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« The Full Xiaomi Yi Action Camera Review | Main | CCTV Basics - Wired day & night outdoor camera. »
Sunday
Mar222015

Rip it up and start again - Sony HAP-S1 vs Pioneer NP-01S

Have you ever had an idea for a product in your head and then tried to find out whether someone was actually making it. That’s what these two videos are about, initially failing, but ultimately succeeding in finding a HiFi component that matched a very specific and personal set of requirements. The HAP-S1 is such a good fit, it’s almost like Sony designed it with me in mind.

 

I do think it would be a great idea if Sony made cheaper version of the HAP-S1 without the built in amp. They do sell an amp-less model - the HAP-Z1 but it is even more High-end, comes with a 1TB HDD and costs twice the price.
  
I’ve seen other reviews of the HAP-S1 focus on the fact that the initial transfer of music to the 500GB internal HDD takes way too long over a network connection and would be better if it could be done via the USB port. Whilst I agree that it is an inconvenience, it only needs to be done once. After my initial set-up I’ve purchased a few Hi Res albums from HDTracks and they’ve each copied over in a few minutes.
  
One thing I didn’t mention in the video is the fact that the HAP-S1 somehow managed to add in almost all my missing album art. After a couple of days I noticed that it was populating the missing art automatically and also seemed to be tidying up the names of some albums and artists. My music collection has never been so neat and organised.
 
The Sony HAP-S1 is not cheap - but sometimes you get what you pay for and for me this is one of those times. I can’t recall the last time I was this happy with a consumer electronics device.
 
You can find out more, or buy a HAP-S1 at Sony in the UK. It’s also available from Amazon in the US and you might be able to get a deal on eBay.
  

 

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Reader Comments (32)

Hi Mat, wow a great bit of kit, loved the video.

Pricey but pleasing.

Great stuf, keep them coming, thanks for listening.

Daz

March 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Hi Mat,

WOW...your HAP-S1 is a stunning, Sony have a great track record for making super high quality audio devices that not a lot of people know about and don't realise just how useful they can be and after owning one wonder how they ever lived without it.

Something to compliment your HAP-S1, that is if you'd like another superb Sony audio device have a look at a PCM-M10 digital recorder nothing touches it for recording quality for the money it will blow your socks off how good it is, line in from a turntable pre-amp it's uncompressed recordings are indistinguishable from the original source, they would sound amazing uploaded into your HAP-S1.

I really enjoyed this review, thank you.

March 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKlippie

You call your network WOPR? Was Joshua already taken?

And does it play a nice game of Chess?

[/Smart Mouth Movie Nerd]

March 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCapt. Nemo

Klippie - thanks for the tip on the PCM-M10.

March 22, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Mat,
Hice review, the only I missed was a quick valuation of it driving tour speakers compared to your current setup. Now that you've jumped on the hdmusic bandwagon, would you consider doing a review of a portable players such as the ones from Fiio or ibasso? They are becoming affordable and while not having the sleek UI that iDevices sport, they sound way better.
Kind Regards

March 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterpek0

I haven't tried it wired up to my speakers as its no something I'm planning on doing. It's unlikely that I'll be testing any more HiRes music gear - my hearing really isn't the best so I wouldn't be able to assess the performance properly.

March 23, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for the great review, unfortunately now, I want one. I will keep an eye on the price, maybe after a few months it will drop a bit.

March 25, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteraxel

Axel. I'm not sure of your location, but these sometimes appear in the Sony Online refurb store. In the UK store they've been subject to a glitch though as they show as being available but when you try and check out with one they show as out of stock.

March 25, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thank mr techmoan, i am in the US i will see if there is a refurb store here. This thing is exactly what i have been looking for.
One question is it posible to connect a prtable harddrive to the usb port?

March 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAxel

Yes the purpose of the rear USB port is to expand the memory via an external hard drive. You can see more specs on the Sony site, but here is a link to a spec sheet. http://download.sony-europe.com/pub/manuals/consumer/4472849212_GHCSR.pdf

March 26, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thank you. I ordered one last night i found one refurbished for 800 dollars on amazon. I just need some speakers now.

March 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAxel

The spec for the speakers is 4ohm - so make sure whichever models you buy are suitable.

March 26, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Very nice player, well done videos, ''as always''. Regarding missing cover arts and correcting id3tags, I guess I saw something about ''gracenote'' on the Sony display right in the beginning. If I'm not mistaken, gracenote database is in charge with tagging and stuff, automatically. When I play a CD with my PC's optical drive and foobar2000, software asks me if it can check gracenote database in order to extract tracks names from there.

