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Customer Reviews

Sony HAP-Z1ES

High-resolution digital music player with 1TB storage drive

MFR # HAPZ1ES

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Sony HAP-Z1ES

High-resolution digital music player with 1TB storage drive

MFR # HAPZ1ES

53 reviews
View this product

great sound, poor set up

Crutchfield customer from BLOOMINGTON, IN on 3/3/2021

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A great deal of what I write has already been written in reviews. The short story is: Solid sound, frustrating transfer, good android interface app for controlling the unit. Before you buy, research the reviews on more than one site. There are some helpful detailed instructions about how to effectively transfer your digital files. Set up and file transfer was frustrating. Operating the unit is relatively easy. The android control app works well, but is a bit touch sensitive. The sound is really good. If the computer transfer was less frustrating this would be a five star rating.

Pros: sound quality, app control interface

Cons: transfer software, transfer process

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Detroit

Bruce from Detroit on 2/17/2021

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The Sony HAP-Z1ES provides great value for money spent. It has an excellent build quality, and it seems like it will last for years. It sounds much better than anything that I have heard in it's price range. It has a couple limitations. It does not sound as good as my CD player, but the CD player costs more than three times as much as the HAP-Z1ES. Second, it does not allow one to bypass the built in DAC (digital to analog converter). This will probably become more of an issue as new and better DACs are produced in the future.

Pros: 1. Great Value for Money Spent 2. Great Build Quality 3. Looks like it will last for a long time 4. Sounds better than anything I have heard in its price range

Cons: 1. Does not allow one to bypass built in DAC and connect to another DAC 2. Does not sound as good as the best CD players although those CD players are much more expensive than the HAP-Z1ES

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Incredible Sound. Frustrating Setup.

Crutchfield customer from Irvington on 11/29/2020

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I actually bought the Sony HAP-Z1ES twice. The first time through Crutchfield. But when I got it, I could not get the file transfer to work, it kept dropping the signal, even when I was connected directly through ethernet. I had read that many people had the same exact issue. So I returned it. Then, while continuing my research I found that if any of the files you're transferring are corrupt it will stop the transfer process. I went to my FLAC files that I had tried transferring and found several corrupt folders where files weren't named, or misnamed, and realized it was my fault the files didn't copy correctly to the Sony player, not the player's. So I ordered it again from a different vendor (sorry Crutchfield, I was too embarrassed to reorder it from you). The sound of the Sony HAP-Z1ES is amazing, makes all of the FLAC files I copied from my CDs sound like they were remastered. However, the challenging process to copy all my files to the HAP-Z1ES was frustrating, but worth it. Why Sony only allows you to transfer files through wireless or a wired Ethernet network connection rather than just being able to connect a hard drive to the USB is beyond me. Tips: 1. Use a wired Ethernet connection rather than wireless for transfers. 2. Don't transfer more than 100 folders at a time. 3. Make sure the files you plan to transfer aren't corrupted in any way, missing metadata, etc. If they are, this will slow down or stop the transfer.

Pros:

Cons:

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6 of 7 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Crutchfield customer from Bristol, RI on 9/13/2020

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Amazing piece of equipment. It was so easy to connect, load, and then play my digital music collection through either my stereo system or via a BlueSound throughout the house.

Pros:

Cons:

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0 of 0 found this helpful

Exceptionally cool little unit

Randy from Fallbrook, CA on 6/5/2020

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I'm really impressed with the quality of this unit. First of all, it's heavy. It's obviously built like a tank. Solid-feeling and the front display with only the few necessary buttons give it a nice classy look. The dIsplay is crisp and clear. Going through the menus to make music selections or changes is very quick. Really no lag time at all. Initial set-up to my WiFi network was simple and straight forward. I used the HAP program with my MacBook Pro to transfer all my iTunes music (8800 songs). Transfer time via fast WiFi was about 16.5 hours. I let it run all night with zero issues. Once the transfer process stops the unit then self obtains the Gracenote info which takes a little more time (hour or two). I'm using mine to either listen to music in my media room or to connect to my three Denon receivers in the house/garage/patio via Heos for whole house audio. All works flawlessly. Audio quality via the internal DAC is outstanding. I have lots of Mobile Fidelity gold and SACD's and they sound just as good (if not better) loaded on this player vs. playing direct through my CD player. Yes the unit is pricey but compared to many other music servers available this one is hard to beat for the cost. I listen exclusively to my own music files so not being able to stream from services other than Spotify and Tune-In didn't matter to me. Having all my music at one easily accessible location and the audio quality is a perfect match for my needs.

Pros: solid well-built device, classy look, great display, simple to operate, fantastic audio quality, integrates seamlessly with existing stereo system, super fast and efficient menu system

Cons: not really "cons" to me but worth mentioning, heavy, a bit pricey, long music transfer times

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Streamer, DAC and a Music Server with amazing sound quality

Jeyanthan from FREMONT, CA on 5/26/2020

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First time reviewing a product and I am glad it is for this Sony. It works flawlessly and sounds simply amazing. Though most online reviews were positive about the sound quality there were some complaints pertaining to the streaming capability, duration for loading of the songs and lack of digital outs. I found out most of these reviews were during the early product cycle since I did not find any of these issues. The unit streams Spotify, the usb port loads CD directly, plays music from a connected computer/udb drive and outputs digital signal so you can connect a usb dac. It also up-samples all of your non hi-res music and they sound amazing. I would say just do yourself a favor and stop wasting times on forums like I did. Go buy this while they still make it and Enjoy the music !!

