72

4.2 based on 72 customer reviews

40
17
8
1
6
Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Good

Ease of Use

Good

Please note: Some product variations and/or features mentioned within Product Reviews may not be available in all countries.

Most Helpful Positive
0

Top tier digital audio - but no Tidal!

HAP-Z1ES 01/05/2019 by Freeheelpete (USA)

I have owned this a few years now. Have never been disappointed with the sound. Significantly more detailed and refined than the Naim V-DAC or the Wadia 122 DAC, which I have directly compared over extended periods. I am a big-time vinyl lover and find that no digital that I have owned can match the insight that vinyl provides. But the Sony comes closest out of anything I have heard, and it does not disappoint in comparison. What is very disappointing is the lack of hi-res music streaming service. Hence the 4-star rating. The compressed Spotify streaming that is available on the device is a joke compared with what this device can deliver. It forces me to own a separate DAC so that I can stream Tidal. I really wish Sony would get their act together on hi-res streaming and get Tidal on-board ASAP.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Average

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

23

0

Most Helpful Critical
0

Music Transfer

HAPZ1ES 03/02/2020  (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

Having a problem of the unit constantly freezing up. Only way I can get it back on line is to unplug the unit from the back and plug it back in. Will ask dealer to replace it unless there is a software update which will fix this problem.

Sound Quality

Good

Features

Average

Design

Average

Ease of Use

Good

1

0

72 Customer Reviews

0

Fantastic server

HAPZ1ES 25/06/2020 by Randy92028 (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

Probably should have bought this years ago. I downloaded all my music from ITunes which took about 16.5 hours for 8,800 songs. Everything transferred over perfectly with the exception of some of the greatest hits albums. Music transferred fine but the cover art was wrong. Manually making the necessary changes was a little time-consuming but easy. The build quality is this unit is excellent. Audio quality even better. The high end DAC sure makes older music sound fantastic. I don’t stream music so only having a couple of streaming services was no big deal to me. I listen exclusively to my own music. I have three Denon receivers so using this server through HEOS works perfectly. I can listen to music throughout the house, in the garage or in the backyard either all together or individually without a hiccup. Overall, I’m extremely pleased with this unit and would highly recommend it to others.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

0

0

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
30/06/2020

Hi Randy92028,

Thank you for sharing this positive review. We appreciate your time sharing this feedback. Thank you for choosing Sony.

Regards,
David

0

Still the best hard disk player

HAP-Z1ES 24/06/2020 by Brucedgoose (USA)

I own two of these Sony hard disk units as well as a Bluesound/NAD hard disk player and I have owned hard disk players from Yamaha and Harman-Kardon as well. This Sony is the best of them all! Easier to use, excellent sound, and no need to buy and external DAC. Also less expensive than many of the competitors. Software not quite as nice as the hardware, but still pretty good. Would like to see a better hard disk backup and replace capability, otherwise all good!

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

0

0

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
25/06/2020

Hi Brucedgoose, Awesome! We're glad to hear you appreciate the overall quality of your hap-z1es. The HAP-Z1ES HDD Audio Player is the perfect addition to your Hi-Fi setup, with a Direct Stream Digital (DSD) Re-mastering Engine that elevates all your music. A 1 TB hard disc, has space for all your music, letting you hear it all as it was meant to be heard. Thanks for choosing Sony! -Sam

0

Poor Implementation and Limited Connectivity

HAPZ1ES 07/05/2020 by SweatyMike (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

To upload my music files took 5 days as the Sony would freeze in the middle of the upload and I had to restart and examine where the Sony froze which it did constantly despite being directly connected to my router. There is no way to upload files except via computer as it doesn't recognize any USB HDD that is not formatted to Sony's file specs. You cannot use an external DAC!!!!!!!!! Finally, to add the nail into the coffin - after days of loading up everything when I went to play some files I realized that there is something wrong with the electronics inside which made playback horrible sounding. I compared it to the original disc using a CD player, Cambridge 851C, and streaming the exact file into my Cary 200TS DAC and realized that the Sony had a problem!!! Even the 'wireless' setup was clumsy and often I couldn't even access the 'wireless' setup!!!! What should have been an easy process turned into TORTURE!!! I should have done more research because if I did I would never have purchased this 'clunker'.

Sound Quality

Fair

Features

Poor

Design

Poor

Ease of Use

Poor

1

1

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
12/05/2020

Hi SweatyMike, We regret to hear about this. First, please make sure to update the unit to the latest firmware version. Refer to this link below for instructions:

https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/audio-components-hdd-audio-network-audio-players/hap-z1es/downloads/00016041

And also, please follow the steps on this link if you're having some issues transferring files to your unit:

https://helpguide.sony.net/ha/mt/v1/en/contents/TP0000223764.html

External DAC can be used in this unit such as the TA-ZH1ES.

And for sound-related issues, please follow the troubleshooting steps on this link:

https://helpguide.sony.net/ha/hapz1es/v1/en/contents/TP0000222039.html
https://helpguide.sony.net/ha/hapz1es/v1/en/contents/TP0000222040.html

If you are unable to resolve your concern, please email us at socialsupport@am.sony.com with the following details:

Name:
Sony Username:
Model Number:
Issue:
Telephone Number:

Sincerely,
Sam

0

Music services need updated by Sony

HAPZ1ES 06/04/2020 by MrScience2008 (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

This is a good product but could be a great product with a few updates by Sony. The device can only stream TuneIn and Spotify. Where are Qobuz and Tidal? Future units should have more digital outputs than just usb.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

4

0

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
09/04/2020

Hi MrScience2008, Thank you for choosing Sony. We appreciate your high review and feedback. We at Sony are always striving to improve our products and we consider your feedback in those improvements. I hope you are enjoying the HAP1Z’s 1 TB of storage and its ability to play Hi-Res files or restore the quality of your compressed files by using DSEE(Digital Sound Enhancement Engine) and DSD( Direct Stream Digital) engines. You can always check this link to get the latest firmware updates: https://www.sony.com/electronics/support/audio-components-hdd-audio-network-audio-players/hap-z1es/downloads/00016041

~Earl

0

HAP-Z1ES

HAPZ1ES 23/02/2020 by Royalty (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

This thing sounds amazing! I have transferred over 20k AAC files from my personal CD collection that had been previously stored on Itunes. I have yet to download any hi-res but, that's the next phase as I just purchased it a week ago and, it took about four days to transfer the files from iTunes.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Good

Ease of Use

Good

0

0

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
23/02/2020

Hi Royalty,

Thank you for choosing Sony!

