At last weekend’s Vancouver Audio Show, we were invited to check out the Canadian debut of Sony’s latest hi-res turntable.
The resurgence of retro is more prominent than ever – and we’re seeing undeniable pickup in music, particularly vinyl and turntables. From Record Store Day to vinyl record crafts,there has truly been a “vinyl revival.” In fact, sales surged 30 per cent (US) in 2015, bringing the total number of records sold from 9.19 million in 2012, up to nearly 12 million.
As music trendsetters in the music, Sony is proud to show off its latest revolution in audio technology, the PS-HX500 hi-res turntable.
Walking in, I admit I was a little nervous about my hearing. In my earlier professional years working on video and television projects as a junior video editor, my strengths were more along the organizing the visual side. When it came to audio, I often got nervous working with sound. Over the years spending time with many different audio professionals, there’s different ways to listen for certain qualities. All in all, it’s really up to the listener on how much attention they focus on range and quality.
Karol (pronounced as Carl) was very accommodating to show demos of the latest Sony innovations of ways to enjoy high quality music.
From the “front of house” (i.e.: the best seat of the optimized location of where to listen to the best sound), I sat in anticipation to listen to how vinyls sounded on the turntable and playback recordings on the audio HDD player.
From the Hi-Res turntable, we were listening to Adele’s “Hello” while it played back beautifully and recorded to the HDD player. Some may like hearing the little subtle scratches while the vinyl plays, where I get a little distracted by it. When we loaded the freshly recorded DSD (hi-res files) track onto the Hi-Res Audio Player, the player added another layer of depth to the song.
On average when we buy audio files online, they can be about 5-10MB each. These DSD audio files are huge – over 300MB for each song… hence the higher range of quality.
Some may recall how they generalize a decade. In the 1990s, I curse the fact VHS was more popular than Sony Betamax tapes. The ’90s were a time where convenience had more weight over quality.
Looking at the Sony turntable and the HDD player setup reminded me of my dad’s 70s – 80s setup for his 8-tracks and vinyls, with the solid and sleek look of the equipment design. Sony’s brought back the warmer, analogue sounds, what we miss of the 70s – 80s, in their latest hi-res equipment. Today in the player, there’s a server with updated connections.
If you’re in a space-challenged condo like me, and looking to upgrade your sound, there are also more compact solutions designed to playback from computers and other devices. If you want to go cable-less, you may notice a little less sound quality from a player has wireless capability. It will depend if your priority is higher power and sound quality or great sound quality that is wireless.
If you’re on the go like me, there’s are options to take the hi-res and quality music enjoyment experience wherever you are. With the updated Sony Walkman®, you can choose something smaller and compact or go all out by adding a variety of accessories to ensure you’re fully immersed in high quality sound.
All in all, it felt like I was sitting in a recording studio listening to this track being played back. As I personally get very easily distracted, I would choose to be fully immersed while listening to music paired up with the soft headphones, a USB DAC Headphone amplifier and the high-end Walkman®.
If you want to make your music listening experience like constantly being in a concert hall, Sony has their suggestions. If you’re a tactile-based person like me and want to see these new innovations in person, you can either go to London Drugs to ask or find another local specialty retailer.
Thanks again to Karol and Todd of Sony Canada for the tour and Wendy of National for arranging.