Sony’s S-Master audio chip not heading to an Xperia any time soon

by XB on 2nd December 2013

in Rumours

Sony S_Master Digital AmpSony is on a journey of convergence at the moment, bringing together key tech from across its business to create super mobile products. This is what the company needs to do to differentiate itself from the fierce competition and justify a premium price tag. The Sony Xperia Z1 was the first handset on this journey, marrying a number of Sony features including BIONZ imaging, 20.7MP Exmor RS camera sensor and TRILUMINOS display.

Sony fans have also been eagerly awaiting the inclusion of dedicated audio chips to really enhance the WALKMAN experience. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like that is happening any time soon according to Wang Guoxiong, deputy director of Sony’s audio marketing department, who was speaking to

He said that there are no current plans to equip a Sony Xperia device with the S-master digital amplifier. The main reasons cited are to do with complications around heat dissipation and power consumption. However, he offered hope, by suggesting that Sony is studying the feasibility of introducing the chip in an Xperia smartphone at some point down the road. Would you like to see a Sony Xperia smartphone with dedicated audio chips? Or does it come down the pecking order, behind features such as display, camera etc.? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.


  • Guest

    Hell yeah I’d like to see it, or rather hear it!
    Sony is just using the Walkman name, when I see it now, it means nothing to me, put some life back in the name and make it a worthy premium product like before

  • Mohit Gupta

    I am dying for a true walkman phone! It’s been ages now!

  • Mohit Gupta

    I am dying for a true walkman phone from Sony! It’s been ages now!! :-(

  • Clive

    I’d love to see it happen & have a good all round device. I find the audio in my Z1 to be quite low at times & hopefully a dedicated chip will make this better along with a decent speaker in the device.

  • Mohit Gupta

    I think earlier walkman phones from Sony Ericsson, produced much better sound than our Xperias.. Disappointing..

  • Alex

    Totally agree with this. Also the sound on my Sony Ericsson C510 phone (my last feature phone pre moving to Xperias) is amazing and soo much better than my X10 or my Xperia S!

  • Xadiq

    Xperia W1 perhaps? One that focuses on great audio and superb display? One can only hope.

  • lunkz

    Why they should shoot at her own knee, they have already a Walkman Android with S-Master Audio Chip, the only thing is, you can’t talk with it over GSM, only WiFi and Skype etc.

    Sony NW-ZX1 and NW-F880 btw.

  • Tardar Sauce

    low sound is not because of poor chip or something, but it has something to do with some laws and thus is limited. I often get even messages warning me to turn the volume down. I noticed that after 70% of volume on Z1, it doesn’t get any louder. it gets a little louder when your press the volume rocker for a piece of a second and then it goes back. so there are some limitations. but yes, it would be great to get a dedicated chip and better sound. I connected my ELE EL D01 Audio DAC to my Z1 and the sound is much better and louder with stock headphones.

  • bobeobi gzigzigzeo

    I’m happy, no need to save money and buy smth other than my Z1

  • Anukul

    that thing takes a lot of battery I guess

  • hans

    Well with Walkman device they don’t have to mess around with GSM signal and super duper high res screen meaning plus quad core CPU.. so all the power margin is optimized to S-Master chip.

  • Tangent Lin

    I bought Z1 and I realize Z1 used different screen panel. Not every Z1 have same color reproduction. Hope sony will fixed it. TRILUMINOS display is working well in Z Ultra but not Z1. Hardware for camera is excellent in Z1 but the software of the camera still have some space to make it better. Don’t let your fans feel regretted for buying the best of sony.

  • Colby Leong

    I rather they improve upon what they already have. I like Sony, but they’re not as innovative as they used to be. Unfortunately, Samsung sort of got it right by putting all these weird, and maybe over the top, features. Sony can’t just stand alone against the world with just it’s ruggedness and design. Once they have something that puts them ahead of that “innovation curb” then they should focus on the smaller aspects like audio chips. While the HTC One has great sound and design it obviously wasn’t enough to pull the company out of the hole they were in. Before anyone says that nobody has heard about HTC, you have to remember that not a lot of people even know Sony produces phones.
    Lead the world in innovation again, fix those stupid problems that they had on the other flagships.(i.e. bezels, screen angles, android updates, etc)

  • Harut Hajin

    My borthers xperia active sounds like HTC One , and its water and dust proof , but My Z like ion . But its not mean any bad , I love SONY >

  • Persian User

    Totally agree but don’t forget that their thickness was 3,4 times more than today’s Xperias and they were not waterproof, but i think Sony can do a lot better with their audio quality.
    Im more eager to see a Xperia Play Station ASAP.

  • sisore

    Eagerly waiting to see one :)

  • cs098

    Sony is not willing to cannibalize, and thus screen, camera and music quality are not up to potential.

