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A good value walkman that delivers expected Sony sound quality!
Easy to set up and use; excellent sound quality; good value
Fiddly to get the clip attached to the device; a little too easy to switch on by accident !
Ease of Use
Look & Design
Range of Features
Value for Money
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This was a gift purchase for my husband as he's never had an MP3 player to call his own! I wanted specifically to buy him a Sony model because my own mp3 is an older model Sony NWD B105 and I love both its reliability and its sound quality. I chose this Sony NWZB162 model for my husband principally because it has a clip facility, which is the one thing that I wish my own mp3 had!
As you know, I'm not technically minded, so I'll just give you the basic blurb and then speak for how we have found this mp3.
Product: Flash-based digital player with voice recorder function. Size: HWD = 2.3; 9; 1.5 cm Weight: 28g Colours: Main enclosure is black, but model is available in black, red, blue varieties. Memory: High speed USB with Flash memory of 2GB. Sound: Stereo output; bass boost to audio plus 5 band equaliser. Display: LCD display and illumination. Features: USB memory; Zap feature (to whizz you through song selection); Quick Charge; Power Illuminator; detachable clip and binaural headphones. Manufacturers given run time is up to 18 hours and recharge time is 70m mins.
*** Playing preparation ***
* The mp3 comes in a kind of boxed / plastic packaging (for rack display) which is protective, but also easy to open. Because this was a surprise anniversary / Valentine's gift for my husband to take on a trip he was making, I wanted to charge up the mp3 and add some of his music to it before giving it to him and the packaging was ideal for allowing me to do this - it was possible to carefully open the packaging and then return the mp3 to it afterwards - not all plastic packaging allows this... so I was pleased to be able to do so. As far as I'm concerned, this useful packaging really added to the value that this walkman has as a gift, because it makes it really possible to personalise this player with music or even a voice recording as a gift for someone and then to package it all back up again!
* The initial charge and recording was easy - it only took minutes to get the player out of the packaging, slip the cap of the USB and insert it into the laptop for charging. I wasn't sure at first if anything was happening, but then noticed a blue flash intermittently on the mp3's display, which showed that it was busy.
* Recording was easily facilitated through Windows Media Player on the laptop. I uploaded some of my hubby's CDs to the laptop, then organised these into a sync list in the media player and then just syncronised to the device - all very easy! Once finished and the mp3 was fully charged, I just repackaged and waited for the right moment to give it to him!
*** Listening and lovin' it ***
* The first thing my OH did when preparing to listen to the mp3 player was to fix the detachable clip to it so that he could clip the whole thing into his breast pocket - so I knew I was right to get one with a clip facility! He found it a little tricky to attach the clip to start with (possibly because of his large sausage fingers) but also perhaps because it is actually a bit fiddly. However, once secured it certainly worked well and the mp3 was safely clipped into his pocket for the duration of a train journey in which he was bending and stretching as he got things out of luggage racks and bags etc.
* Optimum sound quality is facilitated well through the combination of the quality earphones which come with the player and the sound quality of the player itself. Throughout the eclectic mix of my OH's music: from Jacques Brel to Louis Prima to The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd, he did not feel short-changed in terms of listening through the ear buds supplied rather than through speakers at home. Volume control is easily facilitated through a little button on the top and once he had located this and used it a couple of times, he did not need to unclip it from his jacket to adjust the volume as needed.
* My husband was also impressed with the Zappin' facility. This is basically a search function which zaps through your music, playing just a snippet of each. You can let it stop where it likes to 'surprise' you with a track it stops at, or you can stop it yourself on a track you want to listen to. I also had a play with this and found that the downside is that the machine 'speaks' when it is doing its zap thing, which we both actually found a little annoying but not in a desperate kind of way - the zapping itself is a nice feature to have, but it just would feel nicer to whizz through the music without the commentary.
* Battery life was good - the mp3 was used for at least 2 hours a day across a five day period and has not yet needed a recharge. We haven't had the chance to try out the manufacturers (up to) 18 hour stated battery life, but with his use of it so far, my husband reckons he's getting pretty close to it.
*** Anything else? ***
* The blue LCD display is pretty good - there's a kind of chaser-light which whizzes around the circular part at the front of the walkman, so that you can see when it is busy.
* There is a useful hold button which helps to avoid the buttons being accidentally pressed and this works well when using the mp3. However, I would also recommend setting the 'hold' button after you have switched the mp3 off, if you are continuing to have it in your pocket or bag, because until we hit upon this as a solution, we found that the walkman kept being accidentally turned on when in pocket / bag. It's a small issue but in terms of battery life it could turn out to be significant if you are away from home and cannot charge up the mp3 often - you could easily waste battery life with an accidental turn-on! You just have to remember to re-set the 'hold' before turning the walkman back on yourself.
* This Walkman's reasonably priced for a 2GB and this does allow quite a few songs to be stored. However, it's surprising how quickly it fills up, so if you do like a whole range of music, you might find the capacity of this mp3 a bit on the small side for you, particularly if you want to leave memory free for voice recordings as well.
So, in all a very good item which we are both pleased with - me for its gift value and ease of use in preparing it in a personalised way, whilst my husband's very happy with sound quality, portability and functionality.
I'm just deducting one star for the combination of minor details that make this ever so slightly less than the perfect player - the faff with the clip; the ease with which the player can be accidentally turned on; the annoying 'zap' announcer! However, none of this affects the sound quality of this walkman, which is of course the main reason you'd buy it, so to that end I would totally recommend it as a good value, high performing mp3 walkman.