Regards,
David

0

Please upgrade the firmware

HAP-Z1ES 16/02/2020 by Sonyz1es (USA)

The firmware never compatible to common dac, now using 19226r

Sound Quality

Good

Features

Fair

Design

Fair

Ease of Use

Fair

1

0

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
17/02/2020

Hi Sonyz1es,

Greetings and thank you for your message. On this site, we are able to provide assistance for customers in the US and Canada. We highly recommend visiting our Sony Global Web site for information on contacting the Sony Support Center in your region at http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/Support/.

~Ralph

0

Music Transfer

HAPZ1ES 03/02/2020  (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

Having a problem of the unit constantly freezing up. Only way I can get it back on line is to unplug the unit from the back and plug it back in. Will ask dealer to replace it unless there is a software update which will fix this problem.

Sound Quality

Good

Features

Average

Design

Average

Ease of Use

Good

1

0

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
04/02/2020

Hi, POS6!

I’m so sorry that your player constantly freezing up. You may try following the step on the Help Guide to help us isolate this.

https://helpguide.sony.net/ha/hapz1es/v1/en/cover/level1_15.html

I hope this helps but if you still need assistance, do not hesitate to drop us an email at socialsupport@am.sony.com with the following details:

Name:
sony.com Username:
Model Number:
Issue:
Telephone Number:

Sincerely,
Erin

0

Great Sounding Player

HAP-Z1ES 01/01/2020 by Luka99 (USA)

Love the way this player sounds. I do wish it would connect with Qobuz... I stop buying cd’s for a while now and the Spotify option on it sounds horrible. Very heavy player. Please Sony, let it have Qobuz.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

2

0

0

great dig. music player, software could be better

HAPZ1ES 16/12/2019 by Blake B (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

I bought the HDD Audio player as my home music server. I have the 1T version and loaded over 16,000 songs, with a mix of ALAC, FLAC, MP3 and WAV files. It works great with my stereo amp! The software could be better however; I can only modify and edit titles thru the phone app. The Delete function is a little cumbersome, and having to scroll thru my files is a little slow - a search function would help as would a mass delete. Loading files was easy with a wired connection. Overall, its a great way to play digital music files thru my home stereo.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Average

Design

Good

Ease of Use

Average

1

0

0

Amazing, but needs additional software support.

HAP-Z1ES 04/11/2019 by Anderson2 (USA)

The media player works great and pairs really well with the sony matching amp. I did replace the HD with an ssd (a very easy fix to remove a spinning drive). Music sounds great on Klipsch horns and custom made speakers. On the software side the interface needs a little work and the software should be updated to incorporate Google and Amazon streaming services. They may not sound perfect, but sure are convenient.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Average

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Average

3

1

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
13/11/2019

Hi, Anderson2!

Sony takes into consideration all feedback to improve the performance and quality of our products and services. We're always looking to make Sony better. We appreciate your time sharing this feedback. Thanks!

~Earl

0

6 Years Old - Needs updating

HAP-Z1ES 19/10/2019 by BucketBottoms (USA)

I am shopping for a network streamer for high res - tidal etc... that has local storage. Please update this unit to 2020 standards... looks like this one is almost 6 years old with no updates.. needs better connectivity options and should be able to stream all services available today. Also, please offer this unit in black so it matches my other gear.

Sound Quality

Average

Features

Poor

Design

Average

Ease of Use

Average

16

1

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
21/10/2019

Hi, BucketBottoms!

Sony takes into consideration all feedback to improve the performance and quality of our products and services. We're always looking to make Sony better. We appreciate your time sharing this feedback.


Regards,

Erin

0

Outstanding Music DAC Player for the price

HAPZ1ES 01/10/2019 by Audio Nut (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

This is a great music playing companion to my Sony TA-A1ES integrated amp. I thoroughly looked at digital music playing equipment options and this music player is the best value. I purchased the Sony amplifier first and was totally impressed with the quality of playback through it from a stand-alone DAC playing from computer ripped CD files. I wanted to consolidate and integrate equipment more and this HDD player is a great answer to that. Also the remote control of this HDD player and the amp with an Apple iPad is a bonus. I belong to a local audio club and this combination sounds every bit as good or better than most everyone else's systems generally costing much, much more. I am a 50-year user of Sony high-end audio products and this Sony combination is better than anything I've had previously. Highly recommended!

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Average

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

3

0

Response From Sony Social Support
03/10/2019

Hello, Audio Nut!

Wow, what an awesome review! We are happy to know that the unit meets your expectation. Thank you for choosing Sony!

~Zac


0

Incredible sound with headphones and headphone amp

HAP-Z1ES 30/09/2019 by Ironman8887 (USA)

Previously reviewed the HAP-Z1ES in my all tube playback system in November 2017 and gave it a five star rating. Recently got into headphones to maintain my marital bliss while listening at night. I am currently using a solid state headphone amp made in the USA with a set of studio monitor headphones and am blown away at the resolution and detail put forth by this music server. Amazing synergy. Also, I have the HAP-Z on my home network and can access my music library on my home office PC using Windows media player. Totally awesome piece of audiophile gear.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

2

0

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
02/10/2019

Hi, Ironman8887!

We appreciate your positive feedback. We are always looking to make SONY better. Thank you!

~Earl

0

Software? What software?