  • Tom Nguyen

    it is time for s master to keep xperia user upgrade their phone!
    for sure every body is looking for the iphone 6 with bigger screen

  • roeshak

    Look people, all these brand names like bravia, x-reality, bionz are all pale imitations of the real deal when implemented on mobile.
    It’s just a shameless use of very identifiable brands to sell phones.
    The mobile versions are crap. Period!
    Maybe one day we may see these technologies properly implemented in the mobile division but for now, it’s all just nonsense!

  • adeceku

    Also their hardware, the speaker from my X10 mini pro sounds much better, cleaner and more bass than my Xperia S!

  • Marinko Agic

    And it’s camera better,on Satio or C905 than on todays Xperia!

  • swap002

    I think Live With Walkman was last true Walkman handset. I’ve got one. Sound is loud and clear.

  • nico_31

    Not necessarily the S-master audio chip, but indeed a better audio chip is now required…

  • Niclas Sweden

    C905 and x8 has thé best sound ever now is the sound A’s u say worst ever :-/

  • ahomad hosin

    I dont agree with you calling Samsung innovative. I have SGS4 and Z1. The Z1 is miles ahead in almost everything. Yes SGS4 is full of features, but most of which are just useless an example is eye tracking which is never ever accurate, it gets annoying that I had to turn it off. This too many useless features are called bloatwere not innovation, it has really bad impact on the battery and performance. Z1 might not has a many features as the SGS4, but it has alot better performance and battery life and the features there are useful such as small apps and camera apps. I am not saying Sony is the best, but they did really good job with the Z1 and I do prefer it over the SGS4.

  • James Earley

    Damn, one of the things I wanted most of all to appear on the Z2.

  • FolkCleric

    Same with my old Xperia X8. The sound is much better.

  • DrKrFfXx

    Not necesarily.

    I have a Walkman Z, equipped with the S Master MX, and it can play music for some good 30-35h out of a 1200mAh battery.

    My Xperia Z literaly dies when used as a mp3 player. Some 20h out of a 2300mAh battery.

  • Pingback: ???? ?? ?? - S-Master ? ??? ??? ??????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ??? Xperia ?? ????? .()

  • Pingback: ???? ?? ?? - S-Master ? ??? ??? ??????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ??? Xperia ?? ?????()

  • Exodite

    I’d rather start with better speakers for phone calls, given that those are by far the weakest link in that particular audio chain.

  • Colby Leong

    I didn’t say they were innovative, I’m saying that all these useless features makes the general public think that Samsung is being given innovative. I know Sony is better, but they can’t just stand on looks and how water resistant your phone is. And the Z1 had much more bloatware than the Z did.

  • Dave Maudsley

    BASS (Bass Audio Sound Systems) has a much more powerful audio chip with more efficiency. Sony should consult with dr.Bass (bass the cat) and sort something out.

  • Padloyy

    Sony Xperia Walkman L successor to Live with Walkman. Rumoured 2014 Q3. Similar to the Xperia line but separate with dedicated BASS chip. Specs; 1Ghz single core, 512mb RAM, 1GB internal, 3MP camera (VGA 10fps) & 3.2 inch screen.

  • Shimoda

    The only thing I dislike about the current walkman app is that, when the bass turn loud, the sound turns low.. How am I supposed to test a high end headphone with a low volume ? you know ;( .. beside that I’m happy with my xperia :P

  • osamaH Al-Amri

    It’s a “better to have”, but not “a must”.

  • shanefalco

    On the Z-series audio is too low because of the waterproofing, I hope in the future to avoid the waterproofing bring the audio back at higher levels with better quality.

  • guest

    maybe it will kill their walkman division

  • xperiax10.awesome

    You will never get BEST from SONY !!

  • Nick

    Undeniable,the previous walkman phone like w800 and even k750 have better sound quality,hope will have another chips for sound devices(new develpo),maybe suit for phone and battery saving

  • Billy de Fretes

    miss all my previous W700, W800 and W960 .. miss the old days ..

  • Billy de Fretes

    what about ZL.. it’s not waterproof type

  • Eman Philic

    coming to SONY hardware, SPEAKERS are the WORST cheap quality maded by sony.
    if we have a quality speaker, thats really gud enough for great sound and no need of chips.

  • Basharca

    I second that, well said. People keep bragging about Samsung features while in reality they’re nothing more than gimmicks. There are still companies that are trying to be innovative and Samsung ain’t one of them.
    The Z1 was a step in the right direction. Sony lately are improving dramatically, I just hope Sony continues what they began since the Xperia Z.

  • j0

    That’s true man

  • what?? the specs is so yesterday

  • LTF (long time fan)



  • vigneshprince

    My opinion, no need to enhance any sound devices, I’m totally fine with my Xperia Z and its Headset is absolutely great for me, But need to improve camera quality cause some 8mp cameras are better than xz’s 13mp in some cases. Display is also need to be improved like the display used in XZ ultra!!! apart from that I’m totally fine with my Xperia Z. Sony ROCKS.

