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on 30 October 2011
The Sony Walkman NWZ-A865B is very much as good as the reviews I read said it would be. The build quality is superb, the sound reproduction quality is crystal clear, the touch screen is very responsive and the earphones supplied with the unit are first class. It is easy to use and so far I have not found any major problems with it.
The only reason I have not given it five stars is that the maximum volume could do with being a bit louder for my taste and also that the connection on the bottom should be of the 'Apple' variety so that it could be plugged directly into any one of the many docking stations that are produced that almost exclusively all use the 'Apple' format connection.
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on 25 November 2011
Sony NWZA865B.CEW Series 16GB Walkman - Black - What a lovely thing this is - I have had this now for about a month and I have come to realise that I made the right choice with this Walkman. At first I found the touch screen too sensative but after fitting a protection film to the screen it is now just right. I chose this model because it seemed to major on its Bluetooth connectability, and quite righty - not only connecting to Bluetooth headphones but also allowing bluetooth transfers in and out, which I find very handy. This is the first Bluetooth device have come acrose that allows you to prioritize Bluetooth to give either higher qualty Music or higher quality connectability via Bluetooth - this works well in practice. This Walkman comes with "Media Go" which loads onto your computer when you first connect the Walkman - it is through this that you can also transfer your Music, Pictures & Video. You can also transfer BBC podcasts through Media Go (just folow the BBC Podcast Guide). Oddly however Media Go does not transfer BBC iPlayer Programs which need to be transferred onto the Walkman by syncing in the normal way with Windows Media Player (again follow the BBC iPlayerGuide). You can also use Windows Media Player to sync Music etc if you want. All the Album Art is transferred onto the Walkman and looks realy good.The Walkman even has a Karioke option, and has alot of options to tune the sound to how you like it. I am a keen Audio Book person and I use the "Overdrve" audio book consol on my computer (available as a free download form East Sussex Libary webpage). You can tansfer the Libary's audiobook downloads onto the Walkman using the Overdive's own transfer wizard, and they work a treat.(ps Audio Book downloads are currently free at the moment via East Sussex Library web page). I have read some reviews that suggest the volume of this Walkman is not loud enough and I must disagree as I have not needed to use more than just over half volume and the excelent noise cancelling ear buds that come with it realy do work as I have found that I do not need to increase the volume when on the train as I used to with my previuos MP3 player. It is a great improvement on my previous MP3 player and I am very pleased I bought it.
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on 1 July 2012
Firstly I would like to say 'in my opinion' IGNORE all comments about the volume cap(this nearly put me off buying this fantastic MP3 and how sad that would have been). Anyone who needs it on full volume must be deaf. I love my music loud and generally have the volume on 16/17 - it goes up to 30 !!! The sound is amazing, crisp, clear and definitely loud enough. I have waited to do my review so that it has been used in the gym, out walking and on a 9 hour flight to Florida. You probably need to increase the volume if there is background noise around you but 30 is above and beyond. I was tempted to buy this wonderful MP3 because of the reviews from people who had previously had a Creative ZEN. I have had a ZEN for as long as I can remember, the most loveable MP3 you could hope to have, but after getting a laptop could not transfer any new music to it because it was not compatible with Windows Vista,it could not be recognised and would not load the setup disk(the fixes on Creative website did not work). I was heartbroken and started the search for another MP3, perhaps is was time to update. I did not want Apple. And without going into details do not consider Creative if you are looking for your first MP3. I have always loved Sony and after reading reviews thought this was worth taking the risk. It sounded easy to use and looks so classy. I was not disappointed and am completely in love with it. It is small and slim and looks fantastic. Plugged it into my laptop and within seconds all my music and photos had transferred across. The Media Go programme that downloads from the player means any music in Media Player or ITunes is all in one place and can be easily made into playlists. I have one playlist that has about 250 tracks on it. The comments about it being sensitive are quite true but I really don't find this a problem and there is the 'hold' button that you can click to stop it from being activated from the touch screen. I don't use it. Basically this is one of the best gadgets I have ever bought, you will love how fabulous the little black MP3 looks with the pictures of your music on the screen. So easy to use, I probably haven't even touched all it can do yet but if you want to download your music and get playing then this is for you. Amazon as always exceeded all delivery & efficiency expectations. I have never been let down by them. The headphones I have used with everything are 'Creative EP-630 Noise Isolating Earphones'. Perhaps these make a difference. So finally if you want a neat and classy looking, easy to use, with outstanding sound quality MP3 player - GET THIS. I am listening to my massive playlist in random play as I type this - awesome.
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on 14 September 2011
I recently purchased this mp3 player and to be honest the sound quality is superb. However I would like to note a couple of things, there is no noise cancellation, at this price this should have been included, and was on the Sony NWZA845B A series Walkman. The second, the earphone cord is painfully thin and will be the first thing to break. Third is build quality, whilst good they have used cheaper plastics that detract from the overall quality of the player. Four, the earphones they are literally just a bud, the tail again is flimsy, just poor show. Five the tactile buttons are at the side of the unit so you have to take the player of your pocket to operate, this should have been located at the top of the unit as with the x series player.

Sony have attempted to recreate the x series player but missed the mark.

Sony needs to decide what they are doing in the mp3 market, because they have lost to apple due to cover flow. The only thing they have is sound quality, which is the main reason you will be considering this product. Should apple decide to release a premium mp3 player for audiophiles in cooperation with Shure and Cowon for example, Sony would be out of the mp3 market.

