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Portable Media Player Of The Year 2016


Sony NWZ-A866

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Reviewed by Andrew Williams

16 September 2011

Sony NWZ-A866

Read full Sony NWZ-A866 review

Runner-up: Sony NWZ-A866

Smaller and lighter than the iPod Touch, it retains excellent build quality and a colourful interface. The SensMe feature, which magically arranges tracks into moods, retained an air of mystery and wonder, and the bundled headphones were better than Apple's equivalent. Our panel liked the drag-and-drop interface which freed them from the binds of iTunes, and the pitch and speed alteration modes, which would appeal to musicans. Its main downside was value - at £220 for the 32GB model it's expensive for what is still at its heart a basic player - but if you don't want to go down the Apple route, this remains your best bet.

Our Score:



November 29, 2011, 3:55 am

"however you are tied in to iTunes"
That's an odd thing to say.

If you mean you have to use iTunes to set it up and add content, with iOS 5 you don't - it's all done in the device itself.

If you mean content, that's also not true. You're free to download music, films and content from other sites, for example use Spotify on it.

meeto 0

December 6, 2011, 1:21 am

You do have to use itunes as the gate way between an apple device and the content on your computer. Its a shame you cant just drag music files and drop them into an ipod. itunes in itself is totally unintuitive to me. Its so surprising how clumsy it is. I still would have chosen the ipod. I still have a first generation and I love the thing.


December 6, 2011, 7:42 am

You do need itunes for ipod..... There are some things you can do without it, or you can replace itunes with some other piece of software that does the same thing..... But if you are going to get an ipod... you will have to get used to the idea of having itunes on your machine.... If u want to keep pictures, playlists and update the iOS every now and again. You might as well have itunes installed that muck around with other multiple packages... I think saying you are 'tied to itunes' is a perfectly correct thing to say.... Why waste your money and effort on an ipod, if you are going to gimp it by not using itunes?


February 2, 2012, 5:12 am

Definitely not an odd thing to say. You need to have itunes installed to transfer anything from the computer to the device. I have a samsung galaxy player, which simply works with drag n drop - not even a minute to transfer 1GB of files - and it works with any computer (I even used it on a school computer once, no need to install any extra software). How the Samsung Galaxy Player 4 didn't get here is a mystery to me.


October 10, 2012, 11:33 pm

I have an iPod and don't even have iTunes on my computer. MediaMonkey does all I need.


July 17, 2013, 8:41 am

Things have changed a lot, there are a couple of software which gives better control over apple devices than itunes actually allowed. I have used ispirit, i-funbox, mondershare-mobilego for ios to access my apple devices. I hate been restricted reason and that is why i hate itunes. My device is my own and I like to access any part of it in whatever way i like. You cannot even easily use itunes to copy non media files to your ipod, ipad. What a shame!

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