HAP-Z1ES 20/06/2019 by glupson (USA)

I am not sure where to give feedback for someone from SONY to read it so am trying it this way. Ihave had one of these players for a couple of years and have recently bought another one. They are fantastic. Almost. As other reviewers mentioned, the sound is great and it can be even better if you connect it to an outside DAC. Your choice. The unit has all I want although I can see why streaming services are mentioned by many. For me, Internet radio is the best feature. Even that sounds good. The weak part has always been, and recently has been laughably so, software. It has never been non-buggy, but most recent iteration (1226R, or something like that) has one bizzare feature and a few small quirks. Once you transfer music onto the HAP-Z1ES, it starts scanning it to place it into Sense-Me folders. There is no way to cancel that operation and you get a small icon (music note) to inform you it is working. Well, it is working only if you are not playing music and it takes more than 10 minutes to analyze 5 minutes of music. If you fill 1TB of hard drive, you may end up with 20 000 songs (many DSD so, if you do FLAC only it may be even more). Roughly, 118 days to process all of that, provided you do not play music during any of those days. What is the point of insisting on populating Sense-Me channels when, in real life and assuming you actually bought this machine to listen to it, you may not be able to populate them in a couple of years? I read about abandoning Gracenote (thank you for that, by the way, it made previous software even clunkier), and understand the general idea, but can we have the option of disabling Sense-Me channel analysis? Not album by album, but complete on/off. New software also has strange moments, album art shows on album list but is blank when song is selected (it is not the problem with files, they are just fine on other players with previous generation software). Some album art gets mixed and pictures from one album show up on some other album. The list goes on and on. Previous software (1877R, I think) was the best so far. Without arm-twisting to use Gracenote or Sense-Me channels analysis over months, it would make nice comeback.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Good

6

0

0

Perfect Audiophile Sound

HAPZ1ES 09/06/2019 by JDawg (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

Sony still cares about excellent stereo sound, and the HAP-Z1ES (ES stands for "elevated standard") proves it. The build is solid as a rock. The unit weighs about 30lbs. It plays every high-resolution audio format around and makes lower resolution files sound better than ever. You can also copy standard CDs, and use as a DAC with the built-in USB port. The unit automatically updates metadata including artist info and cover art and is easily operated from your iPhone or iPad. It indeed produces superior sound quality, as the artist intended. All I can say is WOW, especially when listening to hi-res DSD files.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

3

0

0

Top tier digital audio - but no Tidal!

HAP-Z1ES 01/05/2019 by Freeheelpete (USA)

I have owned this a few years now. Have never been disappointed with the sound. Significantly more detailed and refined than the Naim V-DAC or the Wadia 122 DAC, which I have directly compared over extended periods. I am a big-time vinyl lover and find that no digital that I have owned can match the insight that vinyl provides. But the Sony comes closest out of anything I have heard, and it does not disappoint in comparison. What is very disappointing is the lack of hi-res music streaming service. Hence the 4-star rating. The compressed Spotify streaming that is available on the device is a joke compared with what this device can deliver. It forces me to own a separate DAC so that I can stream Tidal. I really wish Sony would get their act together on hi-res streaming and get Tidal on-board ASAP.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Average

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

23

0

0

Great player but issue with transformer hum

HAP-Z1ES 13/04/2019 by AutomationGuy (USA)

I love this player.. It sounds awesome and is very easy to setup and operate. The Android app is wonderful and the file utility works flawlessly. Unfortunately, I've had to return this unit 2X due to a transformer hum that causes the left portion of the chassis to resonate very audibly. I can hear the hum 20FT away. This would be a keeper for me but the hum is simply unacceptable. Additionally both units I received had a sticker on the top cover, which when removed yielded marred paint underneath due to the adhesive used. Why would such beautiful casework be cheapened and damaged by such a silly advertisement?

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

8

0

0

Great Build Quality, but needs a software update!

HAP-Z1ES 31/03/2019 by FireFly1 (USA)

This unit has a very good day in it and it does a decent job of streaming. That being said, it is in need of a software reboot to make it easier to use and more streaming services to access. Not worth the $1999.00 price tag right now, if they update the software and make it easier to access music via different streaming services I would easily rate this unit a 5 out of 5. Great sound quality and built like a tank..

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Average

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Good

13

1

0

One simple step from perfection

HAP-Z1ES 10/03/2019 by bluetunejon (USA)

Sony, do you actually pay attention to these reviews? The vast majority say the same thing; world-class sound, but no hi-res streaming option. Other units from other manufacturers dont have this limitation. I absolutely love the Hap, but I cannot help from believing your reluctance to include a software update which would enable Tidal or Qobuz is simply planned obsolescence. You have created one of the finest devices of its kind that competes with others at many times its price-point. To skimp on such a simple update is exactly the kind of thing that will cause me to buy from another manufacturer when purchasing my next piece of gear.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Average

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

22

1

0

Great sound quality but!!!

HAP-Z1ES 06/03/2019 by Djdsdaudio (USA)

All this talk about high resolution audio But you still offer mp3 streaming services. Time to cut the cord from mp3 for good. For a 2000.00dollar machine we want the best audio streaming services available.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Fair

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

18

1

0

Outstanding HDD player

HAP-Z1ES 02/03/2019 by Rorcat (USA)

I've had my for several years and love it. Converting over 1000 cds to the player took time but was well worth it. The sound quality and convenience of use is outstanding.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

1

0

0

Fantastic

HAP-Z1ES 22/02/2019 by NYSB (USA)

Got this about 6 months ago. Very happy. I'm not a hi-fi newbie, but did not have much experience with digital files. After getting this, I am not interested in looking to see what else is out there. Only minor inconvenience is having to learn how to upload the files. It is not too difficult, but if you are a complete technophobe, something to consider.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

2

0

0

Audiophile machine w/o Tidal or Qobuz?????

HAP-Z1ES 31/01/2019 by Drumbullet (USA)

The machine is great for ripping modern CDs and playing...older 2" reel music suffers from conversion to CD. The quality of what is put in (music speaking) come out very clean...the app is great...time to load in a CD into the system 30 minutes...ugh...have100's of CD's. Now...what is up with the streaming??? Spotify is the only selection??? Come on Sony...Tidal and Qobuz are the streaming services that should be standard with this device...not the compressed MP3 Spotify garbage...please, please, please rectify this.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Average

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

28

4

0

Absolutely Incredible!!

HAPZ1ES 24/01/2019 by SMS3059 (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

This is the second HAP-Z1ES unit I purchased within a year because my first unit completely transformed my listening experience. This is truly a brilliant product that does exactly what Sony has been advertising! I love the simplicity of the design, mobile app, and the music upload feature....truly effortless and world class! I couldn’t be more happier!!

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

1

0

0

Qobuz support PLEASE?!