Pros: Amazing sound quality Streams music from music apps directly without having to fiddle with a Sony app like how other manufacturers force you to. Very Good inbuilt DAC Music server - makes all of your music suddenly available across all your devices in your home which I loved

Cons: Absolutely no cons. no seriously :)

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0 of 0 found this helpful

A Tank

Guest from Warren, NJ on 12/23/2019

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I have now owned this for two years and moving up to a Lumin S1 that costs multiples. For the price I found the Sony an incredible unit - built like a tank, designed flawlessly and sounds amazing with highres content. I specifically wanted to say that the internal DAC is superb. It doesn't have a digital out which some people complain about, but to me the one box solution of high quality - for streaming, storage and DA conversion - without a dozen cables - was appealing. Your opinion may vary.

Pros: SQ, BQ

Cons: No Tidal support

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4 of 4 found this helpful

Nice Music storage and organizer

edgar from Pawleys Island, SC on 10/15/2019

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This device is really nice. Its well built, solid construction. Very easy to download music with the Sony app. I really like the feature where it converts files to the highest resolution DSD. Highly recommended. Only hesitation I have is that there is no straight digital output so that you can use an external DAC. Therefore 4 stars instead of 5.

Pros: Ease of use, nice remote, automatice file conversion to DSD

Cons: No digital output ofr an external DAC

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3 of 4 found this helpful

Hi RES Music Source

BURG from Lumberton on 8/2/2019

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I needed a way to access hundreds of CDs and Hi RES files quickly. This SONY was the perfect choice. I can find any album or song I want to hear in a few seconds. The sound quality is superb.

Pros: World class build and sound quality.

Cons: NONE

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1 of 2 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Crutchfield customer from Fairfield, PA on 7/12/2019

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Easy to use. Without me realizing it the unit was picked up by other receivers in the house and I had my music in several rooms.

Pros:

Cons:

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2 of 2 found this helpful

It's like I have a new HiRes iTunes library!

Crutchfield customer from Houston, TX on 7/10/2019

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Excellent sounding unit. Especially for your existing iTunes library. HiRes music sounds great as well. I'm hearing things I never heard before. Software is a little quirky, but still gets the job done.

Pros: Sound quality and no need for a computer to play music

Cons: Quirky upload software. However, the iPad app is very good.

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3 of 3 found this helpful

Great idea, good sound, terrible user interface / experience.

Crutchfield customer from Austin, TX on 3/21/2019

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This sounded like just what I was looking for. But the copying of files to the device even when connected to gigabit ethernet is slow. Trying to choose music to play back either from the front panel or the app is painful. Don't pay this much to waste your time trying to choose music to play. The sound quality is very good for the price, but I have wasted hours setting this up and now I will be returning it. It is painful to use.

Pros: Very good sound, good format support.

Cons: Painful user interface / user experience.

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9 of 14 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Dwayne from Frederick, MD on 2/21/2019

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This a awesome piece of equipment, I'm still learning how to do everything but I love it

Pros: Everything

Cons: None

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0 of 1 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Kurt from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/25/2018

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Originally purchased bluesound vault 2 found it really difficult to use, returned it for the Sony so glad I did much more user-friendly and better sound.

Pros:

Cons:

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4 of 5 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Philip from Las Vegas, NV on 11/11/2018

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This is my system which I have become very intimate with over the years,that anything I remove and replace with a piece of equipment or transmission line I notice,the Sony HAP-Z1ES is everything they say it is and does,but in my system it does not even come close to my Mac computer with iTunes and pure music as my audio engine.Again I can't stress enough that these findings are on my system and may not be the same on others.????best listening too all

Pros:

Cons:

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5 of 12 found this helpful

This beast sounds amazing- Difficult set-up!

Stefano from Coos Bay, OR on 9/18/2018

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Wow. This is a monster piece of equipment. (35lbs) 3 stars is generous. The sound is amazing. The set up is a long slow very slow process, moving over 20k tracks and it's only done 1/5 in 5 hours, this. Included 3-4 reboots as is freezes a lot or looses it's hard wired connection to my Mac. I need the room on my Mac for other projects. I'm an audiophile and do love it's amazing sound. It will allow you to add cd's to the hard drive but doesn't recognized the internal CD player on the Marantz receiver I have. Hopefully Sony will be releasing a firmware update that makes this monster more reliable... more usable at this price point you would think Sony would have nailed it, IMO they didn't...

Pros: Sound quality

Cons: Weight and size - freezes numerous times when hard wired for music transfer. Unable to dim display.

