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Sony Walkman NWZ-W202 - Sony Walkman NWZ-W202

By Stuart Andrews


  • Recommended by TR
Sony Walkman NWZ-W202


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The design also makes sense for other active pursuits. A spot of gardening? No problem. Tree-felling? Likewise. DIY Kitchen-fitting? Ideal (and with the added bonus that you can't hear anyone moaning that you're not putting that screw in straight it's going to rip through the bottom of the cupboard if you don't watch out). If you spend any time with an MP3 player involved in similar activities, you'll know how annoying it is to constantly trip over the headphone cable or knock the headphones out of place with an ill-timed movement. With the NWZ-W202, this simply never happens.

Now, there are two compromises you might expect with this kind of player, but Sony has cleverly thought about both of them. The first is usability. Understandably, the NWZ-W202 doesn't have a screen, and the only controls are a volume rocker, a shuffle switch and a multi-purpose jog dial that handles pause/play and search functions. In practice, it's clear that the player is designed primarily to work in shuffle mode, and that even then there are times when you want to skip tracks.

Apple gets around this problem with the new Shuffle by adding the speech facility, the unit announcing tracks as you skip through, but the NWZ-W202 takes a different approach with a feature called 'Zappin'. Hold in the jog dial and flick it forwards and the headphones proclaim 'Zappin in' in a preposterous American accent before running through tracks, playing a few seconds of each so you can work out what it is.

Theoretically, this segment is supposed to be the chorus, but in my experience it could be roughly any loud and interesting portion. Hear something you like and press the jog dial in again and the headphones announce 'Zappin out' and the track plays. It's slightly bizarre, and the voice is really, really, really weird, but it works. Sure, you can't navigate properly through albums or artist lists or playlists, but then on a player of this type, I don't really expect to.

The second compromise is that you can't change the headphones, and so this makes the audio quality of the existing set quite crucial. Luckily, the NWZ-W202 actually performs very well. The secret is that Sony has incorporated the 13.5mm drivers from its mid-range EX series of headphones, and while you still won't find the Walkman as good to listen to as, say, a Sansa Clip with a pair of Shure SE102s, you still get enough bass response, clarity and definition to make music enjoyable on the move.

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April 5, 2009, 6:13 am

Surely you mean 'Sound Quality', not 'Scan Quality' for the ratings, right?


April 5, 2009, 6:03 pm

It would sure be an awesome workout with that glorious looking pink colour around my head.


April 5, 2009, 7:08 pm

Scan Quality - How well it scans for FM stations...?


April 5, 2009, 8:47 pm

Nothing to see here... move along.. :)


April 5, 2009, 10:54 pm

You forgot to show us a picture of how daft they look round your head (pref with the pink ones). :-)


April 6, 2009, 1:59 pm

Not to be icky, but how easy are they to clean? I have a pair of SE210s that I can't really use for sport as they get quite sweaty.


April 7, 2009, 5:35 pm


The earbuds will need cleaning/replacing, but otherwise there isn't too much to get grungey. There's nothing that would cause you any more problems than the average pair of in-ear 'phones, and actually less in the way of wax/sweat/grime trapping embellishment than some models I could mention.


April 9, 2009, 5:02 pm

Huh. The new Shuffle was bad enough, but this is even worse. Are cables really that annoying? I just route them along the inside of my clothing and after that I don't even notice them anymore. I won't buy a device that only works with proprietary headphones, and I sure as hell won't buy one that's fixed to a pair of phones. And that's coming from a fan of IEMs -- I know a lot of people who can't stand them.


April 10, 2009, 4:59 am

@ morsch - Guess you don't use your mp3 player for running then.... The best cabled headphones will not sound that great when you're jogging. FOr instance, in-ear phones suffer from that "thumping in the back of your head" noise as your feet pound the pavement. Situations where that does not occur, these sorts of earbuds are too far out of the ear to actually sound good. Hopefully, these rememdy some of those problems by cutting the cable out completely.


January 27, 2010, 11:35 pm

Hi,Read my review of this player

Sony recently launched the much hyped Walkman Unwired priced at Rs 4,990.It combines stellar design with good performance.The Walkman W202 takes mobility to a new direction by completelty cutting the wires.It looks good and sounds even better.No need to carry your dangling headphone wires along with your IPOD.The Walkman sports unique features such as Zappin which is very handy as there is no screen on this player.The controls are embeded on the right ear-piece of this player.There is a jog dial that controls the play/pause/forward/bacward/zappin-in/zappin-out functions on this player.A plastic cover has been provided to store the player(To prevent magnetic leakage).A USB stand is provided through which you can connect the player to the PC.The player charges while it is connected to the PC.3 min. of charge enables 90 min. of music playback and the overall time taken to charge the player is 30-90 min.You can also charge this player with mobile charger.(I use the charger of Samsung RAGA)The player is detected easily as soon it is connected to the PC.You can drag/drop to transfer music files to this player or use the provided software.(Content Transfer 1.1).This player supports "mp3,aac,wma" audio formats.Now coming to the preformance,its ideal for the people on the move(For jogging,cycling,walking etc.)The ear-piece fits quite easily in the ears and remains fixed during any body motions.The sound quality is good and is on the warmer side.The highs and the mids sound crystal clear and the bass is tight.Although the Bass lacks punch and doesn;t extend deep,this won;t be an issue unless you are bass freak.The button response is good but may cause problems for people with large hands.This walkman is ideal for listening to Accoustic Pop,Jazz,Trance,Bollywood Pop.It sits around your neck when not in use so it is very convenient.FM Radio and Voice Recording feature is missing as quite understandingly there is not enough space to put these features in the player.There is also absence of 3.5 mm jacks and Audio-in jack so you can't connect this player with speakers.The walkman is known to be having problems with sweat as it is not waterproof.The sweat causes malfunction in this player if it enters through the USB HUB.So beware and find something to cover the USB HUB(I am using a rubber cover of old mobile).Overall it is an excellant gadget and a must-buy for electronic lovers. RATINGS; Features - 7/10 Built - 10/10 Performance - 7.5/10 Value for money - 8/10

Ariadna Quijano

June 23, 2014, 4:38 pm

One question: how can you go from one album to the next in the W202?

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