Sony Walkman NWZ-S544
PMP with speakers, anyone?
With so much in common it came as no surprise that the S and E class both sounded pretty much the same with the S544 producing the same warm and pleasant sound that distinguished the E444. The inherent competency of the device and the seven EQ settings – five fixed, two variable – ensure the S544 is tolerant of a wide range of musical genres.
Colourful options but, speakers aside, much the same as the E series
According to Sony, a fully charged S544 is good for 42 hours of audio and 6.5 hours of video, though those numbers drop to 17 and 5 hours respectively, if you use the speakers rather than the earphones. We found those times to be pretty accurate, managing 15 hours of audio and just under 4h 30m of video with the speakers set to full volume.
Buy direct from Sony and the S series is reasonable rather than great value. The 8GB S544 will set you back £120, though who is going to pay that when the 16GB version only costs a tenner more is anyone's guess. Since Sony will sell you a 16GB E-class Walkman for £110 that means the speakers command a premium of £20. You may disagree, but we're not sure they're worth it.
If you want a small media player with built in stereo speakers, then the S544 is a pretty self-recommending choice. It does everything you would expect a modern Walkman to do and the speakers make a better fist of things than you might expect. But despite thinking long and hard about it, we still can't come up with a convincing reason to actually buy a media player with speakers. ®
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