Sony TA-ZH1ES Signature Series Desktop Headphone Amplifier

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Model: TA-ZH1ES UPC: 027242900813 Item: 172060

Product Information

One Signature Sound

Unleash the full potential of your headphones with the Signature Series headphone amplifier and experience the emotional impact of every song – just as the artist intended. Combining a premium hybrid DA amplifier, the very best digital and analog sound technologies and a chassis designed for perfect acoustics, it takes your headphones where they’ve never gone before. This one’s for the serious listeners.


  • Hybrid high-output digital/analog amplifier for powerful, panoramic sound
  • Built-in USB DAC supports a variety of audio formats up to DSD 22.4MHz / PCM 32 bit 768kHz
  • Supports balanced (4.4mm, 3.5mm & XLR4) and unbalanced (6.3mm, 3.5mm) connections
  • Rigid, durable ES frame and chassis for superior acoustic design and sound isolation
  • New DSD re-mastering engine converts all PCM file formats to DSD (11.2MHz)
  • Multiple inputs including analog in/out, optical-in, coax-in and USB-B
  • Make compressed audio sound brilliant by restoring lost audio fidelity with DSEE HX
  • Two-position gain switch optimizes performance for a wide variety of headphones
  • The perfect partner to the MDR-Z1R for impeccable sound

Superior Digital Amplification

The non-feedback S Master HX technology maintains the purity of dynamic, straight digital sound. The new D.A Hybrid Amplifier Circuit takes this one step further, enhancing its precision and sound quality with an analog feed-forward amp. The analog amplifier corrects the errors caused by switching amplification. 

Supports a Variety of Audio Formats

Practically every Hi-Res file format has met its match with support up to DSD 22.4MHz / PCM 32 bit 768kHz. Whatever the acronym – from PCM to DSD and beyond – the Sony TA-ZH1ES is prepared to play it flawlessly. 

A Variety of Balanced and Unbalanced Headphone Connections

The amp utilizes a variety of headphone output connections, including both balanced (4.4mm, 3.5mm & XLR4) and unbalanced (6.3mm, 3.5mm). 

Rigid and Durable for Superior Acoustic Design and Sound Isolation

The headphone amplifier's top panel is made from a combination of steel and aluminum. These materials each have their own resonance frequency, which when used in combination, suppress each other. The result is the effective elimination of unnecessary resonance. It also features a rigid FBW chassis, which has been designed to isolate the circuit board from vibration. By minimizing vibration and preventing lateral movement, noise is reduced for a cleaner, purer sound. The newly added wall structure is made from a large aluminum block for high rigidity. 

Convert Any Source to DSD

Personalizing sound with the new DSD Remastering Engine. Offering double the conversion accuracy of previous models, the new DSD Remastering Engine let you convert all PCM music sources into DSD 11.2MHz. The technology utilizes FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) to convert any signal into the DSD sound format. 


The amp features several terminals for multiple connectivity options with your current equipment, like analog input and output, plus digital inputs including optical in, coax in and USB-B — or simply room to expand. 

Preserving the Feeling

Capturing every note and nuance with DSEE HX. Take the concert feeling home and experience your music as the artist intended, in near High-Resolution Audio quality. The new DSEE HX upscaling technology features four additional modes to the standard: female vocal, male vocal, percussions, and strings, for optimal sound reproduction. 

Optimized Performance for a Wide Variety of Headphones

A two –position gain switch offers both high and low impedance headphones the higher or lower amount of power they need to deliver higher audio levels. 

The Perfect Partner to the MDR-Z1R for Impeccable Sound

The stationary headphone amplifier has been developed in partnership with headphone sound specialists to realize the potential of the MDR-Z1R headphones. Pair them up to discover an immersive listening experience that will take your breath away. 



Audio Setting

  • 8x over-sampling: Yes
  • DC phase linearizer: Yes
  • DSD remastering engine: Yes (Convert to DSD 11.2MHz)
  • DSEE HX: Yes (Upscale to PCM 384kHz/32bit)
  • DSEE HX Mode: Standard/Female vocal/Male vocal/Percussion/Stringers
  • LR balance adjust: Yes


  • Headphone jack: Balanced standard (4.4mm in diamater), 3-pole mini (balanced connection, 3.5mm in diameter) x 2, XLR4 (balanced 4-pin), standard (6.3mm in diameter) Stereo mini (3.5mm in diameter)
  • Other input/output: WALKMAN/Xperia input, USB-B input, COAXIAL input, OPTICAL input, LINE L/R input, PRE OUT (variable/fixed)
  • XLR Pin assignment: 1:L+, 2:L, -3:R+, 4:R-


  • AC inlet: Yes
  • Auto standby: Yes (default: OFF)
  • Power: 120V 50/60Hz
  • Power consumption: 35W
  • Power consumption (OFF Mode): 0.3W
  • Remote commander: Yes
  • Support software for music playback: Hi-res audio player/Media Go

Support Format

  • Coaxial input jack: PCM up to 192kHz/24 bit
  • Optical input jack: PCM up to 96kHz/24 bit
  • Sampling frequency/Big depth: DSD native up to 22.4MHz, DSD DoP up to 11.2MHz, PCM up to 768kHz/32 bit
  • USB-B port: DSD native to 22.4MHz, DSD DoP up to 11.2MHz, PCM up to 768kHz/32 bit
  • Walkman/Xperia port: DSD native up to 11.2MHz, DSD DoP up to 5.6MHz, PCM up to 384kHz/32 bit

Headphone Amplifier

  • Gain switch: Yes (High/Low)
  • Impedance: USA and Canada: 12-600Ω, other countries: 8-600Ω
  • Output power
    • Balanced: 1200mW + 1200mW (32Ω 1kHz 1%)
    • Unbalanced: 300mW + 300mW (32Ω 1kHz 1%)
  • Playing frequency range: 4Hz - 200kHz

Weights and Measurements

  • Dimensions: 8.27" x 2.56" x 12.37"
  • Weight: 9.7 lbs.

