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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 25 May 2010
Having been an iPod Nano user, I recently bought the Walkman NWZA845B. I love the slim design and it's perfect for me to use during my commute to work.

I just don't understand why some people are saying the sound quality is not good... It's absolutely awesome! The difference is obvious when I compare it with my old Nano. The only frustrating this is that I need to change the setting and turn on the sound enhancement functions like Clear Bass, DSEE (what ever this means!?) and Clear Stereo etc. (Dear Sony, why don't you turn them on as default setting? No need to hide them!)

The OLED screen is also very impressive. I've downloaded several episodes of Top Gear onto the Walkman so I can watch them when I've finished reading the papers. Despite the relatively small screen (2.8"), its surprisingly comfortable to watch. The images are very crisp and bright unlike any other portable devices I have used including iPod Nano or a mobile phone! (Dear Sony, why aren't you setting brightness 5 as default setting either??)

On the downside, I did notice that the volume of this model does not go high as my Nano. Having said that, I never used to listen to music at max volume... The volume on my Walkman is sufficient for me to use during my commute, or in the gym. I have absolutely no regrets buying this new Walkman!
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on 22 May 2010
This is a nifty little piece of technology. The sound qualty is brilliant, the headphones excellent and best of all, you can simply hook it up to your PC and drag and drop your music and video files. I've tried mp3s (various encodings, incl. VBR), mp4s, mpegs and AACs and all sound excellent. Im comparison to my i-pod, this player seems to be out of this world.

I found the functionality dead easy, no instruction manual required. The OLED screen is also quite good, but I'm normally not he person that bothers watching videos on such a small screen.
If you're in the market for a new mp3 player, look no further. If you have tried various mp3 players from diff. manufacturers, like me, but never felt 100% sure about whether you made the right choice, then this Sony player will take your doubts away.
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on 25 October 2010
If like me you want an MP3 Player for listening to high quality music then you'll do no better than the NWZ-A845. The sound quality is stunning and with the option of changing the preset music settings and activating the Equalizer you can optimize this fantastic player to suit your own ears.

I'm into classical music and think this player is wonderful. Strings are not too bright. Bass is tight and controlled and on a well recorded piece such as Anne-Sophie Mutters Sibelius Violin Concerto you can even hear the bite of the bow on the strings. It has a dynamic sound stage and you can easily pick out the position of the instruments in the orchestra. Likewise, in Tchaikovsky's Tempest Overture the bass comes in as early as it does on my Hi Fi system with the sub woofer on. How on earth Sony have managed to get such deep bass through this small player and headphones I don't know. Wow!
All in all I think this is a wonderful little player and my only suggestion would be for Sony to produce one with more than a 16Gb memory.
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Most reviewers have noted the excellent sound quality of this player, and I must agree with them. The Sony makes mp3 files sound as good as I have heard from a portable player. Certainly better than the iPhone and iPod Touch. I am not bashing Apple - just an objective observation. I have two iPod classics at home as sources to mini hi-fis and an iPhone from work. I can say without reservation though, that the Sony sounds better than all of them. It is also nicely finished and a great size. The navigation controls are not as slick as Apple's and it's surprising that this player doesn't have a touchscreen like the X-series. However, if you want to watch something on that gorgeously detailed screen, do you really want fingerprints all over it?

As for this issue of the top volume setting being too quiet... no way. I don't have extra sensitive hearing, but I can't play the Walkman at volumes higher than 20 (out of its scale to 30). There is plenty of headroom and plenty of scope to damage your hearing. Sorry, this "CE" issue does not exist. If you need it louder than it will go, go see the Doctor.

The headphones included with the player are superb. The noise cancelling feature really works and the sound is better than the AE and Sennheiser phones I used with my iPhone and iPods. Sony say that the phones are of £80 value, which makes the overall package excellent value. Just to note: the noise cancelling feature gets flummoxed in high winds, so switch the NC feature off when out in gales. In comparison, the phones that Apple supplies are uncomfortable and sound anaemic.

Previously, I trialled the predecessor to this player - the 32GB X-series - a year ago. Although I loved the player, I found its ability to interface with iTunes painfully tiresome - so much so, I returned the player and stuck with Apple. I kept my fingers crossed for this player. I really believe that if any company wants to displace the iPod, it needs to be able to work with iTunes. I know Apple won't make that easy, but that's the challenge to Sony and all the others. I have over five years' worth of iTunes use and I'm not about to start using Windows media player for any reason. Not only is WMP a poor design, but all the metadata on iTunes is lost. I know I'm not unique in this, as Apple have been the biggest PMP seller since they created the iPod 10ish years ago.