  • vigneshprince

    yeah when compared to my new XZ my older LWW had great speakers! and c510 had clear speaker! but are we going to hear always through speakers that is the point?

  • vigneshprince

    yeah that is why sony is not including such glitches in mobile! if sony does it does it’s best!

  • vigneshprince

    yeah the best in speaker, which is dual one and great sound! unfortunately I sold it to buy XZ! :-(

  • Colby Leong

    I agree with that, the Z was definitely a good step in the right direction, and the Z1 is more than capable to wake over as there flagship phone. I’m saying they need to step up there game, something that hasn’t been seen before. Samsung’s gimmicks are no real proof of innovation, clearly. Maybe it’s time for Sony to jump on the Samsung and Apple bandwagon, which is pretty much just put the latest and greatest tech (i.e. chipsets, camera sensors, bigger/better battery etc) in there phone, on add there water resistance, and top it all off with some crazy gimmick.

    Because no matter how dumb you think Samsung’s “innovation”, and Apple’s fingerprint scanner is there sales alone is proof enough that maybe Sony phone’s could benefit from some crazy gimmick.

  • Madhu PV

    Audio quality of my old W810i is far better than my new Xperia Z :(

  • heng

    Just change TFT to IPS

  • davidjohnsan121

    Voice quality bater then x10. i really like it. if you need sticker printing and bumper sticker please visit us at

  • Mylo Vita Clie’

    I’ll always support Sony but I think those features that samsung did with their flagship phone it’s cool enough to call it “innovation” and it’s not useless and I think our Sony needs more real cool WOW FACTORS.

  • Martin Ambre

    Sony is becoming like Samsung
    Waste Chinese product, similar

    Furthermore updates have.even slowed down than before

    Sick of my Xperia Acro S
    I would prefer Ericsson’s fones

  • Mohit Gupta

    My experience so far with Sony / Sony Ericsson..
    My purchase was a T610i which was amazing and think it made me buy other Sony Ericsson products.. Next was a k750i which was purely fantastic! The design, the camera, the music was just wow! I would rate it the best from Sony Ericsson.. Then unfortunately I got a g900 which I think was average.. Not bad.. I personally feel the music player in my k750i produces much better experience when compared to my Xperia Z, Xperia Arc, Xperia Go.. I still love Sony though, it’s an emotional bond with the company which keeps me as a customer for my dad once (15-20 years back I guess) said that Sony is the best! I still believe in that..

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  • John Doe

    YES, I’d like to see such a device!
    Anything that makes the Xperoa more competitive is apreciated … ;-)

  • Totally agree with this. I am one of those that don’t care about images and cameras and whatnot. All I care about is a greate sound. I need a new walkman phone!

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    Look at another brand as they use a dedicate chip already (Samsung and iPhone 4s use wolfson) why sony mobile don’t upgrade their product ? Don’t they feel shame ?

  • Chip Master

    I want that chips!!

  • 3rdflyleaf

    Oh, not again Sony, with your UNbalanced specs!

  • Gamer

    Yeah maybe:

    1. XPERIA Z Serie = flagship phone. Focus on camera

    2. XPERIA W Serie = Music phone

    3. XPERIA play = Phone for gamers, maybe dual boot VitaOS and Android + detachable controller.


  • manutd

    Why does people want s-master on a xperia phone so badly??I heard about s-master about 2 months ago,because all of the people we’re demandig it on z1.I’ve boght a sony mp3 player the nwz-a845 with the s-master chip.I thought it will be the best thing in my life,but it was the worst mp3 player ever!that is the golden s-master that you want?that junk?the a845 player was the worst mp3 player ever,the volume was so low,that I could even hear my self when I was speaking.god,I’m so happy that I could sell it in 2 weeks.never ever buy a sony mp3 with xperia z1 is 10.000 years in front of s-master nwz-845 that everyone love over other mp3 no,I don’t want that s-master on a xperia phone,I don;t want to have a xperia phone that has such a low volume like sony s-master mp3 players.I bought a cowon j3 instead and there’s no words that can describe the difference!

  • Superior

    Really miss the Walkman phone days… not only are the sound & music crisp and clear… not to mention loud as well. They were simply outstanding. Of course Walkman phones were only good for music… and if they could include that to Xperia devices… they’ll be toppling a lot of crap out there. Apple for one :) They could try to research on making a audio chip dedicated to cell phones to prevent the aforementioned problems. Hopefully we’ll see them in the future. Sony is best for their sound quality!

