Sony NWZ E-438 lightning review (8 gb black)
Nov 20, 2008 at 3:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

pufftissue

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Sound quality:

Very good. My reference is my 5g ipod video with Wolfson DAC. I don't know what this Sony uses, but it's not worse, not better, just different.
It is warm, balanced, thick, rich, and has tight, full bass. It shines best in the low end. It also has a wide soundstage, and everything blends together well. I'm usually a complete stickler for crystal clear vocals, probably to a fault. While the vocals don't stick out, they don't sound recessed to me. What stands out to me most about the sound is how smooth, liquid, and dare I say, 'airy', and coherent it sounds after listening for an hour or so. It is not fatiguing at all and very easy to listen to for long periods. There is some background hiss.

The ipod 5g, by comparison, has tighter bass but not necessarily fuller. I realized that I love tight bass. The vocals are clearer on the ipod 5G, and there is better separation of instruments. The sound is brighter, too. The background hiss level is about the same as the Sony.

I bought the ipod nano 4g, 16 gb, and honestly, I dislike the sound quality. It has zero hiss, but the sound just seems thin and tinny. It's not the worst I've heard, but it is not for me.

The Sony was very cheap on ebay, something like $80 new, I don't know why. The battery really does last forever, and the screen is wonderfully bright and vivid and purely awesome. The navigation is easy and intuitive.

Bad things:
Startup time is too long when waking up. If you just turned it off a few hours ago and turn it back on, fine. But like overnight, or something, it seems to go into a deep sleep. Not a big deal, but it does take quite a while.
No song rating system. I don't go nuts over ratings and playcounts anymore, but I'd like to have at least a rating system so that I can having a running favorites list. We listen to music with our players and want to rate it right then and there, not remember it when we get back to the media player on the pc.
Also no on the go playlist system. Seriously, what a bummer.
Sluggish at times when switching between menus, but not when b/w tracks. Probably bearable if I didn't have the ipod to compare with, but there is a pause when loading my 500 item playlist.
Build quality: plastic, but sturdy with no creaks.

I will likely keep the ipod 5g and may be getting rid of the Sony. It was worth the money to try it, though. I imagine that all Sonys sound similar.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 8:28 AM Post #2 of 9

toughnut

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Hmmm. Sluggish, slow startup and crap build? That's not what i know bout Sony lol

Fyi, the model you're using are entry level Sony. But then, it shouldnt be sluggish and with slow startup. My Sony and few previous Sony all startup as soon as u press a button. Moving between menus are zippy too.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 8:46 AM Post #3 of 9

pata2001

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Quote:

Originally Posted by toughnut /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Fyi, the model you're using are entry level Sony. But then, it shouldnt be sluggish and with slow startup. My Sony and few previous Sony all startup as soon as u press a button. Moving between menus are zippy too.


The NWZ Sony have 2 sleep mode. The first one is simply a standby mode, will give you instant on. However, if the unit is turned "off" overnight, it will go into a deep sleep mode, and when you turn it on, it will have to "boot up," as stated by the OP. It's not super "slow," but it still an annoyance having to wait, considering iPod nano 2G and later never seem to enter a deep sleep mode, yet doesn't have battery drain issue (a problem with older NW series Sony DAPs).
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 8:58 AM Post #4 of 9

walkingman

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That does sound bizarre. On the A81x even starting up from deep sleep it seems to be fast enough. Certainly faster than plenty of other DAPs I've played around. It isn't an issue for me as I tend to listen to music most of the time so I hardly ever find myself in a situation where it went into deep sleep.

Oh well I guess it may be because it is an entry level model. I heard the S63x series has better SQ than this and is as quick as their A8xx models. On mine menu switching is super quick, almost too quick actually.
 
Nov 20, 2008 at 10:47 AM Post #5 of 9

toughnut

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Ic, i mistaken for normal sleep mode. My player hardly sleep longer than 12hrs, so it never able to deep sleep yet
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 8:18 AM Post #7 of 9

synaesthetic

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even when completely off, my A728 only takes about five seconds to boot.
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 2:03 PM Post #9 of 9

tds101

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Quote:

Originally Posted by synaesthetic /img/forum/go_quote.gif
even when completely off, my A728 only takes about five seconds to boot.


Quote:

Originally Posted by walkingman /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Same here, 5 seconds on my A81x. 15 seconds is too long, either it is a defect or Sony skimmed on the quality of the E series. Thank god I am getting a S639 instead.
wink.gif



Yup, only a few secs for wake-up w/my A829. And that's after not using it for a few days.
And walkingman,..... I'm waiting IMpatiently myself for my S639!!!
beerchug.gif
 

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