on 29 May 2009
Before I give my opinion on new Sony X series walkman, I must make a disclaimer here that I am neither a techno expert nor Ipod buff. Any opinion expressed here is purely how I have felt about this particular product and the reasons why I waited since January 2009 before I bought it.
I think foremost every one wants to know if its better than IPOD. Well to answer the question very broadly speaking, in my opinion this is definitely better than any IPOD (nano, classic etc). Is it better than IPOD touch , well I will leave this to user to decide based on what I have found about Sony X series since I bought it 3 days ago(amazon).
In my opinion the sound quality is "exceptional" without exaggerating it. I personally think, on sound quality I would rate this 10/10 ( 10 out of 10 coz I do not know any other music player with such high quality sound, but then I have not tried all music player. I do acknowledge that there might be some out there but I do not know which one~). It allows you to select many options to change song quality ( e.g. heavy, pop, jazz etc,). Most digital player give one of these options but Sony's options do have remarkable differences one from the other.
Other feature every one is eager to find out if noise cancellation really works or is it a gimmick (Sony do put up some gimmicks in their products , but strangely this walkman is completely devoid of any so well done to guys at Sony).Noise cancellation works strangely near perfect cutting down on noise level. I have already tried this on a tube, packed train ( 1758 to Hays from Charing cross, honestly it is always crowded!)
in my office restaurent ( I work in a hospital, so a very busy clattering restaurent) and it worked every where giving me complete peace to enjoy my music. Noise cancellation has 3 options, bu/train, aeroplane and office. It has levels to help you decide the extent upto which you would want to cut the background noise.
To be able to use 'you tube' and internet you would need access to wifi spot. I haven't managed to find a free spot so can't commnet upon it but my office wifi opened quickly and it seems straightforward.
The supplied CD gives you three things to downloads, windows media player (11), Walkman media manager and itunes connection so its pretty good again. Advantage is that since every computer will have (hopefully) most recent window media player 11 one can carry USB and download songs from every computer one is likely to encounter.
OK now most importantly, screen is again "superb" (no exagerration) the colours look vivid, amazing quality. On the flip side the screen is 3 inches (Ipod touch is 3.5 ") but I didn't/couldn't differentiate while watching a programme.
It comes with a FM radio however my complain with radio is that it doesnt broadcast radio station's name or song's name( but there is a link to internet and you tube but agin one would need to be in an free wifi spot to use it. But this should not be much of a concern coz don't the presenters keep saying the stations name every after 10 minutes. And who wants to see a radio station's name scrolling across the screen again and again but I thought I better mention this should this be useful to some one.
Ok, to summarize:
1> Sound quality : exceptional. Way better than Ipod
2> Screen quality: exceptional
4> Youtube and internet (though need wifi access)
%> Nice black colour with designs on the side.
6> Price £180 FOR 16gb AS OPPOSED TO £215 FOR 16 gb IPOD.
Screen 3 inches (smaller than Ipod touch)
Unless you mention any one , pl will think its a new type of mobile phone. So Ipod does a little better as a recognizable product.
Overall, my recommendation to any one thinking of buying it, is to go to John lewis or a local Sony centre and try it there. I personally feel there is little to be disappointed on this product.
keep me informed of what you thought of Sony's new x series
All the best
on 13 August 2009
So, 30 years ago (abouts) Sony blasted the world with the Sony walkman tape players, and were the rulers of walkman portable players until the 90's. But since then it's been a bit of a downhill struggle as they get behind in the latest rudementary gadgets and gizmos that every device now 'has to have' to be acceptable to a growing market.
They created numerous walkman MP3 devices, but when apple came along and set a new sexy way of thinking and flawless design and features, sony were pushed away into a dark corner. Apple players have everything you can imagine on them and look sleek and gorgeous and the advertising and smooth interface made them a winner on all boards. That is, except one: sound quality. It's easy to get disguised with hundreds of movies, touch screens, internet, apps, large screens, sexy designs, that the main point of an mp3 player should be the sound quality and nothing should be added untill this is the best it can be as it is at the heart of the mp3 device point. This, however, is somehing sony have never forgotton, and ever since the first tape walkman in the 80's, quality has been the research that sony have put there time into, and gadgets? well they come second.
This is where the new x series walkman comes in, all of the mp3 walkmans sony have produced have been, well pretty dull looking, and fairly featureless, but one things for sure, the sound has been towers above any other brand, be it Creative, Apple, Iriver, Cowon, Philips, or Samsung. Sony is the only one who's solely concentrated on lush, warm, delicate, vibrant, and deep sound production with the compressed formats we go so keenly to listen to. But as this doesn't seem to appeal to the wider public who would rather search for slik design and bursting with features, Sony began to loose out. So, finally, they carried on the path to better sounding music, but this time looked into the gadget side of it as well, and oh how well they did...
Take one look, no, one hold of the Sony walkman x series and iit screams quality. The design gives apple a slap with the purposely ruff branite styled side rim. And the front houses a solid glass screen with a deep black backdrop noting a tint of sparkling glitter effect to further add to the 'we're not copying the itouch'' look. And, well, yes they are. Not, so much copying but trying to catch up and put on there jackets, but with a solid sony inside. The touch screen is no normal ipod touch screen, it's an OLED screen, meaning brighter, higher contrasts, and faster, slicker image quality. And boy do you notice, infact it's all you'lle notice at first when you're nearly blinded by the brightness of this less energy consuming screen. Granted, it's smaller, but personally I thought the size of the Ipod touch was too large and felt more like a handheld computer than a pocket friendly mp3 player. But moving on, the walkman x is a hybrid, being touch controlled but also featuring a number of tactile buttons on the top and side for easy access when in the pocket, such as play, skip, and volume, which is a great bonus for blind controlling. But what's more? the inclusion of top quality headphones in the package to enhance the sound quality of the player, now this shows the sony music way of thinking.