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8 of 10 found this helpful

I'm all-in on HI-RES audio

Scott from Tracy, CA on 9/11/2018

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First off, if you are interested in the product and maybe a bit of a geek, look at the Kal Rubinson's review in May 2014 Stereophile. Still there? if you are even a bigger geek then read John Atkinson's measurements at the end, which suggests there is good, solid engineering under the hood. (Thanks, Kal & John) Looking around the web there is pretty much a consensus that this thing has great sound (given its price range) and my experience is in complete agreement. Hi-Res audio files (96+/24 and DSD) sound really great. Much better than the Denon 2900 DVD player that i was previously using to decode Hi-Res disks. And "DSD remastering" feature makes many of your old CDs sound better than before. The iPhone app is really nice and allows all the standard search and selection functions and has something extra that categorizes music into bins (morning, hi-energy...) that is unexpectedly fun to use. The app to download to the HAP is very basic but works OK. I was pleasantly surprised that I could control my non-sony amp using their remote control. The HAP player has an IR repeater and a mode where you can train basic functions (on/off/volume/mute) using your amp's remote. So my typical use is to set up an album using the app then tweak volume or jump tracks using the remote. I am loving this thing so much that its hard to resist buying the companion amp!

Pros: Great Sound, Easy to use. Iphone app is really nice

Cons: Download program (HAPTransfer) is very basic and slow (minor issue)

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7 of 7 found this helpful

Nice but there are others less costly with more features

Chaz from Naples, FL on 9/6/2018

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Fills a market niche but for a $1,000 less you can get the Vault2 from Bluesound that handles hi-res files plus rips CD's. Just another overpriced product from Sony......

Pros:

Cons: Cost CD ripping

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10 of 29 found this helpful

Great Media Player

Walter from Chicago, IL on 6/27/2018

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A fantastic media player Sounds great

Pros: Easy to transfer music Simple hook up

Cons: Set up has problems with Windows had to contact Sony help line

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3 of 4 found this helpful

Great sound

Rob from Helena, MT on 6/2/2018

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We have been very impressed with how much better our music sounds, both internet radio and our music library. Our extensive music collection is now in one place and we do not need to use our computers for music anymore. Pleasantly surprised with SensMe.

Pros: Clarity, warmth of tone

Cons: Expensive

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5 of 5 found this helpful

Tips for added HapZ1es function & control

Alan from San Jose, CA on 1/18/2018

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Great music server! High audio quality, easy to use, and works great with home network ! I have been enjoying this device for several months now and found a few tricks along the way. For years I have used Sony's X-App to rip CDs onto my PC which is in turn connected to my receiver. X-App was replaced by Sony's new Music Center for PC. I haven't downloaded that software from Sony yet, but I would expect it works well . I have a simple way to use the free Sony software for HapZ1es (called Hap Music Transfer). I have a folder on my PC into which I move all music files that I want in HapZ1es. When I rip more CDs or download high res files, I dump them into that folder. I have the Hap Music Transfer configured to only transfer music from that folder to the HapZ1es. A couple button presses and it goes. I have an older Sony S tablet from years ago. Another Sony App called HDD Audio Remote puts a GUI on the tablet so I can look through my music on the HapZ1es using text and/or pictures with many sorting options. It allows you much more control than the player's simple remote (which can control my Sony receiver's volume). I have a home WiFi network. In the PC's Network section, the HapZ1es can be found as an icon which brings up the player in a browser for even more power over finding albums or tracks. Saved it as a browser favorite. From anywhere in the house I can control my music with a tablet or a laptop. How convenient!

Pros: High audio quality and lots of control

Cons: None really, though eventually may run out of storage. Nowhere near that point yet even with no outboard drive installed.

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6 of 6 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Guest from Athens, GA on 1/10/2018

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sound is fantastic, even for low quality mp3 recordings. transfer was straightforward using the HAP transfer program. I enjoy the sensme channels, it's a fun way just to randomize your entire collection. Biggest complaint is that the ios app does not seem to reliably connect; this may be more with my phone and wifi than the sony system, and i got an android phone which seems to work more reliably; it would be really nice if you could also control it remotely eg. through a computer, which has a stronger connection to the network. also (have had for 2 years) as it has aged, it has developed a number of horizontal lines across the screen on the device.. which isn't a big deal if the remote apps work, but which may become a problem if the screen eventually fails and there's no way to control it.

Pros:

Cons:

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8 of 8 found this helpful

Amazing Sound Quality

David from Griffin, GA on 12/31/2017

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It is so easy to transfer your CDs. Easy to edit and load your song files from your computer. I can control it from my PC or my Ipad. The technical support is very well informed and will to do everything to help if you should have any problems.

Pros: This thing is built for quality. It works prefect.

Cons: I wish they had it in black to match my other components. My only problem was with my PC and not with the Sony Hap-Z1ez.

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6 of 6 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

paul from New York, NY on 9/18/2017

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The Hap-Z1es really makes the accessibility of your cd collection at your fingertips from your iPad or phone. I strongly urge you to buy this from a company like Crutchfield because Sony has NO customer service unless waiting on hold for 2 hours is your idea of tech support. Crutchfield helped me through the set up process while not hard, had a few ambiguous steps since Sony does not provide a hard copy set up manual . I'm still uploading my cd's which I admit is a tedious process, ( I never really realized how big a collection I had) But its great to know I can listen to anything I want by the touch of a screen!

