Sony Walkman W Series NWZ-W202
Sony Walkman NWZ-W202 MP3 Player
What do washing the car, cutting the grass and exercising, all have in common? Everyone tries to find ways of making them more enjoyable, I prefer to listen to music. Before MP3 players I would put my car stereo on or turn the radio in the kitchen up. Then an MP3 player came along that would fit in your pocket and my neighbours where happy, although I found whether I was cleaning the wheels on my car or lifting weights in the gym the headphones wire would always get in the way. So when I was offered the chance to review this MP3 player with built in headphones I jumped at the chance.
- Choice of colours
- Software stored on the MP3
- ZAPPIN™ Technology
- Quick 3 minute charge
- Does not fall our during workout
- Simple to use
- Uncomfortable for long periods
- Cannot remove songs using the content transfer software
- Limited 2GB memory
Sony Walkman W202 TECHNICAL SPECS
- High speed data transfer: YES
- USB connection: YES
Playback & display
- Music Searching Methods: ZAPPIN™ (Short / Long)
- Music Play Mode: Repeat / Shuffle & repeat
- Drag and drop: YES
- mp3: YES
- WMA (Non-DRM): YES
- Power Illuminator: YES
- Repeat: YES
- Shuffle: YES
- Weight: 35g
- Battery life – continuous playback music: 12 hours
- Charging time (full charge): 1.5 hours
- Capacity (audio files): 500 (at 128kbps)
- Headphones: YES (Built-in)
- Quick Start guide: YES
- Rechargeable battery: YES
- Stand: YES (with USB cable 1m)
- Case: YES
After receiving my green Sony Walkman W Series I put it on charge straight away, the colours available are black, white, pink, green and purple. They charge from a standard mini USB connection or you can put them on the desk stand (included), I went for the desk stand. Although a full charge takes about 1.5 hours and will last roughly 12 hours you also have a option for a quick charge. You leave them charging for 3 minutes and they last for 90, which is excellent if you forget to charge them before heading to the gym.
MP3 and Charging Desk Stand
As soon as they where connected to the PC they where recognised and the contents of the 2GB storage was displayed, a few files and folders. I selected to install the software as this enabled ZAPPIN™ which I will attempt to explain later. The software is actually held on the Sony W Series memory, which I think is a great idea as it cuts down on the amount of packaging needed and also means that if you get a new computer you do not have to worry about finding the CD again. It was a very quick installation and the ‘Content Transfer’ window appeared. The manual listed three ways to transfer music to the NWZ-W202, you can use the content transfer software, Windows Media Player 11 or just the manual method of dragging and dropping using Windows Explorer. I thought I would try out the content transfer software and Windows Explorer. I transferred 319 MP3 tracks (1.51GB) using the included software and it took around 45 minutes, I then tried the drag and drop method and it only took 13 minutes. Just as a side note you can drag and drop your songs from iTunes, but it will not play any DRM songs. The W Series supports most popular formats, including MP3, AAC and WMA.
You are probably wondering why you would use the included software at all as it takes 3.5 times longer. Well it’s called ZAPPIN™, while the content transfer software is coping your music over it ‘listens’ to the tracks and picks out the most used melody which is normally the chorus, then during playback you can switch to ZAPPIN™ mode. This then plays the selection it picked as a 3 or 10 second clip allowing you to skip through songs. Then when you find the song you where looking for you can take it out of ZAPPIN mode and it plays the full song. This is obviously to make up for the lack of screen, I found it to be a nice feature and it also works with the 10 or so tracks I listened to it got the chorus on all of them.
After all my songs had copied over and I had given the W Series a nice long charge it was time to test them out. What to do first? Should I take a quick ride round town or should I lift some weights. I went for the obvious choice of washing the car, I thought this would be nice and easy just to get used to them. Once I’d had fitted them properly I set about washing the car, the controls where very easy to get used to and after a while I forgot I had them on. I didn’t think they sounded quite right though, so after I had finish washing the car I went to read through the manual to see if I could adjust the base level. I was very surprised to find that you could not, I tried a few different tracks and in the end decided that they had a great sound quality but not enough base for my liking. I then thought I’d try and see if I could make them fall out, I will not give you the entire list but after star jumps, squats, press ups, sit ups and some running they sat firmly in my ears. I have to admit at this point I had been wearing them for about two hours and it had started to hurt my ears, I do not know if this is due to the fact that they are heavier than normal headphones or whether I am not used to inner ear headphones!
Would I buy a pair? Yes, although the 2GB version is still small and my current MP3 player is great. I do not feel that you need anymore than 319 MP3 tracks for going to the gym and all the slight disadvantages are still not enough to put me off not getting wires caught in the gym equipment. If you do a lot of jogging or cycling I definitely recommend this MP3 player, or if you just want an MP3 player for housework and gym visits I recommend that you take a look at these.
Review by: Russell