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Sony NWZ-F806 mini review (& F-series player reviews / impressions / discussion)

post #1 of 2007
Thread Starter 
I've had the F806 for several days now and thought I'd make a few observations
 
Packaging is quite simple, nothing fancy, so I won't really go into any unboxing photos (never much cared about huge photo-documentations for just removing an item from its packaging anyway). Like the X1060 (which I'll be drawing many comparisons with), the F806 is very well built. It's not as quite as heavy as the X, but still feels very solid. There's no hint of squeaky chintzy plastic here. The finish may be a metallic finish plastic, but it's very solid, with good heft for the size. It compares very close to an iPhone 4 in length and width (narrower by a couple mm), and is thinner. The edges are beveled inward toward the back of the player which will help prevent the volume rocker and lock button from accidentally getting bumped. I transferred my entire music collection in about 25 minutes-- fairly quick, but I don't have the largest collection at something like 17gb, in mosly 320kb files. So I was up and running in short order. The player functions as drag/drop, so couldn't be any easier to get music put on.  
 
Wifi works great my home, with browsing easy and quick (depending on connection of course). The keypad is intuitive and easy to use. It flips horizontal quickly just like my iPhone. Battery initially drained ridiculously fast, but I realized that wifi needed to be switched off to have any semblance of the Sony quoted duration. With that off, and the player on airplane mode, it lasts reasonably well. Keeping the screen brightness down helps too. This being my first Android device is proving to be quite a change from Sony's normal menus, and it's a learning curve compared to the simplicity of the X's layout. I find it takes a couple more steps to get back to your music playing than the X did. Especially if you run a third-party app like Poweramp. I like using that over the Sony player, for the level of controls and tweaks you can do. Also, it allows the F806 to do gapless which is a real treat after being conditioned by the momentary breaks in continuous tracks that previous Sonys make you endure. 
 
So how about sound? I've spent multiple sessions listening with both DAP's, to get familiar with their sonic differences. The new Sony most definitely eclipses the X in sound quality, which makes the purchase worth it alone in my opinion, since the X was already an awesome sounding player. The F is more open and spacious, with a bit more detail to the highs. These aspects combine to allow hearing deeper into the music, with a touch more distinctness to instruments. All of Sony's expected clarity and dynamics are there and more so than with the X. By contrast, the older DAP sounds more confined to a smaller space, and a tad more congested... not as sparkly. I wish I had access to the Z1060 and A865 so I could see which player this new F sounds more like, since both of those share the S-master MX internal amp. I have a feeling it may perhaps be the Z from impressions I've read of both players by members whose opinions I highly trust. The headphone out seems more than adequate to power lots of demanding earphones, and some mildly so headphones even. But it feels about on par with the X. At some point I'll get around to trying out my modded Fostex T50RP's with it to see how it drives those, since they're pretty power hungry! The line out is a little bit quieter than the X's, and when using an amp I find I need to up the volume slightly to compensate for that. But the sound quality improvements over the X still show through the line out.
 
Gripes:
- No 64gb option, or card expansion (of course, what else is to be expected of Sony?)
- number of steps to get back to your music from other screens
- Android not as intuitive as Sony's menus
- Power/lock button on upper edge is hard to reach sometimes when needing quick access to player, such as pausing music, due to beveled edge
- Lack of external buttons besides the volume rocker, home button on side, and lock button
 
 
That's about all I have for now. More thoughts and observations coming as I keep using it. 
 
 
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General info, online reviews, impressions, etc:

 

>>Member reviews<<

 

animalsrush:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/625852/sony-nwz-f806-mini-review-f-series-player-reviews-impressions-discussion/840#post_8878460

 

globigoulba:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/625852/sony-nwz-f806-mini-review-f-series-player-reviews-impressions-discussion/540#post_8802982

 

turokrocks F and Z series impressions:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/625852/sony-nwz-f806-mini-review-f-series-player-reviews-impressions-discussion/630#post_8823948

 

honeyboy's comparison of F and Z series:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/625852/sony-nwz-f806-mini-review-f-series-player-reviews-impressions-discussion/915#post_8888931

 

h1a8 impressions and measurements:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/625852/sony-nwz-f806-mini-review-f-series-player-reviews-impressions-discussion/1005#post_8924840

 

 

>>Online reviews<<

 

http://allthingsd.com/20120913/sonys-latest-walkman-easy-on-the-ears-not-on-the-wallet/

 

 

>>Helpful information<<

 
Firmware Update / version 1.10:
 
 
 
 
Rooting the F:
 
 
 
The grandaddy root guide (thanks DrSheep):
 
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A few images:
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by cn11 - 9/3/13 at 9:23pm
post #2 of 2007

how long is the battery life? I'm planning to get a F805 even I already have a sony Z1050.

post #3 of 2007

Hey Chris, great little review.

 

I bet you're pleased that you finally found something to better your X, which was already (like you said) great sounding.

 

I wonder what Sony were thinking when they left off the physical buttons for changing tracks, fast-forward and rewind? Those features were really useful on the X. But then Sony have a habit of taking something useful away with each new model. How many steps do you have to take to get back to the music menu now? Can you see full scrolling track titles or are they limited to 13 characters like the X?

 

It looks like a nice solid piece of gear. Can you take a pic of the home screen if you get a chance?

