Since the end of the MDR-CD3000 several years ago, Sony has largely ignored the high-end closed headphone market and concentrated instead on their open and rather unusual looking SA headphone series. That's finally about to change with the release of the new MDR-Z1000, which is part of a launch of several new headphone models from Sony. The MDR-Z1000's design is quite conservative when compared to competitors from Denon or Audio-Technica which feature exotic wood baffles, but Sony has not skimped on materials. The ear cups are magnesium, and the headband is high quality metal.
The drivers are 50mm "HD" featuring liquid polymer diaphragms and neodymium magnets. Frequency response is rated at 5-80kHz, with a very low 24 Ohm impedance and high 108dB/mW sensitivity suggesting that the MDR-Z1000 has been designed to be driven straight from low power devices such as portable music players. The MDR-Z1000 should be available in November, priced around $740.