I bought my walkman about 3 years ago - and it's still going very strong! I'm not keen on Apple products and we're a very Sony based household so this felt like a good tie-in with our existing products.
Please note I am not a technical person so this is a very none-technical review - just my experience of the product!
When I first got the Walkman I was really pleased. It's very small, discreet and lightweight. As I mostly use my MP3 for running and the gym this was really important to me. I have the black walkman although I believe it comes in other colours, and it looked very sleek and smart. It is smooth to the back with some technical information and the Walkman logo. The front has the screen (which is about 2 inches and in colour), and buttons to the bottom - 'Home/back', 'Play/Pause', 'Power off/option' and four directional buttons. There is a hold button and volume to the side. I don't personally like touch screens, so the buttons work really well for me - when I walk to work in winter and I've got my gloves on I can still change the tracks! The sony logo is to the top, and the walkman logo is to the bottom right. The background has a triangular pattern.
On turning the product on, there are 12 icons on the home screen. They are;
SensMe Channels - This is basically a shuffle function, but the mp3 categorises the music, eg 'morning', 'relax', 'night'. I tend to use this function the most and leave it on shuffle.
FM Radio - Exactly what it sounds like. Works well and you can set your favourites
Voice recording - I have never had the need to use this!
Photos - Interestingly, saves all the photos from your albums here (when you play a song, the album cover shows if you have that included on the mp3) You can also save general photos if you feel the need, but it will take up music space
Music - A way to look through by artist, album, genre etc. Lots of options, I like the 'bookmark' option where you can add songs to a list. I have three, one for alternative, one for pop and one for my zumba tracks!
Videos - does what it says on the tin
Playlists - I don't use this feature, but you can create a playlist on the computer and upload it here (as mentioned, I tend to use the bookmark function)
Podcasts - can download and watch here
Bookmark - easily access the bookmark lists you have created
Settings - Set up the MP3 to your specifications (eg the technical stuff!)
Go to song playback screen - So you can return to where you were easily if coming out to the menu
Music Unlimited - this links to the Sony service if you have it, where you can stream music. My partner has a subscription to this but I don't, so I don't have it on my MP3. But from what I've seen it's a very good service which you can access through phone, Playstation etc and they have every song you can ever think of available to stream. I assume you are able to have a certain amount of songs to put on the mp3
The top of the screen has a little icon which shows whether you are playing or on pause, the time and a battery indicator. The battery tends to last for a long time - I reckon I get a good 30 hours out of it between charges
The MP3 came with some in ear headphones which were great quality, but only lasted a year. I find this about average for headphones and was happy to buy some more when they stopped working.
I hear the software with this product is horrible, so I just use a drag and drop method to put music on and off. This works well for me, although it can be time consuming. I find it hard to delete songs from the MP3 but other than that it's fairly straightforward. The bad thing is I've maxed out the storage at the moment and am having to get rid of some old stuff to get new music on - the downside to an MP3 that lasts so long is you fill it with music over the years!
~The bad times~
My main bugbear with this player is that it has it's own specific charger and not a standard charger like the playstation controller wire. I constantly lose it, and whenever I want to charge it I have to run around the house accusing my partner of moving it and getting stressed. At one stage I lost it and had to buy another from Ebay to charge it. It would be more convenient if it was a generic wire, it feels like a money making scheme to me.
My other gripe is that the screen got very scratched within days of having it. Before this MP3 I had a really old school Ipod. I used to throw it in my bag, bash it around, take it to the gym and the screen was fine. The walkman looked like rubbish within three days. I remember taking it out of my handbag after having it for three days and feeling really sad that the lovely shiny new MP3 I'd treated myself to looked so scratched and rubbish. I didn't do anything special to look after it, but I tend to throw everything in my bag - phone, keys, mp3 and I've never had a problem like this before.
If you do unplug the headphones/audio jack it keeps playing. This means you lose some of the song, or I have accidentally left it running before and the battery has drained.
