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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. bandario

    My unit is only a week old so I'm going to reserve my disdain until it has been through lots more charge-discharge cycles. At this point though I am slightly disappointed.

    My unit contains approximately 50% hi-res content stored between internal and micro-sd and with a set of wired headphones not being driven very hard (Volume = about 80/120) I only got about 13 hours of playback time at this point with screen off the whole time. That isn't even close to the rated battery life for wired playback so I'm hoping the battery just hasn't hit its stride yet; I know it takes phones etc a good couple of months to settle in so I'm hoping this is the same.
  2. chinerino
    Apparently i realised that there are a few things that kills my battery fastt.. In order> Sound effects>Bluetooth>Volume>Type of file and file size despite my screen was off, and i did the 90% charge thing, i had my sound effects ON and volume about 65/120 after 8 hours it left 2 bars and i was playing on all FLAC files so yeah battery dies through time but there are some things that you can do to preserve the battery.

    1. on the 90% charge thing so i wont overcharge,
    2. Dont charge and play (USB DAC exception) try to use up the battery and then charge till full
  3. dannydj
    @babdario yes mine is a new unit also, maybe 5 charge cycles. During my battery test I had the screen off too.
    I am hoping you are right that the battery needs to be broken in or the Sony stated capacity is way off.

    I will testing wired battery consumption next. Hopefully getting to the stated hours as i will be traveling for 20 hours + next week.
  4. neo_styles
    I wanted to run this by the group, but it seems I'm having an issue with my A45 when using Content Transfer to move music and wanted to make sure it wasn't a widespread problem.

    For some reason, my tracks will play almost completely through, but at the end it cuts off and says "cannot play; file format not supported," then moves onto the next track and the cycle repeats. Is this a function of Content Transfer or should I look into something else as a potential cause?
  5. Dtuck90
    That sounds look as an error in the error that could be caused by using Content Transfer. I'd just drag and drop instead and see if that works. I've had no problems whatsoever on my player, I haven't got any music stored on the player itself but I regular switch between about 8 different micro sd cards.

    Other option is that there is actually a problem with the files itself. Are you on Mac or Windows, if you're on Mac you could use XLD and use it to convert the Flac to Flac and that has sorted out problematic files for me before
    neo_styles likes this.
  6. neo_styles
    I've got some options to look into. Considering my MacBook Pro is going to be relegated to needledrop duty shortly, I'll probably set up and re-rip everything on my Windows machine. I've had tremendous luck in the past just ripping straight from XLD, but ended up getting a license for dbpoweramp so I can extract any HDCD information if it's present without having to check each time. Error correction on dbpa when using Secure mode is really impressive and I'd say I prefer it over XLD's, even in Paranoid mode.

    Good news is I had decided to re-rip my entire collection right before this happened, so there won't be much backtracking to do. Thanks for the suggestions.
  7. bandario
    How I fixed 100% of my album art, a quick guide. Note, I already had album art either embedded in tags or in folder titled cover.jpg before I started this process. I was just missing 80% being displayed on the NW-A45 due to either wrong version ID3v2 tags or jpgs stored as progressive rather than baseline. As discussed earlier in the thread, Baseline is required by the NW-A45 in order to display correctly AND it has trouble with id3V2.4. I was not about to spend an entire day doing all of this manually so here is the closest I came to an automated solution. I now have 100% of tags showing correctly apart from one folder full of V/A compilations which just seem to be handled really badly by just about all software and will have to be done manually.

    This solution can be done without re-transferring all of your files which is a big deal. We will be using TagScanner and Sony Music Center.
    First: open TagScanner, go to program options in the top right and under TAGS, ensure you have it set to ID3v2.3, and that your coverart filename matches the bulk of what you are dealing with (cover.jpg). I set quality to 90% @ 600x600 pixels.
    Click the back arrow in the top left.
    Next: Click the folder icon with the green + sign and point it to the MUSIC directory on your WALKMAN device, ensuring search subfolders is checked.
    Once all of the music has been imported, press CTRL-A to select all files, drop down the KEEP menu and select Recompress. This by default should have discogs cleanup selected, I'm not sure if this matters.
    Press SAVE down the bottom right and TagScanner will start processing your files and saving tags and art in a proper, readable format.

    Once this is done, repeat the process for the music directory on your microSD card.

    If you are still struggling, select all files and extract album artwork from tags to file, saving as cover.jpg and overwriting.

    Then, send them back to tags and the correct format will be applied.

    Disconnect your device and let it update the database. Now, go to album view and scroll through your albums. You will notice now that most of the lag is gone! I think this is a side effect of having all of your tags + artwork recompressed into correct format.
    Use a pen and paper or notepad etc to write down any remaining albums that still don't have artwork.

    Open Sony music centre and delete your entire library making sure to select delete library only, not the files on your computer. Let's face it, this software is terrible apart from the one thing we are about to do with it.
    Also turn off automatically analyse imported tracks and 12-tone analysis. This is what crashes Music Center constantly, and also what messes up all of your perfectly organised music.

