Sony has air-shipped into the US about 200 of the first Hi-Res Audio in-dash car audio head units, which almost immediately sold out. The model RSX-GS9 at $1,400 suggested retail price is reaching dealers this week.
Sony has called the RSX-GS9 the radio “with the best specifications ever.”
Sony is one of the few aftermarket car audio companies that is also a full-line home theater supplier and so it hopes to drive some of its home audio customers to its new high end 12 volt offering.
“People who have Hi-Res Audio in the home will want in the car. It’s a way to make Sony home audio customers into car audio customers,” said Sony’s Takumi Sasaki.
Some industry members say Hi-Res Audio is a new opportunity that will give customers a new reason to buy high end audio.
Sony will offer about 50 home, portable and car audio Hi-Res Audio (HRA) products in the US in 2016, more than double its offering in 2015. HRA now represents a double digit percentage of its audio revenues in the US (as HRA is usually found on higher end products).
Outside the US, in East Asia, Korea, Japan, HRA is even more popular and is considered a key selling point, said Sasaki.
The new Sony RSX-GS9 can play 192kHz/24 bit PCM and 2.8MHz & 5.6 MHz DSD audio with a frequency response of 20Hz-90kHz and an SN radio of 117dB. Typical specs for CD players are 44.kHz/16 bit audio, 20Hz-20kHz with an SN of around 100. The RSX-GS9 can also upscale non-Hi-Res Audio files to improve performance.