The battery tends to go from one bar to flashing battery to out of battery very quickly. Part of this is my fault - I push it too far and then get annoyed when it runs out! But it will just beep and turn off after a few minutes of flashy battery
Overall, this MP3 has lasted for three years, and I use it every single day. I take it running and it gets sweated on (sorry if too much info!!). I take it in my car and plug it into the radio. I use it every day when I walk into work. And I've done all this for three years. I love the bookmark function, it's easy to find music and the shuffle is great. The sound quality is very good and you can get a fairly loud noise out of it. The downside is the specific charger and the way it scratched up so quickly, but these feel like minor issues.
Ipods are obviously the big boys in the MP3 market, but when this walkman goes I will definitely get another Sony product. It's so easy to use and just does the job. I don't think I use it to half of it's potential either. If I do buy a Sony again though, I'll get some kind of case or pouch for it!
So it's been a couple of years since this little mp3 hit the shelves. And now what can I say? I still value it a lot. Yes technology has moved on but really, if you're looking to buy a cheap mp3 as a Christmas present then this could be for you.
It's small, and this can be a good or a bad thing. Small makes it so much easier to listen on the go, but at the same time how can you watch things on it? I don't think using this mp3 for videos is a good ideas to be honest but this is only a minor flaw. If you're commuting and don't want to take a very expensive mp3 player with you you can fit a good sizeable chunk of your music library on here. You can do a lot with 8gb if you use it wisely.
I've had no functioning problems (like it freezing etc), and I've had this for four years. The sound quality and playback is pretty good (but not as good as the latest Sony Walkman models) and that pretty much covers it. It's simple to use, and is a good old fashioned mp3 which is effective in what it needs to do. Sometimes simple is better, and maybe this would be a good product for a child around 10 years old or even someone who is new to technology
So if you want to buy someone an mp3 for Christmas (young or old) and are on a budget, this seriously could be what you're looking for.
I was bought this 8GB Sony Walkman (in cherry red rather than black) by my boyfriend who is usually much better informed that myself! I was gutted to have lost my old MP3 Player which was a Creative ZEN.
I am resolutely anti-apple because I believe you pay too much for the brand and it isn't easy to get fixed. I like the brand Sony and remember having a casette walkman the first time around! Great retro naming.
It looks absolutely gorgeous, and I got a clear plastic case to keep it from getting scratched which works really well. I love the fact that it shows you a picture of the album whenever you are listening to a song, a great little touch!
However I am annoyed that I can't fit my whole catalogue of music onto it, I know that's not it's fault as you get what you pay for GB-wise.
Also I use my MP3 player mainly on shuffle, which doesn't work properly on this player. It always plays exactly the same song first, and it doesn't shuffle the songs properly, so some you will hear lots, and others not at all. This is really annoying, and something I think that Sony should have got right.
Please note this is not a very technical review just my opinion of this mp3 player. I got this mp3 player because i wanted one with more memory than my previouse ipod nano which only had 1gb and got full far too quickly. I found this mp3 very easy to use from the first time i started to use it. It has a decent sized screen and a clear main menu where you can access music, playlists, photos, videos and settings. The buttons are really easy to use aswell. One thing i would reccomend is to buy a case for this mp3 as it is quite small and i think i may have dropped it or scratched it without my case. I think the sound quality is excellent on the mp3 player and i have had no problems with it. The only thing i would say is that i wish i would have gotten the 16gb instead of the 8gb as although 8gb is a lot of memory mine is now full up and i have to keep deleting some music to put more on. But this depends on how much music you have. Overall this is an excellent highly recommended mp3 player which has high quality sound and screen and is very easy to use. It is also easy to put songs onto the mp3 player using windows media player.
I've had this for a couple years now and has only recently been replaced by my iPod Touch. This is much better than the iPod nano in my opinion and if you're on a tight budget then this definitely worth looking at. It comes in white, pink and black (mine's black) which looks very sleek and stylish.
The supplied headphones are Sony in-ear and worked very well, producing high quality bass and treble which doesn't break up even at high volumes. I did find however that even with the extension cord attached the cord for the headphones were still a little short.
The walkman itself is very small and compact and has a 2" screen which allows you to navigate the menus and watch different types of media, including MPEG/MP4 videos. The buttons look and feel great and are easy to press. You can increase/decrease the volume on the top right hand side of the player - very useful. The quality of this product is superb and Sony hasn't compromised with the build quality.