Sony says that you can transfer iTunes playlists to the Walkman using the "included" Content Transfer app. Mm... was it included? I couldn't find it, and I couldn't find reference to it in the Quick Start Guide. I had to go online to read about it and download it. Following the website instructions, the installation worked first time, but I can't say it was download, click, accept terms and you're off. If you plan to use Content Transfer, *be sure to read the installation instructions, and follow them to the letter.*

Once installed, it is a simple case of dragging a playlist from iTunes to the Content Transfer app and letting the Walkman sync. Works fine. However, it is not totally seamless. If you make changes to the iTunes playlist, you will have to re-drag and drop that playlist from iTunes to Content Transfer - there is no auto-sync between the two instances of the playlist. Not a massive deal, but it does kind of nudge you towards using Windows Media Player as you can auto-sync with playlists on there by simply connecting the player to the PC. The Content Transfer app feels more like a work-around than bona-fide solution. If you can live with that, you are rewarded with a great sounding player.

ALternatively, if you are a little more adventurous, you could install the Open Source Songbird application. Not only is that a neat iTunes alternative, but it also allows you import the iTunes songs *and playlists* into the application, keep them synched AND auto-syncs with the Walkman. A shame that Sony didn't provide as good a solution, but at least one exists which you can use for free. Songbird has loads of excellent additional features which iTunes would really benefit from copying.

On a broader point, there is a distinct lack of instructions with the player. You can play BBC iPlayer content on it... but you'll need to use a search engine to figure out how. These are oversights from Sony which they should resolve. Also, the player has a custom socket. Why? It's bad enough that Apple do that, but really, companies should standardise on the mini-USB. For these reasons, I can't award the player the full five stars.
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on 29 May 2010
just bought mine today (sorry amazon went to the Sony store for mine).

I did a lot of looking around and reading up before buying and it came down to either this, the Zune or an Ipod Nano and I have to say for me I made the right choice for the following reasons:

1 - Sony has finally done away with their proprietary software in favour for Media Player, a big plus point for me as all my music is run thru Media Player, and had little to no faith in Sonicstage nor wanted to convert to Itunes.

2 - Reported battery life is impressive, as is the screen, OLED no less!

3 - Sure its not got a touch screen but then neither is the Nano, and the Nano hasn't got as good a screen. Even though I wanted primarily a MP3 player watching video is a joy.

4 - The Sony sounds way better than the Ipod.

5 - Its a small unit but punches well above its weight, without of gilding the Lilly.

The included headphones are very good, I've not noticed the volume issue that others have mentioned, also it works with BBC Iplayer! :-)

my only gripes are that it uses a proprietary USB rather than generic mini USB and the current lack of accessories thats available, but then it is a brand new product so i'm sure the cases and what not will follow soon :-)

One last thing, the inclusion of a radio is great but why not DAB?! As in a few years it'll be useless.
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on 18 May 2010
Some of the previous reviews have mentioned the limited volume as an issue but personally I don't think Its a major one. Its more than loud enough for me and with the noise cancelling I've not found my self wanting it to go any louder. The headphones supplied are excellent. I guess the reason people want a sony player is that the sound quality it so much better than an i-pod - this is still the case with this model. As has been said before the screen on this device is really very good. All in all im very happy with this product.
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on 18 May 2010
This is a good product from a brand I trust. It isn't a flashy touch screen like an ipod touch, but personally I think it looks better and is a great size and feel. The screen is great for video and downloading iplayer onto it is really easy. The sound is also really good and the noise cancelling is a great addition. The only thing that lets it down is the battery life when watching video - It's good, but not great.
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on 10 September 2010
I bought this on the strength of my previous purchases of Sony Walkman MP3 devices (S639F). The winning features of this model are excellent and covered by other reviewers. Comparing the audio through the same headphones from the A845 and my old S series showed a major problem: the A845 is very noticeably quieter.

The indicated volume in the A845 is on a scale that goes up to 30. With any level above around 24, there is a dynamic change detectable in the volume. As you increase beyond that up to the max of 30 you can hear the volume being effectively clamped to Sony's interpretation of the new EU regulations. So there are two problems here; the volume limit (which isn't on my old S-series Sony Walkman) and the dynamic volume variation as you get close to the max volume setting.

Other MP3 players allow bypassing the EU-restriction (e.g. Cowon by selecting 'non-EU country' in the setup). Sony however have provided no possible bypass for the machine on sale here. It may be worthwhile checking AVforums for any future change in their policy, but Sony remains adamant..

For many this may not be a problem, but if like me you are slightly hearing challenged, like quiet classical music and want to hear this in a noisy environment, then this may not be for you. The noise cancellation is OK but don't expect Bose-equivalent results. The good point about the noise-cancellation is that you still get excellent quality audio, although the relative quietness of the machine kind of nulls the benefit of having noise cancellation. And if your ear canals are too big (my problem!) or too small (my daughter's problem) for the supplied three different sizes of rubber seals supplied for the earphones, then you won't get the benefit as the noise cancellation is only for the supplied earphones.