HAP-Z1ES 20/12/2018 by Doogie P (USA)

Really a well built and great sounding unit. That said, it's a high res player, that streams... but doesn't stream Hi-Res? With Qobuz about to launch in the US, come on SONY!!! You support it on other products, but not your flagship? PLEASE make the firmware updates necessary to support Qobuz. If not Qobuz, Tidal, but Qobuz would be great, no need for MQA. I used to recommend this player to EVERYONE. With a few software updates with the interface (make playlists easier to make etc) and hi-res streaming support it's a killer machine still worth paying MSRP for as it's not outdated at all (with the hi-res streaming update) Really want to get 5 more years out of this product Sony? Qobuz and Roon support...

Sound Quality

Good

Features

Fair

Design

Good

Ease of Use

Good

30

1

Response From Sony Social Support
22/12/2018

Hi Doogie P, We are sorry for any inconvenience you had experienced. Please be assured we take this very seriously and continuously strive to improve our products. We will forward this to a relevant team. -Erin

0

WOW is this still in beta?

HAP-Z1ES 20/09/2018 by CoosGuy (USA)

This product must be in beta, has to be in beta, the software to transfer is unstable and buggy at best. Even using a hardwired connection. YES i am running the latest version of transfer software. I stopped counting at 22 the number of times it has frozen transferring 20k songs. 3 days loading it with my music library. I have yet to hear more then a test track. Forget about doing the transfer wirelessly, software isn't stable enough to even hold an network connection. At 35 lbs this is a monster. it's running through a Marantz system and Klipsh Floor Speakers... I hope the playback is worth the complete PIA this bata product is...

Sound Quality

Good

Features

Poor

Design

Poor

Ease of Use

Poor

11

1

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
22/09/2018

Hi CoosGuy, we are sorry for the inconvenience this caused you. To best assist you at this time, I highly recommend you contact our special group who handles ES products, exclusively. Please check the link below for the contact details.
https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/select-system.pl?DIRECTOR=CONTACT

0

Souds great

HAPZ1ES 20/06/2018 by BiBi315 (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

I have had mine for a couple years now and it is our go to device for music. I have all my CDs and downloaded music on it using a 3 TB external HD. The only quibble is the dropping of the connection between the HAP and my iPad, which occurs all too frequently, 2 or 3 times a week. An annoyance, but not a deal breaker.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Good

Ease of Use

Good

3

0

0

Great phone app

HAPZ1ES 16/06/2018 by pwbear57 (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

I have had this unit for 7 weeks now, l like all the features but it's limited to only one streaming service (Spotify) seems a product like this should have multiple streaming choices, but it's an excellent way to store all your music and control it with the phone app.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

1

0

0

Great sound for the price

HAPZ1ES 07/05/2018 by HotMB (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

I have I end Audio components costing 6 to 7 times as much as this digital player and I could not find one in a price range that that did not cost as much as a small car that had the features of Sony. Great product for the price range and really well built

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

3

1

0

Not so Hi Res

HAPZ1ES 04/05/2018 by Wyatt1050 (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

As a streaming players is good. What is missing?? It cannot play 11.2 DSD, or 352/32 wav files. I have the Sony headphone amp and the Hi res walkman and they are superb in every way. Software updates please

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Fair

Design

Average

Ease of Use

Average

11

1

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
05/05/2018

Hi Wyatt494, we are sorry for any inconvenience this caused you. To best assist you, I highly recommend you contact our special group who handles ES products, exclusively. Please check the link below for the contact details.
https://esupport.sony.com/US/p/select-system.pl?DIRECTOR=CONTACT

-Erin

0

So good I want to be buried with mine

HAP-Z1ES 01/05/2018 by Pones (USA)

Great Great player. Only gripe is the sold is a little cold and analytical.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

2

0

0

High quality build and excellent sound

HAP-Z1ES 22/04/2018 by kh5657 (USA)

The design and build quality are excellent. I'm hearing musical details I've never heard before. Purchased the matching TA-A1ES and PS-HX500 turntable which are equally excellent. I haven't enjoyed music this much in years.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

2

0

0

Perfect solution for my huge music cd collection

HAP-Z1ES 08/04/2018 by Jenko Polo (United Kingdom) Verified Purchaser Verified

I can happily say that I am a proud owner of the Sony HAP-ZIES. First impressions when bought was that it was a well and solidly built hifi piece. I was particularly impressed with the fact that I was able to do a one-off transfer of all my 850 cd albums which occupied only small portion of the 1TB internal hard drive. Transfer took a while given the size of my cd collection but was seamless. I would strongly advise on using an ethenet connection when transferring large volume of cds as it is exceptionally quicker. The internal Gracenote app even provided information about some of my old tracks which I was unaware of. What impressed me most about the HAP-Z1ES was the quality of the sound production......it's just phenomenal and its hard to beat. The remote that came with it was quite redundant. I think Sony might have done this on purpose to encourage people to instead use the HDD Remote app instead....and they were surely right as the remote app has loads of functionalities including a search function which comes handy for me when I want to select tracks out of thousands. Its yet early to give a full review as I have only owned it for about a month but so far I couldnt find any faults as yet. I can see myself hanging on to it for years to come as long as Sony keeps updating the firmware, apps etc

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Good

6

0

0

Awesome DAC Player

HAPZ1ES 24/03/2018 by PuroSonido (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

I bought this item on last week and it was awesome as expected. I've been a fan of Sony ES products and this one didn't disappoint

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

1

0

0

Was Great, now good, starting to outdate (TIDAL!!)

HAP-Z1ES 28/02/2018 by DP 14 (USA)

This is a really good unit overall. Sound quality is very good. I've had it for almost 4 years now and overall it's a good unit. Part of the appeal however was it's ability to stream and be updated. BUT Sony has yet to update it to allow Tidal to stream. This is a high-end product, intended for high end systems. High end audiophiles want to use Tidal, not spotify. Come on Sony, this could remain a GREAT player if you would just update it to stream Tidal.

Sound Quality

Good

Features

Average

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

17

1

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
28/02/2018

Hi DP 14, thanks for the input. Sony takes into consideration all feedback to improve the performance and quality of our products. We're always looking to make Sony better. We appreciate your time sharing this feedback. Thanks! _Bob

0

Hail Sony! This is brave and awesome!

HAP-Z1ES 10/02/2018  (USA)

The Z1ES is simply a great example of a product where the designers practised the fine art of restraint. The result is a super focussed product that will give new life to your music enjoyment. Simple and fast to use, great display, wonderful and precise sound, totally self-contained. It is my favorite piece of audio gear.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Average

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

2

0

0

Outstanding digital music player.