The only thing I didn't like about the player is that it comes with some very difficult to use software - Sonic Stage - which was very unstable and irritating to use. If it weren't for this I'd have definitely given 5 stars but this does let the product down somewhat. It is, however, still usable and once you've transferred all your music and videos from your computer to the player you shouldn't need to use the software too much. Luckily.
Overall I think this a great quality mp3/4 player from Sony, which looks great and feels even better in the palm of your hand. Let down only by its infuriating software, the Sony NW-A808 is still worth you're hard earned cash.
I purchased this mp3 player a couple of years ago, and I wouldn't swap it for an ipod! It's 8GB size is fine for the amount of music that I have, and I love the fact that you can plug it into any PC with Windows Media Player and synchronise your songs. It will play both WMA and mp3 files, and it's great that you're not stuck only being able to use ITunes.
The player is small and neat, very slim. The controls are very basic but easy to use, and they are very intuitive once you've used the player a couple of times. You can easily go from playing whole albums to shuffling your entire music collection with a couple of button presses.
The only downside to the player is the hold function/battery life. I have had a number of occasions where (even though it has been on hold) the player has turned itself on and run the battery down whilst in my bag.
However, the positives far outweigh the negatives for this player, and I would say it is a good investment if you're looking for a good name mp3 player.
Maybe not that great compared to an iPod. It puts out much lower volume than the iPod and It has an annoying feature of putting the songs in some albums in alphabetical order. I wasn't thrilled with the earphones, but then I don't like earbuds generally, so I may not be the best critic on that score. However, it is cheap and it works fairly well for my needs. (I use it mostly when biking and exercising.)
For those who want to upgrade from the likes of ipod shuffle, this is definitely a good product to consider. Obvious advantage is a simple and user friendly interface which displays the information of the songs that you are listening to. With a 8gb capacity, there are lots of songs that you can store in this little beauty. The software allows one to browse through all the songs stored in folders and/or playlists in alphabetical order. There is a neat little switch at the back to lock the buttons so that they are not activated accidentally whilst in your pocket, just like mobile phones. Battery is charged through your computer via USB cable and can last up to 8 hours. Another star for this product is its headphone. It fits well and snug in your ears and really cuts off all external noise, perfect if you are always travelling on noisy public transports. This is really a nice and elegant looking piece of gadget that you can be proud to show off to everyone.
The Sony NW-A808 is Sony's first attempt at creating an "iPod killer". As you can see from the picture it is only about 0.7 mm thick and the screen is two inches diagonally. Navigation is pretty basic; it consists of a options button, a back button, four arrows and a play button: It may not be as quick to use as the iPod, but it has the advantage when you have large libraries of music, and you want to find something quickly. Video quality is decent, despite some hassle with formats. So far, so good. Moving on to the worse points on this MP4 it has as I said peculiar video formats and irritating music software which at this current point is obsolete. There is some irritation about equalizers and surround sound, but generally that is more of a pro than a con. One final word of advice if you decide to make this purchase; Buy A case!! The screen scratches ubbelievably easily.
~~~~ Introduction ~~~~
Sony vs. IPod
With the Apple IPod dominating the market the choice of which MP3 player has always been which iPod should you choose? Well now we have a refreshed Sony product entering the market to give the consumer some choice.
Sony has at long last got licensing for MP3 on their range of products and it is this step that will allow them to become a serious contender. All they have to do is offer a player that has the functionality and style offered by the iPods in a market that they dominate.
Sony has the brand but do they have the product to match?
~~~~ Product Features ~~~~
Memory Size-8GB 5000+ tracks or up to 30 hours of video
Power- Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (30 hours of audio-8 hours of video)
Operation- Utilises an interface very similar to that of their mobile phone range
Playback- Fantastic clarity audio with presets and bass settings via exceptional headphones which give excellent realistic sound.
Display-2.0 inch QVGA colour LCD with high resolution (240x320). Can be switched horizontally & vertically dependant on use
File Formats- MPEG4
JPEG viewer with slideshow mode
ATRAC, MP3, AAC (non DRM) and WMA (non DRM)
Software-Sonic Stage 4.3
Image convertor 3.0
Dimensions-Width (mm) - 43.8
Height (mm) -88.0
Depth (mm) -9.1
Accessories- USB cable for file transfer and charging
Also has high speed transfer and ability to edit song and file information.