 

Thanks biggrin.gif

post #4 of 2007
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by king8888 View Post

how long is the battery life? I'm planning to get a F805 even I already have a sony Z1050.

 

I'd say somewhere more like 24-30 hours depending on how much you mess around with it to change tracks, settings, etc. I highly doubt I'll get the claimed 36 hours. As long as it'll get me through a long haul flight from time to time I'm happy though! 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soozieq View Post

Hey Chris, great little review.

 

I bet you're pleased that you finally found something to better your X, which was already (like you said) great sounding.

 

I wonder what Sony were thinking when they left off the physical buttons for changing tracks, fast-forward and rewind? Those features were really useful on the X. But then Sony have a habit of taking something useful away with each new model. How many steps do you have to take to get back to the music menu now? Can you see full scrolling track titles or are they limited to 13 characters like the X?

 

It looks like a nice solid piece of gear. Can you take a pic of the home screen if you get a chance?

 

Thanks biggrin.gif

 

 

Yeah, quite happy with the audio quality! It's a nice piece after the X... For steps to get back to your music, if you're already on the home screen, you just have to touch the music button if using Sony's player. But if you're using another player like Poweramp, you have to find the icon on one of the other home screens (the 5 that Android has), which can be a bit confusing sometimes! Poweramp has a track/tag detail option, so you can see full titles there.

 

Sure, here we go..

 

 

 

Main home screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Settings in the Sony player...

 

 

 

 

 

The main Sony player screen....


Edited by cn11 - 9/3/12 at 3:35pm
post #5 of 2007

Amazing setup! Though I want to know the comparison of the F series and the Z series.

 

Also, what is the difference from using the HO compared to using the headstage arrow?

post #6 of 2007

this is awesome thanks for the review, just wondering about a case for it , do you think a iphone 4 case will fit?

post #7 of 2007

To switch quickly between apps, simply hold the 'home' button, it will bring up a list of current open apps. Then you can switch to what ever you please. Very easy! Im sure that will fix your issue of it being to fiddly to get back into your music....

 

Would this player be a good match paired with westone um3x?

post #8 of 2007

i dont know about sony's player but with android 4.0 you press the task button to switch between applications (the button right to the home button).

 

i use player pro and i just wipe down from the notifications tray, or access it form the lock screen. you may have to go through the options on the power amp app to set up this feature, look for lock screen settings or something like that.

post #9 of 2007

you can move icons to different screens by dragging them... nice review btw, looking forward to a comparison to the WM-Z (I doubt if there's any difference).

post #10 of 2007
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by etherlite View Post

Amazing setup! Though I want to know the comparison of the F series and the Z series.

 

Also, what is the difference from using the HO compared to using the headstage arrow?

 

The Arrow sounds great with the F806. You get a broadening of the soundstage, as well as mids coming forward somewhat. The background seems to get even quieter with more black space. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by makavelijm View Post

this is awesome thanks for the review, just wondering about a case for it , do you think a iphone 4 case will fit?

 

I kind of doubt it because the F806 is noticeably thinner, and being a couple mm narrower I would think that an iPhone 4(s) case would be loose. Just different enough I'd think!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ads1107 View Post

To switch quickly between apps, simply hold the 'home' button, it will bring up a list of current open apps. Then you can switch to what ever you please. Very easy! Im sure that will fix your issue of it being to fiddly to get back into your music....

 

Would this player be a good match paired with westone um3x?

 

I haven't heard the UM3X, but I can't see them being a poor match with it... when I had the W4 on loan to compare with my Fitears, they were a great match with the X. 

post #11 of 2007

I notice your LOD is not Fiio E5, which one is it and where did you buy it?

 

In the verge of clicking the preorder button from B&H, but will wait for more reviews (hopefully with K3003) and (fingers crossed) Japan 64GB version announcement


Edited by etherlite - 9/4/12 at 8:27am
post #12 of 2007
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by etherlite View Post

I notice your LOD is not Fiio E5, which one is it and where did you buy it?

 

In the verge of clicking the preorder button from B&H, but will wait for more reviews (hopefully with K3003) and (fingers crossed) Japan 64GB version announcement

 

Totally understandable to wait until there are more reviews. I suppose I took a bit of a chance! 

 

The LOD I have is this one made by an Ebay seller from Hong Kong. I have used it for a long time now with no issues. Price is right too!

post #13 of 2007
I am grateful for the review.
Please review the video to YouTube.
post #14 of 2007
Thread Starter 

Oh, one other gripe.... I soooo wish the three main buttons below the screen lit up for using the player in low light situations. 

post #15 of 2007
Quote:

Originally Posted by cn11 View Post

Totally understandable to wait until there are more reviews. I suppose I took a bit of a chance! 

 

The LOD I have is this one made by an Ebay seller from Hong Kong. I have used it for a long time now with no issues. Price is right too!

 

Yep, thanks and congratulations for being the 1st review!

 

Hey! Good price there! Have you ever compare it with other Sony LODs like the ones made in Japan (check fujiya-avic)?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn11 View Post

Oh, one other gripe.... I soooo wish the three main buttons below the screen lit up for using the player in low light situations. 

 

I assume it's a capacitative button and not on screen right? Therefore it's kind of impossible, except it's using light bar like in Sony Xperia S


Edited by etherlite - 9/4/12 at 4:53pm
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