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IFA 2019 Sony Preview (update)

Sony IFA 2019

At last year's IFA, Sony brought the A50 Walkman, DMP-Z1, WH-1000XM3, WF-SP900 and their new Premium Signature Series to the show, and this it seems this year will be filled with lots of new goodies. Sony will hold their IFA press conference on September 5th at 13:00 local time.

So far there is no stream link which I can embed but there is a live stream link on Sony UK, and it should be live 30 minutes before the show. I will post an embedded link stream here once it appears.

Link now up and embedded, 0 hours to go. I will mention, some of the FCC filings were rather late, so there is always a chance not everything here will show up at IFA but they should.



Sony IFA 2019Here are the times for other time zones.

Los Angeles, US: September 5th, 04:00
New York, US: September 5th, 07:00
London, UK: September 5th, 12:00
Tokyo, Japan: September 5th, 20:00
Melbourne, Australia: September 5th, 21:00

I will keep updating this post with any new information and details as I receive them, so keep checking back for any leaks or new information.


Last year, on the IFA website, the Sony press conference mentioned an exclusive booth unveiling in the title, and this year is no different with the same identical description of the press conference.

Sony IFA 2019

Judging by last year's show, this probably means just new devices that have not been announced elsewhere and should debut at IFA. Of course there is always a chance Sony will have a surprise, perhaps some new products without any wireless so they do not have to pass through the FCC or Bluetooth certification. That means there is always a chance for some high end in ear headphones like the XBA line or successor of the MDR-Z7M2 which would be a nice surprise. So let me break down what we can expect at the show this year.
  1. NW-ZX500
  2. NW-A100
  3. WI-1000XM2
  4. WH-H910N
  5. WH-H810
  6. WF-H800
  7. WH-CH510
  8. WI-XB400

NW-ZX500
sony nw-zx500 nw-zx507
Sony will be bringing 2 new Walkmans to IFA, the first is the ZX500, successor to the ZX300. The player should be positioned between ZX300 and DMP-Z1. The design should feature a touchscreen, along with microSD support and at least 64GB of internal storage, but it could be more, not sure which capacity NW-ZX507 represents. The player will come with Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 2.4/5.0 Ghz and NFC. I would imagine USB type-C will be included like with all new Sony devices. Colour options could be black and silver like previously and these might be region specific again as well. There is a chance the device might have a similar colour scheme to the original Walkman from 1979, but this might be reserved for the NW-A100 model. It will be interesting to see if Sony continues aptX support, since they are dropping it in favour of their own LDAC. Expect a premium price for a premium device.






NW-A100
sony nw-a100 nw-a105 walkman

The second walkman to debut is the replacement of the NW-A50, which was sold in only limited markets, so hopefully this new model will be a more global device. The design appears to have a large touchscreen with thin bezels and hopefully Sony has kept the side physical controls as well. Like the NW-ZX500, the new A100 also sports Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and WiFi 2.4/5.0 Ghz. The A55 came in 3 different capacities, 16, 32 and 64GB, and with and without NC headphones, the A100 might follow this same pattern, and with this year being the 40th Anniversary of the Walkman, perhaps Sony will have 32GB as the smallest capacity but I doubt it.


The NW-A55 supported a wide variety of codecs, including Sony's LDAC and aptX. But the question is will aptX be dropped in favour for LDAC? The upcoming WI-1000XM2 only supports LDAC, so perhaps this is a future trend of only supporting LDAC in their new devices. Who knows, maybe Sony will keep aptX support in their walkman devices but I am not counting on it.

Would Sony dropping aptX make any difference in your purchase of a walkman or not? Personally for me I hardly use aptX on my A10 and my aptX headphones, so Sony not including would not be a big issue for me. Unfortunately my MDR-10RBT's do not support LDAC, so I have not been able to try it out with my walkman. It will be interesting to see which route Sony takes, either keept both aptX and LDAC or drop aptX and just focus on LDAC.

WI-1000XM2
sony wi-1000xm2 WI-1000XM2
Sony will finally be updating their WI-1000X headphones from 2017. I will not be posting all of the photos here from the leaked documents, so check out the original post for all the photos.

Unlike the WF-1000XM3, the WI-1000XM2 does support LDAC but with Sony moving to a Mediatek BT chip and dropping Qualcomm, aptX support has also been dropped.

