I felt the review was a bit nokia biased. I wonder what features the new n series have over the old one? More research!
Another very subjective parameter, so the presence of a focus-group was very essential here. Personally, I find the sonic experience I get with the N91 far ahead of that of the W950i in just about every way – from volume to reproduction of high and low frequencies, solid basses and so on. On the other hand, the soft sounding of the W950i will perfectly fit some genres (classical music, for example). We tested the sound quality in the following way: offered the member of the focus group to listen to a handful of tracks (electronic, jazz, rock, pop) in identical headphones, Sony MDR-EX71, with the device hidden in a drawer.
Before revealing the outcome of the test, we are ought to mention some delicate aspects. Nokia N91 can deal with these formats: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, Real, WAV, WMA, M4A, AMR-WB, True Tones, AMR-NB. While SE W950i supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, E-AAC+, WAV, m4a. As you see the number of formats available with the W950i is smaller, yet in real-world situations it is not vital, for many users prefer keeping their music in MP3 or WMA (and sometimes WAV).
A few words about the sound settings in these two handsets. In Nokia N91 the user can take advantage of the equalizer coming included with six presets (Acoustic, Bass Booster, Hip Hop, Pop, R&B, Rock) and default mode, also nothing prevents you from playing around with the equalizer to make up your own mode. The focus-group members noted that the equalizers don’t have any significant impact upon the sounding, thus the default settings are still the best choice. But in return the Stereo Widening, as well as the Loudness effect bring something new to the way the N91 sounds, however to me it’s more of a psychological factor, since I doubt they would have noticed it if I hadn’t said them about it. Balance adjustment was not appreciated by the focus-group member, or, better to day, they rated it as a useless feature.
The W950i works pretty much in the same manner: ten presets (including Mega Bass) and the default mode, the user is cut off manual equalizer management, but this isn’t something most would crave for. The members of the focus group appreciated the “Loudness” equalizer – as they say, it is the only way to go, since other settings aren’t that interesting. For example Mega Bass improves the basses, but at full blast the player can’t cope with such powerful basses and starts creaking etc. A remarkable aspect: the items stored in the N91 outside the equalizer menu (stereo widening, and Loudness) could have been moved to the same place where Sony Ericsson W950i has them. Really, the W950i doesn’t sport stand-alone menu items such as “Loudness” or “Mega Bass”
In the sense of subtle settings these models are evenly matched – the available sound settings will never leave you bored with default sounding, at that either of the handsets can brag about some exclusive add-ons to the traditional equalizers. The same goes for the supported formats – you will have everything you need with either of the phones (though I would really love .ogg support), including any-bitrate-enabled mp3’s"