Feeds
75%
Sony NWZ-S544 8GB Walkman

Sony Walkman NWZ-S544

PMP with speakers, anyone?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

So, how do they perform? Well, that depends on what you are using them for. To start with they are not exactly what you would call loud. If we had to take a wild guess, we'd say they are chucking out between half a watt and a watt apiece, which is enough for use in a quiet room, but not much else.

Sony NWZ-S544 8GB Walkman

Sound choice for video viewing, but the speakers are wide of the mark for music playback

That said they are certainly up to the job of handling the soundtracks of BBC iPlayer video downloads. During tests, we watched a full episode of Jonathan Meade's Off Kilter on the S544. With the volume turned up to maximum and the player propped up on its plastic stand, the S544's speakers did a more than decent job. The sound was clear and crisp, if just a little sibilant. The video was sharp and colourful too.

Use the speakers for music and things take a bit of a tumble, though not by the degree we feared. Yes, the sound is tinny and devoid of anything you could seriously call bass, but it’s not inherently unpleasant to listen too. That's not to say that we can think of many situations in which you would want to use the speakers to listen to music, because we can't. In fact the only two that come to mind are when using the S544 as an alarm clock or when listening to the radio.

Of course, to use the radio you will have to have the earphones plugged in so they can act as an antenna. Unlike most MP3 players, the radio does actually fire up without the earphones plugged in but we couldn't get it to lock onto a single station, no matter where we tried. Incidentally, the radio isn't RDS but does give you the option to select up to 30 presets.

Ignore the speakers and the new S-class players are technically and sonically very nearly identical to the E-class. This means you get the usual Sony format support of MP3, DRM-free AAC and WMA audio, along with WMV and H.264 video plus JPEG images. The FM radio can be recorded at 96, 128 or 160Kb/s MP3, there’s a voice recorder too and the ability to synchronize playlists from MTP media players or set them up on-board.

Sony NWZ-S544 8GB Walkman

Rear speakers don't offer enough extra to deliver a significant volume output

Like all Sony players the S-Class will hook up to any and all operating systems as either an MTP or MSC class device, while Windows users can use the handy Content Transfer Tool to load music directly from the iTunes desktop. The bundled headphones are the same MDR-E804Y type that Sony supplies with its E-class players. We didn't think much of them when we looked at the E class and time has not made us think any more highly of them. Sony can - and usually does – do better.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.