~~~~ Product Overview ~~~~
The product use flash memory the same as the iPod range of products, allowing for a smaller unit size as opposed to the larger traditional hard-disk technology found on larger units.
This product is very slim as it is marketed as a direct competitor to the iPod nano range. The product is slightly slimmer than the ipod nano and has a screen that is larger than the iPods with 2 inches for the Sony and only 1.5 inches for the iPod.
The Sony is more expensive than the iPod by about £20-£30 so a larger screen is a good selling point to account for the bigger price tag. The screen quality is excellent and a big improvement on that of the iPod. You do have the option of video playback but this novelty soon wears off as watching such a small screen is not practical for long periods of time.
Transferring files to the unit is done by using the traditional Drag and Drop method the same as you would with your home PC or laptop. Once again as with most of the Sony range the biggest let down is the sonic stage software which is not too user friendly and difficult to get to grips with.
Sound quality is crisp, clear and very impressive with a good range of user settings for different types of music, ranging from rock to jazz and all other song types catered for.
The buttons on the unit feel high quality and are smooth in operation when touched. They are well placed on the unit making their use simple and quick (I do however prefer the click wheel on the iPod as the Sony offers no alternative to this)
The Menu's on the unit are well designed and very easy to navigate with a layout similar to the Sony range of mobile phones (I have a Sony so found using this product very easy from the start).
The supplied earphones are of an excellent design and very comfortable to wear (so much better than the one's supplied with the iPod).Sound quality is fantastic with some of the best quality audio I have heard from this type of player.
The unit is very responsive in use and you do learn the functions very quickly but once again I just don't like the supplied software which feels clunky in use.
Battery life is very good and I have had over 25 hours of continuous playback from audio and just over 7 hours from video. Video playback is smooth and you do have the option of displaying photo's in a slideshow effect (I have very little use for this feature but still handy to have).The quality of the screen is excellent and great for photo and video playback.
~~~~ Summary ~~~~
A fantastic design but not quite as stylish as the iPod nano range but offers much more impressive audio and video playback. However just let down by the poor performing software and the whole product just seems to lack the WOW factor.
Sony is nearly there in rivalling the Sony iPod and I am sure they are not too far from offering a superior product. A recommended buy from me but only if you really don't like the iPod range of products.
This review is listed on ciao under the user name phensh
Having bought more than a few MP3 players over the past few years, I have to say that this little beauty is my favourite thus far.
Its a sweet looking little machine, with very elegant looks and great functionality.
Its up against some pretty tough competition, what with the i pod ruling the roost right now, but as far as I can see, sony are really taking the MP3 player market seriously with this model.
The sound quality is really second to none, far better in my opinion to the i pod, and the headphones which come with this unit are very powerful.
The interface is very familiar, as it is similar to those in sony ericcson mobile phones, and therefore is easy to use.
The video playback is great, although the screen size is pretty small.
Battery life is excellent, really really good, especially compared with apple's machines.
The only criticisms I have with this model are the following:
The headphone jack is on the bottom of the unit, which I can't understand, surely it would be better on top.
Another thing, the sony software which you really need to download in order to transfer your movies to a recognisable format is pretty clunky, and not the best.
Two minor criticisms, but don't let it put you off getting one. I've had loads of MP3 players, and this is the best yet. I really fancy the newest model thats just came out with bluetooth, but the good thing about it coming out is that it means theyve dropped the price of this little pup.
If you want really good quality sounds, this is the one for you. End of story. The walkman is back to reclaim its throne!
This mp3 player has got to be the best flash based mp3 player money can buy! It beats any ipod, any creative etc, it is the ultimate of the ultimate!
It is a fairly small device, which will fit into any pocket easy, and you don't have to worry about crushing it, it's an extremely strong metal.
In total there are 11 controls on the device, a 4 way scrolling system, with a play/pause button in the middle, a back button, which if you hold turns to a Home button, an OPTION button, which if you hold turns the divice off, an up and down volume control to the side of the device, and a reset button on the side, and a side up to hold on the back. The earphones socket is at the bottem of the device, and so is the data cable socket. As it is a bit hard to tell, the data cable goes in with the walkman logo facing up.
