Product Type: Sony MP3 players
Newest Review: ... now but I generally listen to the same music most of the time so it's sufficient for my needs. The mp3 player also allows for video ... more
Freedom from wires!
Sony Walkman NWZ-A828 8 GB
Member Name: I-tried-this
Sony Walkman NWZ-A828 8 GB
Advantages: No wires = free movement and a new lease of life!
Disadvantages: The earphones are on ear as oppose to in ear which do not sound as great or stop sound leakage
Dooyou, Lightspeed and ToLuna (yes, really ToLuna!) without whom, I would have not been able to purchase this.
This MP3 player I recently bought, entirely from Amazon vouchers earned on other sites. In total the price was £120.05 and £70 of that came from dooyou. (Many many reviews!), £40 from lightspeed and £10 from ToLuna. (Eventually.)
Amazon from what I can tell at the moment, are the cheapest on this, with Play.com following shortly with £129 and it costing up to its RRP of £179 in the Sony high street stores. Take your pick.
So, what exactly is it and why is it so wonderful?
Well, its an MP3 player, it has 8GB of space- a little on the small side, there is an 16GB available but it apparently doesn't come with the earphones. (??!). Its by Sony, which for some is as good as a certificate for quality and ease of use. I have to say my experience of Sony is not the same as their Sony Ericsson mobile phones have severely let me down there and tarnished what was a good image.
This is not just an MP3 player though, its an MP3 player with Bluetooth abilities. This to those of us who are not so clued up on technical stuffs, is another word for wire-free. Yup, this is an MP3 with earphones that do not use wires!! Fantastic!
And why is this useful? Well, wires on earphones are one of my pet hates- I do believe there is an 'earphone' faerie who when you put normal earphones in your bag, comes along and tangles them up. The effect being that when you take them back out of your bag/pocket, they are so tangled up your left wondering if in fact, this is the eighth wonder of the world. How do they get so bad.!!!
In addition, if like me you need your music for the gym, there is nothing worse then trying to work out and having your MP3 fall on the floor, taking the earphones with them, snatched from your ears along the way. Always as you have hit a routine. Always...
Then there's travelling, OK so this isn't so bad, normally you have a pocket free, unlike tight Lycra gym wear and can deal with the wires, but the do still get caught if you have to travel by bus or tube in the rush hour sardine style or are carrying a lot of bags.
So for me, wire-free an MP3 player was going to solve all my problems- just by looking at the picture I had already given this player a great deal of expectation to shoulder.
It arrived promptly from Amazon just 2 days after being sent out- I was also happy to see that it had not been opened or used before me, it was brand spanking new- not a return. And in addition, had been charged for me! (This is another little thing Sony do for some of their products and is a selling point they go on about in some of the stores, though its safe to say if your buying something that's been out on the shelves for a while, the battery will decrease and you could be left needing to charge it up again. Amazon had recently been restocked with these just 2 weeks prior to my order so mine was quite new).
I did however, take time to read the booklet, but was a bit disappointed with there being nothing major for me to read- its all very straight forward, just like any other MP3, nothing new or advanced aside from the Bluetooth: you can play songs, watch videos and see pictures. You can play playlists- which you are supposed to arrange on computer via the Windows Media player 11 they give you. If you already have a Windows Media Player, you don't need to add this one in. My computer actually told me I wasn't able to download the CD media player as my Media player was already a higher one. But you will still need to install the CD to register your MP3 (Not sure why, perhaps its to do with warranty or something.) And also there is a designed media player it adds that you can arrange play lists on. Not new- its still the same Media Player you have but just different looking,
I use Napster, its very much easier as I don't have to learn anything new, it works very well with Napster, no problems what so ever. I even get the Album Art which is a first as when I had used Napster with other MP3 players such as my Creative Zen (which was faulty and got sent back) and my phone (Nokia) there was no album art at all. So I am very chuffed to see little icons as well as hear music.
Having had 3 Sony Ericsson mobile phone's which have all been a nightmare to work with my computer, this is a wonderful relief, nothing to download, just plug it in and your away! Weather your using the Windows Media player or Napster, you just click, drag and drop, its there, its on the MP3, simple as that. Its quick as well, you don't have to wait like 60 seconds for it to be transferred, It took 15 minutes to follow the CD downloading which registered me and brought up the Windows Media player I had, and that was it. Compared to mobile phones, this is about ¼ of the time.
The earphones are great. Though I have to say, do let the player down a little.
You see, I am a bit of a snob when it comes to earphones. The pair I had been using up until now were the Bose. Not the old Bose, but the Bose that came out around February and have the special microchip in. The sound is superior to any other earphones -even the CX500 Sennheisers' I had. I also prefer in-ear earphones as not only do they tend to sound better then on ear types, they tend to shut out noise around me too. Sony clearly had a lot to live up to.