In my opinion Sony should forget the fancy things like Bluetooth connectivity and focus on sound with noise cancellation and build quality. For those of you who purchased the Sony NWZA845B A series Walkman, the volume on this unit has been unrestricted and gives enough top end.

Overall the player is good but for £130 should not have the flaws mentioned, I would rather pay £150 and have another x series walkman.
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on 17 September 2011
I am a big fan of the Sony Walkman MP3 range and this is the third one that I have bought in recent years. Having been told in the Sony Centre that the latest Walkman (NWZA865B) supported BBC iPlayer downloads, I couldn't wait to get the new player. However on receiving the product I am unable to download iPlayer files to the device (feature I use a lot on my X-Series) and sadly it is being returned back to Amazon.
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on 17 February 2012
Volume is capped, so fine for house use (just), useless for outside in the street or plane etc. I have no intention of harming my ears but I have MP3 files of various qualities/volume levels that I wish to be able to hear but now have an MP3 player that won't let me. Sony should publish the code that will release this cap as I want to be treated as a responsible adult. If sony built cars would you buy a Sony car that was capable of 100 mph but was capped to run at a maximum of 30 mph because Sony felt it had to protect you.

restricted file formats no FLAC etc.
Can't record from the radio, my 5 year old Iriver player could not only record but you could set the time of a radio recording.

So all in all very poor will never buy Sony again.
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on 30 June 2013
Complete disaster. There is no "off" button. You can shut it down on the menu, but that just puts it into standby (where it does seem to drain). However, the physical "hold" button on the outside doesn't protect it from turning back on, if you touch the "HOME" button (and it's a big button so easily happens) the machine is back on. The battery life is never that good anyway (I can't imagine what tests they did to justify a claim of 20 hours - the maximum I've had, even with all the power-hungry features disabled, is about 10) - is therefore rubbish. Countless times I've turned it off, put the hold button on (in hope rather than belief it will stop it turning itself on), and then, when I come to use it hours later, it's turned itself on and is happily playing to itself. And that is just no good.

As a consequence of such massive use (most of it not for me, but for itself when I've not been using it) the battery has worn out, and its not replaceable. After owning it for less then two years I now get about four hours maximum. Sometimes, after about 12 hours of being left alone, it will actually turn itself off (meaning it has to reboot itself when you turn it on), but anything less than that it's merely sleeping, and you'll find last song you played instantly there.

This is a serious design flaw that Sony have refused to take seriously. I've just received impudent statements that the machine is working as designed. Well it's very badly designed. After many years of buying Sony products, they are no longer welcome in my home.

As for the sound? Well it's good, not brilliant but certainly good. But the machine itself is useless without an ability to turn it on and off. Get back to basics, Sony, and maybe you can rebuild trust. I feel stolen from. A bad feeling. I'm going to bury it and throw salt on the ground.
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on 4 December 2011
This is so close to being an excellent player. Design, build, touchscreen are all excellent, making it a beautiful machine to use. I had to return it as I couldn't transfer music files to it, despite my laptop having the required specs. Listening to the supplied tracks, the volume limitation is certainly a very unfortunate drawback for anyone, like me, who doesn't have "20/20" hearing. But apart from the volume, I only found the sound quality to be 'OK', and my 40 euro Archos had equal or better sound quality, listening through good headphones. Why is it seemingly impossible to make a good mp3 player that doesn't cost several hundreds of pounds/euro? My search continues..
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on 14 April 2012
I have had this since Christmas and bought it because of the good reviews and the price. My wife said I should get the iPod Touch - she is an Apple fan but I know better!!

The bass level is quite good but at the loss of high end treble that can make the sound quite 'wooly'. I have a decent pair of in ear Denon 751's so I knew it wasn't the earphones. My daughter has now got the iPhone 4S and I have compared. I am not an Apple fan..........Or should I say I wasn't an Apple fan, the sound quality blows the Sony away, so I am sacrificing the Sony and getting the Apple.

The Sony isn't a bad buy for the money but if you want that little bit more it really is worth paying that little bit more for the iPod.

Hope this helps you make up your mind.
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on 7 December 2011
I have been looking at a new mp3/mp4 player for a few weeks and i had considered cowon s9 and other sony products. my main priority is sound quality. I have owned a ipod nano for the last few years and never had an issue with it, at least not until i found my old sony mini disc and decided to have a listen. I could not believe how much it better it sounded than my ipod. I listened to the same songs on each player the ipod honestly sounded awful. so much so that until i purchased this A865 i was back on my minidisc!
I wasn't fussed about any particular features, i just wanted a player that sounded good to me and my god does it sound good. I have set my own EQ and turned on the other sound enhancements that the A865 offers and im blown away, every song sounds new. DON'T BE PUT OFF BY THE VOLUME CAP THAT MANY ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT, i was worried about this but the volume goes up to 30 and i have it on 15/16 and it is plenty loud enough, some peoples hearing must be knackered if this player is not loud enough. i cranked up the volume earlier and managed the vol at around 19 and my ears were thumping and that is 11 notches from full.
setup is very easy the whole of my itunes library was transferred in no time, even songs which i had purchased from itunes which i thought would be subject to DRM (digital rights management) were transferred.
i can't comment on any other features like bluetooth etc, all i know is the sound quality is incredible. i purchased the white version from amazon which is £25 cheaper than the black and came in at £99 which for something which sounds as it does, to me, is incredible.
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