HAP-Z1ES 17/01/2018 by jromaz (USA)

I have owned the Sony Audio HDD player for nearly two years. It is an outstanding device in terms of sound, build quality, and ease of use. The Sony is now my primary device for listening to music through my stereo audio system. The remote interface on my iPad is the best I have ever used. Highly recommended for listening on a high quality audio system.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

0

0

0

TIDAL?

HAP-Z1ES 14/01/2018 by Mike N (USA)

Nice player but how come still no TIDAL support after all this years? And don’t get me started on MQA....... I am considering selling it.

Sound Quality

Good

Features

Fair

Design

Average

Ease of Use

Excellent

15

3

0

Amazing product!

HAPZ1ES 04/12/2017 by Newtie1 (USA)

Terrific sound quality in a very convenient and feature-rich package. The audio resolution compares favorably to my high-end CD player costing more than twice as much as the HAP-Z1ES. I strongly recommend transferring CDs with an externally powered drive unit. This is mentioned in the owner’s manual, but I didn’t realize it until my Apple SuperDrive proved glitchy. Otherwise, transferring music from a computer is easy. Backing up the HAP’s internal HDD to a computer is also easy. I wish the Favorites would be saved to a backup file so the playlist would not be lost with a reset to factory defaults.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Good

5

1

0

Great look, ratings and interconnect. Easy to use

HAPZ1ES 24/11/2017 by Randy5221 (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

The HAP-Z1ES is my first commitment to high res digital. The ease of use is a great incentive to move my entire library on to the unit. I am now discovering the excellent catalog features. I find myself listening more now, longer sessions. The ability of the unit to improve CD sound is very noticeable. I'm fascinated with this unit, and plan to explore further.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

1

0

0

Amazing right out of the box

HAP-Z1ES 23/11/2017 by Ironman887 (USA)

Incredible sound right out of the box. Not even broken in and it’s amazing. Every CD sounds like the first time hearing it. Time slows down and you can hang on every note. My gear is all tube. Air Tight ATM-3 mono blocks, ATC-2 preamp, Cardas Golden reference speaker cables, Thiel 7.2 full range speakers. Been using an Electrocompaniet EMC-1 with 24bit/192 DAC with mods as my front end for many years. Best sound until now. The iPad mini remote app works flawlessly. This music server is a steal for the price. Forget an outboard DAC. This machine does it all in one box.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

2

0

0

HAP-Z1ES

HAPZ1ES 14/10/2017 by Bruffy1 (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

This has been a great addition to my stereo system. Sound quality is amazing and importing music is quite simple.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

0

0

0

Finally! Uncompromising SQ with great convenience

HAPZ1ES 25/09/2017 by SaltyMike1 (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

I've been an aspiring audiophile since my dad started taking me around to audition separates with Steely Dan's "Aja" and Lincoln Mayorga on vinyl 40 years ago! I've had a lot of great equipment with hardware build quality and playback specs in spades, and a lot of it sounded great too. But let's face it, if you're interested in a hi-res, top quality digital playback box from which you want to enjoy your entire ripped CD and HDtracks files, guess what? Yeah - convenience and user experience should be as much a consideration as is sound quality. That's where I think a lot of boutique brands (I won't mention names) have failed in the last 2 decades. . . My experience has been that some have fantastic sound quality, but frustrating, to be charitable user interfaces. Others have had great user interfaces, but not so good sound quality. Sony's renewed focus on high-end audio has changed that - now you can have both. The fit and finish on this are simply indescribable. More industrial art than electronics. It's what great audio should be: Elegant, powerful, easy to use, and sound incredible. The hype is not hype. If you have the means, I highly recommend you pick one of these up. The DSE re-mastering is worth the price of admission alone. So on the music I know I love, I download a hi-res file or rip the best CD I can. With the Spotify connect and Tunein radio features, I can explore new music at really good quality like a kid in the candy shop - or just put on the smooth jazz channels at a dinner party when others don't want to listen to John Coltrane's A Love Supreme. Run, don't walk. And congratulations to Sony. I'm running this through Adcom's legendary GFP-750 pre-amp and out Adcom's equally legendary GFA-5802 on balanced Kimber cables to Thiel CS2.3s.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

2

1

0

Super Hi Rez player.

HAPZ1ES 26/08/2017 by Ccov88 (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

Whatever you download into this player, which is very easy, will be made to sound better. The app to control on an iPhone or iPad is first rate. My only complaint, which I hope Sony will get on board, is it will not stream Tidal. If they do get on board this will be the ultimate player.

Features

Good

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

6

0

0

Great for older collectors

HAPZ1ES 25/08/2017 by WesRob (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

Had it for a while now, my CD's sound better on this than the high end CD player. Have a medium large collection of CD's and CD recorded vinyl, now I listen to them all, again! Only complaints are lack of video out (to send album info and sound to remote TV) and while the phone app is good it is not perfect.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Good

Ease of Use

Good

3

0

0

amazing needs tidal

HAP-Z1ES 28/07/2017 by IvanRugby (USA)

great product, to make it a beast needs tidal, then five starts

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Average

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

9

7

Response From Sony North America Customer Support
28/07/2017

Hi IvanRugby, Sony takes into consideration all feedback to improve the performance and quality of our products. We're always looking to make Sony better. We appreciate your time sharing this feedback. Thanks! ~Erin

0

very good for AIOS

HAP-Z1ES 24/07/2017 by krell77 (USA)

sony, you need to improve the firmware. USB digital out to DAC and RCA out can not be used at the same time

Sound Quality

Average

Features

Good

Design

Fair

Ease of Use

Excellent

3

1

0

Loving My Music Again!

HAPZ1ES 17/01/2017 by RockDoc (USA) Verified Purchaser Verified

This is the first electronic device my wife got more excited about than I did--purchased on the spot when she learned we could get rid of CD's. After tweaking network issues and finally landing on an ethernet connection as best option--this product is fabulous. Running off an IPad allows a bigger screen option for management. Just need to make sure you have very high reliable wifi signal or hardwire it--as I was unable to get the app to run reliably on wireless alone. Otherwise sound is great and looking forward to years of high fidelity sound.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

7

0

0

Perfect for my needs!

