I noticed it on the WSJ site but plenty of other audio sites picked up on the news that Sony has announced a microSD card that is engineered for sound quality. This new microSD “for Premium Sound” can store 64 GB of data (presumably music data since I’m not sure it would improve the accuracy of your spreadsheet or enhance the contrast of your photos) and will sell for $160 in Japan, which is roughly five times the price of a standard microSD card. The new cards will be available in March.
A spokesperson for Sony is quoted in the WSJ article as saying, “We aren’t that sure about the product’s potential demand, but we thought some among people who are committed to great sound quality would want it.”
Wait a second, I’m committed to great sound quality but I wouldn’t purchase a pricey microSD card from Sony or anyone else. Sony claims, “The SR-64HXA produces less electrical noise when reading data, the company says.” And does anyone expect that less electrical noise when reading the data will translate into better sound? It’s another case of confusing the characteristics associated with analog recording and electronics with the very different world of digital.
There is absolutely no chance that having less electrical noise when reading data will improve the translation of digital data into sound through a DAC in their new flagship digital Walkman or any other DAC. The premium price associated with the new card will attract the same people that think striping the outside of your CDs with a green magic marker will keep the “sound from escaping” from the edge of the disc.
Frankly, I’m surprised that Sony has moved into the world of tweaky audiophile accessories and there’s not doubt that some of the reviewers at the major magazines will write a very positive review about the “easily perceptible lower noise floor” of recordings coming off of these revolutionary “premium sound cards”.
This would get them in the same business as Synergistic Research, one of my favorite companies peddling nonsense tweaks for audiophiles. I got an email this morning from the head of the LA & OC Audio Society that mentions that members will be able to experience the amazing “phono transducers” as well as other tweaks by the company. According to their website (another very slick one), this remarkable development is, “Available in two distinct strains, Type ‘I’ PHT’s add holographic realism to your recordings while Type ‘S’ are all about focus, clarity, and musicality.”
And just what is a PHT. Take a look at the picture below:
Figure 1 – The small “Blue Velvet” cylinder on the top of the phono cartridge is the “device” that will cost you $200 and bring “holographic” realism to your vinyl LPs. The website describes the “Blue Velvet” PHT.
“Type ‘I’ PHT is called Blue Velvet. Its sound is ethereal, lush and holographic. You’ll definitely ‘trip out’ the first time you experience your system on Blue Velvet!”
Is it only audiophiles that fall for this stuff?