Pros:

Cons:

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13 of 13 found this helpful

Best Sony product in some time

Nital from Gilbert, AZ on 9/9/2017

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I just got this from Crutchfield. Downloaded all my music and ripped a couple of CDs. I must say that this player is impressive. Potentially the best thing Sony invented after Trinitron and the Walkman. Awesome sound and convenience. Sad to see that they did not market this enough. Bye bye CD player.

Pros: Awesome sound and convenience

Cons: None

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6 of 6 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Crutchfield customer from Carmel, CA on 8/7/2017

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Love it. Delivers a great music experience with an intuitive app and easy access to your digital music library. Sleek, elegant appearance as well. Also purchased the matching amplifier. Would highly recommend both units for those looking to centralize and simplify their digital music libraries.

Pros: Elegant Appearance, Easy of Use, Excellent Digital Audio Processing

Cons:

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4 of 4 found this helpful

Spot on Sony

Crutchfield customer from Long Island City, NY on 6/30/2017

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Fantastic product. Incredible sound and user interface app. Goodbye iTunes, goodbye. I would add a second USB so you can attach a CD drive and a second hard drive simultaneously, or a slot to add a second HD. I have it connected to my hardwire network and it works flawlessly with my computers, gracenotes and other audio sources. I'd add a second set of RCA outputs so I can feed the Sonos system and my local system simultaneously. No big problem I'll use adapters on the balanced outputs. These are very minor problems. I love this product - thank you Sony

Pros: Audio quality user interface remote app

Cons: number of outputs/ inputs (minor)

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4 of 4 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Crutchfield customer from Redding, CA on 6/18/2017

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Great sound. The app is a little flakey but nice.

Pros: Sound.

Cons: Nothing major so far.

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0 of 1 found this helpful

Hi-Res = Real Deal!

Bert from Chester, NY on 1/1/2017

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I have been planning this purchase for a long time and I am not disappointed. I love the powerful sonics blasting out from my speakers - gives my library a new lease on life. So far, controls seem steady and intuitive, haven't noticed loss of wireless signal, a very common problem. I use the wireless to run the HDD Audio App from my iPad. I used a hardwired network connection to transfer the bulk of the music files I have, once I got used to the Hap music program it was a breeze, although, simply using windows explorer to drag and drop from my hard drive to the units Internal folder is a far better choice. Give the unit time to update, don't rush, it seems to handle all I can throw at it, just be patient. I use the Sony DN-1050 receiver and the Sony SS-CS3 floor standing speakers. Both receiver and speakers are rated for H-Res. I do see a new set of speakers in my future, unfortunately, the next model of Sony Hi-Res floor speakers are 10K, the next model up is 27K. This is not a typo. Maybe Crutchfield could recommend a set of speakers for me? If you are considering this purchase, do it, you'll love it! Make sure you have a quality receiver/amp and a good set of speakers to handle first.

Pros: Hold wireless signal nicely Easy setup Sound is something to behold - especially .dsd files HDD Audio App (available from Apple) is truly a wonderful interface

Cons: Doesn't play Apple .M4P protected files. Slow database updates. USB for external file transfer is on rear of unit. Very heavy! Duplicate music files do occur and are a pain to delete

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11 of 13 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Crutchfield customer from Corona, CA on 12/6/2016

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why did I wait so long! it's perfect

Pros:

Cons:

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1 of 3 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

ken from Daytona Beach, FL on 11/3/2016

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I've had this product a couple of months now and enjoy it. The only achilles heel is the HAP music transfer program,It's half backed(at best)and not very intuitive. Sony needs to step up their game and improve it.

Pros: sound,overall quality.

Cons: price,transfer software

Crutchfield response on

4 of 4 found this helpful

Lacking easy CD import capability

Larry from Grass Valley, CA on 10/13/2016

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As noted, this component is exceptionally well built - except for the sleazy remote (which you really don't want to use anyway). I'd give it a 5 star rating except for the following concern. The USB input allows for the connection of an external CD drive to allow direct import of your CD without the need for a computer. However, Sony did not equip this port with enough power to use any USB-powered device - like a CD/DVD player/writer or external hard drive powered only by USB. So, I lugged out my Sony CD rewriteable drive with its own power supply. It works, but seems to skip over many tracks (apparently unable to read them even though the disc plays fine in all other CD players). Also, I was unable to import any CDR material to the server. Very strange if Sony decided to block this capability but allow complete library downloads from a computer.

Pros: Great upsampling to DSD Solid construction Nice remote app and computer importing app

Cons: Not designed well for straight CD import Limited USB usage to externally powered devices only

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13 of 17 found this helpful

This is Great!

David from Richmond, VA on 9/24/2016

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The sound is amazing- crystal clear and full of amazing detail (have played through a Peachtree and a Yamaha S801). Handles all kinds of files from mp3 to hi-def 24 bit. I have only a handful of mp3s, but they definitely sound better than played on an iPod or similar. The DAC is very good. As others have noted, it is slow to upload, but not all that bad as it runs everything through Gracenotes, even files that have already been named, etc. Nevertheless, this has worked amazingly well at identifying files that I would not expect to be recognizable, such as live concert recordings, etc. I love the ability to control it with your smart phone or iPad. Put it on shuffle and then sit outside-- if something comes on you want to skip, or you want to hear something-- just control with your phone. I'm in the process of downloading my entire cd collection-- and will then put them in the closet not to be used again!