HAP-Z1ES 19/02/2016 by Nigel7 (United Kingdom) Verified Purchaser Verified

Beautifully built, like a rock and very heavy this is a serious music player for uber serious audiophiles. All my music is now automatically upscaled to double DSD, you can of course change this to your original native music res if required. Well designed software for iPads or Tabs and your smart phone for remote. Downloading music to the hard drive can be a slow process, but once its done there are no streaming issues to ever worry about. Value for money for this type of player is excellent. Recommended.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

16

5

0

SONY - Thank you for remembering the SACD DSD

HAPZ1ES 26/05/2015 by Taupin (USA)

I thought all major companies forgot about quality music after MP3's. Thank you SONY for keeping audiophiles alive! I stumbled across this device by accident and found it was the best investment of my life and for my audio system. With the correct software I was able to transfer all of my SACD DSD formatted files to this device. I am using the SONY Apple App. Playing high quality files is a breeze and a joy. If you are unable to transfer your SACD's, you can still purchase the DSD's on line and get the same effect. Sure as others have acknowledged, transferring files takes time via the network like it does for any large files. Just walk away and come back at the end of the day and it will all be there, it is really worth the wait. Try listening to The Carpenters or Luther Vandross to really appreciate the sound. If I can make a recommendation it is for SONY to support DSD software like Foobar 2000 or JRiver Media to convert CD's to DSD, this way SONY buyers can make the best of this device. Also I am hoping further updates will let the device at least acknowledge the 6 Channel DSD files for playback. I know this is a stereo device but at least have the player playback in Stereo.

24

14

Response From Sony Support
27/05/2015

Hi Taupin, We appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your experience, we're glad that this unit meets your expectations. About the updates on this device, I’ll pass what you've said onto proper department. Thank you for choosing Sony.

0

Sony HAP-Z1ES is Audioincredible!!!

HAPZ1ES 23/04/2015 by AudioGineer (USA)

Purchased Sony HAP-Z1ES on Nov 20, 2014 from Audiotronics in Roanoke VA - thanks Alan. Silver faceplate., it was pretty heavy, very well made, top quality parts from what I can see. Ripping my CDs and organizing them was a chore - 35 years worth of CDs - it took over a month of almost daily work. I ripped to WAV format, since it is lossless and most generic format. Good thing I started ripping in October! I used MediaMonkey Gold ($25) to rip, organize and add meta-data to albums. Used Win 7 File Explorer to download files via WiFi (2.4GHz band) to Sony. The WiFi is slower (64Mbps) than Ethernet, but my Computer Room is different from my Stereo Listening Room, so WiFi it was. A typical album takes about 4-6 minutes to download, so this also took a while. I let the unit play Lou Reed Rock 'n Roll Animal for 48 hours to break in, then I started listening to my Martin Logan Monolith III speakers driven by Pass Labs electronics. I set up the Sony to upsample all WAV files to DSD 1-bit streaming format (most were 44.1kSps, 16-bit, but others are 96k or 192k / 24bit digital downloads). The sound was super clean, open, 3-dimensional, excellent sound staging, great highs, deep tight bass with tons of drive, super focused midrange made male and female voices and guitars sound amazingly realistic, triangles and cymbals glisten and sparkle without a hint of harshness, and the background is dead silent. The unit faithfully plays thunderous dynamics required in symphonic music and the better rock musics. And on top of that, the SmartPhone app controls the Sony play selection. The only nitpick I can find is that the Sony does not (yet) also control the Volume level! If it did, I would not long need a preamp. And on top of all that, it has an excellent sounding HD Digital Radio feature that can connect to streaming radio Internet sites all over the world - most of the best or the most popular stations in each country, in many different genres, are available - for free. Sony really knocked it out of the park with this product. Goodby old CD player, goodby old SACD player, goodby old DAC, goodby old FM tuner - the Sony replaces them all.

22

6

Response From Sony Support
24/04/2015

Hi AudioGineer, It's so good to hear that you are happy with your purchase. We will share what you've said to the proper department. Thank you for your time.

0

gorgeous looks and sound

HAPZ1ES 17/03/2015 by danthpnh (USA)

I bought the unit one month ago, downloaded the majority of my music via Ethernet. Now make changes wirelessly. Works great. In terms of sound quality, I am very impressed, the soundstage is wide, there is a sense of air and clarity in the music. I like the fact that you turn the system on and it just works, no need to turn on computers, nas, etc., make it all work before you start enjoying your music. The app works great when it works but loses its connection to the unit sometimes.

13

4

Response From Sony Support
17/03/2015

Hi danthpnh, Thank you for your review and for choosing our product. We're happy that you enjoyed the unit.

0

All round great

HAP-Z1ES 06/03/2015 by Phil007 (United Kingdom) Verified Purchaser Verified

I bought this a year ago having a slight fault with the screen of the player apart from that simply brill

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

3

3

0

Good one box solution to music storage ......

HAP-Z1ES 17/12/2014 by fatkat (United Kingdom) Verified Purchaser Verified

you can tell there's but coming......stuff that could be done better ..music transfere software kept falling over until I feed it my music collection in bite [pun] sized pieces....of about 50 albums at a time this then was totally seamless... instruction manual is almost useless......if its to get you to experiment and fiddle then it worked ..if not don't waste the paper. omissions ..no digital out ..... whats with the nasty cheap plastic remote ...that seems to have only about 10% of the needed features ?[maybe it has more but there was no obvious instructions other than how to fit batterys ].......again don't put it in the box if it reduces the perceptions of a good bit of kit if you have a smart phone or iphone then ....its junk you need to make an app for the kindle fire ........ and now for the upside .....the sound of my ripped [ to flac] cd collection effectively up-sampled to sacd is just stunning. Easily outperforming a similar quality boutique cdplayer. once you've worked out how to use the various buttons and knobs ...its relatively simple [but still finding options mostly by accident ]

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Good

Design

Good

Ease of Use

Average

6

7

0

Superb sound

HAP-Z1ES 16/12/2014 by KJ58 (United Kingdom) Verified Purchaser Verified

Having been a user of ES products in the past I am pleased to say that Sony have produced another quality product which continues that heritage. The build quality is second to non and sonically the unit borders on breathtaking - it really is that good. The positioning of instruments, the clarity and presence of vocals, the depth of bass and drums are all as the recording engineer and artist must have envisaged. The remote app makes song selection an easy task. If ever a piece of hifi equipment deserves to be auditioned, then this is it - you will not be disappointed.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

10

6

0

I don‘t regret that I bought HAP-Z1es.

