AXPONA 2014: Sony at Ear Gear Expo

The personal audio team from Sony Electronics had a prominent table at the Ear Gear Expo this year, bringing their top-shelf headphone amp/DAC combos for folks to listen to. The $999 HAP-S1 (shown here in silver and black) is a DSD-capable DAC and integrated amplifier (40wpc in Class A/B). There’s an integral headphone jack, of course, and wire/WiFi support for streaming your audio. 

I was looking for the new $599 PHA-2 portable headphone amp/DAC that’s supposed to be recently available, but I didn’t see it out when I visited.

The Sony push for DSD support is a fun thing to see — I love it when a mainstream brand uses it’s clout to build and market high quality audio. Whether or not DSD, as a file format, will do any better in the market than SACD did is another matter, but time will tell. I do know that DSD support is pretty hot in the high-end right now, and that’s only a good thing.