So, you've gawped at the rugged yet slick player and the mesmerizing screen, all coming out of a glossy, layered box. And you want to see it in action.
O.K, now for everything other than the looks (although they are great). Well, when you turn the player on for the first time, the 'home' screen is similiar to many of the recent sony walkmans home screens, but also inspired by the ipod touch. The applications or 'apps' as apple lovers may call them, cannot be added to or moved about or changed in any way, unlike the itouch facade. And so, yes, little personilastion to be dpone here and little room for expanding the usage of the player. As the iphone has a website overflowing with hundreds of free and to pay for accessories for the home screen, such as maps, games etc. But, as I said in part 1, this player is not about excessive gadgets and useless trinkets, it's about sound and quality. Thr screen has logos to represent functions, such as a semiquaver for 'music' and a briefcase for 'settings', you get the drift. The background is customisable to whatever picture/photo you may wish (one over the ipod there). There's a clock at the top and the usual battery symbol etc. You touch one of the icons and away you go. The touch screen by the way is very very responsive and smooth, and will never miss detecting you, but not multitouch like the itouch. The animations on the device UI are smooth and fun (owing alot to the itouch) and work very well, flips, fades, highlights etc. make browsing on the player fun and smooth.
Once you've entered into the music icon, you are greeted by the now playing screen (with the album art and all the usual stuff), from here if you flick down on the screen with you finger then the album art will wizz down and a cover flow feature that is similiar, but better, than apple's will occur. Very nice. Of corse there are many other ways to browse through your music, as with all sony walkmans, by artist, release year, song name, band name (my preffered), the list goes on. Anyway, so you decide to play a song. Now this is it, this IS IT. The quality of the sound beats any other mp3 player product around, especially, and I mean especially APPLE. There are numerous EQ settings and for once they all work incredibly well, you can set your own equaliser by moving bars for diferent frequencies,and there is a bass boost, and a couple of really good sound amplifiers that are made to restore th quality that is lost in a compressed music formats such as MP3's, and it works very very well. I could go on but just take it from me and numerous other reviewers that hthe sound is the best you will get.
So, this is the dread. The sony walkman does brilliant at what it's supposed to, but it's when it tries to put on apple's socks that it gets a bit stuck iin the mud a few yards behind. Also, included is: FM Radio (fairly good, but no named stations and a bit tedious to use), Photos (absolutely exceptional on the super bright OLED screen and flicking through with you finger is great), Video (same brilliance as photo's), and wi-fi (now this is where it all goes wrong)
The WiFi features
In theory, on paper theyu sound great: direct streaming of youtube videos, internet browser. But in reality... oh god. The youtube icon is good up to an extent and fun, but when you try to play a video, you have to wait for the whole clip to buffer before you can play anything and this can take up to 2 minutes. I must point out however the cool function of being able to visit youtube to search for an artist that you are currently listening tro for music videos etc.
But the internet web browser is absolutely terrible and I mean it. You may be able to handle very basic pages such as hotymail or bbc news (just about) but it will be very clunky and slow at loading. The screen is too small resolution for large web pages and it is very very tedious to view pages by moving around a tiny snap shot of them and zooming out leaves dots instead of words. If you try and go on a slightly more advanced website such as amazon, wiith lot's of graphic and/or photo's then it will not work at all, take ages to load and nthen bring up the dreaded message: ''Lack of resources'' (i.e. HELP!!!). And that's that! The browser function is a novelty for the first couple of weeks but after a while you give up and just use the music functions and others of the player. I have to mention, however, the very good support of direct access and download of content from bbc iplayer as this works very well and I use it frequently for missing an episode of whatever, and say, watching it on the train the next day.
So, I'm going to summarise briefly. This player is for people who are serious about two things: MUSIC, and QUALITY. The player plays music exceptionally well, and Quality of build and sony support is excellnt as always. If you want thousands of functions and are happy to accept less oln the music quality then yes, go for the apple ipod touch. But for me, it's always going to be sony for their sheer quality standards of music and products.They may have tried to juggle one to many functions for this player, but they're just trying to catch up with the appealing crowds, and let's face it, they didn't do an excellent job on the extras, but never forgot their main goal, as the best MUSIC player on the market.
And damn well, they reached it!
Thanks for reading.
on 11 August 2009
You won't believe how long I had been scouring the internet, looking at reviews to help me with my decision of packing in my iPod Touch, and buying a 'proper' media player. I have always been a fan of Apple products and own a Macbook laptop, but their iPods just don't stand up to the chase when it comes to sound quality.
If you're looking for a personal media player with style, sophistication, and punchy sound, then look no further than this Walkman.
The screen has to be seen to be believed. The resolution is pin-sharp, and the colours are outstanding thanks to it's beautifully responsive OLED touchscreen.
As for sound, it leaves the iPod touch weeping in a corner! The supplied headphones are brilliant, and comparable to ones at £60 plus. There are numerous customizable equalizer settings to help you find your perfect sound, whether it's head-thumping bass, or crisp spoken word, you won't be disappointed!
The noise cancellation features work really well on public transport or busy areas, blocking out lots of external noise for extra listening enjoyment.
Despite all the warnings it 'IS' compatible with Apple Mac by using drag and drop functionality, however, you will not be able to install the provided media suite.
My only disappointment with the X series Walkman is the internet browser. The screen is completely the wrong size for surfing, and the keyboard is quite fiddly and tedious during input.
In conclusion, if you're looking for a media player that's heavy in sound, features, and strikingly beautiful, look no further than this! Trust me, you'll never look back to that weak sounding Apple again.