1 of 7 pictures
I purchased the 32GB version while in Hong Kong last year to replace my old Sony NWZ-A818 and although it is a good player it sadly does not offer an improvement in audio quality over previous Sony models. In fact, I feel it is a small step backwards in comparison to my old player. Also, when using the Shuffle mode to play music the player automatically defaults to the first track held on its memory when charged via the USB cable. This is very annoying, previous models would simply resume from the last track played when removed from charge, this does not. On the plus side, the screen display is excellent and the internal radio a plus. Overall, it is not a bad player - though it's nothing special either.
First of all, I think the point made about touch screens and physical buttons is extremely important. When I'm on the bus or walking around, I want to be able to change tracks, pause/play and adjust the volume on the go.Sadly, I'm one of those poor sods who can't text and walk etc, so with a touch screen, I'd have to stop walking, stand still every time I want to change track etc. Which is a complete pain in the proverbials and completely illogical.Inline remotes don't solve the issue either, as you either have the cable dangling outside of your clothing, or the inline remote is stuck inside your coat somewhere around the chest area. Which is useless too, because all I really want to do is be able to feel the buttons through my pocket.Secondly, I still have an Sony NWZ A818 and have done for about 3 or so years. I've never felt the need to upgrade or change because it's a stunning bit of kit. The solid metal construction and excellent finish has meant it looks exactly the same as it did on day one. It plays music, has physical controls, is very svelte and well proportioned and sounds much better than any Apple player.So if I was to upgrade, it would be to another Walkman, and I would always recommend Sony players.
Yes, but does it do gapless playback like the iPods do?
@MacSimonDoes my iphone do this gapless playback thing? (I don't know because I use a walkman NWZ W252 for my music. I tried using the iphone for music initially, but the sound quality was noticably inferior to even my tiny, cable-free W252.) And why would I want the gapless playback? Waiting 2 seconds for the next track seems perfectly acceptable, and most artists intend for their music to have some sort of demarcation.
@MacSimon - I assume so, yes. My NW-HD3 Walkman from several years ago managed gapless playback, so surely the latest models offer this too.Lack of gapless playback used to be a weakness of iPods. My first generation Nano can't do gapless, though I think this was fixed by the time the second generation came along.
@Ouroboros: Gapless playback is supposed to be intelligent. Some albums will require a gap between tracks, but some artists intend one track to lead onto the next, so there should be no gap in playback. A good media player should be capable of using information in the media's metadata tags to determine whether a gap is required or not. In Apple's case, iTunes downloads this information and applies it to your library automatically. Ideally you shouldn't even notice this happening, but the result is that gapless albums are played back accordingly.
@Chris: That's not strictly true. Gapless playback isn't intelligent - it always eliminates the extra gaps - it's simply that, as you say, in some songs/albums there are intentional gaps.
@Ed. True, it's not technically 'intelligent', that's the wrong word, but the rest still applies.
Michael G: Indeed. I have the A818 too, and while I've bought other players for various purposes, this Walkman is the one I always go back to when the priority is simply to enjoy music. If I remember correctly this was one of the first models that didn't rely on the horrific SonicStage software; they finally "got it" and got pretty much everything else right too - the design, build quality, interface and above all sound quality were basically perfect. Even the bundled earphones were miles better than those seen on any PMP before or since. Since then IMO nobody has made a better player in this class - including Sony. Just goes to show that newer is not always better.
I just bought Sony Walkman A845 B 16 GB model for Rs 10k and got bundled earphones with that which fit comfortably into my ears.These earphones are excellent and would say the best ones available in India with super bass and when you listen to it on full volume it appears as if you are listening to a really high quality DJ.The earphones have also got a unique feature called Noise Cancellation Technology which works only with this model of Sony Walkman.Its just awesome for sound freaks like me!!!
Don't listen the sound, feel it with Sony!!!
Portable Audio round-ups
Our pick of the best portable speakers to take on your travels
Group Test: We put the latest DABs to the listening test
We reveal the finalists for the best dock and speaker system of 2011
More Portable Audio Round-ups
Sign up for the
TrustedReviews email newsletter
Get TrustedReviews' award-winning reviews, opinions and advice delivered to your inbox for free!
Plus get great deals and exclusive offers from Time Inc. (UK) Ltd and its partners.
Trusted Reviews is part of the Time Inc. (UK) Ltd Technology Network