Sony has come under fire for launching a solid-state memory card which it claims offers improved sound quality over its significantly cheaper rivals.
In the latest in a long-standing tradition of companies looking to take advantage of audiophiles, Sony has released a micro-SD card which is branded as 'for Premium Sound
.' Adhering to the SDXC standard, the card stores 64GB and is being positioned by the company as the perfect accessory for its high-end Walkman NW-ZX2 digital music player.
While full details of the company's plans are not yet available, the Wall Street Journal
claims that the SR-64HXA micro-SD card is to launch next month in Japan at $160, compared to under $35 for a Sony-branded micro-SD card of the same capacity but lacking the 'for Premium Sound
The reasoning behind the high price, the WSJ reports, is that 'the SR-64HXA produces less electrical noise when reading data
,' noting that this is a claim made by the company rather than any form of factual statement. 'We aren’t that sure about the product’s potential demand,
' a spokesperson admitted to the paper, 'but we thought some among people who are committed to great sound quality would want it.
While the WSJ's coverage of the launch is reasonably gentle, other publications haven't been as kind. The general feel: Sony is looking to rip its customers off, selling a product which is scientifically incapable of delivering on its promise of improved audio quality.
Sony is hardly alone in looking to make a fast buck from people who struggle to understand how digital signals differ from analogue equivalents: back in 2012 WireDream began selling a £190 silver SATA cable
which it claimed could boost the quality of digital audio files stored on a hard drive or SSD. More recently, The Register
mocked Audio Quest for advertising an Ethernet cable with claims it would improve the quality of digital audio files transferred over a network for the low, low price of just £6,899.
Sony has not indicated whether it plans to bring the 'for Premium Sound
' range of solid-state storage cards to the UK.