergodsake!!!) - and I am primed to get one of these...

 

Ability to run TIDAL is a major point as well.

 

Views? Especially compared to AK240, Pono, etc etc?

 

Thx!

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
Looks to be a winner. Killer of the 2x expensive AK240.

 

Anyone thinking of getting it?

 

I am - I expect to soon get a pair of Noble K10's (what a long wait fergodsake!!!) - and I am primed to get one of these...

 

Ability to run TIDAL is a major point as well.

 

Views? Especially compared to AK240, Pono, etc etc?

 

Thx!

 

Michael Lavorgna weighed-in on the AK240 and NW-ZX2 when he reviewed the Pono:

 

I also happen to have the Sony NW-ZX2 Walkman here and this made for a more interesting A/B. The Sony retails for $1200 and it can do some very cool things like connect to your Wi-Fi network and access music from your network including NAS-based libraries. It is also much sturdier in terms of build quality as compared to the Pono Player and its relatively flat form factor is much more pocket friendly. Purely on a sound quality basis, the Sony is more concerned with detail and dynamic snap, the Pono Player sounds richer and more full-bodied in comparison. I can certainly see someone preferring the Sony's more resolute sound but to my ears the Pono Player is more fun, more fulfilling.

 

I reviewed the Astel & Kern AK240 for Stereophile (see review) and this $2500 chunk of luxurious goodness clearly outweighs the Pono Player in terms of design and build quality. It ought to. While a direct comparison was not possible, I sent the A&K player back months ago, I will say that the Pono Player is not obviously outclassed by the more expensive player sonically. The AK240, like the Sony player, offers the ability to play music from your network-attached storage which may or may not be of importance to you.

Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

Link to comment
Michael Lavorgna weighed-in on the AK240 and NW-ZX2 when he reviewed the Pono:

 

I also happen to have the Sony NW-ZX2 Walkman here and this made for a more interesting A/B. The Sony retails for $1200 and it can do some very cool things like connect to your Wi-Fi network and access music from your network including NAS-based libraries. It is also much sturdier in terms of build quality as compared to the Pono Player and its relatively flat form factor is much more pocket friendly. Purely on a sound quality basis, the Sony is more concerned with detail and dynamic snap, the Pono Player sounds richer and more full-bodied in comparison. I can certainly see someone preferring the Sony's more resolute sound but to my ears the Pono Player is more fun, more fulfilling.

 

I reviewed the Astel & Kern AK240 for Stereophile (see review) and this $2500 chunk of luxurious goodness clearly outweighs the Pono Player in terms of design and build quality. It ought to. While a direct comparison was not possible, I sent the A&K player back months ago, I will say that the Pono Player is not obviously outclassed by the more expensive player sonically. The AK240, like the Sony player, offers the ability to play music from your network-attached storage which may or may not be of importance to you.

 

Firstly, awesome answer, thx a lot!

 

Fun and musical are higher on my list than analytical for sure so those are points against the Sony.

 

NAS & Tidal are very important to me. Two more questions:

 

1- NAS means using a uPnP server (eg minimserver) or only file access?

 

2- Have a preference for difficult headphones (eg HD-650)?

 

Thx!

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
Firstly, awesome answer, thx a lot!

 

Fun and musical are higher on my list than analytical for sure so those are points against the Sony.

 

NAS & Tidal are very important to me. Two more questions:

 

1- NAS means using a uPnP server (eg minimserver) or only file access?

 

2- Have a preference for difficult headphones (eg HD-650)?

 

Thx!

 

Thx. Figured it out.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment

The HD 650 is only a "difficult" load because of its high impedance; it's a vastly different kind of "difficult" load than, say, the UERM, whose impedance-to-frequency plot looks like a mountain range (see also the impedance vs. frequency plots of a number of common high-end multi-BA IEMs that are included in Tyll's review of the Pono player).

 

Any of the 300 ohm Sennheisers (600. 650, 800) should be run in balanced mode on the Pono player if you prefer listening at high volume.

Office: MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus - Resonessence Concero - Cavailli Liquid Carbon - Sennheiser HD 800.

Travel/Portable: iPhone 7 or iPad Pro - AudioQuest Dragonfly Red - Audeze SINE or Noble Savant

Link to comment

I do not have comparisons to the Pono or A&K but I am looking at picking up a ZX2 to complement my ZX1 (or replace). SD capability is a big plus to the ZX1. I am unsure whether I can play DSD direct to the PHA3 that I also have. The ZX1 sounds really good to me (compared to my Zunes which I like; the Zunes blow away my Nanos) and the ZX2 is reviewed to be a significant improvement. Pricey compared to the Pono but the Pono form factor is horrific IMO. I travel enough to warrant spending nearly as much as my home system...which I have not upgraded lately.

 

How long was the wait for your Nobles?

