12 June, 2009

A mini jukebox in your gym bag

By Trevor Tan, TODAY | Posted: 12 June 2009 1105 hrs

Sony NWZ-W202

The first Sony Walkman in its cassette tape iteration allowed music lovers to listen to their favourite tunes anywhere.

In this digital age, Sony has once again revolutionised music on the go with its latest wearable Walkman W series MP3 player, the NWZ-W202 ($129).

Available in five colours - violet, pink, green, white and black - and weighing a mere 35g, it looks exactly like a set of in-ear headphones.

The two earpieces are connected by a comfortably-fitting rubber neckband, freeing me to do housework or go jogging without messy wires.

On the right earpiece is where all the regular controls are situated, ensuring easy access with your right hand.

The tiny Volume Control can be confusing initially - its two-button control might leave you wondering which one increases or decreases volume.

Thankfully, you don't have to worry if the player will have enough juice to last through your runs or workouts - it boasts a 12-hour playtime on a 1.5-hour charge.

It plays WMA, WAV and AAC music files, which you can drag and drop via its cool USB connection dock. Of course, you can install the included software to sync the player, but why waste time when you can just drag and drop?

Audio quality is surprisingly good for such a small player, with strong bass and clean treble. But vocals seem to lack punch.

There is no screen nor an Apple Voiceover-like feature to inform you which tracks are playing. Instead, Sony uses the ZAPPIN feature that plays the main chorus in a 4- or 10-second clip when you do a press-and-hold of the Jog Dial for navigation.

However, I rarely used the ZAPPIN feature, as there is only 2GB of memory, which means the songs I have are those I want to listen to anyway.

Plus, whether you are in the gym or mopping the floor, you will likely be concentrating on your physical activities, so I doubt you'd have time to constantly search manually.

Not so good points? This Walkman is not waterproof and it lacks an FM radio.

Still, the Sony Walkman NWZ-W202 is a breath of fresh air from the iPod wannabes flooding the MP3 player market.

While it might not be one's main music player, it will appeal to sporty consumers seeking a cool and inexpensive secondary MP3 player.

- TODAY/yb

From ChannelNewsAsia.com; see the source article here.

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