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Sony Walkman NWZ-B152 - Performance and Verdict

By Hugo Jobling



Our Score:


User Score:

The screen on the Sony Walkman NWZ-B152 is large enough to fit just three lines of text on at a time, but does definitely make navigation simple. With only 2GB of space available, you'll probably end up picking and choosing choice tracks and shuffling through the whole lot, but if you do want to play just one artist or album it's nice to have an easy way to find those options. On the downside we found that the use of Back to go down and Forward to go up the menu structure slightly counter-intuitive.

More helpful is the option to turn off the flashing LED that sits under the play/pause button. We're sure this probably looks neat enough in a shop, but in our use it never proved anything but an annoying distraction. Similarly, the built-in bass boost and equalizer functions are ostensibly useless, capable only of distorting your music, rather than enhancing it.

The NWZ-B152 has an interesting function dubbed "Zappin" by Sony. A press of the button and the player starts playing previews of tracks it thinks you might like to listen to, with a tap of a button starting the full track paying. It sounds a little gimmicky, but actually works quite well in those situations when you can't decide exactly what you want to listen to.

Although absolute audio quality is less of a concern on a device this, mostly used for the gym and other active pursuits drawing attention away from high fidelity pursuits, this Walkman does sound pretty good, by tiny portable standards.

As mentioned, the Bass Boost turns the low end into a boomy mess, but with that disabled it proves punchy without being overwhelming. The mid-range is similarly well-balanced, but the high-end is definitely a weak point. So while drums have a good kick to them and guitars are given a meaty energy, cymbals, strings and more delicate woodwind instruments can lack presence. But we're not convinced that anyone would notice that when using the NWZ-B152 while on a running machine.


The Sony Walkman NWZ-B152 isn't exactly disappointing, but it’s not going to blow your mind either. It offers above average sound quality, a reasonably intuitive user interface and has the advantage of drag-and-drop transfer over its in-built USB port. The build-quality isn't amazing but it's good enough, and it's priced to tempt users more budget conscious than style conscious.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 7
  • Sound Quality 7


February 20, 2011, 2:20 am

I've the 143 and its very useful. Think of it more as a USB stick that can play music and doesn't need iTunes.


February 20, 2011, 11:33 am

One feature that has been overlooked is the FM tuner. If I'm at the gym I prefer to bring an FM tuner so I can tune into one of the tvs on display, rather then listen to music. Of course the latest gen ipod nano has FM, but at twice the price.


February 21, 2011, 5:46 pm

I love my sony w252 as I find it the perfect mp3 player: no wires, great fit, long battery life, splashproof/sweatproof, and decent music quality. I don't miss not having a display as I know what tracks are on each playlist, but then I only have 100 or so tracks on. As Thomasthetanker mentioned, being able to drag and drop is essential!


February 21, 2011, 5:59 pm

The Sansa Clip+ also has a display, and additionally has the FM tuner, MicoSD card expansion and no need for iTunes! If you're going to stretch the extra £7-10 it's a better buy than a Shuffle.


February 21, 2011, 9:34 pm

A friend of mine has bought this player. Horrible display illumination-song presentation modes Sony picked for this device. Other Sony players i have seen the last 10 years have not this problem.


February 24, 2011, 11:53 pm

I agree the Sansa Clip+ is better value and probably a better player overall - I certainly like mine - but I also appreciate the usefulness of being able to plug a PMP directly into a USB port without having to remember a USB lead.

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