Vinyl has seen a resurgence lately, with sales growth for this format outpacing digital. To stay on top of that trend, Sony refreshed its record player lineup to include the not-so-memorably named PS-HX500. Though it cuts a familiar figure, resembling many minimalist-style turntables, it was built with a 21st century purpose: to make quality digital copies of your treasured discs. That’s important for long-time collectors, of course, but also newer vinyl enthusiasts, who will also want to convert their discs into a high-resolution digital format as painlessly as possible.
As record enthusiasts will tell you, the love of vinyl is about the physical product, artwork and warm sound. Even so, this gives you the option of enjoying your tracks beyond just your home-listening zone. Besides, a digital archive is useful as either a backup of your rare records or a gradual transition to virtual media. (It’s also the format used by most modern DJs.) At $600, the PS-HX500 costs more than competing players, but the addition of an onboard analog-to-digital converter (ADC) helps justify the premium. In addition, the bundled software, though limited and a tad annoying to use, makes the seemingly endless task of real-time recording easier to stomach.