March 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterZdronc@n

Quality reviews Mat as always. Certainly a product I would like, but am never likely to own. I have around 5500 tracks on an old laptop, using Windows media Player 11, outputting to wireless speakers in every room. Works for me and my missus. Being deaf in one ear, and getting on a bit, my hearing isn't the best, so nuances are lost on me. Keep 'em coming though, really enjoy the reviews, even if I would never get the products.

March 27, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterQuaser

just got mine in the post. no speakers so headphones will but so far it is everything he said it was in the video.

March 28, 2015 | Unregistered Commenteraxel

Thanks for this review, nice to watch as always on your channel.
This might indeed be also the device what I am looking for: yes, tablet-control nice but real buttons - better ;-)

As with all this computers inside I am concerned about the boot-up times . The only other comparable media player I found was the Cocktailaudio X30 (http://cocktailaudio.co.uk) but this devices needs up to 1 minute before you can listen to your music!
How quick is this Sony player?

Cheers, Michael

April 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Michael i can make a video showing boot time when i return from my vacation monday. It is pretty quick i dont think more than 15 seconds

April 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAxel

From pressing the power button to playing the first track I'm able to select takes approx 23 secs.

April 2, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

thanks for these estimates. So reasonably fast although not as speedy as my old stereo ;-)

April 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Hi Mat,
I must confess I purchased the HAP-s1 after reading this review and it has been simply amazing. However, it takes a couple of days to 'update database' I have about 2005 tracks in FLAC. Could I please ask if you are used to this database update that takes forever ?

Many thanks.

January 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterStchigo

No I haven't experienced any issues like this. Once I'd synced my massive main music folder to the machine - I then changed the sync software so it didn't look at this music folder ever again.
I now put any new music I buy into a 'New Music" folder on the computer that I sync to the Sony machine once and once this is done I move the music into my main music folder on the computer.

January 1, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hello,

I am really curious about the HAP-S1 thanks to this great review. There are a couple of things I did not find information on, would someone be so kind as to answer these?

1) Does music stored on an external USB drive get the same service as that on the internal HDD - Gracenote/cover art, easy playback with app etc.?

2) Is it possible to upgrade the hard drive and/or how likely is Sony to release a sucessor with a bigger drive? I love the HAP-S1, but I am not sure about paying full price on a 2013 product should there be something new around the corner. Also - any similar products with similar functionality to rival the HAP-S1 currently on market?

Many thanks,
J.

March 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJosef

Please help I got a Sony hap-1 its Fabio but I just got a tablet from asda £ 150 it a medion lifetab 10.1 screen so how do link the tablet to the Sony please don't say get an app because I don't know were to get one from ? Sonys web site don't have an app for me tablet so please can any one do a u-tube thing and show me how its done like a step by step don't just show the tablet working it just show how to link the two up thanks Tony...x

September 13, 2016 | Unregistered Commentertonymg

I think your tablet uses Android, so you download apps from the Google play store.... here's the app for the HAP-S1 

September 13, 2016 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for the informative video. I am very much in the same situation as you once was, with lots of ripped Cds I’d like to play without the too much involvement of abstract apps and computers. I do have then but don’t like them very much. So this video really was spot on for me and I’m considering buying that device.

One thing I have conflicting information about, is whether or not Sony HAP-S1 supports the ogg format. Its not widely used, I now, but I think it sounds good and I have much of my music coded in that format. Could you please inform me if the Sony machine can play them?

Many thanks
Frank

December 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Techmoan, Great review (and comparison to Pioneer, which apparently has since been withdrawn from marketing). I only have my CDs; no stored tunes on a hard drive or downloaded songs from the net, etc. How can I get my CDs loaded into this Sony HAP-S1/B? The new Brennan-B2 doesn't have the cool Sony display, but it seems to beat it in many other ways, including loading CDs. Can the Sony do it? Thx.

June 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBriCo

You can rip CDs on a computer and transfer them over via wifi or Ethernet.
You can also rip CDs with an externally powered USB CD drive attached directly to the HAP-S1

June 27, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Hi Techmoan, thanks for this review. I would like to know if you have managed to load more than 20,000 audio tracks on the Hap S1.

July 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUche

Hello, great review. I realise this was posted a while ago. I wanted to buy one, but can't find it anywhere for sale in the U.K.! Do you know if this model has now been discontinued? Thanks.

December 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGina

It's still listed on the Sony Website https://www.sony.co.uk/electronics/hd-audio/t/audio-components however it does seem to be discontinued as there aren't any places selling them now. StoneAudio have an open box http://www.stoneaudio.co.uk/?product=sony+hap%2ds1+hdd+audio+player+%28haps1%29

December 6, 2017 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

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