Vinyl records have been making a comeback over the past couple of years, and with them the desire for snazzy new record players has also gone up. This year's CES has already seen the debut of the throwback Technics SL-1200, and now we're also being graced by a new Sony turntable, which also has an alphanumeric jumble for a name, the PS-HX500. But Sony's approach is a little different from its range of direct competitors in this resurgent market — the Japanese company is putting the emphasis on converting your beloved vinyl albums into Hi-Res audio files, whether in Sony's own DSD format or in 24-bit WAV files.
Sony will provide backup-creating software for both PC and Mac, and all you'll need is a simple USB cable to plug the HX500 into your nearest computer. From there, you can send the DSD copies on to your Hi-Res-playing Sony Walkman and enjoy a transition from the joys of fully-analog vinyl playback to lossless digital format without any MP3 intereference in between. Sony likes to conflate high-fidelity music with its Hi-Res branding exercise, but most people struggle to detect any benefit to going high-res (and there's good reason for that). That being said, there's a nice bit of brand synergy going on here, with Sony providing a complete solution to getting your old music onto its Hi-Res bandwagon.
The design of the HX500 is the very definition of minimal simplicity. There are few, if any, conceits, it's as basic a black box as you can imagine. Which I like. I also feel like there is a purpose and a reason for this creation's existence — beyond the mere exploitation of musical nostalgia — but Sony still has to answer the biggest question about its new USB turntable and that relates to the price. All we know as of now is that the PS-HX500 will be on sale in the United States this spring.