Sony Walkman NWZ-A845
Straddling the price line - the A845 is less than £150, its more capacious stablemates are above the cut-off point - this Walkman is now seemingly being disowned by Sony, presumably with the anticipated introduction next year of new models. They won't help the Christmas buyer, who can still pick up the skinny - it's 7mm thick - player.
It excels at the job in hand, audio sounding clear and crisp, and video looking good on the 2.8in, 400 x 240 OLED screen. Sony also includes some rather nice noise-cancelling earphones with this player. These can be pricey enough bought separately, so it's good to get them for free, as it were.
Sony has equipped the 845 with Clear Stereo, VTP Surround Sound, DSEE Sound Enhancement, a five-band equalizer and S-Master Digital Amplifier technology which all sounds most impressive both figuratively and in use.
Reg Rating 80%
Price £115 (16GB)
Audio Support WMA, MP3, AAC
Video Support MP4, AVC, H.264, MPEG4, WMV
More Info Sony
Sony Walkman NWZ-E45x
Sony’s E series is easy to use and has some cool features, however falls short with its low volume levels. It’s by no means inaudible as was the case with its B-series MP3 player, but as someone that regularly listens to unmastered music, not being able to over-inflate my levels is annoying. Saying that, audio here is well rounded and enjoyable. Ultra crisp clarity actually impresses, but bring heavy background noise into the equation and you do the maths.
The E series is practical as a music player. There’s a strange Karaoke setting - you can tell it was designed in Japan - which attempts to EQ-out the vocals and produces a very odd-sounding instrumental track.
Video looks surprisingly nice on the small screen, but despite claims that it handles MPEG 4 and H.264, I couldn’t get any of my encoded videos to work. Despite this, there are many things to like about Sony’s E, which is a solid device and enjoyable to use, but disappoints with a lack of memory card expansion.
Reg Rating 75%
Price £69 (4GB) £89 (8GB) £109 (16GB)
Audio Support WMA, MP3, AAC
Video Support MP4, AVC, H.264, MPEG 4, WMV
More Info Sony
Ten... sub-£150 PMPs
"However, without the distraction of ringtones and txt msgs, they have space to focus on getting the rest right and your phone doesn't suffer from a low battery life."
But now you have twice as many things to carry around and clutter up the house with chargers for. Also, the reason I've not had a PMP or MP3 player since I got a phone which could play music (I still have a Neuros III in the basement somewhere, my last one) - if you're using a separate player, when your phone rings, you have to get player out of pocket, pause player, remove earphones, get phone out of pocket, answer phone, finish conversation, hang up phone, put phone in pocket, put earphones back in ears, unpause player, return player to pocket.
If you use a phone with a headset, your music pauses, you press a button on the headset, finish your call, and your music unpauses.
I'm really not dealing with that bloody faffing about.
Someone once very briefly made a range of PMPs with bluetooth support so you could pair them with your phone and get the convenience you get if you just use your phone to listen to music. But then you lose battery life on both phone and player by having Bluetooth turned on all the time.
Really, it's a lot less hassle to just use a phone with good music/video (if you care about video) capabilities.
Re: "There is no such NDA."
Second clause of the Apple NDA: "Always deny the existence of the NDA".
Agreed - I was thinking of upgrading my excellent and cheap Fuze at some point and the Sony looked good, but lack of FLAC support kills it for me.
The old version of the Fuze is better than the new one - that's why I was conidering jumping ship - that crappy 'touch' interface bandwagon is one I want no part of: with my Fuze's mechanical wheel, I leave it in my pocket and can navigate next and previous tracks, pause/play and adjust the volume with a single thumb. None of the touch-screen/touch button interfaces allow this.
Sometimes older and crappier is much better!
whats the point?
seriously, whats the oint with these devices? they are mobile phone form factor/size and yet they can just play video and audio.
my smartphone does that - and a whoel lot more too. AND it was less than 150 quid.
I really cant see the future for these devices - as i said, smartphones do all of this - and have 3.5 or 4 inch screens, OMLED , can play all kinds of formats.... or you get an App installed which does more. and he prices of such devices are coming down. eg ZTE Blade - under 100 quid for Android phone
All these toys
doing more or less the same thing - pmp, phone, ipad
What I want is to pay for my portable PC once, only once and not have to pay two or three times for the same drm'ed music to be copied amongst them and listed by the same ears.
One Life, One Pocket!