If you are ok with the earphones, then there's a real benefit with this Walkman that's not advertised. You can plug a special lead (included in the pack) into the audio feed on airplanes, so that the Walkman operates as a pair of noise-cancelling headphones with excellent volume-limited audio.

In summary 5 stars for an excellent machine and 1 star for Sony's unflinching dedication to EU regulations which spoils the enjoyment of hearing challenged folks like me.
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Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm really pleased with my new Sony mp3/media player - it's incredibly thin (a reported 7.2mm!) and also really light (64g). You really can just fit it in a pocket and not worry about the size or weight.

The sound quality of the mp3 player is really excellent though - a crisp full-bodied sound. I know there has been criticism about the volume you can get from this machine but so far I have not needed it any louder than say 2/3rds of its max volume. Perhaps if I travelled in noisier environments (like on many train or bus journeys) then this would be more of a problem. Although there is a "noise cancelling" setting for when you are on a bus or train - so perhaps this will help - and the earphones say that they can cut out 98% of peripheral noise - so maybe this will also help?

It's great to have my favourite pictures available on such a small unit - but large enough (at 2.5") for other people to see them properly.

The video is excellent - I played an HD film clip on it and it was excellent. I haven't watched a whole film on it yet but it's exciting just how portable this thing is to watch on the go.

The FM radio is excellent - the quality of the reception and the sound is much better than many other mp3 players (and even radios) I have had before. Setting up Preset FM radio stations is simple - it does all the scanning and setting itself.

All in all I am really impressed with this unit. OK at 16GB it's not the mp3 player with the largest capacity but with the quality of the pics, video and music AND its diminutive (and therefore portable) size it's a real winner for me!
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Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
UPDATE: I've discovered that Sony's media-management app 'Media Go' is also compatible with this Walkman (as well as with PSP's and Sony-Ericsson mobiles) and offers good sync and playlist options. It's like a basic iTunes and is faster and more stable than Songbird. Why Sony don't include a copy in the box with this Walkman is beyond me but it's available as a free download from the sonycreativesoftware-dot-com website (not allowed URL's in Amazon reviews) and is worth checking out.

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A full-spec media Walkman bundled with a set of digital noise-cancelling headphones sounds like a great deal when you consider noise-cancelling headphones alone can cost most of this price. The included earphones are very good, much better than average, and the in-ear design alone blocks out most of the ambient sound. However Sony have also equipped them with an adjustable digital noise-cancelling feature which tries to neutralise even more background noise. As others have said, this player isn't loud enough, but with noise-cancelling you should be able to achieve a good listening volume even on a noisy tube train or bus - as long as you stick with the bundled earphones.

Connecting to your PC and syncing your content with the Walkman is a bit frustrating. You can pair the Walkman with Windows Media Player but this can result in your songs being converted to WMA, whether you like it or not (I don't) and so can take forever. Sony have included a neat 'Content Transfer' app which pops up a floating window to which you drag and drop your content either from Windows Explorer or from iTunes. When used with iTunes I found that Content Transfer would also convert most of my songs, even though they were already in a compatible format, making it noticeably slower to transfer content using iTunes. If you're happy to do it all manually then transferring content using Explorer is zippy, faster than any other flash-based player I've tried. I've now also discovered that the free media-player Songbird can be used to organise and sync your content with this Walkman. Songbird is java-based and can be a bit slow with very large music libraries but does allow much more sophisticated syncing and playlist options - including for music, video and pictures. It's also available for Mac and Linux and the most recent OSX version (v1.8) can sync with this Walkman (music-only) making the Walkman Mac-compatible too.

The Walkman's build quality is what you'd hope for from Sony and the onboard user-interface is mostly excellent. The OLED screen is terrific, although over-saturated, and as a portable video player the Walkman really excels. It's compatible with a useful selection of video formats, including content from BBC iPlayer, so your Walkman becomes a little pocket PVR. Video playback, even of full-resolution videos, on the inbuilt screen is impressively smooth and stutter-free. Hopefully playback on a TV is equally smooth, I haven't been able to try it yet because this needs a special proprietary Sony WMCNWV10 Video Out Cable.

In truth, a media player this good really deserves an equally good application to manage its content and Sony haven't given it one, although Songbird now goes a long way to solving the problem. If you don't need sophisticated media-management features then the bundled Content Transfer app is a neat enough way to do it. Once your content is on your Walkman it's a really excellent player, especially for commuters or travellers stuck on noisy planes, trains and automobiles who should really appreciate the noise-cancelling features - even if you can't crank the volume up all that high.
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