Pros:

Cons:

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5 of 5 found this helpful

Superb Audio Player

Mike from Brooklyn, NY on 3/15/2016

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I had been looking for a better solution for dealing with my collection of about 300 ripped CDs for a long time. Previously, I had been using my home theater receiver to stream from iTunes, but that was buggy and navigation was difficult and time-consuming. I heard good things about Sony's new line of audio players, so decided to jump in. Originally, I was thinking about the mid-range Sony HAP-S1, however, I eventually settled on the top-of-the-line HAP-Z1ES due to its larger built-in hard drive, dual mono DAC stages, and balanced XLR outputs. I also had no need of the S1's built-in 40-watt amp, since I was planning to just plug the player into my existing home theater system which already has amps that I like. The HAP-Z1ES was very easy to set up, with one exception. The front-panel controls were frozen at first. It started working after I plugged in the RCA cables to connect it temporarily. It seems like the unit does not behave when nothing is connected, and the manual did not mention this. Hopefully this can be fixed in a firmware update. Aside from that hiccup, it's been an absolute pleasure. It took several hours to transfer my ALAC library over the hardwired network using the Sony HAP software, and now the software watches my iTunes folder for new files to copy automatically. Playback from the internal drive is instantaneous and crystal-clear. The iOS app works perfectly as a remote, but using the front-panel controls to select music is also easy.

Pros: 1TB internal HD, expandable via USB Dual mono DAC stages RCA unbalanced and XLR balanced outputs Very nice high-res front display Very nice iOS app for control Built like a tank

Cons: Copying files is very slow, even over hardwired network Requires external amp/receiver No digital output HAP Music Transfer software works but is clunky and a bit of a pain to use It's pricey, to say the least

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10 of 10 found this helpful

The HAP-Z1ES Makes Me a HAP-E1

John from Lorton, VA on 2/29/2016

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I bought the HAP-Z1ES along with a Sony TA-A1ES and a pair of Definitve Technology BP 10Bs. I will review the amp once I get the two speakers hooked up. For now I am listening to the system with a pair of small speakers and won't try to review the sound quality of the Sony player and amp. The HAP-Z1ES (player) is a very satisfying way to store and listen to your music. Once you have ripped your CDs and transferred the digital files with free software from Sony, the player organizes everything (sort of like iTunes) and you can review the resultant music meta data base and select music to be played with a free app from Sony. The app also lets you control the player and the amp like a remote control: on-off and volume. The app also lets you edit the data base. Although I have iTunes, I decided to keep music for the new player separate. So I bought BDpoweramp, ripped my music (again in many cases) and stored the files on a RAID 1 NAS, from which they are transferred to the player over Gigabit Ethernet. For the most part, ripping results in the expected meta data and attendant organization; but, I encountered some "ripping confusion" which I had to correct by editing the master files on the NAS using DBpoweramp, with some additional editing using the Sony app (HDD Audio). The editing can be tedious but it's doable and lasts forever. The player is a joy to use. Especially with HDD Audio on a tablet. Just sit there, access all your music, select what you want, and then listen. Buy!

Pros: Quality device with excellent features and ease of use.

Cons: None so far nor expected. Unless documentation counts. It's average at best.

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4 of 4 found this helpful

Best upgrade from a traditional DAC

Russell from San Jose, CA on 2/28/2016

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This unit is not a Cheap plug and play type of setup like a traditional DAC player. You Do Not need to keep it close to a Laptop or Computer. The Sony HAP-Z1ES weighs 32 lbs alone and is close to my hefty amplifier weight.. This unit is a Audiophile grade that you can have the following hooked up to it a 2.0 speaker setup via XLR from your AMP to unit or Headphone AMP as well. Many people are getting confused on what this unit can do, and give it a bad rating because they assumed it would do streaming or basically act like a traditional DAC player which it does not, it is more like a DAC Server. Coming from a total of 5 different DAC players out there this by far the best sounding one I have heard with my current setup. My other DACs ranged from $500 to $3k and this one is right in the middle of price. The HAPmusic transfer software works as advertised, you can have it automatically send your songs over or do it manually which I do myself. There are some negative comments but will not effect the star rating because of how great this sounds. Using your phone with the Sony (HDD Audio Remote) you can try it under DEMO PLAYER and see how it navigates before you buy it. Very easy to find songs, albums and navigate through. You can make play lists very easily for party's.