What's in the Box

What's in the Box:

  • TA-ZH1ES Signature Series Desktop Headphone Amplifier
  • Remote control
  • AC power cord
  • Digital cable for WALKMAN
  • USB cable (USB-A/USB-B)
  • R03 (AAA) batteries


Customer Reviews for Sony TA-ZH1ES Signature Series Desktop Headphone Amplifier

4.8 / 5.0
16 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Rated 5 out of 5
Sony headphone amplifier
A really worthy buy. Brings the music to another level.
April 20, 2022
Originally posted at
Rated 5 out of 5
Superb Amplifier n Processor
I bought this together with MDR-Z1R Headphones and NW-ZX507 Walkman Player. The sound from this set is amazingly good. Even music from CDs and Apple Music (streaming service) sound very clear and well defined. Regret I did not buy this set earlier!
September 17, 2021
Originally posted at
Rated 5 out of 5
I just received my Sony TA-ZH1ES and I have to say it is the most refined sounding headphone amplifier I have ever heard. I am using with Audeze LCD-3, Focal Elear, Beyerdynamic T-1, and Klipsch HP-3 Heritage phones. The sound has so enchanted me I am looking forward to purchasing the matching MDR-Z1R SIGNATURES. Well done Sony!
September 17, 2020
Originally posted at
Rated 5 out of 5
Owned for 3 years and use every day - My GO2!
I've owned this amp going on three years now and listen every day while working from my home office. I have two headphones connected all the time .... Sennheiser HD800s, and my close 2nd; the Sony Z1R, As many know, the HD800s is a 600ohm set of cans, and very hard to drive. Wow, the TA-ZH1ES has no problem driving them, even with SACD and DSD source content. It's the only amp I've owned that truly brings the HD800s to life, opening soundstage and accuracy I've never heard in my content. Now when you want big but deadly clear bass .... man, these things shine with the Sony paired Z1R. Before I owned this amp and headphone combo, I listed to my music maybe 2 days a week. Now I can listen for hours with no fatigue. And actually look forward to trying out new music sources to discover each day, excited about hearing it in a whole different way.
June 4, 2020
Originally posted at
Rated 5 out of 5
The Best!
This is an expensive pice of kit, but oh so worth it. I am delighted and have it paired with its sister Walkman and headphones. Unbelievable quality HD listening!
June 11, 2019
Originally posted at
Rated 5 out of 5
detail while sounding natural
pairs well with my HD800S and Focal Utopia, jazz and classical are my music of chlice
May 9, 2019
Originally posted at
Rated 5 out of 5
DSD, I finally heard it
I bought an SACD almost 20 years ago, but was never able to hear the DSD music (it was a hybrid) because I never own an SACD player. I didn't say this model finally allowed me to listen to the SACD. It supports all the DSD formats so I could finally start gathering DSD and SACD iso files, including an iso file for the SACD I bought 20 years ago. Previously, I was only able to listen to DVD-Audio music. An early Creative sound card I had already supported it. Since most of my other music playing devices are Creative sound cards, I can say that the TA-ZH1ES amplifier does do something special comparing to the sound cards. Of course, I bought a pair of relatively good headphones to use with it. The headphones I use are Audeze LCD-MX4, at least having a matching price tag to the TA-ZH1ES. The reason I didn't get the MDR-Z1R is because I already own a pair of the MDR-7520. I never enjoyed the treble of the MDR-7520. I was afraid that the MDR-Z1R sounds similarly, especially after reading one review mentioning something like that. I think the Audeze fixed that problem for me. I can feel the touch of some of the songs I'm listening to. I think the feeling sometimes is like drinking alcohols. The soul comes out of the body and starts dancing with the sound of music.
March 20, 2019
Originally posted at
Rated 4 out of 5
Great feature
I bought it one month ago and connect it to my home audio system. Playing it with high resolution audio with a notebook and the sound is awsome.
January 17, 2018
Originally posted at
Rated 4 out of 5
Great DAC
I’ve owned this DAC for a few months now and even though I have yet to use it for headphones “I’m waiting for the new HD 820 from Sennheiser...I use this DAC with the Sony STR-ZA3100ES and it’s great USB connect to Mac mini, as well as toslink connects to T.V as well as PS4pro....I would like for Sony to Update the USB connect on the PS4pro to take advantage of this DAC so we can have even more uses for this great DAC....Sony did this with the HAP-Z1ES high res player with a software update for the USB to take full advantage of this DAC....Sound quality from this DAC is very nice indeed and the DSD upscale is great two thumbs up....Thanks for such a great product, I hope you allow other products to take advantage of using this DAC as well.
January 17, 2018
Originally posted at
Rated 4 out of 5
Great Headphone Amp Plus
Though the years have a a few Sony items. This headphone amp is excellent, and doubles as a DAC for a system, as well as streaming. Only four starters as a ES product and cost, it should include a balanced output for connection to a system.
November 30, 2017
Originally posted at


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