The new headset features Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC, but in the certification photos I am unable to find the NFC logo, perhaps it will be on the right side like in the previous model. The photos in the certification do look a bit cheap and underwhelming, but the device is a prototype and the materials should look better on the production model. For example the printed sticker will be laser printed on the retail version. The weight seems to have decreased to 58g but this is not specified if this is just the main unit or will headphones. The previous model was 61g for the main unit and 71g overall, it will be interesting where the weight savings come from, less battery, less materials or something else.

Battery life is currently unknown, the manual does not have it filled in, but I would imagine we are looking at at least 2-3 more hours compared to the previous model. As for price, I suspect they might cost more than the previous model but this is only based on the WF-1000XM3 price increase from the first mode.

WH-H910N
A replacement for the WH-H900N, H. Ear On 2 is expected at IFA but very little information is known about the headset. I can only confirm Bluetooth 5.0, and noise cancellation but have no information about NFC but it should be available. I would suspect LDAC will be supported but not sure about aptX, it depends if Sony sticks to Qualcomm or moves to Mediatek. Like all new Sony headphones, it should come with USB type-C.

It will be interesting to see if Sony decides to use a special NC chip like on the WH-1000XM3 or just some a standard one like the previous model used. Sony might offer the headset in a variety of colours like previously, and these colour options may be available across all of the h.ear on/in 3 line, assuming Sony will decide to use the h.ear on label again.

WH-H810
Even less is known about the WH-H810, successor to the h.ear on 2 mini. I would suspect Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and USB type C, but no noise cancellation. The design should be similar to the larger WH-910N, with both models sharing the same colours. There is no FCC filing for the headset, so there is a chance it will not be sold everywhere, but unconfirmed at this moment. These should be part of the new h.ear on 3 line.

WF-H800

The WF-H800 should be the last member of a new possible h.ear on 3 line. Little is known about this device, but the above does provide us with a general idea of the design. I would venture to guess we are looking at Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC, with USB type C on the charging case. The model name lacks any Noise cancellation label so I do not expect it to feature NC. Codec support is unknown at this moment but should be similar to the WF-1000XM3. Colour options should follow the rest of the h.ear on 3 lineup.






WH-CH510
Sony WH-CH510

I have already revealed the design of the WH-CH510 back in July from the FCC documents, but this is the first official photo of a production unit. The headset is expected to launch in the middle of September priced at $59.99 USD, same its predecessor.

The headset features Bluetooth 5.0 but lacks NFC, something the previous model had. Not sure why Sony has decided to drop NFC. Battery life is rated up to 35 hours with a full recharge taking 4.5 hours and quick charge of 10 minutes providing up to 90 min of use.

The driver is 30mm, so same as the previous model and includes a built in microphone and support for Siri and Google Assistant. Colour options are only black like the previous model. The voice assistants cannot be activated using "Ok Google" or "Hey Siri", instead one has to press the play/call button twice in succession to activate them. The right side includes physical controls for play/call, next/vol + and previous/vol -. In order to skip tracks, one has to hold the next or previous buttons until a beep is heard, otherwise the buttons function as volume with a quick click.

The WH-CH510 should be a solid affordable wireless headset, but the lack of NFC is puzzling. If anyone wishes to pre-order, I have provided a link below.



WI-XB400
Sony WI-XB400

The WI-XB400 is the last wireless headset from Sony at IFA; I have already written a bit about it back in July, but I will expand on more details here. The headset almost looks to be a Xtra Bass variant of the WI-C310 but instead of using a 9mm driver, the WI-XB400 use a 12mm driver which should offer a more deeper and richer sound than the WI-C310. Both devices use the RTL8763B BT chip.
Bluetooth 5.0 is present but NFC is not, battery life is rated up to 15 hours with a quick 10min recharge providing up to 60min of use. Voice assistants from Google and Apple are also supported like the WI-C310 and work the same way as I outlined above in the WH-CH510.

Pricing will be $59.99 USD or $20 more than the WI-C310, with an expected shipping date of around September 9th. There will be 2 colour options, black and blue. Unfortunately these are not sports headphones so there is no water/dust resistance, hopefully this will not become an issue with people using these for work outs.

Pre-order is up on Amazon, so if anyone wishes to grab one, please use the link below, thanks.



That should be everything wirelss, there is no WH-1000XM4 FCC filing so I would not expect it at the show, maybe later this year. As for other headphones, there is always a chance for a new XBA line and a super high end headset like the MDR-Z7M2. As always if anyone has anymore information or photos, please contact me via this link.

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