Hello headfiers! Well I would like to start by saying I've lurked around here for a while. Everytime I decide to buy new audio related gear I do a little research online and this site has been of great help to me. Well I think it's time to give something back to this comunity, by doing a little review of a new player I just bought. So here it is:
I opted for the 64 GB version, black color...
The black bezel is actually made of metal, probably aluminum, it feels solid and sturdy.
The touchscreen is made of glass, don't know if it's gorilla glass but it seems strong.
The back of the unit is blue, build quality seems good, but no removable cover, so the battery is not user replaceable.
Here you can see the HDMI port, the W walkman button with wich you can instantly access playback controls.
The bottom of the unit, with the headphone jack, the walkman proprietary connector, and a slot for adding a handstrap.
The headphones that came with it are pretty good, they have inbuilt noise cancelling, but i replaced them with my own set.
My "semi portable" setup! LOL
The user interface is pretty standard Android gingerbread fare, albeit a very smooth one thanks to the Tegra 2 chip i think. There are some sony branded stuff as expected, such as W.Music, Video Player, and Sony Music App, but no major change to the Android experience.
Now for the most important part, and what actually inspired me to come out from the lurking shadows to post this: the sound quality!
Owning an iPad 2 and having owned a iPod touch 4G, I can safely say that these devices don't come close to the SQ put out by this little gem. It's emotional, detailed and a pure joy to listen to. It's really the best SQ I've heard in a portable device. Even better than my old Walkman A855, wich was my portable source up until now. The headphone out jack is pretty good for those times when i need more portability, better than my iPad with an external amp in my opinion. But plug in an external amp through a LOD and it really shines! Hearing some of my old tunes I can hear details I didn't know were there. It's amazing really!
I did some side by side comparisons with my iPad 2, all effects turned off. There was no doubt, the Walkman was the clear winner. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Apple or it's products, for instance I think nothing beats the iPad 2 for web browsing and watching videos, but nothing beats the walkman for music.