    Open My Computer and drag both of your music folders from the walkman to Music Center. When asked if you want to copy it to managed location, select NO.

    Now, go through the list you made earlier and either drag appropriate cover art to the albums that are missing it or use the Get Cover Art function from gracenote.

    That's it. This has been extraordinarily frustrating; I can't work out for the life of me why the walkman has such a hard time dealing with album art.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  8. neo_styles
    MusicBrainz Picard would be another alternative to this. The interface allows you to drag/drop from Finder/Explorer and can look up by either the current tag info or by scanning the audio file (MAJOR time-saver). I've been using MB for at least half a decade at this point and it's yet to let me down.

    dannydj likes this.
  9. Trippin
    Hey guys,, I'm considering the a45 and the m0. I will be pairing it with a cayin c5. Has anyone experienced any distortion while amping the signal from the walkman. Seeing as it's only 35mW, im wondering whether the physical buttons and battery are worth it over the line-out from the m0.
  10. dannydj
    @bandario how is your battery going ? Any longer life ?

    Battery test 2 :

    Again with the B&W PXs but wired this time. All EQ and enhancements off, screen off and powered off when not using. Charged to 90%. Using all flac 16 at 75-85 volume.

    I can't seem to run this thing down ! I can't actually finish the test as I need to charge it up for a long haul 19hr flight tomorrow. Really wanted to just check I would get through the flight on one charge as wireless gave me around 11-12hrs last time.

    So far at 18hrs 30mins with 2 bars still showing. All this from a 90% charge.
  11. BadReligionPunk
    I have used a45 with C5. Just used 3.5mm and kept a45 volume under 50. Used C5 volume. I didn't hear any distortion and was listening at deafening volumes. Was pretty impressed with how well the a45 eq worked with C5. Listening to Reggae, Dancehall and Hiphop/Rap C5's +6db bass boost along with a45s +10db was pretty sweet. :)
  12. Trippin
    Thanks looks like I'm going with the a45
  13. bandario
    Just did another wired test with much smaller earbuds (Xiaomi HDAudio HD triple drivers) and it had 1 bar left after 19.5hours but did not make it to 24 hours @ volume lvl 90 which is close to my normal listening volume for these; they seem to need a fairly high output to sound good. I'm not sure at what point it shut down as I left it alone.

    So...some improvement. Worth noting this is with DSEE, Normalisation and EQ turned on, all of which I have heard can impact battery life, and I now have a larger % of FLAC content on the device which will also impact but I'm still not getting close to rated playback...most of my FLAC files are 96/24 which should still net me almost 40 hours of playback.

    I will do another test run with my KZ-ATE which are much less demanding of Milli-watt output to sound good, then that will be it for testing wired gear for now...I continue to hope that as the battery is run through further charge-discharge cycles its runtime will improve, and this could take a long time especially if Sony have been playing with a bit of smart circuitry to ensure the battery enjoys a long life happy life which knowing Sony, they probably are.

    I've taken the plunge and ordered a pair of factory refurbished WH-1000xm2 headphones, but I'm left a little bit torn on my decisions. I'm sure they are fantastic headphones but they have cost me as much as the player, and they feature the exact same S-Master HX amplifier as the NW-A45 itself. If I can't get the battery life up on the NW-A45 I may as well be playing off my phone which is also LDAC capable and has better battery life than my walkman at this point, and will also take a 256gb card.

    I bought the walkman for travel so really the biggest motivator for me was the claimed battery life in combo with the decent sound quality...and also a small amount of yearning for my youth and a way to reduce my trawling of EBAY for minidisc equipment. I realise that manufacturer battery claims are always dubious, but not usually 53% of claimed kind of dubious. As I said, hopefully it gets better with age...much like its owner ;p

    I'm not sure that I will return it or sell it as I am a bit of a Sony fanboy, and I do appreciate having my music separated from the rest of my life and the ability to play without interruptions from external sources but I really do hope battery life improves. This is only full charge-cycle number 5 so I still have high hopes.

    Massive thank you to neo_styles for the tip on MusicBrainz Picard. I haven't rebooted my walkman to see if they display correctly yet but as far as tagging totally untagged files this thing beats everything else I've ever used, and I didn't even have to pay for it!
  14. chinerino
    Actually as you mentioned you bought the walkman for travel so are you gonna WH-1000xm2 everywhere you go? if thats the case in the world of bluetooth gear, honestly theres no point getting a really good player. It really comes down to what you want, if you are mostly using wired IEMS, then of course the walkman is a no brainer but then if you are gonna bluetooth headphones from now on, then i guess the market already has the answer for you and you know it too!
  15. david8613
    I'm really torn with this unit, love the sound. I run it wired and wireless with my sony wh-1000xm2 and vmoda wireless 2 with aptx, both sound wonderfully but I'm kind of having more fun with the vmodas for the bass response. The a45 battery last for ever! The things I wish it had, USB charging and data transfer and wifi, android apps.
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