Pros: A+ Audiophile grade unit (32 bls) Dual TI Burr-Brown PCM1795 DACs (one for each channel) ensure high-accuracy digital-to-analog conversion via XLR sounds the best Software HAPtransfer works great but can be slow if you have 1,000+ of songs to transfer but it is only a one time transfer to the HAP-Z1ES. Sound is really amazing even on very low quality MP3 recordings never heard any hisses or pops like other DACs Play's all music formats and switches each song accordingly via sample

Cons: Only comes in SILVER no BLACK models on the HAP-Z1ES which I do not like since all my components are black it stands out and looks out of place. Only a 1 Terabyte Hard Drive which can fill up very fast if using DSD files which are 1-4 GBs each. But you can add a external via USB 2.0 on back for extra storage. (Note HD inside unit is a laptop 2.5 1 TB model can be upgraded to the highest 2.5 inch size of 2 TB if you wanted to. SEARCH "Sony HAP-Z1ES Hard Drive Upgrade Doubling Down"

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10 of 10 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

David K from portland, ME on 2/19/2016

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Fantastic device. High quality feel, excellent internet tuner, and really remarkable sound with DSD files. Only hitch: though you can indeed attach an external hard drive to expand storage, drivers are installed which make it invisible if removed and plugged into a computer. So, it permanently becomes a dedicated drive (not a bad fate). Expensive gadget, but recommended without hesitation.

Pros:

Cons:

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5 of 6 found this helpful

Better than a Mytek 192 USB DAC!

PhotoDave from Illinois on 1/13/2016

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I got the Sony HAP-Z1ES as a Christmas gift, and I did a head-to-head comparison with an excellent $1,500 DAC, the Mytek 192-DSD DAC. Both the Sony and the Mytek do Double-DSD and have excellent upsampling, so I was excited to try this test. WOW! The Sony was neck-and-neck with the Mytek with WAV , High Rez and DSD files... and was MUCH BETTER with CD or lower quality files! I tried the Mytek with all the latest streaming software... and found that solution to be much more cumbersome and error prone to the Sony HDD player. The iPhone and iPad app for the Sony also won hands down! I ran both through fully balanced AudioQuest Columbia or Colorado cables into my fully balanced BAT pre-amp and fully balanced amp. I have been spending the last few weeks RE-DISCOVERING my music collection -- buying DSD and other high rez files, plus ripping fill WAV files to my iTunes, all of which is copied to my Sony HAP-Z1ES very quickly by the Sony software!

Pros:

Cons:

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8 of 8 found this helpful

Great music archive and player

Bruce from Iowa on 11/24/2015

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The Sony HAPZ1ES is the perfect solution for me. I already had a large digital music collection on the computer. The Sony transfer program worked flawlessly to transfer the files from computer to HAPZ1ES though it did take some time. The management program for ipad mini works well and the music sounds superb played back through my amplifier and speakers. The combination of the processing and the DAC in the Sony make music sound more enjoyable than that played back through my CD player. Internet radio sounds great also.

Pros: Great sound. Easy to transfer from computer to Sony hard drive. Internet radio streaming works well and sounds good.

Cons: Some what expensive. No support for TIDAL or Pandora.

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5 of 5 found this helpful

Great music player!

Jon B. from Massachusetts on 11/2/2015

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While it is a bit expensive, the HAP-Z1ES is a fantastic addition to my home entertainment system. It did require some tweaking of various adjustments to get the sound just right, but everything sounds even better than CD's---including mp3's, which have been upconverted using the DSEE capability of the player. An important note- I tried to save a few $$$'s on the cables at first but quickly realized that they needed to be upgraded, so I went from Audioquest Towers to a pair of Big Surs (also Audioquest) and the difference is incredible---well worth the added cost.

Pros: Fantastic sound, operated via a beautiful app, an immersive music experience.

Cons: File transfer software is less than perfect; I have found several CD's that were transferred have duplicates of every song. There is no feature that I can find to quickly delete duplicates.

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8 of 8 found this helpful

SONY HAP Z1ES

GlennS from Buffalo, New York on 8/27/2015

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I read the very high praise from both Sterophile and The Absolute Sound - and I agree completely. The sonics on this stunning unit will make the universe of digital rival or surpass your best vinyl. And not just on hi-rez files, some of MP3's sound utterly amazing too. Not everything of course, but the best sounding recordings are a revelation to listen to. My equipment has never sounded better, I have been so happy listening that I put off replacing my 35 year old KEF's (104ab's), they are just sounding so good. I read one reviewer who can't get the VTuner working, I've had no problem. The Digital radio works very well. I would like SONY to add Pandora or Spotify and/or one of the hi rez sites to make the unit even more useful. But there are a great many hi rez (up to 320k) internet radio stations for jazz and classical as well as some fine sounding rock stations. Great unit, rejuvenated my audiophile tendencies and got me back to listening and enjoying music. Turning the unit on and picking selectins The software for my phone and ipad works well, is reasonably intuitive, maybe a bit slow when modifying data or deleting files. The folks who take care of my computers at home and office set my ripping software (JRiver thanks to Crutchfield recommending it to me) and I rip DIRECTLY TO THE SONY. If you can transfer the files after ripping to the hard disk - you can rip directly to the unit. Great time saver. Not sure why SONY doesn't include that in the possible direction

Pros: Superb, at times, stunning sound. Excellent software for tablets and phones. A game changer for all things digital.

Cons: Slow software, lack of connectivity to Pandora, Spotify, et al.

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8 of 8 found this helpful

Works for Some, but Not for Me

Pierre Francois from Maryland on 7/22/2015

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I have a pretty good stereo that streams music from my network. This device did not appreciably improve the sound. However, I liked the idea of storing thousands of my iTunes songs on it. The problem is it does not copy over your playlist, and the search engine on it is not that good. The other thing I didn't like is that you could not wake up from sleep mode through the mobile app. This meant you had to physically go where your unit was located to turn the music on. I do not have to do that with my stereo.

