Play MP3s and more with iPod-beating sound quality
Everyone used to refer to tape-players as ‘Walkmans', even if they weren't made by Sony. Then along came MP3 players and the iPod and now, although the iPod is by far the dominant portable player, Sony is still selling music players under the Walkman brand.
The latest, the Walkman NWZ-A845, looks stylish enough with a 2.8in screen that was both clear and bright. It was slim and light and fitted comfortably into a pocket.
We found that the main buttons on the Walkman were too small. This made selecting options in the menus difficult and fiddly. As the player is very narrow it was also quite awkward to hold when using the main buttons to navigate through the menus.
The menus themselves were easy to understand with some useful options for searching through music and selecting songs.
The noise-cancelling feature present in Walkman products for a few years now remains, although as before it only works with the bundled Sony headphones. There are settings for adjusting the audio when on a plane, bus or train or in the office.
The Walkman's sound quality was noticeably superior to that of the latest iPod models. Even through the supplied headphones it was able to supply a good deal of bass and a really clear sound. In short, sound quality was great. There are plenty of options to tweak it, including an equalizer with several presets.
The screen quality was excellent too. While there isn't a huge amount of storage space for video, what we put on it looked great with particularly impressive brightness and colour. As on the iPod, album covers are displayed when playing music.
The usual band of extras are included: besides photo slideshows it includes an FM radio. But with just 16GB of storage it might be wise to keep most of the space free for music files.
While the NWZ-A845 is a good music and video player, the price doesn't stack up. At £150 it's only £10 less than the 8GB iPod Touch, which has more features (see sidebar). But if sound quality is important, it's a good choice.
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Great sound quality but it comes at a ‘great' price
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