Hi (that always comes up when you start the player), wanted to put in my 2 cents. Had the last Studio V, liked it until I had firmware issues, Jack sent me links to update it and get it corrected, but couldn't manage it from home, so he had me send it to him for repair. After shipping mishaps (my fault) which caused a long wait from when I sent it out, I read about the new version, and, for a fee (I forget exactly, in the $130 range I believe but don't quote me) I could update, so I did. Got the new version, my impressions. 1)love the sound, drives my new Senn 650's nicely, great combo. As I don't have the original, I can't do head-to-head, but my main impression is that is very similar, but the hiss issues of the original have been corrected (that was a bit crazy making, though you could get a high impedance cable to attach which helped). 2)UI is really the achilles heel-it doesn't seem to bother some people, but I find it hard to wait for the initializing each time I start it, and finding things can be difficult (can search under album, artist, or by files on internal and external memory-things that I find in 1 section aren't in the others, meaning I have to pop around a lot, and the buttons are not exactly all that user friendly, as others have commented on). I read that tutorial, installed the tagging software on my PC, and it helps, but doesn't cure the problem. 3)I never did a detailed analysis of the original for battery length, so it's hard to make exact comparisons, but my impression is that the current version has significantly less of it, recharges are more frequent. The cables and plug are also more finicky, so I can charge plugged into my PC (slow), didn't work in wall (using HiSound's supplied cables and charger). The unit can't be used while it is charging, so it just sits there for a while, leaving me to use other alternatives.
Having said all that, I do really like the unit, again, sound wise, it makes really nice music. I have also used it as an external amp using the line out on idevices, and find it works nicely this way as well (meaning buying another external portable amp isn't necessary, a savings if you would be using it that way).
There-wordy post (tend to be that way), curious about other's feelings on these issues.