Pros:

Cons:

Crutchfield response on 2/22/2016
Thanks for your review. You can indeed turn on the Sony HAP-Z1 ES using the mobile app. Crutchfield Advisor Clarence sent along this tip: "In the setup menu, set "Network Standby" to ON.

4 of 7 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Crutchfield customer from Kansas on 7/19/2015

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I recently upgraded to this model from the HAP-S1. The sound from the HAP-S1 was great. This component is even better. If a certain album was engineered especially well, the sound is stunning. This component really lets you hear the work and care that goes into studio recordings, and it's audible even in standard lossless files. (I leave the DSD remastering engine off, because my files are all standard lossless, and when applied, it comes across as virtual surround sound -- I can't justifying paying for DSD right now when 24-bit CD remasters sound spectacular.) This device has its quirks. I found with both this component and the more budget-friendly version that random files in Apple Lossless format inexplicably would not/ will not play unless converted to FLAC. The software either skips over them, or the player stalls. So to avoid that hiccup, I'm choosing FLAC format for problem and future files. The latest software update also randomly stripped a good portion of my album art (?), but some albums that the software split up (also in the HAP-S1) for no apparent reason are now easily fixable. A tradeoff, I suppose. Those things are negligible to me. Over the past couple of weeks I've been listening to albums that I've owned for 10-20 years, and some normally familiar songs take a minute to recognize. The difference in quality is that profound. I'm able to hear everything -- the precise skill of vocalists and band members, the acoustics ... It's just spectacular.

Pros: Stunning sound -- recordings truly shine.

Cons: The software has some random quirks.

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5 of 5 found this helpful

Even Better Than Expected

RedsIndians from Nashville, Tennessee on 5/13/2015

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This unit sounds fantastic listening through the TA-A1ES amp and Klipsch Reference RF-62 II speakers. It is easy to access all the player's settings from the main menu. You can transfer files via Windows Explorer instead of having to use the dedicated Windows application. The file transfers are slow (even over gigabit ethernet) but copying directly to the player via Windows Explorer is the faster method. To avoid any potential transfer issues I moved files over in chunks of 30-40 GB at a time. Updating meta-tags via Windows explorer automatically triggers the player database to update. This was especially helpful as the player categorizes files by the "Artist" tag instead of "Album Artist". Albums that span multiple discs are handled correctly if you specified the disc number in the applicable tag. If the database is updating when you turn off the player it will let you know and shut itself down when it finishes. There is a supposed 20,000 track limit but I have not seen any issues with approximately 24,000 tracks. All menus and tracks load quickly without issue. I use ALAC files with the album art and tags already embedded and have not come across any instances of Gracenote updating my files (changing titles, artwork, or tags). The "HDD Audio" mobile app is intuitive and easy to use although sometimes it will stop seeing the player if the device goes to sleep and is woke back up a few times in a short period. Then you have to close it and relaunch it.

Pros: Fantastic sound. Easy to setup and configure. Files can be transferred using Sony software or Windows Explorer. Meta-tag updates sync to the player within seconds. "HDD Audio" mobile app is intuitive.

Cons: Slow file transfers. "HDD Audio" mobile loses player often.

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2 of 2 found this helpful

Very good product.

Timm from Arkansas on 5/11/2015

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The only issue I have has is that I have been unable so far to delete duplicate songs from the device. Duplicates came from two iTunes libraries with common files. Other than that, it's been a breeze downloading music from online sources. I just created a sub file within " My Music" on my PC for each outlet (HD Tracks, SuperHiRez, Bliucoast Records, etc. and somehow the websites found those sub folders and automatically send stuff to the right sub folder. Simply id each such file in your HapZ transfer program and its downhill there on. Through Ethernet I transferred about 7000 iTunes tracks in around 6 hours.

Pros: Very easy to transfer current libraries and new download purchases. Excellent iPad and iPhone interface. DSD files close to vinyl quality, but not quite there. HapZ does improve MP3 sound, but some recordings noticeably short of DSD quality. Some MP3 files noticeably improved though. Very easy and fun to use.

Cons: Issue with deleting files that are duplicates. Wish it came in black. Still 4.5 stars.

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Now this is truly HI-FI

Walley B from California on 5/3/2015

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I just read another review for this item. I too have had it for only 3 weeks. I cannot possibly say anything negative about this fine instrument. I have played a lot of up-sampled digital music for some time using the most popular DVD Player around. The Sony beats it hands down! Now, if you purchase this unit, be warned - it takes a long time to transfer files. Why is it so "Slow"? The answer is that it is very busy looking up each song from gracenote in order to find information about each song. Then the unit does its thing on the file. So just to give some time perspective, I transferred some 3500 files, and it took a full 2 1/2 days! So what, it is truly worth the wait! A truly wonderful and beautifully built unit, just as a Sony ES piece should be!

Pros: Easy to learn - truly intuitive to operate. And what a beautiful way to treat your special music! It's music to my 75 year old ears!

Cons: None so far and I do not imagine that there ever will be!

