The FM radio has 30 presets and gives the option of listening in mono or stereo, depending on the quality of reception, which seemed pretty decent overall. Battery life is a fairly impressive 33 hours of audio playback with nine hours for video, which puts it on a par with the iPod Touch.
Plenty of features but the X-Series only integrates with Windows PCs
Sony appears to have pitched the price a little high, since it’s within a fiver of the iPod Touch, which would be fine if it was clearly in front, but that’s not really the case. The Walkman certainly has the edge in terms of overall sound and video quality, and has more options to play with so you can mould your music to your personal taste. But the Touch sound is perfectly decent, certainly decent enough to keep most music fans happy for most of the time.
It’s a very good quality music player, and a more than decent video player too. If it’s purely sound and video quality you care about, then it definitely has the edge on the iPod Touch, with its superior sound quality and better, albeit slightly smaller, screen. Yet it’s only really a sliver of an edge, since the Touch beats it for web browsing and the additional functionality offered by both iTunes and the App Store. Still, it’s a very good portable media device, but not quite the Touch beater Sony was, no doubt, hoping for. ®
More PMP Reviews...
Cowon iAudio O2
Sony X-Series Walkman
Even if I had some sort of bias towards Sony, that is my right as a consumer, and visitor of this website.
I was under the impression that reviewers were supposed to be pretty impartial about what they say. Say what you want, the review sounded very Apple-friendly to me - I appear to not be the only other commenter to notice that either - maybe you should lace some other barbed comments their way too.
@ Robert – the Walkman will read MP3 tags, and organise files accordingly. Or you can organise your files into playlists.
@ Anonymous Coward – no, you can't stream iPlayer content over Wi-Fi, you need to side load it from your computer. You can use other noise cancelling headphones with it – but in that case it won't be the noise cancelling that's built into the Walkman. As for the other stuff, perhaps you'd have preferred a longer review?
@ Scott – I'm hardly Apple-biased, I don't even own a Mac. I do think the iPod has achieved iconic status in terms of portable music, just like the Walkman used to be, and may possibly be again if it keeps improving. Also, I made it clear in the review that the Walkman sounds better than the iPod Touch, or was there not enough Sony bias for you?
Noise Cancelling Headphones
So you only get the noise cancelling using the supplied headphones?!
I think that some of Sony's advertising may be a bit misleading in this department as I initially believed that the noise cancelling would happen on any headphones attached, your review is however correct.
Seeing as the headphones are usually the first item broken/replaced on a portable stereo, there seems to be no availability of replacement headphones with noise cancelling.
Shame really as it's not a bad attempt, especially as Apple are so sure that no one wants FM radio.
@Robert E A Harvey
"stream .ra from iplayer over the wifi?
make sheduled recordings from the FM radio? While you are listening to something else?
I notice it does not include DAB radio, an increasing omission in consumer gadgets. I reckon DAB is dead if it can't be crowbared into something like this."
Fuck me dead, you don't want much do you?
Doesn't include DAB radio? Hasn't this system just been abused with stations using poxy quality settings such that sound quality is often perceptibly worse than FM?
Take a look at this page...
especially the bit about the new DAB+ standard. Maybe that's a good reason why nobody's bothered yet? DAB is dead. Creation of DAB+ will see to that. Australia for one has gone with this so it seems that the UK was too early an adopter or went in half-arsed and it's now fallen by the wayside/taken off too late.
In the end this is a bloody mp3 player and it does the job exceedingly well. Maybe they should reduce the price a touch but I think people's expectations are getting as out of hand when it comes to features in technology - a bit like house/share price expectations were. The old "if it doesn't <insert ridiculous expectation here> then I certainly won't be buying one" tripe.
If it doesn't have the kitchen sink functionality that you deem necessary then don't buy it but please leave your unrealistic expectations/marginal requirements at the door.
One thing it should do is force Apple to up their game to keep ahead and, as a consumer, that can only be a good thing.
ok, but what about...
screen rez and colours? detailed video file support? DRM support for iPlayer? support for subtitles files? Actual battery life (33/9 are Sony's figures!), does it come with/work with Sony's iTunes Media Transfer Tool? Can you set up playlists or synch them from MTP media players? Can you bookmark video/audio files? How does it cope with various aspect ratios? Does DSEE work with video playback or just audio? Oh, and how does the touch UI actually work? 2/10. El Reg usually does -much- better.