Sony A845 Right Mark Audio Analyzer RMAA scores
One test failed and I will have to redo it, but Sony's new badboy is now mine for a week. It is a player I really want to love, but cannot fully. Not only does it fail to drive earphones as well as my iPod touch and sacrifice low and high detail for mids, it has artefacts such as hiss and clicking in the background.
It looks sexy though and has a decent EQ. Still, for music, I have slowly but surely been going back to one player only: the iPod touch.
Anyway, here are the RMAA scores for the A845. They are both loaded and unloaded and when I am able to right the crashed test, I will show the differences between an amped headphone output and an amped line out via ALO's Line Out Dock. Unfortunately, it seems that Sony's LO isn't as well implemented as Apples, but I hadn't expected much better to be sure: Sony have opted for marketing SQ rather than real SQ for many years.
The headphones I used for testing the Sony are my favourite and reference customs:
1. FitEar Private 333 16Ω triple BA custom earphone
2. And the satisfactory Kenwood C711 single driver dynamic driver earphone
For reference, the iPod touch drives both a bit better than the Sony.
Right Mark Audio Analyzer (RMAA) graphs to follow
These are unloaded A845 RMAA scores - no headphones
These are all UNLOADED meaning no headphones in parallel to the headphone output. As you can see, the Sony isn't really reproducing the sound wave that well, but it could be worse. And since this is UNLOADED, wait till you see how well (not) it drives earphones.
Sony A845 unloaded Right Mark Audio Analyzer RMAA scores - no headphones continued
And RMAA succinctly summarises the A845's performance which is in both hardware and listening tests, subpar for a device which advertises SQ and its 'S-Master' amp. I am not impressed, but that doesn't mean the device isn't fun to listen to. A lot of people drone on about SQ as it is 'clear' etc.; what they are hearing is the recessed bass and treble in comparison to the midrange, making instruments and vocals stand out whilst sacrificing resolution in both areas which are part of the original wave.
That and noise is terrific (in a bad way). I want to like this player, but alas, I cannot.