 

chris

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBTouch ->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: iPeng (iPad Air & iPhone); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: iPhone 12 ProMax & Radio Paradise or NAS streaming; Sony NWZ ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  

Link to comment
I do not have comparisons to the Pono or A&K but I am looking at picking up a ZX2 to complement my ZX1 (or replace). SD capability is a big plus to the ZX1. I am unsure whether I can play DSD direct to the PHA3 that I also have. The ZX1 sounds really good to me (compared to my Zunes which I like; the Zunes blow away my Nanos) and the ZX2 is reviewed to be a significant improvement. Pricey compared to the Pono but the Pono form factor is horrific IMO. I travel enough to warrant spending nearly as much as my home system...which I have not upgraded lately.

 

How long was the wait for your Nobles?

 

chris

 

Feature-wise the ZX-2 has a few killer advantages: wifi + android means tidal + upnp/dlna player + any other service that will come along as long as it has an android app!!! Killer features worth the price diff imho.

 

As for dsd, my understanding is it converts it to pcm. Might sound odd given dsd is Sony's baby but it might be that volume control is digital in which case there's no choice.

 

The only question is whether one might like the sonic signature of pono better. I don't know the answer to that.

 

My K10's will be 9 weeks in the making tomorrow - and I asked for an extremely standard finish. Unbelieveable. To clarify: I don't have them yet!

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
Feature-wise the ZX-2 has a few killer advantages: wifi + android means tidal + upnp/dlna player + any other service that will come along as long as it has an android app!!! Killer features worth the price diff imho.

 

As for dsd, my understanding is it converts it to pcm. Might sound odd given dsd is Sony's baby but it might be that volume control is digital in which case there's no choice.

 

The only question is whether one might like the sonic signature of pono better. I don't know the answer to that.

 

My K10's will be 9 weeks in the making tomorrow - and I asked for an extremely standard finish. Unbelieveable. To clarify: I don't have them yet!

 

The ZX1 converts DSD to PCM even when connected by OTG cable to the PHA3. Either the Android version does not support or Sony does not allow USB host mode to allow DSD transfer. I even tried an app for USB host mode and the PHA3 shows active but still no DSD transfer.

 

I can connect my DROID Turbo and play DSD on the PHA3 with no issue.

 

I understand that the DSD is converted when the ZX2 is played by itself but I have not come across a review where it is connected to the PHA3; which I understand as the ZX2 appears to be good enough not to warrant a DAC. Sony is either coming out with a higher end model or they are just being difficult. Well perhaps the PHA3 is not meant to be portable but I do not have any issue carrying it on a plane.

 

One other issue is battery life. On the ZX1 the battery lasts a quite a while; I can travel all day with it on and have plenty of battery that evening. But connected to the PHA3 the battery lasts 5 or 6 hours max. Same as the PHA3. I also carry a 12000 mAhr battery pack.

 

The PHA3 does sound marginally better than the ZX1 (IMO). Compared to the ZX2 it will probably be comparable. Again IMO as I have not heard a ZX2.

 

chris

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBTouch ->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: iPeng (iPad Air & iPhone); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: iPhone 12 ProMax & Radio Paradise or NAS streaming; Sony NWZ ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  

Link to comment
How long was the wait for your Nobles?

Got my K10's yesterday. Payed on Jan 11, ear impressions received at Noble USA on Jan 18, then shipped to China, etc... So end to end Jan 11 to April 6, almost 3 months. Arguably, Chinese New Year plus a week delay is 9 business weeks or so... It's a f*cking long wait, but what are the alternatives? It's fine. They sound amazing. They are incredibly comfy and seal you out completely.

 

Check them out on my system pics page (see my signature)

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
Got my K10's yesterday. Payed on Jan 11, ear impressions received at Noble USA on Jan 18, then shipped to China, etc... So end to end Jan 11 to April 6, almost 3 months. Arguably, Chinese New Year plus a week delay is 9 business weeks or so... It's a f*cking long wait, but what are the alternatives? It's fine. They sound amazing. They are incredibly comfy and seal you out completely.

 

 

Check them out on my system pics page (see my signature)

 

Pretty!

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBTouch ->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: iPeng (iPad Air & iPhone); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: iPhone 12 ProMax & Radio Paradise or NAS streaming; Sony NWZ ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  

Link to comment
Got my K10's yesterday.

 

Congrats. Those are my favorite in-ear monitors too!

 

As for the ZX2, I don't think the support for TIDAL is full-res, is it? Gotta be honest, WiFi on my portable isn't really on the Top 10 list for me. Interesting, maybe, but that starts crossing over into territory I kinda have already covered with my iPhone.

 

As for the Pono, not sure the form factor matters all that much. Sure, you're not going to swing it in your pocket while you workout. But to be honest, not sure that's exactly the place to enjoy high-quality sound. When you're sitting down, at your quiet desk, the triangle shape lets me see the screen while I type. Not too shabby, actually. Almost like they planned it that way. ;-)

Link to comment
As for the ZX2, I don't think the support for TIDAL is full-res, is it? Gotta be honest, WiFi on my portable isn't really on the Top 10 list for me. Interesting, maybe, but that starts crossing over into territory I kinda have already covered with my iPhone. ]

