For the audiophile who has to have it all, Sony is now offering an SD card that claims to offer 'Premium Sound', ideal for its new range of high-end, high-resolution Walkmans.

The SR-64HXA micro SDXC memory card is due on sale in Japan next month for 18,500 yen, which translates as around £100. That makes it around five times more expensive than the average memory card. 

Why would you spend the extra? Sony claims the card helps to "reduce electrical noise generated when the file [your digital music] is read". So if you store music on a memory card, this super-SD should help suppress electrical noise, which can affect sound quality. That's Sony's theory, at least...

The Sony Japan website suggests while the capacity and speed of cards can be the same, the parts and materials can be different - and, so Sony says, that can make a difference to the sound.

High-res audio is a big focus for Sony at the moment, with the launch of the £950 flagship NWZ-ZX2 Walkman at CES 2015.

But, with many people struggling to be convinced by high-res music, we can't help thinking a "Premium Sound" memory card might be an even harder sell...

More after the break

MORE: High-res audio - everything you need to know 




speculatrix's picture

was there some skepticism here?

Given What HiFi's praise of all sorts of products which can't make a difference to sound quality, I am surprised they haven't leaped to praise this too.
I guess because it's got a mainstream brand on it rather than some esoteric specialist name WHF didn't feel the need.

nawillih's picture

The only "dodgy" things they

The only "dodgy" things they review are CD players and cables, to my knowledge, and there are plenty of people who believe that they do make a difference to sound quality.

A 'premium sound' SD card, on the other hand, is so obviously a load of tosh that even WH-F can see through the ruse...

Lourens De Beer's picture

For the sceptics

Food for thought.

Does it make sense to go and produce cables, memory cards etc that are more expensive to design and produce, and that you will sell much less off than the run a the mill everyday product? No it does not.

And yes, although the quality improvement against the higher price one normaly pay for audiophile equipment and accessories doesn't par up in % factors - there is definatly a differce in audio quality. One just have to have a few friends that loves music and that will not sit an joke around when doing a blind test, and you will find there are distinc different quality ann any equipment and accessories.

In Sony's claim in the sound improvement of these sd cards being worth 5x the price above normal goog quality sd cards with same technical specs will have to be tested. 


Audiofoolius's picture

Far fetched, but the proof of the pudding...

I agree with you on this one, Lourens. I am not saying that Sony has reinvented hot water, but shouldn't we first test it with our own ears before making a judgment?

What are most people actually saying on these forums? Sources, DAC's, amps, cables,... All make no difference whatsoever. That is utter BS! Speakers do make the biggest difference, that's a fact. But every other link in the audio chain has some kind of influence on the endresult. Cables can make a worthwhile improvement in finetuning the sound of a system. Even USB-cables can alter the sound and not in a subtle way too. Yes, I tested this with my own ears...

Oh yeah, and the biggest joke of all: some are buying expensive audio systems and listen to lossy audio codecs!Shok If you can't hear the difference between a good lossless recording and lossy audioformats, then your hearing must suffer some kind of deficiency. The difference is as big as SD vs HD video! And I am not even talking about high-resolution music. A great mastertape in high-res sounds way better than a CD or LP. Of course, poorly mastertapes won't be impressive, not even in high-res. But that does't mean that high-res is rubbish!

nawillih's picture

What I would say is that Sony

What I would say is that Sony are a company who are are out make a profit. If they think they can charge quadruple the price for a product by changing the label, then they'll go for it. As it is, they're effectively immune to criticism, as they can just say that 'audio is subjective." It might be a win-win for Sony, but that doesn't mean that any of the marketing is true.

I suppose, for a more balamced view, one could sya that even if this only provaides a benefit by placebo, that placebo may enhance someone's enjoyment enough for it to be worth £100 to them.

Geddy Lee's picture


BS. Period.

lpv's picture

sony - you only help me to

sony - you only help me to not buy anything from you. did you speak to pono guru lately?

AlbaBrown's picture

Another nail in the coffin. RIP

Normally I despise the "digital is digital" brigade (who read various technical papers written by "experts who have patently love maths but have no comprehension of audio engineering nor the concept of jitter/error correction etc), but you have to join hands with them when this blatent marketing con pops up!

Not new for Sony and the like though. Anyone remember "For Digital" branding on headphones when CD Walkmans first came out?

Highway's picture


Digital IS digital. I think most of us who have done soem reading understand that data communications employ some form of error correrction. So in the case of say an HDMI cable, you don't need to spend hundreds on one, a cheap one will work exactly the same providing it is not damaged in any way.

relocated's picture


Why oh why WHF, would you give this trash the oxygen of free publicity?  Have you sunk SO low that all your foreheads scrape along the ground?  Despicable.

Joe Cox's picture


Why? It's clearly relevant to what we cover, of interest to our readers, and was written with a healthy scepticism. It's not "free publicity" it's keeping our readers informed.

bamindy's picture

This is no different from

This is no different from those claiming USB cables made digital sound better. If Sony are claiming other cards affect sound quality, then I won't be buying any of their's...

As for the comments about it not making sense to make expensive things that don't improve end quality... Emperor's new clothes...