The screen is a nice 2" display, with video and photo playback, although I don't use this so much, it can be useful. The great thing about this display, it makes it dead easy to find the songs you want, by artist A-Z, by album A-Z, by song A-Z, by playlist, by Genre, by Rating, by Release Year or even Recent Transfers. Now, if you can't find your song by now, you may as well just give up!
On the 'Home' screen, there are 9 different icons:
Intelligent Shuffle, Initial Search, Clock Display
Photo Library, Music Library, Video Library
Settings, Playlists, Now Playing
The intelligent Shuffle randomises the songs, but plays the better rating songs more.
The Initial Search Inables you to find songs by Artist first letter, Album First letter, and Song First Letter, so you can quickly and easily find the song you want.
Clock Display just shows the time and date.
Photo Library enables you to look through all your photos, and even set up a slide show, so the image changes every few seconds, and you can have a song playing while looking. You can also sort your photos into folders, and choose which way up the photo goes, as it will be on it's side.
Music Library enables you to find songs by All Songs, Album, Artist, Genre, Rating, Release Year and Recent Transfers. Songs you can look for through letter, A, B, C, D etc, Album you can look through by 2 letters, AB, CD, EF, GH etc, Artist you can look through by a lot of letters, A-E, F-J, K-O, P-T etc.
Video Library enables you to find and play videos, quite simple to use.
Settings you can change settings (obviously), there are a lot of settings avalible, so I wont go through them all.
Playlists enable you to sellect playlists, create Bookmark Lists, and play your Favourate 100, which is done according to song ratings. There is also a Trash Bin here, and a Playback History.
Now Playing takes you straight to the song, video or picture that you are currently playing.
So, the features on this device. There are plently of things you can mess around with on this.
For sound enhancement, there is a 5 band equaliser, with a 4 stage clear bass setting, which works a treat. There is a "DSEE", in other words sound enhancement. There is a "Clear Stereo" setting, which makes sure you get that correct stereo sound, and somehow it works well. There is a "Dynamic Normalizer" to make sure all sounds are around about the same volume.
So, you put all these great sound enhancements on, and along with these amazing earphones supplied, you get an amazingly outstanding sound quality, with really rich, and full sound, crisp and strong highs, and deap lows. The bass on this is crazily good. You can feel it vibrating in your ear, and it's near the same sound quality of a hifi, if not better. The earphones supplied with this, go from 6hz! Try a bass test, it's insane.
You really don't get this sound quality on any other mp3 player. No other company seem to supply good earphones, so good on you Sony!
The battery life, 30 hours, absolutely amazing considering it's sound quality. It runs on a Lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which can be charged by USB, or you can buy an extra adapter to charge through mains. It also has 8 hours video playback before you need to charge again.
This device beats any other, and is 'like no other'. Sony should be very proud of themselves here, and excellant piece of technology. Buy it!
this is a nice product it has a coulour screen and it hold loads of music (8gb ) the head phone sthat i have had in the past are great they complety block out the sound in the back ground.
the mp3 player in the picture is a liltle bigger than it seems. this infact i think is better than an ipod
the reseason why. . . . . .
cheaper than an ipod
easyer to use. the menus are easyer to use becuase there is no heat pad that is tooo senertive and go past your song about 5 time before you get the right one.
the screen is nice, ( the clours you still can veiw full clour but the black is black not grey like an ipod.
the button say what it does there is no guesing involved at all
has the radio whitch will cost about £30 for an ipod one whitch make this prosuct even cheaper
Sony's worldwide reputation for creating unique, attractive, high-quality, advanced technology products rests on a long line of innovations embraced by people from all walks of life. With a diverse product lineup serving a variety of lifestyles and industries, Sony continuously strives to introduce new products and technologies to meet changing market needs.
8GB with capacity of up to 5500 tracks or 32 hours of video files;
Very easy to operate with mobile phone-like interface and menu's;
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery with great Stamina of 30 for music and 8 hours for video;
Clear Stereo, Clear Bass & DSEE sound enhancement systems and EX-type headphones for superb sound quality;
2.0 inch QVGA color LCD with high resolution (240x320). Can be used horizontally & vertically.