Sony is pursuing audiophiles, collectors, and connoisseurs with its new PS-HX500 turntable, a carefully crafted machine that hitches the company’s “hi-res audio” wagon to comparatively ancient technology. There aren’t many physical differences between the HX500 and other high-end contemporary turntables. If you just want something to play LPs, it’ll do a nice job; its half-dozen competitors will suffice too. Sony is betting the table’s analog-to-digital conversion and flexibility will differentiate it from other, similar offerings. Vinyl’s commercial resurgence is manifesting at CES this year in a big way: Technics is releasing two new high-end units to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its flagship table, and there are units all over the show floor from a variety of manufacturers.
The HX500 can convert analog files into either Sony’s proprietary DSD file format or 24-bit, high-resolution WAV files. These are Sony’s formats of choice for its hi-res audio devices, and the HX500 is designed to work in concert with those devices. The turntable also includes a newly designed app that allows users to easily edit their converted files. It’s an undeniably gorgeous piece of equipment. “Sony is dedicated to providing audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike with a wide range of hi-res audio solutions,” said director of home entertainment and sound Yamato Tanikawa in a statement.