The Bluetooth earphones are on-ear types.
In all fairness, Sony do enclose a pair of noise cancelling/silicon in-ear types with the MP3, though these do have a wire, so sadly wont get me the same freedom of movement. Also, I know from past experience, the all important little silicon covers will soon ping off and cost me a fiver to replace every month. But I can just plug my Bose pair in I guess... sort of defies the point though, if I wanted a normal 8GB mp3, I could have easily picked on up for half the price from Sony. Maybe I'll have to keep my eye out for Bluetooth in-ear phones.
The on-ear do work quite well- you have to charge them before use, for 3 hours, from a mains. Easy but somehow odd!
You also have to 'pair' them with your actual player- though don't follow the instructions on this, if you try to 'pair' them it will end in tears- you assuming its broken as it wont pick up any Bluetooth device at all. Just scroll to the first option, 'Bluetooth', and you can see your earphones are already there, click on them and your sorted.
They don't stop noise coming from your earphones and disturbing others around you so pick your audience carefully. I would also recommend being selective about what you put on your MP3- trying to look hard while your earphones bleed out the title track to 'The Never Ending Story' really isn't going to cut it,
The earphones also have controls on the outside of the earphones- a button to rewind, fast forward, flip to the next track/previous track and also a volume button. This is all really neatly placed on the earphones but you do have to remember where they are (not hard) and try not to accidentally touch the buttons when you place them on your ears.
Overall, the earphones are not so bad, though are no comparison to the in-ear types. The sound is good, nice tone overall, though can get screechy on some songs, despite messing with the volume and audio tones. I guess this is just the drawback with on-ear phones. Added to this, on a noisy train or tube they cannot really be heard at all- unless you use your hands to clamp them to your ears- defiantly no where near as effective as in-ear earphones. This just makes it even more disappointing that Bluetooth in earphones are not included.
They overall, have very few issues, in fact I would go as far as to say none at all- on reading the booklet that came in the box, (the box being about 50 times the size of the MP3 player I might add!) I read that the areal was on the top of the player, and if you cover this, it stops the earphones connecting with the player. I had also bought an I-nique case, especially designed for the player, but it covers the Ariel, I though I would have problems, but there were none, it reads through this fine. It also picked up the signal through my bag and wasn't interrupted by any equipment at the gym, nor other peoples mobile phones- though I hadn't tried sitting next to anyone using Bluetooth connection with their phone. But it doesn't like trees, or low hanging branches from trees. Its odd, its not as if the trees come between my head and the player, and its got nothing to do with a signal from the sky as the player works flawlessly on the London Underground, in lifts, under tunnels (where there are no signal able to come from the sky). Not sure what that's all about, it doesn't mind other areas, just not ones with trees. When I am under a tree or load of branches, the player stops and starts, it never actually looses its place, the music actually stops and carries on where it left off, generally for around a second or two. Irritating but not such a bog deal unless you like to spend a lot of time with trees.
The Bluetooth connection works up to about 5 meters, after that it does stop and start as above, and it wont work through walls. Probably a good thing or you could accidentally leave it somewhere and not notice.... this way your less likely to see it speeding off from the outside of the tube.
I am still glad I bought this, the player itself is very neat, sleek, could still look better in my opinion as its quite dull, but it is skinny and does look good. (Just not a touch on the i-pod touch). The earphones are what lets it down, but that's really because they are on-ear rather then in-ear and not to my taste. Also, I wear glasses, these earphones are designed to hook around your ears, I don't find they fit as well as if I wasn't wearing glasses, but they aren't uncomfortable, and I can still run without them falling off, they just done feel quite as safe.
On the plus side, they do fold up really well, and don't look too bad,- just make sure you fix your hair before putting them on, if your anything like me, you'll catch a glance of yourself in the refection of a car window and realise that the head strip which lies horizontally at the back of your head really don't do your style any favours- check the mirror at home first!
The player has 11 hours playback, which I have to say I think is poor, but I am wondering if that's the earphones rather then the player as the player seems have outlasted the earphones marginally, which means I just need to plug in my normal wired set and I can hear music again.
Buy this if you are sick of wires and intend to use your MP3 at the gym, walking along the street or just sitting in a room. Don't get these if you think they will be great on public transport- you wont be able to hear anything, or you spend all your time in trees. And if you listen to them on a bus- please think about the people around you who really don't want to listen to your music, no matter how fantastic you think it is!
I am glad I bought this, even if its not perfect!
Summary: I still think this is fantastic, the freedom of movement is great! The earphones aren't that bad.
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