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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.
Scores In Detail
- Sound Quality