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Sony NW-A40 Series NW-A45/A46/A47

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by bizkid, Jul 11, 2017.
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  1. TOMillr
    Looking into switch to a A45 from my brand new iPod Touch 128gb because the device last only about 11h during simple music playback.

    Is there a way to automatically sync podcasts to the A45? Maybe by using a software like Clementine or Banshee?

    Is the maximum size of the SD card somehow limited by the device? Or can I get SD-cards bigger than 128gb to work?
  2. HulkFlyer
    I switched from a older ipod to the A-45. I have a 256gig card in mine. Make sure the card is legit and not counterfeit. Otherwise you will have problems. I also went with a fast card for read write speeds. Unfortunately the A-45 does not support podcast! That's 50% of my use. The Sony desktop software supports it. But it won't let you transfer them to the A-45. You have to download them on the desktop and convert them into mp3. Then load them onto the A-45. It's such a pain in the ass that I still just use iTunes and covert them then load them into the Sony A-45.
  3. phower
    Guys, take a look at www.seeko.co.kr. It is in Korean but you can navigate easily or use Google chrome.

    Most of Sony DAPs reviewed have higher distortion and output impedance. It is as if Sony doesn't care.
    We as audiophiles pay more for higher quality. Whether higher distortion is audible is a different matter. But, when I pay a premium over other brands, I expect it to be better engineered.

    At this point, I won't recommend the A45. There are many competing DAPs that offer more at same or lower price.

    Only reason to buy the A45 would be if you like their software more than the sound quality.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  4. fish1050
    So which many other DAP's are you talking about and what do they offer over the A45 in this price range? Making general statements like that don't help at all so give us some examples to compare to the A45 that offer more. As for higher distortion figures if you can't hear it then why worry about it?
  5. TOMillr
    That's why I was curious about a 3rd-party sync client like Banshee or Clementine.

    Those tools seem to support downloading and syncing podcast to a whole range of different players. Maybe the Walkman is one of those...?
  6. davidcotton
    Not sure on the a40 but the a35 does not support audiobook or podcasts. It will play them if you convert to mp3, but will not remember the track position when you navigate back to it. Frustrating.
  7. phower
    The only cheaper DAPs that have better specs are fiio x3 and m3. The xduoo x3 also offers similar performance if you install rockbox. Both fiio and xduoo at least can drive high impedance headphones while the A45 can't due to voltage limitations.
    I was initially attracted to the Sony because of its true digital amplification. Now, after spending some time learning about electronics, I came to realize that they are suitable for loud speakers and not tiny mW drivers.
  8. phower
    No. I haven't listened to A45. Please tell me where one could audition DAPs. I am in a major city in Canada. I have been to Sony's showroom and there are no DAPs that you could play with. Similar story at Best Buy.

    Audibility of distortion has been studied extensively. Once you hit .1% distortion in the amplifier, it overtakes the distortion in the headphones since modern headphone drivers have extremely low distortion below .1%. It is a different story for loudspeakers which have much higher distortion in general.

    I merely posted what I found out. You are free to take it or leave it. It is your money and you are free to buy anything.

    P.S. Sony's higher end DAPs like WM1Z seem to be better but my wallet can't support it. I own Sony's Bluetooth speakers and radios. So, don't take me as Sony hater.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  9. phower
    Model THD iMD
    Sony NW-ZX2 0.026% 0.17%
    Sony NW-ZX100 0.0219% 0.142%
    Fiio X3 0.002% 0.002%
    Fiio X5 II 0.002% 0.27%
    FiiO X7 0.0013% 0.001%

    The IMD of Sony NW-ZX2/ZX100 and FiiO X5 are high and might be audible in high quality headphones. We don't have the actual measurement of A45. But, we can infer from these Sony's measurement since all of them use the same S-Master HX amplifier.

    The reason for comparing specs is that Sony itself markets the products based on the superiority of their amplifiers. In fact, Sony brought many of their engineers to trade shows to talk about their digital amplifiers. But, from the measurements we find that they are not any better than other op-amps and DACs.
  10. fish1050
    It depends on the specs, Sony A45 offers much better battery life, better UI, onboard memory, better bluetooth support. The Xduoo DAP's are way behind in terms of usability and having to install 3rd party software to make it usable tells you how bad it is. Fiio DAP's, the M3 is lame duck DAP that never took off and sounds no where as good as the A45 and has very limited power as well. Which X3 are you referring to, I, II or III? Not a fan of Fiio DAP's needing endless firmware updates. So power is the only real benefit for any of these DAP's and in some cases marginally more power. The A45 has more than enough power to drive my on ear headphones which are actually designed for portable use. Why would you want to use high impedance headphones for portable use anyway? They are designed to be used with higher power home gear. A will take the A45 over any of these supposedly better DAP's every time.
  11. fish1050
    Sony's amp design is much more efficient (much less power lost to heat) compared to the other A/B opamp based DAP's. The amp efficiency and Sony's design allows for much better battery life. I would rather sacrifice a little power for 3x the battery life with the A45.
  12. fish1050
    Well you might try using more current models for your comparison. All these DAP's are several years old now. Sony's amp design has the major benefit of being much more efficient than the opamp based DAP's. They lose much less power to heat than opamp designs do. The Sony integrated DAC/Amp design allows for much better battery life. Give me 2.5 x more battery over slightly less power any time, a great feature set and excellent sound quality. After all you don't listen to specs you listen to music. Buy some headphones that are actually designed for portable use and the A45 is more than powerful enough. It can drive my B&W P5S2 headphones great and they do sound great together and that is really what counts most.
  13. BensonTT
    Am very happy with my A45 and it looks better then most daps out there
    bruce1967 likes this.
  14. chinerino
    To add on, actually OR you already have better headphones (like higher tier ones) you can consider other offerings, these models are quite old relatively as compared to the rate that companies and announcing new daps everynow and then, the NWA45 does sound really decent to me and i have FiiO X1 and X3 latest gen, as compared to A45, they dont sound as full and relatively thinner in a sense where i dont feel the build ups in some tracks on the FiiO and i can actually enjoy them more on A45, distortion really kicks in at extreme frequencies at mis matched volumes, and besides to me personally i feel these numbers are misleading to people as the differences are so negligible and yet people weigh them as if they are everything.These conventional DAPs do have an edge in the spec sheet since SONY decides to keep in secret which i dont like and they have their shortcomings too, A45 does have shortcomings too like (NO LINE OUT?) due to their design, its a different tech after all. But its true sometimes i can harp on my A45, pm me if you wanna know more in depth stuff!
  15. phower
    I would be interested in an objective review of A35 or A45. I am unable to find any through Google search.

    My main point is that other DAPs can drive low and high impedance cans, sound equally or better while A3/4x is limited unless you upgrade to Sony's $$$$ DAPs. Also, efficency matters when power draw is 10 or 100s of watts not milliwatts. Even Sennheiser's HD650 requires only 3mW for about 100dB SPL.

    A typical DAC consumes 100-300 mW while the actual power delivery to the earphone/headphone is only a few mW. So, the power efficiency argument doesn't hold.

    I come from an engineering background and read research papers published in AES and spec sheets of electronic components. The science is solid so I am not going to ignore it unless there is proof to the contrary.

    So, distortion matters though its audibility is program specific meaning depending on the music it might be significant.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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