This $155, audiophile-friendly microSD card from Sony is... quieter than competitors'?

This $155, audiophile-friendly microSD card from Sony is... quieter than competitors'?
Don't you just hate it when your microSD card inevitably gets to that point in its life where it starts making that awful noise whenever in use? That whirring sound? No? Well of course not, and probably because you never even thought about the possibility that any sound at all is coming out of that microSD card you plugged into your smartphone a while ago and forgot about. Ask Sony, however, and you'll hear it disagree. And that's precisely where its brand-new, 64GB microSD card comes in.

Dubbed SR-64HXA, Sony claims that its internal measurements clearly show that competing Class 10 microSDXC cards emit more electrical noise when reading a file off the memory. That's why the company has slapped a golden "for Premium Sound" gag line on the chip, and, of course, a ¥18,500 (~$155) price tag.

While Sony probably thinks that the SR-64HXA will go hand-in-hand perfectly with that $1,200 Walkman it announced at CES 2015, we can't help but feel dumbfounded at the thought of buying into 'quieter' SD cards. Quite frankly, even a Sony spokeperson, cited by The Wall Street Journal, seems unsure of what to make of this:


When your own employees are as unconvinced in your product's chances, you've got yourself a serious problem, Sony. We'll know for sure come March 5th, when the first-of-its-kind microSD card will be available for purchase in Japan.


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82 Comments

1. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Sony and their overpriced accessories. I can get a 64GB MicroSD card for about $40.

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Yup on Amazon. Bought my 64GB Class 10 SD card from Samsung back when the S5 came out for $46 shipped.

25. tedkord

Posts: 17514; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You're definitely not irony deficient.

33. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Don't stir the pot.

37. tedkord

Posts: 17514; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Even more irony! You're a never ending fount.

45. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Mxy, as usual you are talking aloud from your ass. Do you know the tech that involve in this product? If you don't just shut up. For me, if I am not convince I just won't spend the money that it. For your information, electrical noise is the No 1. enemy of premium audio, I use a lots of ferrite cores to dampen mine. Most of my audiophile friend does the same.

57. timepilot84

Posts: 113; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

You're an audiophile? I make up a lot of BS to sound intelligent, too!

69. Exempt1 unregistered

It's true. You can hear the noise through headphones from the phone. Remove SD card, sound goes.

46. JMartin22

Posts: 2415; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

Troll or not, it's hard to gloss over this specific point he's making. I bet this is marketing research and product placement at its best. I've never had any noticeable issues playing music between the flash storage and external memory. I can see this being placebo at best. It just doesn't seem like a good investment, spending $100 or more on a generic Class 10 64 GB card with promises of special process method for a higher quality of sound.

48. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Japanese marketing. I use to gloss over this type of charts from TDK cassette tape wrapper. Modern audio file are highly compress electronic music so this single advantage may not overcome the flaws of many others. Unless they made a audiophile grade media player to use this card plus you appreciate music with real instruments than it will make sense.

27. KParks23

Posts: 748; Member since: Oct 13, 2010

Sure im all for it sony but not at that price id pay a little bit more than standard but damn! Say if a stabdard card was 40$ normally id go 60-70$ for this as a example id grab one

32. garlic456

Posts: 251; Member since: Dec 24, 2012

Diddn't you read the article? This isn't a regular sd card.

81. timepilot84

Posts: 113; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

Yes, it's a magical SD card.

40. cheetah2k

Posts: 2325; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

This is like buying a gold Apple iWatch. It aint for everyone lol

50. romeo1

Posts: 825; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Not this kind of microsd. It's probably not for you and me. But people who get disturbed by the noise may buy it. It's "overpriced" because they need to get their money out they invested in developing in a year or 2 it will probably be less. That's the way with all technology.

70. Venkatramanan

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

How about charging more than $100 for additional 48GB of flash storage upgrade by apple. I think you will be fine if your favourite fruit charge like that. Otherwise, it is overpriced.

82. sunjay140

Posts: 118; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Yeah but it will be a noisy card.

2. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

This is useless... The advantage of this is negligible compare to the price. Definitely not for most consumer, and not even for audiophiles. I will pass Sony.