HAP-Z1ES 12/11/2014 by Snorri (United Kingdom)

Last 50 years I have been diligently testing high-end stereo equippments. I listen mostly to classical music. HAP-Z1ES is deep-laid tool for music lover that wants a good sound quality. It is convenient to keep the music files in the equippment and manage it with smartphone. There are four family members in my home and thereof three students. Therefor I´m not always able to have a computer for myself even if there are three of them in the house. Therefor it is convenient that the player is standalone unit. HAP-Z1ES is built as high end tool, the resonance from racks do not affect the sound much and I can use high-quality balanced interlinks and power cables. No mismatching from file to DAC. I bought HAP-Z1ES to play high-res files, which I do with great pleasure, but its sound quality from files 44,1- 16 bit are so good that I have ripped CD- disks (lossless uncompressed) much more than I expected that I would, and listen to them in HAP- Z1ES even though I have an excellent CD- player. (First I ballance the CD-disks., clean them and degauss.) HAP-Z1ES does not sound digital, rather very natural and comfortable. It is also user friendly. Anybody can choose wether he uses the DSD Remastering engine or not. I have it nearly always on. I have never been in trouble with the technique. First I used WIFI and now I have it wired to router connected to desktop computer so now the files transfer faster and I also have access point in my listening room. The upgrades come whithout trouble. I recommend this player.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

15

12

0

Amazing!

HAPZ1ES 07/10/2014 by MrJack (USA)

Though a little slow in transferring your music library, once accomplished, the sound is incredible. Bad recordings will still sound bad. but good recordings are amazing. Hi-res and DSD downloads are also amazing. A great product at this price point.

11

4

0

Great sound

HAPZ1ES 27/09/2014 by LouCiro (USA)

Very good sound quality . Needs random play mode. Needs ability to support other iwireless nternet radio sources like Sirius XM radio. Wireless sets up easily. Could use more detailed instruction manuals.

19

5

0

junk, junk junk

HAPZ1ES 26/09/2014 by flashy2828 (USA)

the sound is terrible. my old Logitech transporter sounds a lot better. my laptop sounds better. my desktop sounds better. waste of money.

19

180

0

Great concept and sound, interface not so hot

HAPZ1ES 26/09/2014  (USA)

The HAP-Z1ES is an astounding product. The music is stored in one compact place, over 2000 CDs and counting, gone are the bulky cabinets and the CD clutter. The music sounds better too. To be clear, rip the CD and transfer the file from computer to music server, then do an AB comparison and the Sony sounds better, a lot better. Wow! What is not to like? Well, the App to interface either a tablet or phone to control the music server is not consistent. Sometimes it works, and sometimes not, or it is slow and balky. Accessing the music with the control knob on the music server is awkward to see and slow to use. The more CDs that are stored the more difficult it gets. The Internet radio feature is on and off, lately mostly off. Finally, by ripping your CDs and storing them on the hard drive, means that you lose the tactile feel of having the disc in hand and liner notes to read. On balance the Sony HAP-Z1ES is a winner and is highly recommended.

24

8

0

Sounds amazing, easy to use

HAPZ1ES 26/09/2014  (USA)

The sound is incredible - full, rich, detailed. It handles classical as effortlessly as folk and contemporary. It holds a huge amount also - plus, it's easy to access and use.

7

6

0

Would be great if Vtuner ever worked

HAPZ1ES 12/09/2014 by jcaudio (USA)

While there are many things I love about my unit I need to comment on a couple items of concern. Their packaging for a high end product is definitely not. They still use the cheap styrofoam that if dropped in shipping (which is not that uncommon) disintegrates. My unit arrived with outside of box not looking bad but inside was total mayhem. Needed to order another. Worse though is my Vtuner has worked maybe 50% of the time I have owned it with a complete outage from September 5th until today which is September 12 with no fix in sight. When I called Sony they first tried to tell me it was a problem Vtuner was having. When I told him my Marantz receiver in bedroom was playing Vtuner as we were on the phone he backed off and said that Sony was aware of the problem and had something to do with their server not connecting properly with Vtuner but would be fixed shortly. That was a week ago now! Considering one of the main reasons I purchased the unit was to stream classical radio stations this was a huge letdown. Lastly on the negative side is customer support was anything but helpful when I tried to get help with transferring a DSD file off the Blue Coast Music site . Cookie, from BCM was a 1000 times more helpful than Sony. On the positive. Unit is beautiful and well built. The screen is very crisp and overall ease of use is easy and very intuitive. Other than the DSD transfer, the other files from my Mac transferred flawlessly. I recommend connecting your internet via cable rather than wirelessly as it transfers more quickly.

15

13

Response From Sony Support
16/09/2014

Thank you for your feedback . I'll forward this to the proper department for future reference.

As of September 5, 2014 the vTuner service on Sony connected consumer electronic products is currently unavailable due to service provider related issues.

You may be receiving a message stating "This service is currently unavailable" related to this condition. Sony is working with vTuner to correct this condition however we currently have no ETA.

Once again thank you for your feedback!

0

Great sound great quality

HAP-Z1ES 12/09/2014 by christoum1974 (United Kingdom)

I bought this player 3 months ago and ever since this player never stopped to give me musical joy. Great sound and great build quality. I recommend the people to buy this product with eyes closed. Every product from this brand works perfectly even after 15 years. I like Sony and everything she does makes me happy.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

12

15

0

Brutal Playlist Creation

HAPZ1ES 09/09/2014 by BigCat74 (USA)

Coming from the original Apple TV that finally died, I thought this would be a suitable solution, albeit expensive one. My music downloaded ok, but I have several large playlists in iTunes that I would like to put on the Sony unit too. I'm hoping some one has a simpler way than scrolling through 15,000 songs on my iPad (only sortable by song name) while looking at my iTunes playlist to match them up. It would be nice to be able to pull existing playlists over or at least have a robust tool on the computer to do so. It took me an hour just to get through the "A" songs

21

17

Response From Sony Support
12/09/2014

Thank you for your feedback. We will forward this to our engineers for future reference.

0

Highly recommended.

