Product Type: Sony portable CD players
Newest Review: ... of the unit is the quality of the headphones you use in conjunction with it. I’d have to say that the Sony headphones supplied ar... more
Drowns out people talking on mobile phones
Sony D-E 200
Member Name: quirky
Sony D-E 200
Date: 01/09/01, updated on 11/09/01 (87 review reads)
Advantages: Plays CDs, has a few good features, good sound quality
Disadvantages: Headphone socket is a bit ropey, no programming of tracks, can skip quite easily
I was well chuffed when my girlfriend bought me this CD player. Tapes just don't cut it for me, far too crackly and always getting chewed up. I could finally listen to my collection of CDs without having to copy them all to a scummy old tape. Hurrah!
The CD player I have isn't quite like the picture above; instead it's in an attractive blue colour. There are 6 buttons on the front face, just below the part that opens, 2 switches on the front edge and an open button on the side. The 6 buttons are: 2 for volume up/down, 2 for play and track select, one for stop and one for repeat and shuffle. These click in a satisfying fashion and are nicely push able, always a Good Thing for electronic gadgets I believe. The 2 switches are for turning on and off bass boost and "hold" mode.
Being Sony the build quality is pretty good, although I have noticed that the socket for the headphone jack is a bit flaky. Sometimes if you knock the plug slightly, the sound crackles and can even cut out. This happened from the start, it wasn't due to my ham-fisted ness, honest. Unless you are particularly careless then this isn't too bad. But still, it gives a rather shoddy impression.
There is a little LCD display at the front of the player, showing track, time, current mode and, importantly, battery level. The battery level is pretty good, with 4 blobs of power and it seems pretty accurate. Sometimes though, when turning the thing on with a new CD inserted, the battery level pings about wildly and if you don't have full power it won't turn on at all, even though the batteries are half full. Pressing play over and over gets past this, but it is annoying and I'm sure I wasted a few decent sets of batteries before I realised.
The bass boost is pretty good, the sound is fairly meaty and the mini earplug style headphones provided don't hiss very much at all. Apparently using the boost drains the batteries faster, but
as I have never used it without this feature (because it sounds a lot better on) I have never been able to properly compare. As it is, a set of 2 AA Duracell last approximately 15 hours. Or about 2 weeks train journeys, as I measure it.
CDs can be set to play through once, repeat all tracks, stop after 1 track, repeat the same track or shuffle and repeat. Rather curiously, shuffle on its own cannot be selected, so if you are the sort of person who falls asleep with the player on, be warned that it will continue forever (or until you wake up and press stop.)
Another strange feature that I don't understand is a "volume limiter." This would be useful if it regulated the actual volume of a CD, so if a track was significantly louder than another, it lowered the level to something that didn't make your ears bleed. Sadly, it doesn't work like this; instead it just locks the volume at a set level and stops you from increasing it. Loud tracks are still louder than quiet ones. A bit pointless and not a feature I ever use.
The "hold" switch is a Godsend. When you put this in your bag (or giant pocket) for wandering around it's very easy to for the control buttons to be accidentally knocked, increasing the volume to deafening levels or skipping your fave track. The hold stops this altogether by disabling them. The hold switch itself requires a fair bit of force to toggle, so no chance of it accidentally being changed.
A nice touch when playing CDs is the unit remembers where you were when you pressed stop. So if you have to stop to talk to someone, pressing play afterwards returns to a couple of seconds before you stopped it. This memory can be reset by opening the lid for a second.
A word of warning - it boasts on the box that the CD player has a 2 second memory to stop skipping. This is a lie. It skips like Skippy the skippy Bush kangaroo even when just walking. Don't even think about trying
to go jogging with it. I am happy though, as it's fine in a backpack or sat on your lap in the train, which is all I use it for.
I reckon this is a pretty good CD player, it's not too pricey in terms of players, and I certainly have no complaints. It would have got 5 out of 5, but the lack of a program feature, that dodgy headphone socket and it's skipping, let it down. Still, I would certainly recommend it to a friend.