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1 of 1 found this helpful

Sony HAP-Z1ES

Ron C from Herald, CA on 4/26/2015

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Please note that the HAP-Z1ES does not come with an instruction manual, it needs to be downloaded from the internet. The unit has only two channels which does not utilize all the DSD multichannel SACD's in my collection.

Pros: Built like a tank like all the other SONY ES equipment in my systen.

Cons: Only 2 channel operation

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4 of 12 found this helpful

Very nice

TR from Michigan on 2/15/2015

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I liked the Sony quite a bit, it works very well as does the Apple and Android apps that control it. File transfer took what seemed like a long time, but maybe that's due to my network? 630GB you 2 days to complete, but the good news is you can play what's available while it's transferring. The review below is incorrect, the unit does play gapless flawlessly. The reason I tried this player out is my PS Audio DAC is also a network player, but it does not have gapless playback at this time and I have some issues with the software that operates it. The Sony works without a hitch. The Sony sounds really good, but in my back and forth comparisons, the PS Audio DAC has much more detail and clarity. On the other hand it cost almost twice as much!

Pros: Works perfectly, sounds good

Cons: The supplied remote is worthless, they should just leave it out and save a couple bucks.

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6 of 7 found this helpful

Does NOT provide Gapless Playback

barker47 from Virginia on 1/6/2015

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Despite claims to the contrary, this network player does not provide gap less playback. This is an especial annoyance on continuous classical recordings. I can cite two as documented examples--the CBS Stravinsky recordings of symphonies and ballet suites, and the CBS record of Lauren Mazells's Wagner Suite. I have to consider if this defect on an expensive product warrants a return.

Pros: Nice format and easy set up, albeit slow.

Cons: No digital out.

Crutchfield response on 1/14/2015
Thanks for your review. According to the owner's manual, "the Gapless Playback function works with DSD, WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC and WMA Lossless music file formats." We tested the Sony HAP-ZIES with six different recordings, including some high-res files (24-bit/192kHz resolution). Gapless playback worked each time. In the settings menu, please make sure gapless playback is set to "auto."

15 of 20 found this helpful

No V-tuner even though Sony says it does

JC Audio from Walnut Creek, CA on 9/17/2014

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While I like the unit overall, I am concerned with Sony and Vtuner. Vtuner happens to be one of the main reasons I bought the unit as I get tired of my collection and love the variety of music I can explore. Since Sept. 06, all you get on the unit is "cannot connect". I have called Sony numerous times about the problem and was first told it was a Vtuner problem. When I informed him it works fine on my Marantz he admitted that their server was having issues with Vtuners server and should be up an running any minute. That was September 6th and as I write this it is end of day September 15th Every time I call to get an update I get the run around. Shame as it could be a really good unit if only Sony would get their act together on this vital function.

Pros: Very easy to set up and sound quality is very good

Cons: Sony customer support is horrible Sony lied to many of us for weeks about the Vtuner problem Still no internet available Should point out that my Marantz sitting in other room works flawlessly

Crutchfield response on 11/14/2014
Thank you for your review. Sony confirmed that there was a temporary disruption in the vTuner service for some Sony products. Sony informed us in October that the service has been restored. We tested the Sony HAP-Z1ES and can confirm that vTuner is working again.

14 of 18 found this helpful

The future is here

Bill S from West Palm Beach, FL on 7/21/2014

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This is my first foray into the realm of HiRez digital. I am not a computer geek, had no music files on my PC, had never downloaded music before. My main interest was to organize and collate over 2,000 cds scattered and out of control. The HAPZ1ES (I call it the "Z") is easy to set up and use, and not only is storing and organizing all of them, but in A-B comparisons with the CD ripped and downloaded to the hard drive, it sounds better too! I know this doesn't seem possible, but being self contained front to back it eliminates jitter, thus, a more sophisticated DAC, better digital clock. Better, better, better than any ordinary CD player. And we haven't even talked about the HiRez capability yet, or the digital radio part. This thing is the business. Highest possible recommendation.

Pros: Great sound, easy to use, organizes all your CDs, HiRez, digital radio. Puts digital into every man's hands.

Cons: I am working on it.

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9 of 10 found this helpful

Network Software Issues

Vince S. from Martinsville, VA on 6/30/2014

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This unit does an excellent job of reproducing digital music files. However, the softwrae supplied to transfer files over the network sometimes can't find the unit. Additionally, the playlists are made and edited via a smart device app which is very kludgey. They should look to iTunes for a better implementation. The app occasionally loses its place.

Pros: Audio reproduction App control of basic functions.

Cons: App is erratic. App management of playlists.

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10 of 11 found this helpful

Outstanding digital audio component

Q Nguyen from Laguna Niguel, California on 2/20/2014

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After doing much research in trying to get in the "Audio digital age" I decided to buy this Sony "High Resolution digital music player" 3 weeks ago, found it to be an excellent product. Sound quality is superb even when listening to converted music from my Ipod .

Pros: Very simple to connect to a home network storage system, after downloading the software from the Sony website. High quality built. Easy to operate.

Cons: I've only owned this for about 3 weeks, not long enough to notice any cons.

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14 of 15 found this helpful

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