  • sealplayerz

    maybe your walkman is euro version. because euro version have volume capping because UE regulations that make the volume is so low. my Sony Walkman NWZ-F805 is asia pacific version and don’t have volume capping that make the volume louder and the sound is great. you can try to buy and import the other version like japan version, north america version or asia version and don’t buy the euro version

  • Kaostheory

    Loving my Z1! Best all around phone period. Waterproofing is a huge feature.

  • Battal Aljadei

    SONY’s A Turtle in race of Bunnies !

  • Colby Leong

    I didn’t say what Samsung was doing was innovation, but “innovation”. In the eyes of the general consumers they see it as innovation, like Apple’s fingerprint scanner. And that’s why people flock to them.

  • LTF II



  • Blabla

    Xperia ZL has a much better speaker than the other Z series

  • Rob

    In the classic fable, the turtle wins the race. So I hope you are right :)

  • P9

    now add 2 speakers like lww is also ok :)

  • kust0r

    I still own a working SE k618, and with the 3,5mm jack adapter, the audio is noticeably better than my old X8, tested plugged on an audio amplifier.

  • kust0r

    i’ts not a phone (no radio chips) and hw specs are lower. Plus, the display is smaller.

    That’s not a fair comparison…

  • DrKrFfXx

    You don’t use the display to play music. I do think that quadcores from nowadays consume less power than tegras from 3 years ago.

    My point is that if they were to make something like the Xperia Z1s with that big battery and specs, and add the S Master to the mix, they would have a killer phone.

  • Battal Aljadei

    my point’s that sony’s very slow on upgrading their smartphones !

  • Vignesh Raja

    I accept! K750i Produces better sound than my Xperia S. Can anyone from Sony explain this Sh#t? To be practical , devices that available now are really not the best of Sony. Sony could surely do much more better.

  • shanefalco

    All types of lcd and amoled are tft…zultra use triluminos lcd ips, z1 use triluminos lcd pva, z1f use triluminos lcd ips and sp use the old lcd tn. The better is lcd ips for smartphone…medium quality is lcd pva, low quality is lcd tn.

  • Sam

    Another area of complication could be having S-Master and IP certification at the same time

  • xConjo


  • AudioInjectedSoul

    One o the reasons I went with Sony was because I’ve been happy with the sound quality in their devices in the past.

  • Battal Aljadei

    You mean ?

  • Paul

    Reading your post reminded me of a time when i had the X8. I didn’t even know a W8 existed. I was like “What’s this about? Must have something special maybe?”.
    Nope, had the same music software as the X8. Even now, on the newest phones, it is just.. software, nothing that would justify the name Walkman.

  • mode

    This is the exact same strategy that saw Sony Ericsson lose marketshare faster than you can say marketshare. Why the hell would you want to apply that ancient segregation marketing ploy again? The keyword now is Convergence.

  • Sandeep Patil

    I have to say one thing …in Portable Audio…Sony is the best always for any devices ..TV’s, Audio Systems, HT, Headsets, Car Audio etc. …Sony designed their own Audio Technologies at Xpert level…or as a masterpiece…Clear Stereo, Clear Bass, Clear Phase, Xloud Audio Filter Technology, recently launched Clear Audio + ….Sony’s all portable audio devices are the masterpiece …unbeatable & Unmatchable in Audio Quality for any other Companys

  • Sandeep Patil

    i used Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini….Loudspeaker of this phone is ultimate Bass Xpander

  • Sandeep Patil

    But all latest Xperia Devices doesn’t have loudspeaker like X10 Mini …Don’t know why ??

  • Sandeep Patil

    m using Sony Xperia SL (LT26ii)…Loudspeaker Sound Quality of SL quiet good but not like X10 Mini ..Xloud AFT helps to get Sound better & Louder…Clear Stereo, Clear Bass, Clear Phase & Surround Sound (VPT) for Headsets…one of the most Awesummmm Audio Enhancement Features i have ever experienced …Hats Off …Sony

  • Sandeep Patil

    if S-Master Audio chip added to the Xperia Smartphones along with all these other Sony’s Audio Technologies ….then these devices will be the Audio Masterpieces in the whole market..

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  • Geoff Wherrett

    Not all Samsungs use Wolfson – only those with Exynos SOC. The others use the built-in audio chip from the Snapdragon SOC

  • Itsarapong Intoum

    I know about that but anyway they try to make it better.

  • Shubham Mutreja

    STEREO SPEAKERS (with hearable bass)
    and yes if there is power issue there can be a switch to disable/enable the s master audio chip

  • Shubham Mutreja

    still sony with there software optimizations give better quality
    my sis got xperia c and speaker has good hearable bass
    not to mention my MINI PRO i use it to listen my fav bass solos!!!!!!

  • Shubham Mutreja

    may be we should wait until they got profit from other business????

  • pt020

    I still have the Sony Ericsson W800i
    Is has still the best sound of any phone I bought after that one.

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