Well, if any android device can support HIFI mode, then the ZX2 will too: you're installing the same exact app. As for the convenience of this, well, it's massive in my opinion: you'd be using the high quality DAC and amp in the ZX2. Plus you get offline mode since it's an android app, so you can take your TIDAL music around even when you don't have wifi. A no brainer in my opinion.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
As for the Pono, not sure the form factor matters all that much. Sure, you're not going to swing it in your pocket while you workout. But to be honest, not sure that's exactly the place to enjoy high-quality sound. When you're sitting down, at your quiet desk, the triangle shape lets me see the screen while I type. Not too shabby, actually. Almost like they planned it that way. ;-)

As for the shape of the Pono, frankly this is probably the biggest issue I have with the device. If I am at my computer at home I would be using my Ray Samuels The Predator DAC/amp connected to my computer (which although limited to 48KHz/16bit is truly magical sounding). I want a portable player for doing stuff around the house or while traveling: not being able to put the Toblerono in my pocket is a big deal to me.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
Congrats. Those are my favorite in-ear monitors too!

 

As for the ZX2, I don't think the support for TIDAL is full-res, is it? Gotta be honest, WiFi on my portable isn't really on the Top 10 list for me. Interesting, maybe, but that starts crossing over into territory I kinda have already covered with my iPhone.

 

As for the Pono, not sure the form factor matters all that much. Sure, you're not going to swing it in your pocket while you workout. But to be honest, not sure that's exactly the place to enjoy high-quality sound. When you're sitting down, at your quiet desk, the triangle shape lets me see the screen while I type. Not too shabby, actually. Almost like they planned it that way. ;-)

ZX-2 + Noble K10 custom is sublime. I have never heard anything like this.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
Agree both the ZX1 & ZX2 sound great, have you tried it as your source in your main system?

I'm a bit shocked that "reputable" reviewers put opinions out there about the ZX2 without clearly listening to the device. When you voice an opinion on a device close to the very top of the category, you MUST get your due diligence done - or shut up.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
I'm a bit shocked that "reputable" reviewers put opinions out there about the ZX2 without clearly listening to the device. When you voice an opinion on a device close to the very top of the category, you MUST get your due diligence done - or shut up.

 

Would love to hear how it sounds compared to your Mini/dac in your main system?

Link to comment
Would love to hear how it sounds compared to your Mini/dac in your main system?

I don't think this is a reasonable comparison... My DAC alone is $25k. The ZX2 doesn't really have a line out. It just wouldn't make any sense to do this comparison.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
not being able to put the Toblerono in my pocket is a big deal to me.

 

That's not an issue with the Pono Player, that's an issue with your pants. Ditch the hipster skinny jeans and replace them with cargos. Problem solved.

 

;-)

Office: MacBook Pro - Audirvana Plus - Resonessence Concero - Cavailli Liquid Carbon - Sennheiser HD 800.

Travel/Portable: iPhone 7 or iPad Pro - AudioQuest Dragonfly Red - Audeze SINE or Noble Savant

Link to comment
That's not an issue with the Pono Player, that's an issue with your pants. Ditch the hipster skinny jeans and replace them with cargos. Problem solved.

 

;-)

Wear different!

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
That's not an issue with the Pono Player, that's an issue with your pants. Ditch the hipster skinny jeans and replace them with cargos. Problem solved.

 

;-)

Shouldn't take fashion advice from Mr Young really...

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
The ZX1 converts DSD to PCM even when connected by OTG cable to the PHA3. Either the Android version does not support or Sony does not allow USB host mode to allow DSD transfer. I even tried an app for USB host mode and the PHA3 shows active but still no DSD transfer.

IIRC, Steve Rochlin mentioned somewhere that he was able to get DSD out, albeit I don't think it was specifically with the PHA-3.

 

I understand that the DSD is converted when the ZX2 is played by itself but I have not come across a review where it is connected to the PHA3

My assumption is that the volume control is done digitally in the ZX2 hence the need for PCM.

 

One other issue is battery life. On the ZX1 the battery lasts a quite a while; I can travel all day with it on and have plenty of battery that evening. But connected to the PHA3 the battery lasts 5 or 6 hours max. Same as the PHA3. I also carry a 12000 mAhr battery pack.

If I really need a PHA-3 for the ZX2 to sound ok, then it is not worth it to me. I presume that the ZX2 might need an amp if you wanted to drive inefficient cans. But with my Noble K10's I get plenty of juice - setting the volume 1/3 of the way is very loud already.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment
Does the ZX2 have a line level out or a digital out? Or is it just headphone out?

Headphone out + digital out through the Walkman port. No line level out.

 

Also, how easy is it to stream hi-res from your NAS on your network?

There's an (included) app for that. Works just fine. Requires a DLNA server, as it should.

 

Also keep in mind that this is a full-blown and fully-functional Android device. You can install any app from the Google Play store - TIDAL, Spotify, TuneIn, Pandora, etc. etc. My understanding is that AK240 does not allow you to install anything.

NUC10i7 + ROCK > dCS Rossini Apex DAC + dCS Rossini Clock 

SME 20/3 + SME V 9” + Dynavector XV-1s > vdH The Grail

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo

Signal cables: Kondo Silver, Crystal Cable phono

Power cables: Kondo, Shunyata, van den Hul

system pics

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...