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

But the Sony fans said Samsung spams the market with useless products. :(

8. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

They all do... however you spam these articles like noone else. There are things I like about Sony and things I dislike, and the same can be said about other companies, however Xperia works the best for my needs, and until you actually try one for yourself and dig deep into its features, your bashing will be extremely biased and without fundaments. But yeah, one of the few things we agree... this microSD card is IMO a waste of resources, instead of fixing other problems within the company

11. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Because there's no such thing as a Z3 on T-Mobile. Don't get me wrong it's fast, but the UI totally kills everything along with the sub-par camera performance. On top of slow updates, I'd hate to drop over $600 on a flagship that will be one of the last ones to receive an update of all OEMs. Once they fix those issues, they can most certainly take my monies from my checking account.

12. buccob

Posts: 2981; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Well I got mine with doubts on the camera performance, thanks to PA and other sites... but I don't know if it was a software update or something, but the device I got really is amazing for pictures... Superior Auto is NOT the best, sometimes I get better color reproduction in manual and using different White Balance, but overall is very good... Did you check the link I posted comparing it in low light with the S5? both were in Auto, and the galaxy was using full MP. Anyway I think the differences between image quality on today's flagship is very small... We will get very good results from either brand, with slight differences depending on Scenes. And the UI is something is very much improved from the jelly bean version I used to have... there are things missing that Samsung does better, but Sony's one is definitely more consistant and cleaner. BUT the design is getting boring. Agreed

13. usermaxthon

Posts: 70; Member since: Jan 20, 2015

Like i said before - You're the clown of this site. I hope you keep trolling on articles related to Sony and keep us entertain with your ridiculously silly behavior. You're obsession with Sony fascinates me.

16. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Glad to hear I'm doing a great job. Do I get a raise? I'll see you at the S6 announcement.

7. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

It's not useless. Of course, it must be used in a device where the same level of attention has been reserved for the rest of the electronics (and I'm thinking about Sony's $1000+ audiophile mp3 players). The problem of electrical noise due to interferences is well known and audible. The fact that 99% of users don't care or do not hear it because they are not audiophiles does not mean that there can't be a niche which values such high-quality products.

18. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

could you explain how that anything in terms of 'noise' from the storage device, affects the audio quality? considering as long as the data can be read fully as written (which all sd cards that work can?) then it is the hardware and such that actually handles the sound that can add electronic noise? The storage device itself really really cannot affect that?

24. mixedfish

Posts: 1570; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

You're not looking at it right. If you power a storage device like a SD card it will create electromagnetic waves. If you stack the SD card slot directly on top of analog amplifiers such as the capacitors the theory is that that interference will bleed into operation of the amplifier because it is analog. We're not talking about digital here, so it's got nothing to do with the SD memory but how the SD card is read.

66. Benoit

Posts: 57; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

I can't think of any product where a micro SD is stacked next to analog amplifiers. And if your analog components are not correctly isolated, then you should blame then rather than the microSD

41. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

xondk, I know what you're thinking: the music is digital, there can't be any noise due to the SD card. This is true. The noise is not from the data itself, it's in the sound amplifier and it's due to the fact that the components (cpu, gpu, hard disk) can interfere with the amplifier and add noise in the analog output (or input). This is common in integrated audio cards in PCs: you can hear the noise from the gpu for example when you scroll or move a window, or from the hard disk when it's reading data. Not all computers exhibit the same behavior: gpu activity can be a problem in one pc and hard disk can be a problem in another. That's why musicians never use integrated audio cards to record: they know they would record interferences from the motherboard. They buy external audio cards, where the components are shielded or have been designed to minimize the problem. This is where this sd card fits in: it guarantees that it won't add noise to a noise-free environment. Probably useless in normal phones, it can make sense (perhaps...) in high-quality equipment usd by musicians or audiophiles.

62. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

I totally understand that, and gpu/cpu/platter harddrives can make noise yes, but it is more that the thought of a sd card, should make any interference, which I find extremely hard to believe, though I suppose maybe it could make some kind of interference when operating, for many many things, shielding helps but in terms of once the data is processed and just needs to be stored/read that part of it I just cannot see on SD cards producing any interference. Other components, gpu, motherboard, cpu or mechanical harddrives, sure yes, those can add problems, but as you said yourself, musicians and such use external audio devices to remove any noise, but I really doubt any of them gets specially shielded harddrives or such, because once the shielded audio device has capture it and made it digital, well noise isn't really an issue? it is only really the analogdigital component that needs to be shielded?

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