HAP-Z1ES 28/07/2014 by Lensman_93 (United Kingdom) Verified Purchaser Verified

This is an brilliant music player, with very good build quality and finish. Once you've got your music on there, it's very simple to use. The tablet-based control program is good, although I find the Android version a bit slower and clunkier than the iPad one! My only real criticism is that the full manual should be available as a pdf file not just as an HTML resource. Highly recommended.

Sound Quality

Excellent

Features

Excellent

Design

Excellent

Ease of Use

Good

14

5

0

Major disappointment

HAPZ1ES 19/07/2014  (USA)

Difficult and time-consuming to transfer music to the player. Once there, (a) 90% of the albums are missing the first song; & (b) a % of the albums are not recognized by the software (leading, for example, to the following notation: "Unknown album: The Beatles"). Remote software at first did not work well and now, effectively, does not work at all. Backup (instructional) material is obscure and not helpful. Sony technical staff not helpful: told me to re-scan, a lengthy process that did not produce any benefit. Otherwise (Mrs. Lincoln): sounds good and built well.

15

22

Response From Sony Support
29/07/2014

Hi Roscoe— Have you considered setting up service? I recommend visiting esupport.sony.com. Here you can find helpful troubleshooting tips, technical support and even repair setup (if needed). Hope this helps!

0

Amazing Sound Quality

HAPZ1ES 03/06/2014 by soundpurist (USA)

I have a high-end stereo with tube preamp, McIntosh amps, and Tannoy speakers, and admittedly initially reluctant to purchase a music server advertised as adding input to the sound (notably the DSEE and 24bit conversion features). The musical results are above my expectations: DSCC significantly enhances Internet radio sound, while the 24-bit up-conversion removes aggressiveness from the sound of 16-bit CDs. The result is a rich and detailed sound, very pleasant to hear after hours of use. For Internet radio, I used to have a Logitech connected to a stand-alone DAC, Sony unit replaces both and sounds significantly better. Setting up the unit and the software that will copy the music on your PC's HDD to the Sony's internal drive is extremely easy, so are the controls from the iPhone/iPad. I would personally like a PC-based control as well, but tablet/cell phone control is good enough. Another positive, unit is completely silent, unlike first-generation music servers of twice the cost. It is easy to spend a lot of money in sound system components, but this unit represents the best return of my money in my entire sound system.

50

7

0

Very Pleased

HAPZ1ES 01/06/2014 by Carbry (USA)

Very easy too use, audio is everything I expected. The one feature, I wish was included; direct record of my many DSD album to the device, or include software that would allow for this. I have many DSD album, and in need for software.....Carl

17

3

0

Fantastic audio quality!

HAPZ1ES 06/05/2014 by DonD2 (USA)

After three months of use, the HAP-Z1ES has became the main input for my living room audio system. Playing ripped CDs and downloaded hirez audio files, it has replaced a PC and DAC costing several times the Sony's price. The Sony's soundstage and realism is simply outstanding when run with DSD remastering ON and DSEE OFF for playing lossless PCM and DSD files. Initially, the high end treble was a little light (with ripped CDs), but this has improved considerably with software/firmware updates (and, perhaps, some break in time). Internet radio with DSEE ON is considerably better than PC software packages but still not equivalent to lossless audio. The Android/Apple remote app is the best way to control the player (the front panel screen is too small for use in a room sized environment) and with the proper tablet driving a monitor can provide a room sized visual interface. There are a couple of areas for improvement. First, the DSEE really should be completely disabled automatically for lossless PCM - if ON, it sometimes messes with the soundstage and some vocals. It would also be nice if the remote apps would let the user chose the portrait or landscape interface rather than automatically forcing the interface depending on your phone/tablet's physical screen characteristics.

27

5

0

Ahhh, this is what I'm talking about. Beautiful

HAPZ1ES 19/02/2014 by CrystalClear (USA)

Finally, a music player that has the absolute highest quality sound possible in the digital realm. Of course you need to play Hi-Rez files to fully bathe in its dimension. As for your old rips, the up convert is amazing. Not a single noise, it makes me cry. This player was intricately engineered to please the most discerning audiophile. The HAP transfer was a breeze. And with ever expanding library of Hi-Rez music on line, I feel this is the beginning of the long awaited technologically advanced age of new High Fidelity sound reproduction. I am happy they included silver, a few buttons and left the wealth of functions to the app. I love the radio function too. Now if only Sony would make their premium ES speakers easier to buy, I for one am an American consumer ready for it.

44

4

0

A month with HAP-Z1ES

HAPZ1ES 17/02/2014 by xray (USA)

Like the previous reviewer, I had a return number by Sony in my hand in favor of using my trusty Transporter by Slimdevices (later acquired by Logitech). But I had two weeks to finalize my decision during which I listened to the my library phrase by phrase alternating Transporter and HAP using balanced outputs. To sum it up: much lower and tighter base than the Transporter, much better resolution (on speakers or Audeze and Westone headphones), much better orchestral reproduction, and much narrower sound stage. The latter is what makes one love the Transporter. A whole stage is reproduced, much wider than your speaker setup! Amazing! The cost? It was difficult to figure but I knew it was there since I could never enjoy Tchaikovsky's piano concerto which I have listened to live many times. This is just an example for a type of music that the Transporter cannot handle and that HAP plays with ease. The wide stage achieved by the transporter is the result of coloration of the sound and a weakness at the mids which brings the soloist (singer or an instrument) farther back than the rest of the band. The Sony does the opposite - brings the soloist next to you and the band somewhat back. Sony's HAP-Z1ES reproduces music smooth and natural - no extras. That said, some singer-songwriters recording, e.g. Wille Nelson, sound better on the Transporter. Plus, HAP is not a true streamer by any stretch of the imagination. As a result now I use both players, stacked on top of each other! Go figure....

31

5

0

poor streamer an dac,its a shame sony couldnt do b

HAPZ1ES 03/02/2014 by FLASHY28 (USA)

not worth 2000.00 grand or anything close to the asking price. sound quality is just not there. i change sources back to my trusty logitech transporter an the sound quality jumped sky high. sony missed the boat on this one. the upsampling of the mp3 files up to double dsd is a joke.sony need to fire ther engineeers an start over. i sent mine back. i compared it to the teac dac 501 an the teac smoked it in every way.will not stream files from your ipad for online pandora mog etc. vtuner is a waste of time it sounds so bad.

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