Sony PS-HX500 turntable Gadget

Hands-on with Sony’s slick PS-HX500 turntable

Sony’s CES 2016 press conference wasn’t as jam packed with exciting announcements as I was hoping for, but among all the slightly updated headphones and even thinner televisions, something caught my eye.

It was the PS-HX500 turntable. Essentially a record player, it does have one really cool trick up its sleeve: it’ll take your vinyl and transfer the tunes to your computer in a hi-res format.

The revival of vinyl has been in full swing for a while now, and CES 2016 is chocked full of brands trying to give the good old record player a drag forward into the 21st century. Aside from Sony’s attempt, you’ve got the rebirth of the Technics 1200 and a Bluetooth solution from Audio Technica.

Related: Hi-Res Audio Explained

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In pictures this turntable looks great, but up close it’s even better. It has that classic record player look, completely black and minimal with angled corners and straight sides. It’s pretty much free of any dials, aside from a small selector tucked away in the corner.

In fact, if you peeled off the gold ‘Hi-Res Audio’ sticker then this could be any number of turntables already on the market. But it’s that Hi-Res Audio branding that really sets this apart from crowd.

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On the back there’s a USB port. Plug it into your computer (both PC and Mac will be supported) and through Sony’s new backup software you’ll be able to transfer your old – or new – records and save them in a Hi-Res Audio format.

Sony is giving you two choices here: you can either import in Sony’s own DSD format or as 24-bit WAV files. Both of these file types are supported by Sony’s line of Hi-Res Audio Walkmans, so you can easily transfer your vinyl collection for use on the go.

Related: CES 2016 Live

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First Impressions

If you’re really into your vinyl and want an easy and sleek way to transfer it to either a computer or music player, Sony’s new turntable looks to be a fantastic solution. It also ties nicely in with Sony’s audio ecosystem, and the minimalist looks are a winner too.

Sony says its new turntable will be available in the spring, with a price of around £400. I can’t wait to get one in and take it for a spin.

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