Sony W-Series Walkman – Ultra-compact music playerMP3 Players — on May 27, 2010 at 12:05 am | 1 Comment
Sum and Substance:
Innovative and ultracompact design, player comes built in to the ear buds, easy to use, ZAPPIN feature is great for selecting tracks
Doesn’t have a screen, some users might not like the design.
The Whiz Kid Speaks:
Sony W-Series Walkman has 1.68 GB integrated memory, weight is 1.5 oz, included accessories are ear buds, holder and stand. Drivers as well as utilities come bundled with the player disc. Supported formats for the player include WMA (DRM), AAC-LC, WMA, MP3, PCM and AAC. Response bandwidth is 20 – 20000 Hz. Amplifier response bandwidth is 20 – 20000 Hz. Some other features include ZAPPIN technology and volume limiter. Shuffle and normal playback modes are supported. USB cable is included with the player. Estimated battery life is 11 hours.
Supported OSes are Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Microsoft Windows Vista Business SP1, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic SP1, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2 or later, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1, Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 or later.
The design of the Sony W-Series Walkman is really appealing, it is available only in black model. On each of the sides, there is a rectangular audio pieces which are rounded off and this makes the player look pretty. The pieces are about two inches long, 0.4 inch deep, 0.8 inch deep and they are attached to each other through twisting, flexible neckband. This has to be one of the most compact player ever and the player is extremely lightweight at 1.3 ounces. But it does come with a few sacrifices like display and ergonomics.
Size of gadgets is getting smaller day by day and this might be the smallest you can get when it comes to MP3 players. It comes built in with water resistant headphones and the design makes it ideal for use while working out at your gym. We first saw Sony do this with W Series Walkman in 2009 and the growing popularity has made Sony make another such device. This player has two gigabytes of internal memory and the manufacturer has chucked $10 off the price bringing the cost to $59.99. This music player is recommended if you are sick of cords dangling from the player to your ears.
When it comes to such MP3 players which are meant to be worn while working out, secure fit is really important. We wore this player on our ears and jumped, jogged and walked. The player snuggled up comfortably in our ears and refused to come out and this is due to the inward pressure of the neckband along with the ear looping design. We are a bit concerned about the one size fits all design, as the hard plastic part of the ear buds didn’t fit in our ear comfortably and our cartilage felt a bit of pressure. You might have some problems with the earbuds and this is why Sony gives you three separate silicon eartips.
Sony W-Series Walkman is very compact and one of the sacrifices that you have to make is the screen. But we won’t complain about that here because a screen somewhere on the neckband would have been quite uncomfortable. Tracks are played in alphanumeric order and there is a shuffle switch on the right ear piece for random playback. On the right module’s bottom edge, you get the jog dial and two buttons for controlling the volume. When you swipe the dial backward or forward the tracks are cycled through and when you press it once, the music is played or paused. The player shuts off automatically when you connect the earpieces through the two tiny magnets.
Interface of the Sony W-Series Walkman is not traditional but still it is simple to get your tracks on the player. For copying music, you have to drag and drop through the folder using Mac or Windows. And there is a Content Transfer app if you want to transfer the music from jukeboxes like Windows Media Player or iTunes. This Walkman can play just audio and supported track formats are WMA, AAC and MP3. We saw something called Playlist when we connected the player on the computer but there is no dedicated button on the player for it. If the player had playlist feature, it would have been like icing on the cake.
Being a compact music player, the extras on the Sony W-Series Walkman are sacrificed but still there are a few useful and unique features. For instance, there is Zappin feature which gives you a ‘preview’ of the song by playing the chorus. If you like it, you can press the jog button and the device will start playing it from the start. Quick charge feature is also there, a three minute charge gives you a 90 minute playback. Rated battery life of this player is eleven hours which is not impressive but still OK given the size of the gadget. There is no integrated FM tuner.
Sony W-Series Walkman is a water proof device which means it can stand sweat when you are working out at your local gym. There are people in our labs who sweat like a pig and they tested it at the gym. The player was indeed unaffected. We also washed the player under a tap of running water and the device came out shinning through it.
This player is made for fitness freaks, buy it if you are work out a lot in the gym.