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Sony UHP-H1 review

Sony's latest media player is as much about the audio as the visuals

Sony UHP-H1

Overall, I really liked the UHP-H1. It's Sony's best Blu-ray player since 2009's BDP-S5000ES (and that cost a grand). It does a fabulous job playing regular Blu-rays – be they upscaled to 4K or run in HD – and it's a great fit for anyone with a high-end audio system and growing penchant for DSD music files.

The deck also hints at what we might expect from Sony's first proper 4K disc machine – it's apparently being developed by the same team, and I for one can't wait.

Sony UHP-H1 review

We liked

Compact but classy, the UHP-H1 is a massive improvement on the kind of Blu-ray players Sony typically touts. Picture quality, both HD and upscaled, is outstanding and its audio chops are impressive; collectors will love the fact that it plays both Super Audio CDs and DVD-Audio discs, as well as most every file format.

We disliked

Timing is everything, and with 4K Ultra HD players now arriving there's no doubt this player is behind the curve. It also remains to be seen if the deck can be upgraded to support MQA, which is increasingly looking like the audio codec of tomorrow.

Verdict

It's easy to enthuse about the UHP-H1, both as a Hi-Res Audio music player and a top-flight Blu-ray player. Image quality is outstanding, even when compared to first-gen 4K UHD Blu-ray players, and it sounds every bit the premium component.

Compared to rival players from Oppo, Cambridge and Pioneer, the UHP-H1 could even be construed as good value. If you're not planning to jump on the 4K Blu-ray bandwagon any time soon, it's well worth an audition.